Insanity Review

This is the program that got it all started for me back in 2012. I’ll always have a bias towards this program, and it’s my go-to if I need a kick in the ass. If you’ve never done intensive “HIIT” (high intensity interval training) before, this program will quickly indoctrinate you, and show you very early on that everything you thought or perceived about a “hard workout” is wrong.

everything wrong

This program is as much a mental crucible as it is a physical challenge. If you commit to the 60 days, and have some type of sensible nutrition approach (note – this program does provide a nutrition plan if you want to follow it), then you will undoubtedly see some very noticable results at the end.

Overall Program Rating: 

My biggest gripe with this program is the lack of modifiers. Future Beachbody programs dedicate more time/energy to calling out modified moves so that people of ALL fitness levels can do them without much thought. In this program, the user is kind of left to his/her own devices to alter the moves and/or tempo to modify to a lower fitness level. Beyond that, the only other shortcoming is the lack of back (pulling) strength work. If you are a person that regularly does pull ups, do NOT stop doing them for the 60 days that it takes you to knock out Insanity. Do a couple of sets before each workout, to keep up your pulling strength.

As far as the videos themselves, the camera work was nice (seeing other people struggle and/or being tortured kind of makes you feel good). The music is a nice compliment – it isn’t annoying or distracting. As far as Shaun’s performance as the trainer, aside from the lack of modification instruction, I feel that his verbal and visual cues are very helpful and do the job. In total, I’d rate this 4 out of 5 “ass-kickings.”

insanity scale review

The Program:

The base package comes with 10 DVD’s. Purchase here from Amazon – INSANITY Base Kit – DVD Workout.
There is a deluxe package available with additional workouts. For the purposes of this review, I stayed within the 10-disc base package. In the basic package you get a starter’s guide (aka Fitness Guide), a nutrition plan, a workout calendar, and the DVD workouts.

The 60-day calendar is broken up into 3 phases (month 1, recovery week, and month 2). The program prescribes 6 days of work, and 1 rest day in every 7-day calendar week cycle. You start the program with the “Fit Test,” and end the program with the “Fit Test.” The idea behind the fit test is to establish a baseline of where you are at, and where you ended up.

In month 1, you’ll adventure through a gauntlet of:

  • Plyometric Cardio Circuit
  • Cardio Power & Resistance
  • Cardio “recovery”
  • Pure Cardio
  • Cardio Abs

During the recovery week, he programs 6 straight days of “Core and Cardio Balance.”

In month 2, he’ll drag you kicking and screaming through the seemingly impossible cycle of:

  • Max Interval Circuit
  • Max Interval Plyo
  • Max Cardio Conditioning
  • Max “recovery”
  • Cardio Abs
  • Core and Cardio Balance

dantes inferno

I’m pretty sure that month 2 of Insanity is somewhere in Dante’s hierarchy!

Equipment Required:

None. This is completely a bodyweight circuit. I would recommend a water bottle and towel.

Workout Structure:

The main staple Insanity workouts follow a fairly repeatable pattern…

Warmup – I say “warmup” because that is what Shaun calls it, and it’s the first thing in the workout. You’ll cycle through dynamic movements for 3 total rounds. Be prepared for a heart rate spike and some burned calories. My HR hit about 164 bpm, and I had burned 130 calories IN THE WARMUP.

Stretch – this is a series of static stretches since your muscles are warm and pliable.

Round 1 – 4 exercises for 3 sets. There is no rest between exercises, but you do get a 30 second water break after each set. Gee, thanks mister.

may i have more

Round 2 – 4 more exercises for 3 more sets. Same story – no rest between exercises, but the obligatory 30 seconds of water/crying.

***Round 3 – This is one of the major changes from month 1 to month 2. He adds a 3rd round of 4 exercises by 3 rounds. I’m telling you this now, so part of your brain can hate you during the entire first month since you entered into this willingly. Make no mistake about it – a thorough ass-kicking is on the horizon.

Cooldown – series of static stretching with the goal of also catching your breath.

I will say this about round 3. In month 1, although it seems like an impossibility (and it might for that first week), your body will adapt. If you’ve never done HIIT before, it will quickly shock your system. Two very notable changes in your performance will be an increased VO2 max (read about it here), and a shift in your lactate threshold (read about it here). In layman’s terms, the point at which you feel burn and fatigue will move further and further into the workout. You will get stronger, and you will find that you are able to go deeper and harder into the sets. You may even get through all 3 sets of 4 exercises in each round w/o tapping out for a breath. I will say this though, no matter how good I think I am at this stuff, Round 2 of Plyo Cardio Circuit still whoops my ass.

Month 2 is meant to keep those gains occurring; otherwise, you’ll experience a plateau. In the training world, there is a thing called the “progressive overload principle” (read about it here). Simply stated, you need to ratchet up the difficulty in terms of volume (how much you do) and/or intensity (how hard you do it) in order for your body to keep adapting, growing, improving, etc. Round 3 in month 2 checks both of those boxes with a big thick Sharpie. You will feel more gassed and more tired after the month 2 workouts. But, you will get through them. And, after you do, sit back and bask in the glory of what you just accomplished, and how you probably didn’t stand a chance 60 days prior.

