Zumba vs P90X: Battle of the Fitness Programs

Lack of a gym membership is no longer an excuse. It’s time to get off the couch and work off the body fat that has been limiting your self-esteem.

There are more methods than ever to step you through a balanced workout at home. Apps like Nike Training Club and high-tech solutions like Peloton Guide aim to replicate the benefits of working with a personal trainer.

Workout videos may seem like an old hat, but they serve an important purpose. Over the years they evolved into full fitness programs. They replicate the atmosphere of a live fitness class. And it’s helpful to see the exercises executed with great form. Video fitness programs also include extras that make getting started easier, and ensure that beginners are using the right equipment.

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Tried and tested fitness programs are Zumba and P90X have remained popular over the years. Either will get you breaking a sweat but the approaches are completely different. Even superficially, the packaging, vibe and overall presentation couldn’t be more diametrically opposite.

P90X by Beachbody uses high-contrast black and white photos to emphasise the form of the ideal male physique. A hard-core, tough guy vibe is given off. It may not appeal to some even though the program is just as valid for women.

Zumba’s artwork, on the other hand, hits you with the most vivid colours in the rainbow. Fit, attractive males and females pose like they are having the time of their lives. It all looks like a fun time but borders on goofy. This time men are the ones that could be turned off due to the bubble-gum façade. Still, the program itself has much to offer men that can look past this.

P90X Snapshot / Review

P90X is a comprehensive, intense program able to transform flabby bodies into sexy, ripped physiques. The catch is you have to be dedicated enough to stick with it. If you aren’t that serious about really turning your body around in the first 90 days, chances are that you’ll be wasting your hard-earned cash.

The main draw of P90X is the 12 DVD videos that are included. Each disc has a workout that is either tailored to tone up a portion of your body or is dedicated to full-body cardio and stretching. There is a complete listing of the workouts along with descriptions on Amazon.com, so there is no point in repeating it here.

Since what you eat is crucial to your success, Beachbody has also compiled a nutrition plan design tailored to work in tandem with P90X.

Supplements and workout gear are also recommended. Be wary of buying into the hype until you are sure the program is for you. It’s a little disappointing that after spending a good amount the program, Beachbody pushes related products in the content. And a lot has changed in terms of products on the market since P90X was released.

Zumba Fitness Snapshot / Review

Gym rats may live for working out but for the rest of us, exercise can be a monotonous chore. The goal of the Zumba approach is to make toning your body fun. On top of that, you’ll learn a few things about World dance. Some of the included styles include salsa, cumbia, samba, and merengue.

The set comes with four DVDs that contain a total of six workouts. Any one you pick works out your body in a balanced fashion. Once basics are covered critical zones such as your core, thighs, and abs become the focus of the workouts. To add to the entertainment value, you get a pair of toning sticks that double as maracas. This addition gives Zumba the added dimension of a rhythm game if you are so inclined.

Overall Zumba is a fantastic choice for women (and men) that have an interest in dancing. Some guys may feel a little uncomfortable doing the merengue along with bubbly instructors on the TV. If you can get past it, the experience is surprisingly addictive. Time seems to move faster while grooving to Zumba compared to traditional workouts.

Obviously, this is not the program for you if you are interested in bulking up. Zumba workouts are designed to keep you trim and sexy through some good old-fashioned cardio.

Since you don’t need any equipment beyond what is included, this is a very convenient way to stay in shape.

The Verdict

As an overall program, P90X is definitely superior to Zumba in every way. However, the comparison isn’t exactly fair because Zumba isn’t intended to be a comprehensive system.

If you are serious about getting in shape and are willing to stick with it, go with P90X, no matter if you are male or female. If you are a beginner looking for an interesting weekly workout that won’t break the bank Zumba may be a better place to start. Once you get rolling you can always get P90X as well and experience the best of both worlds.