Posted May 18, 2013 by Gareth Evans in HIIT

The Insanity Workout: What’s all the fuss about?

Strensa takes a look at the insanity workout
Strensa takes a look at the insanity workout

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last couple of years, you will no doubt have heard about the phenomenon that is the Insanity Workout. It’s one of the fastest growing crazes in the fitness industry and the sheer volume of positive press that the workout programme is attracting means that we thought it was worth taking a look to see what all the fuss is about.

The premise

The Insanity Workout was developed by fitness coach Shaun T, in 2009. The basic premise of the Insanity Workout is to compress one year of fitness training results into just two months, utilising a form of bodyweight training called MAX interval training.

Long bursts of maximum-intensity exercises, interspersing aerobic and anaerobic exercise, with very short rest periods, help to push you to your physical limits and beyond. With the sessions designed to be performed for 40 minutes, daily, six days per week, the Insanity Workout regime is certainly not for the fainthearted and, unless you’re serious about training, these sessions are likely to be the most intense form of training that you have ever undertaken.

How insane is insane?

I’ve done a fair bit of high-intensity interval training in my life, but the 40 minute Insanity Workouts are some of the toughest that I’ve ever undertaken. To give you some perspective, it’s not uncommon to burn over 1,000 in just one session, which translates into a lot of sweat and the feeling that you might just pass out.

The Insanity package comes complete with 10 different DVDs, each containing its own unique workout, covering every conceivable aspect of training that you could hope to undertake, from pure cardio, to plyometrics, and ab-specific sessions. In addition to the DVDs, the Insanity Workout package also comes with a nutrition plan, training diary, and a fitness guide.

What results can I expect?

Although the 60 day Insanity Workout programme does get easier as the weeks roll on, it’s certainly not designed to be fun per se; the focus is on achieving optimal results in the shortest period of time that is possible.

If you stick to 60 day programme, and clean up your diet in accordance with the nutritional plan that is included, it’s not uncommon to experience weight loss of 20lbs or more, which is somewhere in the region of 1-1.5 stone.

Claims like these from the producers of the Insanity Workout, unlike with other weight loss products, are not made lightly. While the results of following the programme are extremely impressive, the workout’s producers are certainly quick to put a caveat on the claims, advising prospective customers that the results don’t come easily and that sticking to the programme is a big commitment and not one that should be undertaken in haste.

Having tried the workout programme myself, albeit not for the 60 days, I can assure you that while the benefits associated with following the insanity workout are very real, so is the willpower, drive and determination that is required.

The express workout

If a commitment of around 40 minutes per day, 6 days per week, sounds a bit much, or a little intimidating, there is now a 20 minute, express version of the same routine.

The Insanity Fast & Furious 20 Minute Workout DVD is certainly not billed as easier, in fact the pace of the workout is cranked up another notch from the original Insanity Workouts, but its shorter duration could make it an effective stepping stone to the main workout regime, or act as a great alternative for those days when you just can’t squeeze in a full length session.

Fit for sport

If weight loss is your goal, the Insanity Workout and Insanity Fast & Furious 20 Minute Workout DVDs are both great options. If you’re anything like me, however, you want to see how all your hard work translates onto the sports field.

As a rugby player, it’s not enough to be fit; general fitness and match fitness are certainly two very distinct things. With this in mind, the guys over at Beach Body also offer a home workout programme designed specifically for athletes, the Insanity 30 Day Sports Training Workout DVD.

Utilising training methods inspired by pro-athletes, the 30 day programme incorporates drills that are designed to improve your speed, coordination, agility, and power. While many of the movements resemble those that are part of the original Insanity Workout, there is an added focus on ladder work, speed rope exercises, and the development of explosiveness; all absolutely essential on a rugby pitch, as well as useful in a majority of team-based sports.

Give it a go

Here at Strensa, we see it as our job to keep you in the loop with all the latest, and most effective, training tools. We haven’t been paid to promote this workout programme in any way, but simply had to produce this post to inform you about one of the most effective training programmes that we’ve ever come across.

If your training programme is starting to feel a little stale, and you’re starting to become a little de-motivated because your results are beginning to plateau, any one of the three Insanity Workout programmes could be exactly what you need to take your training to the next level.

When it comes to following intense training programmes, I, personally, always need to see results fast. And that’s what I love about the Insanity Workout series. If you’re committed to genuinely transforming your body, or getting fit for sport, the rapid changes that you will see following these programmes are certainly enough to keep you motivated for the long haul.

Gareth Evans

Gareth Evans
A former professional rugby player in his youth, Gareth is now a bit of an all-round amateur when it comes to sport. He continues to play rugby for his local club, has studied Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Argentina, played Basketball in Peru, trekked in the Andes and the Himalayas, is a reluctant adventure racer, and is now studying KFM (Keysi Fighting Method). He has a passion for a whole host of sports, as well as travel, but feels truly at home on the rugby pitch or in the mountains.