The Insanity workout is an advanced exercise program. It involves bodyweight exercises and high-intensity interval training. Insanity workouts are performed 20 to 60 minutes at a time, 6 days a week for 60 days.
Insanity workouts are produced by Beachbody and guided by fitness trainer Shaun T. These workouts are considered intense and are typically only recommended for participants who already have a baseline level of fitness.
If you’re interested in trying the Insanity program, talk to your doctor. They can help you determine if this intensity of fitness is safe for you.
The original Insanity program includes several workouts. When you sign up for the program, you’ll get a calendar that details these workouts:
|Workout name||Details||Length of workout|
|Fit Test||Base workout to determine your level of fitness||30 minutes|
|Plyometrics Cardio Circuit||Cardio and lower body plyometrics circuit||40 minutes|
|Cardio Power and Resistance||Upper body strength training and cardio circuit||40 minutes|
|Pure Cardio||Cardio intervals||40 minutes|
|Cardio Abs||Abdominal workout||20 minutes|
|Recovery||A recovery workout and stretch||35 minutes|
|Max Interval Circuit||Intense interval circuit||60 minutes|
|Max Interval Plyo||Leg plyometric workout and power moves||55 minutes|
|Max Cardio Conditioning||Cardio circuit||50 minutes|
|Max Recovery||Recovery workout and stretches||50 minutes|
|Core Cardio and Balance||A cardio workout done between months one and two of the program||40 minutes|
|Fast and Furious||A quick version of the usual 45-minute workout||20 minutes|
There are also spin-offs of the original Insanity program, including the more advanced Insanity Max 30. The Insanity Max 30 is done for only 30 days.
There’s also a program called Insanity: The Asylum. This is marketed as a weight-loss program. It claims that participants burn up to 1,000 calories per class.
It’s important to have a basic fitness level before beginning the Insanity workout. To increase your physical fitness level, perform the following exercises for several weeks or months, depending on the level you’re starting from:
- Aerobic exercises: Try jogging, swimming, or cycling.
- Strength training: Use weights and do bodyweight exercises.
- Increase flexibility: With yoga, tai chi, or a regular stretching program.
- Abdominal exercise: Build up core strength.
- Calisthenics: Try pullups, situps, lunges, and pushups.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, you can enlist the help of a certified personal trainer who can create a fitness program tailored to you.
The Insanity workouts are a full-body program. Bodyweight and high-intensity intervals include both cardio and strength training. When doing these workouts, you’ll work the following muscle groups:
The Insanity workouts mainly consist of combination exercises. You may work the abs, arms, and shoulders in a single move.
There are a few videos that are specific to targeting one body area, like the abdominals. But these workouts are usually done in addition to another cardio or interval workout. Follow the program’s calendar for specific instructions.
The Insanity workout became popular after it was released in 2009. Many people like it for the following reasons:
- no equipment needed
Fitness users liked it because it was an alternate to the P90X program, which required a pullup bar, dumbbell set, resistance bands, and more. The Insanity workout, on the other hand, required no equipment. The entire program is done completely using bodyweight exercises.
The intensity of the workout also appeals to many people who like to work hard and see quick results from their workouts.
The researchers found that Insanity workouts have about the same rate of injury as weightlifting and other recreational activities.
But researchers also found that these types of workouts put a lot of stress on the body. This can be potentially dangerous for someone with a health condition, who isn’t in good physical shape, or who has certain musculoskeletal injuries.
The same review also found that the Insanity workout had little to no effect on improving physical fitness or body composition of participants. But researchers also said more studies are needed.
Due to these mixed results, more studies are needed to determine the efficacy of the Insanity workout.
You should avoid the Insanity workout if you:
- are a beginner or new to exercise
- live with a medical or health condition
- live with orthopedic or joint issues
- are injured or in pain
- are pregnant
There have been several spin-offs of the Insanity workout since it was released in 2009. Now, you can find many high-intensity interval workout videos and apps online.
If you’re looking to follow a specific program that can be done at home, you may enjoy the Insanity workout. The workout doesn’t come without risk of injury, though.
Be sure to warm up and cool down before starting an Insanity workout. Drink plenty of water when you’re doing them, too. And always see a doctor before trying this type of intense exercise.