The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
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    Bodybuilding/Cutting vs Extreme HIIT (INSANITY/P90X)

    So the "Armed Forces Entertainment" brought over Tony Horton (Founder of P90x) to our Naval Base Sasebo Japan, and he did a demonstration on his 90-day workout program. It was awesome, but I'm not sure if itís for me. Here is the link for the P90x and the INSANITY workout:
    http://www.beachbody.com/

    I'm currently 6'2'' 220lbs, and my here are my goals: I'm pretty happy with my size, but if I was to cut down now, I'm sure that I'll lose some size. I really want to stay where I'm at regarding muscle mass, but also have my 6-pack "beach body" (no homo lol). I was planning on starting a bulking cycle for 2-3 months (ordered the Mass Stack) to gain some more muscle mass so that when I cut, I can afford some muscle loss and end it at my current size but shredded.

    I spoke to one of his trainers that he brought with him on tour about how this program (or one like it) could benefit someone aspiring to have the "bodybuilder/beach body" look. His answer was that in the P90x, they combine many different aspects to include: plyometrics, strength/cardio/core training through aerobics and weights, and finally yoga. The trainer assured me that if I was to keep the high calorie diet, and on the weight portion of the P90x just increase the weight and perform less reps at the same intensity, I would most certainly increase muscle mass while still burning fat at the same time.

    Does anyone have any testimonials in these programs?? Recommendations??

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  3. #2
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Gaining muscle and dropping body fat [at the same time] is a tricky undertaking at best.
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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    Gaining muscle and dropping body fat [at the same time] is a tricky undertaking at best.
    I'm well aware, and its much more realistic to aim to try to keep as much muscle mass as possible while trying to drop rather than gain it. Most HIIT's aren't meant to "bulk," but when applying the same principles (nutrition, recovery, training) geared toward muscle mass increase it may be possible. Also with the combinations used in these workouts, seeing slight gains while obviously losing BF could be a realistic result.

    Some info from those that have tried these programs might be helpful...

  5. #4
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    people get results with P90x. i dont really see how you can use a HIIT program to build muscle while losing fat unless you are completely new to training, though. better of lifting iron and learning how to diet imo

  6. #5
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    I did P90X over the summer with some coworkers and have also done some insanity workouts with them, here is my take on them...

    For P90x, you have "weightlifting" workouts (three times a week) and the cardo workouts (three times a week).

    The weightlifting workouts are designed for people to do at home that don't have weights, so if you have trained much you probably won't gain much strength or size on them. They are good for complete novices or people just wanting to get in shape. For example, the chest workout consists almost completely of push-up variations and the leg workouts is a lot of different types of lunges and some wall squats. They might help you maintain if you have already trained some, but they aren't really going to put on mass versus conventional weight training. There is also an ab workout that is short, about 15 min, that is a good workout and difficult.

    The cardo has a mixture of things: a plyometrics workout, yoga workout, a kenpo workout, etc. The only one that is difficult is the plyometrics workout, if you are in good shape the rest are pretty easy. The yoga one is pretty repetitive and he tries making it more of a workout versus a lot of stretching as with the few other times I have done yoga.

    So the basic synopsis: the weightlifting workouts end up being very high reps which is good for burning calories but not ideal for gaining mass. The cardo workouts burn calories but other than the plyometrics really aren't overly difficult if you are in ok shape already. They are good from breaking up the monotony of running for cardo and regular weightlifting.

    Doing the program for the three months coupled with a pretty strict diet at about 2200 calories a day and dropped about 20lbs (6' 217 to 197). I did do a little extra cardo after some of the workouts because I wasn't overly worn out, especially after the first month of the program. My strength before and after the three months was about the same, so I guess I didn't lose a whole lot of muscle even though I cut 20lbs.

    The insanity workouts are much more difficult than the P90x ones, but they are also purely cardo. Plyo in P90x if you really put out might be close to one of the insanity ones, but thats the only one. If you just want to drop weight or if you are in very good condition, they would be better for you.

    Right now, I weight lift MWF and do either the P90x plyo or an insanity workout with my coworkers on Tuesday and Thursdays, so I kind of try to get the mix of both workouts.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floid View Post
    I did P90X over the summer with some coworkers and have also done some insanity workouts with them, here is my take on them...

    For P90x, you have "weightlifting" workouts (three times a week) and the cardo workouts (three times a week).

    The weightlifting workouts are designed for people to do at home that don't have weights, so if you have trained much you probably won't gain much strength or size on them. They are good for complete novices or people just wanting to get in shape. For example, the chest workout consists almost completely of push-up variations and the leg workouts is a lot of different types of lunges and some wall squats. They might help you maintain if you have already trained some, but they aren't really going to put on mass versus conventional weight training. There is also an ab workout that is short, about 15 min, that is a good workout and difficult.

