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ULTIMATE REVIEW: INSANITY MAX 30 – Part 2 of 2

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Month Two of Insanity: Max 30 is upon us.  Rather hard to believe that Month One was designed to break us in considering how it borders on impossible levels of difficulty.  But gosh darn it, I’m going to sacrifice my body to give you a decent non-coach review if it’s the last thing I do.  And it just might be given what lies ahead.

Max Out Cardio

Well, the good news is that you get 30 second breaks.  The bad news is that you might spend that time throwing up.  The format is 3 moves for 30 seconds each, then a break to gather up your pieces.

Let me pause to mention one thing: heart-rate monitors. Very few things in life that don’t involve mortal danger will get you spiking like this program.  During this program I was hitting the my max heart-rate almost constantly, so let that be a tip and warning if you need to watch that sort of thing.

tip_monitor

Max Out Power

Explosive plyometics, not fast.  Think pulse squats and plyo-pushups.  It’s 45 seconds on, 15 seconds off.  With this, your muscles will fail before your cardio does, especially the pushups where you’ll start on your feet but end on your knees.  For the record, X-Jump abs are the worst.

FoodGuideMax30

The provided food guide is colourful and well laid out.  It provides two portion options  – Plan A or plan B – depending on your weight.  Then it moves into your food directory giving lists of acceptable foods and the amounts that would be a serving. 

Next is the recipe section.  As usual, Shaun T’s recipe guide is in full colour and well laid out.  The recipes are simple and organized by Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snack.  I especially like the seasoning mixes, salad dressings and the do it yourself section that has omelet, salad and dinner ideas.   These give the more creative chef and the completely clueless cook some great ideas to spice up their dinner ideas without spending hours combing recipe websites.

max30_foodguide

All in all, an easy to use and simple book to provide, what I see as, the most important part of your workout.  If your fuel is wrong, you just won’t get the results you are looking for.

Max Out Sweat

Something is very wrong in this universe when a workout makes Insanity look like a day off.  Indeed, I had to take the pants off for this one, because it was balls to the wall.

puppy_cure

Like any Shaun T style workout, plyo and muscle engagement is a key cardio component, making it all the more difficult.  Even Shaun knows this is harder than usual and seems to be trying to push you all the more to get through it alive.

When it’s all said and done, Shaun is on the ground admitting that’s the hardest workout he’s done.  I’ll agree with him with more exuberance once my heart kicks back in.

max_sweat

Max Out Strength

This is broken into 4 rounds: lower body, push-ups, core and more push-ups.  Each move is 45 seconds on and 15 seconds off before continuing.  The second round push-ups in this one are particularly savage.

shaunt_motivation

Friday Fight – Round 2

Unequivocally, unquestionably the most impossible cardio-circuit training you’ll do for thirty minutes.  I’m not sure if this or Max Out Sweat is the hardest of the pack but that’s like saying being mauled by a bear is preferable to being eaten by a tiger.  Either way you’re going down screaming.

Each move is 45 seconds and all moves are consecutive with no breaks.  You get two crummy water breaks…one at 15 minutes and the other at 26.  Have fun.

CONCLUSION

PROS

Need to develop Olympian levels of cardio?  Want to outrun the average Kryptonian or change a lightbulb in the Sistene Chapel by jumping to reach it?  My friends, Insanity: Max 30 will make you a superstar.  The attention to legs, plyometrics and cardio is simply unparalleled in any home fitness program to date, and that includes Insanity.

Then there’s the man himself, Shaun T.  He is probably the most motivating instructor out there as he’s constantly pushing you to go one second further.  Somehow he manages to maintain a funny demeanour, yet stay unwavering in his desire to push you to succeed.  I must admit that out of all dozens of programs I have collected over the years, Shaun T has become my personal favorite instructor.

I’m also a huge critic of production values and this one scores big.  Music is perfect…just perfect.  The set is easy to look at and the cast is getting their cans kicked.  Shaun works the set like a true pro, giving proper tips and inspiration at the right times.  It’s almost a work of art.

CONS

If you want to get leaned down then Max 30 is the way to go.  However, if you desire to add a little mass, you will have to supplement with another program.  I noticed that biceps in particular get fairly ignored.

Keep in mind, if you’ve spent a considerable time on the couch and now decide to start getting fit…do NOT begin with Insanity: Max 30.  This is not a beginner program in any way whatsoever and Shaun T goes out of his way to explain that.  Max 30 is designed for the experienced fitness enthusiast who wants to push to new levels.

To summarize, this is a program every P90X ( or similar package ) grad should have as it fill the huge, gaping cardio vacuum that programs like it have.  Nobody, and I freaking mean nobody does cardio-circuit training like Shaun T.  As a standalone program Insanity: Max 30 is sufficient to give you triathlete levels of endurance and explosive power as good or better than the original Insanity…only at a shorter timeframe of 30 minutes.  Another solid winner for Shaun T.  5 Feathers out of 5.

ULTIMATE REVIEW: INSANITY MAX 30
  • Trainer - 90%
    90%
  • Production Values - 95%
    95%
  • Strength - 80%
    80%
  • Cardio - 100%
    100%
  • Music - 90%
    90%
91%

Summary

While possible to modify, Insanity: Max 30 caters more to intermediate to advanced fitness enthusiasts.

Pros

MUCH easier on knees than Insanity.

Packs more variety than Insanity.

Cons

Complete beginners will get crushed.

John Paul Parrot ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects.

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