P90X and CrossFit

Nearly every day I get emails from readers about P90X and CrossFit. Most are favorable, some not so much, but mostly, people just want to know if these fitness programs fit within the context of the Primal Blueprint Fitness methodology. In this article I’ll explore what’s great about P90X and CrossFit, and then I’ll voice my nit-picky criticisms and explain how I think both can be improved upon.

It’s often said that any movement is better than no movement, that simply getting up and being active is better than sitting on the couch and stewing with guilt and self-reproach. For the most part, I agree with this assessment. It’s imperative that everyone be active, even if it’s just taking nightly walks or using the treadmill at the gym. But “just any old movement” isn’t ideal. Ideally, we should be performing movements that support, enable, and enhance quality of life. Our exercises should make us stronger, faster, and more capable of accomplishing just about any physical feat the world throws at us. They should be enjoyable (pleasure-giving), brief (without sacrificing effectiveness), sustainable (lifelong), immediately accessible (to young, old, and untrained), and infinitely scalable (from beginners to elites). A fitness program, then, should meet these benchmarks.

Do P90x and CrossFit qualify as good fitness programs?

Absolutely, yes; they’re better than 95% of the other stuff out there. They both include high-intensity interval training, full body resistance work, endurance development, and mobility. They’re very clearly laid out for trainees who need structure to make progress. Buy the DVDs and you get the full P90X package; log onto CrossFit every day and you get access to the daily workouts free of charge. Tony Horton (of P90X) is one of my best friends, and I’m the guy who showed him the beauty of interval workouts. I also designed the P90X recovery drink, which, I’m told, is more addictive than crack (too sweet for me). The PB eating plan works perfectly with CrossFit, which is probably why we have so many supporters from that camp. All in all, there is definite kinship between the PB and the other two programs. There are many mutually shared interests, directions, and focuses. There’s a lot of crossover. Both programs get people up and moving – and amidst our culture of sedentarism and sloth, I can’t get upset with that.

P90X promises a beach-ready body: defined upper body, ripped abdominals, reduced body fat. For many people, it delivers on each. If you’re interested in building muscular endurance (not necessarily raw strength), or if you’re a former athlete with a good amount of muscle underneath a couple years’ worth of flab, P90X might be right for you. If you want an ass-kicking workout that leaves you panting and heaving and sore all over the next day, P90X will provide it. You’ll certainly be able to do more push-ups and pull-ups by the end of it.

CrossFit promises to forge hybrid gymnasts, powerlifters, and runners – all around athletes who can perform Olympic lifts, complex gymnastic moves, then get up and run a 10k (and make a respectable finish). CrossFit generally doesn’t produce elite, specified athletes, but it produces guys and girls who are stronger, faster, and more powerful than almost everyone else. Some people think that’s a criticism of CrossFit, while I think it’s one of its strengths.

As I noted above, I get a ton of reader emails about both CrossFit and P90X; in the Primal world, they’re probably the two most popular programs out there. Some people are pleased with their results. They get stronger, fitter, healthier, and better-looking by following them. But others aren’t so happy. These other readers talk about being burnt out, overworked, overtrained, or even injured. As much as I admire both programs and their creators, I think both could be improved upon.

Now, is it the program, or is it the user? Who do we blame?

As usual, there’s a little from column A, a little from column B. Assigning the totality of blame to either CrossFit/P90X or the trainee is silly. Acknowledging both the limitations of the programs and of the users is the far better option. CrossFit isn’t a perfect fit for every possible trainee, nor is P90X guaranteed to work for absolutely everyone who tries it – and that’s totally fine. But it also means that neither CrossFit nor P90X are ideal paths to fitness. In my book, remember, a fitness program should be lifelong and accessible to everyone. (Note that accessible doesn’t mean one size fits all.)

It’s commonplace for online discussions of fitness to descend into screaming matches laced with profanity and hyperbole, buttressed by rigid ideological stances that refuse to budge. This won’t be that.

You’ve heard why I like CrossFit and P90X – and I do like them, believe me – but this is where we diverge:


A program you can’t keep doing is hardly a program worth doing. Fitness should be a lifelong endeavor. It’s not just for the young bucks with limber limbs and supple, indestructible ligaments. It’s for the oldsters, the washed up athletes, the wide-eyed beginners, the moms, the dads. As it’s actually practiced, I think P90X is probably too much to do as a lifelong program. It isn’t even advertised as such, to Tony’s credit; it’s billed as a crash program designed to get you lean in 90 days (which it does well). To anyone currently doing P90X – do you expect to be repeating the cycles into your twilight years? Over an hour a day, six days a week? I just don’t think I’d have the stomach for that for very long.


I harp on the overtraining issue all the time. Next to inadequate or nonexistent training, overtraining is the biggest issue plaguing most trainees. If you don’t give your body enough downtime to recuperate, you’ll find it very difficult to get stronger/faster/quicker/more powerful. You may see some improvement over doing nothing at all, but you could just as easily undo any progress. Both CrossFit and P90X prescribe near daily high intensity training. Certain individuals relish the workload and even thrive on it. Some people can bounce back from a day’s workout and be ready to demolish their body all over again the next day. I think the 3 on, 1 off CrossFit schedule and the 6-days-a-week P90X schedule have their place in a training regimen, but they can easily lead to overtraining – especially if you go 100%. Intensity is important in training, but I worry that six days a week of over an hour of daily high intensity training will venture into diminishing returns territory for many trainees.

Injury avoidance

I hate injuries. I hate downtime. I work out in order to fuel the fun stuff – the Ultimate Frisbee, the hikes, the paddleboarding. As such, if my fitness efforts result in an injury that prevents me from playing, those fitness efforts are counterproductive. I love CrossFit, but people do get injured. Either they don’t have their forms locked in, or they’re going too hard for too long, but injuries do occur. CrossFitters will plainly admit that there is an inherent danger to going all out, day in and day out, and that’s actually part of the appeal. But at my age, I’m not interested in pushing my limits. Judging from plenty of reader emails, there are other people that feel the same way. If you’re a relative newbie and decide to do CrossFit, don’t just launch into the complex Olympic lifts, especially at high reps. I’ve seen overeager beginners do this, and they often mess themselves up.

The Need for Glycogen Replacement

Because my business background is in supplement design, I was brought on the P90X team (7+ years ago) to create a recovery drink that fit their demographic and the recovery requirements to allow someone to go hard nearly every day for 90 days. Simply put, if you’re doing P90X as prescribed, your body is going to need to replenish depleted glycogen. I am no longer associated with the company that markets P90X (although my likeness is shown on all the in-home products talking about replenishing glycogen) and, of course, my own ideas about how much we ought to be working out are different from P90X. If you work according to the PB, you don’t need to replenish glycogen with post-workout feedings of sugar. And you shouldn’t.

So, what makes my upcoming Primal Blueprint Fitness program better?

I suppose the honest answer is that we’ll have to wait and see. I announced my plans to launch Primal Blueprint Fitness later this year just this Wednesday. It won’t be until the program is in the hands of users and they’ve had a chance to incorporate it into their lifestyle that we’ll be able to make a fair assessment. That said, PBF is being designed to be a comprehensive, full-body fitness program that focuses on brevity without skimping on intensity. Primal Blueprint Fitness is CrossFit for the rest of us; it’s P90X without the massive time commitment. It’s about getting the best results with the least amount of input. See, I’m interested in helping as many people as I can, so I’ve designed it with everyone in mind. I’m sick of watching people hobble around with canes or old injuries. I want to see seniors bounding up stairs. I want to see people get six packs without actively trying to. More than anything, I want people to get stronger, fitter, and healthier. The athletes can scale things up and increase weights or reps, while the less advanced can just use bodyweight, but everyone will be doing the same movements that our bodies are designed to perform. Best of all, you’ll be able to follow this program for life, under any circumstance fortune throws at you. You get injured? There are workarounds. Growing older? You can simply scale things down. Out of town and away from equipment? Use your bodyweight. Beginners can instantly jump in. You get plenty of rest, coupled with plenty of intensity, for the best results with no overtraining. You get plenty of instruction on the more complex movements, to avoid injury. And, of course, it’s designed specifically with the PB eating plan in mind.

While you await the release of PBF follow the Primal Blueprint Fitness principles, use the specific workouts listed here on MDA as a guide, and if you’re looking to make your P90X and CrossFit workouts more Primal break things up with more rest, more play, and more low-level aerobic activity.

I greatly admire CrossFit and P90X, and they’ve produced some excellent athletes. If you’re a CrossFitter or P90Xer and it’s working for you, keep at it! I just think that a lot of people could benefit from a slightly different approach – a fitness program geared toward sustainability, functionality, and overall health. Fitness based on Primal movements, on the precise activities that comprised Grok’s day-to-day existence, distilled down to maximize effectiveness and minimize time commitment. Stay tuned!

Let me know what you think. What are your experiences with P90X and CrossFit? Are you ready to give Primal Blueprint Fitness a try? Thanks for reading and Grok on!

TAGS:  is it primal?

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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197 thoughts on “P90X and CrossFit”

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  1. Being 51 and for the first time in a very long time, feeling great because of PB eating, I can’t wait for the PB fitness plan to come out. I have contemplated Crossfit but the nearest center is 45 minutes away. I am playing a bit with kettlebells now and that is fun. But going all out with Crossfit is a bit scary for this 51 year old. Thanks, Mark, for thinking about the rest of us!

    1. Great article and I do agree with Mark about over training. As a 55 year old I have been doing CF for nearly 5 five years. It has really changed me physically and mentally. When I first started CF it exposed me to numerous weaknesses I had. I was an athlete in college and continued into adulthood playing Rugby til I was 35. I was lifting and running all through my 40’s and was relatively fit. Then I started CF and low and behold I was not as fit as I thought. Although, I could do most of the movements I lacked coordination in some of the work outs. I went through a bout with my SI joint going out of whack and slowly but surely I balanced out in the hips and core. I did tear my Supra Spinatus tendon in my left shoulder while demonstrating a push press with only the bar. My doctor concluded that the tendon was partially torn from a previous injury in my earlier life. So yes as a 50 year old ease into the program scale it and do what you can do. Recovery time for us is a lot longer than that of the people half our age. There are skills to be mastered with CrossFit, so if you don’t feel up to high intensity on a particular day. Skip the WOD and practice your skills. CF is about learning the movements and developing a visceral sense of your body awareness. Don’t let CF intimidate you it is a program that will make you better if you follow the method. My advice workout three days per week to start 1 on 1 off. Good Luck…

      1. One problem with crossfit is not all gyms practice the same thing. Some throw you in with movements you shouldn’t be doing. In a competitive environment it can increase your chance for injury. I think it is good, but they should have a staged approach before you get to the meat and potatoes. i know P90X has a fit test and other easier programs to work your way up into the actual program.

  2. I did P90X late last year and failed to make it past Phase 2 because of the time commitment. Prior to that I was seeing great results. After discovering this site and PB, I tried P90X again but really customized it. I cut out the karate and yoga. I rarely do the plyo and if I do, I limit it to about 20 min. I only really do the three resistance training workouts and instead of going for 8-10 reps I go for 5 with much heavier weight. I also only do a couple sets of the first 6 or so exercises of each workout. I love how easy it is to come home and get the workouts done and the extra rest days are great (I do sprint once a week). Best part is I think I’m still getting the same results I was during my first round when I was doing the whole program. I’m sure the primal nutrition has a lot to do with that though.

    1. I also did P90X last year. Started in September and finished in November. It was a huge time committment. We started our second round 5 weeks ago, but we are doing things “our way” this time. We’re doing 2 upper body work outs a week, just the legs portion of legs and back, and then we’re incorporating sprints and some lower intensity joggin. We’re taking 2 days off a week now and its working so much better. I feel better, I look better, and I don’t have the stress of having to cram 1 1/2 hours of training into every day!
      I’m glad we did P90X start to finish to say that I could do it, but now I’m more interested in being healthy and making things work so I can stay in it for the long haul!

  3. I have been training at a Crossfit affiliate for 6 months while following a Paleo/Primal diet, and have seen tremendous results. So far i have lost nearly 20 lbs., while increasing my deadlift by about 100lbs. I have also cut my 1 mile time from 8:36 to 5:57, with no specific running or strength workouts. Thanks for the post.

  4. Great Post. Who wants to workout all the time? I know I don’t. I want to be healthy, strong, active and energetic for the entirety of my life – and I want to do it with as little effort as possible. Give me the long hikes with my dog and the twenty minutes a day of lifting heavy stuff and the occasional all out sprint session. You can keep the workout until you puke, followed by the big bowl of post workout pasta – No thanks.

    1. i want to work out all the time, not until faillure tho. There is always drills you can do… weights, rings work, flexibility, bodyweight training, mobility, etc.

      I like the ”grease the groove” concept alot.

  5. I did Crossfit for about a year and while I made really good progress at first I plateaued quickly. I was never able to do the 3 on 1 of schedule. The best I could manage was 4 workouts a week, and even that would leave me overtrained after a few weeks. Being 40 may have had a lot to do with it.

    I’m currently doing Mark Rppetoe’s Texas Method (just weightlifting – no metcon), and I have become immensely stronger and still, after six months, making weekly progress on all my lifts. I still plan to cycle back to Crossfit at some point, but as a strong and powerful athlete. I think I will get a lot more out of it then. My impression was that all the best Crossfitters were *already* very strong *before* they started the program.

