Starting the Insanity Workout

This week I started the Beach Body Insanity Workout. After the first day  I knew this must be one heck of a workout because even the preliminary fit-test was a REAL workout!

Many of you are probably already familiar with P90X. It’s a great workout but the equipment and time demands can be a bit extreme if you’re just looking to stay fit while still keeping your workouts as short as possible. P90X also seems to have a bit more focus on upper-body strength. That upper-body focus could be a detriment for women that don’t want to add more muscle, but would instead prefer to lose weight and tone-up. Likewise, for guys wanting to lose weight (fat) I’m not sure P90X is better than Insanity.

So, back to Insanity. I’m just starting out but so far far I really like the program. Here are some of the Pros:

  • NO EQUIPMENT REQUIRED – this makes it great for traveling and great for doing the workout anywhere. Put the workout on your tablet (iPad, Xoom, whatever), your laptop, your TV… anywhere you’ve got a screen and a bit of room you can do this workout.
  • Approx 45 min or less – so far the workouts have all been significantly less than an hour… 30 day shred isn’t much shorter than this but with this program I feel like I’m getting a LOT more working out crammed into a similar amount of time!
  • Lots of cardio – this workout really makes you sweat and keeps your heartrate up. I’m anticipating this being a great program for weight (fat) loss
  • Supportive instructor – Shaun T seems like a really nice guy. He’s very supportive and I like his approach for fitness training. Tony Horton of P90X is perhaps a bit more entertaining, but I almost prefer Shaun’s uber-supportive approach.
  • Likewise, Shaun T’s workouts feature a LOT of people doing the exercises, we’re talking a dozen or more. P90X usually features 3-4 people if my memory serves. Personally I like seeing a variety of people working out with me, it just makes it seem more of a group effort. You also get to see that some people may struggle/excel with particular exercises just like you or I would…
  • Good music – the music and audio seems very appropriate for each section, i.e. relaxing music for stretching and fast paced music for the fast sets of exercises
  • Nice warmups, stretching and cool down
  • Feeling good afterward – the program really loosens you up and seems to start the day off right (I haven’t tried it in the evening)

Things to be aware of:

  • Quite a bit of jumping, could be problematic for people with knee/foot problems. However, Shaun T does a good job of emphasizing softness of jumping/landing and of course he recommends checking with a physician before starting the program. So far though, no real issues for me as I’m just trying to be very careful with my feet (which I injured last year)
  • Not an extreme “bulk up” type program, so if you’re looking for that then there are other workouts that will do it better
  • Plenty of cardiovascular activity. I already feel like I have more energy during the day and it feels like it’s due to the increased cardio. If you hate cardio, this workout is probably not for you…
  • There’s a lot of stretching and some yoga-type poses. I actually like this, and it should help prevent injuries. If you don’t like stretching you’ve been forwarned.

How many workouts are there and how long do the workouts take?

  • Fitness test: approximately 26 minutes
  • Plyometric Cardio Circuit: approx 42 minutes
  • Cardio Power & Resistance: approx 39 minutes
  • Cardio Recovery: 33 minutes
  • (to be updated with remainder of workout sessions)

Conclusion so far

So, overall I’m really enjoying the Insanity Workout. It’s effective, fast-paced, and not too time consuming. More updates to come…

NOTE: so far lower-body is getting more of a workout than upper body, SO I’m planning on adding the Armstrong Pullup program for a nice upper-body emphasis… I think Insanity + Armstong will be a killer combo!


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