What’s Better For Gaining Muscle: P90X, Insanity or Body Beast?
With the introduction of Body Beast, there’s one question that’s being asked more than all others: “What’s better for gaining muscle? P90X, Insanity or Body Beast?” If you’ve been scouring late night infomercials, message boards and You Tube results videos in a quest to find the answer, you’ve come to the right place.
That said, I’ll cut to the chase: Body Beast is better for building pure mass than P90X or Insanity.
And lest you think I’m dogging P90X or Insanity (the two programs that brought me here), let me explain why I’m not– because it’s all a matter of what your true goal is and one program isn’t necessarily better than the other.
Body Beast- Different (Not Better) Than P90X
Before Body Beast, there was a tweak to the P90X training schedule which turned it into a mass building program. Basically, take out the cardio elements and shoot for high weight failure in the resistance workouts in the range of 8-10. It’s a change in P90X’s design (which shows how awesomely versatile p90X is) and takes it in a direction it wasn’t designed—but can definitely be used—for.
Still, Body Beast makes mass building much more simple– taking the guesswork out of eating and supplying a nutrition guide, breaking out muscle groups into specific training days and pretty much putting a laser focus on hypertrophy and not much else.
So here’s how they’re different: Body Beast’s training has a laser focus on one thing: getting bigger muscles and ripping those muscles up. And while P90X uses resistance, it’s not necessarily a muscle-building program– just one that recognizes the importance of, and trains, muscular strength and in so doing gets you ripped.
And while that feels like I’m “cheating” on P90X a bit (P90X lost me fat pounds, helped me regain my athleticism and carved a new passion in life… not to mention made my day to day easier and taught me how to eat right) P90X is, hands down, the program I recommend most to people looking to get fit and look good doing it. BUT… different training goals require different training methods and you just won’t gain AS MUCH muscle mass in 90 days as you can with Body Beast.
If muscle is your goal, Body Beast is your program– one that’s quite possibly followed up by a round of P90X to “get back in shape” since big lifts and very little cardio are great for muscle building but don’t translate as well to overall athleticism gained in a P90X training block…. and vice versa.
Body Beast- Not Insanity. Opposite, Even.
While Body Beast does get your heart pumping, make you breathe and make you sweat, it really only has one “cardio” workout. Insanity is a completely different animal than Body Beast and one that’s incredibly effective at losing fat and getting cardiovascularly fit. Insanity grads are melting fat with cardio and eating at calorie deficits– not something you want if you’re looking to build muscle.
“Balderdash!” you say. “I’ve seen the infomercials and people in there come out looking RIPPED.”
But they’re not GAINING. It boils down to this: if you’re working your muscles and losing fat, your muscles will be more defined…. even if they’re not all that “big”. Fat meltage makes muscles look better. But Insanity, at its core, does not encourage muscle growth. You might be able to maintain or lose very little of the muscle mass you bring to Insanity but the daily cardiovascular component does not bode well for building muscle. As with P90X, I’d say it’s a follow up or even hybrid program if you want to carve up a bit more after crushing Body Beast.
Body Beast, P90X Or Insanity– A Choice Based on Goals
So there you have it– as usual, it all boils down to your GOALS. Want the biggest muscles you can get in 90 days without the use of “juice” and stuff that turns you into a raging monster/science experiment? Body Beast is where it’s at.
Want overall functional fitness with muscle gain that makes you look and perform athletically? P90X is the RADNESS.
Want to lose weight and get fit in a cardio-based program? Insanity will fulfill your wildest dreams.
Want the benefits of all three? Like any training sequence, time is on your side and a 180-365 incorporation of all three could have you a Beast in your own right.
Either way you decide to go, be realistic about your goals, grab the program that will take you there and then crush the heck out of it.