The difference between Pilates, Crossfit, P90X, and Kemme Fitness

I get asked this question, or a version of it, frequently. Crossfit, Pilates, and P90X are among the most popular and well known programs out there that could be considered to be Functional Fitness.  So the question becomes, why would somebody use Kemme Fitness versus these other programs.

I can’t tell you which program is right for you, but let me give you my take on the 3 other programs to help you decide for yourself.

To set the stage, here are my 4 Dimensions of Functional Fitness, so we can use them as a guide while we talk about the other 3 programs.

#1 – Functional Fitness works movements, not muscles

#2 – Functional Fitness is more than just functional strength

#3 – Functional Fitness prioritizing the core

#4 – Functional Fitness strongly utilizes High Intensity Interval Trainings (HIIT)

I will start with Pilates, since this has been around the longest. Also there are tons of books on the subject, so the popularity is quite evidence.
To sum it up easily, I am aware that Joseph Pilates (when he was alive) would call his program “Contrology,” because it is about the control of the body. Pilates is great for increasing your body awareness, allowing you to have strength and control over your body with the movements you use.  You can be elderly, unflexible, etc and still get benefits from Pilates because it is about controling your body with what movements you are able to do. Speed is not important.
As you might guess, Pilates works several aspects of fitness such as coordination, strength, balance, flexibility, and agility. Pilates works movements, not muscles, but Pilates differs from Kemme Fitness as Pilates does not address your endurance or even stamina by targeting your aerobic and anaerobic abilities.   Further, neither Pilates, nor Kemme Fitness, is necessarily designed for weight loss, although the HIIT dimension of Kemme Fitness will help burn fat/calories quicker and so Kemme Fitness would have an edge over Pilates for a weight loss program. 
I am cautious to write this, as it is too simplistic, but I feel comfortable enough to say that you could think of Kemme Fitness as Pilates with cardio added.
I personally have only done a small part of P90X, but have tons of friends who drink the Kool-aid.  P90X and the later additions such as Insanity are great 12 week programs that you can buy and do at home.  They are intense and utilize complex movements. The equipment necessary is minimal, which is a huge bonus. 
Kemme Fitness could be considered to be a very close cousin to P90X.  The differences are minor.  In one of the P90X programs they have “arm days,” and the like which I stay away from.  However, P90X might have “arm days,” but the exercises used are incredibly complex and are not about muscle isolation, so it passes my tests for working movements, not muscles.
That brings us really to the only difference:  $$$.  P90X costs a boat load of money and when you are done after the 12 weeks, you either have to repeat it, or buy the next one.  Kemme Fitness provides tons of variety, and all of it is free.  You are never done with the “Kemme Fitness program,” although we do offer some 12 week programs such as K-Fit and K-Challenge  for you just to make using the website easier. However, when you finish those programs, you can just pick from the hundreds of other workouts on the website. Plus, Kemme Fitness has exercises and workouts using a much greater variety of equipment.
Crossfit with local gyms throughout the country is extemely popular.  I just saw a Reebok commercial that very oddly seemed like it came from a Crossfit workout. I used to say Kemme Fitness is basically like Crossfit, but have since moved away from that.
Here are how we are the same: Crossfit works movements, not muscles. Crossfit values 10 aspects of fitness, including stamina, coordination, balance, strength, power, agility, and others. Crossfit priortizes the core, whether they tout that or not. Finally, Crossfit also seems to be in line with HIIT. Therefore, Crossfit passes all four dimensions of Functional Fitness, just as P90X did.  Crossfit workouts are also free online, so cost for working out is free (although you need access to expensive equipment).
Here are how we differ:  Almost all, if not all, of Crossfit workouts are timed (almost all of Kemme Fitness workouts are not). I believe the benefit of having a gym full of folks all competing against the clock and each other is that you help push each other and have a type of comradeship that helps with the mental game of keeping up an intense fitness program.  Like I always say, the mental game is the hardest part of working out, and Crossfit has a great edge in that game.  My problem with timing is that a great number of Crossfit workouts can be done in way less than 30 minutes and I want 30 – 50 minutes of increased heart rate for the heart health benefits. Further, that type of competitiveness increases the likelihood that somebody will push themselves too far and cause injury.
Another remark on injury.  Crossfit often asks for a large number of repetitions of a particular exercise and many folks are going to lose proper form and that can lead to injury as well.
Also, I personally enjoy more variety.  Crossfit workouts often only have a few different exercises. It is easier to master proper form if you are only learning a few exercises, but that just plain bores me too much. 
Finally, Crossfit relies heavily on Olympic Lifts. I think they are great, however, not everybody wants to invest in a barbell set.  Many of us like to make a Slosh Tube for $15, or to use Homemade Clubbells.  Check out The Low Cost Gym for instructions on making some of your own homemade equipment.  I have gotten away from the barbell in place of other more fun things.
I give my blessings to Pilates, Crossfit, and P90X.  I am not saying that Kemme Fitness is better than any of those.  In fact, they have a great deal more research and expertise than I do by far.  I actually just stole from them in a way, but using their concepts.  I didn’t necessarily set out to do what they did, I just wanted to have a great deal of variety, cheaply.  And I know there are others that value that as well, so that is why I share this all with you.
If you are a Kemme Fitness fanatic, just remember that nobody likes to be excluded or told what they are doing is second to what somebody else is doing.  Just remind them of some of the options we have at Kemme Fitness and let them pick what works for them. We are NOT better. 

This Post Has 5 Comments

    1. Kemme Fitness

      Oh God, I would never insult you guys like that 🙂 When I say Core, I am not talking abs, but abs, stablilizer muscles, back, etc. I realize that even accusing you of working your core may be a bit unnerving, like I just took some manliness away from you! 🙂 I hope I cleared that up for our other readers.

      To Sum up: Christian and other Crossfitters are huge, intensely powerful creatures!!

      1. Harvey

        I recently noticed a new exercise program being advertised called the Brazilian Butt Lift. I was flipping through the channels the other morning and saw their ad. Something in their ad caught my attention and I ended up watching for awhile. Although it looks very interesting I don’t think I’ll give up Kemme Fitness yet.

        1. Kemme Fitness

          Yeah, I just don’t have the advertising power like some programs! 🙂

  1. Lawrence

    Brazilian Butt Lift & “something” caught your attention huh? I wonder what that “something” was???? Harvey – please enlighten us as to what that “something” was that caught your attention while watching an infomercial on how the ladies can lift their butts? I just can’t think of what it was that caught your attention. Was it the instructor’s mangled english? Was it the lighting they used? Was it the cool computer graffics?


    “something” HA


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