    1. check out crossfitfootball.com, sounds like something you could cycle into after your current strength cycle is over. -cheers

  6. Shane, I like the way you customized your P90X workouts. That’s pretty close to what I’ve been doing for a couple of months now. I bought the program intending to do the 90 days “by the book” but as I learned more about PB, I too trimmed the cardio, plyo, yoga, etc. Which I guess means that I really never needed to buy the program in the first place. I’m really looking forward Mark’s PB fitness program.

  7. Crossfit seems very interesting but Todd here shall wait for Marks Primal Fitness Plan. My own plan has been working very well for myself. Every once in a while a muscle will feel sore but will go away within a day or 2.

    Bring on Primal Blueprint Fitness Program!

  8. At my Crossfit affiliate, there is a wide range of people, from kids to older folks. We have a really great environment and everyone is very supportive of the abilities of all the other members. I think it depends a lot on your coach – ours is very patient and conscientious about showing people the right way to do things and challenging people with an eye to everyone’s appropriate level.

    1. Ditto. And the usual recommendation is 3 days a week. There are many who only do 2.

      1. Definitely agree with that. My affiliate has people of all fitness levels, and everyone is basically working toward the common goal of getting better. Crossfit is definitely harder when you work independently of an affiliate. Some affiliates just prescribe to the Web site, and others will actually develop workouts like at CrossFit Works in Tucson. Also, the maximum allowable days they let you come in and work out is four. 🙂 They’re very serious about rest and nutrition at our gym.

    2. My local affiliate was very different… they were welcoming enough, but seemed to have no real clue as to how to scale programs for someone who wasn’t already a a powerlifter or triathlete. Intense is good… not being able to walk for 3 days after being coaxed through too many Tabata squats as a raw newbie wasn’t so much. I may give P90X a try.

  9. Lovely Post, I did p90x and loved the program, gained lots of strength but always burned out in the end of the second month, i still use the workouts as suppliments in my training but I do not follow the program closely like I used to.

  10. As I Crossfit trainer I appreciate this post SO much. I hear a lot of CF bashing without the back up.

    It’s true there are those who push themselves beyond what they should. We truly believe that the 3 on 1 off is only for the highly trained athlete. I am NOT that person. Our affiliate offers 2 and 3 day a week memberships to help our clientele avoid the tendency to over train. We have found at our gym part of the problem is that we LIKE being together and the workout is the vehicle sometimes.

    While I LOVE Crossfit, I know it’s not for everyone and that’s ok. To those who don’t care for it, that’s fine. Find your thing, then DO it!

    1. Martha, for most Americans, getting off the couch and doing some form of activity is a big deal. People who are not naturally motivated to workout would benefit from a ‘workout community’ based approach. For athletes with specific performance goals, crossfit or P90X is definitely not the way to go.

    2. I’ve actually dipped into both P90x and CrossFit – which puts me in some interesting company 😉

      I’m a marathoner / budding triathlete who began the induction into cross training in October of 2009 to rebuild a depleted core / pillar. I had done just a wee bit of upper body lifting over the years – the “guy” appealing curls, shoulder press, bench. But sadly neglected the core.

      I began with P90x and completed the full 90 days – pretty faithfully. The PlyoX and KenpoX training was the easiest – Ab Riper and YogaX had me curled up in the prenatal position after each =].

      I then began my CrossFit journey in January and am blessed with a tough yet painstaking Level 1 certified coach (who’s also a Div 2 athletic trainer). He’s had me focused on form first and only 3-4 WOD’s a week.

      For what I want to achieve in terms of Boston Qualifying marathon time (3.30) and Iron Man, CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance are spot on. The complex whole body movements, olympic weight lifting, anaerobic bursts, tie in more closely to marathon/triathlon performance.

      That said I was in much better shape to begin CrossFit after a round of P90x. I also still blend in a bit of PlyoX, YogaX, Stretching and AbRiper.

      I agree with Martha that while aggressive and addictively fun, the trainers and affiliates do not over stress or push new participants.

      For more on my experience, check out https://www.coachdavek.com


    3. that is a great outlook, i like hearing that from a trainer. i know a few trainers that think if you’re not 3 on 1 off you’re wasting your time… well there in there 20s lol im alot older with no previous training… so its refressing to hear that

  11. Good stuff Mark. I’ve been doing P90X for the past few weeks and after the first week I told myself I was crazy and now I do it every other day. Thanks for the timely post reaffirming my decision. 🙂

  12. Mark,
    Great one. I think why programs like this are successful is that there are many people that actually need someone to tell them to “do this.” I was one of them. It’s easy for an overweight person to fall in love with PB but without knowing fitness or understanding proper form, you can easily fall off the wagon. In P90X there is a nutritional plan that is pretty carb restrictive and I still follow that but apply the PB principles to it.

    Lastly, I would love to be a guinea-pig for any PB Fitness plan. My approach seems to not be working…


    1. Lately I’ve been doing lots of walking and occasionally running with some sprints up forest hills, traversing trees and such by jumping, vaulting, and climbing and using them to help me keep speed and momentum. I’ve been on a travelling burn-out spree so I’ve stopped calisthenics for now. I do some powerlifts by hoisting a rock over my head. I might not be especially good at curling and bench pressing at the moment but I feel like I’m develeoping a flexible, functional base.

  13. I like Body By Science’s approach: 12 minutes on, 10,068 minutes off! I just ordered the book. Can’t wait to see what it’s all about…

    1. Right on, Dave.
      Been doing BBS for 6 weeks and loving it. Progress in resistance levels has been amazing. I’m an amputee (don’t let a car hit you while riding your motorcycle), and every other system I’ve seen requires use of both legs. BBS is for everyone else.

      1. Starting Strength for form, BBS for program and the science behind it… can’t go wrong. Simple and effective and you can even do it with dumbbells in a pinch.

  14. I contemplated heavily between Crossfit and P90X after graduating from college and playing collegiate level volleyball. The reason I chose Crossfit (and one of the biggest “pros” that I was told about it) was because it was NOT a huge time commitment. P90X was going to have me working out for over an hour everyday watching a DVD, but with Crossfit I warm up for ~15 minutes to do anywhere between a 5-25 minute workout. Not one workout I have ever done at my CF gym has been over 35 minutes and most days lean more around the 10 minute range (after warm-up of course). I take my time stretching and practicing skills afterwards, but I appreciate the high rewards I get without the bore of following a long DVD. I have increased the max weights for all of my lifts, cut down my mile time, body fat percentage, lost weight and became “ripped”, etc. GO CROSSFIT!

    Plus 3 on and 1 day off is perfect. some week I work out 6 days- some only 5 days. But for less than an hour a day, it’s completely doable.

  15. I’ve been doing Crossfit for over a year with insane results, even at 39. I’m down to less than 10% body fat (with a Primal diet) I feel better than when I was playing sports in college. i wish I had known about this type of training years ago. I wouldn’t have wasted so many hours needlessly in the gym.

    I think Crossfit is a fantastic program. Yes, there are risks of injury, but ho many people get tennis elbow playing tennis? But I do agree that the straight forward 3 on 1 off main site program is very hard to do. in Seattle, we are very fortunate to have an amazing affiliate. Our programming is a combination of power lifting, Crossfit football, mainsite Crossfit and Crossfit endurance. We always start with strength training, then have usually a short, sometimes longer metcon. I can see doing this in the twilight years.

    I truly recommend that anyone, at any age, learn about Crossfit so as to learn the basics of short high intensity training, which is analogous to Mark’s Primal training outlined in the book. The beauty of Crossfit is that it is scaleable. You don’t have to go for the high board every day. Reduce the weight. Do half the reps. But most importantly, lift heavy things and sprint once in a while.

  16. @Dave-

    Well said. I just started reading BBS. I’m hoping the PB Fitness Plan incorporates some of it.

  17. Happy laid back Crossfitter here. I go to the local affiliate 3 times a week, where in an hour we do a warmup, usually lift something, and then do a workout. Like somebody else mentioned, there’s a big range in ability and the trainers do an excellent job helping everybody substitute weights/movements as necessary.
    With 3 days a week, I see no reason why I cannot keep this up indefinitely. I can always cut back another day and just go for a walk instead.


  18. Once you do a cycle of p90x, you should have learned how to workout and be able to design your own shorter program based on your own goals.

  19. I’m a P90x’er in round 2. Here’s how I’ve changed it up: I ripped the DVD’s to AVIs and I play them @ 1.25x (some even @ 1.5x) . I start each round a bit before the DVD and try to go a few reps beyond. This increases the intensity and reduces the time. I figure I’m getting ~90% of the workout in ~60% of the time. While I always do the warmup, I usually skip the cooldown resulting in a workout of ~40m. Of the 6 workouts/week, I usually get in 4-5. (I rarely do the yoga workout but everytime I do it, I try to resolve to incorporate it more. It’s just soooo long and always hits when my body tells me to rest…).

  20. They should be enjoyable (pleasure-giving), brief (without sacrificing effectiveness), sustainable (lifelong), immediately accessible (to young, old, and untrained), and infinitely scalable (from beginners to elites). A fitness program, then, should meet these benchmarks.


    And to think people used to believe masturbation was unhealthy …

  21. On CrossFit: When I see CrossFit folks at the gym, I see injuries in the making. The workout are cool and super-short but be careful! With speed & high weight/low reps comes fatigue and that’s when you tweak your back (or neck, legs, shoulder, etc…). It just looks too risky to me.

    1. That’s just a combination of “use good form above all,” and “Don’t be stupid.”

      I’ve been doing Crossfit on a 4-5 times a week schedule for almost a year now, for the first half doing main-site WODs and for the second at an affiliate. When I started I had not worked out at all for more than six months, and was an occasional globo-gym client before that. Not an athlete at all. Just by using common sense I have only had one injury in the past year (shoulder), which was from me being stupid, and which healed pretty fast. And I’ve made really remarkable gains in performance.

    2. With crossfit if the number one thing you learn is proper form. thats why you get trained first or put into a fundamentals class. your always learning and always improving

    3. Jamie, I absolutely agree with you! BUT! 🙂 I believe the most important thing when deciding to CF is first: don’t start it on your own going off the HQ site; Second: regardless, check your ego at the door (scaling as needed), and third: make sure that you observe how the trainers deal with those who are not “elite”. As a CF trainer, I usually see what you are describing when I visit another CF gym and see very poor coaching or CFitters personally overestimating their skills (which again comes back to the trainers oversight). On the other side, a well run gym with trainers that know how to “personalize” each workout deal very safely with the situation you described above. If a CF trainer doesn’t consistently/methodically explain/warm-up/scale/ask/question/etc, etc, then go somewhere else. I never have believed that the CF “goal” of having an average Joe/Jane push themselves into Rhabdo or Pukie (not really, but that is what is joked about) should be the goal nor should define what a CF workout should be. Lifelong fitness like Mark mentioned is what this whole thing is about. But unfortunately there are too many CFitters out there that would rather try to do workouts like the “Games” athletes do (which are in an entirely different athletic class) than be patient and learn the movements, take months/years to increase intensity/loads, and get what the ultimate goal is. This can also be said about every other fitness program out there. Bottom line is that trainees and trainers can’t get over zealous or what happens is exactly as you mentioned; injuries in the making.

  22. Great timing, Mark as I’m considering purchasing the P90X DVDs. I know and the ads state to work at your pace. But the pressure to keep up will be huge and I have about 60lbs to lose, yes, all of it is body fat.
    So, great timing, thank you. And lets see what happens!

    1. Not true! There is no pressure with P90X, Tony constantly tells you to go at your own pace. I have 30-40 to lose and I do P90X, the Lean version. You can do it! Just modify and listen to your body. P90X is fun!

  23. I presently have been doing Crossfit workouts on Monday-Wednesday, take Thursday off, do a Ripptoe Starting Strength Workout on Friday, and on Saturday do my own thing, such as sprints, the occasional 5k, etc. At 52, I knew I was going to need at least 2 rest days per week. Just because I don’t want to go 3 on 1 off twice a week doesn’t mean I have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. By doing what I’m doing, I think I get the best of both worlds.

    Do remember that Crossfit is scalable!

    All that being said, I’m looking forward to your plan, Mark.

  24. It’s important to note that in order for a fitness program to be effective, you have to get uncomfortable. That’s exactly why both CrossFit and P90X are so effective. You might feel great after one of the workouts but you definitely aren’t smiling during the workout unless your a total masochist. I’m a CrossFitter and struggle with overtraining because I hate missing workouts. I’ve dialed it back to 4 days a week but would go every day if my body would let me.
    So people that say they don’t like CrossFit or don’t like P90X probably just don’t like to be uncomfortable and will probably never be able to do 20 pullups unbroken or deadlift 200lbs. You have to get uncomfortable to make that kind of progress.

    1. I’ve got no problem with being made uncomfortable. I don’t think the crossfit high rep olympic lifts are useful or smart; I know good, competitive O lifters who agree.

      And crossfit “slop” is just silly, it invites bad form and injury.

      crossfit football is definitely a step in the right direction though. you have to put some weight on the bar!

      looking forward to the PB fitness plan.

