When it comes to at home workout routines, we understand the frustration that comes with choosing an effective routine.
In this guide, we review P90X Legs and Back with three other popular workouts: Insanity, Focus T25 and Hip Hop Abs.
We’ll focus on the workout routine, pricing, equipment needed, and diet & supplements, if applicable.
What Is P90X Legs and Back?
P90X Legs and Back is the ninth video in the P90X sequence of 12 videos. This disc will work your legs and back, as promised, with squat, lunge and pull-up exercises. The total length of the video is 59 minutes.
Before we discuss P90X Legs and Back, let’s first review P90X as an entire workout entity. As you may know, most workout programs out there consist of the same workout routine.
Over time, if you are doing the same routine every time, your body and muscles will become used to the same exercise, which can result in the workout becoming less effective and a plateau in your results.
P90X’s goal is to create what’s called muscle confusion – a training concept that utilizes a variety of workouts to avoid hitting that plateau.
In fact, P90X claims that with their workouts, you’ll never plateau: your body will never get used to the routines, and you’ll always notice improvements.
Results from users are reportedly amazing. P90X Legs and Back continues the theme of muscle confusion.
How It Works
P90X Legs and Back starts with around a five minute warm up. Then you proceed to a workout that uses alternate two sets of two different leg exercises.
After that, there is one set of pull ups, totaling 23 sets – that’s fifteen sets of leg exercises and eight sets of pull ups. In the last round, just one set of leg work is followed by a final set of pull ups.
The exercises in P90X Legs and Back consist of five different variations of lunges, six types of squats, two different dead lifts, and four variations of pull ups.
You’ll do anywhere from 15 to 20 reps of each lower body exercise, which totals 75 reps worth of calf raises. If an exercise uses only body weight, which most of them do, you have the option to add some weight if it’s not challenging enough.
The workout is designed to give your legs a break with the pull ups, which you’ll probably be grateful for.
The partnership of leg work and back work make sense because when you perform any sort of leg exercise, your back muscles engage and need to be strong.
They are there to stabilize you to lift you or lower your, or help you balance on one leg. The entire area around your core is responsible for important stabilizing muscles – especially your lower back.
You’ll find that many sources actually advise not to do a back workout and lower body workout on consecutive days – this is to give your back/legs a rest so that you’re not trying to workout an area that’s already stressed.
There are many different exercises offered in P90X Legs and Back: wide and narrow squats, front, side and rear lunges, and two types of dead lifts that exercise your legs from all angles.
These dead lifts help to strengthen smaller muscle groups that tend to be overlooked by more basic programs.
In the schedule provided by the program, the position of P90X Legs and Back makes sure that your leg work is checked off your training list.
This inevitably doesn’t give your legs that much time to rest, which can potentially lead to being more sore than it’s worth for the program.
After you workout any muscle group, it’s important to let those muscles rest and have time to repair and rebuild themselves. Otherwise you may be overexerting yourself just walking up a flight of stairs or sitting down on a chair.
The thing that makes P90X Legs and Back unique more than anything else is the goal of creating muscle confusion to continue hitting goals and avoid plateauing.
It’s also unique in that, unlike standard lower body workouts, P90X Leg and Back focuses on the combination of leg and back muscles.
P90X Leg and Back can be purchased as part of the P90X program for around $140. Beachbody offers a 90-day money back guarantee, although you’ll still have to pay for the shipping costs to return the program.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare:
- Focus T25
- Hip Hop Abs
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P90X can be purchased for around $140 via most online retailers.
P90X includes all 12 DVDs needed as well as its own nutrition plan, workout calendar, fitness guide, and a how-to video that goes over the entire P90X system. Weights are needed.
The entire P90X routine is spread among 12 DVDs consisting of:
- Chest & Back–Classic strength exercises for the upper body
- Plyometrics–A cardio routine that’s heavy on jumping to boost athletic performance
- Shoulders & Arms–Pressing, fly, and curling exercises for strength
- Yoga X–Strength training with balancing, breathing and stretching to benefit the mind and body
- Legs & Back–Squats, lunges and other lower-body strength training
- Kenpo X–Intense cardio with kicking and punching to improve coordination, balance and endurance
- X Stretch–Movements designed to improve athletic performance and help prevent exercise-related injuries
- Core Synergistics–Tones the whole body but focuses on the core; includes a wide range of floor exercises, lunges and moves with resistance bands
- Chest, Shoulders & Triceps–Targets larger muscles and smaller muscles that you might not have noticed yet
- Back & Biceps–Tightening and toning the upper body; getting lean definition or bulking up
- Cardio X–A low-impact mix of yoga, kenpo and plyometrics; an easier alternative to Plyometrics described above
- Ab Ripper X–Repetitions of crunches, twists and other floor exercises to help create a “V” abdomen and define your six-pack
Diet & Supplements
P90X’s 90 day plan involves exercises and following a three stage nutrition plan. Their nutrition plan is designed to give you the calories you need for workouts, plus a nutritional balance that assists in recovery post exercise.
The P90X program is effective in helping most people improve their physical condition. It’s recommended for anyone with a wide range of fitness goals and also flexible for everyone except for the out of shape beginners. P90X can help you slim down, tone or bulk up.
