REVIEW – Insanity: Max 30 – Day 4 – Tabata Strength

I first completed this program (all 56 days) in 2016. The challenge and grind of this program reminded me a lot of my first “Insanity” experience. I decided that I wanted to go through each workout again to see what the fitness metrics looked like (calorie burn and heart rate chart). And, I wanted to share my experience over the next 12 posts in the hopes of educating people that are considering this program. See program details at the bottom of the post.

Day 4:  Tabata Strength (approx 30 minutes)

Approx calories burned (Garmin Vivosport): 221 C

Max HR (Garmin Vivosport): 170 bpm

AVG HR (Garmin Vivosport): 110 bpm

This workout is 7 blocks (1 warmup, 6 workout). More on the 6 blocks later…

Remember – this tabata “style” workout has a period of work followed by a brief period of rest, and then you go at it again. For example, you might work for 20 seconds, and rest for 10 seconds, and then work again for 20 seconds, rest for 10, so on and so forth.

The warmups have been pretty consistent so far – 2-3 rounds of a mixture of:

  • straight arm jacks
  • scissor chest openers (a kind of “jacking” movement)
  • lateral lunges
    • note – you get more out of this move if you keep your back flat and push your butt straight back and up a little bit)
  • downward dog + spider

Round 1 (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off):

  • diamond jump + single leg burpee – right leg
  • diamond jump + single leg burpee – left leg
  • diamond jump + burpee
  • diamond jump + burpee (yeah, again)
  • diamond jumps
  • diamond jumps (yeah, again)
  • Plie power squat
  • Plie power squat
  • Bonus recover move – high knee abs
    • Funny – he calls this a recovery move 🙂
    • Note – normally this would be a water break, but for some reason he wants to torture us and not give the usual water break. Demon!
  • Alternating side wide push up
  • Alternating side wide push ups
  • Diamond push ups
  • Diamond push ups
    • UGH – more muscle tired than “system” tired
    • Don’t be a hero and try to go with a fast cadence
  • Knee diamond hold
    • You are going to feel this the lower you go
  • Knee diamond hold
  • Child’s pose + knee diamond push up
  • Child’s pose + knee diamond push up
    • Note – still no rest at the grey bar on the timer
    • I still haven’t noticed anybody maxing out yet
  • Jack jabs
    • Yeah, this is another “recovery” move
  • Split plyo lunge
  • Split plyo lunge
  • Plyo power knee – right
  • Plyo power knee – left
  • Power knee + turning lunge – left
  • Power knee + turning lunge – right
  • Low power knee – left
  • Low power knee – right
  • Straight arm cross-jack
    • ANOTHER recovery move. No freaking water!
    • At this point, I think I’ve only seen one max out
  • 4 count V push up
  • 4 count V push up
  • V push up
  • V push up
    • FINALLY MAXED OUT @ 19 minutes
    • In my defense, I was going deep and had my feet in pretty close
  • V push up “hold” – at the half way point
  • V push up “hold” (yes, again) – your shoulders and triceps are fried by now
  • Wide pike ups (your cadence will make or break you here)
  • Wide pike ups
  • Mummy kicks – recovery move
    • I didn’t capitalize it or scream this time – I’m used to being screwed out of my water by now.
  • Scissor push up – left
    • Your hip mobility will limit how far you can move your leg under your body
  • Scissor push up – right
    • Look at all of the people maxing out now
  • Knee tap push up
  • Knee tap push up
  • Toe tap push up
  • Toe tap push up
  • Alternating toe tap (plank)
  • Alternating toe tap (plank)
  • 2 & 2 power strike – “recovery” yet again. NO WATER FOR ANYBODY!
  • Diamond jump burpee (a reboot from earlier)
    • Note – no 10 sec rest here, or the rest of the way)
  • Alternating wide push ups (another reboot)
  • Max out knee up – right
  • Max out knee up – left
  • V push ups (because, why the heck not)
  • Chair hold (1 min)
    • You will pulse with 20 sec to go

I guess we can now say this workout was only 1 round!

