The latest craze in the health and exercise blitz that society has adopted is Shaun T’s Insanity workout. This is the newest video introduced by Beachbody (this should sound familiar to P90X users). It has been said to be the toughest workout that exists on the market. So of course everyone has the same question on their mind. Does it actually work?
The formula behind the Insanity workout is max-interval training. Instead of the traditional workout where you do an exercise at a normal rate for a long time and then push yourself hard for the last minute or two, Insanity takes it and flips the whole thing upside down. The video segments generally consist of pushing yourself as hard as you can for about 6 minutes and then taking a 30 second rest in between. As you can imagine this is a very tough workout and that is why such results are promised.
According to Insanity, you lose about 800 to 1000 calories per workout. This of course is if you put as much effort as you can into each workout. From a personal experience, I would not doubt if this is completely accurate. I was a three sport athlete in high school and have stayed pretty fit ever since. Still, I got to admit this is one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done. I’ve never done a workout where I was dripping sweat after the warm-up (which is 10-15 minutes by the way). I wasn’t sure if the workout was actually going to leave noticeable results until I stepped on the scale. After completing the second month I lost a total of 20 pounds (not bad after the dreaded “Freshman 15”). Not only was I physically feeling and looking better, but I improved mentally also. I was more confident and had a lot more energy throughout the day. You would think that you would be tired after such a grueling workout, but it was the complete opposite. I would take a nice shower and then be hyped for the rest of the day.
Obviously the Insanity workout is not all peaches and cream. There were some things that I learned after walking away from it. First, don’t expect to build insane amounts of muscle. Yeah, I was definitely looking more cut and built at the end of the workout, but I was nowhere near looking like the mighty Shaun T. So if you’re planning on using this as a miracle worker to turn you into a professional bodybuilder, I wouldn’t count on it. Also, it can really take a toll on your body over time. The warning in the beginning of the video urges people who have bad knees or heart problems to consider a different workout. Take this into account if you have any medical problems. Finally, the most important part of the workout is probably the diet. There is a nutritional guide that comes with the package, and it is very important to see results. It doesn’t matter how many calories you burn if you gain them all back right after.
The Insanity videos are a great workout if you are really up for the challenge. For me personally, I was more than happy with the results that I experienced. But as you can see there are clearly downfalls to the system that you may not have known without actually trying it. So it is really up to you whether you want take a stab at it. Just friendly advice if you do decide to try it and it starts getting tough; just do as Shaun T. will tell you to do numerous times and “dig deeper.”