Flunking The Insanity Workout But Coming Away Wiser

(Update: Listen to our new podcast with more info on the Insanity workout here.)

My Insanity set in my recycling bin, waiting for re-gifting (Carey Goldberg/WBUR)

“Dig deeper!” Shaun T goaded me, and dig I did. “You can do it!” He assured me, and mostly, to my own surprise, I could. “Don’t give up!” he hounded me. So I didn’t — at first.

In the end, all his exhortations, all his gleaming and dripping muscles, all his tough-guy-heart-of-gold coaching couldn’t alter the fact that the Insanity workout was wrong, wrong, wrong for me.

Still, I came away wiser.

If you haven’t heard of Insanity, you must live on a planet without informercials. It has one of the most persuasive pitches out there, and its YouTube trailers get millions of views. (The one below is at nearly 4 million.)

It is Amazon’s most popular exercise video and most popular DVD overall — no small feat when the listed price is $144.80.

Insanity Workout trailer

Here’s the basic concept: Try harder. To wit: Typical “interval training” involves several minutes of moderate intensity and then a minute or so of high-intensity push — a sprint, if you will. The Insanity workout flips that formula, so that you do longer high-intensity intervals and then have relatively short rests.

That approach struck me as meshing well with a wave of recent research findings that shorter, very vigorous workouts can provide surprisingly strong health benefits. And, as I wrote when I embarked on my Insanity, I was inspired by a 58-year-old doctor I deeply respect, who reported that the program was certainly intense but did not have to be truly insane. He ended up with lower body fat and feeling great.

So I took the plunge — well, a discounted plunge. I found a set on Craigslist for just $60, and met the seller in front of a pizza restaurant for a transaction that felt oddly illicit. (My apologies to Beachbody LLC, the company that makes Insanity among other workouts. I’d naively assumed the Craigslist set was used, but the set was clearly brand new and I’ve now learned that Beachbody is plagued by piracy. If you suspect a set for sale might be counterfeit, you can report it to piracy@beachbody.com.)

Insanity was my first venture as part of CommonHealth’s summer fitness initiative, Shake It Up, a series of forays into new forms of exercise — at least, new to us. Rachel has tried Nia and a trampoline workout, and I figured that I’d commit to Insanity — or perhaps one should say, be committed to Insanity — for the full 60 days.

Ha. I set up a corner of the attic with floor pads and a DVD player. I watched the long warning about checking with my doctor, and Insanity not being for everyone, especially people with a history of knee or back injuries. I took the fitness test. I put up the poster and checked off the box for the first workout, the “Plyometric Cardio Circuit.”

Now do it as fast as you can

I mimicked the lithe crowd on the screen. Jogging. Jumping jacks. Hopping from side to side. Running with knees high. Running with my heels coming so high behind me they almost hit my bottom. Quick front kicks. In short, a whole bunch of moves that I hadn’t done since high-impact aerobics were hot in the 70s and 80s, and  John Travolta was courting Jamie Lee Curtis in lycra.

Then Shaun T, the gruffly charming trainer, kicked up the speed, extolling “The best cardio you’ll ever get in your life, y’all.” It was the same sequence of moves, but getting faster and faster — “Push through! Dig with me, I’m right here!” — and then, “Ready? Jack it out, as fast as you can!”

‘Their whole shtick is to get you ‘cut’ in the shortest possible time.’

That was the beginning of the end for me, though I didn’t yet know it. In the days to come, there were many more high and higher impact moves, and a recurrent theme of “Do it as fast as you can — but of course without losing your form.”

I worked up a very quick sweat with each workout, and an efficient half hour or so most decidedly felt like enough exercise for a day. But every instinct was telling me, “No. You’re asking for trouble. Your middle-aged woman’s body does not want this high-impact violence to your joints and muscles. Especially day after day with no real break. Stop.”

So first I tried doing Insanity DVDs only every other day, and then I finally quit altogether. (Judging by a couple of reviews on Amazon that blame Insanity for back problems, perhaps not a moment too soon.) But no regrets. I came away with several lessons, and exercise experts I spoke with afterward imparted many more.

My own lessons:

• Even fitness experiments that fail can still add valuable elements to our exercise repertoire. These days, if I want to warm up before doing weights, I sometimes use a few minutes of an Insanity routine, and enjoy it.

• Being pushed by somebody else — even an unseeing coach on a DVD — is a helpful reminder that we can probably try harder, if we choose. My big takeaway from Insanity is that I may sometimes want to extend my higher-intensity intervals to two or three or four minutes, and though they may not be quite so intense, I can squeeze more of a workout out of my limited time.

‘Extreme conditioning’

I spoke with Dr. William J. Kraemer, a professor in the department of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut and an expert on the biology of exercise, including “extreme exercise.” (One recent paper warns of common injuries in soldiers who try “increasingly popularized extreme conditioning programs.”)

We are just starting to learn more about “extreme conditioning,” he said, and there are many commercial programs like Insanity that fall into that category. Their number one target is body composition, he said, and “Their whole shtick is to get you ‘cut’ in the shortest possible time.” To do that, they exercise you very hard.

The trouble with that, he said, is that there tends to be very little variation or “periodization — it’s just going hard all the time. When you go hard all the time — you don’t ‘periodize’ between hard metabolic workouts with moderate workouts and light workouts — your body starts to accumulate stress.” The stress hormone cortisol rises; so do inflammatory responses and free radicals, he said. Without time to recover, the body has a harder time adapting to progressively harder demands – and that adaptation is the goal.

In exercise physiology, he said, “catabolic” refers to muscle breakdown, and “anabolic” to muscle build-up. With programs that push you hard six days a week, your body never gets a chance to build back up.

‘Catabolic nightmares’

“You may lose the weight and look good, but with such extreme catabolic programs, some of the people we are starting to look at are catabolic nightmares,” he said. “They look good because they’re young and can tolerate it, but in reality their measures of catabolism are two, three, four times higher than normal.”

Another problem: Workouts which use no weights, like Insanity, may build strength but cannot provide the type of heavy loading needed to fight bone loss in women, Dr. Kraemer said.

Not to mention that the dropout rate tends to be high, he added, “”and in preliminary looks at such extreme workouts, the injury rate goes up because you have all this breakdown stuff floating around in your body and you get injured.” A recent study, he said, found that when you do high numbers of repetitions, even of a simple exercise, your technique tends to start to fail.

‘They may just be genetic freaks with great bodies. Come on, in 60 days you’re going to look like that?’

In essence, he said, an Insanity-type workout is what body-builders do at the “cut phase,” several weeks before a competition: They’ve built up their muscles, and now “they want to get ripped, they want to get definition.” The trouble is, he said, the guys in the inspiring “after” infomercial photos may just be “genetic freaks with great bodies. Come on, in 60 days you’re going to look like that?”

Longer intervals?

Not that I ever thought I’d get a six-pack, but how I love the fresh ring of expertise-infused truth! Just one lingering question: What about my idea of lengthening my high-intensity intervals?

Dr. Kraemer sounded dubious. “You’ll never be able to do three minutes as intensely as you can do one minute,” he said. “It’s just physiological. You can do longer intervals to burn more calories but you cannot keep up the same intensity for three minutes that you can do for one minute.”

True, but is there any reason not to aim for longer intervals, if I’m fit enough? I checked with my favorite health book author, Tim Caulfield, author of “The Cure For Everything,” and a health policy researcher with encyclopedic knowledge of the literature on diet and fitness.

He replied:

Most of the studies that look at interval training use fairly short intervals on ONE activity (e.g., 15 secs to about 1 min). But some are longer.

I think the intervals have to be short enough that you can maintain a fairly intense level of activity. Again, it is all about adaptation. Also, I think it is important to mix it up.

This is a fairly solid sum of the benefits of Interval Training. So, not sure there is any documented harm to long intervals… beyond the usual associated with exercise, etc.

Mike Bracko, an exercise physiologist based in Calgary, offered further reinforcement for the idea that a truly high-intensity interval cannot last very long. “You can sustain a really high intensity for maybe 30 seconds,” he said, “and after that, just because of waste products and available energy, you’re still working hard but you’re going down to medium intensity.”

But research shows excellent results from medium-intensity intervals too, he said. As for workouts like Insanity, he’d suggest “Buyer beware.” But “if you can handle it, if you can do it, then it’s a great fun way to exercise. We’re in the industry to try to get people to be more physically active, so if they want to do high intensity interval training, go for it. And maybe that’s the start of their exercise program, and they think, ‘I like to exercise but I can’t do this, so I’m going to try something else.’ ”

A moment of deep sheepishness

That sounds about right. One last lesson: Dr. Kraemer, in his wisdom, pointed out that we all tend to be bad consumers of fitness products; “We want this thing right now.” When you’re thinking of buying a workout, he said, you should ask yourself whether this is the right time to do a particular workout, and why you want to do it. “Everybody can push harder, he said, “but the question is, why are you trying to push harder?”

Why? My first answer is, well, it looked like fun, and a respected source recommended it. But when I really looked into the mirror, I had a moment of deep sheepishness.

Damn. I fell for it. I really fell for it. Insanity has famously brilliant marketing, and those before and after pictures are just so powerful. Of course I knew I wouldn’t get “cut,” but somehow…somehow….I wanted to be more like the people in the trailers. At least, a little more.

Maybe I can settle for being wiser instead.

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  • Dan Guerriero

    Goldberg what a joke. Need better articles and not stick excuse making mediocre journalists.

  • Breanne Nichole Hoffman

    Insanity is NOT for everyone. I personally have to modify most of the high impact. I jog 3 miles everyday yet as soon as I start high jumps or slamming down suicide jumps my back has shooting pain and then off to the chiropractor, and out of working out for a week! Some peoples bodies simple can not take this shit… Does that make me a quitter? I don’t think so… I’ll stick with my p90x so I can stay with working out everyday and not hurt myself.

  • Jared

    Your just lazy! Yes insanity is tough, and it will kick your ass! You will get results quick and it will change your life. So a little advice quit being a sissy!!!

  • Jay

    I like how this article doesn’t mention the nutrition guide you’re supposed to use in conjunction with insanity to get the right results. Taking in the right amount of calories for the energy you’re going to need to not only make it through insanity, but keep your metabolism burning fat all day. Also, how can insanity be blamed for back problems? I’ve done most of the videos in the set and have no back problems, maybe my knees more than anything but I’m fatter than I used to be so I expect that.

  • Truman Golden

    it is a tough workout.
    i am very fit, I lift and run. I have tried insanity 3 times and i usually end up quitting by 5th or 6th day, not because the workouts are bad but because I find them quite challenging. I am trying them again, I am at the 5th day and I feel better already. some DVD’s are harder than others but you can stop regain your breath and join the exercise when you can.

  • Boo Catley Maynard

    I am on week 6 of insanity. I am 32, and I consider myself pretty fit for my age. Insanitiy is definitely high impact, but if you are athletic and graceful, use proper technique, and listen to your body’s limitations this will help you avoid injuries along with modifying moves to build up to advanced moves. STRETCHING is an essential part of recovery. I don’t just mean the stretching in the Insanity workout. I do yoga every day either before or after the workout depending on how I feel that day. This really helps muscles recover faster and helps make them better at working hard. I think if you do anything for long enough, you show true commitment for longer than 60 days (like the people that you see on the video), you can eventually get results that you can be proud of. This of course is a lifestyle commitment…It really takes more than 60 days for ordinary people to become great at anything. I have found this to be true for all goals and skills worth working towards.

  • Melinda Schink

    I love my live Insanity classes. I have been doing them 3-4 days a week for over a year, along with tabata, turbo, and Piyo. It’s not for everyone, true. The intensity required is a lot. But you’re only doing an exercise for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then you’re on to a different exercise using a different muscle group so you don’t fatigue and your intensity drops. It is a lot just starting out, but there are low impact modifications so you can build strength and endurance. I applaud looking at professional opinions, but did this specialist understand the format and modifications included? Either way, if you catch insanity on sale (like it is now), you basically get the program for $10, as it’s $140 and the included shakeology retails at $130. Plus if you order through a coach, there is a 30-day money back guarantee, as well as online support and accountability groups. At any rate, try a live class to see if its right for you. Then look at the benefits and drawbacks of ordering through a coach vs craigslist. Best of luck and happy sweating!

  • insane-results

    Okay. .so basically YOU QUIT. Got it!


    You’re a very weak person.

  • http://www.TwentyOneFifteenNine.com/ 21FifteenNine

    Insanity definitely pushes you, but I prefer doing CrossFit. It pushes me to get fitter, faster and stronger, and it’s a great program that combines both cardio and strength training (Olympic weightlifting).

    TwentyOne Fifteen Nine

  • Nikos Gryder

    Well. Being a physiotherapist’s assistant allow me to say this. Zoem. You talked about spinal injuries talking about Insanity. Being someone who tests it out and have a strong sense of what is happening to my muscles and bones I tell you this. there are some conditions in insanity for you to get injured. #1 not being physicaly capable to follow the program. Let’s just be honest. I am 19. and 30-40-50 year old no matter how much workout he did in his life he can’t follow it to the fullest. #2 Not having previous injuries, #3 not following the rules of every excerice. He says land softly and i saw people landing like they are mimicing a wrecking ball. #4 and most important. KEEP YOUR CORE TIGHT! Keep your core tight is not a phrase of marketing. Well it’s not only that. Take a bicycle racer as an example. If you try to analyse their movement you wont see just his legs working as dogs in heat. His back muscles are tensed. Why? He keeps his core tight. Why? because if he does not his back will start falling downwards (considering his position). Like in classic push-ups. You do not let your belly drag you down. You keep your core tight to stand as a plank. Muscles are not just for movement and power. They also protect you and you have to keep your core tight to enchance that protection. imagine yourself doing heisman while having relaxed core. It will be like 2 legs of iron with an upper body of rubber. Then do not worry why your spinal cord got injured. And that’s where anothing main phrase comes up. Take it to your own pace. What was mentioned above is right. You can’t maintain the same speed and all these for 3 minutes as much as in 1 minute. But that’s why you have your own pace. And even if you can still do switch kicks for example (which means your legs still hold up to the excercise) you should not keep doing it if you can’t keep the form and the core tight. Better rest and start with a tight core again. The main reason programs as this are dangerous is because people do not hear the warnings and then they say that’s a lie and it’s dangerous. When he tells you keep your core tight he means it. When you are told rest when you need he means it. When you are told stop if you feel dizzy he means it. Sometime people missunderstand the message their body sends them telling them to stop by understanding that it’s the first day and after some time it will be better. NO! it wont be better if you do not know what it is. You will get injured and then you will say oh the program is sh.it. More like your expectations are bad. Of course the marketing is marketing and he will promise you that you have awesome body in 2 months bla bla bla. And you know what. You will if you are someone who has been training a bit every week. But if you are someone who has been eating pizzas, never worked his body for years and then you suddenly realised summer is coming sorry but you are a moron to believe this is going for you too. This program will make you better but there is a limit to how better you can become considering your situation. and that’s why after the 2 months you can do it another 2. and another 2. Shaun’s Body is not something you build in 2 months. It’s something you build in years . But suddenly people can’t comprehend that. As for those who will say you tell all these because you probably are fit and stuff let me assure you i am far away from that. i am an overweight person who knows what he should expect and understands that expecation goes along with reality and not our wishes.

  • Aviat443

    On a side note… I’m not saying this is fact, but this article really does sound like you gave up and instead of admitting your defeat, you went around looking for “experts” to give you excuses and make you feel better about why you couldn’t/wouldn’t do it. My questions are, where are the reports of “experts” who told you that there’s no reason for you to have quit other than you just didn’t want to work for it (we all know there probably were ), and would this article have even been written in any form had you been told by everyone that you consulted that there’s nothing wrong with this workout. It honestly sounds to me like you went searching for support rather than criticism, and what criticism you did get was omitted. Now that you’ve published this article, it sounds like you are once again looking for reassurance of your “failure” from the public and others that quit on the program as well.

