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Making The Insanity Workout Easier

Updated on May 28, 2015
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Elton graduated from Common Sense University, is a father, artist and is currently featured on multiple blogs, sites and even edits a few.

This is the "Insanity Workout" a nutshell.

The Insanity Workout

Right off the bat, the Insanity Workout is hard. Why sugar coat it? If you're looking to try something new, you should know that this workout is intense. Very intense. So, if you have a heart condition, major joint pain or some physical malady that you feel might be a problem, get that checked out first. You want to go into this with little more than a fat body and feeling gross from copious sweating as your only major concern. Seriously.

Drink Water

Let's start with the most crucial tips first and work our way out to the lesser's shall we. Water is immensely important, no matter what workout you intend to do. The Insanity workout and it's sweat inducing "insanity" should give you reason enough. Yet, for some the tasteless clarity of water is off putting and they'll reach for juice or Gatorade. Sometimes, they disregard water entirely.

This is a mistake.

Water is beneficial to your health before, during and after the work out. It replenishes fluids lost during all of the jumping, squatting and more jumping. It helps your muscles, brain and joints through the workout. It also helps you NOT pass out. Hydration is a key component to ending the program in a healthy, conscious. non-dead fashion.

As important as drinking water on a regular basis and not dying is, too much water can hinder progress too. A belly full of water sloshing around will surely lead to a loss of motivation (best case scenario) and/or projectile vomiting (worst case). Getting the right amount of intake will depend on you and will take time. Don't beat yourself up over it. I go through 2 bottles of water during the work out, EVERY time.

[Regarding the "Results & Recovery Formula" you hear about in all of these videos. Usually, as has been described, it's best to drink after the workout, not during.]

Stretching is important
Stretching is important


There are a lot of things to be said about pacing yourself and knowing your limits. All of that starts with stretching. Don't skip the stretches. They're awkward, they're difficult and often, they hurt...but, do them. It will help in the long run. Though, you should know, given your current physical limitations, you will not stretch as "deeply" as the people in the program. It's okay if you can't. Chances are, you won't be able to, so, don't try.

Well, wait, DO try, but, don't overdo it, because trying too much too soon can lead to injury. Hurting yourself will just, well, hurt and it'll knock the wind out of your sails.

You have limits. Learn them and be comfortable with them. The stretches are a great place to find your limits and test the edge of your abilities. They are also a phenomenal place to push them...within reason. Take it slow. Rome wasn't built in a day...and neither was putting your head by your ankle.

How the hell do they do that?

Here are some stretching pointers

Feel Free To Rest...A Lot.

Pressure, is one thing Insanity delivers a lot of. That Shaun T. punk spouts those goofy motivational phrases, constantly. "Push", he says, "Dig deeper", he commands. You don't want to let him down!

Well, screw him. He's not fat and out of shape. We are. Much like Gordon Ramsay in a "Kitchen Nightmare" episode, you've decided to set your body on a path to fitness; you're starting from the ground up. You're starting in the mail room of the company that is your body. You have to work your way up!

No one let's the mail room guy trade stock options or approve product lines and want not, he's in the mail room! Shaun T. is "in it", you are huffing and puffing...trying not to blow a knee out. Take your time. If you need a break, take one. Just...don't give up.

Limit your breaks to 30 seconds to maybe a minute. It may seem like a short time, but, when you're "in it", it will feel like a lifetime. Take a drink and relax, then, when you're ready, hop back in. Even if you only get 4 of whatever they're doing, out of 12, at least you're back! You'll do more next time. You will.

Trick Yourself

This might seem weird, but, it works and it takes your mind of the length of the workouts. During every video, there is, not only a clock, but, a time-line of each exercise. You can use that to fool yourself into motivation.

When the clock reads, say, 30:00, just remind yourself that, that is, more or less the length of a sitcom. It's an episode of "The Simpsons", basically. You've sat through one of those before! It's like no time at all.

Another trick is to imagine the time as being divided by two. For instance, 20:00, could be...two sets of 10. What's ten minutes? It's almost nothing! Better yet, 10 is two sets of 5. Five minutes is cake. Then, after working 5 minutes off the clock you can say, it's only 3 more sets, at 5 minutes each. Easy.

Yes, I understand that the clock doesn't change; twenty minutes is twenty minutes, but, making it seem like a shorter time might lessen the chance of you giving up.

Anyone could understand giving up on a 20 minute workout, but, giving up on 5 minutes? It seems unthinkable.

Make "Insanity" Your Enemy

Hate and anger are strong motivators. They've given rise to all manner of social, political and personal changes throughout history. Why not use it as a tool to help you get fit? Chances are, you want to look like the people in the video. It's okay to want to better yourself and using them as goals can provide a great visual goal, but, you don't have to like them.

Make their smug ability to complete every rep, every exercise as fuel to meet your fitness peak. When you're down for the count, look up and see them still squatting and flexing. Screw that. You can do it too! Get up and prove it. Throw it in their faces.

Treat them like the jocks in an 80's high school movie, the bunch of jerks. When you get to the end of it all and you're ripped, you'll know you've bested them.

Pace Yourself

As I said before, Insanity, is...well, insane. The people doing the exercises with Shaun T. are hardly out of shape and practically mock you with their abs. They hum through the moves like overly fit acrobats. How are you supposed to keep up? You're not in that kind of shape!

The answer is actually kind of obvious, once you think about it. You're not supposed to keep up. Well, not initially that is, eventually you may be able to keep pace with them, but, that will take a long time. Relax.

There are two reasons why they make it through and do it at, what seems, a break neck pace. It's because you use the same videos over and over and the second reason...they are all extremely fit and able to.

The routines are used over and over as a cost saving measure for the company producing it. They go so fast, right out of the gate, because it's assumed that once you complete the program, you'll do it again. The next time around, you'll be quicker and have more stamina. You'll hang in there longer. So, they make it "advanced" right out of the box.

The trick to kicking "Insanity"s butt, is to go at your own speed. Don't try to keep up, until you are able. Certainly, push yourself, but, if they are leaving you behind, let them. You'll be just as fast one day...just not today.

Congratulate yourself

Although there are surely more ways to ease the pain of "Insanity", I hope to have hit a few of the important ones. Above all else, make sure to reward yourself with congratulations. Every time you meet a goal...or make it through an exercise without resting, give yourself an internal high-five. Seriously. Making it through "Insanity" is tough, even for Shaun T. So, when you make headway toward your overall goal, it's worth a pat on the back. Every time.


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