    2. That’s BS. Many people don’t like CrossFit or P90X b/c they have found something that already works for them, and/or they feel the “cons” (all progarms have em) overpower the “pros”, and/or those programs don’t meet their goals.
      To infer that people who don’t like x-fit, just don’t want to work hard, is the type of talk that turn people off.

    3. I agree and disagree. Sloppy form is bad, but timed CF WOD’s do get very uncomfortable. I want to quit during half of them, this morning being no exception. CrossFit takes a high level of mental fortitude. Some have it, some would rather not. I’ve seen many examples of those who really don’t want to work that hard, really. It’s not that they are being shamed, it’s just true. Some will, and some will not.

  25. I’m a walking and breathing (much better now, by the way) example of P90X and the PB intertwined. As most of you know, Mark featured my story last summer. I also answered this very question on my blog recently.

    After completing multiple rounds of P90X here’s how I see it. (Mark mentioned being able to keep up with P90X over and over again) I think you adjust to your needs.

    The adjustment I made to fit my needs were: I do 3 resistance workouts each week (most weeks) and I substitute the cardio workouts with sprints. I do plyo some of the time and yoga a little less. I also had a stretch of time where I cut the workouts in 1/2, lifted heavier weight, wore a weighted vest, and took no rest between sets. That enabled me to shorten the workouts to about 20-25 minutes and increase the intensity.

    Sometimes I’ll just do 2 or 3 full body workouts/week that involve squats, push-ups, and pull-ups and some other ‘minor muscle’ moves.

    Don’t get all bent out of shape trying to subscribe to exactly how P90X is laid out. BUT I would recommend doing it the way it was designed at least once. It’s a challenge and it’s fun.

    1. “BUT I would recommend doing it the way it was designed at least once. It’s a challenge and it’s fun.”

      I am considering doing P90X just once for 90 days to get back into shape. I may then look into Movnat stuff.

      1. I’m in the final month of my first round of P90X. Been sticking to the program, but have been reading and learning more about Primal.

        Not sure what to do next, but I do like P90X, and I do like Primal. Looking forward to trying to meld the 2.

  26. I appreciate the work ethic in crossfit but I see it as a disaster awaiting to happen using OLY lifts with high reps. Ill stick to the BIG 3 and assistance work in between. Low volume, high intensity.

  27. I go to a crossfit affiliate 4 times a weeks and there is a huge emphasis on correct form and avoiding injuries. My Coach will actually tell me to take a day off if my form/performance is suffering from being fatigued so that I can avoid injuries. Also I love that these workouts are short but I still feel like I am getting stronger. We have heavy lifting days / metcons /bodyweight days and sprints. Its a great mix

  28. A truly excellent and helpful post Mark, thank you for writing this. I have a feeling I will be pulling it out of my bookmarks and emailing it to people *a lot* in the future.

    I’m a CrossFitter, but I am of the opinion that we need to keep the highly complex movements, like Oly lifts, out of metcons. They should be performed perfectly, and perfect form isn’t always possible when you’re going for time / high intensity. There are plenty of other movements to choose from to create a challenging metcon.

    I look forward to a PB fitness plan because I find myself searching for ways to make a CrossFit-style workouts accessible to people in my life who need to start working out, but don’t have the time, money, etc to attend a CF affiliate. It would be amazing to have a resource they could go to to get started. Can’t wait!

  29. At last – the topic is addressed! Thanks Mark for putting the Definitive Guide together on this topic.

    Like those who have commented, I’m a by-product of P90X myself. But I have to admit the last 20 days were tough. Devoting an hour for 6 days a week takes it toll. I continued so I could wear the Badge of Honor and say I completed the program. Not long after I did order P90X Plus, but I modify those workouts in with P90X, kettlebells, TRX workouts and the 100 Pushups program. I PLAY at my workouts is the way I see it. I let my body guide me. If I’m feeling sluggish I’ll do 20-30 minutes utilizing AB Riper X and kettlebells (sweat STILL included). I’ll do a full body workout at the gym or do the 5X5 program or I may sprint. I have an arsenal of workouts at my disposal so I don’t lock in to P90X by itself. The outcome is a guy who feels he’s more Primal because of this approach and I now see workouts as accomplishments instead of work.

    I’m VERY anxious to see the PBFitness workouts and can already see this community grown and strengthen as many of us will adhere to this new program and compare notes. I know Crossfit has their set of names for workouts and I envy that, so I look forward to us having our own internal slang for workouts. Sweet!

  30. One of my best post ever with you. Was wondering when you were going to comment on P90X. I am a Team Beachbody Coach and also becoming a trainer. I have taken the P90X program and modified the nutrition plan towards PB. I have also stressed during the programs to the people I work with not to worry about getting in six days a week if you don’t have the energy, but focus on getting in something every day if it is not P90X. I have tremendous results with all levels based on this attitude and what I am really looking forward to is the PBF plan to come out because I have a funny feeling I am going to move in that direction with training. Maybe a version of both P90X and PBF. Thanks for the post.

    Mark Sisson for President!!!!

    1. Tray I coach for BB too! I have been doing the same thing with my customers. I have them gear their eating more primally, and also have them start out easy, and pay attention to their body by giving them a scale 1-10 to judge how they feel. Also, I have been working with my people to learn to pay to attention to physcial cues for true hunger and when they are satisfied not stuffed. I’m having great results from it. I loved this post from Mark.

  31. Great post! I’ve done both Crossfit and P90X and agree that both programs have their positives and negatives. P90X can be long and take up
    a lot of time. Crossfits idea of constantly pushing harder can wear you down. I have seen increases in my fitness levels using both programs and agree that they both have their place. You just have to find a way that works for you. Can’t wait to check out the PBF!

  32. I did P90X faithfully for the whole 90 days. It was challenging, invigorating and very diverse. It was also too much training. 6 days per week is too much and led to some overtraining injuries. I did see good results but was so burned out, I couldn’t enjoy them.

    I like lifting 2-3 times per week, doing some sprints here and there and walking almost every day. I do a challenging hike here and there and mostly like the fact that I don’t worry about what day it is and what workout I “have” to do. Stay active, do what feels right and enjoy life 🙂

  33. If you need an arthritic (RA) 46 year old woman as a test subject, I’m game!

  34. I did P90X for 6 months with good results as far as my appearance (and I got stronger) but then the same workouts started to get old and I wanted something new. I have a friend who has been a personal trainer for years and he said “I can’t reccomend CrossFit enough”… later that same week, I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and he looked amazingly ripped, he had lost 4 pant sizes and just looked great… I asked him what the heck happened and he said one word “CrossFit.” Then I knew I had to try it. Since then, I’ve been doing CrossFit for the last 16 months. I love it. Some points about it:

    1. Learn how to do the barbell lifts with correct form or you will probably get hurt. I did, I screwed up my shoulder being too aggressive on cleans. That’s not CrossFit’s fault, that’s my fault for not taking a class first. After taking an olympic lifting class at a local CrossFit gym things got dramatically better. CF gyms are all over the place, go the http://www.crossfit.com and go to “Affiliate Blog” and you’ll see them listed.

    2. CrossFit workouts are scalable. I scaled today for example.

    3. You don’t have to go 3 on 1 off and per workout, you don’t have to go 100% maximum intensity. Listen to your body. I think 2 on 1 off with the 1 off including a nice walk with a weight vest on or something just fine.

    4. Endless variety and creativity! After 16 months I still do workouts I’ve never seen before, OFTEN.

    5. In the sustainability department, I agree Mark, about P90X. I do think with proper scaling and subbing CF can be a lifelong program.

    6. I should have started with this one. I am eager to see the PBF program!!

    7. You can set up your own CrossFit gym in your garage or basement. That’s where I do my thing!

    1. Why was a Crossfit gym, with a Crossfit Trainer, having you do Olympics lift without instructing you in them? Or did you just look at the main site WOD and say “Cool, I’m going to do that!”?

      1. I believe you misread him, Wayne; Craig said that he set up his “CrossFit Gym” in his garage (or basement, whichever)

      2. Just meant that I chose not to join a CrossFit gym, instead I bought all of the gear that covers the CF WOD’s (workout of the day) so I can do the workouts at home. What I should have done, is went to a CF gym for a month or so and learned proper form and worked my way into it. 16 months later, I know that now. Actually I learned that pretty fast. That’s what I would reccomend to new CrossFitters. Get lessons, learn form, ease your way into it before you go full tilt. The first three workouts I did were “Cindy”, “Fight Gone Bad” and “Murph”, and I went full tilt on all of them. I had DOMs, was all messed up! I overdid it!

        1. Wayne, I know, I was a dumbass. I pretty much said “cool, I am going to do that!” and went for it. They have exercise videos and demos on the sight, but I think it’s better to get in-person training from a trainer!

  35. Thanks Mark…i’m a crossfitter & I agree that correct form and rest are so very important for long term success. I can speak for crossfits scalability. myself i started, never being athletic in my life, at 320lbs. I’m down 55lbs in less than 6 months and leaner and stonger than ever. That coupled with primal blueprint eating of course!

  36. High rep oly work, especially with no credible coaching to speak of, is a bad idea. Glad to see that there are at least a couple “Crossfitters” here who feel the same. More often than not, the cult leaders brainwash the masses into believing that the perfectly random (i.e. thoughtless)W.O.D.s are unquestionably sound.

  37. Started CrossFit at home Jan09, attended an affiliate for 6 weeks to learn better movements, but quickly found that out mid-40 yo bodies couldn’t hang with the 20 and young 30 yo’s. Nagging shoulder probs got more chronic as I went along…. was it the fault of CF, no… but I had to get myself out of the intensity of the CF gym…. the competitive drive worked against me. Now, I do a lite-CF at home, mixing it with pure Oly lifting via a coach, recreational cycling and MTB, scuba, and kettlebells.

    Your paragraph on injuries sums it up well for our philosophy. No training injury is worth the downtime from the fun activities that we enjoy. Sustainability is key! We won’t reach our peak this way, but we’ll definitely stay off the coach. Will definitely be interested in looking at your program when it comes out.

    Bottom line… we credit the CF mainsite, CF gym, and the BrandX site (for their scaling recommendations) for making us aware of what else was out there for us to do for fitness…. and we’ll carry the sustainable parts of that philosophy with us as long as we can.

  38. I am a happy Starting Strength trainee. 45 minute sessions three times a week with most of that time committed to resting between sets.

    I really think strength is an essential foundation for health and there is no strength training program that will get you as strong and as fast as Starting Strength.

  39. Great Article, I been doing CF for over a year now and I also tried p90x. At 37 years old Im stronger than I was on my graduation day of USMC bootcamp at 18! I stick to Crossfit training 4-5 days a week. Id have to say that the Olympic Lifting is the key. Also watching a DVD is not only boring but takes away from your fitness. If you are truly training, you wont have the luxury of watching reps and counting. I believe CF is true fitness, no mirrors, no dvds just YOU against YOURSELF!

  40. Loved this post! Awhile ago I completed a CrossFit bootcamp/introduction for only women and with women trainers. It was fantastic. There was always insistence on form and safety. I think the quality of CrossFit is dependent upon the trainers. I spent years doing videos at home (because I am a working mom) but with little results. I love the small group training sessions (often concise) with CrossFit. There is both commraderie and accountability, something that lacks with P90X. Our affiliate honestly is like a little family, and is quite kid-friendly. I didn’t “drink the koolaid” but it is good to be around people with similar values, many of whom are Primal. I whole-heartedly agree with the scalability factor, but I also know like need to “play more”–like Mark says. Grok on!

  41. I have been doing CrossFit for a year and I love it. While I am not interested in giving up CrossFit, at 35 I do understand that sometimes I need to take big breaks to “repair” and I look forward to trying PB fitness.

  42. Great article Mark highlighting the benefits of both P90x and Crossfit. I have doing P90x and P90x Plus for two years now and still love it, it is truly a great workout and still challenging and the supplemental P90x Plus workouts just add to the fun. True P90x workouts are a little long, but P90x Plus workouts are a little shorter and mix it up even more. I have also been doing Crossfit workouts as well over the past 6 months and like those as well. They are two very similar workout programs, that with commitment bring great results. Either way you can’t lose. Sure beats the old days of just going to the gym and lefting some heavy weights and heading home. This brings back the intensity, challenge and variety of interval training. All good stuff!! Keep of the great work Mark!!

    1. Hi Ken! I have to disagree, I don’t think they are all that similar. P90X is limited in what it offers, CrossFit is nearly unlimited and takes half the time and gets you stronger and fitter. That’s my view, I did P90X for 6 months and CF for 16 months. P90X was awesome though for me because it got me exercising regularly for the first time since high school and gave me great body definition. It got me ready for CrossFit! I can’t wait to see the PBF though. Sometimes CF beats the crap out of me, so I do indeed scale and sub.

