The "Insanity" Craze: Yea or Nay? By Guest Expert Darryl Brook

Insanity-Review-Pic1So what am I getting myself into by joining the Insanity workout craze that has taken the world by storm? I have asked guest expert and personal trainer Darryl Brook, to share his thoughts on what is called the most difficult, cardiovascular-based DVD workout program on the market today. Over to you Darryl…

As a trainer, having seen so many bad attempts of DVD home workouts over the years, it was natural that my thoughts were the same about this workout. However, as I will attempt to show in this article, there are many good things to this workout. So here goes…Insanity is possibly the most difficult, cardiovascular-based DVD workout program on the market today, due to the strenuous pace of each workout. It is a total body, circuit training workout that uses only your body weight as resistance. The plan involves a rigorous schedule of six days of exercise per week and each workout will take approximately 30 to 60 minutes to complete. All that is needed to perform each INSANITY workout is a TV, DVD player, a good pair of tennis shoes, and sheer willpower.

It is based on the concept of “Max Interval Training.” Traditional interval training requires you to exercise at a highly intense pace for a short period with longer periods of rest in between. Max Interval Training, on the other hand, reverses that concept by having you working as hard as you can for 3-minute intervals, separated by short 30-second periods of rest.

The warm-up consists of a few interval bouts of jogging in place, jumping jacks, jumping side-to-side, and various kicking moves performed back-to-back, followed by several minutes of stretching.  The actual workouts involve specific movements that are not overly hard to perform. Most of the moves are variations of jumping jacks, sprinting in place, various sports-like drills, squats, lunges, push-ups, plyometrics, and kickboxing moves. However, it is the pace of each movement and number of repetitions performed that make each workout very intense and hard to complete.

Insanity is an excellent method of exercise for people who desire to lose body weight/fat and increase cardiovascular fitness. The workouts can easily be performed at home to the instructor, who does a great job motivating you to complete each workout.  Although each workout is extremely tough, the pause button allows you some control of the pace of each workout. If you are a fitness enthusiast you will enjoy the extreme intensity of each workout, as well as the challenge of completing the 60 days. The workouts are highly intense and designed for people who are already in good shape. It is not intended for special-need populations, such as cardiovascular, pulmonary, and metabolic disease patients, diabetics, or obese people, and people with orthopaedic limitations. If you are extremely unfit and looking for an “easy fix”, then Insanity is not for you. The program will work best for people who already exercise on a regular basis and are willing to work hard.

The program takes a huge amount of self-discipline and dedication. As with any home-based exercise regimen, the various distractions that often occur can easily interfere with the workout program.The program is not intended for people seeking to increase muscle size and gain a lot of strength. There are no weights involved with the Insanity program. There are only a small amount of resistance-based moves that use your body weight, such as variations of push-ups and squats.

The bottom line on Insanity is that It is a maximum intensity workout program that will push you to your physical limits and will test your mental toughness. It’s great for cardiovascular fitness and achieving a lean body, but it is intended for people who are already at least fairly fit. The workouts are very challenging and require a great amount of dedication and willpower to complete.  People who are extremely unfit and out of shape, or just beginning an exercise program should begin with a less intense workout plan, perhaps even come see one of us lovely Personal Trainers 🙂 and we can help you gain confidence in yourselves and pick our brains when it comes to what to do. I hope this little review helps in some way and remember , even if you’re just going for a walk, it’s better than just sitting on a sofa.

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Darryl Brook is a personal trainer based in Dubai, UAE. Originally from the UK, he has been in Dubai working  for a company called TribeFit  down in Dubai Marina. He has worked with many different types of people and specialises in weight loss and muscle growth to rehab of injuries. Want to contact Darryl? Email him at or join his fitness page on Facebook: Darryl Brook Tribefit 

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