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113 of 116 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really really good - but falls at the last hurdle, 29 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Beachbody Insanity The Asylum 30 Day Sports Training DVD Programme (with Agility Ladder and Speed Rope) - Multicoloured (Sports)
It goes without saying that this is TOUGH. Certainly much harder than Insanity (and I really didn't imagine that could be possible). But I'm sure you expected that already... First things first, if you haven't done Insanity, then this probably isn't the place to start. There is a lot of assumed knowledge for many of the exercises and if I had trouble learning some of the new moves, I would imagine that a total Beachbody newcomer would really struggle. This really is a follow up to Insanity more than a completely stand-alone product.

But is it better than Insanity? Hmmmmm as a graduate (twice - oooh get me) I was kind of expecting more of the same, but more intense. And Asylum isn't exactly that. For a start, there's kit (some included - skipping rope and agility ladder) and some that you'll need to buy (dumbbells and/or resistance bands, chin up bar, workout mat). Also, at least two of the regular workouts (Back to Core and Strength) are not your all-out, how-many-reps-can-you-do speed marathons. They are slow and deliberate (and all the more knackering for it). Which I wasn't really expecting. Speed and Agility is exactly that and Vertical Plyo also does what it says on the tin. So if you're really after a high intensity cardio workout, Insanity month 2 may be the place to stay. If you want a more rounded workout that includes weight training and exercises that work the entire back then I'm sure you'll love being committed to The Asylum.

So - what's so good about it then? Well, off the top of my head:

- The new workouts are BRUTAL. Expecting water breaks every 2-3 minutes? Forget it. Twice in 40 minutes if you're lucky.
- The agility ladder. This will make sure that your form stays good for the length of the exercise (most are 1 minute long or more). And you will be swearing at it before long after you kick it for the hundredth time.
- The new moves. Mountain climber switch kicks? Plyometric push-ups (imagine all the mad push-ups from Insanity just mashed into one)? One-legged Power Jumps? They're all here.
- The workout structure. Gone is 2-3 minutes on, 30 seconds off, repeat. Now you blast through 4 workouts, and then straight into them again (usually with a twist though - add a jump, a push-up, in-and-out abs etc) and then again. And then straight into the next 4.
- The guys and girls on the videos. Some faces you'll recognise from Insanity. Some are new. All of them are mental muscle mountains. So dropping out of an exercise in agony does not feel that shameful when you look at the competition on screen. They kick ARSE.
- The new nutrition guide. It's really really good. Much better than Insanity's in my mind. It's actually made me get out of bed earlier before work in order to make a frittata. A fire alarm wouldn't usually get me out of bed early.
- The Insanity/Asylum and P90X/Asylum hybrid calendars. If the first 30 days don't kill you, the second 30 might.
- The general quality of the product. The booklets are great, the DVDs are great and all the info/extra bits and bobs are great. The agility rope (which I don't use) and the agility ladder both seem sturdy and able to withstand the beating they're bound to get.
- The recovery workout is actually a recovery workout!! Unlike Insanity where it was basically Guantanamo Bay stress-position torture stuff, this time round it is 25 minutes of some really good stretching. What a `relief'. Boom boom.

So why only 4 stars?

Well:

- Game Day. This workout comes up 3-4 times and is what you're aiming at - but it doesn't really work in my opinion. I like that it is based around loads of different sports, but this also makes it feel a bit contrived and like the exercises have been invented just to look like you're kicking a football or surfing or pitching a baseball or whatever. Also, none of the exercises are repeated which can make mastering them difficult. I had to pause and rewind a few times which really breaks up the flow.
- Exercise demonstrations. Shaun tends to just shout incomprehensible exercise names `Double flip in and out ab burner shoulder press!! 3-2-1!' before launching into them. Much pausing and rewinding also required which, again, slows things down and removes some of the intensity. After you've done the DVD a couple of times though you do get it, but it is just a bit frustrating to feel that you aren't getting the most out of your early workouts.
- I don't live in a gym. I live in a flat. I therefore don't have 30 feet of air until I hit the ceiling. A lot of the plyo moves need you to get height. At 6'2", that's not possible unless I put my head through the ceiling or punch out a light fixture. So some exercises are physically impossible to do properly. Which is a real shame.
- The chin up bar. Again, if you have a door mounted bar it will not be high enough to do some of the exercises properly. Also, the exercises that you CAN do properly are bloody difficult and despite graduating from Insanity twice (did I mention that???) I just don't have the strength in my back. Or maybe I'm just rubbish. So I'd recommend not bothering with the bar first time through. The alternative exercises are excellent anyway.

BUT! The pros vastly outweigh the cons. In the first 10 days I lost over 6lbs and I have made significant progress on all workouts. If you're around the 5'5" mark then perhaps the height issues won't be such an.... issue. Shaun has definitely pulled it off again and keeps you going through his usual mix of yelling, joking around and encouragement. It's a quality product and a worthy successor to Insanity. Though I guess they're going to have to pull the adverts that are on More4 at 8.00am on a Saturday. Because the claim that Insanity is the hardest workout ever put on DVD is no longer accurate.

I'm going to shut up now.
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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Oct 2012 22:04:26 GMT
A. N. Canver says:
Lmao @ Guantanamo Bay stress-position torture stuff. So true! But from your detailed review looks like its well worth it!

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jul 2013 09:26:40 BDT
Hey' I wondered how the agility ladder worked? Do you have to hang it up somewhere? I was also wondering, if you don't have a chin up bar, do the alternatives work just as we'll? Do you feel like you're missing out not having one? I'm 3 weeks away from finishing insanity. Cheers, Paul.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jul 2013 21:50:53 BDT
The agility ladder just lies on the floor - it's mainly used for quick floor movements and some of the more jumpy exercises. And yes - the chin-up bar replacement exercises are just as impossible as the regular chin up ones! I don't think anything is lost by not having one, not least because a door mounted bar may be too low for you to do some of the exercises properly. The Asylum really is a quality product and it's clear that a lot of thought went into it. Hope that helps, and good luck on the last 3 weeks! You don't need me to tell you that they're damn tough!!

Posted on 23 Oct 2013 05:47:15 BDT
USMLE says:
Hi,
I am 4 days short from finishing my first Insanity cycle. I did reasonably well - lost 6 kilograms (1 stone); I now think that it is possible to loose even more with the right diet. Sticking to the diet however is very hard when you work long stressful hours (like I do).
I am 170cm tall and I now weigh 80 kg - that is to say I still need to loose about 10 kilograms. I am not comfortable with Insanity yet - first part was ok but with the second part I still require too many breaks - probably about 30% of the allocated time. I plan to do two or three more cycles of Insanity.
My question is: after how many cycles of Insanity did you move to Asylum and what was your fitness level like at the time? Many thanks.
Message to the newbies: I talk about weight here but don't focus on your weight mainly; weight loss is an outcome of the program rather than the purpose. Your purpose should be: 1. Eat HEALTHY. 2. Exercise. Do not underestimate the role of a healthy diet.
That's it. Well done everybody! Thanks ShaunT.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Oct 2013 09:38:03 BDT
Hey - congrats on almost getting to the end of Insanity! I agree - the diet can be tricky. I've been using an app on my phone - MyFitnessPal - which is really good for logging your calorie intake and exercise and generally keeping an eye on things.

I moved on to the Asylum after about 2.5 rounds of Insanity. I don't know what kind of condition you were in when you started, but I was in poor shape having not properly exercised for a while. Maybe you'll find you can make the change sooner?

Hope that helps!
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