P90X3 and Focus T25 are popular Beachbody alternatives for the P90X and Insanity “rejects.”
The guys who don’t have the time to train 60–90 minutes per day because, honestly, who does? Or those who feel winded after running ½ mile or tap out after just a few push-ups.
Both P90X3 and Focus T25 will help the intermediate crew shed pounds and improve their overall fitness. But which one is better for weight loss?
Learn more below!
Table of Contents
What Is P90X3?
P90X3 is the closest we’ll ever come to a P90X shortcut, and even that’s an overstatement.
The fan-favorite program puts a more intermediate-friendly spin on the classic Beachbody program while combining the hottest principles of both P90X and its sequel: P90X2.
P90X3 is a collection of 16 half-hour workouts designed to build strength, torch calories, improve athleticism, and complete a full-body aesthetic transformation.
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It’s also customizable, opening the door to more than just advanced athletes. Each workout includes modifications, and you can select a training and diet plan that matches your goals.
Check out the details of P90X3!
- Experience Level – Intermediate & Advanced
- Goal – “Extreme fitness accelerated,” build muscle, burn fat, improve athleticism
- Length of Program – 90 days
- Workouts Per Week – 6 days per week
- Workout Length – 30 minutes
- Equipment Needed – Dumbbells (<50 pounds), a chin-up bar, cross-training shoes (optional: a resistance band set)
- Our Rating – 8.4 out of 10
See how P90X3 compares to those that came before it: P90X & P90X2.
4 Benefits of P90X3
- The nutrition guide factors in weight loss goals. Near the end of this 57-page beast, Horton explains how to calculate your daily caloric needs based on your weight, activity levels, and physique goals. If you hope to shed a few pounds during P90X3, you’ll award yourself zero extra points. This equates to fewer calories consumed during the day, which will maximize your caloric deficit.
- P90X3 condenses the basics of P90X and P90X2 into 30 minutes a day. P90X is one of the best-selling Beachbody programs of all time for those wanting to accomplish it all — lose weight, build strength, and sculpt an aesthetic physique. P90X2 pounces on the athletic pieces of fitness. Then, there’s P90X3, which infuses principles from both programs into 30 minutes a day at somewhat lower intensity.
- Many users lose 20–40 pounds during P90X3. Those who rant and rave about P90X3 have a great reason. P90X3 has a long trail of satisfied users who’ve lost 15+ pounds and 11 inches in just three months, while others repeat the program to lose even more.
- The risk of boredom is practically zero. If nothing else, P90X3 has entertainment on its side — and we’re not talking about Tony Horton’s one-liners or zingers. With 16 workouts ranging from Isometrix and X3 Yoga to Eccentric Upper and Total Synergistics, each workout brings a lick of excitement to your daily training.
3 Reasons Against P90X3
- The “modifications” could bring weight loss to a grinding halt. The fact that Horton includes any modifications in the routine already shows more effort than other trainers. But “more” doesn’t always mean “good.” Some P90X3 modifications are logical, like burpees without the jump. Others are low-effort, like doing exercises slower, which will ultimately stall P90X3’s calorie burn.
- P90X3 is more of a full-body fitness program than a weight loss routine. All P90X3 workouts will improve your general fitness, but some are more efficient than others for burning calories. For example, Yoga X could torch just 100 calories in 30 minutes, while The Warrior shreds nearly three times that (almost 300). The burn is less consistent.
- Adding cheat meals to your diet can actually maintain progress. The P90X3 diet is reasonably strict. But while alcohol is acceptable in moderation, cheat meals are completely off the table (both literally and figuratively). Newbies are bound to slack off on their diets from time to time, which research shows can actually improve self-control and motivation without torpedoing progress — in moderation.
What Is Focus T25?
Focus T25 is a best-selling program cashing in on the “no time” excuse behind not exercising.
This three-phase fitness program condenses an hour’s worth of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into brief 25-minute sessions with two rest days per week.
T25 kicks off with the foundational Alpha phase to build strength and burn calories. After five weeks, you’ll roll into Beta, which is slightly tamer and shifts the focus to a ripped six-pack.