    The cardo has a mixture of things: a plyometrics workout, yoga workout, a kenpo workout, etc. The only one that is difficult is the plyometrics workout, if you are in good shape the rest are pretty easy. The yoga one is pretty repetitive and he tries making it more of a workout versus a lot of stretching as with the few other times I have done yoga.

    So the basic synopsis: the weightlifting workouts end up being very high reps which is good for burning calories but not ideal for gaining mass. The cardo workouts burn calories but other than the plyometrics really aren't overly difficult if you are in ok shape already. They are good from breaking up the monotony of running for cardo and regular weightlifting.

    Doing the program for the three months coupled with a pretty strict diet at about 2200 calories a day and dropped about 20lbs (6' 217 to 197). I did do a little extra cardo after some of the workouts because I wasn't overly worn out, especially after the first month of the program. My strength before and after the three months was about the same, so I guess I didn't lose a whole lot of muscle even though I cut 20lbs.

    The insanity workouts are much more difficult than the P90x ones, but they are also purely cardo. Plyo in P90x if you really put out might be close to one of the insanity ones, but thats the only one. If you just want to drop weight or if you are in very good condition, they would be better for you.

    Right now, I weight lift MWF and do either the P90x plyo or an insanity workout with my coworkers on Tuesday and Thursdays, so I kind of try to get the mix of both workouts.
    Great reply, this was exactly what I was looking for. See, I've never done either of the workouts but I have incorporated HIIT when I train my guys here with good results. Some Q's for you if you don't mind: Why did you start the P90x? Where you already happy with your size and just wanted to cut? Were you lifting before you started the P90x? After losing the 20lbs, what major difference did you see in your body (specifically with muscle mass before/after). I'm in pretty decent shape as it is, so are you saying that the P90x wouldn't be that beneficial compared to the insanity workout? Finally do you recommend doing the program as it is, or do you enjoy your current routine much better and believe your getting better results? I'm not too concerned with my weightlifting maxes (although it would be nice to maintain them) as much as reaching my goals.
    Last edited by nhernan1986; 02-05-2011 at 01:51 PM.

  8. #7
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    Waste of time if you have access to a gym.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    Gaining muscle and dropping body fat [at the same time] is a tricky undertaking at best.
    Quote Originally Posted by f=ma View Post
    better of lifting iron and learning how to diet imo
    agreed
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  10. #9
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    I did it twice. It will work for fat loss but IMHO there are more efficient ways. You have to take what people tell you about it via the internet with a grain of salt. Beachbody.com uses MLM marketing. In short, for $14.95 per month you can buy stock in the company and they promise you comission on everthing you sell for them. It's kind of a scam actually. Anyone and their brother can do it and you don't have to know jack squat about fitness. I bought the training material and the "secret" was revealed. They give you fake before and after pictures (of random models) and video's to put all over the internet. You are encouraged to start a false blog with emphasis on your results (only they aren't your results).

    The problem with P90X is it lacks sufficient loading. If you spend an XX amount of months building strength and size you aren't going to MAINTAIN that strength and size unless you keep the tension on the bar to maintant them. Most Jacked dudes will shrink up to nothing on P90X. You are replacing benc press with pushups, squats and deadlifts with lunghes and wall squats. You do one day devoted to arms where you do like 1000 curls, and everyone knows thats not efficient.

    Most guys who do P90X aren't after strength or concerned with huge mass. A "beachbody" physique is what you can expect. If you go 220 @ 20% bodyfat you can potentially cut to 170ish @ 8 % bodyfat. In short, you'll lose muscle mass (assuming you have been in the gym lifting for muscle mass). You can get cut BUT P90X makes you work for it. I personally would rather moderate cardio with a reduced calorie diet and maintain the weight on the bar. It's a lot easier, takes less time.

    I was 130 lbs @ 8% BF when I did P90X. I did it for 6 months, nutritional plan and all, and it didn't change a darn thing about my physique. I was the same exact way when I finished as when I started. Joined a gym and got on a typical BB style diet and within 20 weeks I gained 24 lbs. And I did like half the work as P90X.
    Last edited by Yamar; 02-05-2011 at 05:53 PM.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yamar View Post
    I did it twice. It will work for fat loss but IMHO there are more efficient ways. You have to take what people tell you about it via the internet with a grain of salt. Beachbody.com uses MLM marketing. In short, for $14.95 per month you can buy stock in the company and they promise you comission on everthing you sell for them. It's kind of a scam actually. Anyone and their brother can do it and you don't have to know jack squat about fitness. I bought the training material and the "secret" was revealed. They give you fake before and after pictures (of random models) and video's to put all over the internet. You are encouraged to start a false blog with emphasis on your results (only they aren't your results).

