What Is The Insanity Workout?
I suspect that Insanity is the most recognized name in home fitness, although there is no way I can say for sure. I can say that it is without a doubt the most popular program put out by the fine folks at Beachbody, and at the time of this writing it is the top selling product in the exercise and fitness category on Amazon.com. But popularity alone doesn’t say very much – when I was trying to decide if I should get on board with Insanity I found myself asking ‘what is the Insanity workout?’ It took some time, but I compiled all of the information and resources I could find and will share everything I know with you below. Hopefully this will prove to be a useful resource saving you a bunch of time in your own decision making process.
The Insanity website claims that it ‘might just be the hardest fitness program ever put on DVD.’ I am inclined to agree. The workout is made up of ten discs, each with Shaun T ready to push you to dig deeper. The best part? No weights or other equipment required. You just need yourself and the willpower to keep going.
If you are wondering how Shaun T managed to put together the hardest fitness program on DVD, the answer is Max Interval Training. In short, he has taken traditional interval training and completely flipped it upside down. With traditional interval training you alternate between mild and strenuous exercises in roughly equal intervals. With Shaun T and his max interval training, you are doing the exact opposite: 3-4 minute periods of high intensity exercises broken up by short periods of rest. This program is so insane that Beachbody claim you will be burning up to 1,000 calories in an hour!
As mentioned above, the program consists of 10 separate discs. I have gone into more detail including full exercise lists for each individual DVD here, but I will do my best to briefly summarize each below.
- Dig Deeper / Fit Test – dig deeper is a brief intro to the program, followed by the fit test which is designed to both show you where you stand at the beginning and track your progress through following 60 days.Â (4.5 minutes/ 25 minutes)
- Plyometric Cardio Circuit – an intense lower body plyometric workout blended with high intensity cardio.Â (42 minutes)
- Cardio Power and Resistance – an upper body strength and power workout designed to build muscle and definition.Â (40 minutes)
- Cardio Recovery – a slight break performed in the middle of each week, but don’t let the name fool you. It is just as intense as the rest of the workouts.Â (33 minutes)
- Pure Cardio / Cardio Abs – pure cardio is just that: a pure cardio workout without rest. Most days you will follow this up immediately with cardio abs in which you will work your core to its limits without performing and crunches or sit-ups.Â (38 minutes / 17 minutes)
- Core Cardio and Balance – provides a slight break at the end of month one. This workout is performed everyday for seven days during recovery week, right before jumping into the month two workouts.Â (37 minutes)
- Max Interval Circuit / Fit Test – the ultimate interval circuit workout: be prepared to sweat!Â (60 minutes / 25 minutes)
- Max Interval Plyo – a power and plyometric workout aimed at pushing your legs to the max.Â (55 minutes)
- Max Cardio Conditioning / Cardio Abs – if you though pure cardio was tough, just wait until you reach this extreme cardio workout in month two.Â (48 minutes / 17 minutes)
- Max Recovery – intense stretching and deep muscle work intended to give you a bit of time to recover mid-week. Again, don’t let the name fool you… (47 minutes)
Beachbody offers two different packages, the contents of each outlined below.
Package 1: Standard #
The standard Insanity package is the basic package that ships with the 10 DVDs outlined above along with four additional ‘gifts’ outlined below:
- Elite Nutrition Plan – This booklet provides a broad overview on proper nutrition as well as a meal plan designed specifically to help you fuel your body through this intense workout. I have covered the nutrition plan in more detail here.
- Fitness guide – This guide provides a brief overview of what the program is, how it works and everything you will need to know in order to properly perform your workouts.
- Insanity Workout Calendar – A simple calendar intended to guide you through month one and two of the workout as well as keeping you motivated (hang it on your wall somewhere where you will always see it!). In addition, the calendar includes the fit test tracker to record the results of each of the five fit tests you will take. If you would like to take a look at the calendar, it is available through my Insanity workout calendar page here.
- Free Online Support Tools – A free set of tools provided by Beachbody that give you access to fitness experts, peer support and a variety of health and fitness tools.
Package 2: Deluxe #
The deluxe package is a slight upgrade from the standard package. It includes everything listed above PLUS the following extras:
- Max Interval Sports Training – Step up your workout in month two by replacing core cardio & balance with max interval sports training.
- Insane Abs – Take it one step further and replace cardio abs with insane abs.
- Upper Body Weight Training – Go one on one with Shaun T in this bonus weight training video designed to build your chest, back, arms and shoulders.
- Body fat calipers – Calipers made for testing your body fat throughout the workout in order to track your progress.
- Professional Grade Jump Mat – A thick, shock absorbing jump mat to help land softer in all of the jump moves you will be performing in Insanity. This mat is designed to protect your back, ankles and knees and is a perfect fit for this program.