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My Insanity Review (Regaining My Life Balance…The Journey Continues)

November 26, 2010 –

After I finished P90X and P90X+, I needed to figure out my next challenge. What would continue to help me regain my life balance journey? So,  I started Insanity in late June 2010. It is a 9 week program that is broken up by two separate workout blocks that last one month each along with a Recovery Week in between.

I bought the Deluxe version, which also included:

–       Insane Abs

–       Max Interval Sports Training

–       Upper Body Weight Training  (an added bonus they through in at the time)

After doing P90x and P90x +, I thought I could handle anything. While I feel those 6 months prepped me for the incredible intensity of the program, I was humbled again as I huffed and puffed through the workouts. It brought my mind, body, and spirit to the brink!

Insanity is serious training. This program will take even those in great cardio shape to a new level. While I feel I lost some of the strength I had gained in P90x, I left Insanity with 4% less body fat (down to 7%), a much stronger core and hip flexor area, and much faster recover times in between exercises.

The 30 seconds given in between circuits seems to go by in about 3 seconds. It’s okay to press pause. Don’t kill yourself. And it is okay to take a 5 second breather as needed during the circuit. Even the people on the video are taking breaks!

I’ll take you through how the program is organized so you can get a feel for the rhythm of the workouts.

FIT Test

The Fit Test is a real workout. You do a warm-up and then (8) moves which each last 60 seconds long. You do this test (5) times throughout the 9 weeks.

I had improvement every time I did the test and when looking at my first to last FIT test, there was amazing progress. These tests are the proof that these workout are improving your body, outside of the fact that your will be burning fat like crazy!

Month 1

You alternate between (4) main workouts:

–       Plyometric Cardio Circuit (42m)

–       Cardio Power & Resistance (39m)

–       Pure Cardio (38m)  / Cardio Abs (17m)

–       Cardio Recovery (33m)

Plyo Cardio, Cardio Power and Pure Cardio all start out with 3 rounds of same exercises for warming up. And by warm-up, I mean that you will be dripping with sweat by the end of it.  After that, you will have a good stretch that brings your heart rate down and prepares for you for the Insanity ahead.

Plyo Cardio and Cardio Power are Circuit Routines. There are two circuits (3 rounds of exercises = 1 circuit). The Pure Cardio routine is straight through with no rest.

There are times you think your heart will pump out of your chest. I was just pouring sweat. You really need to stay hydrated. Bring a BIG water bottle because I easily finished off 24 oz.

Cardio Recovery is more of a slow burn. It is not easy, but it is calmer and will give your muscles a rest with a lower impact workout.

Cardio Abs is a solid Ab routine that I still use today.

You do get stronger through these routines! But week 4 is just as hard as week 1 because you are pushing yourself more and more. So you are still breathing hard and in a state of exhaustion by the end.

Recovery Week

Shaun T gives you a one week recovery in which you do the same workout (Core Cardio and Balance) every day. I wish there was some switch up here as although it is a good recovery workout, by the end of the week you are ready for some more variety.

Month 2

Just when you thought you were improving, Shaun T makes sure you know where you really stand. I was humbled again and felt like I was starting over.

You thought Level 1 and level 2 drills were hard. Get ready for Level 3 and Full Body Drills.  Your warm-ups include switch kicks for heaven’s sake!

You alternate between (5) main workouts with the deluxe edition:

–       Max Interval Plyometrics (55m)

–       Max Interval Circuit (59m)

–       Max Cardio Conditioning (47m)  / Insane Abs (33m)

–       Max Recovery (47m)

–       Max Interval Sports Training 954m)

Max Circuit kick things up and puts an extra circuit at the end to give you three circuits. Max Plyo has 2 circuits and then one last round at the end.

For those who buy the deluxe edition, you replace Cardio Abs with Insane Abs (twice as long) and Core Cardio and Balance with Max Interval Sports Training.


Insane Abs is a world class Ab routine. It’s up there with Ab Ripper X as an elite routine. Although it does take 33 minutes, I feel it goes by relatively fast.

Max Interval Sports Training is hard, but fun. You move through different sports: Boxing, Football, Basketball, Gymnastics, and Track. It provides great variety when you really need it in the program.

Upper Body Weight Training

This is a bonus DVD I got at the time I ordered it. I did not do this during my 9 week Insanity workout, but I used it the next 90 days during a hybrid I created. I really enjoy it and it is a great resistance circuit workout.  I have an average BPM of 140, which is pretty intense for a weight lifting routine.

They did not create a workout sheet for this routine, but I have created one and you can download it HERE.


Insanity was very different than P90x. It is constant cardio and in all honesty, the workouts are very similar to one another. However, it is a world class cardio / fat-burning program. I loved it and if you want something that is the opposite of a slow burn like Yoga, this is it! This is the workout for all of us who have some degree of A.D.D.

Another great thing about Insanity is that the only thing you need is a great pair of shoes. I do highly recommend a mat and a Heart Rate Monitor. But unlike P90x,  setup and tear down is non-existent.

By the end of the 9 weeks, I made incredible strides. Following this workout, I went to a hybrid P90x / Insanity workout. I was getting through my P90x and P90x+ workouts without pauses. I was recovering from each exercise faster. And while I felt I took a step back in my progress on pull-ups, I felt my push-ups got a lot better. My endurance had increased and Insanity had taught me how to recover while still working out.

Another proof point is that I ran in a 5K race about 4 weeks after I finished Insanity and did my best time ever in a 5K. I hadn’t done a standard run in months!

One caution I will give. This high impact and there are no modified moves demonstrated. Take it easy on yourself early on. Land softly! If you are crashing down on your jumps, you will hurt your back and tax your joints. If your form goes south, stop, collect yourself, and then go back at it. As ShaunT says, “A break can fix you!”

The claims of Insanity are true! This is probably the hardest cardio workout on DVD and your results will be amazing. Get ready to Dig Deeper because to get through these workouts, you will need to live 30-60 seconds at a time.

Shaun T showing off Insanity on “The Doctors” on January 7, 2011


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5 Responses to “My Insanity Review (Regaining My Life Balance…The Journey Continues)”

  1. […] Asylum workout was a tie between this one and STRENGTH. I can see why. SPEED & AGILITY has Insanity DNA all over it, but it does feel like a new and unique workout. I am really looking forward to […]

  2. […] Insanity graduates by saying that the biggest thing we missed in Insanity was some weight training. Insanity Upper Body Weight Training was a bonus disc when I bought the program and I really enjoyed it. It was very different from P90x […]

  3. […] DAY is very reminiscent of Insanity’s Max Interval Sports Training. This is the longest of all the ASYLUM workouts. It clocks in at 60 minutes and it is a ton of fun, […]

  4. Eric says:

    Thanks for your review! I just finished a round of P90X (dropped 30 lbs. of fat) and began Insanity 3 days ago. Love your blog and your videos…very helpful information.

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