  43. I did straight CF, 3 on, 1 off, for 3 years and improved dramatically without injury. However, I had a lifting background and scaled accordingly. Now I use CF Football with the same scaling for high rep work and Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 strength program. I’m 1.5 years in and making the strength gains I desire with no metcon loss. I believe, regardless of the program, the first “muscle” that must be implemented is the brain. Know yourself and do what is right for you. Looking forward to the new Primal program, and for anyone who is interested in scaling the Oly lifts, below is a method from CF Ottowa. In health,


    % of 1RM Optimal Total Rep Range
    20-35% N/A >60
    40-50% 45 30-50
    55-65% 25 20-30
    70-75% 15 10-20
    80-85% 10 5-15
    >90% 5 1-10

  44. This is why we love you Mark!! In my sixties, been eating low carb since I was 44, found your website a couple months ago, tweaked my eating plan and was trying to add more aggressive weight routines to boost gain muscle and loss a little fat. NOW I can’t wait for your program. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

  45. I do Crossfit and I like the ideas behind the training. You could take the concepts and apply them to your own training routine, call it Crossfit, call it HIIT, whatever.

    What I don’t like about Crossfit is the main site WOD, I really wonder if the people coming up with those have an actual training background (beyond being “Crossfit Certified”) as at times the WOD’s seeme to be random stuff tossed otgether that someone thought would be fun or just bad in general as the risk of injury from the WOD is high. Yeah, yeah, the whole scale the WOD BS comes up. You don’t see anything about scaling when looking at the WOD and someone new could think that is what everyone is suppose to do.

    My other beef ishow Crossfit certifies people and says they “trainers” and ready to run a training. That would be along post to go into that. 🙂

  46. There is NO WAY I could do either P90X or CrossFit as prescribed by thosae two programs. Like a lot of other people here, I have altered the CrossFit WODs for my body and goals. I do CrossFit-type WODs two days a week. The remainder of the time I rest, move slowly, and sprint occasionally.

    This really works for me. As I gain strength and endurance, I’ll stick with two days but increase the intensity and difficulty of the workouts.

  47. I have doing Crossfit with a great affiliate for 2 years. At the mid 50s age range and have hit a plateau for various reasons. Love the group workouts but am trying to recover from elbow tendinitis from too many pull-ups!

    Crossfit is costly! Looking forward to upcoming PBF!!

  48. First of all (as this is my first comment here), thanks for an excellent site and an excellent book (which I received a couple of weeks ago from Amazon). I’m following your eating plan quite rigorously and although its only been a month or so, I’ve seen incredible results. I’ve lost around 10 pounds and gone from 34 to below 32 in jeans size. Feel great. Much steadier energy. Glad to be off the carb roller coaster (I was SICK of that ride! (pun intended))

    I’m now looking into what to do about exercise. I’m a fairly active guy. I play volleyball twice a week and I’ve started lifting weights once a week. For me, that is the optimal training program, I think. The actual EXERCISE is hitting the weights. Once a week. Hard, whole body, rather brief, strict form, safe…. I’m done in about 45 minutes. For me, that is enough to maintain muscle mass and even add to it. Besides that, I just aim to stay active: play volleyball, hike, play with the kids, walk the dog etc. I don’t think I need anything more complicated. Just wanted to share that.


    P.s: I’m raving to everybody about your site and your book. It is a wonderful gust of fresh wind in the stale air of conventional wisdom. But boy are people skeptical when I tell them about primal eating! Anyway. Grok on!

  49. I’m eagerly awaiting the PB fitness prescription. Went to check out the Crossfit facility in my city last week. You want to talk sustainability? Try sustaining these fees: they want $275 for their “jump start” first month, then a minimum of $120 per month after (depending on number of workouts per week — 120 is for 2/wk)! Yeesh!

    1. Greg, I set up my own CF gym in my garage. It’s great! The reason I did this is time, I am married with two small kids and a hectic job. I don’t have time to drive back and forth to the gym at this point in my life.

      However, when you belong to a CrossFit gym you have access to personal training all of the time, included. That is why they cost more, but you get so much more out of them, and you get a community of new friends to boot! PT’s are usually $40-$60 an hour!

  50. People who rail on CrossFit for being dangerous and too intense for the general public don’t understand the nuts and bolts of the program. IT’S SCALEABLE and is SUPPOSED TO be scaled to one’s current level of fitness.

    The CF class I attend is filled with 40 and 50 somethings who go 2 to 3 times a week. They scale the workouts, and no, they’re not getting injured all the time. There is a 70 year old woman who shows up too. ANYONE can do it, if done properly.

    High rep Oly work is a bad idea only if people attempt to move loads above their ability. If you asked me to do 30 clean and jerks for time using PVC, I could guarantee I would not get hurt. That’s not dangerous given my ability level. However, if I attempted the same with 155 lbs, the probability of an injury would definitely increase for me.

    Yeah, maybe some yahoos might get themselves into trouble with CrossFit, but don’t blame CrossFit. It’s the user misapplying the program.

    I go my local CF affiliate twice a week for my high-intensity training. I do other movements the other 5 days, whether it’s playing racquetball or just going for a long walk with the dog. It gives me plenty of recovery time, and my CF benchmark WOD times are constantly improving–just from twice a week!

      1. so do I, I stopped doing crossfit because i moved for school and came back and started CFing again. the first week i couldnt move, the next i improved a lot. you just have to listen to your body and know when its time to take a rest day. At my gym we ages from teens to 70 year olds and they love it and get though the WODs w/ no problem.

  51. I’ve worked in the fitness industry 15 years. Personal trainer, yoga/pilates/cycle instructor. Started Crossfitting a year ago and got the Level 1 and kids cert. I love it- I do 2-3 CF workouts a week. The rest of my workouts are with a Olympic lifting coach (community college- big city), swimming, biking, trail runs, yoga , pilates. The Crossfit has made me a much stronger athlete and better at everything else I was doing. I take the Olympic lifting class because I don’t feel confident teaching it after the level 1 cert. When I’m done with this semester – I’m sure I’ll be much more confident and realize the complexity of it. I really believe the Crossfit experience depends on the trainer! My kids are much stronger form it too. Love the Primal living, thanks for the website!

  52. I’d stick with “old school” Arthur Jones’ HIT, with Nautilus machines or with free weights it’s principles are time tested and work. Safe for all ages, (I train a 100 year old lady) and is most time efficient(20 or less minutes 2x a week).

  53. We have a fantastic CrossFit affiliate gym here in Austin. The usual prescription is 3x a week and they have several supporting programs – OnRamp (for beginners), CrossFit Kids, kettlebells, bootcamps, etc. I do traditional Crossfit 2x a week and kettlebells 2x a week. I think that’s generally a sustainable schedule for me, even in the long haul

  54. Great article…

    I have tried P90X… I never got through the full program. For me, it was too much, too long and it just wasn’t for me. I have friends that LOVE it. If it works for them, great!

    I was introduced to CrossFit about 8 months ago. I was only doing it once a week (with a trainer that was certified), until I found an affiliate. I now CrossFit 4 days a week. I am a mother, in my 30’s and I LOVE it. This is the first time in my life, I have loved working out. Yes, I scale things. And today I actually RX’d a WOD… major thing for me today was I did full on military, on the toes, push-ups, no knees… I know that I want to push myself more and more. And my trainers are fantastic because they push me, but keep me realistic with my abilities.

    I think everyone needs to find what they love… CrossFit is not for everyone, P90X is not for everyone. And Mark introducing his workout plan, I think is fantastic. I think everyone needs to take their own acountability for their bodies and be realistic about how it performs and what it’s ability is.

    I just think people need to find something they want to get out of bed to do. That they are passionate about.

  55. can I just say I love the idea of brevity in a workout!? And I’m feeling my 7-10 minute workouts, both a the time and later…in worked muscles and higher energy! Can’t wait for the PBF to come out!

  56. Great blog Mark! I do P90X ( also coach for BB and want to become a PT), and I think no matter what program you are doing, if you are listening to your body,and eating primally, you will be able to keep it going indefinitely. Also, while it would be great to go 100% all the time, you can modify anything anytime to work with the different variables life and each day brings. I am doing P90X to build a solid fitness foundation to get back into competing in cycling. I’ve learned to fuel as I go, which keeps me Blood sugar more stable, and also to really stay in my most effective heart rate zone. I may not end up being the fastest racer, but doing this will make my racing days last a lot longer. I can see myself doing P90X and cycling way into my later years ( I’m 35 now), I may slow down, and I may take an extra day off now and then, but I also believe I’ll rest just fine when they plant me:) Thank you for your thoughts .. I have been wanting your opinion on this for some time. Thanks for all you do!


  57. I have a lot of good things to say about P90X. I received it as a gift a few years ago and it got me into the second best shape of my life (as opposed to now). I followed the plan perfectly and got amazing results. Then I started grad school and my free time dropped to zero. Now the stress, no sleep, and poor eating were huge factors but I just didn’t have time for P90X commitment. And I got into the worst shape of my life. My weight and bodyfat shot up and my activity level went down (mostly due to the CW carb heavy diet I was eating).

    After a few years my life stabilized but I wanted to get back into shape so I dusted off the DVDs. And after the first workout I saw Mark talking about the products he designed for them. I wanted to know more about them, so I googled Mark Sisson and found MDA. As much as I love the workouts in P90X, the best thing that came out of it is introducing me to PB.

    So now I eat the PB way, and I use PB to modify the already stellar P90X. Here is my own anecdotal advice.
    1. Use 3 of the Lift Heavy Things DVDs a week, doesn’t matter which ones, mix it up for variety. Make it intense but don’t feel you need to do the full hour.
    2. Cut out the Kenpo (its just Chronic Cardio)
    3. Ignore the Yoga, and do the Stretch on a rest day if you feel like.
    4. Use Plyo, but modify it into your HIIT workout. That is use the fast forward button to skip the end of long exercises. Trust me do some of those jumps in a Tabata interval and you will feel it.
    5. Core Synergistics is actually a really good weekly workout, you can put it in for one of your lifting days.
    6. If you have the follow up P90X+ you have access to 2 more lifting DVDs
    7. Also Interval X is a great HIIT routine.

    Once again, I love the convenience of P90X, its there when I want, I can choose which DVDs to use, and I have a remote to skip around. Also Tony is a great motivator in the exercises. But the thing I’m the most greatful for is that BeachBody hired Mark to make the supplements because that’s how I found my inner Grok.

  58. Shared more of my experience in reply to Martha above.

    As a p90x alum and current CrossFit, triathlete just wanted to add what we’re doing and talking about is what 99% of America needs to embrace as well. May step on toes but want a real Healthcare care solution. Get fit, moving, eat healthy and sustain it your whole life…so am eager to see what unfolds on PB!

  59. I posted earlier but just wanted to say again that I’ve done both of these programs and found them each to be beneficial in their own way. I initially started out with P90X several years ago and after several rounds of it I moved on to Crossfit to try something different. I think that doing P90X gave me the confidence to try Crossfit and I went into it with a good level of fitness. I recently went back to P90X simply because of the convenience of being able to do it in the comfort of my own home. I came back to the P90X program in even better shape and able to crank out pull ups better than ever because of the progressions that I had learned while doing Crossfit. I find it unfortunate that many people discount P90X simply because it is a dvd series. The creator of the program met with many different fitness experts while putting together the program and has been in the fitness industry for many years himself. I am currently in the middle of a round of P90X but will not exclude Crossfit or PBF as a fitness option in the future. I don’t think it matters whether you are counting reps along with a dvd or in a Crossfit box (because you do count reps in many of their WODS) as long as you are moving. Let’s face it folks there are so many people out there that aren’t doing anything.

    1. Mark – excellent post. As someone who has asked the question, great to finally hear your comments and views. I am about six months a crossfitter, but have the concerns (as mentioned in your overtraining article) about HIIT on a regular basis. Having said that, I love it. Anyway, really looking forward to your programme to see the (r)evolution.
      For Wayne and others above, the Crossfit Mainsite does have access to scaled WOD- look at the sidebar on the left, “getting started”.

      1. Mark, I’m well aware about the Getting Started link to Crossfit BrandX (a CF affiliate), that link to the scaled workouts should be listed right there with the WOD in my opinion.

  60. Mark, I’m explicitly with you on this PBF idea.

    I’ve done my share of athletic competitions, but let’s get real, the days of Olympic potentials are over, and I won’t be forging elite fitness while compromising health and physical longevity.

    I’m happy to simply be strong, fast, and agile enough to get out of my own way, all while looking sharp. This I can do all year long, for the rest of my life.


  61. Thanks for this, Mark. I’m starting P90X in May, and this has helped me feel better about it.

  62. I’m in my mid-40s. I spent six years in the Army, and continued running for several years after I got out. I developed pain in my knees and ankles, so I had to stop running, and I got out of shape (which I hated). A little over a year ago, I heard about P90X from a friend, so I tried it. I thoroughly enjoyed it, got good results, and got moving again.

    I had completed three full cycles of P90X and was halfway through the Insanity workout when I found this web site (from a link on a P90X blog) and I bought the book.

    Truthfully, within four weeks of eating PB-style I saw more positive changes in my body composition and overall health than the previous year of hard workouts.

    I now do a reduced-frequency version of P90X (similar to several described in the comments above), and have begun mixing things up with sprint days and other forms of fun and play.

    Fitness is an enjoyable pastime and hobby to me. I am modifying my workouts to make them conform to the primal lifestyle, but will likely remain on the more active side of the primal spectrum.

    I am definitely looking forward to PBF. Variety is a good thing, and I think the more tools we have to work with, the more interesting and sustainable it will remain. Thanks Mark!

