For many of us, fitting regular workouts can be a challenge. The barriers to getting in daily exercise range from packed, hectic schedules to onerous gym membership fees to low self-esteem and not wanting to work out in front of others. But what if it was possible to get a high-intensity workout in the comfort of your own home, at any time of the day?
TapouT XT and Insanity are two leading at home workout programs that allow you to start at the level you’re at now and squeeze in a quality workout, no matter how hectic your schedule is and even if there’s a blizzard outside. You can choose different custom workouts, depending on how much time you have, your current fitness level, and your interest. By mixing it up and having constant encouragement, it’s easy to see why TapouT XT and Insanity are popular ways of getting your sweat on.
- 1 Just how much exercise do you need?
- 2 So, the more exercise the better?
- 3 What kind of exercise is best for me?
- 4 What is a home fitness program
- 5 How does TapouT XT compare to Insanity?
- 6 The Verdict
- High Intensity Interval Cardio/ Strength (Insane) vs Circuit and Mixed Martial Arts (TapouT XT)
- Traditional DVD (TapouT XT) vs Online Access Option (Insanity)
- 12 core exercises (TapouT XT) vs 45 individual workouts (Insanity)
But what are the main differences between the two programs, and which workout program is more worth your time and money? We’ll take an unbiased, in-depth look and comparison of both and tell you everything you need to know.
Just how much exercise do you need?
If you’re looking at this article, chances are either you’re interested in getting a more convenient workout routine in or maybe even starting one. But just how much exercise do you need?
The good news: less than you might think. The not so good news? More than most Americans are getting. According to the Center for Disease Control, under a quarter of Americans meet the minimum guidelines for recommended exercise. Just one hundred and fifty of moderate intensity exercise, or seventy-five minutes of more intense activity (such as running) and two strengthening or weight lifting sessions per week will meet your recommended amount. But for anyone who has a packed schedule or is relatively new or out of practice to a regular exercise routine, that may sound like a lot.
Interestingly enough, who gets enough exercise varies based on where you live: on average, Southern states get significantly below the average recommended amount of activity, while most Western states get at or above average.
While the reasons for this are unclear, there is another compelling data point to note: rates of obesity in the South exceed those in states that get more regular exercise. In turn, obesity is strongly correlated with higher rates of mortality, and more specifically, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease, sleeping issues, and overall quality of life.
Is exercise that important if I have a healthy weight?
While it’s true you can be a healthy weight or even underweight and not work out at all, there are other reasons besides your weight to get your regular sweat session in. Regular physical activity has countless benefits aside from weight maintenance. Here are just a few of them:
- Keeps your cholesterol in check, by increasing levels of HDL/ good cholesterol and reducing levels of problematic triglycerides.
- Helps promote quality, deep sleep
- Gives you more energy overall, by improving heart and lung function
- Has been tied to improved mood and improved self-esteem
- May improve cognitive function, by increasing blood flow and oxygen transportation to the brain. Exercise has even been shown to bolster the generation of activity in the hippocampus, the area of the brain associated with both memory and learning.
- Other benefits include greater bone density and overall reduced effects of aging.
So, the more exercise the better?
Maybe you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum in that you are more than eager to get your daily workout in–and more. Pushing yourself to achieve new levels of fitness can be empowering, but to a point, more and more exercise has diminishing returns.
While there is no set maximum amount of exercise–everyone has different limits–it is important to listen to your body. Eating enough and proper protein is essential for helping you build muscle and repair after an intense workout; so too is taking rest or easier days to help prevent both injury and burnout.
Exercising too much can actually have a negative impact on your health, and has been linked to increased rates of depression, anxiety, injuries, and may even be overall taxing on your body, more or less negating the usual health benefits of a regular workout.
So how do you know how much is the right amount for you? Well, listening to your body both physically and psychologically is the key. Signs you’re working out too much include worsening performance, you’re getting sick more often, fatigue and sleep disorders, either elevated or very low heart rate, increased depression, decrease in appetite, and feeling cold.
What kind of exercise is best for me?
It’s important to note how we phrase this question; not what exercise is the best overall, but what is best for you. Your current condition, your personal interests, and other factors will determine what exercise works best for you. There are, however, a few key principles:
- Find an activity that keeps you engaged
- Find an activity that challenges you enough to push yourself, but not so much you’re always in pain
- Do your best to combine cardio and strength training for optimal health benefits
When in doubt, try different activities out; chances are you’ll eventually find something you’ll like and can stick with.
