The high-intensity workout program Insanity is well suited for those who are looking to seriously up their fitness routines. The program is cardio-centric and difficult, but reviewers say that the challenge is addicting and delivers results.
Excellent instruction, but can feel repetitive: Trainer Shaun T. has parlayed his love for dance and fitness into a booming series. Reviewers say that Shaun T. is very motivational, keeping the pace of the workouts moving quickly while providing ample instruction and tips and tricks on form. This DVD is set in a gym-like scene and Shaun T. interacts with the demonstrators on the video as well, which reviewers say is motivating. Cuing is excellent, but the program can feel repetitive at times.
Effective, but repetitive: The Insanity program is geared toward those who are looking to seriously increase the difficulty level of their fitness regiment. Each DVD is slightly different and varies in length. For the first four weeks of the program, instructor Shaun T. works participants through six cardio workouts -- from plyometrics to pure cardio and circuit training.
The workouts are typically around 30 to 40 minutes, though as the program progresses the DVDs increase in both length and difficulty. The second half of the program follows one basic structure (as do most of the DVDs) but vary in length and exercises. The format for these routines is as follows: three to five high-intensity exercises done for three minutes, followed by 30 seconds of recovery. Each is repeated a total of three times.
Reviewers say the program is very effective and, paired with the nutrition plan, delivers excellent results. The major drawback of this program is that it is very repetitive and can feel tedious, even with Shaun T.'s excellent motivational instruction. While there are warnings about the minimal level of fitness suggested prior to beginning this program, we found several reviews that say the program is very tough on the joints and back. Reviewers suggest that even those of a high fitness level who have joint or back problems consider an alternative program.
Included nutrition plan bumps up the program's effectiveness. In addition to the 10 DVDs included, the Insanity: 60 Day Total Body Conditioning Workout DVD Program also comes with a tracking calendar so participants can see their progress and a basic nutrition plan. The nutrition plan is the basic go-to of healthy meals like grilled salmon with asparagus in controlled portions. The first month sticks to five meals that are approximately 300 calories each (though that can be modified based on goals). The second month increases the caloric intake to support the program's intense workouts and the (supposedly) achieved metabolic increase due to a possible increase in muscle mass.
Review Credibility: Excellent Popular health site WebMD.com offers a handful of expert written reviews of various training video programs. Here, expert reviewer and certified strength and conditioning coach Michael R. Esco provides an in-depth analysis of the three-month long Insanity workout program. He says the program will deliver a leaner, healthier body, and it is best suited for those with an already-high level of fitness. Beginner or mid-level participants will find the program far too difficult, he concludes.
Review: Fitness Review: Insanity Program, Michael R. Esco, Ph.D, CSCS, HFS, Not dated
Review Credibility: Excellent Fitbie, the health site of MSN.com, provides a thorough review of the Insanity program. The writer details all aspects of the series and provides thoughtful commentary from several fitness experts. While the review says that the program can deliver excellent results, she warns of potential injury.
Review: Is This Workout Completely Insane?, Alyssa Wells, Not dated
Review Credibility: Excellent More than 1,100 users provide feedback on the Insanity program at Amazon.com. The total body conditioning program receives an excellent 4.4 out of 5 stars, with more than 800 users rating the program a perfect 5 stars. The most negative reviews mention that the program is tough on the body and can be unsuitable for those with existing joint injuries.
Review: Insanity: 60-Day Total Body Conditioning Workout DVD Program, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of January 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good About.com's guide to exercise Paige Waehner provides an in-depth look at the Insanity workout program. She praises the well-structured program for its easy-to-follow instruction and effectiveness. However, the reviewer does note that the expensive program is unbalanced with its focus on cardio over strength training and may be too high impact for some.
Review: Insanity 60-Day Total Body Workout Program Review, Paige Waehner, Feb. 24, 2011
Review Credibility: Good The writer of this LiveLifeActive.com review works through the Insanity workout program, reviewing each disc along the way. Reviews are helpful and detail every aspect of each disc in the program.
Review: Insanity, Editors of LiveLifeActive.com, Not dated