Crossfit vs P90X

Crossfit vs P90X

Crossfit vs P90X – The Showdown!

Crossfit vs P90X, two great workout programs.  They both have their merits and drawbacks…  positive and negatives.  If you are looking to go extreme with your fitness, these are the two biggest options you have, and for good reason.  Both have solid track records and are proven programs.  I will outline which program you should consider based on the three metrics I believe get results.  The ability to be done everyday (or at least 5 days a week), the nutritional component, and sustainability.  There are a lot of other factors, and they all matter… but these are the three that make the difference between success and failure over the long term.

Crossfit vs P90X: The Programs

Crossfit is an Olympic style lifting program that focuses on doing heavy lifts with barbells, circuit training, and gymnastics.  The workouts are done in a gym or “box” with others and are highly competitive.  There is a sense of competition and accountability with your fellow crossfitters.  The workouts are notoriously difficult… the few times I have done Crossfit, I have gotten my butt kicked (in a good way).

P90X is an extreme cross training program that focuses on using body weight, dumbells, core/cardio, and yoga.  The workouts are done with DVDs in the home (but can be done in a gym).  P90X focuses on a set system of workouts, focusing on total body transformation and athleticism.  The workouts are diverse and challenging.

Let the comparison of Crossfit vs P90X begin!

Crossfit vs P90x: Consistency

I have yet to meet many Crossfitters that have great results.  You pay a large fee and then show up when you like (although I am sure that they encourage you to come everyday).  This, to me, does not support working out the 5-6 days a week it requires to get real results.  The other issue is that Crossfit requires you to do exhaustive circuits combined with Olympic lifts.  This makes the probability of injury relatively high…  especially if you are in competition with others and overlooking form to get your numbers up.  With these factors, I see the typical Crossfitter making 2-3 workouts a week, and that’s when they are injury free.  On the plus side, the sense of group accountability Crossfit offers is very good, and may help certain people stay motivated when they would otherwise not workout.

P90X yields great results if people stick with the program and follow the system.  I typically see much more consistent exercise with P90X… 6 days a week and so I do see better results.  The P90Xers may not be able to clean and jerk as much, but overall appear to be more fit and seem to have a good baseline of functional fitness.  This all, of course, relies on the person to be self accountable or able to reach out to their coach (yes, I am a coach… so this article is a bit biased) when they don’t want to make their daily workouts.  Additionally, there is no issue getting to the gym and the time set aside for working out is used for just that… working out.  In terms of consistency, I think P90X is CLEARLY ahead in the comparison of Crossfit vs P90X.

Crossfit vs P90x: Nutrition

This comparison of Crossfit vs P90X will be simple.  Crossfit has very little in the way of nutritional planning.  The Paleo diet usually leads the uneducated Crossfitter to simply believe “that carbs are bad”.  Although the focus on getting back to whole foods and lean proteins is a great thing… you better have some carbs in your system when you are trying to out clean and press your buddy while at full exhaustion.  On the other hand, P90X has a full nutrition guide with several different approaches and a focus on dialing in macronutrients.  This is preferred as it is a much more achievable diet in the long term.  Oh yeah, its effective too.

Crossfit vs P90x: Sustainability

From my perspective Crossfit is marginally sustainable.  The risk of injury is bit on the high side as discussed earlier.  The cost is high.  You may not want to go to the gym 5 days a week for the next two years or even the rest of your life.

P90X workouts are much more sustainable in my opinion, as the cost is very low (one time purchase and minimal equipment), P90X travels well (hotel rooms and hotel gyms), P90X is low risk in terms of injury (focus on form vs max weight), and the program can be “hybridded” with other fitness programs to keep variety and freshness.

As you can see, my comparision of Crossfit vs P90X leans heavily towards P90X.  Maybe that’s why I love the program and work with others to get them through it successfully.  Maybe that’s why I have been on my own fitness journey that includes “hybridding” P90X with other workouts for over 800 days in a row (yes, I do take some rest days).  I have worked with quite a few that started out with Crossfit and became successful P90Xers.  In the end, P90X just offers a more flexible, consistent, and sustainable approach to real fitness.  Through P90X I have learned a ton about nutrition and supplementation as well, giving me an edge on the rest of the fitness universe!


Ryan GillespieRyan Gillespie
P90X Certified Trainer / Diamond Beachbody Coach
I currently live in sunny San Diego California and work with people around the country and Internationally on their health and fitness goals. Join my Free Beachbody Team, follow me on Facebook, or friend me on Facebook to join my Free Accountability and Support group. Start today!

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