What is a home fitness program
A home fitness program depends on how you define it, but for programs like TapouT Xt and Insanity, it’s a video system of workouts you can perform at home, most often with little or even no equipment. While in the past workouts like TapouT XT and Insanity were most commonly known as workout DVDs, now the most common way to pursue these workouts is through online access.
Each workout is divided into length, difficulty, and other factors and includes a video with personal trainers or fitness experts leading you through different exercises you’re supposed to follow for a length of anywhere from fifteen to sixty minutes.
Typically, these workouts range in intensity but also cater to the group of people interested in HIT (high intensity intervals, or high-intensity exercise for short segments of time), and combines cardio with strength training in a single workout.
Is a home workout plan right for me?
The good news is that workout programs like TapouT XT and Insanity have a great diversity of workout types and lengths you’re less likely to get bored than you might have been in the earlier era of home workouts.
They are highly convenient: requiring little beside DVDs or online access, they can be done at home or even when you’re traveling, and require little planning ahead of time. Plus, with different workout lengths, you no longer have the excuse of not having enough time.
There are, of course, some drawbacks: even with an online platform or DVDs, it’s possible some workouts may feel tedious. If you’re into a specific type of activity, you may not enjoy the workouts as much. And of course, while working out inside is far more convenient in terms of the time of day and weather conditions you can exercise, it may not be ideal for all of your workouts–working out outside can be more motivating, lift your mood more, and have an extra positive impact on your well being. Those that workout outside at least sometimes also may be more likely to continue their exercise regime.
How does TapouT XT compare to Insanity?
Compared side by side, it’s easier to figure out if Insanity or TapouT XT is more worth your energy. We’ll be looking at a number of factors, including the variety of workouts, quality, community support, pricing, customization, and customer reviews. While TapouT XT and Insanity have a number of things in common, each of these categories shows some differences that might make a big difference to anyone beginning or wishing to continue their fitness journey.
How do you get access to the workout programs?
- With Insanity, you have a few options. One option is through membership with Beach Body on Demand. Beach Body on Demand is an online fitness membership where you pay for access to Insanity along with other fitness programs. With your payment, you’ll be able to access the workouts on your mobile devices and also connect with a larger community. You can also purchase through Shaun T Fitness (the founder and main instructor of Insanity), but it will redirect you to Beach Body on Demand; though this is a smarter route to go because you can get a two-week promotion… For the purposes of this review, we’ll be focusing on the classic Insanity program, though there are other varieties and an entire series of different Insanity programs.
- TapouT XT is purchased primarily through its main site which directs you to Amazon. Unlike Insanity, where you can get online access, it is a DVD based program that you have shipped to you. Purchasing is fairly straightforward.
How long is each program before you run out of workouts?
While it does depend in part on how consistent you are and how often you complete workouts, both Insanity and TapouT XT have specified time periods it’s suggested to complete the program.
- The regular Insanity program runs about sixty days, while TapouT XT runs about ninety days.
- Insanity contains forty-five workouts while TapouT XT contains just twelve different workouts you’re meant to cycle through.
The program length, as you can see, is structured less on the number of workouts and more on overall goals: both Insanity and TapouT XT are fitness programs with the purpose of trying to make weight and strengthening goals, and with the suggestion that those goals can be feasibly achieved with a sixty or ninety day regimen.
What do you get with your purchase?
Besides the workouts themselves, do you get anything else with your purchase, and does it matter? It does matter, for a few reasons: for one, it’s easier to understand the overall value of a workout program and for another, it makes it easier to distinguish TapouT XT and Insanity in terms of the overall cost.
TapouT XT’s full program includes twelve workout DVDs and a ‘bonus’ DVD, as well as leg bands and workout charts.
Insanity’s program, when purchased through Beachbody on Demand, gives you access to forty five workouts, a fitness guide, a fit test questionnaire, a fitness calendar, and a music playlist. If you go through Shaun’s original website, you can also get fourteen days free. Beachbody is also affiliated with Shakeology, though protein shakes will not come with your purchase.
How much does it cost?
