If you’re looking to get on board with a popular workout craze, you’ll have no shortage of choices.
Two of the most popular trends right now? Beachbody and CrossFit!
No doubt, you follow tons of friends on social media who do one (or both) of these workouts, and for good reason; they’re both an amazing way to get in shape.
But when it comes to Beachbody vs CrossFit, you only really need to do one regularly. So which one is right for you?
Beachbody is a fitness brand, and there are lots of ways to get involved. You can join a coaching group or sign-up on your own, but you’ll usually need access to the Beachbody on Demand streaming workout service, where you can follow along with 60+ complete home video workout programs from your living room (or wherever), whenever it’s convenient for you.
P90X is one of the most popular workout programs under the Beachbody name. It’s a brutal 90-day challenge that builds insane strength and endurance by “confusing” your muscles with different workouts in a different order every week, primarily focusing on core strength, bodyweight exercises, and dumbbell work.
CrossFit is a workout philosophy that borrows from different disciplines to improve your overall conditioning, strength, and athleticism. You’ll join a CrossFit gym or “box” and train there in a group with the help of a coach, focusing mostly on performance in different weightlifting and athletic maneuvers.
Overall, Beachbody and P90X are some of the best home-based workouts available. You only need a small amount of time, a space in your house, and some basic equipment to get in amazing shape.
CrossFit is the better choice for getting individual feedback from a strength and conditioning coach, and getting extra accountability, structure, and motivation from the group/community setting.
Now let’s dive in to a few more details, comparison points, and the pros and cons of each.
Beachbody on Demand (and P90X) – An Overview
Beachbody on Demand is one of my favorite fitness platforms, bar none.
(You can read my full review of Beachbody on Demand here.)
Once you sign up, you get access to a literal TON of content.
(It’s actually a little overwhelming at first, which is one of my only complaints.)
From your phone, laptop, or even TV, you can access over 60 complete workout programs (not just individual videos, complete programs) ranging from a few days to a few months long.
You’ll print out a calendar, follow the workouts each day, and check them off when you’re done.
Each workout program also comes with its own tailor-made eating plan that helps you get the right amount of calories, protein, and carbs to see the best results (whether it’s weight loss or muscle gain).
You can choose from workout programs that hone your yoga skills, develop killer strength, boost your cardio, or blast your core muscles. There’s something for everyone on this platform, and when you’re done one program, you can move on to the next.
P90X is probably one of the most popular programs on the platform, and definitely one of the hardest.
It’s a 90-day challenge that uses the concept of “muscle confusion” to help you keep making gains for three straight months. You’ll follow along with a number of different workouts (back and biceps, chest and shoulders, core, yoga, stretching, plyometrics, etc.) but they’re in a different order each week to keep your body guessing.
Exercises you’ll do frequently in P90X:
- Push-ups and pull-ups
- Plyometric jumps
- Dumbbell curls, chest/shoulder presses, and chest flys
- Yoga poses for flexibility, mobility & recovery
- Squats and lunges
- Kickboxing cardio
- Sit-ups and leg raises
- And plenty more
You can do all of this in your living room with minimal equipment, but you might need some light dumbbells and a pull-up bar to get the most out of the program.
(Check out the full equipment list for P90X.)
P90X workouts are brutally hard and exhausting.
At the end of 90 days, you will have built some serious full-body strength and endurance. You probably won’t “pack on” the muscle on P90X, but you will almost certainly lose weight if you eat right and end up with a lean, chiseled look if you’re dedicated to the process.
The best way to try Beachbody on Demand is to start up a 14-day free trial.
You’ll get full access to the 60+ workout programs and eating plans (including P90X), and can cancel anytime without being charged. Click my link to get started.
CrossFit – An Overview
CrossFit has been around forever. It was founded in the year 2000 by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai.
Today, there are well over 10,000 CrossFit gyms across the United States and beyond.
Each individual gym or box is a little bit different, but there are bound to be dozens of them relatively near your house or work.
In a CrossFit gym, you’ll arrive at a specific time with other members and run through:
- Skill & strength work
- The workout of the day (or WOD), which all CrossFitters do
- Cooldown and stretching
The CrossFit experience, including the workouts of the day, borrow from all sorts of disciplines — that’s why it’s called “Cross”Fit!
When you work out at a CrossFit box, you’ll do moves and use training techniques borrowed from Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, strongman, plyometrics, gymnastics, calisthenics, and more.
Some of the most common exercises you’ll do during CrossFit workouts include:
- Air squat
- Front squat
- Overhead squat
- Shoulder press
- Sumo deadlift high pull
- Push press
- Push jerk
With the help of your coach, you’ll work on improving your form, technique, strength, and performance on these movements over time.
CrossFit is less of a “workout program” and more of a lifestyle. You should dedicate yourself to showing up every week and striving for improvement.
Over time, you can seriously transform your physique on CrossFit. The results may be slower than P90X, at first, but you have the potential to add more muscle to your frame and significantly change your bodyfat percentage over time doing these workouts.
There are probably tons of different Crossfit gyms or boxes in your area to choose from.
I highly recommend trying out ClassPass to hop around different studios (including Crossfit, yoga, spin, and more) whenever you want.
Beachbody & P90X vs CrossFit – Main Differences
Alright, so all that being said, what’s the different between Beachbody and Crossfit? What’s the difference between P90X and CrossFit?
Beachbody and P90X are done (mostly) at home; CrossFit is done (mostly) at a gym:
The Beachbody on Demand service is designed to bring you awesome workout programs you can follow from your living room.
You’ll just need a little bit of space to spread out and sometimes a few pieces of small equipment.
CrossFit is designed to be done at a gym or box, in a group setting, with an instructor mostly. You’ll need barbells, Olympic weights, plyometric boxes, and more.
Beachbody and P90X build endurance and bodyweight strength; CrossFit has a stronger focus on lifting heavy weights:
Because they’re meant to be done at home, Beachbody workouts occasionally use dumbbells, but most often you’ll work on mastering your own bodyweight.
Expect to do lots of push-ups and challenging variations, especially in the P90X program, along with air squats, lunges, and core work.
You’ll do lots of bodyweight movements and HIIT in CrossFit, as well, but expect to spend a lot more time mastering your weightlifting technique and striving for new PRs, or personal records.
(Confused? Check out my guide to gym slang here.)
CrossFit is more expensive:
There’s a ton of value in joining a community and working with a coach in-person, but you should expect to pay a decent amount of money if you dedicate yourself to CrossFit.
Expect to pay about $100-200 per month for unlimited access to a local CrossFit box.
Beachbody on Demand will run you around $8-15 per month, depending on your contract length, for unlimited access to all of the workout programs including P90X.
You should try Beachbody and P90X if:
- You like (or have to) workout at home
- You’re on a tighter budget
- You prefer cardio & bodyweight movements vs lifting heavy barbells
- You want an eating plan you can follow along with easily
- You want to try a couple of different programs (yoga, dance cardio, bootcamp, and more)
You should try Crossfit if:
- You thrive in a competitive group setting
- You want to build serious strength and muscle
- You crave one-on-one feedback from a trained coach
- You can (or need to) get out of the house to workout
- You can invest more money in exchange for more accountability
When it comes to Beachbody vs CrossFit, there’s no clear winner.
That’s because the two are very different.
Beachbody is a suite of at-home workouts, designed to be done in your living room, on a budget, in your limited free-time. It’s great for parents, stay-at-home moms and dads, and really busy people.
CrossFit is done at a box, in person, with a group designed to compete with and encourage each other.
Which one is right for you? You decide!
I hope this helps, everyone!