Pros: The clock at the screen bottom tells you how much time left.
Cons: Expensive; too difficult. Doesn't use weights. It could injure or kill you.
This 10-set workout DVD is beautifully packaged. It comes with an INSANITY glossy, fold-out workout calendar and the Fitness Test with photos and exercise names, a glossy, fold-out guide explaining what INSANITY is, and the Elite Nutrition book which includes recipes and instructions as to what you should avoid (alcohol), what you should expect (headaches are common), and what is recommended (a multi-vitamin and eating every few hours).
WHAT TYPE OF ROUTINE?
They display the type of routine it is all over their product: "INSANITY is an extreme and physically demanding workout. This is not for beginners or individuals with any medical condition which may be compromised by extreme cardio and strength exercise. Consult your physician and read the enclosed materials before beginning this program."
Take heed, this is extreme. I couldn't pass the Fitness Test which they tell you to take every two weeks, so I wasn't going to be a fool and do the program anyway. Most of the Fitness Test exercises involved jumping: Power Jacks, Power Jumps, Globe Jumps, Suicide Jumps, Push-Up Jacks, you get the idea. In fact, jumping is a necessary requirement throughout the INSANITY program. If you don't like jumping or can't do jumping for whatever reason, look elsewhere. There are no modifiers in the group.
Shaun T is a choreographer and dancer more than anything else. As far as I could tell, he has no fitness certifications although he has a BS in Sports Science with a minor in Theater/Dance. For more information, see: http://www.broadwaydancecenter.com/faculty/bios/thompson_shaun.shtml
LEVEL OF USER EXPERIENCE
A towel to mop up the sweat.
THE CAMERA WORK
Thorough. A lot of cameramen and they're often in view on purpose.
IS THE ROUTINE SAFE?
Not in my opinion. This routine is hard on the feet and that's an understatement.
I didn't like the music although you have the option of turning it off which I did.
DID I LIKE IT?
I couldn't recommend the INSANITY workout to anyone but the most fit athletes who are in their 20's and possibly early 30's and even then I have reservations. The rest of the world should stay away! Many reviewers liked INSANITY. I have to question their sanity.
When the Fitness Test is explained, Shaun is there with two victims, a young man and woman. She surpasses the man at almost every exercise (doing more reps). Golly gee, why do you think that is? Because they want to attract women to this program since it attracts more men easily.
During the exercise routines they are in a large gym and there are a large group of participants, men and women of all ethnic backgrounds. Not a one has a shred of fat on them. They are lean. In my opinion, these people are in excellent shape and don't need the program. Often, at one time or another, each of them will stop because the exercise is too intense and then they'll continue which you are allowed to do.
WORK OUT OFTEN
You are expected to work out 6 days a week about 30-40 minutes a day and push yourself to the limit. I work out every day 40-60 minutes a day and sometimes more to a variety of workout DVDs. I only go 110% when I do my kickboxing routine which I do twice a week because as far as I'm concerned, everything in my kickboxing routine is perfect for me: good music, good instructor, good workout routine, fits my limitations, and I consider it fun. Also, I stop the video periodically to take a drink of water and catch my breath. Lately, I have been working on learning the second kickboxing routine. I only did both routines consecutively once. This is to give you an idea of my fitness level. On other days I lift weights (12 lb. weights) or do stretching with weights routines.
THE ELITE NUTRITION BOOK
The Elite Nutrition book focuses on recipes that are low fat and high protein. The recipes themselves are nutritious and tasty but they want you to eat five meals a day and to select from their meal list. Each meal list has 10 options. Each meal has 300 calories and they explain how to bump that up according to your individual needs. That's Month One. In Month Two, since you're burning more calories now, they include a list of 100-calorie complex carbs which you can add based on your weight loss or weight gain goals.
CONFUSING CALORIC EQUATION
INSANITY uses the Harris Benedict Equation to calculate your caloric needs. For women: 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years). For men: 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years). Then they explain that you take your number and multiply it by the level of exercise in the table shown in the book which will give you your caloric needs for weight maintenance. They give you an example since they admit their equation "may seem confusing."
EAT FIVE MEALS A DAY?
From my own personal experience, I eat only two meals a day, a late breakfast and an early dinner. This plan works for me. I would have a very difficult time eating five meals a day! One of those meals would be too close to my bedtime and it would just lay on my stomach and I wouldn't be able to sleep.
Last night for example, I did some weight lifting and isometric exercises rather late, around 8:30pm, (which I don't normally do.) I finished at 9:30. A few hours later I was hungry and made myself some Whiting fish and mixed vegetables which is a light meal and actually my third meal which is another rare occurrence in my life these days! I was still trying to fall asleep at 2:00am and couldn't! I tossed and turned and could not sleep because that meal was just laying there. Then after I finally did fall asleep, I woke up at 1:00pm today! My day is all screwed up just because I worked out so late yesterday and ate late.
When I think of all the dishes and clean-ups in the kitchen preparing five meals a day I say: NO THANKS! That idea alone turns me off the INSANITY program. It's exhausting just thinking about it. My usual routine works well for me. I'm sticking with it.
I've lost weight (more than 10 pounds) and gained muscle following my own devised routine and meal plan since I left my health club a year ago. I suggest you do the same: eat right and work out at your own level. Leave INSANITY for the insane. Do something safer and fun instead.
Thanks to Mona (ladyconsumer) for adding this to the database in such a speedy manner.