Insanity costs a little over one hundred and fifty dollars for a twelve-month plan, or one hundred dollars for the special promotion. You can also purchase a six-month access plan for just under eighty dollars or sixty dollars with the special promotion. However, it is also possible to purchase the DVD version on Amazon still, even though it’s not advertised. For the DVD version, you pay just under one hundred and fifty dollars for ten workouts–the access code is generally a better deal.
TapouT XT’s ninety day program costs eighty dollars and has free shipping. Keep in mind that, while having online access may be more convenient, TapouT XT are DVD based, meaning you can have access indefinitely and it’s a one time purchase, whereas you could potentially renew your Insanity subscription.
What kind of workouts can you expect?
When looking at types of workouts, you should not only look for how interested you might be potentially in the workouts, but also the overall variety of workout types and how easy they are to perform without equipment or prior experience or skills. The good news is both focus on giving you a full body workout.
Insanity combines interval training and body conditioning, or, in other words, cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Workouts include an initial Fit Test, plyometrics, pure cardio, cardio abs, max interval circuit, and core cardio and balance, among others. Workouts range from fifteen to sixty minutes long and seem to have a nuanced balance of toning, cardio, and strength training.
TapouT XT also has an impressive mix of workouts. Plyo, core, active yoga, muay thai, deep conditioning, and cross core are the key workouts you’ll get. While Insanity focuses on fitness training, TapouT XT incorporates mixed martial style and strengthening fitness. Both programs have a great mix of workout types, minus the fact that TapouT XT has far less different workouts to cycle through.
Which kind of workout is more beneficial?
While it’s important to note that both TapouT XT and Insanity do a nice job of incorporating a mix of strength and cardiovascular work, it’s also important to note the differences between the two workout types. It’s equally important to note that there are different types of workouts based on your body.
High-Intensity intervals, which Insanity uses, has become increasingly popular as an effective form of exercise that packs a powerful punch in shorter periods, and is especially helpful for fat loss and retaining muscle. However, high intensity intervals may be harder on joints and sensitive groups, especially knees. It’s not the best option for seniors, nor is it the best option for anyone with a history of joint or knee issues. While it mostly can be performed safely, it’s important to take it slowly.
Mixed Martial Arts, which is a key factor in TapouT XT workouts, and is a form of circuit training. If done properly, it actually is lower impact than Insanity workouts, but it is also not always as efficient in terms of building tons of muscle, though it will strengthen and tone overall.
Do the workouts actually produce results? Of course, the workout systems may check all of the boxes in terms of overall value and workout variety, but do customers actually find them engaging, to be as promised, and worth the investment?
TapouT XT has a four out of five-star rating based upon around one hundred and fifty customers on Amazon. Customers appreciated the lower intensity circuit training and felt that workouts were generally fun and varied. Users also praised results of overall fat loss and toning, though others noted it did not do as much in terms of strength training and muscle building. The biggest complaints were limited, but some suggested the workouts were very difficult for beginners and others found the instructors not as personable as they’d like.
Insanity, based on the base kit on Amazon, has a four and a half star rating based upon over three thousand customer reviews. Of the seventy-three percent who gave it the highest possible five out of five stars, customers were pleased with feeling as if the workout program placed them in the best shape possible, and enjoyed the interval approach. Users also claimed they were able to do the workouts, even if they started without much experience. A few users complained that it was hard on their knees and if they had other related issues.
Both programs offer benefits for different types of exercises, though Insanity is a slightly better value overall. If we had to choose between the two for a fairly healthy individual looking for an exercise program, Insanity is a slightly better pick in terms of number of workouts, variety, online access, and other tools to help you track nutrition and workout goals.
The caveat? Some simply don’t enjoy HIT training, and some may be advised against it if they have joint issues. Also, mixed martial arts may be a learning curve, but many find that it is a dynamic and fun way to exercise. Given customer reviews and all that we know, we can recommend TapouT XT as a strong second choice contender.
Erin Jamieson holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Miami University of Ohio. Her writing has been published or is forthcoming in After the Pause, Into the Void, Flash Frontier, and Foliate Oak Literary, among others, and her fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Erin, once a varsity athlete and now a recreational runner, knows how important it is to get whole and quality nutrition. She hopes to help guide consumers to the very best products and plans to optimize their health.