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 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.


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).

About Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett is a writer, speaker, dating expert, and business owner. His articles have been viewed millions of times, and he has been featured in a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal.


  1. Mustard says:

    Is les mills combat harder than asylum vol 2 ? Thank you in advance great review 🙂

    • Jonathan Bennett says:

      Sorry, but I’ve never done Les Mills combat. Judging from what I’ve read about it, Combat looks more cardio focused. Asylum 2 is much more about strength. I’m guessing both are difficult but in different ways.

  2. LIKED:
    – the Back to Core workout is probably the best back/core workout I’ve ever done. I have a lot of neck/back problems so usually doing most shoulder/back routines in a program is a injury kiss of death for me. This was the first one I did and actually felt pretty great afterwards. I especially like that you can exercise your abs without having to do situps or (what I consider to be worse) the v-style suspension exercises.
    – New improved stretches are excellent. Insanity had a good collection of stretches and they’ve made them even better in Asylum.
    – Full body focus like mentioned before without relying heavily on pushups.
    – GameDay is brutally hard but a bit fun and creative.
    – Having alternatives presented for weights, jump rope & pulls up is really nice

    – If you thought the resting periods in Insanity were too short, you’re going to be miserable in Asylum. I suppose that’s fair given the difficulty increase, but at least in Insanity Shaun regularly encourages you to take breaks if your form is slipping. In Asylum he’s now barking at you to always keep going and take “2 breath” breaks. This is injury bait, and while I realize the point is to push yourself I advise you to still take regular breaks if your form is slipping otherwise you’re just begging to end up with neck/back problems like me.

  3. groovester says:

    Maybe it’s just me but I really enjoyed working out with Shaun in Insanity and not in Asylum vol. I. I liked him when he had that pure energy and could make anyone push through with his ‘Comeee onnn ya’lll, let’s GOOOO’! Asylum was more like focus, focus, focus 🙁 yeah it’s more serious and all but it gets a tad bit dry and boring for me.

    • Jonathan Bennett says:

      There’s definitely a different tone and pace in Asylum 1 and 2. It’s much more technical. That’s why I now do a hybrid of Insanity and Asylum 1 and 2. I feel it gives me the most well-rounded workout.

  4. Did Insanity V1 along with a nutrition plan (for the first time) and it has made a huge difference.. Dropped 18 pounds over the course of the 30 day workout. The workouts are great, but remember our diet is equally important!. Looking forward to starting V2 for something different.

  5. I am almost done with Volume 1, and from what I am reading I am going to love the next volume. I’m so glad I’ll be working on my upper body strength more. I am a skinny guy and want to have a little more defintion before I try to bulk up a little. Thanks for the review!


  1. […] are various programs, I have found Beachbody’s Insanity and its sequels, Asylum Volume 1 and Volume 2 work well. Their focus on the core is especially useful for stability going up and down hills and […]

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