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The INSANITY Workout: My Review of the First Month

Updated on July 3, 2012
Insanity Workout
Insanity Workout | Source

Not Going to Lie: The first month was hard!

As someone who has struggled with maintaining my weight, I was in search of something new. I have always been one of those individuals who's weight fluctuates so often that a routine and structure is almost necessary to loose any amount of weight. Before I started this program, I had given myself the goal to lose 30 pounds. I went to the gym every day... for about 2 weeks. After that, there was always some reason I could get there; work, relationship, family, bills, events... all the usual things that get in the way. I decided I wanted to try something new.

I started the INSANITY Workout, with the promise to myself that I would at least press 'Play' every day. It didn't matter what was going on in my life that might prevent me from getting to the gym, I could at least press play on the DVD Player; especially knowing that I somehow make time for a little TV every evening.

Let me preface by saying that I started this workout goal relatively out of shape. Thirty pounds overweight, and little stamina and/or endurance. Yes, I had started going back to the gym the month beforehand, but I was by no means back in shape. I made the commitment to myself knowing these videos would be an absolute challenge.

What Exercise Video's Do You Do in INSANITY?

The scheduled routine has you completing an exercise video six of the seven days a week; for example, Monday through Saturday, with a rest day on Sunday.

The first day was pitiful at best. The routine has you complete a 'Fit Test' first so you can both see and feel where you are starting from. The Fit Test challenges you with one minute intervals of exercises that the instructor, Shaun T, demonstrates before you begin. The goal is to see how many of each given exercise you can complete within the one minute. You write down your number and get a 30 second water break before the next exercise. The Fit Test is completed every 2 weeks so that you can track your progress over time.

The rest of the first month you alternate between Plyometric Cardio Circuit (42 minutes), Cardio Power & Resistance (40 minutes), Cardio Recovery (33 minutes), Pure Cardio (40 minutes), and Cardio Abs (15 minutes).

These videos are designed to push you to your very limit... no matter what fitness level you are starting at. Honestly, once you get through the 'warm up,' you are already sweating and your heart is pumping (and maybe you are cursing at your television!).

30 Day Review and Results

This might sounds a little cheesy, but the INSANITY workout video's are indeed insane. The cardio circuits and exercises are designed to challenge your entire body and bring your heart rate way up. Being so out of shape when I started this, it was honestly difficult to complete the videos and I usually needed a small unscheduled water break. I also don't think any exercise or sport activity has had me sweating so much or pushing my body so hard before.

Before I get to the results, I need to preface by noting that the whole first month, I wasn't physically able to do a video six days a week. There were times starting out that my body was just too sore or fatigued to safely complete the schedule video, and I wanted to avoid injury (I've had 5 knee surgeries). My guess is that I probably completed about 65% of the scheduled first months program.

Having said that, I am now in my 5th week of the Insanity workout, and I can feel my body changing. It is much easier to complete a video, and with correct form. My endurance is improving dramatically. My strength is improving dramatically; I can both see and feel a difference in both my leg strength and arm/upper body strength. Most importantly, I am no longer too sore or too fatigued the next day (or even later on in the same day!) to complete the next scheduled workout.

I can't say that I have lost many pounds, as I've lost only about 6 pounds thus far. However, I have seen a noticeable difference in a loss of inches; my waist, hip, and thighs are all beginning to shrink and tone as I build some muscle. It is very exciting. I can't wait to get back to my athletic build and healthy weight!

Because I wasn't able to complete the all the scheduled first month workouts, I have decided for myself to now start from the beginning again. Sounds painful, and like I'm putting myself through some added unnecessary pain and torture, but I decided that I want to be able to complete the first 30 days in its entirety before getting in to the more intense second month.

Would I Recommend the Insanity Workout?

I absolutely would. I love how encouraging the instructor is, and hard he motivates you to safely push your body to it's limits. And he speaks at you like he is actually in the room with you. This is both a good and bad thing!

If you aren't in great shape, don't worry, I wasn't either! I would, however, encourage you to pay attention to your body. If you are in pain, beyond the pain of fatigue, your body is telling you something is wrong. If you just feel fatigue and you keep at it, you will notice that over time you can do more and more and keep up with the instructor easier. I would even go so far as to say that if you make the commitment to yourself, the design and intensity of this program is so great that I can't imagine anyone not seeing results.

It is also important to keep in mind that the point of these videos is push you as hard as you can go. Don't judge yourself and give up if you can't keep up with the instructors. I would have given up in the first week if keeping up with the instructors was the point of the videos!

I wouldn't buy the program unless you are serious about committing to it, though. It is a little pricey to just collect dust and you have to have the motivation and commitment to keep trying. It is a very high intensity program, so you want to go in to it knowing that your body is going to hurt.

Stay tuned for a results and review after I complete the first month over again, and then the entire 60 day program!

