The “As Seen On TV” Insanity Workout- The Real Deal or Real Hype?

July 25, 2012

This is a guest post by Paul Atkins.

In the “As Seen on TV” infomercial advertising world, there’s one fitness program that stands out as the most recognized name on TV today. The Insanity Workout by Shaun T is a high intensity program that focuses on Max Interval Training. If you’ve been able to hold off from spending the $120 plus dollars after watching an infomercial presentation of the program, kudos to you. It’s a heck of an advertising pitch that could have been dreamt up by the fictional advertising genius himself Don Draper (MadMen). Because it seems so much effort has been put into the advertising of Insanity, you might wonder if it’s the real deal or all hype.

insanity workout

There are two basic reasons Insanity is different from any other in home workout program available today. The first has to do with the fact this workout requires zero equipment. When I say zero I mean nada. Almost all home based programs out there today require accessories to see results. These extra accessories can range from being as simple as a light weight sculpting band or resistance band to much more physically and economically demanding pieces. In home workouts programs like P90X and P90X2 suggest the user to build a suite of gear venturing into the likes of having you build an arsenal of in home equipment. For example barbells, dumbbells, balance balls, chin-ups bars, pushup stands…the list goes on. This is not the case with Insanity. Ten to twelve DVDs (depending on the kit you buy) and a nutrition guide is all you get and all you need with Insanity.

The second reason the program is different and the main reason the sweat dropping infomercial advocates are for real is because Insanity is a Max Interval Training (M.I.T.) based workout. What is this Max Interval Training you speak of? Most people are familiar with the concept of Interval training. Runners use it when training for long distances but also want to increase their speed in shorter distance runs. Most runners will run a lap at a low intensity level followed by a quarter to half lap at a high intensity level followed by a lap of low intensity and repeat it several times. If you were to chart this training and then graph it, it would show long blocks of a low intensity levels followed by short spikes of high intensity. That’s what traditional Interval Training is. But that’s not what Max Interval Training is used in Insanity.

Shaun T decided to take the traditional Interval training model and flip it upside down and use this new Max Interval Training model as the keystone to his program. Now, instead of long blocks of low intensity followed by spikes of high intensity you have long blocks of high intensity followed by short spikes down of low intensity. This is the main reason no equipment is needed with Insanity, it’s because you can’t use equipment at high levels of intensity for long periods of time. It’s just not humanly possible. The combination of using just your body weight, every day exercise moves, and long periods of high intensity is what makes the program unique. Max Interval Training is what gives this program its name; Insanity.

It should go without saying that Insanity is not all hype, but the real deal. However that doesn’t mean that just anyone can do it. The program’s first DVD is an in-depth fitness test that should be done before the program is started. This fitness test will lay out all of your strengths and weaknesses and give you a solid barometer to judge against whether it’s something you should attempt or send back. If you feel it’s just too tough for you, be modest and send it back and try something a little less intense. If on the other hand you feel its right for you and you’re willing to give it a shot, do so and give it100%.

If you do give it all you’ve got, YOU might just end up being the next success story on an Insanity Workout infomercial!

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