  • Aviat443

    This workout isn’t for everyone. However, it is arguably the most intense workout out there. The problem is that a lot of people can’t handle it or think that by the end of the first 2 weeks, things should be getting easier. It doesn’t… Not by that point. You have to commit to it or you are gonna fail. I have been doing insanity over and over for 15 months now. It’s my workout. I’ve done it 6 days a week for over a year and I restart it every time. Has it gotten easier for me? Yes. But it’s still freaking hard. If it got easy, I wouldn’t do it, because I know I wouldn’t benefit from it. I still dread doing it everyday, but I’ve committed to it long enough that I would be completely upset if I didn’t do it. At least finish the program, even if you have to do it at a snails pace. Just do it to do it. I took a lot of breaks the first time through, because my body wasn’t ready for it. It takes time. As I kept doing it, I took fewer and fewer breaks. Even now, I still have to rest bc my legs give out sometimes or I just need an extra water break. It doesn’t matter. You just keep going. The only one keeping you from doing this is you. If you want to lose weight and get your body in incredible shape, you have to go to this kind of intensity. If it isn’t hard, it isn’t working.

  • Aviat443

    This workout isn’t for everyone. However, it is arguably the most intense workout out there. The problem is that a lot of people can’t handle it or think that by the end of the first 2 weeks, things should be getting easier. It doesn’t… Not by that point. You have to commit to it or you are gonna fail. I have been doing insanity over and over for 15 months now. It’s my workout. I’ve done it 6 days a week for over a year and I restart it every time. Has it gotten easier for me? Yes. But it’s still freaking hard. If it got easy, I wouldn’t do it, because I know I wouldn’t benefit from it. I still dread doing it everyday, but I’ve committed to it long enough that I would be completely upset if I didn’t do it. At least finish the program, even if you have to do it at a snails pace. Just do it to do it. I took a lot of breaks the first time through, because my body wasn’t ready for it. It takes time. As I kept doing it, I took fewer and fewer breaks. Even now, I still have to rest bc my legs give out sometimes or I just need an extra water break. It doesn’t matter. You just keep going. The only one keeping you from doing this is you. If you want to lose weight and get your body in incredible shape, you have to go to this kind of intensity. If it isn’t hard, it isn’t working.

  • Walter Brock

    I agree with Tim. With insanity I have lost 145 pounds in under a year. You’re most definitely a quitter. Now quit trashing Shaun T. and his brilliant program and get back on the couch.

  • Isra Arif

    the thing is that you still cannot blame insanity i feel so much more energized and i feel like a sweating machine when i am doing it i have controlled my diet too . . .insanity does work but it needs will power you cannot altogether say that insanity was wrong or it was just some false light shown to fat people. the guy training insanity repeatedly said that know your body and if u think you cannot do insanity then just don’t do it its not compulsory for you at all yes its true some people can do it some cant big deal live with it and stop hating the workout because will power and determination can move mountains. if you cant lose weight you better not complain about it because this workout has helped people and they are satisfied, if you cant do it then just follow some diet and do light excercises i am sure you will see a better end.

  • Frank Peters

    The Insanity PR team really worked hard on this comment section! Talk about obvious product promotion!

  • Dwight Saunders

    yes… blame beachbody and their brilliant marketing team for your own inability to listen to you body, and adapt the program for your own personal fitness level… if you want to look more like the people in the trailers you need leave your comfortzone… getting in that kind of shape requires high intensity and athleticism (speed, power, agility, burst/twitch muscles)… you arent ever going to get there with water aerobics and 3lb dumbells.

  • Black_Belt_Jonez

    Judging by most of the responses here, it would seem that Insanity will turn you into a bit of an @sshole.

    • Tim Green

      Congratulations, this wins the prize for most ironic comment on this thread.

      • Black_Belt_Jonez

        Okay buddy. Thanks.

  • Corba Kai

    Love how the author quit midway through, so he doesn’t recommend doing it.

  • Steve Boyd

    If you’re thinking about getting this workout, have to tell you that it is amazing. I’m seeing results and it is great. Focus T25 has become the best selling exercise dvd on Amazon and here are the reviews from the people who bought it: http://amzn.to/1la9rtP – This help me with my choice to buy it. You can’t go wrong with good honest reviews.

  • Ateret

    I know I wrote a while ago about buying Insanity and being glad that I didn’t listen to this article. However true it is I don’t regret a minute of it. I had to stop after the first month for a couple of reasons.
    Previously, I had mentioned I had bad knees and scoliosis and my concerns for starting the program. Unfortunately through the first month of Insanity, I came away with runner’s knee and I must’ve damaged the tendons in my knees. I restarted the program around May 2013, finished the first month. The main reason I quit the program was because I had an extensively high HR persistently at 185 to 190 throughout the workout. It once got as high as 195 and I started getting chest pain… So I quit. Up until a month ago, I could not easily transition from sitting to standing to walking without having to hobble from knee and leg pain.
    So although I look better and feel healthier, despite quitting, I traded off agility and had to quit working out for the most part altogether.

  • pgrant

    I tried Insanity and it is hard and not for a long term kind of deal. Crossfit works better for me, even it might not be ideal for a lot of folks. I right about it at:

    Health Geek Nation

  • Linda Thompson

    Yes, I must recommend this workout to anyone looking to get back in shape after the holidays. You’ve got to see these top reviews on Amazon, they actually tell you in which order you should go. You should see this: http://amzn.to/1dhV7Hq – This is definitely not a fad and will be here for years to come. Can’t wait to get my workout out on at the beginning of the new year.

  • Liltxlez

    I’m a 33 year old woman.. I’ve been introduce to a tree in a vehicle at 80 mph, having had the engine land on my left ankle when it came in the car, which kept me in the vehicle when my seat belt snapped, good thing I am hard headed! ((I certainly was not driving)). Years later, I slipped a disc that herniated, pinched a nerve and causes sciatica and muscle spasms on the job… Due to the eating plan, and following the Shawn T’s instructions and asking my Beach Body Coach a plethora of questions, I’m now doing the majority of the exorcises with out modifications and keeping up with the genetic freaks in the video for the entire dvd for the day. ((With my Dr.’s permission of course!)) I’m almost through week 4, and the pain from the injuries is nearly gone, rarely comes back, and is constantly decreasing in intensity if it does come back to haunt me…. In fact I feel so good, after I finish the Insanity two month challenge, I think I will order Asylum 1 @ 2. I’m burning the fat built up from the spine injury, getting better muscle tone, definition and have more strength and energy than before either of the injuries. Keep telling me I can’t, I’ll keep proving you wrong, it’s psychological!

  • Jamie

    From my point of view it is called insanity for a reason. Yes you have to push your body to limits you believe you cannot do. However with insanity you have to be prepared to eat the right foods, get the right rest otherwise all the effort you put into insanity won’t work. Shaun T continuously advises people to take a break when needed he doesn’t say you have to keep up with him but he encourages you to do your best. Its up to you as a person whether you believe you can push yourself to that limit. I found during the first week I would have to stop for a couple of minutes before carrying on. Insanity is an amazing workout but don’t just do it for 60 days, keep doing it. Insanity is an intense workout but to get that dream body you will have to sacrifice luxuries, you have to eat 6 small meals a day of the right food, you have to get at least 9 hours sleep because your body won’t recover. Yes you will have aches and pains you haven’t felt before but that’s a good thing it makes you feel alive. To help with the pain though run a small bath of cold water throw in some ice and sit in it for about 1-2 mins and repeat this 3 times this will help with DOMS. So you won’t ache as much the next day. I would also consult your gp especially for the older folk before embarking on insanity because you are more prone to injury, but you can do insanity just know your limits even if it takes you over an hour to complete each workout you will still reap the benefits.

  • Marcus Jenkins

    I am not a spokesman for Insanity or the other programs. Yes, they do work. No, you can’t go from being sedentary to doing Insanity; you have to work up to it. If you can jog for 2 miles, AND do 20 pushups you are probably in sufficient shape. If you can’t do a mile and less than 10 pushups, either avoid insanity or start off doing less than full half hour.

  • Timoria

    How many of these responses are written by the company who makes the DVDs. They read like paid client testimonials.

    • Frank Peters

      Did you notice that they all make the same grammatical errors?

      • Tim Green

        Seems like a rather silly pair of logical fallacies to me – so anyone who disagrees with you must be being paid to do so, and if they agree with each other and have bad grammar then it’s proof of spoofing? Is it actually impossible that people are enthusiastic about and feel protective towards a product that has made them fitter and healthier?

        Regarding the original blog post, let’s start with what I agree with. Insanity is quite hard on the knees. The infomercials definitely oversell likely results. It is not for everyone – I was reasonably fit when I started, and I thought I was very much a borderline case for doing Insanity. It is also pretty intense, and you shouldn’t pound your joints like that 6 days a week for the rest of your life. Also, it is impossible to work out at max effort for the periods that Insanity does, and in truth you’re not supposed to – it is lower-intensity than the infomercial would have you believe. But having done true interval training for some months, getting injured multiple times, that’s probably a good thing.

        Let’s look at “it’s not for everyone”. None of the “before” pictures in the infomercials look particularly unfit. Before starting, I joked that I would settle for those “before” pictures in my “after” picture. I don’t think this product is marketed at people for whom it is inappropriate. The OP seemed to see herself from the start as one who was not in the target demographic.

        Regarding injuries, the OP’s agenda is given away when she unquestioningly recites hearsay about back problems that she has not herself experienced. I don’t know anyone who’s had back problems with Insanity. There is definitely a risk of injury, as there is with any exercise, but although I’ve done much lower-intensity exercise and got repeated injuries, I personally have never become injured when doing Insanity, nor do I know anyone else who has – the periodisation is actually pretty good, the variation in terms of body parts worked is generally (thought not universally) good, the stretching is excellent and the rest is appropriate. Part of periodisation is that sometimes a short period of overtraining is appropriate and beneficial.

        Now for the “6 days a week” nonsense. The OP implies that she did Insanity for a good while, but if she had lasted until Thursday in the first week, she would have known that Thursday is a recovery workout, and Insanity is NOT 6 days of high intensity. So she did a fitness test, then 2 workouts at most: not the most thorough test-drive ever, nor a sound basis for a balanced review. Recovery is a crucial aspect of Insanity and is covered at every stage. During the high intensity part of Insanity, there are 3 days of Insanity, 1 recovery workout (my HRM only briefly gets into 3 figures on a Thursday), then 2 more hard days followed by a rest day. This is only 4 weeks, though, followed by a full week of lower-intensity recovery workouts. The literature also states that you should take another full week of low-intensity exercise at the end of Insanity before doing whatever you plan to do next. So it’s right to say 6 days is too much, and also true that it’s not sustainable. Neither of these statements is a fair criticism of Insanity, though, which neither pushes hard 6 days per week nor encourages you to keep going with it forever.

        So the original post essentially consists of this – try a programme, decide it’s not for you. Fair enough, everyone’s done that and you know your own body. But you then feed a straw man to some exercise experts who confirm that the programme that you have inaccurately described to them is unhealthy. Throw in a dark but thoroughly unsubstantiated claim about how it’s bad for your back, although you wouldn’t have noticed this if Amazon reviewers hadn’t pointed it out to you. And for good measure add a complaint that this programme primarily aimed at young people getting cardio fit is not good at preventing bone loss in middle aged women. WHAT?! I must have missed the part in the infomercial where Shaun T claims to have cured osteoporosis. It’s a long infomercial, though, and I don’t pretend to have watched it from start to finish.

        How’s my grammar, Frank?

  • Ann

    At 52, I’ve always had a bad back and hips. With a history of weight lifting/body building I know it’s important to stay strong and fit. So I also do Insanity and I love the workouts. I don’t do them every day, as I like to mix it up with treadmill, weights, kettle bells etc. The best thing about Insanity is the mix of the different exercises and how differently the muscles are exercised — a far cry from running, which is questionably not so good for people with structural problems due to the uneven way you exercise the muscles. I sometimes do 2 insanity routines back to back. Love it.

    I would not blame Insanity for causing a bad back or bad hips — I already had ‘em. I try different supplements, and more stretching — the worst thing I do is work out for an hour to an hour and a half in the morning and then SIT ALL DAY. Yes, that’s right, I blame the sitting. Anybody who blames an exercise routine is looking for an excuse to not exercise, or not exercise hard. That’s all.

    As far as body fat? Think again. At 52, I never though it would be so damn. In my 40′s I still achieved a ripped muscular body. At 52, after doing this for more than a year (and I wasn’t a couch potato before then) … there’s fat. Trust me, there’s fat. I took off working out for 1 year a couple years ago to commute daily to a long distance job. That’s something I’m having a real hard time recovering from.

  • sean

    The insanity workouts used in combination with the nutrition guide have shown to have fantastic results. Of course, it’s not the easiest workout to pick up but like others have said, once you do the first couple of workouts it becomes easier.

    The good thing about this program is it teaches you or ‘re-trains’ how you see exercise and food into a positive manner so you know exactly what to do to ‘actually lose weight’.

    I’ve seen many people complete this program and think ‘wow, I never thought they had it in them’. After a while it becomes normal to you. You get in from work stick the dvd on and away you go. Beachbody.com do have some nice products but they are all quite ‘samey’. Have heard of Turbo Fire? it’s pretty much insanity but aimed at women.


  • crazygemini12

    I didn’t actually lose any weight (I essentially turned fat into muscle, so the number on the scale didn’t go anywhere) but I lost a lot of inches and a few dress sizes in a very short amount of time. As for the being “cut” part-you have to watch what you eat, too. I don’t know how anyone is able to do that (I couldn’t), since the meal plan actually tells you to add 500 calories to your normal diet just to give you the energy required to barrel through the exercises. A lot of people have the “cut” effect from doing 28 day challenge, but those results come courtesy of giving up all white foods and cutting out a lot of saturated fat.

  • pat

    All workout programs involve adjusting for personal levels of fitness. I think these video workouts are a great way to make fitness programs accessible. I would suggest users of these programs to take a light week every 4-6 weeks to let their muscles heal though

  • K3vinF

    How about this idea: If you like the Insanity Workout idea and are willing to fork over the $, go for it. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. There are endless exercise programs you can try, and most of them don’t cost a dime.

  • phil

    Human biologist? No need to be reeling off your profession it doesn’t prove anything. My friend is a nutritionist and is a very rotund individual. Insanity is great for burning calories no denying that…as for building more muscle it’s not happening. It will strengthen your muscles a most exercises do..like cycling strengthen your legs…but can people sustain training with insanity for a year. ..two years without causing damage to joints…I don’t think so. And if you just do your 60 days and say right now I’m happy…it won’t be long before you’re back were you started. If you are after a quick win for a holiday to burn some fat…yeh insanity. ..but if you want to look at your best year round….stay away it will cause more damage than good

  • badgerstate

    I’m a 23 year old grad student. I consider myself to be relatively fit (I’ve run two marathons in the past year), but now, with school, am short on time. I do Insanity just 2 days a week and can tell that it challenges me in a whole different way than my normal 5-7 mile run. I can see how doing it every day would give me knee or back pain, but I’m just careful to listen to my body and use a variation of some of the most challenging jumps, especially since I do the workout on hardwood floor. The most important thing is just to keep moving. The short duration of the workout makes it totally obtainable if you’re willing to work. Like the author, I bought it used for $60 and don’t regret a cent.

  • costello

    if you dont want to work out then dont…. Dont blame insanity or try to come down with some limp dyck doctor with lame reasons not to go hard. If YOU WANT TO BE LAZY, write an article about how you give up on anything that takes REAL EFFORT. TO everyone that has done insanity, i am with you!!!! DIG DEEPER

    • goevolve

      I’m with you, the author didn’t give it a fair try. The “experts” she interviewed sound jealous that they didn’t think of it. I’m 49 and have been doing insanity for six months and love it. I rotate between the six main workout videos (three first month, and three second month) to give me variety and to suit my time constraints. I typically do it 4-5 times per week and do weights other days. Key for me is to do it on a well padded yet supportive exercise mat to prevent injuries. I was not a workout buff before but I’m totally into it now. There is nothing better for cardio, core, and stretching combo on the market.

