Beachbody‘s Insanity Workout is a few years old now, but it is still very popular, I have it myself and have used it. The claims by Shaun T and his Insanity Workout are bold. He claims to get the hardest body you’ve ever had, all you need to do is follow his workouts and bring with you the will to succeed.But just how realistic is this. Is it another one of those fitness DVD sets that have become all too common, or does it do what it says?
Who Is Shaun T?
For you to make a judgement on whether this product is for you or not I think it’s important to know who it is that will effectively be training you on a daily basis. So who is Shaun T and why should you listen to him?
Well Shaun started off life in New Jersey achieving a BS degree in Sports Science with a minor in Theatre and Dance. After that he moved on to working in the corporate sector as a health and fitness specialist, later being promoted to the position of Health Program Manager at one of the worlds largest pharmaceutical companies, WYETH. After this he branched out into the commercial world. He has had a few parts in popular television shows and continued his fitness and dance path and upon the success of this he was contacted by Beachbody to film some workout DVDs. Beachbody took Shaun’s expertise in dance and put it to good use creating the workout DVD, “Hip Hop Abs” in 2007, which soon became America’s #1 fitness program on television. Following the success of this in 2008 and seeing a need to tackle childhood obesity, Shaun T created two further workouts aimed at ages 7+ and pre-teens. Later in 2008 he continued his success and released another workout titled, “Rockin’ Body”, which used dance moves set to current music tracks. Again this was very successful and then in July of 2009 Shaun released Insanity (what I’ll be reviewing here). After this Shaun continued his great success releasing more workouts and can be found today helping people to get or remain fit at fitness conventions around the world.
So as you can see Shaun T isn’t simply someone who has knocked up a DVD wanting to make a quick buck. In fact he has lived and breathed the fitness industry most of his life and is clearly educated enough to know what he’s doing. So far so good, but even masters of subject can get things wrong sometimes, so how do we know if this is any good or not and what makes it the so called must have product.
The Insanity Package
When you purchase the Insanity Workout what you receive is a pretty comprehensive package. You’ll receive 10 workout DVDs, each one containing a different part of the Insanity Workout routine; You Get the Elite Nutrition Plan, which guides you on the correct way to fuel your body for the workouts; You get the Fitness Guide, which is a short guide to fitness (go figure!) described by Insanity as “short and to the point. It’s just the information you need. We want you working out— not reading”; You get the Insanity Workout Calender, which is a great wall calender that you can use to track your workouts and progression; And because it’s part of Beachbody you get access to loads of on-line help and support all for free. You can also go one better and for an increased price purchase the Insanity Deluxe Workout. This one comes with all the same features mentioned above but also includes a 3 more DVDs with intense cardio workouts, a professional grade jump mate plus a free body fat tester.
They also offer (at the time of writing) a 60 Day money back guarantee, which is pretty good especially when you consider the product is only designed to last 60 days! Also if you compare it to so many of the other products out there you realise that Shaun T know’s his stuff. You see most products come with a standard 14 day money back guarantee and there are plenty in the fitness world that follow suit, but in all reality you’re not going to see a great deal of change in just 2 weeks, which is why I like this guarantee so much. If you truly aren’t happy with your results, you can just get a refund, which is another plus point so far!
The Insanity Workout
So at this point you’re probably wanting to know what the workout entails and maybe you’re still undecided about whether or not this is the product for you. Well the workout is not for the feint hearted, in fact Insanity is quite an apt name for this workout series. Don’t get me wrong here, it is something almost anybody can attempt, but believe me, this is no 5 min quick fix to getting fit and lean, and nor will it be easy. You see, the Insanity Workout is based on a form of High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T), which is periods of high intensity followed by periods of low intensity. It is a great method of training because to put it bluntly, it works.
Generally, most forms of H.I.I.T are based around short workouts of short bursts of High Intensity work followed by a longer period of rest/Lower Intensity work, but the great thing is that you burn a lot of calories, often more calories than a longer period of steady state working out. The reason being that after an intense workout your body continues to burn calories at a far greater rate then after you finished a steady workout. To learn more about H.I.I.T you can read the following article Tabata Protocol. Shaun T’s Insanity turns this on it’s head and has you performing long stints of High Intensity work with very short breaks in between. Most workouts comprise of 3 minutes of High Intensity with 30 seconds rest rotated throughout the workout.
As I mentioned earlier you’ll get 10 DVDs each with a different workout on them and each specifically designed to work the body in a different way. The workouts are;
- Dig Deeper & Fit Test – Where everyone starts to get a baseline for your fitness level (32 minutes)
- Plyometric Cardio Circuit – Intervals of lower-body plyo and sweat-inducing cardio (42 minutes)
- Cardio Power & Resistance – Strength training & power moves (40 minutes)
- Cardio Recovery – Performed once a week as a recovery workout (33 minutes)
- Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs – non stop cardio workout with no intervals (55 minutes)
- Core Cardio & Balance – A workout designed as a mid program break (37 minutes)
- Max Interval Circuit & Fit Test – Described as an interval circuit tougher than any you’ve ever done (86 minutes)
- Max Interval Plyo – An intense Plyometric Leg Workout (55 minutes)
- Max Cardio Conditioning & Cardio Abs – An extreme cardio workout (65 minutes)
- Max Recovery – Designed to give the body a rest and prepare it for another round (47 minutes)
So as you can see that’s a lot of working out, but don’t be put off by the larger workouts. Don’t get me wrong, they are tough, but the beauty of the Insanity Workout training system is that it doesn’t use any equipment so everyone can go at their own pace. You won’t be asked to do 20 reps of an 80kg barbell press. It’s all bodyweight exercise which means that as long as you try your best you’ll almost certainly see results. How good the results are will depend on how much effort you put in, but that’s the same with anything right?!
