Pros and cons of extreme training programs

If you look at commercials for the latest home DVD workout programs, many of them promise you can change your life and get fit in as little as 60-90 days. If you’ve ever been on a diet or exercise program, this seems impossible.

Or is it?

The truth is that you can get fit quickly, but it’s not as simple as making a few changes to your diet and adding some exercise in where it fits in your schedule. It requires some serious effort, and if you’re a novice when it comes to getting in shape, these types of programs may not work for you. You’ll also need to be serious about changing your diet, and with the severe exercise plan, this can mean a lot of extreme changes all at once.

How to decide if extreme training is right for YOU

Read on for the some pros and cons of programs such as P90X, Insanity or any hardcore boot camp program you may find at your gym.


  • They get you in shape super fast, and yes, in as little as a few months if you’re serious.
  • They provide a regular routine.
  • You can do some of these programs in the comfort of your own home by yourself if you’d like.
  • Once you’ve purchased a DVD program, you own it and there are no ongoing fees, so if you give up, you can go back to it again and again.


  • These are not easy programs, especially for beginners.
  • Without proper instruction, you run the risk of injury.
  • You must be able to follow the instruction of a “virtual trainer” in most cases.
  • They require more time than many people want to spend on exercise.
  • You must be very dedicated and motivated to complete these types of programs.
  • Most people who start these types of fitness programs do not finish them.

The bottom line

These programs can work well for those who are serious about fitness and have enough of a background to be able to do the exercises correctly on their own. If you are extremely overweight or new to exercise, you will find these programs, whether at home or at your gym, to be very overwhelming, and the honest truth is that you probably will not be able to complete them.

A better bet for those who are new to the world of exercise is to enlist in the help of a certified training professional, either with one on one training sessions or a boot camp program that will ease you in slowly. You might not get super fit as quickly as these other programs promise, but you are much more likely to stick with something successful in moderation than something as strenuous and challenging as extreme exercise.