15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Sceptical?, 8 Dec 2013
Well I finished insanity for the first time about a month ago. I really enjoyed it, but it is tough. I admit that I deviated from the programme slightly over the last 2 weeks - was ill so had to add a few workouts to the end but got through it. What I would say is that, if you don't already have at least a moderate/good level of fitness then I imagine that you will find insanity very very difficult. I asked a few other people about it and what I gathered was that many people had attempted it and then quit before finishing the programme. This made me more determined to get through it - probably the mentality you need to get through it. So I would say that you do need dedication and determination to complete this programme.
At the time of doing insanity and currently I am age 26. Prior to doing insanity I used to lift weights maybe 3/4 times a week on average. So I consider that I was reasonably in shape to start with. After hearing about insanity I was sceptical as there appears only so much that you can do without equipment. However to do insanity you just need to play the DVD and get on with it, although you do need a bit of space but I did it in the living room and that was fine. I also put on some music for motivation (although I still could hear the instructions of Shaun T). The first thing I noticed was that I was dripping in swaet and I don't generally sweat too much. For the first month the workouts generally last between 35-45 minutes. On the odd day you are given 2 workouts to do - in month one I just did them back to back as this still only amounted to about 60 minutes (from memory). So month one was not too bad, I was well into it after a couple of weeks. Despite thinking that I was moderately fit to start with, it was still difficult to keep up with those on the DVD all of the time. However you do the same workouts a few times so I guess the aim is to keep purshing and keep on trying to improve. In month 1 I particularly liked the Plyo Cardio Circuit workout and Pure Cardio was also good. I did not particularly enjoy the Cardio Recovery as this is mainly just stretching as it is meant to be an easier workout day to aid recovery (hence the title). However I would still recommend that you follow the programme to the book and still do the recovery workouts. I should point out that I did not follow the diet programme, I generally try to eat well but not all the time. I would sooner eat some junk food now and again and do exercise. So my diet was never perfect I just try to eat reasonably well and limit the amount of junk food.
So after the first 4 weeks you have a recovery week in which you do the same routine 6 times, with Sunday still a day off. This is Core Cardio and Balance. Again this is not as intense as some of the other workouts, it is basically to give you a little rest before starting month 2. So onto month 2 and obviously this is where the real hard work starts. There are more days where you are required to complete 2 workouts - due to the length of workouts it is now harder to do these 2 workouts back to back. I would say its possible but by the 2nd workout you will be tired so probably not getting the full benefit. In month 2 the workouts are longer, maybe 45-55 minutes but when there are 2 workouts it would be over 60 minutes total. I really felt drained after some of these workouts. At times I just had to dig in - like when you are exhausted after the first circuit of exercises and know that you have to do the circuit another 2 times. You really have to push yourself and do the best that you can - but even if you have to take more breaks that those on the DVD - don't quit. I just tried to switch off and get through it, then you are relieved when you get to about 15 minutes left, you know that you are almost done. Again, a number of good workouts in month 2, in particular I like Max Interval Plyo and Max Interval Circuit.
So after completing the programmed what do I think? In terms of results, well I was/am naturally tall and slim anyway which is why I have always lifted weights rather than done cardio. Insanity will not give you bigger arms etc but it does make you more defined. I initially noticed that my waist was tighter - I had to tighten the belts on my jeans. I would say that insanity is more focused on abs (core) and legs above anything else. That is where I could see the difference. I would say that it definitely works, but it sure is not easy. I actually have a chest condition (pectus excavatum) which probably hinders my results to an extent. I will be having a chest operation for this and I wanted to try a different workout programme because after the operation, I am unlikely to be able to lift weights for at least 6-12 months. So I am hopeful that I will be able to do some of insanity or a similar programme.
Will I go through insanity again? Absolutely yes - but I would not do it for 12 months of the year. After completing it, you will want to take it easy for a while. What I mainly found difficult was having to work out for the lenght of time required for 6 days a week. As I say, I usually did weights but that was only 3/4 times per week. 6 days a week is quite a lot. So what I plan to do is go back to the weights and either complete insanity maybe once a year (should help tone up after some bulking with weights) or incorporate the odd day of insanity into my workout - i.e. 3 days per week doing weights and do one of the insanity workouts 1 day of the week etc. Either way I will definitely use the workouts again.
I work and have 2 young children so my time is limited. Obviously I have always liked to do some form of exercise as I just feel lazy and depressed if I don't. Insanity is intense and in month 2 I admit that I became a bit more of a pain to be around - just ask my family. I did the workout at night when the kids went to bed, so generally between 7-10pm. In my time of working out I have tried getting up really early to work out (like 5-6am)and I have tried doing my workout at night. In the morning it is good to get it out of the way and then you can relax at night. However I always struggled more in the morning so working out at night seems better for me. I can get up early, but getting up early to then put your body through an intense workout is a different matter. But if you are unsure try both and see what works for you.
You may be aware that Shaun T has recently brought out a new programme - Focus T25. I only heard of this today when I saw something on Youtube about it. Basically it looks similar to insanity (maybe slightly less intense according to some) but you only have to workout for 25 minutes a day. I can't remember how many days of the week you have to work out, maybe 5 or 6. So this is worth checking out also. Again, will be good for people like me who like to keep fit but have a busy life with work and kids etc. One thing is for sure, I will keep working out at home in my spare time rather than going to a gym (as I have done in the past).
If anyone has any questions you can ask in the comments section and I will try and get back to you.