Insanity is a 60-day home-based workout video program designed by the company Beach Body, which also produces other popular workout DVDs such as P90X, Hip Hop Abs, Power 90, and Slim in 6.
Sold online and by infomercial, the program costs $120 and includes 10 workout DVDs, a nutrition plan, and a workout calendar to track your process.
Insanity: How It WorksInsanity is possibly the most difficult, cardiovascular-based DVD workout program on the market today, due to the strenuous pace of each workout. It is a total body, circuit training workout that uses only your body weight as resistance. The plan involves a rigorous schedule of six days of exercise per week and each workout will take approximately 30 to 60 minutes to complete. All that is required to perform each INSANITY workout is a TV, DVD player, a good pair of tennis shoes, and sheer willpower.
The system is based on the concept of “Max Interval Training.” Traditional interval training requires you to exercise at a highly intense pace for a short period with longer periods of rest in between. Max Interval Training, on the other hand, reverses that concept by having you working as hard as you can for 3-minute intervals, separated by short 30-second periods of rest.
During the intense intervals, you will move from one exercise to another with little or no rest between. The creator, Shaun T., who does not give his full name on the Insanity infomercials, tells you “to dig deep and go as hard as you possibly can go”. Because of the difficulty of each workout, you’ll need all the encouragement possible.
Insanity ProgramDuring the 60 days of the Insanity program, you will change your workout schedule on a weekly basis.
The first month involves alternating five intense workouts: The Fit Test; Plyometric Cardio Circuit; Cardio Power and Resistance; Cardio Recovery; and Pure Cardio.
Before beginning the second month, a recovery week is performed that consists of a daily core cardio and balance routine that is not as intense as the other workouts in the program. This week is designed to help you recover from the first month's workouts and prepare your body for the more extreme second month of Insanity.
The second month increases the intensity of the routines by introducing four new workouts: Max Interval Circuit; Max Interval Plyo; Max Cardio Conditioning; and Max Recovery. It is extremely hard to keep up with the pace of each of these workouts. Each is highly intense and longer than the workouts of the first month.
Insanity WorkoutA typical Insanity workout begins with a warm-up. The warm-up consists of a few interval bouts of jogging in place, jumping jacks, jumping side-to-side, and various kicking moves performed back-to-back, followed by several minutes of stretching. Insanity is so intense that as you begin the program you will probably have a difficult time keeping pace with the warm-up.
The actual workouts involve specific movements that are not overly hard to perform. Most of the moves are variations of jumping jacks, sprinting in place, various sports-like drills, squats, lunges, push-ups, plyometrics, and kickboxing moves. However, it is the pace of each movement and number of repetitions performed that make each workout very intense and hard to complete.
Insanity: ProsInsanity is an excellent method of exercise for people who desire to lose body weight/fat and increase cardiovascular fitness.
The workouts can easily be performed at home to the instruction of the creator, Shaun T., who does a great job motivating you to complete each workout.
You will get a great workout with each DVD if you can maintain such intense exercise. Although each workout is extremely tough, the pause button allows you some control of the pace of each workout.
If you are a fitness enthusiast you will enjoy the extreme intensity of each workout, as well as the challenge of completing the 60 days.
You do not have to purchase weights or any additional equipment.
The variety of DVDs allows for the program to be changed on a weekly basis, which will always keep you on your toes and decrease the chances of becoming bored.
The workout schedule is laid out in an easy-to-follow calendar.
The "Elite Nutrition" plan that comes with the Insanity program discusses the importance of getting sufficient calories each day to support the rigorous workout routine. It provides various equations that will help you estimate the calories you’ll need on a daily basis.
Insanity: ConsThe Insanity workouts are highly intense and designed for people who are already in good shape. It is not intended for special-need populations, such as cardiovascular, pulmonary, and metabolic disease patients, diabetics, or obese people, and people with orthopedic limitations. If you are extremely unfit and looking for an “easy fix”, then Insanity is not for you. The program will work best for people who already exercise on a regular basis and are willing to work hard.
The program takes a huge amount of self-discipline and dedication. As with any home-based exercise regimen, the various distractions that often occur can easily interfere with the workout program.
The program is not intended for people seeking to increase muscle size and gain a lot of strength. There are no weights involved with the Insanity program. There are only a small amount of resistance-based moves that use your body weight, such as variations of push-ups and squats.
The $120 price may be a bit high for some people, though you can split it into three payments. Beach Body offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, but you'll still have to pay shipping costs if you end up returning Insanity.
The “Elite Nutrition” plan offers minimal dietary advice. It consists primarily of healthy recipes for each meal.
Insanity: Bottom LineInsanity...the name says it all. It is a maximum intensity workout program that will push you to your physical limits and will test your mental toughness. It’s great for cardiovascular fitness and achieving a lean body, but it is intended for people who are already at least fairly fit. The workouts are very challenging and require a great amount of dedication and willpower to complete.
People who are extremely unfit and out of shape, or just beginning an exercise program should begin with a less intense workout plan, then gradually build up the ability to begin and finish Insanity. If you are in decent shape, enjoy working out in a pool of your own sweat, and have the ability to push beyond your current physical limits, then Insanity may be the workout program for you. You will definitely see great results if you are self-motivated enough to complete the entire program.