  • hank

    if your having trouble with insanity, then you are not performing the exercises correctly. I am on my second time trough the series, and i can tell you that if you sacrafice form, which they tell you, for speed, it will hurt you. I’m thinking since you said that you went to not doing it every day like your supposed to, then obviously you werent following the program so of course you wouldnt see the results you expected. Now the program isnt for everyone, but since so many of us have seen the results were wanted, Id say your the problem not the program

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  • Jason

    There are two types of people that do these workouts. Ones with good form and ones without. I honestly think the person who wrote this article had bad form. Even if you asune your form is good, no one is around to tell you that it isn’t. So many people do insanity and think, “i’m doing it right!” But they really aren’t. They push themselves over their limit and cause injury. The insanity videos don’t cause injury because of its routines…the person DOING the routines and doing them improperly cause injury. Thats the same as going to the gym and hurting your back on the squat rack, then blaming the gym for your injury. Also you should have proper nutrion when doing these high intensity workouts. Pre-workout (caffeine) intra-workout (amino acids), post-workout (amino/carb) drinks: protein (whey, casien): vitamins (multi, definitely glucosamine, msm, condroitin). Your body is breaking itself down, and if you’re doing insanity its breaking down and trying to rebuild at a rapid pace. You HAVE to supplement this kind of intensity. Before doing the program I recommend building a base. Start taking a multi-vitamin and joint care vitamins at least two weeks prior. So, two things to make Insanity successful – proper form, proper nutrition.

  • Tim Calaway

    This might be the longest excuse ever written. You quit, the end.

    • Zoem

      When all your Crossfit buddies start dropping out with serious spinal injuries, I wonder if you’ll say to them, “that’s just an excuse. You quit, the end.”

      Reading through these comments: are you all really so addicted to the endorphin rush that you can’t imagine any other way to exercise? There are healthier, safer ways to do it. That was the point of this article. But god forbid someone criticize your precious workout.

      • Dwight Saunders

        uhmmm… there is nothing unhealthy about the way insanity is run…. there is even a 40 + year old lady that is part of the crew of people in the videos… the video always says, go at your own pace.. of course he pushes you… but he always reminds people and i quote, “take breaks if you need it people, lets go!!! it’s all about form not about speed” … the only time he tells you to go go go it’s all about speed is in the warm ups on the 3rd repition. Also I like how your argument changed from the work out not being right for you, to, “When all your Crossfit buddies start dropping out with serious spinal injuries, I wonder if you’ll say to them, “that’s just an excuse. You quit, the end.” you are wrong again… noone is expected to run the insanity, or any other high intensity work out 24/7 365… again.. he always says go at your own pace… THAT COULD INCLUDE REST DAYS NOT IN THE SCHEDUAL…. do it three days a week and mark off the days you could do… get through the whole program… rest for a week or two with light exercise only, then get back into it… eventually you will be crossing 4 days off a wekk, then 5… OR be honest with yourself, and admit that maybe you are more out of shape than you thought, and that you need to get in better shape to do this program. this article is trash, and borderline slander. you really do sound like a sore loser… I quit smoking and a very serious drinking problem cold turkey, and insanity is the exercise program i chose to do… I’m still in it almost finishing my 2nd month. Do i think insanity might be overpriced and kind of gimmicky… sure… however I do not agree with what you’re saying… you truly do sound frustrated and defeated… and i cannot trust the opinion of someone who is clearly emotional on the subject.

        • Indy

          Good for you for quitting drinking and smoking. If insanity helps you do that then screw anyone who disagrees.

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  • SiEDeN

    Fell for what bitch the shit works, your just lazy

  • SiEDeN

    Slob deleting my comment

  • SiEDeN

    Fucking disgusting article trying to shine something great in a negative light, HARDWORK IS HARDWWORK slob

  • Majik

    You are right. High intensity interval training CANNOT BE SUSTAINED THAT LONG! And anyone that claims it can does not know how the body works.

    Will you lose weight? Yes you will, will you gain strength? Depends on who you are and what your fitness level is. If you’re new to the game, and you’re lucky enough to get through it without injury, then yeah, you can see some strength gain, but if you’re someone who has been ding strength training for awhile and you do this, chances are you will LOSE strength.

    Insanity IS NOT FOR EVERYONE! But exercise is, so whatever floats your boat. I’ve done Insanity a few times, but I’m also a fitness professional and can tell you that Insanity can be dangerous. All the plyometrics that are done shouldn’t be done by the majority of the people doing Insanity. ANY trainer, coach, physiotherapist, doctor worth his weight will tell you that we first need to build muscle strength and endurance before we start putting that kind of strain on them! That’s just fact.

  • Pro1dg2gy3

    Maybe u should look at how u approach everything in life. If ur approach is the same as u approached the new exercise program, u probably should have known u were going to quit. Followed by vigorous research in why u should quit.
    Bottom line; not all workouts are for everyone, but u shouldn’t knock a program u couldn’t fully commit to.

    • http://www.tiffany-howard.com/ Tiffany Howard

      I don’t think she’s knocking it. She just said it wasn’t for her, and stating why it isn’t for everyone. Even Shaun T says it isn’t for everyone.


    Its unfortunate that you feel this way. I did the insanity work out and got amazing results. I think you might over exaggerate a few things in your blog. But to each his own, you have the right to your opinion. I do not have the genetic make up to look like the people in the adds but I did once i was done!!!! In fact I did this program with my 41 year old sister and her 40 year old husband along with my two nephews 12-14 we all did awesome. Committed to everyday as a team and all got amazing results!! Also since this work out is all weight bearing it does help with bone loss, I a medical professional as well! In addition if you did the whole program there are additional work outs that incorporate weights. Lastly, none of us had injuries. If you do the program correctly and pre-stretch prior to your workout you shouldn’t suffer any injuries. This program is not for everyone and is definitely not for the light hearted but your information is not accurate. Like the old saying goes don’t diss it until you try it FULLY!

  • sourbake

    I’ve just started the Insanity workout, and I’m about to do my Day 4 workout. I’m only 22 so I believe I should have at least some innate physiological stress tolerance and should therefore cope with this high intensity workout. I’m a little overweight for my height but I have high hopes to see good changes. To me though, the most important part is to be realistic. Be realistic about what your body can do safely and remember, Shaun T claims he can give YOU results that YOU could expect in a year in 2 months; he doesn’t state everyone who does the workout will lose 50lbs. A size 12 can’t expect to drop to size 0 just because someone starting at size 4 did.

  • Whitney Caldwell

    This was a excellent post, thanks for the valuable insight :)

  • Jamie

    All I heard was “I couldn’t hack it so I quit.”

  • JanFL

    I just turned 50 in January. My husband and I have run and used Insanity (not fully) in the past.

    We started Insanity again about 3 weeks ago. No I don’t do all of the exercises completely but at first tried to do 2 of each. Then 3. Now 4 and 5. The ones I like (ski jumps, squats, suicide drills) I do all of. Others like mountain climbers, the minimum I have forced myself to do. But I am managing to do more and more each time and I look forward to the workouts. I do manage to do the entire warm-up.

    I started exercising to help me sleep better and get rid of my hot flashes. It works. I sleep so much better after doing Insanity when I get home from work. No more hot flashes keeping me up!!! Plus I love the buzz I get a few hours after a workout.

    Have I lost any weight? No, I am 5’6 1/2 and just got on the scale – up 3 pounds now to 138. Do I care? No, that was the first time I weighed myself this year. As long as I fit into my clothes, which I do. Plus I have been working on my arms which have added some muscle there.

    We do the exercises barefoot on rubber padding on top of a wood floor. We don’t follow the schedule but base what we do on how much time we have. We just have fun with it. Yeah, we were achy at first but not now.
    Anyway, plan to stick with it. My goal now is to beat Tonya in the fitness test and do every exercise in pure cardio. I figure it took a lot of years of couch potatoing to get me to a level of flabby unfitness, it will not take a day to get me back into shape. This is a long-haul thing.

  • Justin O’Connor

    You are absolutely right. Check out this workout. Better and it is sustainable for the long term. http://www.under20workout.com

  • Believer

    To the extent you’re suggesting there are a number of ways to get in shape, I agree with you. But going harder for longer when you work out will get you in better shape. Anybody who doesn’t believe that is looking for an excuse to avoid putting in the work.

  • alltruthbrandon

    The workout does not work and I stopped having anything to do with that video a long time ago because I saw a shocking picture of Shaun T snuggled up with his BOYFRIEND. I almost vomited! He needs to stop the INSANITY!

    • http://www.facebook.com/alice.v.pua Alice Zindagi Pua

      And what’s wrong if he’s gay…?

    • Laura Aliaga

      I just read your post and almost vomited. What bothers you more: the fact that Shaun T is gay or the fact that either he or his stunningly fit boyfriend could kick your a$$ five ways from Sunday?

      • alltruthbrandon

        I see that u are a homosexual enabler, u are intent on cheering them all the way to Hell instead of trying to show them that what they are doing is wrong and evil. Sickening.

        • Laura Aliaga

          The only intent I have is to shame and highlight your hateful bigotry. God isn’t against homosexuality, he loves all his children… though I’m sure he’s saddened and ashamed by the intolerance and hate that people like you exhibit and then have the audacity to call yourself God-fearing. Shame on you.

          • alltruthbrandon

            To say that “God isn’t against homosexuality” is an outright LIE. Anyone with basic knowledge of the Bible knows that homosexuality is declared to be evil all over the Bible, not just in one isolated scripture. If you doubt this, then google “homosexuality in the Bible’. But i doubt that u will do that, since u are intent on lying about God and the Bible.

          • Laura Aliaga

            Interesting that you believe God wrote the bible. In point of fact, the bible was written by several dozen men AND edited ad infinitum by several rulers over the centuries to promote a certain narrative. Either way, I don’t need a dusty old book to know God is cool with homosexuality. He created all things on this earth and chose not to wipe out homosexuality during any of his floods or purges. The proof is in the pudding, he’s left them here because he loves them and they’re AWESOME! He even made the most famous gay biblical king: David

          • alltruthbrandon

            I mistakenly assumed that u were a Christian because u had mentioned God. But apparently your religion believes that perverts are “awesome”, so there is no need to discuss anything with u. Goodbye.

          • Laura Aliaga

            Make no mistake, I AM a Christian, the kind who actually practices what the bible preaches: compassion, acceptance, love and inclusion. If you’re using the Old Testament to make your point, just remember that the Old Testament is the Jewish Torah, word for word. So if you plan on quoting any of that, they’re Jewish beliefs. Educate yourself. But I do find it adorable that you feel so righteous and superior in your ignorance and bigotry, it’s the cutest thing, I want to pat you on your simple little head (pat pat)

          • Sherae X

            Uhh… (one last intervene)… Yes Old Testament is the Torah. I wouldn’t say word for word since the Bible has been robbed of truth in so many was; however, in the New Testament, Jesus said he didn’t come to change the law, but to fulfill it. Therefore, New testament doesn’t over rule the old one. The disaproval of homosexuality is mentioned in the old and the new testament, Hebrews I think. Anyway, not taking sides, just don’t what to withhold knowledge…. Also, Christianity didn’t exist when Jesus walked the earth. Jesus was all about submission to God’s will. Christianity began with Constantine. Who led this revolution with the cross. Jesus led submission to God’s will with the symbol of a fish. Both should research, but really? Tossed Insanity in the garbage because of this?
            I like Carey’s reason better. LOL!

          • Sherae X

            It’s true. The Bible was tampered with and rewitten. That’s why it’s known as “scriptures.” Scripts taken from a whole book. However, keep in mind why God flooded the earth, why He destroyed Solomon and Gomorrah and Babylon. It does mention homosexuality as one of the reasons. America is also the “mystery Babylon.” A country that legalized same sex marriage. If this were a “religious” site I would go deeper into details, but since it’s not, I won’t. Regardless, Shaun T’s man has nothing to do with me. As long as it doesn’t affect my strength and weight loss, I’m good! :)

          • Clar Toinne

            God also love your brother/sister.
            Not to judge lest you yourself be judged.
            Judging people is not yours or my job, it’s his. Let him do it and you do yours, which is finding what makes you happy, not tearing people down.

            And now back to discuss the work out huh?

            I have been doing insanity with my wife for a month. Def not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But exercise is finding out what works for you and what you find fun. If it isn’t fun why are we doing it right?
            Just keep it up, and keep making progress.


          • Iwrestledabearoncenofourtimes

            I did Insanity a year ago and it was the best fitness I have ever had. I have since gotten somewhat out of shape again because of a six month trip out of the country and college. But I am actually starting the program again today and it is going to be good. You do have to be able to push yourself to the limit, but NOT over the limit. There were several times last time I did it that I had to take breaks and get my form correct again. I was 18 (now 19) when I did it and even I had to take breaks more regularly. But into the second month I never tooks breaks except when Shaun said to. I had never been in that good of shape before or had that low body fat. NEVER push yourself past your limit; there is a point where you are not helping yourself anymore by “pushing through the pain”. You’re just hurting yourself. I would recommend this program to anyone of any age. But be careful; also know that your diet really is important. If you are in your late 30s or 40s, take your time and make sure you are eating good. This program could hurt you more than help you if you are not eating good and have not worked out in a while. Take your time getting into it; but don’t give up!

          • Sherae X

            I am one who believes God made man for woman. That’s procreation, our future, but I still like Shaun T and I still do his workouts because one has nothing to do with the other. Gay or straight, it’s not my choice to decide for anyone. And what does his sexual preference has to do with exercise, health and fitness?

        • Laura Aliaga

          And by the way, he’s not his boyfriend… he’s his HUSBAND! :)

          • mai

            Laura, what you are saying is nonsense. Looks like you pick and choose what you like from the teachings, which is pure hypocrisy. God allowed sin and evil to exist, because our life is a test. You are allowed to be a homosexual because God loves you so much that He respects your free will, but you will end up in hell for eternity. He did not destroy Lucifer when he fell from the heavens. Evil was allowed to endure unitl judgement day, and this is why our life is a test. How will you choose ?

          • Mrs. alltruthbrandon

            Alltruthbrandon is actually gay. I am a man and made love to him last night. He’s the catcher, I’m the pitcher IF ya know what i mean. Love you baby!

          • Sherae X

            LOL! HILARIOUS! This forum subject has gone way left! LOL!

    • robtish

      It’s one thing to disapprove of homosexuality (even though your disapproval is nonsense). But when you have a FULL-ON FREAK OUT about it, then there’s a lot more going on than you care to admit.

      • Dwight Saunders

        lol… im guessing the majority of you commenting back to this moron are older… What we have here is a troll…. and you all just got trolled super hard… this guy was just smoking bluntz and laughing his ass off…. he doesn’t give a shit about whether or not sean t is gay. just wanted to get a rise outa people and some laughs.

    • Boo Catley Maynard

      Shaun T is awesome. PERIOD. End of story.

  • Mike Cruickshank

    A former marine drill sergeant once told me that nothing builds camaraderie like shared suffering. After reading some of the responses to this article, I guess the same applies to home exercise videos.

    The fact that Insanity has a workout called “Cardio Plyometrics” should tell you all you need to know about the level of thought that went into this product.

    Cardio Plyometrics? Are they serious? What’s next, a Vegans guide to eating raw meat.

    One reassuring thing is that at least this product is consistent with the state of Forty Billion Dollar weight loss industry in this country. As America keeps getting fatter, the industry keeps getting bigger.

    Fantastic Shawn T! Hip Hop Abs wasn’t enough so you came up with this thing. Keep raking in the cash buddy.

  • carrie

    I think that the only people that will see those type of results in 60 days are those that are already “fit” but might need to do some toning or knock a few pounds off,however I think that you will and can see results in 6 days if you follow the workouts daily and follow the nutriton guide I learned about insanity through a blog post http://theinsanityworkout.org and decided to give it a try.

  • http://twitter.com/trothaar Teresa Rothaar

    I’ll have to agree with everyone who has said that you could have used all of the energy it took for you to make 1,000,000 excuses as to why you couldn’t do this workout and instead used it to get through the program. Your goal shouldn’t have been to look exactly like the people on the tapes; your goal should have been to do the best YOU could, to go as fast as YOU can SAFELY go…even if that means you are going at 50% or less of the speed of the people on the tape.