Nutrition Plan:

I have my own thoughts on optimal nutrition, but, I will say that I don’t fundamentally disagree with the approach that Beachbody pushes in the Insanity program. The plan calls for 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fat. I used to agree with that ratio of macronutrients, but my personal approach and ethos has evolved. It does coach the user to seek out low glycemic index foods (which I completely align with). I do like the fact that the plan has the user compute a BMR (basal metabolic rate) so he/she can know what his/her basic calorie needs are. This is an exercise that everybody should do at least once – you’d be surprised how easy it is to consume more calories than you should when you eat crap.


The guide offers advice on meal timing, tries to push its Beachbody nutritional supplements, and then goes on to offer some recipes with nutritional information breakdowns.

Again – I have no major gripe with this part of the program – if the user doesn’t have an aversion or agenda against grains, then they will find this guide pretty delightful. I will say not to believe the hype that Beachbody supplements are essential to success. There are other ways to fuel activity and recovery that don’t include their products. I personally enjoy a good fasted workout. Don’t tell the Beachbody police – they will try to throw me in fitness jail.

The Workouts:

Fit Test (approx 26 minutes): this is the workout where you set your baseline. Write down your numbers, and aim to beat them each time you do this “check in.” No reason to fudge the numbers or counts – you are only competing against yourself. And Tanya – your mission is to beat Tanya.

Calorie burn (approx): 220 C

Heart rate chart: note that each exercise spiked the HR above 130!

Insanity fit test HR chart

Structure (1 minute work, approx 1 minute rest):

-Warmup & Stretch

-Switch kicks (1 minute) – these bad boys are a recurring character in the Insanity saga. Big hit to the core and hip flexors. At first it was demoralizing to have Tanya whoop me, but now I own her. Imagine just doing alternating front kicks (to about hip height), but then trying to make it plyometric by hopping from one foot to the other.

-Power jacks (1 minute) – I’ve always liked these and still like them. Taking a jumping jack and adding a squat at the bottom.

-Power knee (1 minute) – You’ll only do one side of your body here, but don’t worry – you’ll do plenty over the next 60 days. It’s like a standing crunch – one knee just firing like a piston up to your chest. You feel just as much a burn in the planted leg as you do your core.

-Power jumps (1 minute) – these are a beast if you try to go full banana sandwich crazy here. Just go to your happy place in your head. Its just rapid fire jump squats as fast (and as controlled) as you can.

-Globe jumps (1 minute) – these are a sneaky beast as you jump up, back, and to the sides from a squat position.

-Suicide jumps (1 minute) – its a burpee w/o the pushup at the bottom. Nothing too crazy here.

-Push up jacks (1 minute) – I’d rank this one in the top 3 hardest moves if you really try to crush it. Its a semi-plyo movement since your feet are jacking in/out as you do the pushups. The deceleration on the down is intensified as a result.

-Low plank oblique (1 minute) – Nothing too special here – just plank and touch your knee to your elbow, alternate, repeat.


Plyometric Cardio Circuit (approx 42 minutes) – in my opinion, this is the hardest month 1 workout. The 2nd round of this workout still whoops me to this day.

Calorie burn (approx): 475 C

Heart rate chart: I did note that the end of round 1 and round 2 had the longest sustained periods of HR spikes, so that extra work he makes you do pays off.insanity plyo cardio hr chart

Structure: (2 rounds total, 4 exercises repeated 3 times per round, 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest)

-Warmup & stretch – my heartrate hit into the 160’s during the warmup. Believe it or not, this is a good thing. By spiking your HR rate early, you are going to burn through stored glycogen faster, which, gives you a good opportunity to get into fat burning mode. You’ll do three rounds of each movement. Heisman and high knees is where you’ll probably groan. The stretch will probably burn your shoulders as you are supposed to have your arms raised during the majority of it. But, learn to love the stretch. So many benefits to be had with regards to flexibility and mobility. Tight hips and hamstrings are no good in fitness or in life.

-Round 1

Suicide drills – kind of like when you used to run, touch the line, and run back over and over again in high school, but this time its in a very confined space.

Power squats – a power jack w/o the arm movement. Might burn 3rd time through.

Vertical mountain climbers – just go to your happy place and CLIMB! It’s a high knees run with your hands overhead mimicking a climbing motion.

Ski downs – squat position, knees together, and hop side to side with your arms SWOOSHING back like you are skiing.

***Switch feet – this is a BONUS move at the end of Round 1. Straight arms and straight legs back and forth.

***Football drills – this is ANOTHER BONUS move at the end of Round 1. Shuffle in place like you are back at football practice and listen to his cues.

-Round 2

Basketball drills – mimic the act of shooting a basketball (squat down, pick it up, and shoot). I personally like to alternate shooting hands each time. Tough move.

Level 1 drills – 4 push ups, 8 mountain climbers, rinse, repeat. Oh – you will do a good amount of pushups in this program. Just wait for level 3 drills.

