Health & Fitness

By Erin Brady

The day the package arrived in the mail, even it seemed a little intense to me. It’s a huge box that houses numerous DVD’s and collateral and upon opening it up you are greeted with works like: “Dig Deeper” and “This is Insanity.” Scared off yet? I hope not! Once you get past all of the intimidating packaging, you’ll come to find that INSANITY is a totally doable DVD program and the comprehensive instructions make it easy to follow, even if there are 10 DVD’s. I’m currently on week 2 of the program and while it’s challenging, will make you sweat more than you probably ever have in your life, it’s also some of the most fun and energizing workouts I’ve ever done.

If you’re in the know with fitness DVD’s, you’ve probably already heard of or know someone that has tried P90X (by the same company, Beachbody) and can probably attest that it is seriously a challenging yet rewarding workout. While P90X focuses on building muscle and burning fat through weight training, INSANITY uses only the power and resistance of your own body to amp up your cardio, lower body fat percentage, and sculpt muscles. According to the Web site and DVD’s, INSANITY is “the hardest workout program ever put on DVD,” which makes it sound oddly appealing and unappealing at the same time. For someone like me who’s tried so many workouts, classes and gyms, sometimes having a great set of DVD’s to workout to in my own apartment is key, especially in the winter. If I can get as great a workout as a class, but for a fraction of the cost, with no gear, in my own bedroom, you pretty much guarantee I’ll do it.

For some background, INSANITY is a 60-day program that consists of 10 DVDs: six workouts (so 6 days of working out) that you rotate through according to the calendar for the first month. Each workout is based on MAX interval training, which means that you do longer periods of intense exercise with short rest intervals. By switching up the intervals in this way, INSANITY claims that you can loose up to 1,000 calories per hour. This interval training ensures your body does not get used to any one workout so that you continually improve. I found the moves easy to learn but definitely hard to excel in, as your muscles will likely get tired fast.

The man instructing you on your quest to INSANITY is Fitness expert Shaun T. (yes, the same Shaun T. you have probably seen on the Hip Hop Abs commercial), well he basically captured many years of experience as an elite trainer into these DVD’s. Shaun T’s contagious energy and spirit really push you beyond your limits and just when you think you can’t do anymore, he steps in with words of encouragement, along with non-stop intervals, ab work and explosive cardio to get you amazing results in just 60 days.

Wondering if you would like INSANITY? Well if you love cardio, running, spin or other such workouts (like myself!), you’ll definitely love INSANITY! I was challenged and exhilarated by the training and found that even in just 2 weeks my endurance increased and I was able to give more energy to the workouts. I do have weeks to go, but INSANITY is actually a workout I look forward to every morning or night because it gives me more energy and makes me feel accomplished. Although you might think you would have trouble pushing yourself to work out solo, well the team environment that Sean T. brings to the DVD’s is truly one-of-a-kind, you feel like everyone else on camera is right there with you. The program begins with a Fit Test where you do a series of exercises for a minute and write down your score, that way you can track your progress after a month and at the end of the program. Here’s the low-down on the DVD’s:

Month 1 consists of 6 DVDs that include:

- DIG DEEPER & FIT TEST: Test to see what you are made of! (30 minutes)
- PLYOMETRICS CARDIO CIRCUIT: Blast fat off with explosive cardio (approx. 40 min)
- PURE CARDIO: Intense and extreme cardio (approx. 40 min)
- CARDIO POWER & RESISTANCE: Get strong and lean with intensity intervals of strength, resistance, sports drills and plyometrics (approx. 40 min)
- CARDIO RECOVERY: Helps your body/muscles prepare for more (approx. 35 min).
- CARDIO ABS: High-intensity ab and core work with lots of sweat (approx. 20 min).
- CORE CARDIO & BALANCE: Use this workout for one week before starting Month 2 workouts (approx. 40 min).

Month 2 consists of 4 DVD’s that include:

- MAX INTERVAL CIRCUIT: Yes, a harder circuits workout (approx. 60 min).
- MAX CARDIO CONDITIONING: An (more) extreme cardio workout (approx. 50 min).
- MAX INTERVAL PLYOMETRICS: Power and plyo to the MAX (approx. 55 min).
- MAX RECOVERY: You deserve a rest – and you’ll need it (approx. 50 min)
- INSANITY also includes a nutrition plan for 60 days and beyond and a wall calendar to track your daily workouts

I plan to continue doing INSANITY for as many days a week as my schedule allows, as I still want to make time to do other fitness activities that are of interest. I would definitely recommend this DVD program and my only word of caution is to just be sure you are smart about it. Stop if you feel pain, don’t go all out for the first few days/weeks and do what you can. You’ll feel strong and will still get a good workout if you do most of what they ask, I honestly think it’d be impossible to not get tired and need a break.

Visit BeachBody.com to learn more about INSANITY, P90X and their other fun programs: http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/best_sellers/insanity.do

Originally published November 2010
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