  63. I did Crossfit intensively for almost three years and it genuinely stopped working for my goals – I started underweight and out of shape, made some significant progress but never made it anywhere near my goals in terms of functional strength or appearance. I trained at one of the original Crossfit gyms so this was no reflection on the trainers. The problem was the random program and the endless high intensity – setting up sensible training blocks of 3 weeks at high intensity with a 1 week deload, lifting heavy weights with perfect form and doing some sensible conditioning with higher reps, sprints, sled work and carries has made me much stronger, more muscular and healthier feeling in just about every way. Crossfit is a great gateway to serious training, but I don’t know a lot of people who are smart about S&C and have been doing Crossfit more than 3 years – they tend to wise up and start doing things that are more effective for them. Remember, Crossfit works by exploiting the novice effect in a lot of different areas and stretching out your gains – eventually those gains will stop.

  64. I started P90X in July 2009. Prior to starting, I had lost about 40 lbs via cardio work (treadmill, nordictrac and walking the dog). Since starting P90X I’ve lost an additional 20 lbs and have added a lot of muscle, though still have 20-25 lbs of blubber to lose.

    I think P90X is great. I’m on my third round. First 2 rounds I followed the routines pretty strictly. On my third round, which I started 2/1, I’ve modified somewhat to fit me a bit better:

    I still feel I have a lot of muscle to add so I trimmed back the rep count and upped the weights involved in the weight routines (Chest, Shoulders and Triceps, etc). Usually no more than 5 reps per set.

    I think P90X places too much emphasis on a high rep count (if you are fairly weak with not much in the way of muscle when you start, I would think you need a lower rep count with as much weight as you can reasonably handle?)

    I’m still doing the cardio based routines, though I’ve stoppeed Plyo (too ‘beaty’ on the knees and feet—in lieu, I do ‘non-beaty’ HIIT’s 3X’s per week in the evenings).

    Frankly, I’ll have to say, I like the cardio based work, but I also like a lot of what Mark has to say about exercise…I think the important thing is to get in there, start the exercise and better nutrition process, discover diffrent ideas and fashion something that works for you.

    Ok, just got my copy of PB, so gotta go commune with Grok.

  65. I do CrossFit style workouts in my backyard and dabble with P90x, but both are a little too intense for me to do full time. I cannot tell you how excited I am to see a Primal Blueprint fitness program. It sounds like it will be absolutely perfect for me!!! Grok on!

  66. Mark, do you have any feelings on Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training? Its a 3-day workout based on circuit training with HIIT afterwards. Extra days are optional at low intensity. Thoughts?

  67. Hi Mark,I am one of those wide-eyed beginners! For some time I want to include HIT in to my work out but I really get confused and find them too hard for me and is more towards male PB!

    I am looking forward to PBF , is it a book and DVD or e-book ?? I hope is a book and DVD …

    Meanwhile I am doing my usual mid intensity cardio and just started on some PBF articles already exist. Eating PB way since last may, feeling good but need to get fit..


  68. Mark,

    Excellent points about both systems. I agree that “Sustainability” is key to any exercise program, and from what I’ve seen, both CrossFit and P90X fail to meet this requirement for the majority of people out there.

    High intensity is great, but not all the time. It must be continuously cycled with periods of low and moderate intensity in order to be effective and sustainable over a long period of time.

  69. 45 year old female here who has done CF for 18 mos. Zoned for 6 and moved to Primal.

    Mark, CF can be sustainable if people leverage the scalability of CF. The ONE major weakness I see with CF is that it is akin to open source software right now. Programming varies from one affilate to another. Personally blessed to be in a gym owned where the programming makes sense and while there is definitely a drive for intensity, there is a sensibility to progress doesn’t come in huge PR’s every day. I’ve also seen people very nicely told to take their rest days or else. Nor do I get a second look when I take 2 rest days in a row and then blast the bajeebas of the next WOD. Ditto for the coaching that PR’s may not be coming as you dial in a diet, etc. To quote our gym – “there are many brands of Crossfit, but my brand is _____.”

    If there is one thing missing in your post that I would suggest not only as an addendum but a focus for PBF, it would be the community focus of CF. Every success in CF is reinforced by the people in your box. There is plenty of documentation about how this leverages the mind/body relationship for fantastic results. I set a mile PR the other day on a treadmill in a local gym. It just wasn’t the same when my fellow box crazies weren’t there.

  70. Mark,

    Primal Blueprint and Paleo is all about getting back to the basics that define who we are today. The same process is happening in Fitness.

    In the regard I advocate Bodyweight Exercises. Customers are amazed to see how much can be done by just doing Bodyweight Exercises and how much fun it is. I think that it is the most natural way of a “workout” – the Grok way if you will.

    We often see people experiment and play with BWE. They start to try out new exercise variations by themselves. Another benefit is that there is no additional external weight that can cause injury. Our body is already used and prepared to stabilize it´s own weight and it´s a great basis for lifelong training.

    So in my perspective Primal Blueprint Fitness should also be about using your own Bodyweight to create lasting strength and flexibility that can be used in daily live.

    Thanks for the article!

  71. As far as Crossfit goes, I think that the “hate” people see for it comes from:

    1) Crossfitter attitude. The mindset that just because you do Crossfit you are superawesome and far above everyother normal person in the gym. The worst violaters of this are usually the ones who are not even that in shape and just recently started. I’ve seen it a lot, especially with affiliates who have very poor coaches. Usually when Crossfit gyms have better the coaches and trainers, this tends not to be an issue. It’s the “we’re hardcore brah!” attitude that the little 145lb kid taking up 6 pieces of equipment in the gym having an attitude when people get annoyed with him that puts people off, and then Crossfit gets attached to this. The last time I checked, I haven’t seen any Crossfitters (or full-time Crossfitters) winning Olympic medals.

    Like I said, really good Crossfit gyms don’t have this problem so much due to great coaching and training, and the realization that not everyone needs to start training at max level and doing max effort cleans when they don’t even know what a clean is.

    2.) The Cult like attitude. I’ve talked about this before, but in a lot of places, especially online, Crossfit has a cult-like following where sometimes even the slightest question or complaint is not tolerated. Crossfit has a very high injury rate, especially in affiliate gyms with poor oversight. These concerns often go overlooked however because those Crossfitters get so deeply emotionally attached to what they are doing that they treat it as a religion. Again, this is usually not a problem in really good Crossfit centers but it can be.

    Overall, I like Crossfit. I don’t do it, but I have no issue with it general. I think it’s a great system for general fitness and preparation. As far as training goes, I don’t agree with high-rep olympic lifting. It’s pointless and dangerous. Outside of that, Crossfit is fine. I have no problem at all with any program that encourages big lifts like squats, deads, heavy presses, etc with a good degree of metcon and practical training.

    1. I’ve been a Crossfitter for almost 2 years now, and am in love with the training but I’m also mindful of the potential for injury and overtraining. I’ve personally never been injured from the WODs, although I’ve had to quit (DNF) due to muscle pain (that went away quickly with ice and rest). Even that was preventable had I used proper form.

      Much has been said of the importance of beginning your training with good coaching and scaling to your abilities. This is essential in my experience. Very few people could or should begin CF training by simply going to the main site and doing the WODs on their own. One MUST learn proper form and it also helps immensely to have good trainers who know how to personalize/scale each workout to the trainees abilities.

      Regarding high-rep oly lift WODs, at my affiliate these are ALWAYS done with lower weight and used for repetition and anaerobic intensity (interval training). I’ve found that doing oly lifts with lower weight and higher reps actually locks in good form due to the repetition and muscle memory this builds, as long as each rep is performed properly. The trainers at my gym are adamant that every athlete performs each rep with good form, at the cost of a longer time when necessary. I’ve completed AMRAPs with relatively few rounds when performing complex movements and held my head high at the end because I knew I got the prescribed benefits and honed my skills. Also, keep in mind there is always time before/after the WOD to practice skills!

      1. One last thing, Fury22 mentioned that he doesn’t know of any Olympic medalists who are “full-time” Crossfitters, but CF is not meant to make an athlete world-class at any one particular sport. The specificity of training required to compete at the Olympic level in any particular sport is inherently conflicting with the CF philosophy or all-around, general and inclusive fitness.

        In a nutshell, CF is meant to make one “Jack of all trades, master of none, but better than most at all of them.”

        1. Totally agree. I understand what Crossfit is for. That wasn’t my point. My point was the attitude that many Crossfitters have regarding themselves. I’ve met many that seem to believe that they are “elite”. Unfortunately, that attitude sometimes gets attached to Crossfit in general. I used “full-time” for lack of a better term. I meant those who are really serious and are competitive with the workouts for time, like Crossfit games type competitive. Sorry, shoulda been more clear:)

          As far as high-rep Olympic lifting, I still think it’s pointless. There are much better ways to get the same effect. If you can do 20 snatches with a given weight, then you are not getting any training benefit. Olympic lifts are meant to be done with heavy weights and explosively. Outside of warm-ups, high-rep Olympic lifting is pointless. It may lock in good form on lighter weights, but it doesn’t really carry over to heavier weights. The only way to get better and stronger at olympic lifting is to do it frequently with heavy weights. I’ve tried it. I usually don’t even do doubles anymore, except for the power versions. I very rarely train at less than 90% of my maxes on the snatch and clean. I did try doing doubles and triples and found absolutely no benefit.

          But yes I do understand Crossfit philosophy, my wording probably wasn’t very good.

          Seems like you have a good affiliate gym though! That’s good!

  72. As a Crossfitter I would like to say that a lot of affiliates have B.S. coaches. If scaled properly crossfit can be done by any body at any age from kids to elderly. Watch what HQ posts as far as vids. Problem is with a level 1 cert and 2000 bucks you can become an affiliate. Doesn’t mean you know jack about CF. I do want to say thank you Mark for your excellent articles. I look forward to seeing your new fitness program because I like to try new things when it comes to fitness.

  73. I am another former P90X-er but I have been at Crossfit since Aug of 2008. P90X was a great program and it came in handy if I didn’t have time to get to the gym. But I think the advantage for me is the community. Having a group of people with whom you share the common bond of fitness, makes all the difference for me!

    Additionally, I am a trainer (CF and others) and I utilize the principles of CF to train my personal clients in their homes (all over age 45). Believe it or not, they are having tremendous health and strength gains by scaling CF workouts.

    Personally I experienced physical breakthroughs once I integrated a major change in my diet, one that leans towards a more primal way. Even my 16yr-old Type 1 Diabetic son is embracing the nutrition part(alongside CF) and is starting to see improvements in his blood sugars and focus!

    I am excited too to sink my teeth into your Fitness program. I don’t think you can ever have too much knowledge.

    PS the P90X Post-Workout drinks, while delicious are too sweet for my Primal taste buds now!

  74. Great stuff here. I just started checking this site last week and it continues to amaze me. I am in my 6th day of PB and I feel great. Like many here, I have done both P90X and CF. I started with CF, then did two cycles of P90X. Both are great programs, but I agree with Mark’s assessment of both. P90X unscaled 6 days a week can take a toll on your body. I gained some significant strength and fitness, but I did not lose as much fat as I had hoped. Some of that I think was related to the P90X fitness guide telling me I needed 3000 calories a day! That obviously did not work for me. I prefer the CF for the shorter workouts and the variety. With my location and schedule, home fitness works best for me, so I don’t really do the oly lifts in CF, even though I know they are fundamental moves in the program. Again, both are great programs and both have their weaknesses. Mark, I am definitely looking forward to the release of your program.

  75. I think P90X is supposed to be a boot camp experience, so I wouldn’t have it as my be all end all solution to fitness. It does get results though, and as Mark said, it’s probably better then 95% of the stuff out there.

  76. mark, thanks for the info, I have done P90X off and on and my wife has tried also, she would agree with you that it is not sustainable into your 50’s and it takes too long when you have 3 kids still at home. We look forward to your workout plan later this year. Also I have never felt better since startng Primal in January, I’ve shed 9 lbs and I’m starting to see some abs. Couldn’t be happier with the information you provide.

  77. I think if you find a Crossfit Affiliate with knowledgeable experienced trainers, you more likely to avoid injury and overtraining. Trainers that have taken more courses than just CF Level 1 and who are skilled at O-lifts. When you’ve got trainers who are skilled in their craft, they will be tough on form, making it less likely to injure yourself or lift something too heavy. Depending on their programming they should be able to give you a good reco on # of training days to avoid overtraining.

  78. Hey Mark, love the blog.

    What do you think of brazilian jiu jitsu as a work-out? It’s functional, has high-intensity moments (sparring) interspersed within much lower intensity moments (learning new moves). The core gets worked a lot as you have to bump people off you with your hips, etc.. Finally it improves one’s flexibility, particularly in the aforementioned hips.

    It just seems to me that hunter gatherers and our ancestors would have spent a lot of time play-fighting, the way wild animals and young children do before it’s socialized out of them.

    Interested in hearing your thoughts.


    1. I forgot to mention, it’s addictive, and on days I feel I’m too tired to go, I get motivated by the idea of improving my skills. Finally, it can easily be practiced into old age.


