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!

Bonuses

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.

Pulse

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?

Does Insanity Work? A Beachbody Insanity Review

insanity workout Back in 2012, I was relatively fit and thin. I dominated on the gym machines and could run several miles. But, my body wasn’t where I wanted it and my fitness level wasn’t elite. Something was missing.

I heard good things from friends about Insanity, so I decided to check it out. Does Insanity work? You bet! This review explains why.

Order it through Amazon now.

On my first day I did the fit test. Since I was already in good shape, I had decent results. So, I figured I’d just jump right it and master the actual program.

During the first workout, my “good shape” was quickly shown to be a complete fraud! I finished, but was exhausted!

The next day my entire body was sore. I mean “bend down to grab a pencil and wince in pain” sore. I’d been a fitness buff for over fifteen years, but had never been that sore in my entire life.

By the end of the sixty days my body was transformed. It looked leaner and fitter and my muscle tone increased greatly, especially in the core and abs. I’d also lost around seven pounds.

I started doing challenges like the Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash, training with only running and Insanity. I aced those mud runs!

Whenever anyone asks me Does Insanity Work? I’m always ready to tell them “absolutely!”

The Insanity package comes with ten DVDs with ten actual workouts (see individual reviews below). The exercises can best be described as intense cardio in the form of interval training (a few minutes of intense activity with a brief break).

The Insanity workouts focus on the core, but strengthen almost every muscle group. You also get a nutrition guide, a short fitness plan to get started, and a workout calendar.

Plyometric Cardio Circuit

This is a great forty minute interval workout with a warmup, stretching, and two rounds of intense plyometric exercises. With workouts like power squats and ski abs, Plyometric Cardio Circuit is a challenge. Get ready to jump higher and strengthen your legs. Oh, and be sore. Very sore.

Cardio Power and Resistance

With an upper body and core focus, this forty minute workout will leave you sweating like crazy. When you hit the floor for moving push-ups and globe jumps, you’ll realize that Insanity lives up to its name.

Cardio Recovery

This is essentially an “off day” workout that is focused on stretching and isometric exercises. It’s not a cakewalk, but is “easy” compared to the rest of the Insanity work. You can thank Shaun T for this much deserved break.

Pure Cardio

Instead of intervals, this program (after warmup) jumps right into fifteen minutes of straight workouts. It’s the same exercises (like push-ups, switch kicks, etc.) but without any breaks. You will be up and down and sweating (and maybe yelling).

Cardio Abs

I like Cardio Abs because it’s an intense abdominal workout without a single sit-up! Still, it’s fifteen minutes of crazy ab work, both standing up and sitting down. Your abs will be shaking by the time it’s all over.

Core Cardio and Balance

This is done after you’ve reached the thirty day mark. You’re given a “recovery week” to prepare for an even bigger challenge. It’s a mix of cardio and isometric work. It’s not the easiest, but is a welcome relief compared to what is coming.

Max Interval Circuit

This is the start of the long, intense Insanity workouts. And, they’re tough. Instead of two sets of interval exercises, now there are three. And, the length of each set has increased from two to three minutes. It’s similar in style to the previous workouts, but in Max Interval Circuit, the exercises are more varied and tougher.

Max Interval Plyo

Like the first plyo, it’s a tough mix of cardio plyometric exercises that will leave your legs burning. Except this time it approaches sixty minutes of hell (fun?). Make it through this and you’ll be really sore (but with a better body).

Max Conditioning

Like Pure Cardio, Max Conditioning is an intense cardio workout with fewer rest breaks. If you can make it through this workout without stopping and pausing the DVD, then you’ve come a long way. By now your body should look better and your core should be strong enough to attempt the exercises.

Max Recovery

This is similar to recovery, except it’s longer and more complete. After the intensity that precedes it, Max recovery days will seem like a piece of cake.

In summary, if you want to take your workout to a new level, give Insanity a try. Keep in mind, you can always mix and match while you do it. I continued running and hiking while doing it. I also did some bicep work since since the program is weak on that muscle group.

While you should always consult with a doctor, Shaun T advises starting out by doing the most that you can. In other words, if you’re out of shape, you can start with just a couple of each move as you improve your endurance. Just do it.

What are you waiting for? Get the best body of your life! Although I’ve “graduated,” I still swear by the program.

Insanity has two sequels now. We review both of them:

Insanity Asylum Review (Volume 1)

Insanity Asylum Volume 2 Review

Does Insanity work? The final answer is: “hell yes!”

 

 

Insanity Asylum Review (Volume One)

Image of Insanity The Asylum Volume 1

I was in pretty good shape through running and working out in gyms. Then, I discovered Beachbody’s Insanity program. The intense interval training gave me an elite fitness level.

