Beachbody Insanity Max:30 Review

insanitymax30As many of you know, my brother and I have written reviews of quite a few Beachbody products, including Shaun T.’s Insanity, Asylum Volume One, and Asylum Volume Two. These products have played a major part in my weight loss and fitness journey.

When I found out that Beachbody had a new Insanity product, Insanity Max:30, I wanted to try it out. It definitely sounded like it was ideal for my fitness goals and busy schedule.

I have to admit, I love Shaun T.’s workouts. They mix intensity, aerobic training,  and muscle development, and they vary enough to keep me interested. Plus, Shaun has a cool personality, that both encourages you and kicks your ass.

Max:30 continues this trend, with the express purpose of shortening the Insanity workouts down to a very intense 30-minute period. It has the same benefits of Insanity, i.e. it has a lot of variations, intervals, and utilizes your body instead of relying on free weights or bands (like the Asylum program does). The major difference is this contains new moves (although a few from the original Insanity show up), and there are far fewer breaks .

This is a great idea, because there are many days doing a full Insanity won’t fit into my schedule, and a 30 minute, no-fluff workout is just what I need. On other days, particularly the summer months, I feel like running, and am just too tired to do a full Insanity or Asylum along with the running. A half-hour version of Insanity is perfect for these situations. And, the ab program is only ten minutes allowing for an even shorter option!

Before I get into each workout, I want to briefly discuss what I don’t like about this product. The main thing I don’t like is that I am never a huge fan of diet materials that come with these products, especially when they are big, full-color, and glossy, and thus raise the price of the whole package, when I honestly just want the workout.

I follow a low(er) carb, low(er) calorie program that works wonders for me. I basically have this aspect of my life in control. Their advice isn’t bad, but it seems to focus a little too much on getting rid of fat rather than carbs. I know that is standard advice, but research is rapidly shifting in the direction of lower carb/higher fat diets being better, which is what I have found.

Another drawback is actually the same as this product’s strength. The thirty minute length, while great in many contexts, means it can’t fill the need for a longer workout. This is partially addressed by the ten minute ab workout. On heavier days, I combine this with some running (such as run a few miles after or before), another workout, or even something from Asylum or P90x.

Below I review each individual disc. If you are interested in knowing how many calories you burn in these workouts, definitely check out our Insanity Max:30 Calories Burned page.

Bottom line on this product: Great, intense program for people who need to fit a workout into thirty minutes.

Month One

Cardio Challenge

This is thirty minutes of challenging aerobic sequences. Remember, unlike the regular Insanity program, there aren’t very long breaks. This is very intense cardio with a lot of differing moves, both on and off the floor (I hope you like being in the plank).

Sweat Intervals

This title definitely lives up to its name…you will sweat! It is intense. Again, it’s a great mixture of standing and plank/push up workouts. You will get your heart pumping and your core strengthening.

Man doing a bicep curl, sepia toneTabata Power

This is based on the concept of doing work for 20 seconds, then resting for 10 seconds, based on a study in the mid-1990s by a guy named Dr. Tabata that showed a huge exercise and calorie gain benefit to using this ratio. The workout starts out with some warm-up exercises, then goes into the 20:10 ratio, starting with legs, then focusing on the upper body and core, and back again. Each change from work to rest is signaled by a bell with a countdown noise letting you know a few seconds before the change is coming. The workout ends with a straight burn out, with no rest time. The rapid pace makes it go quickly (or as quickly as an intense workout like this can go).

Tabata Strength

This is very similar to “Tabata Power,” and that review basically applies here. The “rest” for most of the program is actually jogging, but between some of the upper body and core exercises, it is going into “child’s pose.” Either way, you don’t get much of a rest. This session focuses will work virtually every part of your body and leave you sore, especially the parts with “V” push-ups. I could barely move after this one.

Friday Fight: Round 1

This is an intense, non-stop workout with only two short breaks. It is basic intense interval training with core work included. This workout, like its month 2 sequel, is the toughest and most intense of all the workouts because of its non-stop and varied nature. I was dripping with sweat by the end.

Month 2

Max Out Cardio

This workout has some very intense cardio, but truthfully it isn’t much greater than the Cardio Challenge workout from month one. It is still good of course with an assortment of challenging moves. However, I was expecting a little more from the second month.

Max Out Sweat

Like the similar workout from month one, yea, this will make you sweat like crazy. The workout is intense plyometric exercises, which take you all over the place, from the floor, up, and back again, with a lot of jumping. The various cycles of moves end with “power moves” which are even more intense than the previous workouts. Even in the winter, in my cold basement, I still broke a sweat. That is amazing! Shaun T. said at the end of this workout that it is the most intense one he has ever led, and I believe it.

Max Out Power

This is a more intense version of the Tabata workouts. Instead of the “30 seconds on-10 seconds off,” this workout extends the “on” time to 45 seconds, increasing the intensity decently over the first Tabata workouts. The bell and countdown information from the earlier workouts apply for this one.

Max Out Strength

This one is pretty intense, continuing the “45 second on-10 seconds off” pattern. It starts with some leg exercises, which while not seeming intense, really are. In the summer, I run roughly 20-25 miles a week. I am a veteran of Insanity, Asylum, and Asylum 2, and this still made me so weak in the legs I was cramping. Then, the workout moves to upper body work, with crazy sets of push-ups and core exercises that left me struggling to stay in the game. You get a few 30 second water breaks, and a little bit of break for 10 seconds here and there, but sometimes the “break” is jogging! Wow.

Friday Fight: Round 2

Billed as “the hardest workout ever,” this is one crazy thirty minute period of exercise. It is a great way to finish the program. You only get two thirty second breaks. These are some insane and complicated moves too. I think they worked almost every muscle in my body!


Ab Attack

This is an intense, concentrated abdominal workout with no breaks. It lasts 10 minutes. It will get your abs very sore. I have been doing the regular Insanity and Asylum ab programs and this workout still wore me out. It is awesome.


This is a low impact mix of stretching and “pulsing.” It isn’t super intense, but it is enough to make you burn.

Did you find this helpful? Will you please consider clicking HERE to order Insanity Max:30 from Amazon?

About David Bennett

David Bennett is author of seven self-help books, and an in-demand speaker and consultant. Over a million readers per year read his online content, and his writings have been referenced in many publications and news outlets, including Girls Life, Fox News, the New York Times, Huffington Post, and BBC. He also writes for The Popular Teen, and other sites. Follow him on Twitter.


  1. Love this workout program! I’ve completed both P90X and Insanity several times and modified each program while training for 1/2 marathons, and this one left my legs like jello.

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