Because I was such a huge fan of P90x (for my review of P90x, click here), I decided to try another program from Beachbody called Insanity. Insanity is a collection of DVDs just like P90x, except almost every single one of the Insanity videos is some form of interval cardio training, rather than regular cardio and weightlifting.
Insanity, as far as I know, has not yet reached the popularity of P90x, so if you haven’t heard of it, I will give you a quick rundown of what it’s about. Basically, a gym full of extremely fit people, led by the athletic freak of nature chiseled from granite that goes by the name Shaun T., does unbelievably fast paced cardio exercises while I, at home in my sneakers and sweatpants, gasp and fall over and gush sweat out of every pore while trying to keep up.
1. The Insanity program, I believe, is based on the reverse of HIIT (known as high intensity interval training). Instead of working ridiculously hard for 30 seconds and resting for a minute or two, as with normal HIIT, they have decided that it must be even better to work ridiculously hard for a minute or two and then rest for 30 seconds. I think Shaun T. must have decided this at his Friday night poker session with Satan and a few of those people that enjoy being handcuffed and whipped with leather straps. In short, it’s painful, unless you are already in fantastic shape. I don’t have quite the same affection for Insanity as I do for P90x, but I do have heaping amounts of respect for it. Anyone who can make it through one of those workouts without stopping is clearly doing something right.
2. Insanity might be a little hard on some people’s joints. If you have bad knees, be aware there are plenty of jumps and pivots. You will probably need to modify a good portion of the moves they do, because some of them are fairly high impact. I got through the workouts okay, with a slight twinge in my knees and ankles here and there, but I think for someone with joint issues it would be more difficult.
3. I did Insanity directly after my last attempt at completing P90x, so I was immediately struck by the lack of weight lifting and muscle building exercises in Insanity. There are a fair amount of pushups in various positions scattered throughout the workouts, and a lot of focus is given to the abs and legs, however there is no workout completely geared toward muscle building, as there are in P90x. I know with the explosive interval training that Insanity uses that muscle tissue is preserved and built during the workouts, but psychologically it was hard to convince myself that I was getting a good strength workout.
1. Insanity is a program with a very high difficulty, the goal of which is to blast fat and sculpt muscle tone while improving cardiovascular endurance and performance. I only did the first month of the two-month program, and I also did not follow the nutrition plan, but I still got a bit of definition in my arms and shoulders, and I could feel that my abs were tighter too, underneath my fat. I was bounding up stairs and had an incredible amount of energy. I also noticed around the second week of videos that I could blast through the warmup much more easily than I could the first week, and I just kept improving my cardiovascular endurance and power. I watched the videos for the second month, and they were even longer and more intense than the first month. I bet that the full program could produce some really awesome results.
2. You don’t need any equipment to complete the Insanity program- just your DVD player and enough space to jump around. Also, you will need really supportive shoes.
3. The program goes by so quickly! Maybe this is just highlighted for me because I did Insanity right after P90x, but the workouts and the program itself are sooo much quicker. With P90x, most of the workouts are at least an hour long, with some approaching an hour and a half. At the pace and intensity of P90x, you really feel that whole hour and half. With Insanity, however, the first month of workouts only lasts 40 minutes (an hour in the second month) and you are moving so quickly with such short breaks that you plow through the workout and it’s over before you know it. Additionally, the Insanity program only lasts 60 days and some change, a sharp contrast to P90x’s 90-something days. I was halfway done with Insanity before I realized it. I would have breezed through the rest of it had I not gotten sick for two weeks and been forced to rest.
4. Included with Insanity is a nutrition guide that will help you maximize your results with the program. I admit that I did not follow the nutrition plan, and I regret that. A couple people I talked to mentioned that they actually tore off the pages in the nutrition guide that list foods in tiers, posted it on the refrigerator, and simply tried to stick to eating only the top two tiers of foods instead of forming an entire, intensive diet plan.
5. Due to the intensity and effectiveness of the cardio workouts in Insanity when compared with other leading workouts, it is becoming more and more popular to create a hybrid workout using Insanity videos once you have completed the whole program. For instance, some people who have mastered both P90x and Insanity form a tailored workout plan for themselves that includes the best of both worlds – for most people this means taking the strength training and weightlifting workouts from P90x with the cardio workouts from Insanity, and forming a new, hybrid, monster of a program for even better results.
Other things to consider:
I mentioned in my review of P90x that I had attempted the program multiple times and have not yet finished it. With Insanity, I fully believe I would have finished the program if I hadn’t gotten sick. Lately, I have been considering giving Insanity a second try. It does take some planning and time commitment, but I think the results are well worth it. It is extremely rewarding to finish a workout and collapse, covered in sweat, knowing that you have just kicked butt and gotten that much closer to your goal.
If you are interested in buying Insanity for yourself, the link I am providing below will take you directly to the Beachbody website, where you will have access to their whole line of products. Please note that this is an affiliate link, meaning that if you click on it and purchase a product, I will get a small portion of the profit. If you would like to look elsewhere for more reviews, feel free, but if you end up deciding to purchase Insanity I would appreciate it if you would return to this page and use my link. Thank you and good luck!
Disclaimer: www.ihopethathelps.com is a paid affiliate of Product Partners, LLC.
Here are my own, detailed Insanity week by week results:
Insanity Day 1
First Week Insanity Results
Second Week Insanity Results
Third Week Insanity Results
Fourth Week Insanity Results
Fifth Week Insanity Results
Sixth Week Insanity Results
Taking A Break From Insanity
Seventh Week Insanity Results
Final Insanity Results For Weeks 8 And 9
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