With so many people working out from home these days during the pandemic, the demand for online workout videos and fitness programs has soared tremendously. A virtual fitness market forecast report states that the demand for virtual fitness programs is going to experience a 30% CAGR by 2026. (1)
Numerous fitness trainers have already started cashing on this growth but, surprisingly, the ‘oldies’ like ‘Insanity workouts’ are still doing much better than expected. Rather, despite being a decade-old workout, the Insanity cardio, power, and resistance exercise program is still one of the toughest workouts we have come across yet.
In this article, we will brief you more about what the workout is all about, what you can achieve out of it if you successfully complete it, what are the risks involved, and if it is suitable for you at all.
So, let's get started!
What is Insanity Cardio, Power, and Resistance Workout?
Insanity is a workout program designed by fitness trainer and motivational instructor Shaun T, in association with BeachBody. As obvious from its name, the workouts are truly insane. They are not meant for everyone.
The team here at Home Gym Strength consists of fitness freaks who can do anything to make sure we never miss our workouts no matter what the weather conditions or situations are. We have people who are lifting 500+ lbs and some of us run for kilometers regularly. Yet, while doing insanity workouts, a few of us have to take breaks to literally catch our breath. No wonder why Shaun chose the name ‘Insanity’.
Insanity is a full-body workout that you can do right from your home
The program uses a method that Shaun calls ‘max interval training’.
The standard interval workouts that we do involve exercising at high intensity for a short period and then resting. But, max interval training involves training as hard as you can for 3 minutes and then a 30-second rest followed by the next set. According to Shaun and BeachBody, this workout can help you burn 1,000 calories in an hour.
Insanity cardio, power, and resistance is a 60-day program, involving 10 different workouts. You need to do one workout for 6-days a week and then move on to the next one. The workouts are 30-60 minutes long. For the first 30 days, your workouts will basically involve Fit test, plyometric cardio circuit, cardio power and resistance, cardio recovery, and pure cardio. The workouts of the second month are a bit extreme. They involve max interval circuit, max interval plyo, max cardio conditioning, and max recovery.
The Insanity workout program also involves a basic nutrition plan, which as we said, is just basic and most of us already know what to eat/not eat when trying to improve our fitness.
The short recovery time makes insanity workouts truly insane
As we mentioned above, you will have to exercise as hard as you can for 3 minutes and then you will get only 30 seconds of recovery time before moving on to the next set.
When we signed up for the Insanity cardio, power, and resistance program, we had expected this to be challenging but, when we tried it, we realized that not many of us would be able to complete the daily workouts without taking a few seconds of break to catch our breath.
Which muscle groups can you target through this workout?
As we mentioned at the beginning, Insanity is a full-body workout program. Shaun has brainstormed a lot to come up with a combination of exercises that help you target all major and almost all minor muscle groups of our body. The workouts are such that all areas get equal attention.
The major muscle groups that Insanity cardio, power, and resistance workout program targets are the core, the arms, shoulders, legs, glutes, and the back.
Please note: Insanity workouts do not involve much stretching. So, they are not going to help you improve your flexibility and target those minor muscle groups that can only be targeted by stretching and yoga. You will have to do some stretching moves yourself after you have completed your daily set of exercises.
What equipment do you need for the Insanity cardio, power, and resistance workout?
The best thing about Insanity workouts is that you don’t need any equipment for them.
They require you to use your bodyweight but many users tried using some free weights. Personally, we believe adding weights is not a good idea because the chances of risking an injury are too high when you are already working out at such a fast pace.
These workouts are not meant to be done outdoors. You have to do them in your living room, garage, or a home gym wherever you have a decent amount of clear space.
As obvious, you will have to use a good pair of workout shoes such as the Under Armour Men's Charged Assert 9 Running Shoe, JSLEAP Mens Running Shoes, or ASICS Men's Gel-Venture 7 shoes. A pair of well-cushioned workout shoes will help minimize the impact of the exercises. Plus, they will protect you against slipping and skidding.
We also highly recommend using Gorilla mats to get better cushioning and grip. Do not go with the puzzle exercise mats because they could come off during such intense workouts, making you lose your balance. Do check out our article on Best Home Gym Flooring Options to know more about the various products available in the market and their specific uses.