    My right wrist is blown out from carpal tunnel syndrome, and my left one is damaged. I have to severely modify the floor work in this program, but I’m on my 2nd round (after having done 2 half marathons and my 4th round of P90X). Oh, and did I mention that I’m a “middle-aged woman”? When I was 20, I couldn’t run one mile. Today I registered to tackle 26.2 this fall. Instead of making excuses and concentrating on all of the things I cannot do because of my bum wrist, I concentrate on the things I CAN do.

    I assure you, my body likes this “high-impact violence” a lot more than it liked me feeding it crap food and never getting off the couch.

  • MeMeMe

    The person who wrote this article seems like a lazy fat person. Did you even finish two days?

    • Carey Goldberg

      Thanks…Actually I work out every day, lift weights, run, am addicted in a healthy way to exercise — I just try to do it in a way that won’t injure me and keep me from doing it the next day…

      • FisherofTruth

        there are low impact versions of all the insanity moves. too bad you didn’t log in at the beachbody site and check out the forums with 1000s of people just like you for advice

    • Ateret

      That’s not a nice thing to say to somebody… Oh internet, how you have brought the ugliness out in us all…

    • Mehgann

      I’d rather be fat and lazy than live life thinking like you.

  • mosa

    Thanks for this. It is a good reminder to listen to my gut, and I found your writing to be elegant and engaging.

  • Ivan

    I’m 55 and just finished Insanity and am starting a 2nd go round. before starting I lost 60pounds in about 6 months by walking and using a stair climber. I have bad knees, but the walking has helped strengthen them. So, I started at 185 lbs. 68 days ago and have lost 5 lbs. with insanity. I have them beginnings of a six pack and my legs have never been stronger (legs have always been my weak point). I can’t say I every finished every interval but I did as they said and caught my breath and got back at it. I had to go easy on the jumps but they are coming around. It is very hard to get through the work outs at first, but you adapt quickly and by listening to your body, find your limits. The 1st month I would go through a 16oz bottle of water, and during the 2nd month moved that up to a quart. But all that sweat has paid off. Resting heart rate went from upper 70s to 60 and blood pressure dropped from 130/85 to 119/73. I would recommend it to anyone up to a challenge, but you have to be smart about it, listen to your body.

  • Not That Old

    You sound old

  • PT 109

    I am 49 years old and have been doing this work out now for 4 weeks it is by far the best work out i have ever done I couldn’t keep up even now its hard if you listen carefully to Shaun he doesn’t expect you to read the all of the warning signs that come with the program and apply some commonsense if you are experiencing pain stop if you keep pushing yourself in the wrong way yes you will get hurt. I started at 247 pounds with a 40 inch waist line I am now 230 pounds with a 36inch waist line also I broke my back at age 29 and at age 40 my larger intestine ruptured and I had 6 inches removed plus 2 more operations in my stomach needless to say I haven’t really been able to work out to wear I can get this kind of results now hear is the common sense approach if some part of my body starts to hurt I stop and sit down I rest and I start back up if it still hurts I stop that particular routine but I will keep moving. still to this day I cant keep up but that doesn’t matter it is all about what your physical limitations are I can only say that you are in control I will say this if you cant do the routine 100% slow down and work on the form another words if you cant do a push up like on the video lean against the wall and push off the wall once you can do it that way then go down and try it on the floor if you still cant do it move your knees on the floor eventually you will build your muscles up so you can do it with them I had to do this with most of the routines were I had to learn the form and then slowly work into it. the first week I was huffing and puffing now I control my breathing and middy body doesn’t have any aches or pains also bought the shakes for the diet end of this I ate a balanced meal twice a day and the shake is a meal replacement plus shakes fruit and nuts are the best so try it out you will feel great no matter want we do in this world there are always someone who will complain about something you can chose to follow the program or you can do something else the choice is still yours thanks

  • fletch062000

    I’m on my second time round with Insanity. Last year I completed the workout after 60 days, feeling fitter, stronger, and looking better. There were a few things that I didn’t like about Insanity, that it, the 60 day programme isn’t long enough. Once I was on day 60 I found myself quite depressed that this routine that I’d become accustomed to was about to finish. Also, the recovery week I found extremely difficult because although I’m fit, my flexibility is shocking, and out of the whole programme, this I found the hardest. And lastly, Shakeology is way over priced!!!
    The actual workouts are perfect for anyone who is able to stand on 2 feet and capable of bending their knees. As a good instructor would, Shaun T pushes you to the max but he also says very clearly that you should go at your own pace and take a rest when needed. If you had the same F1 car as Michael Shumaker, would you go the same speed as him around the track? Me thinks not. Your body will tell you when to stop and unless someone has a gun to your head it’s very difficult to push passed this to a dangerous level.
    I struggle with my lower back from heavy weight training and yes, some of the exercises do aggravate it from time to time, like the jumping down into a press-up position from standing. What do I do? I don’t jump down I get down.
    The point is, your body is better than any doctor at telling you what is right for you. If you struggle to complete the Insanity workout after just a few attempts, the answer in my opinion is to get a better reason for starting it in the first place. If you have a good enough motive for fitness you will accomplish anything!
    Peace Out!

  • Donwhill Ricky

    Thanks krs_sven
    Im a begginer, very skinny beginner, and i was a little bit confused about all this, i pushing as much as i can, i just think about my form, i cant keep it up with those guys, but after two months, i know i will do most of the exercises very easealy… hehe Your words, what you said, that was the proved answer and inspiration i was looking for. Thank you very much!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edward-P-Gilmartin/1551682631 Edward P Gilmartin

    if you do not like it you will not stick to it

  • David

    Insanity is not for everyone…and I think that is healthy for people to recognize there are other ways to remain healthy.

    On the other hand, I’m in month 2 of insanity and this is the best I’ve ever felt about my health, eating, and fitness in years. Better quality of sleep and depression is down.

    That being said, Insanity is not for everyone. It is okay if you decide for yourself that you don’t want to take part in Insanity.

  • ShaunT

    No, I don’t think you’re wiser at all. And as for your moment of “deep sheepishness” (what does that even mean?), I think you are angry with yourself for not being able to finish the workout.

  • Joyce

    I think you are someone who bought a workout too advanced (for you), and now you’re coming up with every excuse possible to justify the fact that you couldn’t complete it. The effort you put into trashing Insanity is pretty considerable – imagine if you had used that to try and complete a workout program – not Insanity, but something more moderate for you.

    I am 52 and ready to start month 2. I love Insanity! Is it tough? You bet it is, and I am really nervous about starting this second round of workouts. I know I will be even more humble than I was in month 1. However, I have been active all my life and have never taken a break from regular exercise. The Beach Body company repeatedly states that you should be in good physical condition to even start Insanity. You should have considered this before attempting it.

    One thing is for certain – you are most definitely in the minority. Many people of varying ages have completed the Insanity workout and are in great shape because of it. You need to admit that it was just too much for you – there’s no shame in that, but bad-mouthing the workout is just sad. Shame on you.

  • marqueA2

    That’s a lot of research to prove to yourself you can not do something.

  • Rob Ronzio

    I just take a bottle of baby oil and put on a gay prono that includes well hung men in speedos. I go faster and faster and get hard and ripped in no time. I call this my Rhodes Island insanity work out. I work up a sweat but lately I have carpal tumnnel syndrom in both hands because I have been working out this way 10 hours every day.

  • Elie


    Thank you very much for your post. I really respect your opinion and I think you are a wise person. Since no matter what the outcome of following a new workout program was, you were able to quit with lessons learned as mentioned in “My own lessons:” section.

    Though I couldn’t really agree with many things in this article and mainly: “‘They may just be genetic freaks with great bodies. Come on, in 60 days you’re going to look like that?” I really believe that HIIT works. I first got into body buildings and got great results out of it. I was able to bench press almost 1.3 my weight + at some point. Though I was never able to get rid of the abdominal fat for some reason.
    I attempted running short runs (1-3 Miles), longer runs (5 to 7 miles), I always watched my diet but it seems like my body always wanted to breakdown and use muscle for energy as opposed to fat. So everytime I did cardio sessions I would feel like I am losing rather muscles. I am now 2 weeks into the insanity workout and honestly the results are amazing so far. My midsection has been shrinking everyday! And for someone who struggled that much with the midsection fat, it is almost hard to believe.

    I came across your article, since I too was concerned about the heart rate and safety. I am a person who would never want to compromise health for looking good. But at the end of the day, my drive for working out is both health and looking good. I came long ways from quitting smoking, to running, to body building and I always wanted to do it all without taking creatine, steroids or any other crazy supplements. About the only thing I would use is protein (120 – 150 g / day only on the days I work out).

    “That sounds about right. One last lesson: Dr. Kraemer, in his wisdom, pointed out that we all tend to be bad consumers of fitness products; “We want this thing right now.” I really don’t want it right now, but I want a workout that works for the mid section fat and insanity seems to fit the bill as I mentioned before, other work outs did not burn midsection fat but did burn muscles.

    “Insanity has famously brilliant marketing, and those before and after pictures are just so powerful. Of course I knew I wouldn’t get “cut,” but somehow” I think the key to getting cut is building muscles (that would show) and removing the fat that is covering the muscles. So having that said, if you lift weights and and remove the midsection fat (using Insanity’s help or other workouts designed for midsection fat) you will actually get cut.

    Finally, thank you very much for your review. I think the main thing is remaining in good health as we grow older. I probably would not want my six packs later on in life, I would rather be happy being able to commute and move and maybe keep up with my grand children. Also hopefully avoiding weight related disease. No matter what the means are it seems like we all agree that exercising is healthy. As for my plans, I would want to do insanity for the 60 days and move on to other workouts as I dont want to keep pushing too much on my back and joints. I also have similar lessons learned as you.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • T in Austin

    I’m over 50 and have sometimes terrible joint pain but I put the DVD in and do my closest approximation of what they are doing! I can not jump up and down on a hard floor. I get on my mini -trampoline for high impact work jumping and I do the push-ups on a bench. My body just looks better when I workout and I feel better. You can modify ALMOST ANY exercise DVD if you have arthritis and if you want to.
    I’ll never be ale to do exactly what they are doing but I’m still sweating (or is that a hot flash?) and I will never wear size 12 again because I know that MOVING prevents that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001764295009 Jonnie Veal

    It works but do not expect to be like a veteran over night.Have realistic expectations and you will progress.It’s not easy or meant to be easy.I have done five days and will complete the course,it helps if you have a degree of knowledge on aspects of training as raw beginners will really struggle.I think it delivers but be patient..

  • http://www.facebook.com/burkholder2 Jeffrey Burkholder

    wow. weak minded. Remember, it is only for the strong MINDED…people who don’t want to make excuses.

    • marqueA2

      Yeah, this article is one big excuse.

  • Gise Barona

    Insanity and P90X are the best
    programs I had ever encountered for my interest. Why, because it creates a
    routine, a discipline and I get results that I am honestly satisfy with.
    If you find the program challenging don’t speak for others saying is a bad program.
    My Dr. is clearly aware of the program and has never mentioned concerns on my
    health except that she is very happy that I have lost 13lbs in my 4th
    week of Insanity. I am a huge believer of, do what you can with what you got!
    Why push yourself if it’s hurting your joins just skip or do it at your own
    pace as Shaun T and Tony say! They are very clear with those words!!!

  • Redneck

    Dude! Seriously how long has your body looked the way it does? How many years have you neglected your body? Me? For about 20 years! You want instant results after 20 years? not going to happen! But you want to feel better? you want to look better? Well there has to be a starting point somewhere right? My question is are you willing to put 6 months of insanity into your life? Well the way I see it you have been putting a negative insanity into your body for how many years now? Why not put 6 months of positive into your body? What do you have to loose? Your body is already at a point where youre beyond control or you would not even be reading this right? Get up off your ass! Stop whining! Stop using that fucking defeatist attitude..the same attitude that got your body in this condition in the first place…mind-fuck yourself… and get it done! The only reason you are not fit is because you havent started yet! Stop reading and start doing dammit!

  • http://www.facebook.com/pamela.pittser Pamela Pittser

    What is the P9OX?

  • Amanda

    The people in the videos and the before and afters on the beachbody website have done insanity more than once. If you read their testimonials they admit that. You’ll only get out what you put in and you can’t get upset with the results you didn’t get from the work you didn’t do. I’m on my second round of insanity currently, the first round I went from 165 to 125. Right now I’m in my 4th week and I’m still 125 however I’m replacing the fat with muscle so I’m looking a lot more trim that I was after the first round. Everyone wants a sculpted body in the shortest amount of time but in reality it should take you just as much time to take it off then it did to put it on. It took me a year and a half to pack on 40lbs. I started this new get fit lifestyle Jan 2012, so I’m almost at my year and a half mark. No matter what program you choose you should be prepared to be uncomfortable and be ok with that. You’ll never get anywhere if you focus on the scale rather than changing your lifestyle.

  • http://www.facebook.com/skratzmeyer Shannon Kratzmeyer

    Amazing that a person can do the workout just a few times and then totally trash it like they know what they are talking about.

    I came to insanity totally out of shape, and pushed through and did my best. I am now on month 2, just finished the first workout of the max interval and I LOVED(hated) it.

    I have so much more energy, and I have lost 20 pounds so far. This workout is great!

    • marqueA2

      The sad part is that this is the most popular article on the website.

  • Brigid

    Hey, I know this is an older article, but have you heard of Dustin Maher’s Fit Moms for Life? It uses intensity/interval training with wisdom–functional movements, designed for women, and yes you can get cut! But there’s value in doing things at very slow speeds too–painfully slow pushups, etc.
    Thanks for the article.

  • sally

    u know thats prob cause you couldnt lose the weight with insanity so now you gotta blame it……….its an amazing program…maybe if you actually tried and stopped questioning youd succeed…also what was your diet. stop misinforming poeple because of your lack of effort.

  • DeniseD

    This whole rant about Insanity sounds like you trying to make an excuse for yourself. I’m a 36 year old woman who smokes. I was always super thin but never worked out. After my 2nd child and as I got older, my metabolism just didn’t work like it used to. I’ve put on about 40 pounds from where I want to be. I’ve tried every quick fix pill and that didn’t work. I tried walking 3 miles a day. Nothing. Finally I’ve got so fed up that I decided I was going to do Insanity. I borrowed the 1st months of disks from a friend. I’ve been doing it for 10 days now and I can tell you that it’s amazing! I was so out of shape! Barely made it through the first workout…had to stop many times and just stare at those people thinking “how the hell are they doing that?” The first week, my body was sooo sore! I’m 10 days in and no longer sore. I still sweat a ton through the workouts and struggle to keep up, but I will admit I’m addicted. I actually look forward to getting home from work just to do the workouts! Doing the workouts was a drastic change from my previous day to day. I sit on my butt behind a desk most of the day and never exercised. Now I absolutely love it! It makes me want to work harder. I’m eating better, and really wanting to. I’m going to buy the real set tomorrow so I can continue.
    The marketing for Insanity is great, but actually doing it is the best marketing ever! It’s like crack! If you want to say you exercise, but not really sweat or do anything, definitely try another crappy workout. This one is the real deal!

  • http://twitter.com/BrooklynBlooms Agatha

    I just started Insanity, for my 45th birthday!! I love it because I have the common sense to not try to keep up with the 20 year-olds but when I feel like I can’t push I take a short break and drink water like the folks in the video do. I am losing tons of water weight already, and I can tell if you just stick with it, it’ll get easier once you’re no longer a beginner. People who get hurt are the clowns who try to mimic the pace of the fitness models. Focus on form, you’ll be fine.

  • Noah

    So my sister started having back problems last summer durring her insanity workout and I read the article and I was wandering if it is true that insanity might be the reason for her back trouble.?

  • Mark

    OK, here’s my experience with it. I’ll be 50 in 2 weeks. I’ve never worked out before. I just finished the 60 days. Was it tough? You bet. Do I look like the people in the commercials? Nope. Do I look and feel better than I did before? Absolutely. Did I do everything as fast and as long as they do? No. But I did everything as fast and as long as I felt I could handle. Even the hard bodies on the DVD’s take breaks sometimes during the workouts.

