Insanity: What It Is and Why I’m Doing It

Albert Einstein is often quoted as having said that insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Fitness trainer Shaun T created a program called Insanity, but rather than doing the same thing over and over, there are varying workouts with rotating exercises to maximize results. Released through Beachbody, the same company that put out P90X, Insanity is called “a 60-day total-body conditioning program.” While it does span two months, Sundays are off days, so the program actually only requires 54 days of working out, three of which only require a fitness test.

Insanity flag from middle of DVD set.

Of course, that’s still a lot of work. So what does the Insanity program consist of? MAX-interval training. What is that? It’s a name Shaun T gave to his method of interval training, which is basically the opposite of traditional interval training. In traditional intervals you do a short period of high intensity work followed by a longer period of lower intensity work. In Insanity’s MAX-interval training, you perform long bursts of high-intensity work followed by brief periods of rest.

Insanity includes 10 workouts on separate DVDS which are rotated throughout the program. I also got an additional “Fast and Furious” DVD which is an extra 20 minute workout because I ordered through a Beachbody coach. I did Fast and Furious a few times in between my last Insanity attempt and this one, and it lives up to its name. The workouts are done according to a schedule spanning eight weeks divided by an unnumbered Recovery Week. Each week is six straight days with a rest day at the end. It also includes an Elite Nutrition guide for recommended nutrition during the program.

Why I’m Doing Insanity

So, now that you know what Insanity is, it’s time to tell you why I am doing it. Of course there is the obvious, that I want to get in shape, and the reasons for that are numerous. What’s important in this post is why I chose Insanity to help me get there.

English: A complete P90X home gym - All of the...

A P90X user’s “complete P90X home gym”

No Equipment Necessary

I was considering P90X at the same time as Insanity, and one appeal of Insanity was that it doesn’t require equipment. At the time, I did not have the chin up bar and dumbbells or lightweight resistance bands that are necessary at a minimum to do P90X, and I had a small living room. So, it made more sense to start with Insanity which only required access to a DVD player and the room to move around. Especially as I started taking trips to Georgia to see Tim, it was nice to have an option that was easy to keep doing on the go. Even now that we are married, we may be traveling and so forth, so it’s good to be able to be flexible.

Cost to Impact Ratio

While the roughly $130 I spent buying Insanity was a chunk of change and the most I had ever spent on anything exercise-related, I reasoned that it was cheaper than paying for a gym membership and/or enrolling in an exercise class. A gym membership where I was living at the time I bought Insanity was about $20-40 a month, and various classes were the same or more. I figured I would get more out of a one time payment for DVDs I could reuse than for several months of a gym membership. Plus, if I had DVDs sitting in front of me, it would be easier to work out than if I had to motivate myself to go somewhere.

Cycle Class at a Gym Category:Gyms_and_Health_...

This isn’t really the atmosphere for me…yet.

The Preference for Privacy

While I now have free access to a gym on post, I still think Insanity is a better option for me than going to a gym because I can do it in my own home. In addition to that being easier than gathering the motivation to go out in the heat or cold to work out, I also like my privacy. Especially with a workout such as Insanity and my present fitness level, I don’t need a crowd being able to see me struggle.

Providing Variety to Combat Boredom

One of the biggest struggles for me in staying active is overcoming boredom. If I try to do things like yoga, or running, or weight lifting on my own, I do it for a while, and then I get bored. I lack the experience and motivation to build my own workout regimen and keep myself entertained and motivated. One day I may be able to do that, but for now Insanity provides a varied workout to keep me going.

Keeping Me Motivated

Insanity is structured such that I have clear goals, and the trainer Shaun T has a motivating style. Plus, they offer a free “I EARNED IT” t-shirt if you send your before and after photos and statistics, proof of purchase, and their form. Even if I only wore the shirt around the house, it’s something that would be nice to have as a reminder of a hard-earned goal, and the ability to earn it adds another little goal to the program.

Now that you know what Insanity is and some of the reasons why I chose to do it, I hope you will join me on my journey. The Insanity begins tomorrow!

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