Benefits of Insanity Cardio, power, and resistance workouts
If the claims made by Shaun and BeachBody are true, you can burn 1,000 calories per day by just doing their 30-60 minute workouts. Plus, follow their diet plan and at the end of the workouts, you should be able to lose a significant amount of body fat.
Thousands of people have claimed that these killer workouts are highly effective too. Many of them have claimed that if you ACTUALLY DO THEM TILL THE END, you should be able to lose 20-30lbs of weight, which is incredible. Not many workout programs are designed to help you lose weight so fast!
Improved cardiovascular fitness
Extreme conditioning workouts such as the Insanity cardio, power, and resistance literally push you to go beyond what you expect you can. Each move is intended to make your heart rate pump harder and faster. So, it is pretty obvious that at the end of this workout, you will have better cardiovascular fitness.
Improved strength and stamina
Max interval training utilizes your body weight thereby challenging your muscles more and more every day. It is obvious that the Insanity cardio, power, and resistance workouts are going to help you improve your muscle endurance.
Risks involved with insanity workouts
The image above says it all.
Insanity and other extreme body conditioning programs are highly risky, especially if you are not trained enough to exercise at home.
A recent study has stated that these workouts involve the same rate of injuries as weightlifting. (2) Plus, it also concluded that the extremely high-paced workouts with very limited recovery time can put your body under tremendous stress, which could be potentially harmful to people who are already suffering from or are prone to musculoskeletal injuries.
So, in short, Insanity Cardio, Power, and Resistance workouts should be done with caution. Plus, we strongly recommend consulting your healthcare professional to find out if you are fit enough to try it out.
Insanity is not at all a joint-friendly workout. If you have had joint injuries before, these exercises may trigger off the pain. Moreover, it requires you to have good heart health and a decent amount of stamina or else you won’t be able to go beyond a few minutes.
Should you go for the Insanity cardio, power, and resistance program?
- If you are a beginner
- If you have never trained under a professional trainer and do not know the correct forms for most of the moves involved in Insanity
- If you suffering from heart disease, knee pain, back pain, or any other form of musculoskeletal problems
- If you are an active person but have never ever tried too much of cardio
INSANITY PROGRAM IS NOT FOR YOU.
This hardcore cardiovascular extravaganza is only meant for people who are already quite active and fit.
For example; if you can run for at least half a mile and then do 20 burpees, 20 pushups, 20 frog jumps, 20 crunches, and 20 mountain climbers without taking a break, then you should go for it. And, we are pretty sure, even if you have been training for years, Insanity workouts will challenge you enough so you don’t get bored.
Our Rating: 4/5
The Insanity Cardio, Power, and Resistance program probably deserves a better rating than what we have given. But, we found it too brutal for even active people. We had to skip some of the jumping and hopping parts so that we could catch our breath.
If you want to go for it, remember that you have to be committed enough to not give up after a few days. Even if you manage to do 80-85% of it every day, you will definitely see a lot of improvement at the end of the program.
Add protein supplement to your diet and you will see even faster fat loss. You can try Naked Nutrition Whey Protein Powder because it is made of 100% organic whey and doesn’t contain any artificial additives. The flavorless one is excellent for cooking and baking because it won’t affect the taste of the food. The flavored ones have a very mild taste, so you won’t get a strong chocolatey taste in your shakes.
You may also want to add a fat burner supplement to speed up the fat-burning process. This article on ‘Should I Use A Fat Burner Supplement Along With Exercise for Losing Weight?’ will help you understand the risks involved with using such products and how to choose the right ones.
If you think you are not ready for Insanity or any other extreme form of workout programs, you may buy multi-functional home gym equipment such as Total Gym XLS or the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym. These equipment are meant for small homes and are designed to provide you full-body workout.
That's it for this article. Get in touch with us if you have any query or suggestion.
References and citations
- Globenewswire- Virtual Fitness Market Is Expected to Register a Growth of 30.1% CAGR by 2026 | Virtual Fitness Rising Due to Increasing Use During COVID-19 Pandemic
- United States National Library of Medicine- Are extreme conditioning programmes effective and safe? A narrative review of high-intensity functional training methods research paradigms and findings