    The problem with P90X is it lacks sufficient loading. If you spend an XX amount of months building strength and size you aren't going to MAINTAIN that strength and size unless you keep the tension on the bar to maintant them. Most Jacked dudes will shrink up to nothing on P90X. You are replacing benc press with pushups, squats and deadlifts with lunghes and wall squats. You do one day devoted to arms where you do like 1000 curls, and everyone knows thats not efficient.

    Most guys who do P90X aren't after strength or concerned with huge mass. A "beachbody" physique is what you can expect. If you go 220 @ 20% bodyfat you can potentially cut to 170ish @ 8 % bodyfat. In short, you'll lose muscle mass (assuming you have been in the gym lifting for muscle mass). You can get cut BUT P90X makes you work for it. I personally would rather moderate cardio with a reduced calorie diet and maintain the weight on the bar. It's a lot easier, takes less time.

    I was 130 lbs @ 8% BF when I did P90X. I did it for 6 months, nutritional plan and all, and it didn't change a darn thing about my physique. I was the same exact way when I finished as when I started. Joined a gym and got on a typical BB style diet and within 20 weeks I gained 24 lbs. And I did like half the work as P90X.
    I appreciate the input. One of the guys that I train actually has the P90x, so he is going to let me borrow it in order for me to look at it in depth so that I can reach my own conclusions about it. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be continuing my bulk/cut plans, but I may consider the P90x or the INSANITY workout for the cutting stage. One thing to keep in mind is that for you, you already started @130lbs and 8% body fat which would make it very hard for you to get much leaner. Plus I'm assuming that you were in shape when you started this program. I'm not 100% sure what the nutrition plan consists of exactly in this program, but for someone with your body style you should be eating A LOT.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhernan1986 View Post
    I appreciate the input. One of the guys that I train actually has the P90x, so he is going to let me borrow it in order for me to look at it in depth so that I can reach my own conclusions about it. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be continuing my bulk/cut plans, but I may consider the P90x or the INSANITY workout for the cutting stage. One thing to keep in mind is that for you, you already started @130lbs and 8% body fat which would make it very hard for you to get much leaner. Plus I'm assuming that you were in shape when you started this program. I'm not 100% sure what the nutrition plan consists of exactly in this program, but for someone with your body style you should be eating A LOT.
    Yeah I was in good shape. I was a distance runner and unable to run due to injury so that's why I tried P90X. The informercial looked cool so I thought, "what the hell". At any rate it got me interested in bodybuilding so it was a good thing.

    I think you'll do just fine with cutting but you will lose a lot of strength and probably some mass. People who went from gym>P90X report a huge drop in numbers (on the bar), when they returned back to the gym.

    It works great for fat loss; I won't lie. The workouts burn calories out the wazoo so that allows you to still eat quite a bit and create a deficit. Personally I feel that's a rather backwards way of going about it. You can simply decrease the volume of your usual bulk routine (but maintan the weight), add in more cardio (even HIIT), and decrease calories and get the same exact resuts that P90X would give you, only it will be like half the work, and you'll maintain your strength/lean mass while your at it.

    I'm not trying to deter you. It is kind of a fun workout if you are just looking for something different than the gym. You will get your heat rate up everyday. Even the resistance training days are just high reps, like no rest at all. You do 24 sets stright with no break. They use traditional bodypart splits, working only one muscle gorup per week. The arms and shoulders workout kind of sucks. The chest and back workout is just push ups and pull ups till you about throw up(this is one I actually enjoyed). The legs one is kind of frustrating if you have any kind of squat strength because you'll never feel like you actually are getting a leg workout with the cheesy stuff they have you do. The plyometrics is basically HIIT and it's kind of fun. The Kempo is cheesy, but it's just a ballastic form of cardio, some people like it. Almost everybody hates Yoga. It's a 90 minute DVD and boring as all hell. This is something I think most lifters can benefit from. You'll be shocked to learn exactly how much we (men) suck at balancing on one leg.

    You'll get in insane cardiovascular shape. I went from marathon training to P90X and I can honestly say my cardio at the end of P90X was probably better.

    Tony Horton gets annoying. Some of the chicks are hot.

    That's about all I have on that.

    Insanity doesn't use weights at all. I can't see why anyone would want to do that.
    Last edited by Yamar; 02-05-2011 at 11:36 PM.

