INSANITY! (Part 2: Days 1-6 and Plyometric Cardio Circuit)


Hey Gang. Beachbody (the guys who brought you P90X and Tony Horton) have put out a new 60-day work out series called Insanity, starring Shaun T (which is ironic, because he doesn’t pronounce his T’s). It’s advertised as possibly the hardest workout series ever put out onto DVD. Over the next 60 days, I’ll tell you how it goes.

Days 1-6

Though I’m only on day 4, I think I’m picking up on a few of INSANITY!’s themes (aside from mental instability). First off, post-workout soreness is at a refreshing low, and I think this has to do with the general speed of things. You move so fast during the workouts, there’s not a lot of time to overwork, because you fall into a sweaty heap on the floor before you ever have a chance to use one muscle too much.

Another theme is that, so far, all of the workouts are comprised of, it feels like, 14 different moves. I’m not suggesting you need more than that, I’m just saying each workout feels pretty similar, move wise, to the previous ones. If you asked me what happened in cardio resistance vs. cardio circuit vs. plyometric, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell you.

Otherwise, I’m keeping my eye on a knee that’s been tricky the last year or so, and has been healing very well recently. But, it’s sometimes hard to always keep it in mind, just because Insanity’s jumps and squats go so fast. So, take note–if you’re keeping an eye on an injury, I can tell by the first week alone that Insanity probably isn’t even worth starting until you’re better. Keep with a program (Like P90X) that allows you a lot more control. (Thanks Shani B. Which, is, actually, a very similar name to Shaun T. )

Plyometric Cardio Circuit

The very first workout you do, Plyometric Cardio Circuit (which we’ll call PCC in the rest of the article) involves the words Plyometric, which every p90X-er associates with an hour of jumping at an average heart rate of around 170. However, you can’t really compare PCC to P90X Plyo. It’s almost a completely different workout. For instance, PCC clocks in at just under 40 minutes, and a good third of that is a High-Cardio-Inducing warm up and stretching. The “circuits” are just a set of four exercises done once at normal speed, then faster/harder, then faster/harder. He then sprinkles a few more moves on top of that. The second circuit is mostly done in plank position, and there’s still jumping involved, but it still doesn’t feel anything like P90X Plyo.

Then, oddly, you’re done. That’s it. Two sets. Unlike P90X Plyo, which makes you feel like you’ve accomplished enough to sit on the couch the rest of the day, the PCC workout is a pretty damn refreshing length of time.

Don’t get me wrong; I have yet to do the entire workout at the intensity Shaun T desires without breaks, which is sort of the goal. And, interesting to note, all the people in the workout are falling apart and taking breaks, too. Which leads me to the “extreme” part of the workout. Though I don’t want to spend all my time comparing Insanity workouts to P90X workouts, it’s very interesting to see how much power the mere filming of a workout has.

Considering the length of time and the moves, I think P90X Plyo is technically more intense based on my heart rate stats. But presentation wise, there’s no doubt INSANITY! screams “extreme.” P90X Plyo brings to mind Tony Horton doing ski jumps with three other people to music with a jaunty California bop. Insanity’s PCC is a echo-filled gym full of many sweaty 20-somethings and thirty-somethings doing the same move, yelling and grunting while Shaun T shouts “Dig Deeper!” over and over again to a score that sounds a lot like Carmina Burana. The result is very intense.

Again though, I think the workouts are so different they can’t hold up to any real comparison with each other. PCC demands some pretty hard things in a very short amount of time, but it hasn’t hindered my ability to walk the next day if I overdo it. P90X Plyo is a solid hour-long non-stop jumping workout, but it doesn’t utilize the arms and core the way PCC does. The two work outs together, however, probably cover almost all your plyometric needs. I look forward to seeing what the INSANITY max plyometric circuit involves, which I will be doing in month 2.

2 responses to “INSANITY! (Part 2: Days 1-6 and Plyometric Cardio Circuit)”

  1. Hey Jack! Just started Insanity….lite. I like to sprinkle the plyo, abs and pure cardio workouts in throughout the week and toss in some yoga stretch on the off days. My gimpy ass knees can’t take the daily pounding. I also like to hit pause…..a lot. Jeff says that I shake the house when I work out. That’s my review. Miss y’all.

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