A few years ago, I got in shape doing a series of summer boot camps. The following spring, I broke my ankle. After recovering, I exercised without much direction (gym, running, spin class and hockey) and slowly gained back 20 pounds that I worked so hard to lose.
Then I heard about Insanity from Beachbody -- described as the craziest and most extreme exercise programs ever. As a glutton for punishment and someone in need of a workout plan, I was intrigued. I did some research and ordered it. Sixty days...two months, what did I have to lose? If only I knew -- I lost alright...pounds, inches and sweat, and gained a new humbling appreciation of what it's like to work to utter exhaustion.
Each video features trainer/host, Shaun T guiding his group and the audience through an intense workout designed around the interval approach to training (where you alternate between short bursts of intense activity, with longer periods of rest). The difference is, Insanity flips the interval approach around, so instead, you're doing longer periods of super intense exercise with very short periods of rest. They call this
Max Interval Training. The exercises include push-ups, tuck jumps and burpees -- do as many as you can, as fast as you can in the allotted 30-60 seconds. Don't worry, Shaun T, while yelling at the poor struggling souls in the video, will let you know when you're done
The results were immediate. I was so sore...in ways I didn't know I could be sore. But I knew that with that much sweat, pain and work, I was on the right track. After a few weeks of following the exercise schedule and the diet plan , I began to experience results -- weight loss, better fitting clothes and the compliments. By the end of the two month program, I felt fantastic. In fact, I ran a half marathon a few months later, and beat my previous time by more than 13 minutes!
If you couldn't tell, I loved the program. The results were great, and I really enjoyed the convenience -- I could workout at home (saving a trip to the gym), the exercises and the program were relatively short (between 40-60 minutes and only 60 days), and no equipment was needed. However, the program isn't for everyone -- it's extremely difficult and intense, so know your limits. Beginners should probably be cautious and consider other workouts before diving into Insanity. But, if you are ready to commit to an intense two months, be prepared to work and sweat. I think you'll find the results -- the transformation of your mind and body -- well worth it.
Aubrey Chau is a communications professional in Edmonton. He is passionate about being active, current events and finding the answer to two eternal questions: 'why?' and 'where are my keys?' Twittering at: @achau13