  • LastoftheZucchiniFlowers

    Fashion, in exercise and fitness, is no different from the capriciousness of any other sort of fashion. Remember the Nordic Track XC Ski-Machine? People were losing huge amounts of weight after relatively short exercise times (20-25 minutes) because XC Skiing burns huge amounts of calories and the machine simulated the actions of the body during that activity. However, it was NOT cross country skiing and many people found out that their hip joints and needs, LONG underutilized, had revolted with sudden inflammation. Here’s the REAL end point of ANY EXERCISE ROUTINE: can you maintain it over months, or years? Same with ‘diets’ – can you eat what the ‘diet’ prescribes for the rest of your life? If the answers to these two questions is no, then I suggest you save your money and look for something you love and CAN do forever. Walk your dog twice a day. Dance bachata with a partner. Play tennis, run up and down your stairs doing housework a few days a week or anything that you enjoy………..Artificial routines like this are simple fads; just like the grapefruit diet, Jane Fonda, Jim Fixx’s running edicts (who, btw, die from a fatal cardiac event), and this list is ENDLESS. One thing is certain and the ‘weight loss indutry’ knows it full well: the American consumer will spend untold amounts of money on promises of slimness and fitness and the more desperate that consumer is for the ‘goal’; the more money he/she is willing to spend…so caveat emptor. Finally – remember Jackie Mason’s comedy routine about the special exercise machine? The one which came with the clothes hangers already mounted on it???? THINK! And start by EATING LESS…….it’s not rocket science.

  • Jonetta

    I’m 19 years old, and I weigh almost 200lbs. I don’t have any health issues that I know of, but I know I really need to lose this weight before it’s gets too bad. I want to know if doing the Insanity workout at this weight, with no real exercise background, is a good idea. I’ve read many of the comments and understand that variation is important, but I just want to make sure I’m OK before I buy it.

    • Body Buddy 1

      I’m 46 was moderately active before Insanity have made it through twice and am about to start a third cycle. Yes you can do it. Follow all the winners advice above and stick with it! You will be so proud of your accomplishment and realize great benefits in so many ways.

    • http://twitter.com/trothaar Teresa Rothaar

      Yes, you can do it, so long as you modify the workouts as needed and don’t push beyond your physical limits. I’d be happy to help you get through Insanity: hit me up on Twitter @trothaar or at facebook.com/trothaar – I run a health and fitness group on Facebook, and there are several of us doing Insanity.

  • Mandie

    I quit smoking and starting getting in shape. I started Insanity about 5 weeks later. I feel amazing at what I have done. I eat healthy, get rest, and take care of myself like I never have before. You have to do the workout properly if you want the results without injury. Eating right is a huge thing with this and some people just refuse to change there eating habits, then claim something is wrong with there workout. I have many friends who have done Insanity, with lasting results, and one of them is 48, the other is 50. They did it at a slower pace but are in amazing shape now.

    Sometimes a workout program isn’t for you, or you don’t want to actually do the sometimes HARD work to get results. If you are older it might not be right for you. I just hate it when people bash something they really shouldn’t have tried or failed and are upset about it. If you are to lazy and didn’t get the results you wanted in five days then just stay the way you are.

    • LastoftheZucchiniFlowers

      Congratulations on quitting smoking! THAT is the single, most important step you have taken in improving your health for the future. The second congratulatory effort is your change to ‘eating right’. Again, you have addressed deleterious lifestyle habits which threatened your well being. You do not state your age, but I suspect you are young, hence, unlikely to be hurt by the insanity routine. What is your assessment of how you perceive the insanity workout in your future; say one year out or five years out? I am curious.

  • What?

    So, you did insanity for what, one day and gave up? I did insanity and loved it!

  • desi

    I’m 15 and my weight is 142 and my height is 5’6″, I’ve been doing insanity for 4 days and I want to give up already. It’s so hard for me, I barely breathe when I’m doing it. Any recommendations? I want to weight 120.

    • LastoftheZucchiniFlowers

      desi – as it is Spring and you are young (in high school) have you considered joining the track and field team? High school sports can be a great way to get in and stay in shape AND can instill lifetime fitness habits/enjoyment of sports? Just a thought.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.donahue2 David Donahue

    I tried insanity and lasted five minutes

  • Mat

    Spoken like someone who is OK with being weak and pathetic. Good for you, you showed Shaun T who is boss, get back to being out of shape and just keep looking for Dr’s that agree with you to justify the laziness.

  • Amber Deiter

    It really just sounds like most of you are complaining because the workout is too hard….Well it’s supposed to be hard and to get results you have to push. You can’t go from zero to 100 in a day. I’m almost done with insanity and the results have been great.

    • LastoftheZucchiniFlowers

      amber what happens when you are ‘done’?

      • Body Buddy 1

        You rest for a couple weeks (but stay active and continue to eat right) and actually see improvements continue. Then you start another round taking it to the next level.

      • http://twitter.com/trothaar Teresa Rothaar

        You can do whatever you want when you are done. You can cycle through Insanity again, try another workout program (like Asylum or P90X), do a hybrid of Insanity with another program (my husband is doing a P90X/Insanity hybrid right now), or tackle some other form of exercise, like running or bicyling.

        When I finished my first round of Insanity, I trained for and ran my 1st half marathon. Then I did another round of P90X. Then I trained for and ran another half marathon before starting my current round of Insanity. When I’m done with this one, I’m going to train for a full marathon.

  • Lucia

    Hi I am a 48 years woman that started Insanity as a new challenge. I started it in November last year and I love it. It is the hardest workout I have ever done. My problem is that a month ago my left knee, left elbow and left shoulder got very swollen. I went to the doctor and she gave me some medicine for the inflammation, and she recommended me to rest for the exercise. I have been waiting for that, driving me crazy for not being able to exercise. I just wonder if I should start again to do insanity or should I start doing something else before I start to go insane again!!!

    • Body Buddy 1

      Cut your meat intake down to about 10% of what it currently is. Replace the meat with greens, greens and more greens (juicing helps) watch the swelling disappear and then get back on it

  • Chad

    If you arent losing fat 95% of the time is your diet. Wow you are a quitter and not motivated. Your diet isn’t good and you don’t push hard enough. Truth is truth I’m tired of people making excuses and reasons why you can’t do something I’ve personally lost over 110 pounds because I changed my woe is me loser mentality. I’m sorry If I come off aggressive but I believe you are not being a jerk if you are telling the truth.

  • Shaun T

    I read this & do not understand a few things?
    Why did u stop it? Did u do the 60 days? Did your body change or not??? Or did I skip a sentence telling us why you stopped?

  • Ateret

    I’m really glad I didn’t listen to this article and I went ahead and bought the program legitimately from beachbody.com (you’re welcome). In fact, this article almost made me not buy it and kind of scared me! Until I read some comments, so thank you commenters! I was worried about my joint and back because I have bad joints and scoliosis. I’m fairly fit and pretty lean but wanted to burn off the extra squish on my arms and tummy. I’ve gone through two weeks of the exercise before I got a bad cold and had to stop. Now I’m restarting the program, but what I did made me look great! My family has noticed I look leaner and healthier and I feel so much better and stronger! Plus if you do the workouts at your own pace like they tell you to in the workout, your body shouldn’t suffer too badly! At least mine didnt. So if you’re wondering if you should try it, you should find out for yourself and not listen to articles on the Internet that tell you it’s bad.
    My husband did p90x and looks A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Plus I’m lookings TONS better after only two weeks! Do it, you won’t regret it!

  • Brie.Roberts

    Insanity is a great program for all ages. My family decided to loose weight and be healthy together. My dad(50) almost weighed nearly 298 pounds, my mother(47) weighed around 250 pounds, my younger brother (15) who is in good shape but would love to bulk up more, my youngest brother (12) who is over weight for his age group weighing almost 150 pounds, and myself (20) average body fat weighed 135. We are only on week 2 but all have lost weight and toned up in mussel. It is hard and most people DO give up and waste their money. Insanity is a challenge to commit to. If you were or are looking for an easy simple work out, you will hate this. Insanity takes all dedication. Everyday you will be pushed to your limits and sweat, be sore, and what to give up…but people need to understand that just means its working. If you’re not sore after working out it does nothing for you (hence the term “No pain No gain”). I will testify that this workout is amazing and all it is said to be. The only problem is the commitment you have, if someone is lazy, or gives up easy than this will never benefit you. I’m starting to love the sore feelings I have, I know when I feel sore it means I’m closer to my goal. My body is already looking amazing. I would recommend this program to anyone willing and determined.

  • J.one

    I went to Marine corps Boot camp at 210 lbs come out a in-shape 6pack 175lbs. boot camp is 3 months. this is a good program so far im doing this now, u just gotta commit to the fitness life style for something like this it works

    • LastoftheZucchiniFlowers

      are you still on active duty? You understand ‘life style committment’ and members of the USMC typically PT daily during their lunch hours on military installations world wide. Military life supports being fit and daily exercise, but often times when folks take off the uniform, they no longer get their daily PT. Civilian employers are not invested in the physical fitness of their workers like the armed forces. That is unfortunate.

  • Boom!

    Insanity Works! it just simply work! the writer of this article I believe is bias because she cant handle the grind! Im an Army vet and PT is harder than insanity.

  • bunny wunny

    I do HIIT and lift heavy weights a few times a week. 1 hour jog on an elliptical machine barely raises my heart rate above 130 BPM and I get bored easily. I’m probably fitter than when I was in high school. But according to my BMI, I am an obese 31 year old female.

    I did P90X for the first time last week and it was OK. My form and coordination needs work but who can memorize a move in 15 seconds? I’m not a dancer! The only move I could not do is the Dreya Roll (and run marathons).

    The best thing about doing these workouts is doing them with friends, smile when you stumble, laugh while doing ‘wacky jacks’ and take a couple of advils the next day.

  • Jenna

    This sounds like a whole bunch of quiters!!!!! Shaun T does say its not for everyone!!! So how about ya’ll find some Richard Simmons videos to work out to and leave Insanity for the people with drive. I read this and its just more motivation to do it again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/benjamin.t.jenkins.1 Benjamin Timothy Jenkins

    REST, REST, and more REST, is a piece of advice that Shawn T. doesn’t preach enough. Rest is such a vital part of working out: your body simply needs time to heal. Now, with this being said, I believe that Insanity is a great program and it is your responsiblity to implement a rest period…at least give yourself 2 to 3 days of recovery and get back to it. With that advice, try to finish the program first before knocking it.

  • Chris K

    I started doing Insanity from a very solid base of cardio and strength conditioning and after only two weeks I can tell it’s just not right for me. It’s too high impact and places way too much stress on things that shouldn’t be that stressed at my age (52), especially my Achilles, which is already a bit sore. I rarely consider age to be a limiting factor in my workouts but the fact is your tendons and ligaments lose some of their elasticity as you age and to adequately modify the many high impact moves in Insanity that feel risky to me would make it far less effective than my non-Insanity work-outs. I also think the program does itself a serious disservice by not having an intro video that explains all the moves and really emphasizes the need to ease into it (which, of course, would likely lengthen the 60 day period of the program, which is a bit of a gimmick anyway; aren’t we exercising for life?). Instead you get immediately into Shaun T yelling at you to pick it up and go faster “but stay safe.” Not the best time to send that mixed message.

    • http://www.facebook.com/katspajamas22 Melissa Silberberg

      Insanity DOES come with an intro DVD called Dig Deeper that tells you all those things. He tells you to consult a physician first, he describes and demonstrates proper form and suggests that you be in relatively good shape before trying Insanity. He tells you to go faster to motivate you IF YOU CAN DO IT. A lot of times we half-ass it when we have more in us to push a little harder. BUT he also tells you to go at your own pace several times in the workout, to take a break if you need it, to stop if your form is suffering, to move to the cool down if you can’t do anymore, otherwise keep pushing. You are clearly misinformed on what this program is and isn’t. It’s not something to ease into. It’s not something you do for 60 days and boom, model body and never have to work out again. Starting Insanity for me has been the beginning of a life style change. Forever.

    • simplyobserving

      Thank you!!!! I am a very fit woman at 48. When I started Insanity I loved the cardio because it jacked my heart up, got me breathing hard, etc. What got me was the plyometrics. If I took it easy on the jumping (and you spend a lot of time on your toes) then I didn’t get the full cardio. So, I jumped and lateral moved and kept my form and all those things to be successful with the program. After a workout I’d ice my feet to keep the inflammation to a minimum, take anti-inflammatories, and stretch those muscles associated with the feet and calves. I am currently getting the majority of my cardio using my bicycle while I wait for my feet to heal after cortizone shots. I will get better again and I will then stick to what works for me. Running, bicycling, and other medium to intense workouts that I know what set me back waiting to heal. I applaud the people that make it through injury free but it is not for everyone. Even very fit people.

  • Debbie

    I’m a 42 year old woman with a dodgy knee and have been doing Insanity for 2 weeks. I love it, to the point that I am slightly addicted. Have never stuck to any fitness regime before for more than a few days and can already see and feel a difference. The warm up and stretches also mean I haven’t pulled a single muscle despite it being so strenuous. Combined with a knee strap and also heart rate monitor to make sure I don’t overdo it (or slack off!) it is ideal for me. No leaving the house, no equipment required – no-one to see my purple face when I finish! Week 2 fitness test done today and improved on every exercise – some by masses. Best £100 I ever spent on fitness. Equivalent of 3 months’ gym membership – well worth the investment.

  • jjdaniels

    He said ‘not that I ever thought I’d get a 6 pack’ that was where I quit reading. Some times looking/feeling good isn’t for everyone… especially the ones who can’t convince mind they’re going to get good results. People forget they need better motivation than clicking the ‘add to shopping cart’ button. Motivation was this guy’s problem, but he decided to justify his short comings. Amen to those that stick with it til the end.

    • LastoftheZucchiniFlowers

      I think the article was written by a middle aged lady. Did you read it?

  • vera

    I will never forget the great work of Dr.samoda in my life. I was terribly
    ill and the doctors confirm that I can’t be healed completely for this I
    was frustrated and my increases as time pass on. When I meant Dr. samoda
    online I discuss my situation with him, and he said nothing is impossible.
    He ask me to send my photograph which I did and he bought some materials
    which he used for me and I was able to regain my normal health after a
    week. When I went to my doctor for check up he was surprise and said
    unbelievable that my health is normal and my body weight equally normal. My
    greatest thanks to Dr. samoda if you which to contact him, his Email

    • LastoftheZucchiniFlowers

      practicing ‘medicine’ remotely without examining a patient and without benefit of face to face encounters is malpractice and any physician will tell you so. NO ONE should take medical advice from the internet no matter who the ‘dr’ is and any valid medical website will be prefaced with the disclaimer that their comments/products are NOT a substitute for a physical exam/diagnostic testing by their personal physician. This is for liability protection for the medical profession so you cannot sue them later on for damages……

  • ann

    Im doing insanity and I think it great, it tells you to go as fast as YOU can and be safe. Yes, its hard but in the first four weeks I’ve come a long way.and can do a lot more. Its worth it, believe me if you stick with it you won’t be disappointing I would have looked at this post differently if the writer actually finished it.

  • Glorianne

    Thanks for this thoughtful and well-researched article. I recently sold my own Insanity set — unopened — after owning it for a year and a half. While I think I am young enough to be able to “take it,” the bottom line is that I didn’t think it would be enjoyable to do the same things after a while. I like step class and kickboxing and changing things up as much as possible. Of course, I wasn’t honest with myself when I purchased the set; I was just thinking of the end result.

    Cathe Friedrich has a great new workout set of 9 or so DVDs called Xtrain and I started it for my New Year’s Resolution to get fit. It is based entirely on periodization, so I was interested to see the benefits of the practice extolled. One day will be heavy weights, the next interval aerobic training, etc. It’s a 90-day program, but highly adaptable, and so far I’m loving it. What I love most about Cathe’s DVDs is that she is not Jillian Michaels or some of the other boot-camp-type instructors. She doesn’t tell you to keep pushing so you can look good in that swimsuit. “Cathletes” are instead interested in fitness for fitness sake, for upping that weight selection to keep your body guessing because that’s the healthy, challenging thing to do. Okay, now I sound like a shill for Cathe, but I promise I’m not. I know different things work for different people; I’m just glad I finally found what works for me.

