High intensity training has easily redefined the meaning of “workout.” For many, it is preferred over long, boring dates with any number of cardiovascular exercise machines. While many exercise videos abound throughout the Internet, two programs continue to dominate the space. Focus T25 and P90X3 are the latest offerings from super trainers Shaun T and Tony Horton, respectively.
P90X3 and T25 Similarities
Both programs promise amazing results in approximately half the time of previous workout offerings. P90X3 is a 30 minute program with all of the best components of P90X and P90X2. Focus T25 bests P90X3 by 5 minutes promising amazing results in just 25 minutes. Both programs are similar in that they have very few rest breaks. Each program incorporates a wide variety of explosive movements to create the high-intensity atmosphere. Both programs are designed for home use and can be executed with very little equipment.
Due to the intense nature of the programs, immediate energy must be supplied by glycogen stores within the muscle. Each program, if done appropriately, will require high caloric expenditure lasting for several hours after the workout is done. The more effective program will be discussed later.
P90X3 and T25 Differences
Shaun T’s T25 for weight loss requires very little equipment or external resistance. The program can be executed with body weight and resistance bands. While the program does implement compound movements for proper execution, these movements can be easily learned and executed in relative safety. Many of the movements can be safely modified until strength and coordination are developed for full execution.
Participants should consider joint health as T25 incorporates jumps, squats and deep knee bends. It also utilizes movements that require shoulder strength and stability. Lower back health must also be considered for the core stability component. The lower back quickly compensate for weak glute and ab muscles.
This program consists of 10 DVD’s divided into two cycles. The Alpha Cycle is divided into 5 discs that address cardio, speed, total body, lower body and flexibility fitness components. Upon completing the Alpha Cycle, students enter the Beta Cycle which build on techniques and fitness developed in the Alpha Cycle.
The Beta Cycle incorporates progressive cardio and speed programs. The Ript Circuit, also part of the Beta program, uses body weight resistance to create a cardio and muscle strengthening program through varied exercise bursts. Dynamic Core and Upper Focus round out Beta in programs designed to develop strength above the waist.
Shaun T also offers bonus guides that aid proper nutrition and adherence. A calendar is also included and provides visual feedback to exercise consistency. Focus T25 costs approximately $140 and comes with a 60 day money back guarantee.
P90X3 comprises 16 DVD’s and is based on three approaches and allows the student the flexibility of classic, lean or mass building programs. The workout addresses everything from toning to building or a combination of both. The program consists of 16 DVD’s. They include 6 muscle building, 3 cross training, 3 fat burning and 4 core flexibility programs. Each DVD is 30 minutes in length.
Strength challenge, burnout, body pump and time under tension are just a few components addressed in the strength program and are designed to improve upper and lower body muscle integrity and function. The cross training program includes plyometric, balance, flexibility and stability aspects of fitness which improve overall exercise execution and athletic performance.
The fat burning program uses martial arts and resistance intervals in a creative effort to incorporate an intense cardio program for weight loss. Core/Flexibility comprises of yoga, pilates, isometrics, and range of motion training to decrease injury through improved flexibility.
P90X3 can be purchased for as little as $140 for the base program. However, Tony Horton also offers Deluxe and Ultimate programs that can be purchased for approximately $240 and $330 each. All programs include the 16 DVD’s, nutrition, fitness guides and resistance bands. However, Deluxe and Ultimate programs include extra workout plans and additional resistance bands. The Ultimate Plan offers mats, chin up bars and recovery formulas.
P90X3 offers 6 bonus gifts and a 90 day money back guarantee. Purchasers also receive free program upgrades for express delivery.
Comparison of Superiority and Effectiveness
Judging program effectiveness can be difficult due to individual effort, motivation and fitness. Metabolic rates differ from person to person. Fit people consume calories more efficiently than unfit people and genetics vary greatly. True caloric consumption cannot be determined by perception but must involve a few metabolic tests. However, given program dynamics, P90X3 may have an edge.
The program incorporates movements that can be very difficult for the beginner and requires greater strength. Even if modified, these movements present a challenge. Pull ups are difficult and can be a challenge for those who’ve spent years pursuing fitness. Other movements combine strength and balance movements that must be maintained over an extended period of time while exercising.
Because these movements tend to be more difficult, they place greater demand on working muscles which require them to grow in response loads placed upon them. Improved muscle integrity translates into higher metabolic rates or the amount of calories burned at rest. This is important because most calories are burned outside the gym. However, T25 may be easier to learn and less intimidating.
Both programs target the same demographic, males and females from 20-40 years of age. Current or former athletes, whether male or female, may find themselves more drawn to Horton’s program due to the greater challenge. Beginners, predominately female, may find themselves drawn to Shaun T. Exercises are less intimidating and can be performed with greater ease when modified.
Whether choosing T25 or P90X3 for fat loss, results are a direct reflection of effort. Both are around the same price and both trainers have mastered their crafts and have built incredibly successful platforms that can and will benefit athletes of all performance levels. Ultimately, the best program is a matter of preference and style.
P90X3 for weight loss rating:
T25 for weight loss rating:
By Shaun T
$140 with 60 day money back
- 25 minute workout sessions
- Deluxe edition add-on for $275
- All equipment included
- 60 day training schedule
No credit card required.
By Tony Horton
$140 with 90 day money back
- 30 minute workout sessions
- Deluxe edition add-on for $275 and $370
- All equipment included but dumbbells will add resistance
- 90 day training schedule
- Yoga and martial art sessions
No credit card required.
Netflix enthusiast, horrible speller, jiujitsu hobbyist, weekend drinker, and occasional poker player. Favorite quote is “[o]ut of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”