Each workout starts with a warm up and finishes with a cool down and stretching, which is a great thing to have because jumping straight into this type of training cold is a quick road to injury. The warm ups are tough as well. The first ever time I did an Insanity workout I got a few minutes into the warm up and was distracted by my dog. I had to turn away for just a few seconds and when I jumped back into the workout we were going full pelt. I remember thinking to myself at the time “oh we’ve obviously just gone straight into the workout”. Another few minutes later and I’m struggling for breath and starting to sweat when I hear Shaun T say “OK, now to finish the warm up we’re going to stretch”. I think I actually cursed out loud, but that’s another point I like about this program. It is intense from start to finish but doesn’t just throw you straight in.
Something that may put some people off however is the fact that the when Shaun T is working out he is in a gymnasium hall with 10 or so other men and women who are all lean and very fit looking. I imagine some may look at this and think “oh great, I’ve got to look at good looking people working out with a smile on their face because they’re so much fitter than me”. Well that isn’t the case. In fact, because of the very nature of the workout (the fact that you go as hard as YOU can) means that these guys in the DVD’s often have to take breaks from the workouts. It’s a refreshing thing to see and something which adds a bit of realism to the workout. You’ll also see Shaun T tell some of those members who are flagging to take a break and grab some water. Which can produce a little smug grin on your face if at the time you’re still good to go!
One of the main points I like about this type of workout is that it’s simple to follow. You just do what the DVD tells you to do which at times is a god send. Personally I’ve been training in some form for the last 11 years and there have been a few times when I’ve gone to the gym and just milled about because I’m a little tired or not focussed. Because of that lack of focus or energy I actually get nothing done in the gym. It’s almost a waste of an hour or so going, but that’s the beauty of the Insanity Workout. By having a DVD workout to follow you don’t have that problem. You just do as you’re told and if you haven’t achieved your bodyweight goal, you just start the program again getting even fitter along the way, but unfortunately that is also a bit of a downfall. I say that because of the fact that there are only 10 types of workouts so for some they might find that after the first round they become repetitive. Personally, it didn’t bother me in the slightest because I’m used to repetition but for some who are on their third or fourth rotation of the training plan, it might get a little stale.
Elite Nutrition Plan
Not only does the Insanity Workout program include all the necessary instruction for training but it also includes the Elite Nutrition Plan which teaches you how to correctly feed your body the nutrients it requires. And it doesn’t just list foods to eat, it actually teaches you the benefits of a balanced meal, and what the different parts of food actually do for your body. It teaches you the basics of nutrition and even gives you samples meals, and tells you the ideal times that you should eat. I know what you’re thinking: those meals are probably cardboard tasting and bland boring meals, because everyone knows that healthy is boring and bland, right?! Well it’s quite the opposite actually, and something which I think should be a main selling point of this nutrition guide. The meal ideas are tasty and well balanced plus they’re easy to cook. How does baked cod with steamed carrots and cauliflower sound? Or how about a chicken ranch wrap or an egg white wrap with some cheese and fresh tomato (one of my favourite meals). And those are just a handful of the 46 sample meals provided with the Insanity Workout Nutrition Guide. Put simply this is a great nutrition plan, laid out in simple terms and is easy to follow.
One thing that everyone is interested in is the results that previous people have had from the Insanity Workout Program. Unfortunately I did the program a while back, before this website was even a thought so have no before or after pictures of me, but here are some pictures, taken from the Insanity Workout website that show what can be achieved. The photo’s also come with videos and statements on the Insanity website.
So as you can see, if you put in the effort, then you’ll be rewarded with great results!
**All before and after pictures are taken directly from the Insanity Workout website and can be viewed here. It should be noted that these results are NOT guaranteed and should only be used as a guide to what can be achieved Get Fit Online accepts no responsibility to the accuracy of these results.**
Pros & Cons
- The Insanity Workout doesn’t need any equipment so you can do it pretty much anywhere you like (I’ve actually performed one of the workouts in my hotel room)
- It is easy to follow and all laid out for you. You just play the DVD and do what you’re told to do (It really doesn’t get much easier than this!)
- Almost anyone can start this workout regardless of fitness levels, although you should always consult your doctor first
- The charts and diet plans are all really helpful and if used can really motivate you along the way
- The nutrition plan is really good and simple to follow
- The video’s are quite real with the other athletes dropping out
- It works. Plain and simple
- It may become stale after completing the workout a few times round
- It does involve some high impact stuff which some people may find difficult, especially if they have previous injuries
Lets be honest here. Any combination of increased activity levels and improved diet will bring you results for the better. That’s a fact. But what’s so good about this program is that all the ground work has been done for you. You don’t need to work out what calories are in what food and how much you should eat and what part of the body to train in the gym. It’s all been done for you: you just simply follow the plan, putting in 100% effort, and that’s it. Yes there are other products out there that will get you the same results, and in all honesty you could get the same results in the same time frame without buying this product IF you know what you’re doing, but the but for those of you still reading this I’m guessing that you’re a little unsure on how to go about all this stuff, which is why, in my opinion, the Insanity Workout is such a good choice. If you follow the program and put in the best you can, then there is no reason to not see great results and feel great. You only need to look at the result images above to see what is possible!
You can purchase the INSANITY Deluxe: MAX Interval Sports Training & Insane Abs Workout DVDs from Amazon for $264.65 .
You can purchase INSANITY: 60-Day Total Body Conditioning Workout DVD Program from Amazon for $144.80.
You can also get the Insanity Workout program from the UK Amazon.