(There’s also an optional third phase — Gamma — to maximize strength and muscle mass.)
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It also comes with a complimentary nutrition plan with a 1,200 or 1,600-calorie-a-day diet.
Check out the details of Focus T25!
- Experience Level – Intermediate
- Program Goal – “Get in done in 25 minutes,” lose weight, improve strength, enhance aesthetics, build strength
- Length of Program – 10 weeks (plus the optional Gamma schedule)
- Workouts Per Week – 5 days per week
- Workout Length – 25 minutes
- Equipment Needed – Dumbbells or a resistance band set (optional: a chin-up bar and Beachbody’s Core Comfort Mat)
- Our Rating – 8.0 out of 10
5 Benefits of Focus T25
- T25 workouts squeeze an hour’s worth of results in 25 minutes. Shaun T uses every second — all 1,500 of ‘em per session — to get your heart rate up, feet moving, and calories burning. Each workout features nearly 25 straight minutes of HIIT or high-impact exercises to maximize the benefits of each workout without spending a full hour in the gym or on the treadmill.
- The 1,200 or 1,600-calorie diet is sure to create a deficit. The concept of having just two calorie goals available is odd. But if you normally eat 2,000 calories per day (which is on the low side for men), the T25 diet will create a 400–800-calorie daily deficit. T25 can help you lose 1 ½ pounds or more per week with diet alone.
- HIIT is one of the most efficient ways to burn calories. Compared to regular steady-state cardio, interval training can burn a similar number of calories in a much shorter session. Five 25-minute high-intensity sessions per week can burn another 1,250–2,000 calories per week — or close to ½ pound of fat.
- It doesn’t require much equipment or a gym membership. In addition to the weight loss, Focus T25 requires very little in the ways of space, money, and time. In fact, you can complete all T25 workouts with nothing more than enough space to move and jump and a set of dumbbells (or resistance bands).
- Repeat T25 users report impressive weight loss. T25 has plenty of success stories as well. Many shred 20–40 pounds during the ten-week program, though the most impressive before-and-after shots come from those who’ve repeated the routine. That includes 50–100 pounds of weight loss in just 6–12 months with T25.
2 Reasons Against Focus T25
- The switch from Alpha to Beta is mildly disappointing. Naturally, as your muscles and lungs begin to adapt, you’d expect the second phase of a program to crank up the intensity of phase one and the resulting calorie burn. However, many Beachbody users agree that Beta is actually less exhausting and somewhat slower than the Alpha phase. So don’t be surprised if your weight loss in weeks 1–5 begins to level off by week six.
- Five back-to-back days of high-intensity training is a huge task. We normally talk about rest days and how they fit into a split routine. But T25 and its full-body calisthenic and cardio workouts are no different. The endless burpees, mountain climbers, and deadlifts in T25 will leave microtears in your muscles that require 48–72 hours to recover to full strength. Otherwise, your daily workout performance may suffer.
Can I Do T25 and P90X3 Together?
You can do T25 and P90X3 together. The most popular method is combining them into a P90X3-T25 hybrid schedule that alternates workouts between the two routines, like this:
- Complex Upper (P90X3)
- Speed 3.0 (T25)
- Complex Lower (P90X3)
- Extreme Circuit (T25)
- X3 Yoga (P90X3)
- The Pyramid (T25)
- X3 Ab Ripper (P90X3)
Or, you can run both programs simultaneously in a two-a-day format. Either set aside an hour for back-to-back workouts or perform T25 in the morning and P90X3 at night.
P90X3 vs Focus T25: Conclusion
If you’re an intermediate and simply want to stay active, the choice between P90X3 and T25 comes down to your preference in style (HIIT vs. variety) and trainer (Horton vs. Shaun T).
However, for weight loss, Focus T25 just barely edges past P90X3.
The high-speed cardio workouts and borderline “extreme” diet can create a weekly calorie deficit of up to 7,600 calories per week — equivalent to about 2.17 pounds of fat loss.
By the end of the ten-week Focus T25, dropping 20 pounds isn’t outside the realm of possibility.