You cannot go a day without seeing a new workout plan pop up in an ad on your favorite websites. They are everywhere. And that’s ok.
I have done a number of workout plans over the years and have seen positive results from them. From time to time I get asked what is the best workout plan. Instead of me having to explain every nuance of each workout I decided to put together comparison charts and rankings for what I feel is the best workout.
I will only write about workout plans I have completed or mostly completed. There are going to be a couple of workouts that I did not complete because they were boring, not good, over-hyped, or did not meet expectations. And I feel you should know that.
Most of the workouts I have completed were done at home because that’s where I workout. You can probably do most of these workouts at the gym if you were to take workout sheets with you.
I bought all of the workouts below with my own money. Many were in DVD format.
As I complete more workout programs I will update them here.
Best All Around Workout
|1.||P90X||From head to toe it is the most complete workout program. During your 90 days of P90X you will do the hardest yet most well-known (push ups/pull ups) exercises to the max. Add in Plyometrics and Yoga to round out it out. There is a reason why P90X is the #1 selling workout of all time. It works. What I liked most about P90X was it challenged me to do more reps each time I worked out.||P90X Review|
|2.||Body Beast||Every single muscle in your body will get tested during your 90 days of Body Beast. The moves are not complex but there are a lot of them. And the goal is to lift as much as you can. What I liked most was the challenge to lift more and more.||Body Beast Review|
|3.||Insanity||I think of Insanity as more of a game than a workout. It’s like playing a sport (soccer, basketball, hockey, tennis, racquetball, etc.) for an hour every night without ever taking a break. Insanity is hard and it took me some time to build up the cardio needed to keep up with Shaun T.||Insanity Review|
|4.||Power 90||Before P90X there was Power 90. It’s not as tough as P90X but it is a complete 90 day workout plan. What I enjoyed most about Power 90 was the workouts were under 45 minutes and did enough to get you in workout mode.||Power 90 Review|
|5.||Primal Blueprint||What can you say about a workout designed to be done for life? Two to three times a week you do 2 sets of 50 push ups, 12 pull ups, 75 squats, and hold a plank for 2 minutes. Get it all done in under 20 minutes and you are in shape. Do everything else like cardio, yoga, and playing on your own time. Simplicity is genius.||Primal Blueprint Review|
|6.||Insanity Asylum Vol. 1||This is my favorite workout of all time. Insanity Asylum Vol. 1 will challenge you like no other workout. Its like mixing Insanity and Body Beast in a 30 day workout. The reason why its lower on the list is because you must be in good shape before starting. Otherwise you will struggle and it will be miserable.||Insanity Asylum Vol. 1 Review|
|7.||P90X One on One Vol. 1||Originally called Tony Horton One On One Vol. 1. These workouts are hidden gems. It’s a bit odd in that the workouts are in Tony Horton’s house and he talks a little more but the exercises are to the point. It’s not designed as a 90 day plan but more of a hybrid. I made a plan with the workouts as if it was P90X. The 30/15 Routine might be the hardest Tony Horton upper body workout ever.||P90X One on One Vol. 1 Review|
|8.||Insanity Max:30||I think of Insanity Max:30 as Insanity light. The main difference between the two is this one is designed to allow you to keep track of when you maxed out. I made it through 30 of the 60 days and only had to stop because of a sports injury. There is just enough variety and beginners can start with this one too.||Insanity Max:30 Review|
|9.||Herschel Walker Workout||A workout program for life that Herschel Walker created when he was a kid. Do hundreds if not thousands of push ups, pull ups, sit-ups, and squats every day for the rest of your life. Its really that simple. Its best to start out with a 30 day Herschel Walker Workout Challenge like I did.||Herschel Walker Workout Review|
|10.||ChaLean Extreme||I never did an entire 90 day round but have done all the workouts at least twice with Andrea. ChaLean Extreme is not a tough workout but it does work everything out. Chalene Johnson sets a slower pace than other workouts but you can always lift more to make it harder.||ChaLean Extreme Review|
|11.||Les Mills Pump||I do not hate nor do I like Les Mills Pump. The use of the bar with various weights is genius. Those workouts are excellent. I am not a fan of the non bar workouts. I’m also not a fan of trying to feel like being in group setting at home. I made it through 40 days before getting bored. Les Mills Pump would be a great AT THE GYM.||Les Mills Pump Review|
|12.||Focus T25||I really want to like T25 but became very bored of the 25 minute workouts. If I did not do Insanity before T25 than I might have liked it. First two months of T25 were not very challenging and I found myself asking “why not just do one 45 minute Insanity workout?”||Focus T25 Review|
