What's the difference between P90X, Body Beast and Chalean Extreme?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I've been getting a TON of questions about the difference between P90X, Body Beast and Chalean Extreme. Since I've done all 3, I thought I'd break it down for you =)
Duration of the Programs
  • P90X is 13 weeks long
  • Body Beast is 12 weeks 
  • CLX is 12 weeks long.  With CLX, you have the option to do an additional month or more of the lean for life phase, which incorporates workouts mixed up from all the phases!

Trainers – they are ALL amazing, inspirational, and motivational!
  • P90X – Tony Horton, a male trainer also created Power 90 and Power Half Hour.  He is hilarious and makes the workouts entertaining with his little one liners!  Very motivational and pushes you to your max!
  • Body Beast- Sagi Kalev has been a bodybuilder since he was 16. He credits a 4-year tour of duty in the Israeli army with teaching him the discipline, focus, determination, and respect he brings to his bodybuilding training. He pursued a fitness modeling and acting career & has won two "Mr. Israel" titles. While he teases the other guys during the workout, he's very supportive and with you all the way. Sometimes he's unintentionally funny which is super endearing.
  • CLX – Chalene Johnson, a female trainer, she is AMAZING! She is one of those people with  unlimited energy and spirit! She's got a ton of other programs like Turbo Jam, Turbo Kick and Turbo Fire.
P90X Results
Concept – P90X and Chalean Extreme both use the concepts of muscle failure and muscle confusion. Body Beast uses Dynamic Set Training. 
  • Muscle confusion – you’re mixing up your workouts every few weeks to a month so that your muscles don’t get used to the same workouts.  It’s great, plus, you don’t get bored with the same old workouts over and over again!
  • Muscle failure – you are working so hard and pushing your muscles to the max during these workouts, lifting heavy at low reps.  You want your muscles to fail by the 8th-12th rep so that they then build themselves up stronger to do more the next time you work them.
  • Dynamic Set Training is a specific sequence of sets and reps which maximizes the muscle’s time under tension with the goal to exhaust the muscle and to recruit more muscle fiber. Dynamic Set Training is also designed to help enhance your body’s own testosterone production. Testosterone is the primary hormone responsible for developing muscle mass. The more testosterone the body makes, the faster it grows. 
  • Both P90X & Chalean Extreme have 3 days of resistance training, and 2 days of cardio.
  • P90X though, includes a 6th day of yoga.
  • Body Beast is divided into 3 Blocks
  • Block 1: Build (3 weeks, 6 days, 1 day off) – a strong foundation is built, physically and nutritionally
  • Block 2: Bulk (6 weeks, 6 days, 1 day off) – your size begins to show, your body is growing
  • Block 3: Beast (3 weeks, 6 days, 1 day off) – cutting up, getting chiseled up, getting ready for competition
Body Beast Results
  • All have 3 phases that last 1 month each.  In all 3 phases, both P90X & CLX use the same cardio workouts, it’s just the resistance workouts that change up.
  • P90X – phase 1 and 2 use the same leg/back workout, but the other 2 days of resistance have different workouts in each phase.  In the 3rd phase, you basically alternate weeks – workouts from phase 1 in the first week, then from phase 2 in the second, and so on for 4 weeks.  P90X also has a recovery week in weeks 4, 8, and 13.  Recovery is yoga and a core workout and some kickboxing – it’s not recovery in the sense you would think though!!
  • CLX – has 3 phases, burn, push and lean.  Each month incorporates totally different resistance workouts than the other phases.
  • Body Beast is divided into 3 Blocks
  • Block 1: Build (3 weeks, 6 days, 1 day off) – a strong foundation is built, physically and nutritionally
  • Block 2: Bulk (6 weeks, 6 days, 1 day off) – your size begins to show, your body is growing
  • Block 3: Beast (3 weeks, 6 days, 1 day off) – cutting up, getting chiseled up, getting ready for competition
Resistance Workouts
  • P90X’s are 1 hour long each.  There are a lot of pushups, pullups and chinups.  You typically work one muscle group at a time.
  • CLX’s range from 30-45 minutes, push being the shortest, then burn, then lean.  In burn & lean, you’re working more than one muscle group at a time.  For example, you might do bicep curls while doing a lunge.  In Push, you’re only working one group at a time.  And CLX resistance workouts have breakdown sets.  These breakdown sets are 3 reps you do after you’ve done the move to really break down the muscle and build it back up with lean muscle.  TOUGH!  You do pushups, but no pullups, and there are not nearly as many pushups as you have in P90X.  But her’s are super effective still!
  • Body Beast workouts are 30-50 minutes long. You focus on one body part at a time.
P90X Results
  • P90X – They’re an hour long.  Cardio X is exactly that, an extreme cardio workout.  Plyo X is jump training and intervals and drills…all moves can be modified if jumping ain’t your thing!  Kenpo X is an hour long of martial arts/kickboxing type moves.  Great stress reliever!
  • CLX – Burn Intervals is a 45 minute workout.  Alternates between cardio/plyo drills and light weight/high rep strength moves.  Burn it off is a 30 minute w/o with short bursts of cardio/plyo drills.    (CLX does have an upgrade package that would give you a few more cardios like these so you can mix it up)
  • Body Beast-  A highly new-school performance-oriented cardio workout to not only help cut you up, but to increase your ability to get bigger. I was shocked at how intense this 30 min workout was! You use lighter weights all throughout the workout, but don't be fooled...it's a beast!
Yoga vs Recharge
  • Yoga is the P90X workout, it’s 1 1/2 hours.  It’s tough, but a great workout!  Everyone hates it at first, but give it a chance!  It’s 1 day a week.  It incorporates some ab moves too.
  • Recharge is CLX – it’s 20 minutes long and it’s yoga moves, but more of a stretch workout.  You do this on the same day as Burn it off.
Body Beast Results 
Ab Workouts
  • P90X – AB RIPPER X baby!  This is a 16 minute long crazy ab workout!  It’s tough, but it WORKS like no other ab workout I’ve ever done!
  • CLX – comes with 2 ab workouts.  1 is 10 minutes long, the other is 15.  The longer one is a little harder!  (Upgrade package comes with 1-2 more ab workouts – 1 is using the stability ball!)
  • Beast Abs-  11 minutes long! Ab work is here for more than looks. A strong core helps you lift heavier weight safely and helps you improve your posture. You end the workout by spelling B-E-A-S-T with your legs lol 
  • For all programs, you’ll need a range of weights.  I personally have the bowflex select tech weights and LOVE them!  You can also use resistance bands in P90X or Chalene.
  • P90X – you’ll need a chinup bar, or a resistance band that you can use to modify chinups.  You also may want pushup stands so that your wrists don’t both you during pushups, you don’t need them though.
  • Body Beast- you will want to invest in a bench or stability ball, chin up bar. Check out this post for the equipment
  • I recommend getting the Chin Up Assist and Workout Gloves
I can’t say any is better than the other!  They all work and I have the results to prove it! I'm only 4 weeks into Body Beast but already seeing improvements.
  CLX may be a little less intimidating for someone just starting out because the workouts aren’t quite as long.  And for a lot of people just starting, the hour or more can be too much.  All programs have modifiers, so that is not an issue. 
P90X has different schedules you can follow – the lean schedule is a bit more cardio focused and may be better for people just starting out, while classic schedule incorporates all resistance workouts.  You’ll see results with either P90X schedule though.  
Look at your goals...