  • Mario

    I have tried both P90X and Insanity. And I have to say it is very hard work and you feel like you’re going to die after a few continuous days of workout.

    I personally had to change the frequency of the exercises however I did began seeing results. I found this particular post interesting:


    if you’re considering trying out insanity.

  • Taz

    People should learn to read before they exercise, you need a license to buy a gun it’s to bad they allow elderly idiots to buy on infomercials without a license to. Lady you may be 58 but your maturity and intelligence is that of a 12 year old , please grow up and exercise responsibly. No matter what program you choose if you do it wrong or do not follow instructions you get hurt. Then you post whinny reviews that are incorrect , the you cry and try to get sympathy, what you need us psychiatry, and another copy of Shaun T to get you in shape, lol , no really don’t your an idiot i was kidding, please just get a good mobility scooter and hand gun for when you realize it’s all over.

  • Taz

    Your not wiser , just stupid for not following the program how it was intended to be used , and they is at your own pace, Shaun T goes at his speed and demos it, and the others at varying amounts, Shaun tried to get you motivated to go as fast as you can, word here is as fast as YOU can, if for a few weeks you go really slow that is cool, you get faster and stronger, if you need to do program 2 times to get full results then you do that, people that get hurt and quit are idiots and so you quit and now want to try and make yourself feel better for it by trying to get others to follow you, shame on you

  • Taz

    Lady your weak, you should have done what they suggest a d not go insane but do what you can, they never said do what they do, your nuts no one should listen to your crack talk

    • LastoftheZucchiniFlowers

      taz – roid rage much? Go back to school and learn to spell, punctuate and use proper syntax. THEN see a counselor to find out WHY this article threatens you so deeply that your vitriol oozes from every enlarged pore…..

  • Kevin

    Sounds to me like someone who could not handle the workouts did a lot of hard work to write an essay to discredit that type of training. It clearly says if you read all the information before buying that this workout is not for everyone. Maybe if the author worked as hard doing the workouts as she did writing this essay the desired results could be reached.

  • Megan

    As a personal trainer, I know too many people who end up burnt out and/or injured from starting or trying such a program. High intensity intervals are great for those who have trained long enough to have proper form, etc. But the frequency and duration combo of insanity is dangerous. Not to mention, there are so many other factors that people neglect to consider when setting exercise goals such as nutrition, stress level, sleep, etc. Exercise is a stressor on the body. It can be a “good stressor” when all other things are in order. But when you add it to less than 8 hours sleep, job stress, financial stress, and poor diet, it works against you.

  • Dean

    Hi are you just making excuses? Society today just wants a quick fix and when something like insanity training comes along and someone like you who feels as you said ‘I knew i wouldn’t get cut” well you have already given up anyway havent you, and then you find all the excuses to make yourself feel better. Well all those people who have tried it AND persisted well done. Dont just label them and say ‘oh thats just genetics’ no its hard work. And they deserve all the credit well done…

  • Gary

    If you want to keep fit, get ripped and have fun, I suggest a three day outdoor hippie music festival. Get ripped and dance your ass off. Now that’s my kind of Insanity. You guys can keep taking those steroids and hanging out in your basements yoked to the harness of your overpriced exercise equipment if you want to, but I like my balls the size they are naturally. And if you really want to get ripped, try mushrooms and ganja.

  • Gary

    You insanity promoters sound like a weird cult of adrenaline addicts with minds poisoned by military training. I bet I could kick your asses. Try going for a long walk once in a while…preferably off a short pier.

  • Michel Rios

    Lol..I thought you were a gal at first..didn’t look at the name..but alright brother..we are still in the trenches together and you have given me hope. Let me know how you are doing..great wishes.

  • big bacon burger

    This review was really long and I couldn’t finish reading it. blah blah blah.

  • Joe Football

    I mix Insanity and P90X with the Planet Fitness 30 minute circuit…2 days a week. I like mixing it up. By the time I am done my working on those days I lose a pound a day.. Diet is very important …maybe more important then the workout. Yoga is a must one day a week .. it’s burn actually last 48 hours.

  • Robert Dykstra

    It’s tough, but it works

  • fitnessguru

    Check out http://www.betterbodies247.com to get insanity for only $24.99

  • Ateret

    My husband started the P90X program and is almost finished. There is definitely a difference, he was attractive before, but he’s AMAZING now! I’m thinking of doing this Insanity workout, but I have scoliosis and am a little concerned about doing it, but after reading some of these comments, it doesn’t sound so scary as portrayed in this article.

  • Cornelius Mootoo

    It’s mental toughness and dedication. I finished INSANITY, INSANITY: ASYLUM Volume 1 and currently on ASYLUM Volume 2. Were there days I didn’t want to workout? Of course. Were there times during the workout where I was EXHAUSTED beyond measure and couldn’t move? Hell yes. But you have to grit your teeth and push through. If you want it bad enough, then you’ll fight through the pain. Otherwise, you’re only half-assing it and you don’t really want to become fit or healthier, because that’s what these programs have done for me. I can confidently say that I’m an athletic monster now because of what Beachbody and the programs have done for me..stronger, faster, healthier all since August 2012. No excuses.

  • Ryan W

    Wow sounds like you never even made it past the warm up. If you can’t hack it, doesn’t mean you have to slam it. I am on my second round of Insanity now, I feel better than i have in a long time; I’m also much more aware of the nutrition I put in my body now, thanks to Insanity.

  • Keya

    It’s working just great for me. Lost 7 inches already and 5lbs in a little over 3 weeks. It’s all about modification. Do what you can as long as you do it. I simply love it and havent exercised for over 10 yrs prior to it. I also had knee surgery 6 yrs ago. So there are no excuses.

  • Harsh truth

    Sounds like you are a lazy quiter with more than a few excuses.

  • Mark

    Hey….Im a physical Therapist…..only thing I can say is…Keep doing your unsupervised home insanity dvd and Keep me in Business!!! Yes! Have dozens of patients going through re-hab from Shoulder, Knee, Hip, and Low Back injuries from the Insanity Workout with shaun T….Love this world..Beat yourself up for fitness and keep the professionals in Business..

  • jax

    Don’t blame your failure on the program. It clearly states that people who are out of shape should complete a less intense workout program BEFORE starting the Insanity program. I hate it when people refuse to accept person responsibility for their failures.

    • Steady

      I agree, there is P90, which is where most people should start and it is still a very intense workout.

    • Savvy

      There are folks who are very fit indeed who are being injured by this workout, so that doesn’t pan out. Maybe look at some objective research instead of buying a bunch of corporate propaganda.

  • Angielala

    It’s clear to me that this woman never got to the recovery day, which consists of slow resistance exercise and breathing. Maybe it would have spun her failure perspective around. I’m an x-soccer player, so I need a really hard workout in order to feel satisfied with my fitness. I generally do not enjoy workout videos, as I love to be outdoors, but I thought I would give Insanity a try during this winter, when the conditions for running become bitingly cold. Also, I just feel like my body is in need of a different kind of stress, as the body will adapt to a consistent form of working out over a long period of time. I am in my first week of insanity, so I do not yet see results, but I sure do feel them. My lower back was sore the last two days, though it was not a spinal pain, it was a muscular pain… Same thing I was feeling in my calves and quads. Today was the recovery day, and my back feels wonderful. No soreness, just a leftover feeling of warmth and strength. I have high hopes for this workout. I have never had six pack abdominals, and I might never get them, but I am betting with this workout I will come close! My favorite part is that the workouts are so short, and easy to fit into the day. I cannot wait until six weeks from now, when I look the way I feel! Wonderful!

  • ambck5

    Just finished Insanity…lost 4 lbs and 2 inches from my waist…went from having a layer of fat to tone, definition and yes abs. It’s tough…but it works…period. I eat right, but I also don’t deprive myself of things I like. I take results and recovery and drink Shakology. I have also done p90x and p90x2, Insanity paid off far greater for me than the other 2. Shaun T speaks the truth, the work out works, it makes you feel good…and I AM A BELIEVER. My body has NEVER looked like this…..this is the only thing I have found to truly help me SHED FAT! I have never felt better. Definitely go at your pace…you will get there!!

  • TCamp

    I am a 49 year old woman who had been exercising regularly and I’m in the second month of Insanity. I take a few breaks during the workouts but no more than the people on the DVD. The workouts are really tough but I can keep up and do the moves and I’m seeing definition even though I haven’t lost pounds (I wasn’t trying to lose weight). I think if you meet the physical requirements (pay attention to that warning at the beginning of he DVD about bad knees, back, etc), I think anybody can do Insanity regardless of age.

  • igor

    I worry that things like insanity will put people off exercise for life. To go into something that hard from the start is ridiculous. The bottom line is these products are about vanity and not sporting enjoyment. I knew someone who did the 60 days and to be fair he did get results but quelle suprise ! couldn’t sustain it. He is now fatter than he ever was with a head like a water melon. we used to cycle for miles but he never does now. I think insanity wrecked his body and his exercise morale. Is this the future of exercise, everbody shut in their attics trying to get a six pack, training harder than a pro boxer preparing for a championship fight ! and all this after a days work. Forget it, i’ll stick to cycling, and have a beer when i get back.

  • FitDad

    If you are curious if this workout is for you, then checkout Insanity: Fast and Furious. Its a 20 minute sample of the full program. Its tough but is really only about 11 minutes of hard exercise, the rest is warmup and stretching. Read more at: http://fitdadblog.com/workouts/insanity-workout/.

  • Jim Christiano

    Have you ever tried Insanity Fast and Furious? Its a short 20 minute version of the full program. I use it as a great way to start my morning. Look it up and let me know what you think.

    Jim C

  • Nicki

    So can you just start doing the insanity workout after not working out in 3 years? Should I start with something at more of a beginner level?

    • Carey Goldberg

      Gosh, Nicki, speaking not as a medical expert but just as an amateur who’s tried the work-out, I’d strongly recommend against starting with Insanity — there would be a lot of the moves that you just wouldn’t be able to do, and you’d end up standing there waiting for that segment to end. There are a zillion great videos out there aimed at beginners. I subscribe to a free workout video catalogue called (see collagevideo.com) that offers many…

    • Michael

      I don’t know if you still need a reply on this but it helped me to get into shape some before I started it. I’d actually been smoking for about ten months when I started it and quit smoking about a week into it. A few days later I quit the program and began jumping rope and jogging. I read the lit that came with it and it actually said in there you may want to get into shape before using this program! So I did, more or less, and about four and a half months later I began it again, with plans to take it reeeally easy but to my surprise I’ve been able to do it everyday, eating healthy, and my results in just the first five weeks have been phenomenal. Anyways I hope that helps you some. Good luck or maybe even congratulations by now. :)

    • Jenn M


      I have never worked out in my life. I am 34 years old and not really over weight, but not fit, plus I am a smoker. I am on Day 4 of Insanity. I do the workouts everyday since I started. I may not be able to finish the entire workout, as they are super hard, but I do it until I just cant do anymore. Then I turn it off and continue it the next day. I will tell you.. I am super sore. My legs especially. Shaun T is BRUTAL on the legs! My butt hurts, my shoulders hurt, my feet hurt. But, I can’t wait to do my session when I get home from work tonight. I feel great. I can’t keep up with the group of muscle heads on the DVD’s, but I don’t care. I push myself as much as I can, without risking injury. My son (15) and my overweight boyfriend do the DVD’s with me, since the beginning. I recommend Insanity. You will be so proud of yourself for just trying it. It’s fun. It’s hard. It’s good to move and to sweat! Good luck to you!

    • kristiedean

      I did it. From not working out at all (other than occasional walking) to Insanity. Only missed one workout, which I later made up on a rest day.

  • TIm

    Ok, let’s put this into per-fuckin-spective. Most people, 95% of America maybe, has no clue about exercise. Maybe they should have had tougher PE classes in High school. Maybe PE should have been about PE. Most people know jack shit and won’t listen to Jack either!

    Here are the facts. THe human body can do almost anything if trained properly. Yeah, Insanity says 60 days. SO use your brain people, damn if you do it 120 you are still doing good. Do the first ten minutes and go puke if you need to. Take three days off and come back tomorrow (yeah, i know that makes no sense, but the auther of the article made no sense either, so what the hell)

    I have run three 100 mile ultra-marathons and have done 26 pull-ups at one time. The fit test at the beginning of INSANITY laid me up for 4 days. So what does that tell ya? It told me, go easy, every other day, hit PAUSE, rest, drink water, and I NEVER did the whole workout like the folks on the disc did.

    WOrk out everyday, something, and if you got problems with INSANITY, well ya know what that means? YOU got problems.


    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=660127482 Chris Emerson

      HAHAHA! Yeah buddy

    • KnightofBostonia

      “I have run three 100 mile ultra-marathons and have done 26 pull-ups at one time.”


    • Vandermeer

      Wow! loved the attitude!

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.marino.180 John Marino

    I think one of the main problems here is the lack of modification. I’m 46 years old. I’m going to be 47 in four months. When I was 44 I was so over weight my doctor told me to take a baby aspirin every day so I wouldn’t have a heart attack. Well, I lost almost all of the weight on P90X and I did what was recommended by Tony Horton in the video. I modified a movement I couldn’t do at first. Can’t do a jump? Fine. Take a step. Can’t do the entire workout? Fine. Do 20 minutes. It was about BUILDING MYSELF UP to doing the entire routine, NOT killing myself on the first outing. Now I’m doing insanity. I have a problem with the ligament in the back of my left knee (behind the leg) They do a jump. Okay, I do a jump but not as high. They bend their leg, I do too, but not as far. I’m still sweating my butt off and getting a FANTASTIC workout because I’ve worked my way up to being able to do 90% of what I’m seeing on my television. Today I do a hybrid workout. Three days of P90X (weights and yoga) and Three days of Insanity. This way I work out every day, but I’m not doing a hardcore cardio workout every day.

    • Michel Rios

      I want to hug you..thanks for sharing. I’m about to be 45..need two k we replacements and have a bad back. At 5’3″ and 207-213…I’m a hot mess..you give me hope. I’ve ways fluctuated from 150 to 190 and could out hike any skinny gal..but when my knees went….I’ve felt crippled. But you gave me hope. I’m gonna do it..I’m at anybodycanart@gmail..please lets talk..thanks.

    • iza

      yes, about the lack of modification… I am doing 30 day shred right now and am wondering if I can mix Insanity in with my work out? I was thinking of doing Insanity every other day… I really don’t want to hurt myself.

  • mart7310032

    Whatever happened to good old fashioned power walking, bicycling, power lifting? Bulging muscles are nothing more than a bunch of muscles in serious spasm. You want lean but strong muscles and exercise that won’t ruin your body. Think about all the lactic acid accumulation in your tissues. Be smart first and not brain washed!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lilian-Weimer/743372949 Lilian Weimer

      I agree totally . My problem with the insanity sell is that all it talks about is how you look predominantly and it’s just another symptom of our ridiculous obsession with appearance and staying young at any cost – the 50 yr old woman who says she doesn’t want to look or feel 50 and is not embarrassed to make such a stupid statement. She wants to stay young and dumb till she breathes her last or something ? I’d rather be fat than brain dead if it were a straight choice but happily it isn’t and I can be thin and not brain dead too if I want . It costs nothing to exercise well enough to be in healthy shape rather than ‘ socially acceptable shape’ . The Insanity followers are not doing this regime to be heathy- they are doing it to look ‘ripped’ and that is a flawed motive which could lead them to do themselves harm – not all of them but enough .

      • C.Lim

        you are totally misreading the 50 year old! Everyone does grow old but that doesn’t mean you have to be frail and old. She just wants to be fit. She’s not brain dead. These people are gushing about this insanity because of the enormous feeling of satisfaction that they have gone through the program and actually finished it.