|13.||P90X2||I found P90X2 to be really hard and really easy. The follow up to P90X is designed for specificity and to make you an elite athlete. I nor millions of other people are. Some moves were so tough (around the world pull ups) and others so easy (entire first month). Its been six years since I finished the 90 days of P90X2 and it still confuses me.||P90X2 Review|
|14.||P90X3||When Beachbody made the decision to design P90X3 workouts all 30 minutes long they lost me. I did not find any of the workouts to be all that great. Some were ok but the workouts were almost over when I was just getting warmed up. I made it to day 45 of P90X3 before getting bored. If I had not done many rounds of P90X before P90X3 than I might have liked it. I occasionally do P90X3 Yoga.||P90X3 Review|
|15.||Insanity Asylum Vol. 2||I did not realize at the time but the “Agility Tutorial” was what doomed Vol. 2 for me. Vol. 1 did not have a tutorial workout. You had to learn the steps in this workout to be able to do the other workouts. I found myself spending more time looking up trying to follow along with Shaun T than working out. I became frustrated and stopped after two weeks of this 30 day workout. For this reason alone I feel Vol. 2 to be more complicated than it needed to be.||Insanity Asylum Vol. 2 Review|
|16.||P90X Plus||There are five workouts and most of them are total body workouts. P90X Plus is more of a maintenance plan than a workout plan. I did P90X+ for 30 days after my last round of P90X and I found it to be lackluster. I did like the “Upper Plus” workout though.||P90X Plus Review|
|17.||Les Mills Combat||Beachbody was trying to capture the MMA niche with Les Mills Combat and I gave in to this 60 day workout. Twenty days later I quit. It was too “this is awesome” for me. It never felt like working out. One day a week of MMA workouts is about right for me. Not six days a week.||Les Mills Combat Review|
|18.||Turbo Fire||If I was in a group class with Chalene doing Turbo Fire I would probably love it. Since I am not, I do not. I tried it with Andrea for two weeks and stopped. I do not like choreography type workouts.||Turbo Fire Review|
Best Workout To Build Muscle
To make this list the workout plan has to have more workouts that leave your body shaking when your done and sore for days after.
|1.||Body Beast||Every workout is designed to build muscle. Not feeling the pump? Lift more weight. It’s impossible to not build muscle with Body Beast.|
|2.||P90X||Push ups, pull ups, push ups, and more pull ups. The Monday, Wednesday, and Friday workouts will challenge your muscles for all 90 days. Follow the P90X schedule correctly and you will build muscle all over.|
|3.||Insanity||Squat, push up, squat, and more push ups. Insanity is a cardio workout but with all of the body weight resistance workouts you will build muscle.|
|4.||Insanity Asylum Vol. 1||Every workout is designed to build muscle. Push ups and squats in an agility ladder will build muscle everywhere. Add in the jump rope to build leg muscles too.|
|5.||Primal Blueprint||The simplicity of doing push ups, pull ups, squats, and planks will build those important “human muscles.” Do these for the rest of your life and see how much muscle you gain.|
|6.||Herschel Walker Workout||Very similar to the Primal Blueprint in that you do push ups, pull ups, and squats. The difference is you do hundreds if not thousands of them a day. Its impossible to not build muscle if you workout like Herschel.|
Best Cardio Workout
To make the list the workout plan has to have enough workouts that get my heart rate elevated, get sweat flying everywhere, and basically make me feel like I just detoxed.
|1.||Insanity||Sweat will be flying everywhere. Little to no breaks for 45 minutes. Your heart will be pumping blood like crazy trying to keep up with Shaun T. The amount of sweat that comes out of my body doing Insanity is gross.|
|2.||Insanity Asylum Vol. 1||Jumping rope in almost every workout. Moving push ups through an agility ladder. I sweat like no other when I do just about every Asylum workout.|
|3.||Insanity Max:30||The goal of Insanity Max:30 is to do the moves for as long as you can. In doing so it gets my heart pumping and sweat flying. Cardio strength is the goal of Insanity Max:30.|
|4.||Focus T25||T25 just barely makes the list because you are moving the entire 25 minutes. The moves get harder and the pace moves faster going into month two.|
Best Workout Apps
|1.||Beachbody On Demand||Hundreds of the most popular workouts of all time. Meal plans. Workout sheets. Hybrid workout plans. Whats not to like.||$99 year|
I was debating about making a comparison table for best fat loss workout and best workout routines for men and women but those are mis-leading. You will lose fat doing any workout if you follow the plan and even more fat if you follow its meal plan.
All of the workouts listed are good for men and women. There is no better workout for men or women. There are only workouts that hit your goals and get the results you want. And usually what matters is where your fitness is.
You probably have figured out by now that many of the workouts listed are Beachbody workouts. I didn’t start doing workout programs until P90X came along and would do the next one Beachbody released. My involvement in the Beachbody Coach program kept me in tuned to new releases but it does not mean I like every Beachbody program.