'P90X,' 'Insanity' offer fast results, some say too intense, impersonal for beginners

Extreme workout videos like “P90X” and “Insanity Workout” are exploding in popularity but may not be the most efficient way to get into shape.

They are among many high-intensity DVDs that claim to show results within a certain amount of time. “P90X” users can expect to be ripped in 90 days, while “Insanity Workout” claims clients can hit the beach in 60.

Health Sciences faculty member Brett Knight said these extreme workout routines are not meant for average consumers.

“These DVD workouts are more for people that are already fit and looking for that next level of fitness,” Knight said. “Although it is good to be burning so many calories because they‘re high-intensity, the workouts are not designed for beginners.”

CMU students are turning to workout videos to see the results they want in the convenience of their own private locations.

“I usually take my laptop and the 'Insanity' DVDs to the gym in the Merrill basement to workout,” Shelby Township freshman Kyle Nicholson said. “Shaun T. (the video’s instructor) is really motivational and he pushes me to break my limits.”

Grand Blanc senior Ricky Hargraves said it is more beneficial to take a trip to the gym rather than to the video store.

“I don’t recommend these workout DVDs to my clients because they aren’t personalized enough and it is better for someone to work out in a more social environment,” Hargrave, a senior Student Activity Center personal trainer, said “In the gym, people are more likely to meet friends and motivate each other.”

Landon Revord, an exercise science graduate assistant from Standish, said it is important for people to set their fitness goals before starting a plan, especially when using a generic routine.

Knight said the videos tend to cause some participants to drop out altogether.

“A lot of people that do these videos don’t know if they have the right form, which could result in a bad workout all together,” Knight said. “It’s also not necessary to go that hard everyday.”

Knight said the key is for someone to be moving and doing something they enjoy.


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