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REVIEW: INSANITY with Shaun T

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Beachbody has released their latest workout package “Insanity” designed to transform you into a physical specimen so ripped you are destined to be abducted and dissected by aliens.

So, what is Insanity all about?  It’s 60 Days of your worst physical nightmare.

Let me describe the first week of Insanity…from the perspective of a P90X grad.  Imagine covering yourself in butter, running in a giant hamster wheel with a Bengali Tiger in hot pursuit, and suddenly the afterburner from a F-15 sets you on fire.

Honestly, I was ill after the first day.  This is not kid stuff.

Insanity calls itself “Max Interval Training”.  That’s probably code for saying it was developed using illegal human testing in Quantanamo Bay.  It is CARDIO to the max.  The cardio is combined with plyometrics, pushups and squats.

One thing P90X-ers will notice is that there is no standing around time.  No playful chatter.  It seems Shaun T hates all of humanity and wants us to die drowning in our own sweat.  This workout series is his evil means of accomplishing that task.

So, since starting the program, have I noticed a difference?  Yes. My midsection is beginning to look more defined, and I have to say I’m excited to see what the final result will be!  My ultimate goal is to walk up to strangers in supermarket, lift my shirt and ask if they’d like their cheese grated on my abs.  Sure, I may get escorted out of the store, but that’s the price of glory.

The 4th week is a Cardio/Balance rest week, only to wrap it up with a “Phase 2″ set that looks positively sinister.  For those eager enough to get the Deluxe Version, there is also a Sports Cardio and an Upper Body Weight Training DVD.

So is it worth it?  Hell yes. But be warned…if you’re just starting to get in shape then proceed with caution.  However, if you’re in reasonable shape and wanting to prepare for a marathon, climbing Mount Everest, or to outrun a cheetah, then this is it.

The main thing I was worried about was Shaun T himself.  Good news…he is NOT the ghetto goofball from Hip Hop Abs.  Sorry, but a white kid from the suburbs with two left feet just can’t “git giggety wit it, yeeeeahhhh!” without feeling like a perfect ass.  Fortunately he’s developed a more mature demeanor and knows what he’s talking about.  The music is canned, but catchy.  I felt like I was in an action movie sequence and stayed pumped.  The people in the video are also giving it their all and occasionally a few will drop like flies from exhaustion.  Somehow I find that comforting!

Also…get a heart rate monitor.  No, really.  Get one.  You will exceed your safe zone with relative ease otherwise.  Because this is not just intense, it’s insane.

Update:

Drumroll…the results!  I am very, very happy with this program, as my AB definition is seeing impressive results that I was not getting from P90X.

A few times I had to back off as my knee was rejecting my body from too much plyometrics.  This workout can be hard on the joints, so don’t neglect your body’s signals to ease up.

Also, this is also not a “stand-alone” system like P90X.  After the 60 days are up, I’d recommend laying off for a bit and going back to some weight training or lower impact cardio, which is what I did.

And finally, the workouts do get a bit repetitive.  There can be little distinction from one DVD to the next, regardless of whether it is a Power, Plyo or Cardio themed workout.  They are all crazy intense, but not anywhere near the variety of P90X.  You’re also told to push, check heart rate, push, check heart rate, push…and not much else.  But that’s also a matter of personal taste as to whether you prefer casual banter or just getting down to business during a workout.

Nonetheless, this is a superior cardio conditioning program and fun to use.  Yet I must revise my original 5 feather down to a 4.8 just to be fair.  Overall physical intensity however, is probably a 7!

4.8 Feathers out of 5

Disclaimer: I am NOT a Beachbody coach, reseller or in any way connected with the company.  These views are mine and mine alone.

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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