The name of this workout series, Insanity, says it all. This 60-day
cardio-based program includes 10 workout DVDs with one goal in
mind: To kick your butt with high intensity aerobic and anaerobic
For the first 30 days, you do up to 6 cardio workouts a week, each
with a different focus— plyometrics, power and resistance, pure
cardio and circuits along with core workouts. The last 30 days
follow the same schedule, but your workouts increase in both time
Though they include different exercises, many of the workouts
follow the same format: 3 to 5 high-intensity exercises in a row
for 3 minutes, rest for 30 seconds and then repeat the series for a
total of three times, working harder each time. The workouts are
led by Shaun T, a lean and motivating instructor and there is a gym
full of exercisers that he pushes along the way. He also created
the T25 workout and the Insanity Max:30. Though they're all very
fit, they do take breaks throughout the workouts so you're not the
only one coughing up a lung.
What Are Plyometric Exercises?
If you don't like high impact exercise or gasping for air, you
won't be a fan of these workouts. The exercises are straightforward
and athletic, requiring no equipment and you'll recognize many of
them, such as jumping jacks, burpees, and suicides. There are
unique moves as well - Side burpees, combination pushups with
jumping jacks, frog jumps and more. It's hard to believe someone
could come up with that many high intensity, killer exercises with
no equipment needed, but they managed to do it.
- Dig Deeper Fit Test - You know a workout is going to be hard if you have to do a
fitness test before attempting it. The Fit Test gives you a taste
of what's to come with high-intensity exercises like jumping switch
kicks, plyo jacks, power knees, power jumps, and burpees. You do as
many as you can in one minute with, thankfully, a minute of rest
between exercises. The fit test is about 30 minutes long but is a
workout all on its own.
- Plyometric Cardio Circuit - This 40-minute workout may seem short, but it's long enough to
kick butt with explosive moves like power squats, ski jumps,
pushups and mountain climbers. There's a tough 10-minute warm-up, a
5-minute stretch and then about 20 minutes of the intervals - 3
minutes at high intensity followed by 30 seconds of rest.
- Cardio Power and Resistance - This 40-minute workout feels similar to the plyo cardio circuit
and it is—it has the same format, but with different exercises and
a focus on muscular endurance. Some moves include power jump
squats, squat kicks, shoulder pushups, dips, hurdle jumps, and
- Cardio Recovery and Max Recovery - There's no cardio here, but there's plenty of challenge and
variety with a mix of planks, squats, lunges, pushups, and
- Pure Cardio - This workout is 40 minutes of hell...er...cardio with no rests.
You do move after a move such as suicide drills, switch kicks,
power jacks and frog jumps without breaks. Even the video
exercisers look ready to drop.
- Cardio Abs - This 20-minute workout starts with high-intensity cardio and
ends with core moves. You hold the same position (a v-sit) for a
number of variations followed by leg raises, planks and more.
- Core Cardio & Balance - This recovery workout includes a series of cardio exercises that
get increasingly difficult followed by standing core and
conditioning drills such as knee lifts, extensions, and arm moves.
- Max Interval Circuit - During the second month, your workouts jump to 60 minutes,
following the familiar format, but with even harder moves such as
side burpees, pushup jacks, plyo lunges and more. Fatigue sneaks up
quickly in this workout, but wearing a heart rate monitor can help
you manage your intensity.
- Max Interval Plyo - By the time you make it to this 60-minute cardio extravaganza,
you really will start to question your own sanity. You follow the
same interval format, but this one is all about plyometrics, which
means you do quite a few powerful pushups, squats, and core
- Max Cardio Conditioning - This non-stop cardio workout (meaning all cardio, no breaks) is
possibly the hardest with everything from switch-kicks and sprints
to suicide jumps and planks with punches.
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Pros and Cons
Before investing in the program, consider the benefits and
drawbacks to make sure it is right for you.
Easy to follow schedule
Good cardio workout
Easy learning curve
A Well-Structured Program - The program is all laid out for you, complete with a calendar of
your scheduled workouts, making this a snap to follow (if not to
Effective - These workouts burn lots of calories with high-intensity
interval training designed to push your limits. You get a lot done
in a short period of time.
Easy to Follow - The workouts aren't easy, but most of the moves are
straightforward and athletic with no choreography or equipment to
Expensive: At about $120, this is definitely a long-term investment.
High-Impact: Most of the exercises are high impact and intense and, while Shaun
T stresses safety and good form, there is a risk of soreness and
Repetitive: The workouts have different exercises, but most of them follow the
same general format. Doing the same type of workouts day after day
can get tedious.
No Strength Training: This is, by definition, a cardio-based program but a complete
program should include strength training, something you'll have to
do on your own. That isn't easy with such high-intensity cardio to
Overall, the Insanity workout series offers a variety of
challenging, intense workouts that will appeal to the experienced
exerciser who wants to take their cardio training to the next
The workouts can be deceptive. You might feel like you are working
moderately hard for the first 20 or so minutes, only to have
fatigue hit hard halfway through the workouts. However, if you can
monitor yourself and enjoy being pushed, the Insanity series may be
a good choice for you.
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Any interests, Pls add Amy