Body Beast is aimed at muscle gain- pure bodybuilding. You do Dynamic set training to get big.
P90x is designed for overall fitness- allows you to improve your strength, endurance, power, mobility, cardiovascular, health, and achieve muscle growth. The goal is function fitness: to be able to move better and become more athletic. 

For guys I think P90X reminds of me of Brad Pitt in Fit Club and Body Beast would be like Thor lol
For girls...Im almost one month in. The scale hasn't budged but Im def a lot stronger. Im in the bulk phase now and I saw a couple girls say their quads are getting bigger. You do a build phase, build phase, then the last 30 days you get lean and cut. 
Chalean Extreme Results
I LOVVEEE Chalean Extreme- that use advanced circuit training-combining upper body/lower body/ and core moves to help you build lean muscle. it also has 3 phases burn/push/lean. Love love love this workout- she pushes you to lift heavier. the focus isn't on getting big- it's all about getting lean tight toned sexy muscle

Whatever your goal, take the leap of faith and GO FOR IT! It'll change your body...and change your life =) 

And the newest addition to the Beachbody Family:


  1. It's interesting..! What do you think if I start with Chalene and then P90x and Body beast?
    I should lose some fat.....:-) I've just start with BBL! That's great!!!

    What are the differences between Chalene Extreme and Turbo fire? How to start?

  2. This is a great blog, thank you! I'm trying to decide if ChaLEAN Extreme is very similar to TurboFire (I know, it's cardio vs. weights). It's just that from the infomercial for CL Extreme, I saw a lot of similar moves from TF. I'd hate to buy the program if it ended up being extremely similar to TF.