  79. Excellent post! I’ve been waiting for Mark to elaborate and get his take on such programs for a long time. I can attest, being a Crossfit devotee for a few years as well as obtaining my level certification in 2007, that Crossfit (for me) was simply too much and not sustainable for the long haul. That fact became even more apparent after going primal (moving and eating), and realizing that I simply don’t need to workout that much, that hard or that often. After following an “ancestral” way of moving and eating for approximately a year, I can say wholeheartedly that I feel 100% better in all aspects of my health and well-being. I feel that my body has taken on “its” natural shape and size (the optimal amount of muscle and body fat) and find that I now perform various tasks and general daily living activities and chores with great ease as opposed to feeling chronically sore, beat up and generally overtrained as I was with other programs over the years. It has taken me a while to get used to but, I find that the less volume I do and the more infrequent and random my workouts are, the stronger and faster I become. Kinda scary! Good stuff Mark!

  80. I am a P90X grad and I’m confused with people saying it’s not sustainable and too time constricting? One thing Tony repeats is to modify, modify, modify. I’ve done it for over a year and have taken out workouts replaced them with others. Instead of Plyo/Kenpo I do sprints. Instead of 90 minutes of Yoga I only do 45. Add the rest day and I have 4 easier days of workouts. Simple.

  81. This post is very timely for me as I am in the process of looking for a safe and effective routine. The community aspect of Crossfit does apeal to me but I’m already paying for a gym membership and can’t see paying for two.

  82. Great post, Mark. I am a 42 y/o Crossfitter, just having started at an affiliate in October. The changes in my abilities have been huge, the workouts addictive. Being 42 I’ve been injured a couple of times, but the injuries have healed really fast. I don’t do the 3 on 1 off schedule, in fact I randomize. Some weeks I’ll go in 2 days, some weeks 4-5 depending on how much “Grrraaww!!” I’ve got in me that week.

    I think you just have to do what works best for you and not let your ego get the best of you and know your limits. Also know that your limits change, going both ways.

    My attitude, since starting PB and Crossfit, has gone from “Oh crap, I’m in my 40’s, I can’t do this stuff anymore” to “I’m in my 40’s and I’m gonna see just what I can do.”

  83. I am not a coach, just clearing up some mis-info

    Crossfit is mostly 5 days per week, with the occasional(1x month) 6 day week.

    Crossfit workouts are typically no longer than 20 minutes. If someone is doing a Crossfit workout longer than that, they likely did not scale the workout to their ability properly. Crossfit is meant to be short and intense, with the exception of murph.. & a 10K.

    Injuries happen everyday, anywhere in life. Why not be prepared for them? With the proper form and a coach, you can do pretty much anything. People typically get injuried because they are not capable of performing the movement, but they ignore that.

    I am not young at 34, but for the first time just learned how to do walking handstands from Crossfit(its fun btw). I can do 25 unbroken pullups. I can run a 20 minute 5K. I can do a ton of pushups, I can lift weight. I feel good. If I end up at a ski resort I can snowboard all day and feel good. I can jump into any athletic/play endeavor and not worry about my back or sore neck.

    I would recommend Crossfit for anyone of any age. When you look at Crossfit.com it looks crazy at first, but when you apply the programming methodology properly to someones level, you can give anyone a fantastic, short exercise experience.

  84. Mark~

    Fantastic post filled alot of good info. It sounds like things are about to get very interesting regarding your new baby..Primal Fitness. I am very curious!

  85. “See, I’m interested in helping as many people as I can, so I’ve designed it with everyone in mind. I’m sick of watching people hobble around with canes or old injuries. I want to see seniors bounding up stairs. I want to see people get six packs without actively trying to. More than anything, I want people to get stronger, fitter, and healthier. The athletes can scale things up and increase weights or reps, while the less advanced can just use bodyweight, but everyone will be doing the same movements that our bodies are designed to perform. Best of all, you’ll be able to follow this program for life, under any circumstance fortune throws at you. You get injured? There are workarounds. Growing older? You can simply scale things down.”
    – Sounds like crossfit to me…

  86. Thank you, thank you for doing this post Mark. It is extremelty helpful considering a friend of mine gave me P90X just a week ago.
    I popped it in for curiosities sake & my immediate reaction was “Whoa! There is no way i could stick to this for a longer than the 90 days w/o some serious modification.” To intense & not enough recovery time for me.
    I do have a trainer that I work with 3 times a week for very intense 30 min workouts, the rest of the week is spend doing primal workouts. This is something I can definitley stick to for the rest of my life, as I enjoy it immensely.
    I’m 29 years old & it’s been about 7 wks since I’ve started to get back into gear again, so I am somewhat out of shape. I am determined to be in the best shape of my life & try competitions later, but mostley I want to be healthy.
    Yes I would love to see immediate results like P90X offers, but I know I will crash & burn before too long with that kind of program. It’s just not fun. Primal living is the life for me. 🙂

  87. I really enjoyed my P90X rounds, but as many people said, I couldn’t sustain that level of time/effort. While this post was explicitly P90X and Cross Fit, I’d like to suggest a different BeachBody program that I’ve found integrates well into BP… ChaLean Extreme. Just like P90X, it’s got weight workout DVDs; but they are more progressive (9 different weight workouts to chose from at 3 levels of difficulty) and a great deal shorter per workout (avg is 37-43 minutes). There’s some cardio & interval training DVDs you can mix in if you want, or your own cardio; and have had really good strenght results without any of the overuse injuries I kept racking up trying to keep up with Tony.

  88. I’ve done several rounds of P90X, loving it each time. Over the last year, I’ve paid more attention to what I eat and in that time have had tremendous results.
    In school, I was the fat whale who couldn’t do pull-ups. Now I can pop out 20.
    I’d like to do Crossfit for the variety, but the closest gym is 50 miles away..oh, that’s another reason I love the X, I don’t have to go to the gym.

  89. I’ve done both P90X and Crossfit but my favorite type of exercise is called Burst Training. It’s where you do intervals in between 20-60 seconds and then recover. I typically do 30 second bursts then rest for 30 seconds. I go at around 90-100% my maximum effort. Medical research has proven this is the best way to burn body fat and balance hormones. You can also check out a great article about Burst training at:


  90. mark thank you for your efforts. they are commendable and welcome, again thank you.

  91. “I hate injuries. I hate downtime.”

    I think all of us active folk would second that! Injuries really bug me but I think 90% of the time, it is your body putting its foot down.

    I hold my hands up – I’m guilty of overtraining on many occasions, and it is taking me a long time to learn. I think it comes back to a fear that if you don’t workout, you will lose your progress, muscle, or gain fat. In fact, injuries will do this to you sooner so it is definitely best to rest and rebuild. I know you have to be disciplined. (Where some people struggle to pull themselves of the sofa to get active, many of us are the opposite – perhaps too active for our own good!)

    My current marathon training is bugging me because my body isn’t used to endurance work and it is taking its toll. I like to challenge of long runs but I’ll go back to HIIT when the London Marathon is done! I’m on a 3 day rest to try to let my knees and joints heal. Let’s hope it works! Marathons just aren’t good for my body. Are they good for anyone’s in fact? (Did Grok have to cover that mileage in a day!? – rarely I expect).

    For anybody else who dislikes injury, I have pulled together some of my thoughts and tips in an article: https://www.lmdfitness.com/training/overcoming-injury-stop-exercising/

    Look forward to reading PBF – it sounds ideal!

    1. Luke, is London your marathon? Will check out your blog.

      Good luck to you! If it is your first part of the preparation for a marathon requires a bit of physical fatigue and more importantly mental fatigue that will occur during the race.

      I’m preparing for my 18th to 20th marathons this year. My training has changed a ton due to two things 1) incorporation of cross training – first P90x and now CrossFit/ CrossFit Endurance and 2) scaling back on how many times I run each week (from 6-7 to 3-4). My legs are much fresher and over the course of the last year are approaching PR’s from my late 20’s (ran in the mid 1990s).

      Once I qualify for Boston I’ll graduate and conclude the marathon burst. I do thoroughly enjoy triathlons as well

      Now whether GROK ran or had to run far – still a bit of mystery and speculation. Born to Run is a good book from the sheer joy of running perspective. Also Younger Next Year is nice one to add (of course in addition to Sisson’s!) in terms of longer term benefits of sustainable exercise


      1. Hi Dave,

        Thanks for the response and encouragement! Please do read my articles and comment away! I’ll certainly check out the books you mention.

        London is my first marathon (I’m 23, so plenty of time) but it could be my last. I am not a huge endurance fan as I am fairly dissuaded by Mark’s personal experience with it, as well as the other negatives such as it being time consuming and wearing on the body. That said, I really want to complete a marathon, so I am going for it! I would love to go sub 3hrs but sub 3.30 may be more realistic. I would like to go for triathlons but would need to work on the bike side of things! I’m trying to train as primal as possible (including nutrition) but it is a difficult balance to achieve. Quick sugary food is sometimes the only way :/

        As for future endurance events for me, I really enjoy the liberated feeling the distance gives you so I would like to continue but without injury. As you say, I think it is possible to do it with bare minimum training providing you sort out your base fitness. Good to hear you have succeeded with P90x.

        Keep in touch,


  92. I just want to echo the comments that say that crossfit is completely scalable. I have had lifelong heart rate problems – to the point that I actually passed out several times in college from standing up too long. But I’ve been doing crossfit for about 9 months now. I’m slower than most. Sometimes I walk the runs, or take a couple of minutes to rest in the middle of a workout. But the coaches at my affiliate are really great – encouraging, but not pushy – and going to crossfit has been better for my over all health and fitness than any of the medications my doctors ever put me on. I can do hikes I never thought I’d be capable of. And while I’ll probably never out do the 3 on, 1 off recommended schedule, going 2 to 3 times a week is just about perfect for me. That said, I have pushed myself too hard once or twice and paid the price – but if you pay attention to your body, I think crossfit can work for just about anyone.

  93. i did the mainsite crossfit WODs for a solid year and just got burned out. people talk about it being scalable and it is but the point of CF is to push yourself either against the clock or to rise above a prior PR in weight lifted. i’d love to see a survey that tracks how long people stick with CF. i bet it’s not much more than a year if that.

    i look forward to mark’s program.

  94. Have done P90X or a hybrid of it for the last two years. I would not trade my experience with it for anything, but am ready for something new. I just turned 45 and am trying to take a more primal approach to my workouts. I lean towards overtraining (not P90X fault… mine).
    I CAN NOT WAIT for PBFitness to come out!!!!!!

  95. Nice post Mark, I have always seen P90X and CrossFit as compliments to a well rounded training regimen, rather than the training itself. They are great for slimming down, adding some power or endurance, etc, but like you I feel like they simply can’t be sustained indefinably and are very hard on people predisposed to exercise burnout. Still I would never discourage anyone (baring some preexisting condition) from training in one of these programs, there should just be some realistic expectations peppered behind the frenzy often associated with these programs.

  96. I’ve never tried P90X but did attend a Crossfit Trial Day. I think Mark hit it right on the head for what one can expect from it. Personally, armed with many years of (I’m 55) wisdom, I think it is too much for the average person. Once you pass 40, I believe you should limit the intense days to twice a week — remember, you’ll need your body at 75-80 years of age also, don’t wear it out before it’s time. Spend less time working out and more time doing (playing) something fun. When you work out twice a week, your body is ready, willing, & able plus you’re just plain more geeked to attack those weights. If I do feel compelled to work out another day, I do core work such as planks & bridges, etc. Looking forward to the PBFitness program!

  97. Wow, Mark, this topic generates a lot of buzz!
    I’m 57 and have followed Crossfit for 1.5 years now and quickly learned to scale using the BrandX Scaled Workouts: https://www.crossfitbrandx.com/index.php/forums/viewforum/16/. They led me to Paleo and your site (thank you, Robb Wolff), the importance of nutrition/exercise/sleep/recovery. I heal slower at 57 than I did at 20, but I do more pullups now. I’ve learned there is actually a lot of skill involved in running (POSE), cleaning, jerking, leaping, stretching. And I have regrets … that I didn’t start this sooner, share it with my son/daughter/wife/co-workers sooner. Paleo life is exciting and sure makes me sleep soundly 🙂

  98. Hey! Definitely looking forward to the PBF. I’m tired of wearing my tail off and not knowing when enough is enough It will be nice to tie in the PB w/ PBF. I love the structure PB gives me and now I’ll have the PBF to bring me into the workout structure i need. thanks

  99. Mark, thanks for your usual thoughtful treatment of topic. I was actually just wondering what your take on these systems would be and lo and behold you touched on it just this week.

    We have a Crossfit garage gym with a few friends coming over to work out with my husband and I. My husband has also done the P90X when he borrowed it from a friend. When I started doing Crossfit a year ago three to five times a week at a local affiliate, I was already getting burnt out and feeling overtrained within months. Coming away sore and worn down every time interfered with the other sports that I love (triathlon, karate, volleyball). It’s no fun if you’re always too sore to participate at any decent level in anything else.

    Now with our gym at home I try to keep a balance of 2 – 3 Crossfit workouts a week, sometimes at max intensity and sometimes not according to whatever else I’ve got going on. I find that it’s a very useful part of my overall fitness plan, but it could never be the entire plan.

    And overall, I’d just like to say that I find your website a constant stream of food for thought, well-researched, topical, and interesting. Your approach makes total sense for overall health and vitality.

    I just gave a shout-out to your site on my blog: https://ironmom.blogspot.com/2010/03/apple-day-keeps-fitness-boredom-at-bay.html as I think you’re worth a read for anyone interested in total body health, fitness, and nutrition. Keep it up!

