I was in what I thought was decent shape back in 2011 when I first tried interval training. Emphasis on the word “thought.” Beachbody’s Insanity kicked my butt so much, helping me lose those last few persistent pounds and get in incredible cardiovascular shape. When I found out they had a sequel I had to check it out. I wasn’t disappointed!
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. If you want the best workout, order the chin-up bar.
While the original Insanity is interval training cardio, Insanity the Asylum is a cardio/strength mix. It’s not true interval training either. For example, the original Insanity had two minutes or so of 30 second or 1 minute workouts followed by a 30 second break. Then, it would repeat. Asylum doesn’t operate that way, having varied workout lengths (up to about 6 minutes), mostly non-repeated exercises, and fewer rests. See below for specifics.
Asylum volume 1 claims to be geared towards sports performance and athletic improvement, but 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. The point of the ladder is to keep your form perfect. No cheating here! Speed and Agility is a great cardio workout that will leave you sweating and (hopefully) more coordinated for your other athletic ventures (and the other Asylum workouts).
This is a program based around jumping (hence, the name plyometric). 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 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.
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.
Don’t expect a standard lifting workout. Shaun T did a great job of creating cool, new moves that work major muscle groups…all with an Insanity twist. For example, he combines curls, squats, pushups, and floor sprints…all in one workout.
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.
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.