I was thrilled when I heard about its sequel, Insanity the Asylum, and jumped into it with a lot of excitement.

Order Insanity Asylum Volume 1 from Amazon.com

Insanity the Asylum Volume 1 is six DVDs with these workouts: Athletic Performance Assessment (a fit test), Speed and Agility, Vertical Plyo, Relief, Strength, Game Day, Overtime, and Back to Core.

The set includes the Playbook (a guide to transforming your body) a workout calendar, and “Get Shredded” a nutritional program.

Insanity the Asylum comes with a floor agility ladder and a jump rope. However, you’ll also need two smaller bands and either larger bands or dumbbells. I highly recommend the dumbbells. I’ll explain why in my review of “Strength” below. A chin-up bar is optional. I’d recommend buying that too for the best workout.

While the original Insanity is largely cardio, Insanity the Asylum is a cardio/strength mix. For example, Vertical Plyo and Speed and Agility are very similar to the original. Strength and Back to Core, on the other hand, are very different (see review below). While geared towards sports performance and athletic improvement, the program will help anyone wanting to be more fit and increase strength.

While it’s recommended that you complete the original Insanity first, if you’re already in very good shape and want to try Asylum Volume 1, you should be OK. However, as with all fitness programs, consult a doctor.

Below is an Insanity Asylum review of Volume 1’s individual workouts (excluding fit test).

Speed And Agility

This has many moves from the original Insanity (like floor sprints and ski abs), with a catch: they must be done within an agility ladder. You’ll need perfect form. No cheating here! Speed and Agility is a good cardio workout that will leave you sweating and (hopefully) more coordinated for your other athletic ventures (and the other Asylum workouts).

Vertical Plyo

This is a plyometric program based around jumping. It’s a great cardio workout that liberally uses the jump rope, agility ladder, and small resistance bands. At around forty minutes, it’s a fun workout when I’m pressed for time, but still want a challenge. Oh, and you receive a total of two thirty second breaks. Yes, two!

Relief

Relief is a short, stretching program that covers most of the major muscle groups. It’s a burn, but a good one! It’s great for muscle relief on an off day or after an intense workout.

Strength

This workout marks the first truly strength oriented Insanity program. It works every major muscle group, including the biceps (which the original Insanity missed). You can either use long bands or dumbbells. For the best workout, you’ll definitely want to use dumbbells. They provide a much better workout than the bands, especially for guys who want to build serious muscle.

Game Day

This is a fun workout based around simulated sports, including track and field, football, basketball, etc. Game Day is a tough all around exercise program that builds strength and emphasizes cardio. This is one of the toughest workouts I’ve ever done, especially the “mountain climber” part.

Overtime

If you still need work after any other Asylum workouts, Shaun T gives us overtime. At around thirteen minutes, it’s perfect when you need to sweat just a little more (no warm-up or stretching is included).

These are some of the hardest moves in all of the Asylum. One example is moving push-ups followed by jumping into the agility ladder with one leg. Yes, really.

Back to Core

This is a light workout that focuses on strength building in the back, shoulders, and core. It’s more of an off day workout really. It’s not terribly challenging and you won’t sweat much. Back to Core is a good change of pace workout, though. Don’t let the name fool you, though. It’s not a true “ab” workout.

Overall, I love Insanity the Asylum. It’s taken my fitness to an even higher level, which, after Insanity, I didn’t think possible! The workouts are fun and intense. My only complaint is the lack of a true abdominal workout (Asylum 2 remedies this). But, this is a small issue for an otherwise awesome workout.

Read our original Insanity Review and our Insanity the Asylum Volume 2 Review

Insanity the Asylum Volume 2: A Review

A cover of the Insanity Asylum 2Beachbody’s Insanity is one of the most popular home fitness programs of all time. It certainly changed my body in exciting ways.

After completing Insanity, I moved onto Insanity the Asylum Volume 1, which further sculpted my body. It was a no-brainer to order its sequel! You can order it through Amazon.com too.

Insanity the Asylum Volume 2 (Elite Training Series) is made up of eight programs: X Trainer, Upper Elite, Ab Shredder, Power Legs, Back and 6 Pack, Championship, Off Day Stretch, and Agility Tutorial.

The set comes with a workout schedule (3o days), a 60 day Asylum Volume 1 and 2 hybrid calendar, a quick start guide, a detailed eating plan (Get Shredded Volume 2), and a short guide to transform your body (The Playbook).