  100. I’ve tried Crossfit two different times. Both times, I lost weight and leaned out, but could only sustain the program a month and a half before injury and severe burnout occurred.

    The first injury I incurred was a mid-back strain from doing max thrusters. The second injury was both ulnar nerve elbow problems from a ridiculous amount of pullups. As an aside, I don’t see how Grok would have done any pullups at all much less hundreds a week. I’m sure ole Grok did have to pull himself up to things from time to time, but I’ll bet he was also using his legs.

    I’m 44 years old. I now do a Grok-like system of doing whatever I feel like I need on a given day. Most of the days I do workout, however, center around squatting movements.


  101. I joined a crossfit affiliate last Oct. as an overwieght out of shape 44 year old man with back pain. I was going twice a week to start and just moved up to 3 times a week. I then read PB over Christmas and started eating primal/paleo in Jan 10′.The results I’ve achieved i thought were unattainable in such a short time.

    I started at 215lbs,now at 187lbs, no back pain, i’ve never felt better. I owe it all to the 2 coaches, their positive attitudes, their focus on range of motion and proper form before the weights increase has helped me .

    After seeing what crossfit and the PB has done for me I am intrested in seeing the PBF program.
    Thanks for the great site Mark!!

  102. I started a CrossFit approach to exercise 30 months ago, but didn’t actually start at a gym until August of 2009. Prior to joining the gym, I combined my CrossFit program with Barry Sear’s Zone Diet and went from 223 lbs to 196 lbs. I got stronger, faster, etc. What I later realized I was doing with my workout though was more along the line of a Gym Jones version of CrossFit’ism. There is a difference.

    Prior to joining the CrossFit gym I did a 90 day Classic routine of P90X and found it to be challenging. I improved my strength and weight. I liked not having to do the precarious and dangerous-when-untaught-and-unsupervised Olympic-style weight lifting. After starting the CF gym around late August 2009, I enjoyed the change. However, what I noticed is that the exercises are not necessarily the issue. If the gym doesn’t have trainers who are experienced and understand progression, scaling, alternate exercises to obtain similar or same results, etc, then a trainee could be in trouble. I found my experience to be such. The workouts are WAY TOO MUCH. Aside from this, the subculture of machoism (male AND female) revolving around CrossFit is hard to be around. The competitions I find ridiculous, and the system of workouts for time puts most in the position of using TERRIBLE FORM, especially when under fatigue. This is what’s dangerous. CrossFit is like throwing a 5 year old in the deep end of a pool. He’ll either sink, or swim;like it or hate it.

  103. Great post, great comments, managing to avoid some of the cult-like tone that Crossfit sometimes attracts.

    What is missing here is GROK! He wasn’t doing Crossfit intensity 5.5 days/week. And he didn’t live past 40!

    Crossfit is amazing and it principles have changed my life for the better, but Mark there are a lot of us waiting for the Primal Fitness fix.

    thank you

    1. Who ever said Grok didn’t live past 40?! I thought if he (or she) made it past 39 he was good to go until 60 or 70…

      The *average* life span was pretty low back in hunter-gatherer days. But if you could avoid infant mortality, accidents, and dying in childbirth, many people did make it to a much higher age than that.

  104. I have some thoughts on this that I would be glad to get some feedback on 🙂

    I went to my first Crossfit training couple af days ago and it got me thinking. I’m in a changing mode right now – have been eating PB style for a week or so and so far enjoying and curious to see and feel changes. That’s all good.

    For my training I want the most effective (guess I’m not alone here). I am quite new to “lifting heavy things” but I’d really like to pursue that. I have been reading about gaining strength /muscle mass and I always end up at Starting Strength when I read advice from people that seems to know what they are talking about.

    For me it seems a little weird to mix burst like cardio with strength exercise as in Crossfit. I mean if it’s the only workout you do I guess it couldn’t be better but if you want to increase strength as much as possible it seems more logic to me to do a program like Starting Strength for muscle, sprints for your weekly burst needs and then all the fun stuff on the side.

    My point is – why do heavy lifting while you are pacing yourself? If you really work heavy it seems you are better of taking some breaks inbetween your near max output?

    Don’t get me wrong – I think Crossfit is great. But if you are doing sprints a couple of times a week AND you have other stuff where you get creative (I do tango and Contact Improvisation myself) it seems the need for “functional strengthening” is not that important if your main focus is to build muscle and train the big muscle groups as intense as possible (without overtraining). And Starting Strength for example seems like a great way to do that.

    Anyway I would love to hear some thoughts on that 🙂

  105. So Mark that was you in the DVDs! There’s a guy at the end of each DVD that promotes their P90X bars, knew it looked like you. 😀 Well I can honestly say I love P90X. I’ve had it for a few years and contrary to what this article says, I can do it for quite some time. I’ve experimented and I do try different things, but none the less I like the structure P90X gives me. That and being able to workout in the comfort of my home without having to “build” a workout is great. I wanted to try crossfit, but it’s expensive and the hours aren’t what I’m looking for. I’m a morning workout kind of guy. I do feel worn out from P90X though, and I believe it’s because it’s done so often. I’m going to go back to 3 days a week, with some long slow cardio in between and some rest days as well. 😀

  106. Mark I just saw you as the consultant for their vitamin formula on the intro DVD. Do you still think it’s worth using?

    I’m not so jived about using the recovery drink. I’ll see if I can whip up my own, or water it down with some chia gel.

    Looking forward BPF!

  107. Mark,

    Thank you for a balanced review of the two systems. You raise some great points.

    I am a CrossFit affiliate. I think the biggest issue facing the CrossFit community is implementation of the system rather than the system itself. The internet has perpetuated the idea that CF is for high-end athletes only when in truth the system can be scaled for (just about) everyone and can even be utilised to treat and prevent injury. In future, I hope to see better coaching within the CF community and improvements in the areas that you highlighted.

    I look forward to seeing what your PBF system encompasses as your thoughts are generally inline with my own.

    Again, thank you for a great resource.

    Sincerely, Adam Stanecki.

  108. I agree. I was one of the ones injured by crossfit. I then moved on to sealfit and from there found Rob Shaul at Mountain Athlete. While I do agree with the crossfit concept, I also believe you can’t be stupid. Like you, I believe p90x is not sustainable. I do however believe Greg Glassman is a genius. His method of training is highly effective. I don’t think you can limit yourself to one method. As Rob Shaul says at Mountain Athlete you have to have “standardized and periodized training” He believes “strength is king” and I agree with him. I would suggest if you are a tactical athlete to give Military Athlete a try. Those are just my two cents. Great site.

  109. I like the idea that you encourage getting fit by having FUN! what a concept! I play inline hockey and kickball and its a blast and great exercise! not to mention hiking and water activities by the beach.. this works for me because I usually hate gyms and the egos there.. i just like to get outside!

  110. I started Crossfit 4 years ago when I was 50. I thought the principles were great but I didn’t want to keep up with the 3 on 1 off regimen. I ended up designing my own workout based on the functional/constantly varied/high intensity principles of CrossFit. I work out 3 to 5 days a week and I’m in the best shape I’ve been in 20 years. The principles work (your Primal exercise principles sound quite similar) but you need to adjust them for your own personal situation. Especially if you’re older – you can’t work out like a 20 or 30 year old. You have to allow yourself more time for recovery and more time to work up to a really intense workout.

  111. Does anyone know which one of these programs is better for putting on some muscle mass? From what I’ve been reading, a lot of people get on the P90x train in order to lose weight, but I’m not really interested in that, as I’ve already lost the extra flab just by eating primal. Is crossfit more in line with primal principles than p90x?

  112. Agree re P90x – extremely hard to sustain over long periods – I like to do the lifting, plyo, and yoga videos and take like every other day “off” for a bike ride or a hill climb…

  113. great stuff on here…I’m really enjoying the positivity this site has. I have done, and loved, P90X, but agree it is tough. I’ve modified it like so many on here and have included everything from snowboarding to rock climbing for my off days (off being either either yoga, plyo..though I enjoy the plyo, or kenpo). I’m going incorporate the heavier weight, 5 rep sets and abbreviate the workouts and slow down the movements…sort of PB meets P90X meets Super Slow and see what happens.

    I still have too much sugar and carb in my diet, but it’s going to be nearly impossible for me to convince my wife to get rid of it. She knows it’s evil, but probably won’t budge on it. We’re in pretty good shape, so I suppose it isn’t the worst to cheat a little.

  114. Hello, I completed p90x and followed it strictly about 2 mounths ago and after I joined my local crossfit gym. Heres what I found in myself, P90x is awsome it toned me up gave me muscles I didnt even know I had and gave me great flexability I felt and still feel awsome. So I went in to crossfit with the idea that I was up to par to do this kind of workout….. wrong! crossfit kicked my butt it was like starting all over from scratch again, now mind you I had no down time between the two programs and I was sore every where. To me p9ox lacks the cardio, endurance, and definitely lacks the lower back workouts wich is verry important to have! I still love them bolth but when it comes down to whats hard and whats easy crossfit is definitely much much harder then P90x. Then I look at it this way too crossfit some times lacks the consistancey of developing the certin body areas on a regular basis and I have noticed I have lost alot of my push up strength and pullup strength I had built up from P90X but at the same time my cardio has gone through the roof and my lower back is getting stronger now too… hehe To me I love them bolth and have a hard time choosing wich one to do, so I have devised I new hybrid workout that will be combining the 2 together and I’m going to see if I can regain that strength I feel I lost and at the same time keep my cardio and endurance up also wish me luck and I have worked in plenty of recovery time wich I feel I would need alot of! Thanks for reading!

    1. I think what people forget is that starting any new program often makes the previous program feel less difficult. This is often a result of getting used to a new program rather than the inferiority of the previous program. My suggestion to many P90Xers who want to step it up: move through the exercises with more explosiveness and with less rest. I did the legs and back w/o yesterday in about half the time the video takes. I didn’t rush through it, I was controlled, but I left out two of the exercises that I don’t find particularly helpful and I was much more explosive in the movements. Just a thought.

  115. P90X really is a great workout system. I have a few friends that have tried it and they all said it produced amazing results. I’m starting the program right after Thanksgiving!

  116. The 1st four months I was with crossfit I had 4 different injuries. I am even now recovering from a knee and foot injury. Now I don’t entirely blame crossfit as part of the problem was my being over zealous without being properly trained. Last week I went to a crossfit in Denver whose apporach was totally different from the Crossfit i attended. They were entirely focused on training you to your level of ability rather than pressuring you (though subtle) to complete the Rx. I learned more there in two seperate WODs than I had the entire time at the Crossfit I am attending now. My point is that you must be comitted to proper and safe coaching if you operate a crsossfit affiliate as you are ultimately responsible for each of your member’s health. If you’re not willing to face and dedicate yourself to proper coaching and training then you shouldn’t be in business.

    1. LOL I think that Greg Glassman looks like hell. I don’t think that he does the Crossfit workouts but I don’t believe he claims to either. But I do think that Crossfit is a great program regardless of whether or not Glassman actually does his own workouts.

  117. No, Glassman doesn’t workout and yes, he looks like hell. Crossfit is a good program for a while but, your body will eventually break down in the long run. “Everything works, nothing works forever.”

  118. I have no doubt that both P90x and CrossFit can help you drop pounds and get in shape quickly, but I have to agree with Mark in that these programs are not sustainable for the vast majority of people.

    In that respect, they become “fad workouts”, giving good results in the short term, but once the workout is abandoned (like most “fad diets” are), the results evaporate and the individual is back at square one.

    Sure, some people will be able to do these workouts for years, but they represent a very small percentage of the population.

    Just as when you choose an eating style, pick a workout program that you can continue for the rest of your life!

  119. I just wanted to offer up another CrossFitter’s view on this post specifically to 2 things. First, rarely do CrossFit WODs last an hour. If you are a member of a CrossFit gym, then you know what I’m talking about. The first half of your workout will be a light warm up and then a strength exercise – lifts. Generally your high intensity workout is around 15-30 minutes of that hour. So you won’t be spending 6 hours of high intensity work a week. More like 2-3. Second, beginners should never try to exceed logical weight starts on lifts. More than a 10lb increase in a week is generally too much. My gym monitors closely what kind of weight we do on a regular basis.

  120. I love that you brought up active beats inactive in almost all cases.

    What people need to do is become more rounded. I’ve trained bodybuilding, powerlifting, track, football, basketball, crossfit, mma, yoga and triathlon.

    If i dont feel like going all out crossfit, i may revert back to some bodybuilding things i have learned, or i may plain just go heavy in the weight room. i may take the day off and just do yoga, or run, or play a sport??(like he said thats why we work out…)

    What im getting at is that if more people knew more about multiple styles of training, they wouldnt need to complain about getting burnt out, being too old, being too fat. learn to scale. learn to listen to your body, and have the knowledge to supply it. if it wants a light day give it a light day. the problem is most people need someone to set up their light day for them. they dont know what to do “instead”.

  121. I’m so glad I found this site. I’m in week 7 of P90X and was curious what to do when it’s over. I was considering CrossFit, but it’s very, very expensive to join. I’m all set with P90X and I don’t have to go anywhere. I like some of the suggestions for a modified P90X workout. I was concerned that it’s not sustainable as a lifestyle. But, 3 or 4 days a week is easily doable. I heard that Tony is releasing a modified P90X program that is only 5 days a week. That might be something to check out.