        I did some taebo, some belly dancing dvds and at the end of the exercise, i’m just glad that the exercise is over. In insanity, you just think about the current move, just move, dig deeper and at the end of the video, you just feel this huge satisfaction of getting through the workout. And don’t forget the amount of sweat you’ll feel pouring out of your body. It just feels damn good!

        But yeah this workout is not everyone. I just took exception on your “brain dead” comment.

    • Gary

      Thank you mart7310032 for the first sensible comment I’ve read here yet. Delete the word power and you’d make even more sense. Like I said before, go for a long walk people…park your Dodge Stratus and take a long walk if you don’t want to be so fat anymore. Going to bootcamp is for stupid people. Paying a fortune to workout is also stupid when you can do it better for free. I’ll bet most of the muscle heads commenting here (like most of our sports heroes) have neglected to mention their use of steroids.

      • Roberto

        You and Mart731likesto69lilboys are all mildly retarded. what could possibly explain the verbal diarrhea that you have put into comment form. If you don’t like to be physically challenged then I am very confused as to why you have commented on this page or for that matter read this article. Insanity isn’t for someone who just wants to be in shape, its for people who want more out of their workout period. It most certainly isn’t for people who just like to go on a Sunday stroll. “Going to bootcamp is for stupid people.” By the way I do realize that your talking about fitness bootcamp, but that isn’t the only bootcamp out there. There is the bootcamp that i went to while becoming a part of the armed forces. So good job on that statement. If people want to pay to learn about fitness or do insanity or go on a walk for that matter, it doesn’t mean they are stupid, it means they made a choice about their own fitness goals. “Bulging muscles are nothing more than a bunch of muscles in serious spasm.” How can people afford to be this simple?

        • kefcorp

          They can afford it because there’s no penalty for it anymore. Even now the worst that’ll happen is they’ll be called out in some text comment or another (as is happening now). The bulging muscles comment made me laugh pretty hard, though not as much as Gary equating visible musculature with STERON USE. I guess the logic is ‘I’m inadequate, thus anyone else who is adequate is cheating’ or some nonsense.

  • Rod F.

    I’m 53 years old and I’ve been doing P90X and Insanity workouts for the better part of 1 1/2 years and all I can say is “Holy Crap!” Yes they are tough workouts, but anything worth achieving is worth every drop of sweat that goes into it. When I started my journey, I weighed 218 pounds, had an at rest pulse rate of 82 BPM, and my body fat content was a little over 32%. fast forward too preseent; I’v elost and kept off 41 pounds ( except for week long intervals when on vacation; still stay active, just not Beachbody Workout active), my at rest pulse is 62 BPM, and body fat content is around 11%. I feel great and my success has inspired my sisters, nieces, friends and coworkers to at least try the workouts. I’m a scuba diver and my diving has improved tremendously. I use half as much air as before and am not nearly as tired at the end of the day. Hiking and backpacking is more enjoyable as is life. These workouts are certainly not for everyone, but if you’re serious enough to put in the effort, you’ll be amazed by the results. And guys, one of the biggest benefits is my sexula performance is much better and sex is a lot more enjoyable!

    • http://www.facebook.com/john.marino.180 John Marino


    • http://twitter.com/tezryu Tezryu

      Thanks for giving me some inspiration i am 52 years old, 53 in march and thought i may be to old to complete the insanity challenge, i am now in my second week and must say that i am already very discouraged by my poor form and lack of fitness, i am taking far more breaks than the people training on the DVD and am already telling my self that it is to difficult for me to do, do you know of any sites forums etc in which i can discuss my struggle and hope to find some inspiration.

      • http://www.facebook.com/fucqua Ryan Fucqua Smith

        Fitocracy is a very awesome site to keep and maintain motivation. Join the insanity group, write something in chat you almost always get at least 1 reply!

      • debra

        You are an inspiration! When it would be much easier to pack in it, give up and forget about your health, you are trying to improve yourself! Good for you! Use this time to work up to the level of fitness that you aim to achieve. You are really all that you ever need. Just believe in yourself, dig deeper, find the motivation to change from within….the greatest journey we ever have is the one from our heart to our head.:) You just need to convince your brain to cooperate with your body. Billy Blanks is a great motivational coach, maybe check him out. I hope you achieve your goals. I wish you the very best!

  • Mrkdawson

    I have done the insanity program!the dvd tells you to consult with a doctor first! And on all the dvds and all the insanity workouts he tells you work at your own pace and work your way up! Now if you jumped in there like a fool and tried to do everything off ripp then you were the fool!! Insanity also comes with a fit test that you take every two weeks to check your progress!! Because it went wrong for you and you probably didnt follow instructions! By the way I started in 2011! And I will be 43your in 60my days and um in the best shape of my life

    • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

      couldn’t have said it better myself. I actually just finished insanity and by god I can imagine the drop-out rate is pretty high. But that makes you feel really good that you finished it. As for the bit about resting periods I guess the doctor didn’t read the program there are 2 rest days a week (one is a recover and one is pure rest) and every month there is another week of rest. This program factors that in. I can’t believe how in accurate this is. ALTHOUGH I am fully aware that I and probably not anyone else can do 100% for 3min straight but if you pay attention to the program NEITHER CAN THEY Shaun T take frequent breaks and so does everyone else on the screen. I was attempting top be like them at first but that put me on the road to wanting to quit. My BB coach at the time told me to not worry about the people on the screen and do it at my own pace and suddenly this program became way more do-able. In fact I just started it over again with another program and I can do the beginning stuff way easier and I can keep up much better than before (wow this ended up being way longer than I planned)

  • Revampqueen

    Thank you for writing this piece and giving feedback from health professionals.  I have been scouring the net to find this diplomatic view.  There seems to be a lot of good written about the program and not much to debate it.  Reading above and below, resinates that there is no black and white in anything to do with health and fitness.  It always pays to question everything.  Everyone is looking for a quick fix for sure.  Saying that, I quite liked some of the before and after pics/vids on the net from everyday people who did the program.  It definitely gives a nicer shape than say walking and eating right. If you are prepared for it to be a tough slog, I can’t see why you couldn’t get through this ok.  Nothing great ever came from not giving it your all.  If it’s muscular pain I intend to soldier through, if it’s something worse, I will let my body heal.  Only the individual will be able to know and dictate what is working and right for their body.  Good luck everyone, I’m off to give it a go!

  • krs_sven

    I think I could find a doctor who would make the opposite claims (I’m a human biologist and I certainly disagree). I’ve nearly finished my first round of Insanity (this is my Day 61), and its everything I thought it would be. It builds and strengthens muscle, burns fat and gets you fitter than you’ve ever been in your life. I’ve been lifting weights for about 12 years and have gotten far bigger and stronger, but never been able to shed the fat that made me considerably overweight. That said, I was actually quite physically fit in that even Insanity only really stressed out my body for the first week or so. Once you get past the first three or four workouts, a moderately fit person should be capable of doing a workout a day. It’s hard when you’re doing it but you feel good afterward! By the way, I’m also an asthmatic, but I know from experience that isn’t a barrier.

    I’ve found that if you don’t want to do it, you won’t. Know how many times I’ve wanted to skip a workout and take an extra rest day? Too many to count. How many times did I actually do that? None. Insanity is not for everyone, but there’s a reason the warm-ups alone are nearly ten minutes and the stretches are another five at least. It prevents injury and allows your body to work at its max, which ordinarily is risky.

    It’s simply wrong to say this type of workout deteriorates your body. Military training is far worse than Insanity and doesn’t have the luxuries of having a water bottle nearby or simply taking a rest. Military training creates fit, well-disciplined machines and comparing it to a beachbody workout is ludicrous. I’ve heard the ‘exercise is bad for you’ excuse countless times, usually by people who simply won’t do what it takes to lose weight and get themselves fit. It’s always something. We blame the food that makes us fat rather than ourselves for eating it, then we deceive ourselves by claiming that exercise is bad for us too. Don’t peddle excuses to other people just because you failed to stick with Insanity. Again, it isn’t for everyone.

    Now, nobody is saying you’ll look like Shaun T or his helpers in the videos when you finish. But they want to sell their product, and they never guarantee you will get those results. But do Insanity enough times and you will. A key thing to remember is that the people in his videos were extremely fit before Shaun T got near them, but he needed people who would accurately demonstrate form and speed. Its no good to have folk like us flapping about in the video.

    But I think they #1 mistake the above person made (and a mistake I made, but only at first) is that it sounds like she tried to actually work at the same pace as the people she’s watching. Do that every day and you’ll fail. In one of the Month 2 videos Shaun actually says not to try and work as hard and as fast as them, but to do as much as you can do (and with good form). That means hard work but also brief (i.e. seconds) rests when you need them or you burn out very quickly.

    All the naysayers here are just proving that some people just can’t hack it. If you’re injury-free, can run around for 10 minutes without collapsing and can just about lift yourself off the floor, you can do Insanity.

    • Pete

      SUPER WELL SAID!!!!!!!! Almost everything u said i was thinking of as i read above…U need to finish insanity first to truly know that u get the results…people that havent committed to it like us dnt know this great experience.

    • DevinF

      Totally agree, too! I’m a middle-aged woman and you know, when Shaun T. says speed it up, and I think it’s too much for you, I just do what I can for as long it feels right. And I don’t even think that the doctor addressing the anabolic issue is correct. Plyometrics are also really great for women. Middle aged people rarely have a reason to jump vertically and laterally — and my jumps are a sad five inches off the floor. But that’s so much better than no jumping at all!

      • Sherlynda

        Agree Devin F

      • ChrisG

        I’m just starting insanity but I already agree with you. Very often in the first few workouts Shaun T. says that if you need to take a break then take a break. Occasionally at the bottom of the screen it reminds you to go at your own pace. The writer of the article comments on his constant encouragement to go faster. I think that this is more encouragement for when you start to get stronger and are able to push harder.

    • tunofun

      I have to say that I agree with you as well. Several researchers and myself have performed various tests on high intensity training that is similar to the Insanity workout. Rather than going all out for ~45 minutes or so, we used the Wingate bike test (roughly ~30 seconds long) as our training tool and measured VO2max. The participants that used conventional training techniques such as lower intensity longer training for 5 days a week combined with 2 days a week of strength training had lower VO2max than the individuals that participated in 3 Wingate high intensity tests a day, 5 days a week, OR about 7 and a half minutes of exercise a week. These Wingate individuals did not report any muscular catabolism and a few actually continued on and did the Insanity workout with amazing results.

    • Mario

      I totally agree with you.
      I’m 46 years old and 2 month ago I stopped smoking. I was a chain smoker for nearly 30 years of my life and the last time that I did any kind of workout was when I was a soldier 25 years ago.

      That said you can imagine how fit I was. According to all the warnings I should have died during the first warm up. I started Insanity after I didn’t smoke for a month. Not to loose weight but just getting fitter. You see, I couldn’t run 50 meters without gasping for air (what did me decide quit smoking btw.)

      Anyway, I was totally aware that it would take me at least 2 rounds of the entire Insanity program to get in shape.

      I’m doing it for five weeks at the time of writing this and just finished the recovery week. Due to pain in my right knee I decided to wait with the second month until next week but in the meantime I’m doing the Insanity upper body workout.
      In some way I can’t not do it. I feel already so much fitter and owe it to myself not to let things slip. I think I’m kind of addicted to it.

      However, I feel if I can do this many more people can do this. Do it slower if you feel pain. Just grab one more water even if the people in the video are still jumping. It doesn’t have to stop after 60 days. Just start again and feel better and better for another 60 days.

      It’s fun, it puts a smile on your face, it makes you proud of yourself and in the end you will look good when you are naked.


      • Rachel

        I love this, Mario. :) Thanks for this response. The last couple of paragraphs really reassured my insanity journey. I always feel bad when i have to step away for a rest, or for a drink. But you’re absolutely right. It does make me still feel good, even if i didn’t get the full 45 seconds of switch kicks and only got 25 seconds. It’s still a kick ass workout and i’m going to do it another time because it’s bringing great results.

        Again, thanks for this. Very inspiring.

    • Mei Li

      Well stated. Krs_sven. I’m 49 and going 50 right on the corner. I started to use the program last than a month ago and love it. I’ve always been an athletic person. It’s true that the first few sessions were challenging. Once I picked up the pace, I can do it without any problems. Within 2 weeks, I already saw my body changed. The result is there. All we need is to pick ourselves up and do it.

    • RG S

      You make some good points, krs_sven, but you fail to see the greater picture. I completed one full round of Insanity with commitment. I lost several inches and very little weight. Do I think the benefits outweighed the risks? NO. I repeat: NO.

      Anyone would be hard-pressed to find another commercially available workout program with as high an INJURY RATE as Insanity.

      You may admonish those who “fail to stick with it” as “peddling excuses”, but you’re not being fair or judicious in doing so, Mr. “Human Biologist” (who calls themselves that?). To wit:

      1. You say “it is simply wrong to say that it deteriorates your body”. The science is there. It DOES deteriorate your body, and it does so at a rate that prevents your body from building itself back up. If you were really a “human biologist”, you would understand this.

      2. Dr. Kraemer’s statement of lack of adaptation is accurate. Insanity tore my patellar and femoral tendons to shreds within days. And I’m a triathlete who runs regularly.

      2. You also point out that, in one of the Month 2 (it’s Max Cardio Conditioning) videos, ShaunT tells the audience to not try to keep up with him & the gang, but to do as much as possible with good form. This statement belongs in the FIRST video, not 30 workouts later. People are hearing this too little, too late, and many injuries later.

      3. You say: “if you’re injury-free, can run around for 10 minutes, and lift yourself off the floor, you can do Insanity”. Please. Is this the population that Beachbody targets when marketing this program? Obviously not, and if people like you were going to spout off who should & should not be doing these types of programs, no one would ever sell anything. However, this is how they make $$ – not by looking out for people’s interests, but company ones. And that is what every buyer should keep in mind.

      I like the original author’s modification of the program to meet her occasional needs for warm up is very wise. Insanity cannot be sustained for a lifetime of physical fitness, which is what the goal of physical fitness should ultimately be: lifelong.

      In the years to come, when comparing you to Ms. Goldberg, you will likely be struggling with the long-term consequences of various injuries due to your extreme style of fitness (and perhaps be quite overweight), whereas she will still be active and enjoying her life long-term injury-free.

      • Joyce

        Oh please. I am 52 and completed Month 1, about to start Month 2. I am in good shape overall, but I don’t consider myself an athlete by any means. I haven’t sustained any injuries whatsoever, and let’s be honest – the first month is very, very tough but it IS doable. I still can’t do all the pushups and level 1 ski hops and in-n-outs, but I do as many as I can. I feel great! I would tell anyone in decent shape to go for it (Insanity, that is). You do what you can and do your best.

        But trashing the workout is stupid, especially in the face of so many positive reviews from people of all ages.

        As far as weight loss goes, you need to know that diet plays a more important role than exercise in your overall weight. If you were really a triathlete you would know this, or did you quit that too? I bet you aren’t an Ironman.

        • RD

          I’m 55 and have been doing P90x, P90x+ and P90x2 over the past 2.5 years without an injury. However, when I did Insanity I made it to week 5 of all things and hurt my back – which I had never done before. I went back to P90x, etc because it is so well thought out – cardio, abs, weights, yoga, stretching, etc – the body has time to rest and to build. I was fine until I recently tried Les Mills Pump and I hurt my back even worse. I do consider myself an athlete, and I’m a physician. I think Insanity is a good workout but needs variety to keep people healthy.

          • RickJames

            I agree RD. You have to listen to your body regardless of age and take rests. There is a reason why Insanity has rest weeks. Also, Shawn T tells you to take rests during.

        • Honestgirl

          Right on, Joyce! I couldn’t have said it better! USE YOUR JUDGEMENT PEOPLE!!! Really, does Shaun T have to TELL you to slow down in order for you to slow down/modify your workout?

      • Willy

        I think the real problem here is that some people don’t use their judgement or instinct. I’m 38 and I have been doing Insanity Workout for 6 months, but not the *exact* schedule you’re supposed to do. When I started I was totally out of shape. I could barely walk after the first week of Insanity… but I kept on fighting. After month one, I decided to complete month two with videos from the first month only. I checked the videos from the second month and knew that it would have been a bit much for me. So here we are today, I’ve been doing Insanity (videos from the first month) 4 times a week for the past 4 months, and I’ve never been in better shape!

