In terms of choosing a workout routine, there are seemingly endless options available to everyone from beginners to novices. Today, BeachBody offers the Insanity Workout Program, one of the most popular exercise programs.
The INSANITY® workout may be the hardest fitness program ever created. In addition to plyometric drills, Shaun T will put you through nonstop intervals of strength, power, resistance, and abs and core exercises.
As one of the most intense and extreme workout regimens on the market, Shawn T’s Insanity Workout is designed by renowned fitness trainer Shawn T. This program features periods of high intensity interval training. Insanity Video Series workouts feature high intensity exercises followed by rest periods and/or slower paced exercises to vary your heart rate. The idea behind maximum intensity interval training is that it is a form of cardiovascular activity that burns fat and helps build muscle more effectively. Through a variety of core strengthening exercises, the Insanity Program’s interval training also assists in building endurance.
Even the fittest, most athletic individuals will be challenged by Insanity. When you begin your Insanity workout routine, you can expect to sweat profusely for the duration of the video, and you will probably feel soreness in muscles you did not even realize you had. Shaun T, the creator of Insanity and the instructor of each of the videos, suggests consulting your physician prior to beginning the program and encourages participants to work at their own pace. Within 60 days of starting Insanity, you will have the six pack abs you have longed for and a mean, lean body to match.
Now that you know a little bit about Insanity, let’s look at what it entails. Insanity Workout Program consists of more than just workout DVDs. Includes the Dig Deeper Introductory DVD, 10 workouts, an Elite Nutrition Guide and a Wall Calendar to track your progress.
Insanity requires no equipment since it uses your own body resistance. Put on your workout clothes, wear supportive workout shoes, and insert the DVD into your DVD player. As part of the plan, you exercise six days a week for 30 to 60 minutes at a time. As previously noted, each workout is composed of three high intensity segments lasting approximately three minutes each. There are also short, 30 second periods of rest or slow paced exercises in between.
Dig Deeper DVD & Fit Test
Shaun T kicks off the Insanity program with the Dig Deeper DVD and Fit Test so you can see where your body is at and what level you are at when you start. This Fit Test is 30 minutes long. You will do it repeatedly throughout the 60 day program to track your progress and see how your fitness level improves.
Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Plyometric cardio circuits are designed to burn fat with intervals of high intensity cardio exercises combined with lower body plyometric exercises. This workout lasts 42 minutes and promises to make you sweat. As part of the Insanity series, this will be used in the first month and intermittently throughout.
Cardio Power & Resistance
Emphasizes the upper body in this workout. It is used during the first month of the program as well, to build muscle and define the body. This workout consists of a variety of core exercises, strength training, resistance exercises, and power building exercises.
Cardio & Max Recovery
You will watch the Cardio Recovery DVD once a week. You get a chance to take a break from the high-intensity workouts typical of Insanity. The Cardio Recovery session is 33 minutes long and is designed to help you recover from the strenuous workouts you completed the other five days of the week. The Insanity 60 day program uses it once every week to give you a slight break and keep you motivated.
Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs
This is a hard workout routine that takes 55 minutes to complete. It is an extreme, nonstop cardio workout that will definitely challenge you. If you complete Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs during months one and two of the Insanity series, you should see marked improvement from the first time you completed the workout. As part of the Insanity Program’s workout calendar, you will see this workout for the first time in your second week, so hopefully you are ready for it.
Core Cardio & Balance
When you reach the Core Cardio Balance workout in the program, you enter Recovery Week and are midway through Insanity. By now, you should have completed at least 30 days with Insanity and be seeing some noticeable results. You can take a mini break from the high intensity workouts typical of Insanity with the Core Cardio Balance workout, which allows you to ease into the second half of the program. This 37-minute workout will improve your balance and core strength.
Max Interval Circuit & Fit Test
It is the longest DVD in the Insanity series, clocking in at 86 minutes. The game is among the most challenging in the series and will definitely push you to your limits. Cardio circuits of maximum intensity are interspersed with short rest periods of 30 seconds. Even the rest periods can be challenging for some since you are still moving but at a much slower pace.
Max Interval Plyo
Max Interval Plyo is a 55-minute workout that consists mainly of leg work and upper body exercises. The workout promises to be one of the toughest lower body workouts you’ve ever tried. Every muscle in your lower extremities will be begging for more. Getting to this workout in the second month of the Insanity series should have given you a good idea what the program expects from you.
Max Cardio Conditioning & Cardio Abs
As the name implies, this workout focuses mostly on high intensity cardio exercises. It is 65 minutes of intense cardio without any breaks or pauses. It seems that this is one of the most challenging workouts in the series when it comes to endurance because of its length and lack of breaks.
Insanity’s Max Recovery portion is usually welcomed by all. It’s designed to give you a rest and build your strength back up for the next round. Max Recovery workout is 47 minutes long and consists of intense, slow-paced exercises combined with stretching.
If you’re like most people and you don’t read directions before you build a new piece of furniture or use a new gadget, then the Fitness Guide is right for you. This is a brief, step-by-step guide that will give you the minimal information you need to get started right away.
Free Online Support
With Beachbody’s incredible online support system, you will have all the answers you need to complete the Insanity Workout program. Log onto the online forum and you will be able to get an answer quickly if you have a question. Many of its competitors cannot match this aspect of Beachbody’s suite. The Beachbody program has literally thousands of independent coaches around the world who are willing to help you reach your fitness goals and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your questions about the program.