- Minimal equipment required
- Can be done at home
- Customized and comprehensive
- Lengthy: each program take about an hour per day
- Not great for out of shape novices
- A ton of advertisements on the DVDs
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Insanity, unlike P90X, is geared toward cardio workouts. The Insanity program mixes cardio training and resistance training for results.
Insanity was created by Beachbody, the same company that created P90X. Insanity is said to have the hardest cardio workout program currently on the market.
Just like P90X, Insanity is a set of DVDs. It also includes a nutrition plan and progress calendar to track each workout. The program consists of six days on and one day off. It takes between 35 – 70 minutes to complete each workout.
The Insanity program can be purchased for around $145 through online retailers.
The Insanity program requires a TV, DVD Player, workout shoes or cross trainers, and strong determination and willpower.
During each Insanity workout, the user will move quickly between each exercise with little rest in between. Each review we’ve seen agrees that this is the most difficult aspect of the training program.
Diet & Supplements
The Insanity program comes with a nutrition plan enclosed. This nutrition plan stresses the importance of an efficient caloric intake with each meal in order to support the intense training an workouts.
Insanity’s nutrition plan provides users with equations to assist in calculating the number of calories required in a day.
If you’re in good physical health, you’ll find the program increases your cardiovascular endurance. If you follow the program as designed, you will lose weight and get into shape.
If you wanting to do the program but are not in shape, we suggest you start with a more achievable program and work your way up to Insanity.
- Intense workout
- Availability to practice the program in private by way of DVDs
- No weights, mats or additional workout equipment to purchase
- Not recommended for those in poor health
- No strength training involved
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Focus T25 is made by the same creators of P90X – Beachbody. It is a nine DVD, 10 week fitness program that has condensed the same intensity and benefits of an hour long workout into digestible 25 minute per day workouts, five days per week.
Focus T25 claims that all of these exercises can be completed by anyone and any age, and any fitness level.
These workouts are intense, and as such each exercise includes a modified version to help you quickly build your strength up to be able to access the main version.
Focus T25 can be purchased for around $145 from most online retailers.
Focus T25 comes with all its own equipment. The tools included are resistance bands, an exercise mat, a quick-start guide, a nutrition plan, workout calendars and a fast track guide.
Each routine is just 25 minutes and achievable with or without modifications. The Focus T25 DVDs consist of:
- Five Alpha Cycle DVDs–Cardio, Speed 1.0, Total Body Circuit, Ab Intervals, and Lower Focus.
- Five Beta Cycle DVDs–Core Cardio, Speed 2.0, Rip’t Circuit, Dynamic Core, Upper Focus.
Diet & Supplements
The Focus T25 nutrition plan is simple. Like the workouts, it is a condensed system and also quite simple. The main philosophy of the nutrition plan is to eat small portions, five times a day.
The Focus T25 program is better suited for those that are looking to become more toned as opposed to losing any amount of significant weight.
It is actually not uncommon to gain weight on this program due to an increased volume in muscle mass. The Focus T25 exercises are going to award you more results if you begin the program already somewhat fit.
- Shortest workouts out of all reviewed
- Comes with all equipment that you need, which isn’t much
- 30 day money back guarantee
- Not as effective for those out of shape
- Users have reported low quality DVDs
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Hip Hop Abs is created by Beachbody. Hip Hop Abs is a cardio dance routine. The program comes with a calendar and nutrition guide.
The nutrition guide advises you on what types of foods to eat and meals to prepare that will help speed up your progress.
You have the flexibility to modify and add to the nutrition plan. The main basis of the nutrition plan is to get you eating healthier and achieving your nutrition goals in order to repair the muscle tissue that you’re working on, which helps burn more fat and tone up your midsection.
Hip Hop Abs is available for around $30 from most online retailers.
Hip Hop Abs comes with 10 workout routines plus three bonus workouts and three bonus learn to dance workout routines spread across three DVDs.
The program includes the mentioned nutrition guide as well as a 30 day workout calendar, measurement card, and tape measure.
Each exercise program in Hip Hop Abs is well madean each video is easy to follow. The routines consist of Ab Sculpt, Fat Burning Cardio, Hips, Buns and Thighs, and Total Body Burn.
Diet & Supplements
The nutrition guide is a very standard explanation of how to eat healthier and more effective for your workouts. It is quite basic and no-fluff.
Hip Hop Abs is a very simple and effective program to target your midsection and potentially lose inches off your waist. It is suitable for beginners and those well versed in abdominal workouts.
- Videos are easy to follow
- Effective at targeting midsection
- Best price between all the reviewed plans
- More focused on midsection rather than whole body targeting
- Nutrition plan is simple but possibly lacking
Each program has its own target audiences and will have different applications for each user. Hip Hop Abs is the most comprehensive program that we reviewed as well as the most moderately priced product.
Its nutrition guidance may be lacking but if you’re looking to tone down and are a beginner, this program is a wonderful starting place.
Insanity – while being a very popular product – can be a bit intimidating, as we see it as the most difficult program of the four we looked at.
Still, Insanity is a great program if you’re already in shape and want the ultimate challenge.
We love the quick workouts and simple nutrition philosophy that Focus T25 stands behind. The fact that every exercise is available with modifications makes this program both achievable and challenging which reaches a broader user base.
Our top pick goes to P90X. By using muscle confusion and making sure to target each muscle group, you’re sure to see results.
Choose this program if you’re far from a novice but not ready for Insanity; or even if you are a fairly in-shape beginner.