This was the first time he really beat us down without the programmed water breaks. You could argue that this point makes it a true “max out” challenge. This workout was challenging. My arms felt like over cooked linguine during the last round of V push ups. I do enjoy the fact that these “max out” sessions aren’t all the same. Mixing in the two tabata style sessions gives a nice change of pace. And, since there is some minor recovery rest, there can be some increased emphasis on strength moves. I’ll give Shaun T some credit – he really knows how to cook your triceps.

Overall, I’m enjoying the variety and difficulty of the program so far.

Cooldown – remember – there is a cooldown for a few minutes after the workout is done. Do yourself a favor – don’t skip it. You need it.

Continue reading REVIEW – Insanity: Max 30 – Day 4 – Tabata Strength

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REVIEW – Insanity: Max 30 – Day 3 – Sweat Intervals

I first completed this program (all 56 days) in 2016. The challenge and grind of this program reminded me a lot of my first “Insanity” experience. I decided that I wanted to go through each workout again to see what the fitness metrics looked like (calorie burn and heart rate chart). And, I wanted to share my experience over the next 12 posts in the hopes of educating people that are considering this program. See program details at the bottom of the post.

Day 3: Sweat Intervals (approx 30 minutes)

Approx calories burned (Garmin Vivosport): 267 C

Max HR (Garmin Vivosport): 151 bpm

AVG HR (Garmin Vivosport): 122 bpm

This workout is a total of 6 blocks. Contrary to tabata-style intervals (where there was micro-rest programmed in), this workout takes us back to the style where you move until you either can’t move anymore, or until the programmed water break comes in.

The warmup lasts about 5 minutes, then you get your first water break. He pulls a little mind freak with you here and tries to keep you from grabbing water, and instead doing a quick stretch.

Nah – I’ll take my water. Sorry dude.

Round 1:

  • high jump cross – right
  • squat lunge – left
    • note – around the 6:30 mark, a lady who looks none-too-thrilled walks over to the board to write out her max out time. Not sure if she is really mad, or just messing around. In any event, if you were still going – you beat her – nice job.
  • push up punch
    • and another max out happened!
  • high jump cross – left
  • squat lunge – right
    • three more max outs! – this round is killing people
  • push up punch
    • the person in childs pose needs to log her time
  • moving jump cross
  • alternating squat/lunge
    • more maxing out
  • push up punch

In general, I felt like a rock star getting through this round w/o maxing out. It’s a combination of getting your breath right and just going to your happy place. Your legs will burn. Just fight through it. They won’t break. I promise.

happy place

Round 2:

  • moving squat jab x 3
  • wide pike ups x 3
  • hurdle drill x 3

This round wasn’t too bad – still haven’t maxed out. Granted, my cadence on the wide pike ups isn’t as fast at Shaun, but I’m still doing the work and not stopping.

Round 3: this is the round that got me

  • hop hop runner x 3
  • power jump + squat push x 3
  • switch kick punch x 3
    • Note – he did warn us that he was about to kill us. It was like a delayed killing. I got through the first round fine. When it came to the 2nd round of switch kick punching, that is when I finally had to take a blow. Call it minute 18 where I crashed.

Great quote at the end of the round by one of the testers…

“If I can’t do one more, I do three.”

I like the sentiment, but I’m not sure if I agree with the reality of it. But, I get her point. Dig deeper.

Oh, and if you are looking for a person to try and pace after in the workout, look no further than this lady. If you see her action on switch kick punches in round 3, you’ll know what I mean. This lady is a beast.

high motor lady

Round 4:

  • free runner – right
  • ski ab + power knee – right
  • squat oblique knee
    • The mechanics of this were funky at first, but you get the flow after a few reps
  • free runner – left
  • ski ab + power knee – left
  • squat oblique knee
    • Note – high motor lady went into child’s pose. See – she’s not a machine – she’s a HUMAN
  • free runner – right then left
  • ski abs
    • Odd quote, “See this sweat – it’s called sweat for a reason.” Okay – why?
  • squat oblique knee

Round 5:

  • burpee lunge – right
  • hit the floor
  • cross-jack jabs
    • with how tired your hips are, this is tough
  • burpee lunge – left
  • hit the floor
  • cross-jack jabs
    • Note – the chanting he gets the group to do is optional
  • hit the floor
  • burpee lunge – alternating sides
  • cross-jack jabs
    • nice little group gathering at the end on this exercise

 

Cooldown – remember – there is a cooldown for a few minutes after the workout is done. Do yourself a favor – don’t skip it. You need it.