The Workout Calendar is basically a guide to completing the Insanity Workout correctly. It explains how to do the DVDs and gives you a weekly workout schedule for the entire 60-day workout program. Additionally, the calendar allows you to track your progress along the way and see the improvements you have made.
As well as guiding you through your Insanity journey, the calendar will also provide you with tips and tricks to help you conquer each workout. If you do not use the calendar while doing Insanity, you may do the DVDs out of order and cause unnecessary fatigue. You may, for example, unknowingly perform a lower body workout consecutively for several days if you do not follow the order. You will overload parts of your body and may be discouraged from continuing the program.
As a result of the difficulty of the Insanity Workout Program, your body will need adequate nutrition throughout the 60-day period. It is designed to guide you and help fuel your body so that it can endure the different intense workouts you will encounter along the way. Shaun T’s goal is that after you complete the Insanity Program, you use the guide to eat better and eat a healthier diet for a lifetime.
You can use the Elite Nutrition Plan to help you understand what you should be eating while you are doing the Insanity program as well as how much to eat. You can choose from a variety of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options. You’ll also learn how to combine foods to make your metabolism work at its peak, burning calories more effectively throughout the day. It is designed for both men and women and isn’t meant to be a diet per se. The plan is designed to help you prepare for the intense workouts you’ll need to complete the Insanity program.
The plan itself calls for 5 meals per day, all approximately the same size and number of calories. Having multiple meals throughout the day gives you the stamina needed to carry you through the day, as well as keeping your metabolism burning calories all day. Since each individual has different caloric needs, the program includes ways for you to tailor the plan to your needs. If you wish to increase your caloric intake, you can add “Food Blocks” to each meal or eat them between meals as snacks.
Every meal is balanced and contains the same amount of protein and carbohydrates with a maximum of 20% fat. There has recently been a low carb craze, but the program advises against it and suggests that you balance your carbs and protein to maintain an optimal blood sugar level.
On the Insanity Elite Nutrition Plan, you will eat about 300 calories per meal for the first month. As you enter the second month on the plan, your body will burn calories more efficiently, so you may need to add more calories to keep it fuelled for the more strenuous workouts ahead.
It is a loaded question that truly depends on where you are when you begin Insanity. If you’re already in decent shape and just want to tone up and lose weight, this program will help you. Especially if you have a lot of weight to lose and need a workout that allows you to lose weight faster, this program will get you there. Although this workout is one of the toughest on the market, it will get you to a fitness level you never thought possible. After you complete it and see the progress you made from day 1 to day 60, you will feel a sense of confidence and achievement.
As part of the Insanity program, creator and instructor Shaun T stresses the importance of tracking throughout. On the first day, he encourages all participants to take body measurements so that you can see where you are starting from. During the remaining 60 days, you will take measurements intermittently until you have completed the program. By tracking your progress and taking measurements throughout, you will be able to see whether Insanity is helping you achieve your fitness goals.
One misconception is that the Insanity Program is so difficult that it is only for novice athletes. Not at all. Since the goal of Insanity workouts is to perform as many repetitions as possible, anyone can do them at their own pace. As Shaun T emphasizes from the very beginning, you should work as hard as you can no matter what your maximum capacity may be. One perk to all of this is that you can repeat the program twice or more consecutively, and you will achieve better results each time. As you complete it, your endurance will increase and, with each repetition, your maximum capacity will also increase.
As with any workout program, there are pros and cons to consider. Insanity is widely popular, and there are more pros than cons. Here are a few factors to consider when deciding whether to begin Insanity and your insane cardio journey.
- Insanity workouts will take your cardio fitness to a level you never imagined, challenging your body each day in a new way.
- Each workout is different each day, which helps keep boredom at bay.
- It is easy to do the exercises, and Shaun T explains each one in detail.
- Regardless of your fitness level, you can do the program since you do it at your own pace and as many reps as you can.
- Since all you need is a DVD player, anyone can do the program. It doesn’t require any special equipment, so you can do it while traveling or if you’re a stay-at-home parent without child care.
- As part of the plan, you’ll also find a nutritional guide to help you eat right and exercise efficiently.
- As you do not need additional equipment, you do not have to buy weights or join a gym to get the exercise you need.
- Beginners and/or those with a medical condition may be discouraged by the high intensity of the workouts. It is not intended for obese individuals or those suffering from heart disease.
- Because it is an at home workout program that does not include guidance from a personal trainer, it is possible to get distracted, occupied with other activities or work and stop the program before completing it.
- If you are looking to gain size and muscle mass, this program is not for you. There is no weight training involved with this program, only resistance training with your own body weight, so you will likely lose rather than gain weight.
It seems to be one of the most comprehensive workout programs I’ve reviewed and most certainly the most challenging when it comes to cardiovascular fitness. There is a remarkable difference between the before and after photos taken from day 1 to 60 of the program. As a beginner, this program will help you increase your endurance and help you achieve fitness levels you never imagined were possible. If you complete the program several times, you will be able to see improvements in your ability to perform the exercises in each of the 10 workout DVDs.
Upon deciding to embark on the Insanity journey, you must commit to doing the workouts every day as specified in the calendar. After a week off, it will be difficult to get back on track. You might find it helpful to recruit a workout buddy to keep you accountable. Share your progress and workout journey on Facebook or other social media to help keep yourself motivated and get a little extra encouragement. Would you like more information about the Insanity workout program? Check out the reviews below by real people who have taken on the Insanity challenge.