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P90x vs. Navy Seal Workout

author image Marcus Schantz
Marcus Schantz is an author and licensed attorney based in Chicago. He holds a Juris Doctor from the Northern Illinois University College of Law, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and microbiology from the University of Texas at Austin.
P90x vs. Navy Seal Workout
P90X and the Navy Seal workout both use pull-ups for strength training. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

The P90X system and Navy Seal workout are two home-based exercise programs. The P90X exercise program consists of 12 DVDs, each with a unique workout. P90X is more elaborate and combines several exercise styles into one comprehensive program. Contrarily, the Navy Seal workout comprises simple calisthenics, body weight exercises, running and swimming. Both systems have unique benefits and disadvantages.

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The 12 DVDs in the P90X system cover strength training, stretching and cardio. In addition to a DVD player and television, P90X requires a set of dumbbells or resistance bands and a pull-up bar. A goal of P90X is to keep your muscles consistently confused by adding exercise variations. The idea behind this approach is to avoid fitness plateaus, as your muscles are constantly challenged. There are strength training DVDs for the body's major muscle groups. P90X also includes workout DVDs targeted at the core and abs, and two cardio-based workouts: Cardio X and Kenpo X. A 90-minute yoga routine is also part of the P90X program.

Navy SEAL Workout

The Navy Seal workout uses primarily traditional standard military exercises: push-ups, sit-ups (or crunches), pull-ups and running. What makes the Navy SEAL workout different from standard military training workouts is the addition of swimming. As with P90X, the Navy SEAL workout also requires access to a pull-up bar and adds the requirement of access to a body of water that supports swimming. In summary, the Navy SEAL workout consists of three body weight exercises and two cardio exercises.

The Navy Seal program also adds exercise variation by changing styles of push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. For example, muscle emphasis is changed by switching hand placements for push-ups and pull-ups. There are also additional ab exercises that you can do, such as flutter kicks and oblique crunches.

The workout also includes emphasis on stretching, with 18 separate exercises that target various areas of the upper body and lower body.


The P90X system is the more focused and comprehensive of the two programs, as separate workouts are spread among 12 DVDs. However, in comparison, the Navy SEAL workout is considerably simpler. By design, P90X focuses on exercise variation to continuously challenge your muscles. The Navy Seal workout also has basic exercise variations. Additionally, as you become more fit, you add more repetitions to the three core exercises.

P90X may take you to a plateau of cardio fitness, as the workouts are the same every time. As your running and swimming fitness increases from the Navy SEAL workout, however, you will naturally run and swim faster. You can also change running and swim routines regularly by mixing in interval work and altering the workout distances.


Each P90X DVD is one hour in length, except for yoga, which is 90 minutes long. Following the program requires you to be in front of your television with ample workout space. The Navy SEAL workout can be performed almost anywhere and can be done in piecemeal fashion. For example, you could swim in the morning and do the strength training and running later in the day.

Both systems are effective. However, if you cannot swim, have no access to a pool (or other place to swim) or dislike running, the Navy SEAL workout is not a real option. On the other hand, if working out in front of a television is not appealing, P90X is not a good choice. One or both of these systems will not work for everyone. Which one may work for you comes down to personal preference.

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