I’ve done this workout outside of the program on a day where I just feel like getting a nice solid ass-kicking in 30 minutes. It is one of my favorites. None of the moves are completely insane, so it’s one that I could see pushing into the mid-20’s on a max out time if I worked it for a couple of months.

Continue reading REVIEW – Insanity: Max 30 – Day 3 – Sweat Intervals

REVIEW – Insanity: Max 30 – Day 2 – Tabata Power

I first completed this program (all 56 days) in 2016. The challenge and grind of this program reminded me a lot of my first “Insanity” experience. I decided that I wanted to go through each workout again to see what the fitness metrics looked like (calorie burn and heart rate chart). And, I wanted to share my experience over the next 12 posts in the hopes of educating people that are considering this program. See program details at the bottom of the post.

Day 2: Tabata Power (approx 30 minutes)

Approx calories burned (Garmin Vivosport): 240 C

Max HR (Garmin Vivosport): 156 bpm

AVG HR (Garmin Vivosport): 115 bpm

This workout has a total of 7 blocks. If you are new to tabata work, it’s an interesting way to exercise. First, please understand that there is a difference between an actual tabata protocol, and a tabata-style workout. The original protocol was developed by Izumi Tabata. His protocol dictated a 10 minute warm up, and then 8 rounds of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest. BUT, and here is the important part, the “work” had to be at 170% of your VO2 max. Therefore, you first needed to calculate/compute your VO2 max. If you aren’t hitting 170% of VO2 max, it isn’t a real tabata protocol. If your instructor is giving you a 20/10 routine, or a 30/10 routine, or any other type of routine where you work longer than you rest, consider it a tabata-style workout. You need the VO2 max measurement to really consider it a true tabata protocol.

Sorry for the sidebar, but it annoys me when people misuse the term “tabata protocol.”

As per usual, the first block is the “warm up.” I became very fond of straight arm jacks while doing this program. That move is a staple in any jumping jack warm up sequence that I do.

Round 1 (each exercise is 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest) – nothing really earth shattering here. Didn’t really see anyone “max” out. Made it through w/o much issue.

  • Burpee lunge (alternating) x 2
  • Plyo lunge left
  • Plyo lunge right
  • Split lunge punch x 2
  • Back lunge kick right
  • Back lunge kick left

Round 2 (20/10 again) – you start to see some people max out in the first exercise of this round. I’m not going to lie – your chest and triceps get fried in this round. The push up row after doing the first two moves is pretty challenging. I like the last move in this circuit – its the same move as the prior move, but with knees down (kind of like doing a drop set at the gym). Still haven’t maxed out. Hooray for me.

  • Moving plyo push up x 2
  • Push up pop x 2
  • Push up row x 2
  • Knee push up row x 2

Round 3 (20/10 again) – mostly an assault on the legs.

  • Fast power jumps x 2
    • Note – the shaved head guy “maxed” out, but didn’t write it down. #cheater
  • Slow power jumps x 2 – taking the momentum out at the bottom makes it tougher
  • High jumps x 2 – legs were really feeling it at this point
  • Squat knee up x 2 – this move felt like recovery and saved my round – NO MAX YET!

Round 4 (20/10 again) – core work

  • Switch kick abs x 2 – I suck at these due to my tight hips. I try to keep my legs straight so I can ingrain proper form (and hopefully progress)
  • Switch kick ab punch right – ow
  • Switch kick ab punch left – more ow
  • Scissor abs x 2 – I definitely slowed down, but didn’t stop
  • L hold – right – DAMMIT – maxed out. I tried holding that crap up, but couldn’t do it. I suck.
  • L hold – left – had to pull knees in towards the end

Round 5 (20/10 again) – this sequence of moves gets your triceps fired up.

  • Tricep dip reach x 2 – once you get your form down, it’s not that hard of a move
  • Single leg tricep dip – right – tight hips make this hard
  • Single leg tricep dip – left – ditto
  • Speed tricep dips x 2 – you really have to work hard to keep your hips up
  • 4 count tricep dip x 2 – this is a beast

Round 6 (no rest) – just rapid fire through a dealer’s choice of exercises for 20 seconds each.