Insanity Asylum 2 Review

The original Insanity focused on cardiovascular training and Insanity Asylum mixed in true strength training. Insanity the Asylum Volume 2 moves even further in the strength training direction. Almost every workout in Asylum Volume 2 has a strength component and a few of them (Upper Elite, Power Legs, and Back and 6 Pack) are primarily focused on weight or band exercises.

This doesn’t mean they won’t get you sweating. They are insanely challenging! In fact, on a scale of one to ten, these moves would be close to a nine, especially if done with heavier weights.

The moves are not only physically difficult, but they require serious mental focus and prep. A few of them involve four or five exercises built into one “move,” especially the agility sequences. It’s no wonder that there’s a whole DVD devoted to explaining the most difficult exercises. Review it first.

In terms of results, some of my shirts fit a little more tightly and I’ve gained about five pounds. But, it’s muscle gain. I’m not getting bulky, just stronger and tighter. After the workouts, I’m sore, but also exhausted. My muscles are simply worn out.

To complete the workouts, you’ll need an agility ladder, a jump rope, small bands, and dumbbells (sold separately). Larger strength bands are an option, but not ideal. I highly recommend buying dumbbells to get the most out of your workouts and do the moves properly (bands are very awkward on some moves).

For a man, the bands are also not challenging enough. A chin up bar is optional. Although not essential, I recommend getting one for the best workout possible.

The nutritional plan is solid and is pretty standard dieting material. Personally, I don’t follow it since I have my own low carb plan that works for me.

(Take a break now, if you’d like, to watch a humorous video where “Jeff” tries out Asylum Volume 2).

Below is a brief review of each individual workout. I didn’t review the agility tutorial because it’s not a workout in the true sense.

X Trainer

This is a fun, challenging workout. X Trainer has perhaps the most difficult (technically speaking) moves of all the DVDs. It’s also probably the most cardiovascular oriented workout. But, there are still some strength and power exercises thrown in.

I’m convinced this might be one of the toughest workouts I’ve ever done. For example, it includes four minutes straight of moving push-ups/plank hold and a four minute burn out involving push-ups, bent over rows, and overhead press.

Upper Elite

While there are cardio components, Upper Elite is definitely for strength building. While not too difficult, the exercises are killer in terms of muscle fatigue. Push-ups anchor every new interval and they are crazy. The five minute “burn out” at the end will have you on the floor.

It would helpful to have a weight bench to do some of the chest exercises (but Shaun T does it on the floor).

Ab Shredder

This DVD is a twenty minutes of difficult ab exercises. Unlike the Cardio Abs from Insanity, this is much more focused on isometric work. You can really feel the burn. I’m glad to see a true ab workout restored to the post-Insanity workouts. Asylum Volume 1 lacked this. Ab Shredder fits the bill!

Power Legs

Get ready for some burning legs! Part one is mostly cardiovascular while the second half is focused on strength building. Both parts have “burn outs” that will leave you sweating and fatigued. When you first do Power Legs, don’t have any major leg usage planned! You likely won’t be able to walk straight for a week. This is also a weights based workout.

Back and 6 Pack

It’s not quite as hard as Upper Elite and Ab Shredder, but Back and Six Pack does a great job training the back and abs area. It’s another tough (but fairly short) workout that will leave you with serious muscle fatigue. This workout requires weights and an optional chin-up bar.

Championship

Like Game Day in the original Asylum, Championship represents the final challenge. It is a series of “sports” re-enacted as fitness moves. For example, “volleyball” involves diving, “digging” with a band, jumping up, and shuffling around the ladder.

I don’t think it’s as hard as Game Day. Granted, it’s tough and fun. But, I was expecting a little more of a “this is killing me” type of challenge. Championship includes “Sudden Death Overtime” which doubles as a fit test. It requires weights too, but only for one section.

Off Day Stretch

With this program, I really do feel the burn. This time it’s actually a relief! Shaun T has given a great stretching plan that seems to hit every body part. It feels great because the other activities make your muscles so sore.

Pure Contact

If you order Asylum Volume 2 through a coach, you get this bonus DVD. Billed as a way to land properly as an athlete, it’s a good agility and cardio workout. It’s not overly exciting, but Pure Contact reminds me of the original Insanity.

Overall, I highly recommend Insanity the Asylum Volume 2 to anyone wanting to get an intense workout. If you’ve never done Insanity or Asylum Volume 1 then it would be best to complete those first. However, for people in great shape, going straight to Volume 2 would not impossible. But, I don’t care how fit you are: you’ll have to dig deeper.

Read our original Insanity Review and Insanity Asylum Review (Volume 1)

See the estimated calories burned in Asylum Volume 2 (and other Insanity products).