It’s Called Insanity


By Jess Goulart

Photo courtesy of Tina Franklin.

“Don’t stop! Don’t stop! You’re moving today! You’re trying today! You’re going today! YOU’RE FIGHTING TODAY,” celebrity trainer Shaun T shouts at me.

Shaun T is not being malicious. He’s just doing his job. He’s not taking pleasure in my gasping for air, or laughing at how my painfully burning thighs put me on the edge of tears.

Also, he’s not psychically present. I’m working out in my living room with the Insanity Max30 DVD; Shaun T is the recorded trainer leading the routine.

Obviously, he can’t hear me, but I curse him out anyhow.

It’s the last few minutes of my last day of Insanity Max30, the ultra-intense, 60-day home workout program designed by Shaun T and Beachbody. The program differentiates itself in its difficulty (touted as the hardest in the world) and, more importantly, its duration. The workouts are only 30 minutes long, five days a week, with Saturday and Sunday reserved for recovery.

I, along with most people, view time commitment as my number one obstacle to regular gym visits. When I mentioned that to my friend, nutritionist Sarah Josey, she recommended Insanity. I began on Jan 3 and ended Feb 27. I skipped two days total (pats own back).

Sarah Josey. Photo courtesy of Josey Fish Fitness.

Insanity falls under the umbrella of high intensity interval training (known as HIIT). Studies show HIIT improves cardiovascular functioning, strength, and triggers weight loss quicker and more effectively than any other form of exercise.

That’s all well and good, but it’s challenging to think about the payoff while in the throes of the work. Any time I lacked energy (which was always) I garnered motivation by telling myself it was only 30 minutes, and anyone can do anything for 30 minutes.

Insanity workouts PUSH YOU (in all caps) and I needed someone besides Shaun T to get me through them. I completed the program with my boyfriend and joined Josey’s Facebook motivational group.

If you’re thinking about trying Insanity, I cannot stress enough the importance of at least one partner. There’s a rich online community of Beachbody coaches and support.

Curious to see what an Insanity workout looks like?

As for my results?

In 60 days, I developed ab, arm, leg, and glute muscles to the point of visible definition, lost an inch off my waistline, and noticed a general feeling of healthy well being. I estimate that my cardiovascular functioning improved drastically because I no longer get hangovers (my own personal yardstick for heart health).

One goal I did not achieve was actual weight loss (as in the number on the scale). To shed pounds, Beachbody recommends a dietary regime to compliment Insanity.

So was it worth it?

Saying I enjoyed the actual program is too strong (it hurts!!!), but I enjoy the results. And, when I lie on the floor, reveling in a pool of my own sweat, hearing my heart beating, listening to Shaun T tell me how awesome I am, I can honestly admit I would do it again.

Which is, indeed, insane.