  • Split lunge punch
  • Push up row
  • Switch kick abs
  • Speed tricep dips
  • Power jumps for 1 minute
    • Of course – why not! I remember hating 1 minute of power jumps in the original Insanity program (pure cardio), and that was a few moves into the workout. Dude programed it as a burnout here. DAMN!

princess bride insanity

Cooldown – remember – there is a cooldown for a few minutes after the workout is done. Do yourself a favor – don’t skip it. You need it.

Overall, this workout is a nice transition from the first day. Your max out threshold should theoretically be farther out in this workout since there are micro bouts of rest peppered in. Its still challenging, but not impossible. You really do have control over how much you burn yourself out based on the cadence/frequency you set for the moves. If you watch the screen as you are working out, you’ll see each member of the group is doing the moves at their own speed. Some people are rapid fire (1 up, 1 down, no pause), and some people are 1 up, pause, 1 down, or even 2 up, pause, 2 down. It really is your choice. You can say that about any of these types of workouts. The number of reps you crank out in the given time frame is your best gauge of progress. Start low and work your way up to high (fast).

 

Continue reading REVIEW – Insanity: Max 30 – Day 2 – Tabata Power

REVIEW – Insanity: Max 30 – Day 1 – Cardio Challenge

I first completed this program (all 56 days) in 2016. The challenge and grind of this program reminded me a lot of my first “Insanity” experience. I decided that I wanted to go through each workout again to see what the fitness metrics looked like (calorie burn and heart rate chart). And, I wanted to share my experience over the next 12 posts in the hopes of educating people that are considering this program. See program details at the bottom of the post.

Day 1: Cardio Challenge (approx 30 minutes)

Approx calories burned (Garmin Vivosport): 236 C

Max HR (Garmin Vivosport): 146 bpm

AVG HR (Garmin Vivosport): 114 bpm

This workout has 6 blocks total. By that, I mean the time bar has little grey lines that signify a change from one block to the next. Those grey lines are your water breaks. Your goal is to get to the water break w/o stopping. I guess your ultimate stretch goal is to get through an entire session by taking only the programmed water breaks. That would mean your max out time is 30. I wonder if anyone has done that???

That first block is the warm up. But, in typical Shaun T fashion, the warm up gets your heart rate GOING. I’m happy to report that there is a modifier in the program. She isn’t called out in a separate window, she is to the right of Shaun when they show the large panoramic view of the class. Having a modifier is a very nice add to these programs.

insanity max 30 modifier

When people max out, he makes them write their time on the chalkboard. Our first visible causality was just before 8 minutes.

The first series of squat kicks to pike/spider to 10 & 2 jumps does get your legs burning. I remember my first time in 2016 – I didn’t get out of that round w/o maxing out. I checked through my notes, and saw that my second session had me bust through that (NICE). This time around, I made it through. Nice to know my fitness hasn’t regressed.

Round 2 was a challenge, but I got through it w/o maxing out. It consisted of medicine ball twist to plank jack + in/out abs to 4 jab + 4 high knee. Round 3 finally got me. The plyo power knees were fine. BUT, when we did scissor stance jacks, that is when my legs were finally cooked. Call it the 16 minute mark for my max out. I wrote it down, slugged some water, and got back in to complete a couple reps of shoulder tap in/out. It kind of made me feel better when Shaun maxed out in this round about a minute later.

I’m not going to lie – it sucked that after maxing out, I still had two more rounds to get through.

Round 4 has slap back jacks, suicide burpees, and plank speed taps. Oh, and if I didn’t mention it before, you do all three exercises 3 times each per round. Round 5 is chair to squat, football runs, and 2 jabs + 2 tuck jumps.

There is a cooldown at the end, but its not part of the 30 minutes. Please – don’t be foolish – do the cooldown. It’s only a couple extra minutes. You need to bring your heart rate down.

Overall, not a bad start to the program. Certainly not enough here to scare you away!

Continue reading REVIEW – Insanity: Max 30 – Day 1 – Cardio Challenge