  122. My training has never been about losing weight as I’ve always been quite an active person. I’ve run 5 marathons and next is up in Stockholm next summer. I also play soccer and have been going to gym before 2009 for several years. When I stumbled up to P90X in a TV commercial in late 2009 I immediately got interested. I did some googling and felt that it couldn’t be a miracle program/diet and decided to give it a try. Many of the programs out there are all about losing weight. That aspect is also advertised a lot with P90X, but once I started doing it I realized that it really is more a full-fledged improve-your-fitness program. It’s based on hard work and promises nothing more than result if you commit!
    I followed the program through quite strictly and only missed a few workouts on the 90 days (or a bit longer in my case). On some days when I just didn’t have the time I shifted workouts for next day to have a morning and evening workout. Something though made it easier for me. I had two vacations (ie Christmas) in the middle so I got two total weeks off. But that way I was able to push play the rest of the time day after day. Results were that my weight didn’t change a bit, my fat percentage dropped by half a percent, but I felt great! Certainly I was able to do more pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups. Although my cardio side got a bit worse.
    Later on I have been doing the exercises randomly not following the program for two years now. And now when I started my second round I noticed that I still do better than when starting my initial round. So if you don’t do the exact program all the time the workouts make great supplementary for any other training.
    This time around I plan to do the doubles but doing mostly other sports as the double training like swimming, badminton or something alike. But it is true that the P90X requires you to be fit and committed for the 90 days. And that has been hard for me too. I started the second round already last year, but I got injured playing soccer and that round ended at that point. I also can’t see this as a training regimen for marathons. There is too little room for running and it’s impossible to put weekly long run of over two hours in there and follow the program. So for me the P90X as a 90 day routine is a wintertime program only. When it’s cold and dark outside and the “summer activities” aren’t there to mess things up ?
    What I like about P90X is that it’s a comprehensive program with intense workouts. Also I like yoga which I otherwise wouldn’t do. Stretching is only a plus for all training. The plyometrics gives me some more bounce and is good cardio also. That’s my few cents. CF I haven’t been able to try because I don’t have a suitable workout place for it. P90X makes my living room a bit sweaty though :/

  123. I forgot to write that I also tried Insanity going through it last spring and it was insane. IMHO it was too much anaerobic cardio per week. I was a lot more run out during that program than P90X. I think that P90X is more all round well balanced program. Why I tried it was, that it’s one month shorter and I needed more cardio training for the summer. But it was too much for me. Some good individual exercises there too though!

  124. This is an interesting article and I appreciate the insight. I just finished round one of P90X and starting round 2. Right now, there is nothing as good and as tough as P90x for me; I’m VERY much into it and I LIKE that it is extremely tough and a hardcore commitment. I missed my 4:15am wakeup call this morning which means now I have to workout tonight and won’t be done until 11PM AFTER I have handled the kid duties. But, I’m relishing it… it’s crazy.
    I am just learning about CrossFit but reading this artile has piqued my interest for life post-P90x. To be honest, I want to do at least 2 full rounds of P90x (no omissions). I only missed ONE day my first round. I expect the second to be the same. Then I’m looking at exporing Insanity or P90x2 or both. I’m going to be 42 in August and I want to be in the best shape of my life for the rest of my life. I set at a f***ing computer 8 hours a day, I damn well better be doing something productive when I’m not wasting my life away here. I secretly feel bad for my coworkers who aren’t doing anything outside of work and I’m SO GLAD I have taken on the challenge!
    I can see changing up the P90x routine to maybe 5 days (2 days of rest interspersed). Probably cut KenpoX to start. I think PlyoX is killer and extremely important for stamina, sweat, tears 🙂
    I have bookmarked this page because I’m interested in what you come up with, Thanks!

  125. Great article about P90x! I have the DVD set and really like most of the exercises. What I don’t like is spending nearly an hour a day working out. I agree with Mark that this is not what I want to be doing for the next 40 years of my life.

    Every now and then I will put the P90X DVD in my computer and do the hour routine just for fun. Once a week is enough for me.

    I have been using the Primal Blue Print for over 2 years. I try to keep all my workouts simple and fun. I know longer go on long 6 hour runs. My longests runs are an for an hour or 2 once a month. My favorite exercise is the sprints!

    I found the “Sprint 8 Workout” on Mercola.com. I sprint for 30 seconds and rest for 90. Since I have been a long distance runner, it was easy to transition to this. I only do these 1-2 per week as they are super intense. 8 sprints tire me out.

    I used to feel guilty taking days off for rest. Now, I can take an entire week off and still feel good.

    I never have to worry about weight as I eat Primal. Since going Primal, my weight dropped from 190 back to 180.

    Being 51 and still being in excellent shape is fun. I go for walks with my wife and kids. We hike in the mountains.

    I am so glad that someone told me about the Primal Blue Print. It’s the best!

  126. I love that your advice is moderate and not making one extreme or another seem more amazing than another!! I also love that you don’t sell supplements (like Mercola or Adams). I agree that any exercise is better than nothing, but I also know people that over exercise (mostly cross-fit people), and they can’t understand why they feel like crap after a 1 hour work out 6 days per week!! lots of adrenal gland issues happening and likely the same people that are avoiding starches.

    I am a prof at a small college in Ontario and I often reference your posts!! I love to think about all the little details….your posts are in line with what I teach and I love reading your ideas! I posted my FB page above, click on it if you are interested in all the non-mainstream ideas…I post about diet and general health and GMOs that completely contradict everything that kids learn in school, because it is all wrong!, ha,

    My posts are not in as much detail about exercise as yours …..I talk a lot about food and physiology 🙂

    I really appreciate your posts about exercise even though I don’t click “like” every day, I read them and I think you are spot on!!

  127. I am 50+ and have been Crossfitting for the past 4 years. Injuries… yes, but not from my Crossfit workouts (injured from skate boarding with my 7 and 8 year old boys).
    The beauty about Crossfit is the scaling. If you don’t scale to your strength, endurance, and ability, you are not applying Crossfit correctly. My competition days are behind me. I am not trying to build massive muscle mass, or beat any strength or endurance records. I am into sustaining optimum health to enjoy the next 50 years with vigor, adventure and pure enjoyment.
    With that said, I find your BPF philosophy directly aligned with proper Crossfit application. Looking forward to your finished product. Cheers.

  128. Just started primal eating January 1 and have lost 9 lb and approx 5% body fat in the 3 weeks so far. Loving the lifestyle and have found it really easy to follow. I am also doing p90x for 90 days to really get myself back to an acceptable level of fitness.

    My question is if following p90x and eating primal, should I skip the recovery drink? That 40 g of carbs is half of what you recommend for fat loss. I’m afraid that the recovery drink will cause me to go over 80g and maybe even 100g. Thanks for your time Mark and I look forward to hearing from you.


  129. Personally i am doing Crossfit Football now for about a year, this 5 days a week with 4 days strength work and after that regulary sprints as dwod or some auxilary work for time. Its more strength biased but you still stay fit. I preffer this to regular Crossfit as it has less elements that might lead to injury. Almost no kipping pull ups, no high reps box jumps, no sumo deadlift high puls etc.

  130. I have done p90x for over 4 years straight now with amazing results. I gained 50lbs of muscle and never lift over 35lbs. I have done the 6 day a week workouts every week for over 4 years. I have done p90x2 and I will also throw some insanity and p90x plus workouts in there just to mix it up. But after 4.5 years I have finally became stagnet with the workouts. I’ve been looking for something new to add to the mix.

  131. My girlfriend’s massage therapist advised her against CrossFit because of the injury factor. This article addresses that problem perfectly. Thanks for being a resource that helps battle the conventional wisdom to which so many are still, unfortunately, enslaved.

  132. I am 67 next month and have been crossfitting for 4 years. I was an athlete all my life, made a career as a U.S. Marine, and played competitive soccer until I was 45. I workout with a group of folks who are 20 – 40 years younger than me and, it’s true that there is a certain spoken and unspoken competitiveness from all. Too much resting and bad form are looked down upon equally. At my age, I really don’t care about beating anybody. I finish the workouts gasping appropriately, usually within 1 – 5 minutes of the leaders. I probably workout 4 days a week. I have strengths and weaknesses. The important thing I have found is that my weaknesses have improved and I am less injury prone because of it. I’ve become stronger though mobility is a challenge with some overhead exercises. In a 30 minute workout of, say, three rounds I am with the leaders during the first round. It’s after that I start slowing because of wind. If I get grief from anybody I play the age card. PB and the concepts in Mark’s Daily Apple have helped orient me in a holistic way that has a lot of appeal now that age demands more to accomplish the same thing that I did with much less effort when younger. I feel great and now know that these bodies of our can do nearly everything at a later age than most everyone supposes. I don’t know when that changes but I will continue to do this because life is so much more fun when you are fit. This video is 2 years old. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap8KLb0pvBk

  133. I have been CF’ing since February, although I have been following PB for a lot longer than that. I started with PB fitness and progressed to a personal trainer along with running and yoga before I decided to try CF. The first time I tried it I was completely hooked and haven’t looked back since.

    Since I am in my 40’s it does take me longer to recover; I have also found that I typically can’t sustain the intensity or energy needed to do 3 days in a row… the only time I do is if I know I will be taking 2 or 3 days off afterwards. Otherwise I usually do 2 on 1 off, which seems to work really well for me.

    One needs to shop carefully for the CF gym they decide to join; while we chose one that was close to our house, it also happens to be one that has many qualified trainers and coaches whose knowledge goes far beyond the CF Level 1 training. This means that they encourage scaling, modifications, proper form and reduced intensity and in doing so, are promoting longevity in their members.

  134. didn’t read all the previous comments, so forgive me if i’m repeating what’s already been said. but just because your crossfit box has a workout *available* every day doesn’t mean a given athlete is going in every day. from what i’ve read on the crossfit journal, and in how i practice it, and how the coaches at my box recommend, you do it a few days a week, NOT every day. yes, it’s always there, but that’s more to accommodate a wide variety of people’s varying schedules than because any one person is expected to do it every day. also, depending on the person, and how fit they are, the workouts will be exceptionally intense to a newer crossfitter like myself, but less so to a seasoned crossfitter. therefore, as someone becomes more fit, they are less susceptible to overtraining even if they go a little more frequently than my 3x/wk (M/W/F) schedule.

    one last point i should make is that, at its ideal core, crossfit is SUPPOSED to be an all-ages, all-abilities, fully scalable workout. in fact, there are plenty of articles and whatnot on the crossfit journal describing how you’re getting it wrong if you don’t properly scale workouts to your abilities. they give lots of specific examples and guidelines about when to substitute in lighter weight or lower intensity or simplified movements, and what proficiencies should be in place before attempting to learn certain other things. i have a feeling that maybe some crossfit boxes don’t heed all these guidelines, thus people are getting the impression of crossfit as something other than what it’s intended to be. but i can’t for certain comment on that, as i’ve only belonged to one box, and they seem to be sticking to the guidelines for scalability and safety, and we have lots of people from very young kids to the grandparents working out, and it’s awesome (and inspiring)! 😀 (although, admittedly, most people are in the 20s through 50s demographic.)

  135. For your Primal Fitness, may I recommend the 5 exercise (in a gym) program laid out in Body by Science by John Little and Doug McGuff. I am a 69 year old academic who for a variety of reasons had been unreasonably inactive for the past 15 years. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes at the gym once a week (I do a couple of extra exercises), and have built my strength back up to about where I was at 30. I was obese and am now merely overweight thanks to as close to the PB diet as I can manage with my life at present (commitments to parents who have inflexible eating habits, etc.), and am managing to lose about 2 pounds a month. I will pick up the exercise intensity as the weight comes off–I just moved into a townhome for my retirement that it next to a 3500 acre park, with about 700 feet of elevation gain, etc., so the walks will get a lot more intense. I still work part time–those PowerBall tickets keep letting me down, darn it–but try to consistently have a gym day and a long walk at a challenging pace another day. I have even tried uphill sprints on a portion of the walk back to the house. This winter, I may do a round on the ellipticals once a week in the evening–busy at the gym then though.

    Anyway, I am interested in additional exercise routines to take up and look forward to your PF.

  136. Sounds fine and dandy, except for those of us that have significant physical limitations (both my ankles have had multiple surgeries/fusions). I wish that every blog, regardless of theories, would consider having just a tiny section on alternatives/adaptations that would accommodate the disabled and still allow for the benefits.

  137. Hi!

    This is EXACTLY what the fitness scene is lacking 🙂

    A program that is reasonable sized to let you get your regeneration time needed, a program which focusses on durability and is not degrading your body but making it more healthy with a focus on growth and health. I was building this type of program for myself during the last three years, but it is always good to get additional input.

    Thank you so much, I am really looking forward to see your approach!



  138. I did the P90X programs a few years ago, but never completed it all the way through. I’ve since modified it to fit my needs, and do variations on many of the exercises. Its a good program for those that need a structured approach to fitness. I also incorporate a lot of what Jeff Cavalliere (sp?) does on his Athlean X site. I’m 55 and in fairly good shape, but I’ve come to the realization that there are many paths that lead to the top of the mountain. Some weights, some cardio, and a steady approach to fitness works very well for me.