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    • profile image

      Johnd204 3 years ago

      It is actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing. dkbeabkdaabf

    • profile image

      TinCity 4 years ago

      Yes, I must recommend this workout to anyone looking to get back in shape after the holidays. You've got to see these top reviews on Amazon, they actually tell you in which order you should go. You should see this: - This is definitely not a fad and will be here for years to come. Can't wait to get my workout out on at the beginning of the new year.

    • profile image

      Rose 4 years ago

      OMG!!! I tried it today and unfortunately I can't afford it yet, but was able to try day 1 on youtube and honestly I thought I was going to pass out. I did 15 mins in all, but tomorrow I will do the whole video. My start date to gear into it is May 1st. Thank you.

    • Briana Faye profile image

      Briana Faye 4 years ago from California

      Ashley, good luck with your workouts! I wouldn't worry too much about the number, just focus on how you feel. If you're feeling good, that's all I worry about. :) All the best!

      Ceejay1980, great job keeping up with Jillian Michaels' DVD's! I haven't tried them myself, but they look pretty tough. As far as the the modifications go, the Insanity videos encourage you to simply do less of the exercise and take more frequent breaks if you are struggling. You still get a great workout, but you are listening to your body. Hope this helps! Good luck!

    • ceejay1980 profile image

      ceejay1980 4 years ago

      I love working out with Jillian Michaels but have always been intrigued by the Insanity infomercials I see on sure looks hard. As a mother of a 6 month old, I am looking to shed the baby weight, but I am not at the peak of my fitness levels...are there modified versions in this, as they are in JM DVDs? I look forward to seeing your progress with this workout program!

    • profile image

      tmouse1 4 years ago


      It sounds like you have a great attitude - just give your best effort and don't worry about keeping up.

      You sound like you are at a healthy weight for your height, so I hope you are not skimping on food to reduce the number on the scale -It's counterproductive. If you continue exercising, and eating enough food to fuel your workout, the number on the scale may not move much but you will see a difference in your measurements.

    • profile image

      Ashley 4 years ago

      I have just recently purchased Insanity, and I am on Week 2, Day 4. At first the workouts seemed impossible to keep up with, but I kept pushing myself through it even on days that I felt my energy had been drained! The hardest part for me so far has been mentally trying to keep up with the videos. My problem was seeing the instructors continuously do the exercises, and me not being able to keep up. It took me a while to realize it was okay to take breaks and to not get discouraged about going at my own pace!

      Although I haven't psychically seen major results yet (I'm 18, weigh 135 and I'm 5'6) I still plan on pushing through each and every day to hopefully becoming healthier and having the body I want! (I've also had to change my eating habits MAJORLY).

      Thank you Briana for this review. It has been a major help and support for me! Good luck with everything!

    • profile image

      Leanne H. 4 years ago

      Hi Briana,tmouse1 and Stina,

      I am a huge fan of Insanity and all the Beachbody programs, which is actually why I decided to become a coach for them. I would love to help you guys through your fitness/nutrient journey by offering support and mentoring through your programs. Please feel free to email me: or you can find me on Facebook (Leanne Harkins)

      Cheers :)

    • Briana Faye profile image

      Briana Faye 4 years ago from California

      Stina, thank you for the feedback! P90X is tough! You shouldn't have much trouble switching over to the Insanity from P90X. Good luck!

      tmouse1, Ouch, stress fractures are not fun! I hope it heals quickly for you! I didn't follow the meal plan initially, but have switched over to following it religiously now. Thank you for reminding me about the whey protein. I have one that I like, but I need to be sure to drink it directly after the workout. All the best!

    • profile image

      tmouse1 4 years ago

      Insanity is definitely on my "to-do" list. I'm currently nursing a stress fracture so the plyo is out of the question.

      Briana, did you follow the nutrition plan as well? If you are trying to lose, nutrition is 80% of the battle. You also may want to consider buying some good whey protein. Take it immediately after your workout and it will help your muscles recover more quickly.

      Good luck and keep us posted!

    • Stina Caxe profile image

      Cristina 4 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks for the review. I currently do P90X and I was thinking about trying Insanity next.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      I could not move the next day! It does get easier over time but I am just too idle to do it at the moment!

    • Briana Faye profile image

      Briana Faye 4 years ago from California

      @Jools99, thanks for stopping by and leaving feedback. Jillian is very intense! I've watched her over the years on the Biggest Loser, and man is she tough. How was the 30 Day Shred?

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      I am still coping with Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred...that's enough insanity for me for now :o)

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      colton 5 years ago

      i started insanity today and omfg thr warmup wooped my ass im not in shape i had just started lifting again and have only been lifting fpr bout a month im 16 186 lbs 5'10" but i am dedicated. to get through this no matyer what! great article man ty!