Have you ever started a conversation with “So I just completed the Insanity workout program”? I did that last week with a dude. His response? “Well, you don’t need to work out for the rest of your life then.” This has been the kind of attention the Insanity program has gotten: that it’s incredibly difficult, almost impossible, and requires a lot of effort and dedication. Well, all these things are true. I mean, what did you expect? It is called ‘Insanity’ so you’d have to be insane to do it.
The Insanity program was created by fitness instructor Shaun T. and the Beach Body crew. If you have every tried any other exercise videos by Beach Body, you’d know that they push the limit with their workouts.
The slogan for the workout program is “Dig Deeper”. The premise is that you can push yourself farther and farther doing interval and plyometric training to achieve the best shape of your life in 60 days. To do this, you would have to garner up strength and endurance you never knew you had every single day.
The program comes with a nutrition guide, a calendar, and support from the Beach Body team on their website. It is a 60 day program, with 6 days a week of intense work and 1 day a week of rest. Before you start the program, you are required to take a “Fit Test”, which you take about every 2 weeks on the program to gauge your fitness level. The Fit Test consists of doing as many repetitions as possible of particular exercises within a span of time. As you get fitter, obviously, the more you should be able to do.
There are 14 videos in the series, and a calendar is provided to tell you what video to do on what day. The first month is made up of total body cardio conditioning workouts that go from 30 to 40 minutes each. And then you get a rest week where you focus on balance and your core before you get back into the 2nd month. Month 2 is intense. You get high intensity workouts. The workouts get longer consisting of about 45 to 60 minutes each. So there is a bit of shock going from month 1 to month 2, especially with that rest week in between.
Let me add a disclaimer here to state that I couldn’t actually take the week off between month 1 and 2 as I was training for a few races and so still had to run consistently, and I also did not consider the Insanity workout as my full workout program for those 60 days. I did all the videos every day, but I also supplemented with other workouts as well. Yea, I know, I’m crazy.
If you start the program and have a hard time even though you thought you were pretty fit, that is absolutely normal. The intensity of just the warm-ups can be a bit challenging until you get used to it. It usually starts with 3 rounds of a warm-up circuit, consisting of sprints, jumping jacks, butt kicks, high knee runs, and a bunch of other exercises involving jumping, power, and fast movements. Then you stretch for about 4 minutes before you really get into the workout. Each workout consists of circuits with about a 30 second water break in between circuits. Some videos don’t have designated water breaks, but you are instructed to take breaks when you feel you need to. After it all, there is another few minutes of stretching, and then you’re done.
Pros of the Workout Program
Cons of the Workout Program
The Insanity workout is not for everyone, and so you should know your body and take the Fit Test to determine if it is for you. I know folks always seem to want results pronto, but my advice is that you should have already been doing some sort of exercise before you start this program. Don’t just jump into it without any prior experience because you could hurt yourself and you could lose focus.
But if you do have some exercise experience, you should definitely try it out and push your body. And let me know how you do! I finished it, but I still incorporate a video here and a video there into my daily workout routine.
Cheers Eights & Weights!
PS. My favorite person on the DVDs is Tanya. She is awesome! You know what I mean if you've done the program.