Honest Review: Shaun T - Insanity Workout
Listed by Honest Goddess Reviews @ May 26, 2014 - 12:23:51 PM
60 days of Insanity. Shaun T couldn't have come up with a word more appropriate because this workout is completely insane!
To provide a quick OVERVIEW, the program promises total body transformation with a total of 10 different intense cardio-based interval workouts to be completed in a span of 60 days. Actually, 63 days. The first 28 days of the program alternates between 5 workouts, each lasting 45 minutes. There is a one-day rest period at the end of each week. This first month is followed by Recovery Week, during which you follow the same workout for 6 days, followed by a rest day. Just when you thought it couldn't get any more insane, Insanity kicks it up a notch with the last 28 days alternating between a different series of 5 workouts, each lasting a whopping 1 hour!! Yes, to be done daily, with a much anticipated rest day at the end of each week. In addition, there is a 30-minute Fitness Test segment that's made up of 8 exercises, intended to track your progress. It is suggested that this be done before you begin the program, then every 14 days thereafter. If you stick to the program, you're supposed to be able to do more reps for each exercise as you progress through the weeks.
In terms of variety, this workout lacks it in terms of the structure of each workout. All the videos are very similar, whether plyo or interval, they are all cardo intensive with 30 second breaks in between repetitions. The music matches the pace and helps to keep you pumped throughout the workout, and Shaun T does a great job of motivating you with his high energy. The best thing about Insanity though, is that you don't need any equipment to do it. Just you and your workout!
First and foremost, choose the time of day to do your workout and stick with it. I always do my workout as soon as I wake up, no matter what. Completing the workout 1st thing in the morning helps to wake me up and I get it out of the way . You will need about 1 metre of room all around you to do the workouts comfortably. Have a wristband and/or towel close by to wipe your sweat because trust me, you WILL sweat. Another important tip is to wear proper shoes. For the first 3 weeks, I did this workout barefoot on a carpeted floor, which was fine. On the 4th week, I received my new pair of Skechers with Memory Foam and decided to give it a try. What a difference! I highly suggest wearing cross trainers to support the quick movements involved in this workout.
Shaun T advises that you use a heart rate monitor, which I do not. I also don’t check my heart rate when he suggests doing so at different points in the workouts. I simply listen to my body and go with it. However, if you are completely out of shape and a little on the overweight side, I would suggest you to heed Shaun T’s suggestion in order to stay safe. Get a heart rate monitor and regularly check your heart rate during your workouts. You will need at least 1.5 liters of water within arm’s reach in order to stay hydrated. You MUST MUST MUST be careful when doing the stretches and every workout. I would have completed Insanity sooner had I not injured myself twice now. You can rely on Shaun T's cues to do each work out properly, but get to know your body so you do not go beyond its limits. Don’t feel bad if you have to stop to catch your breath and gain back your strength. You’ll notice that Shaun T’s very fit and experienced friends, and even Shaun T himself, drop like flies at different points in the workouts. As you progress in the program, you will get stronger and be able to stick to the pace more closely. You will definitely feel sore for the first 3-4 days, but I assure you, if you stick to it, your body will adjust to the intensity and you will feel better after the 1st week.
Lastly, consume plenty of fluids and protein before and after your workouts. For me, eating a banana or a piece of toast with peanut butter gave me the fuel to complete each workout. Experiment and do what works for you before a workout. Once you finish your workout, it is recommended that you consume a high protein meal no more than 2 hours afterward for maximum recovery. Always remember that eating a healthy diet will maximize your efforts in getting or staying fit.
Finally, DOES IT WORK?
Yes! I am currently in the 2nd month of the program and loving the results! I started the program with an open mind and with the goal of losing a little extra weight and more importantly, gaining overall strength. I started at 127 lbs. and am now down to 123 lbs. From a weight loss point of view, it isn’t much compared to the grueling workouts Shaun T put me through, but I have gained more muscle overall. My stomach, legs and particularly my arms and shoulders have become noticeably defined. My stomach feels tighter, my knees no longer buckle when I run long distances, and I’m now able to do real push-ups! My endurance has increased ten-fold. I can carry my 25 lb. baby up a flight of stairs without running out of breath by the time I reach the 5th step. Heck, I can carry her around for days without feeling any type of strain on my arm! To me, that speaks volumes on the overall improvement I’ve made so far through Insanity.
This program is definitely not for the faint of heart. In order to see results, you must follow the schedule as much as possible. It requires focus and strong will to continue each workout. With that said, don’t be discouraged with all the hype on how difficult it is, because if you are committed to your goal, you become numb to any difficulty involved in the journey. I am a Mom to 3 small children in my late 20's who hasn't moved an inch towards exercise in 9 years prior to starting Insanity, and I am here 6 weeks later, more fit and stronger than ever. So, yes, if I can do it, anyone can!