  13. #12
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    The guys that do P90X and Insanity all look nice but really, you're going down a path you might not want to there. If you're doing it to keep in shape, think of what they are asking you to do. As far as I've been told you are doing 60-90 minute workouts more than once a week with P90X. That's a large chunk of time, and you just have to keep doing it and keep doing it over and over and over. I love the circuit training cardio that I do, and it gives me infinite endurance, but it's the combination of my lifting schedule and cardio that is putting me ahead of everyone else I talk to. Now that I've really picked up with my lifting and have been seeing a good amount of success, I notice that I can eat a lot more and still keep looking the way I want without knocking myself out. I also noticed when I was down at my 170lbs weight that I was just hovering at that weight, not making any strength gains, and struggling with tons of cardio just to keep the weight down. Now, it's getting to almost not even matter. If I work out and keep my calories sensible I am still losing weight with the same amount of cardio.

    That being said, the P90X type of workouts have tons of merit because even just imitating it by descriptions of the videos my endurance is through the roof. There hasn't really been a point in the last month or so where I've needed to catch my breath at all. It just gets to the point of physical exhaustion and muscle failure before I can run out of steam. Anyway, I'm shooting for a balance that takes up the least amount of time with the most amount of workout and that type of cardio really does the trick. The bottom line for me is, I can and will constantly build muscle with the same amount of time that I expend now only using more weights. Meaning in the future I will have more muscle and be using up more calories per day just sitting on my ass, and can change or build a less stressful diet and cardio schedule around that. I'd rather not make a habit of being an adrenaline junkie that just uses 5+ hours a week on cardio if I don't need to...

    Codeguru
    Last edited by Codeguru; 02-06-2011 at 02:34 AM.

  14. #13
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    Some Q's for you if you don't mind: Why did you start the P90x?
    Several reasons:
    I did want to cut some fat, before P90x i was low 20s bf, after I was low/mid teens.
    Some of my coworkers kept hounding me about doing it.
    Gave me an excuse to go workout at lunch (when they did it) instead of in the morning before work like I was doing.


    Where you already happy with your size and just wanted to cut?
    Pretty much, I am lucky/cursed to be one of those people who can add muscle pretty easy but have to constantly fight off the fat versus those who have to really work to add weight.


    Were you lifting before you started the P90x?
    The brief timeline is lifted in high school through college (so about 8 years) pretty hard. Got out of college and started slacking off more and more. Just started working out about a year ago again after a 4 year layoff. So before P90x I had been working out again for about 4 months, although I would say I was surprised how quickly I rebulked up after such a long layoff.


    After losing the 20lbs, what major difference did you see in your body (specifically with muscle mass before/after).
    Muscle mass overall seemed about the same. Definition increased and lost some of gut, but I feel like my muscle mass stayed fairly static. This could have been due to the fact that I had only been working out again for about 4 months though.


    I'm in pretty decent shape as it is, so are you saying that the P90x wouldn't be that beneficial compared to the insanity workout? Finally do you recommend doing the program as it is, or do you enjoy your current routine much better and believe your getting better results?

    I wouldn't discourage anyone from trying the P90x workouts. Coupled with a decent diet, you will lose weight doing them, just know going in that the weightlifting type workouts are basically high rep bodyweight workouts. Diet wise I tried to stick to a 30/30/40 (carb/fat/protein).

    That being said, doing a 3 day weightlifting split with two or three days of Insanity workouts is probably a better idea for someone in decent condition and who knows weightlifting. Right now I do chest/back (M), shoudlers/arms (W), legs(Fri) and I put whatever the most leg intensive cardo workout is on Tuesday (like the P90x plyometrics which if you commit to going deep on some of the exercises you can end up doing 200 or so body weight squats) so I have some recovery time between it and Friday.
    Last edited by Floid; 02-07-2011 at 06:31 AM.

  15. #14
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    Typically the P90X eating strategy is actually a Three months plan which usually focuses on on healthier dietary habits and correct conditioning functions. In accordance with the P90X eating guideline, it is best to eat just a specified number of food but be able to have a healthy and balanced food plan. The endorsed food for P90X eating routine include healthful healthy protein sources including meats, chicken and chicken eggs; if possible complex sugars, whole grain products including browning rice, barley, whole wheat, oatmeal, and so on.; fresh and then natural home grown vegetables, fruit, sallads and fresh fruit juice; reduced fat dairy food including fat-free milk, zero fat cheeses and healthy and unsweetened natural yogurt; a variety of pulses, dried many fruits, flax seed; and conditories for instance fat-free salad dressings, marrinades, bbq spices, catsup plus bee honey.





    P90X strategy fat shredders or step 1 enables you to use very high healthy proteins foodstuffs which in turn are important for a nutritious beginning of the exercise workout. You will want this diet plan to get balanced and muscle mass and lose the unwanted fats. Without doubt the diet plan stage is known as fat shredder part of P90X schedule. The food items which in turn you use throughout the cycle one, should contain 50% health proteins and 30% carbohydrate food and 20% fat. You will need to carry on the diet plan out of the day Two towards the day Twenty eight of the P90x workout plan plan.

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