Hello and welcome! First, I would like to thank and celebrate Our Lady of the Joyful Shimmy, the inspiring and gorgeous Laura Yamin. Laura and I met over a year ago in SHRINK SESSION, then we became Equinox buddies, and now I am thrilled to share this guest blog, my review of…INSANITY!
Not the mental state. The workout.
Aptly named, a commitment to this 60-day workout does require an intense mental state. Maybe you’ve seen the infomercial on TV, or checked out Shaun T’s videos at Beachbody.com. It’s in the same family as that trendy P90X program. But for all its madness, I found INSANITY to be accessible, effective, and surprisingly enjoyable.
- BUY the Insanity DVD package from the Beachbody website. New, it’s about $140 with shipping. Used, you can find it for $50 or less on Amazon, Craigslist, etc.
- The program is SIX days per week for two months, with one week of “recovery.”
- I would like to repeat that the program is SIX days per week.
- There are no machines, no weights, no toys. Basically, it’s a bunch of standard exercises, jumps, jacks, squats, push-ups, etc. You just do them FULL OUT and for LONG INTERVALS.
- During Month 1, the workouts are about 45 minutes long. Month 2, more like an hour.
- To track your progress, you complete a simple (but exhausting) FIT TEST at different times in the 60-days. You do 8 exercises for 1 minute each, and count your reps. It’s amazing to see the difference between Day 1 and Day 60!
First, the Cons:
- As I’ve mentioned TWICE already, this bugger program is SIX days per week. Just keeping UP is medal-worthy!
- If you live in a shoebox – even a gorgeously appointed and decorated one such as my apartment in Spanish Harlem – it might be tough to find adequate space to do the workout.
- There is much talk about the potential for injuries, especially knee problems.
- Shaun T is VERY encouraging on the DVDs, but still…you’re working out alone in your apartment. You’ll need some serious discipline.
Now, the PROS!
- Once you’ve adapted to any space limitations, you can do the workout on your own schedule at home, and no one is watching you.
- Shaun T’s premise, “Max Interval Training,” revs up your cardio SO much that within a few days of merely getting THROUGH the workout, you will have raised your fitness level substantially.
- Your body will demand LOTS of fuel, so…you can pretty much graze at will on healthy foods. I was eating over 2,000 calories per day during the program.
- The success stories speak for themselves. This workout can get you RESULTS.
- Shaun T incorporates stretching into each workout. My flexibility improved noticeably, which was a pleasant and unexpected bonus.
- Insanity is pretty much a cult, so you can find online support easily. Or, yell “Who does Insanity workout?” on any random subway car and chances are, someone will say, “Oh, god, ME! WTF?” and then you’ll have a 30-minute conversation about where you are in the program, which people you love/hate on the DVDs, or how you can work more avocado into your diet for extra calories.
There is not much to say about the workout itself, it’s just a series of exercises. Were there times I fell to the ground in utter exhaustion and cursed Shaun T? Yes. Did I wear a heart rate monitor for fear that I’d have a heart attack? Yes. Did I skip a morning or two? Yes.
But did I love it? Did it raise my fitness level and make my clothes fit better? Did it make me feel sexier? Did I feel super powerful as I checked off each day’s workout on the calendar? YES! You can’t see me, but I’m doing a JOYFUL SHIMMY right NOW!
Like many of us, I face my demons in fits and starts, and discovering new fitness programs helps me build my arsenal and stay focused. I need to be challenged, pushed, exhausted, and enlightened, to become the strongest warrior I can be. Call me crazy, but I loved INSANITY for taking me there!
All good things to you,
Jeffrey Currier is a happy, liberal New Yorker with manageable OCD. Discovering fitness in his late 30’s led him to achieve things he previously considered UN-achievable: graduating from college, completing the New York City Triathlon, and returning to the stage after a 15-year absence in his 2011 cabaret, BACK UP THE BEANSTALK. He loves animals, cleaning, and you.