        The idea here is think with your own head and do what you can, and when something doesn’t feel right to you, don’t do it! Push your body hard, but don’t push it over the limit. In some videos, there’s lot of jumping. These high jumps might be dangerous from some people. You can skip those and replace with something else. I can jump because I’m a badminton player, but this high impact move might not be for everyone.

        Insanity Workout really works well, as long as you listen to your body.

      • Guest

        Well written!

        I agree, the research has been duplicated on several populations with similar results.

        1) Why would you willingly want to increase the amount of cortisol secreted in your body?
        2) Why would you want to send your body nto a catabolic state daily without recovery??
        3) Why would you want to overuse and risk injury to your joints/tendons/ligaments when you could get BETTER results through periodization from a variety of workouts and wise nutrition?

        I love HIIT, workouts, but do it in shorter intervals and only twice a week. Proper form is more important than going faster. I took an “Insanity” class at my gym this morning but did shorter intervals and quietly changed muscle groups while he was screaming at people to “not give up”. I think I’ll stick to my beach workouts – More effective workout, nicer view and WAY better playlist going through my head!!

      • that girl

        You lost several inches, but didn’t lose much weight? That’s because you lost fat and replaced it with muscle mass, which weighs more, and increases your metabolism.

        • Anna

          Must does not weigh more than fat. 1 pound of fat = 1 pound of muscle. Muscle is much more DENSE, so it will take up far less space than fat. But the weight aspect is still the same – a pound is a pound.

          • Tim Green

            I love saying that muscle weighs more than fat for 2 reasons. First, it’s true. Second, I know that people will disagree with me. I then know that those people are very smug, and think that I am stupid. 1lb of ANYTHING weighs the same as 1lb of anything else. So when someone says that one substance weighs more than another, they mean it is denser. Not as dense as some humans, however.

            When people talk about heavy metals, do you patiently explain to them that 1lb of lead weighs the same as 1lb of aluminium? I doubt you do, because you don’t assume they are stupid. It’s exactly the same principle.

      • Reilly

        “You also point out that, in one of the Month 2 (it’s Max Cardio Conditioning) videos, ShaunT tells the audience to not try to keep up with him & the gang, but to do as much as possible with good form. This statement belongs in the FIRST video, not 30 workouts later. People are hearing this too little, too late, and many injuries later.”

        If people need to be told not to hurt themselves, it’s a sorry state of affairs. One of the stretches hurts my ankle. So I don’t do it. It’s a video, not an army camp. People have to take command of their own health and fitness. That means being aware of your body and what it can do. When I started, I was probably only doing about 60% of the workout. I listened to my body and interpreted the video accordingly. No injuries. And there are almost constant warnings to go at your own pace. He regularly tells “the lithe people” who are struggling to go and take a break – I expect they don’t really need it but it shows him giving the message that there is no shame in listening to your body.

      • kristiedean

        He actually says go at your own pace several times from the very first video…and it scrolls across the screen to do the workout at your own pace. I was not athletic in any way, and I was able to do the Insanity workout – I just adjusted my pace and took breaks (like he says to do).

    • James

      I found your reply to be a much better read than the actual originator post. I agree and I for one am sick of some doctors and their theories. You are a biologist and you have went out and done it and regardless of what in theory this should do, you have obviously made some good progress with it. The results speak for themselves.

      • kristiedean

        I agree, James. There is no ONE thing that is good for everyone. If Insanity didn’t work for someone, that’s fine, but there are many people that it does work for. Research says an egg is good for you one day, bad for you the next, and then good again…I am not big on what the “research” shows.

    • Honestgirl

      I totally agree, krs. We can go and find tons of doctors who would state the exact opposite. My advise would be this: KNOW YOUR OWN BODY. If you try and you feel like it’s TRULY not hurting you and is not for you (not just that you’re being a bit lazy…lol), stop the program. I personally am on my 5th attempt at completing the program – I know that if I dig my heels in, I can complete it and get amazing results. I can honestly say that laziness has played a part in me not completing the program. All of the stretching and the warm-up prevents injuries for most. You can do it! However, let’s stop making excuses for not completing the program.

  • alan mudd

    Nobody ever suffered catabolic breakdown from binge-watching 16 episodes of Dexter.

  • lalala

    I’ve done two rounds of Insanity. I didn’t lose a pound. But I gained muscle, strength and endurance. It improved my performance on my bike and running. When it felt like it was too much, I took a break, like the video instructs. Two rounds and there are still only a couple workouts I can complete without taking a break, but I get better every time. When this heat clears out, I’ll go back to it. I highly recommend it! But if you’re looking to get a six-pack or think you’re going to lose a ton of weight in six weeks, you need to read up a bit more on diet and exercise! That’s marketing, and it works, but beyond the marketing there’s real value in Insanity.   

  • chloe

    hey, it worked for me. You have to be relatively fit to start with…but getting ripped is possible of you do it properly.

  • Dave Holzman

    One should be particularly suspicious of exercise routines. It’s probably easy to sell a gimmicky routine that promises to give you some aspect of health or fitness that you think you lack.

  • Sara

    Go, Carey! Thanks for telling the truth about insanity. What a great scene–you starting out in your attic w your secondhand DVD and your poster, totally committed and ready to try harder. Can we have video? Can you and Rachel lead a sane exercise class for your loyal followers?

  • V7ruiz

    I’m in the middle of Insanity right now and love the workout. Keep in mind, this program is really for people who are already very active and used to working it out. it’s not meant for couch potatoes. great workout with great results.

    • couchpotato

      which one would you recommend for a couch potato like me who wants to start exercising (I did start to walk already) 
      Waiting 4 your reply….Thanx in advance!!!

      • mayakc

        Jillian Michaels, 30 day Shred

        • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

          I used to hate that DVD (kinda still do) but it is a lot easier to start with just be sure to move on to something harder afterwords

  • Hopey77

    I’ve done the P90X and dabbled with INSANITY. Honestly, it worked for me. You have to stick with it but listen to your body and not completely kill yourself. You must also combine proper nutrition and make sure you eat (but eat healthy) while doing these intense workouts. I’ve lost 2″ off my waist and hips, lost 15 pounds, and dropped my cholesterol by 40 points. I look and feel better now in my 40′s than I did in my 30′s!

  • A work in progress

    I get a 3-5  x per week workout that consists of a 1/2 hour fairly intensive weight workout followed by 1/2 hour interval cardio under the supervision of a well qualified trainer with 3 other willing “victims”.  With that and attention to what I’m putting in my mouth, it’s not always the quick results being over 60, but have lost over 45 lbs over a couple of years and dropped blood pressure and pain meds for bad back and knees… For me steady work has made me feel so much better in body and in mind when I look in the mirror and feel how much better my clothes fit,too! 

    I’m sure Insanity is NOT for me.  I’d be likely to injure myself and really throw my fitness plan out of kilter!

    I guess it depends on what you want and what works for you.

    • simplyobserving

      My issue with Insanity wasn’t the cardio. I was quite fit when I started. I had to quit because I was injuring my feet with the high intensity cardio being spent on my toes, sides of my feet, etc. I was feeling great after every workout but I would have to ice my feet and take anti-inflammatories to be able to continue. I’m still recovering from the foot injuries and spend a lot more time on my low impact bicycle until it’s safe to start running again. Great program but not for everyone. And I’m 48 so maybe it would have been better for me when I was 20 or 30.

  • Robin Reads

    I started attending a fairly difficult woman’s boot camp. I built a little muscle, regained the balance I had lost and gained energy. I could carry items more easily (case of water). After 2 years I had not lost weight, which was a goal and the thought of going to the class made me cry. I am back to my 6 mile beach walk with the dogs. Energy is still up, balance is continuing, muscle not so much and happiness off the charts. Find what works for you!!!
    (58 yr old woman)

  • phyzacs

    I’ve been doing insanity for a year now.  I didn’t start doing it because of infomercials or youtube videos.  I just tried it with my brother one day, who introduced it to me, and I really enjoyed it.  Ever since then, I’ve continued to do insanity because it’s fun, rewarding, and doesn’t require much time.  If I feel my body start to ache from doing it too much, I just stay off of it for a while.  

    People, no work out is perfect.  Insanity is good for some, and not for others.  And people who feel like they’re being duped when they don’t achieve ripped, cut bodies after six months of insanity are stupid.  

  • BlueRandy

    I Jazzercise. The music really sucks (sometimes there are some okay songs), but the workout is great. A new DVD is delivered quarterly to instructors. Each one emphasizes a specific body part without neglecting the other parts. There are classes that change up the normal format, too. The circuit chops up the workout so that you are intermittently combining aerobic with strength training. It burns calories faster. Working on my 5th year, and I am 40 years old. I want to go 5 days/week, but that’s not always possible. Those days that don’t allow me to Jazzercise, I put Ali McGraw’s “Mind, Body, Spirit” yoga DVD on, and it’s awesome, too. I am stronger. Not a perfect body, but I will never have that with significant scoliosis. I have lost 12 lbs in these 4+ years. Doesn’t sound like much, but I am at an ideal weight and have incredible muscle. I’ve gone down several sizes. Our 12 year-old son can’t wait to beat me at arm wrestling. It’s one of his goals. What more do I need? I worked out religiously in my teens-20′s. I worked on the farm starting at age 5 and was a gymnast in middle school. My 30′s — our son was young, my stress level high, and I didn’t workout for that decade. Starting the program was eye-opening. I didn’t realize how out of shape I really was. Jazzercise is the most challenging workout I have ever consistently done. So I can be proud that I am successfully completing a more difficult workout at 40 than I did when I was full of crazy, youthful energy. I have 24 classes/week to choose from, and it’s only $40/month. I think that’s a bargain. And I have stuck to it.

    • BlueRandy

       Oh, and my username is deceiving, because I am a woman.

  • Couch Potato

    A couple more “lessons :”

    -From your own experience, what quality of results have you
    experienced with something described as “extreme” or “insanity?”

    -How sustainable do you suppose something is if “extreme” or
    “insanity” is part of the title?  ;-)

    -If it’s not sustainable, what do you suppose happens to your
    results almost as soon as you quit doing it?

    -What effect does it have on your exercise program if you
    injure yourself?

    I did the military thing.  Been there. 
    Done that.  Got the T-shirt (and
    the injuries).  All well and good when I
    was an eager young “twentysomething.” 
    But no more…

  • Ken

    I have a “bad back” and arthritic knees from my time in the military. I did the insanity workouts. I really focused on my form because of my back. Even if my intensity level suffered for it. I now have fewer bad back days than before, have lost 30 lbs and brought my blood pressure down to a healthy level.

    • Honestgirl

      whoohoo! Great job!

    • kristiedean

      Awesome! I also feel better. I did injure my wrist in month one, but I have learned that I’ll need to strengthen my wrist before my next go-around and/or really modify those wrist exercises. But, I loved Insanity!

    • Ann

      Same here — bad back and hips due to scoliosis, hip displasia, the works. I’m 52, and I love the workouts. I don’t think they have made anything worse — it’s the way I’m built. The stronger, and the more varied the workouts, the better. Keep it up!

  • BethJ

    I sweated in Carey’s attic on invitation to try Insanity with her. We had grand plans to get together 3x a week. We followed Shaun T. together a grand total of once. Felt good, but clearly not good enough to commit. It also felt like insane acceleration, as if we amped our speed 50x normal. So if I was to write something about Insanity (and the PS90 workout or whatever it’s called we have gathering dust in my attic) I’d say something about how our culture seems to think – me included – that no matter what age we are, we can buy a new body for 3 installments of $29.95. Ain’t gonna happen. Chances are greater that we’ll end up with medical bills of $299,995 to pay for our slammed knees and arthritic backs when we (over 40 folk), try to look like models in LA who are 1/3 our age and who actually might be freaks of nature. Ah well.

  • Work

    Many fitness products actually switch their before and after pictures – they’ll take professional fitness models, photograph them looking great, then have them forego training for a couple weeks while eating more simple carbs. Voila! A “Before” picture that looks doughy and flabby.

    • http://www.facebook.com/john.marino.180 John Marino

      Actually, they have them drink a lot of soda and anything with a ton of salt to bloat them just before the photo shoot. Though, from first hand account, I took my before and after shots months apart and they’re quit different from one another. P90X and Insanity certainly do work.

  • Sjfone

    More doughnuts please, with ice cream.

    • Couch Potato

      Deep fried!

  • guest

    Personally, I find that cut look to be very unattractive. I would never do an exercise routine that offered to make me look like that. It looks unnatural and unflattering. 

    • Couch Potato

      Watching the promo video, I think at least one of the women actually looked better “before” (and she still looked totally normal and fit) rather than “after.” 

      • Careyg

        And the marathoner looks totally haggard and miserable…

        • http://www.facebook.com/barbidulle Barbara Raymond

          When we went to run a marathon, I do not think it is to lose weight and look slim. This is to achieve a goal. That’s the motivation. The adrenaline of success. But we can take a dodge toujour Stratust to eat a double sunday at Dairy Queen

    • cg26

      yup same, there was one guy in particular on their website for whom I found ‘before’ way more attractive than ‘after’. He appeared to have the same amount of muscle but in after he looked almost flayed, his skin was so close to it. My theory? A light layer of fat over muscle is attractive to our monkey brains because it indicates you are well fed and healthy…..

      • http://www.facebook.com/fucqua Ryan Fucqua Smith

        Agreed here, I like the toned, but not where it’s basically like all muscle no fat *GROSS*

    • http://www.facebook.com/fucqua Ryan Fucqua Smith

      On woman yes, I haven’t liked a lot of the before and afters of the woman, it’s kinda gross and diminishes their femininity.

      However on men, YUMMM!

  • Brimstone

     . “They look good because they’re young and can tolerate it, but in
    reality their measures of catabolism are two, three, four times higher
    than normal.”

    I think this type of exercise is founded on military physical training techniques. But…there are about three-four types of physical activity that modern military training encompasses. One is slow endurance activity like “foot marches” carrying a backpack. Meant to mold your body and mind to longer and longer periods of use. Another is “calisthenics” , meant to build strength and flexibility. Another is running and other fast motions, meant to build cardio capacity.

    But there is completely different kind of training which might use activity from any of the above, or a completely different sets of activity such as an obstacle or bayonet course. These activities are the most intense and the most physically exhausting…but they are not physical training. They are meant to train your mind to make your body function past the normal point of failure. Because in combat both opponents will normally fight to exhaustion inorder to survive…and the combatant who can push just a tiny bit further past that point is most likely to prevail and live.

    I think this “insanity” type of workout tries to mimic that post-failure point military training. But this training not only does not improve one’s physical condition: it deteriorates it. There is a reason that folks coming out of Marine Corps boot camp look more like Auschwitz survivors than like Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

    • Some Insane Guy

      Sour grapes..  I have seen a lot of people come out of these workouts looking and feeling a lot better than they were going in.  Personally, I went from 5″11 225 lbs going in to about 165 fairly solid using p90x and insanity.  You aren’t going to get big doing these workouts, but you will get lean and toned. Period.  If you want to be big and ripped you better lift heavy weights until you have the muscles you want and then do some HIIT.  Check out the forums at Beachbody for peoples before/after photos.  Most aren’t as dramatic as the infomercials, but almost all are better than they started.

    • macUC14

      I’m also in the middle of insanity right now. I have 4 more weeks to go. I started off 5’4, 120 pounds and now I’m 110. I wasnt even worried about my weight to begin with, I just wanted to get in better shape and in the past five weeks Ive gained muscle tone, lost fat, and I feel great. Anyone who says things like insanity dont work are just too lazy to make them work. I have the body Ive always wanted

      • kaykay

         How old are you?

  • IgnosticMorgan_CarneadesofGa

    And don’t try too hard using weight! Go slowly in  adding more weight. One day a week might benefit enough.
    What do you maintain,Carey? Thanks for the article.
     Mr.  Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth