level: advanced; not for the faint of heart
intensity: death ass-kicking
target: total body conditioning and maximum fat burning
equipment requirements: none. a floor mat if you're working out on a hard surface.
exercise duration: 45mins - 59mins
meal plan: yes
the mother of all cardio workouts. i started insanity at the beginning of may and i'm still using this program because i love it so much. in some weird, convoluted way, i don't want this program to end.
all insanity exercises involve intense cardio conditioning - power moves, lots and LOTS of plyometriccs (aka "jump training") and a lot of core work (planking). each circuit is about 3 minutes long and within each circuit there are there are about 3 or 4 intervals lasting approximate 30secs each. after each circuit, there is a 30 second rest period so you basically go as hard as you possibly can for 3 minutes and then you have 30 seconds to go throw up or call 911. weights are not required; the moves uses your own body strength to sculpt and tone your body.
insanity is split into 2 phases - month one workouts are about 40mins long; all hard, all ass-kicking. every single workout in each phase has a brutal warm-up that isn't even considered a warm-up in my books; it's a warning to those who attempt insanity of what's to come.
in the second month, every workout is prefixed with the word "max" (ie. "max interval circuit" or "max interval plyo") so you know he ain't playin'. the duration of the workouts also increases from 40mins to 59mins and the intensity goes from ass-kicking to suicidal. even now, 2 months into this program, it still kicks my butt every time. hell, even those trained athletes, marathon runners and beach body coaches and military/marine peeps are walking off in the video or half dead during and after his workouts.
insanity comes with a calendar for the entire program, split into month one and two. it encourages you to workout every day with one rest day and includes a mid-month 'cardio recovery week' which involves a lot of core/balancing and plank work. don't let the word "recovery" fool you; it's still an intense workout, just not as much jump training.
the results: this is the best and most effective program i've ever done. part way through the first month, i stopped following the program calendar and instead, i decided to work out 5 days of the week instead of 6 (it's hard to work out on the weekends since we're always out with kayla) and i skipped the cardio recovery week altogether simply because i felt that my 2-day weekly rest days gave my body enough time to recover. i also stopped using the calendar to figure out which workout to do; i just did whatever program i felt like doing that was in that particular phase.
i saw the most significant results from month 2. in month one, i was losing inches but when i started month 2, not only did my metabolism shoot way up, the fat practically fell off my body. my body literally burned through everything i ate and i had to eat more from the insanity meal plan to keep me full longer and stop me from eating every hour (i realized i was eating the right things, just not enough of it).
i'm still doing month 2 workouts but now i'm only doing them 3 times/week and incorporating his upper body strength training 1 time/week and a jillian michaels body revolution weight training program 1 time /week. i guess you can say that i'm no longer in full-on insanity mode but using this as 'maintenance' becasuse i'm moving towards more muscle definition and sculpting.