Ski abs – after you just burned your shoulders, now you’ll be in a plank position, but jumping your feet/bent knees from side to side.

In/out drills – now that your shoulders are absolutely destroyed, you will jump your feet in/out to your chest (from plank position) for the duration. Like I said earlier – this sequence of 4 moves still kicks my ass.

***Jabs – this is a BONUS move at the end of round 2. Just punch something in front of you with alternating jabs.

***Cross jacks – this is ANOTHER BONUS move at the end of round 2. It’s an advanced jumping jack where you cross your feet and alternate the hand that goes overhead.

***Uppercuts – this is ANOTHER ANOTHER BONUS move at the end of round 2 – just doing alternating uppercut punches to the phantom in front of you.

***Attack – this is ANOTHER ANOTHER ANOTHER BONUS move at the end of round 2 – it’s like the jab, but an alternating open hand strike while in a semi-plie squat.


Cardio Power & Resistance (approx 40 minutes): your arms will get a nice bit of work in this session. This will also be the return of the power jumps. Your goal is to beat Chris. You’ll see what I mean.

Calorie burn (approx): 252 C

Heart rate chart: Interesting thing here is the HR spiked more during the warmup than it did during the actual workout. Best I can attribute that to is the focus more on power moves than higher frequency moves. insanity power resist HR chart

Structure: (2 rounds total, 4 exercises repeated 3 times per round, 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest)

-Warmup & stretch – you want this. You NEED this. Slightly different exercises mixed in this time around to keep things from getting stale. Also causes that nice heart rate spike. Oh, failed to mention earlier – the stretching sequences are usually 5-6 minutes which is NICE.

-Round 1

Power jumps – you did these during the fit test. Follow Shaun’s advice – start at a moderate pace in round 1, and progress to “balls to the wall” speed in round 3.

Belt kicks – I consider this a slight “recovery” move after the power jump sequence. Squat and kick from side to side.

Hit the floor – slight hop to each side and touch the floor

V push ups – first real salvo against the arms/shoulders. Get to downward dog, walk your feet into a pike position, and start doing “push ups.” You’ll be over your shoulders, and the bottom of the move is when your head grazes the floor. These are a nice progressive move to handstand pushups.

***Tricep dips – this is a BONUS move at the end of round 1. After burning yourself with V pushups, Shaun makes you do dips from a tabletop position with one leg in the air at a time.

***Ball pushups – Shaun does a water break head fake, and then pushes you to ANOTHER BONUS move at the end of round 1. From a plank position, you’ll draw your knees to your chest, thus putting yourself in a “ball” position, and then you’ll do tricep push ups.

-Round 2

Hurdle jumps – sprint in place and then jump over an imaginary hurdle/log/corpse (maybe yours by now???)

Globe jumps – you did these during the fit test. VERY tiring.

Moving push ups – time to wreck the chest/triceps/shoulders again. From plank position, move arm and leg outward at the same time, and lower to the bottom of the push up position. Push up, and repeat.

shaun lets go

Floor sprints – hold plank position and sprint your legs in/out to your chest.

***8 squats/8 push ups – this is a BONUS move at the end of round 2. Execute 8 pulse squats, drop and do 8 pushups, rinse, repeat.


Pure Cardio (approx 39 minutes) – this is my favorite Insanity workout. Once you start the workout (after warm up/stretch), you just plow through until you are done. No structured rounds – just 1 minute for each movement. I personally think that this workout probably inspired Shaun’s Insanity: Max 30 program.

Calorie burn (approx): 282 C

Heart rate chart: the drop around the 9-10 minute mark starts the stretching, and that lasts until the first spike. Note that a majority of the time, the HR is up. We like that in our exercising!

insanity pure cardio hr chart

Structure – (15 moves, 1 minute each, no rest between moves). In my opinion, you have three ways to gauge progress in this format – you can count reps for each exercise, you can see how long you can last before you take your first break, or you can do both.

-Warmup & stretch

-Round infinity GO!

  1. Suicide drills – you’ve done these before in Plyo Cardio Circuit
  2. Switch kicks – you know these (fit test). This is one of the exercises where I’d track my reps and try to beat the number each time.
  3. Wide football sprints – these were one of the bonus moves from Plyo Cardio Circuit. Semi-recovery after killing yourself on switch kicks.
  4. Stance jacks – new move alert!!! It’s like a power jack, but instead of the harms going overhead, you touch an opposite hand to an opposite foot (if you touch with your left hand, you’ll touch to your right foot at the bottom of the squat).
  5. Pedal sprint – new move alert!!! Spring in place, then plyo lunge left, plyo lunge right, spring, rinse, repeat. Listen for his cues.
  6. Hooks and jump rope – new move alert!!! Do 8 hook punches with the same arm, do 4 power jumps with arm action mimicking jumping rope, then do 8 hook punches with the other arm, 4 jumps, rinse, repeat, puke.
  7. Power jacks – this is a fit test reboot. If you haven’t already, this might be your first inclination to take a break. Try to fight through it.
  8. Level 2 drills – new(ish) move alert!!! Just like level 1 drills, except you do 8 pushups and 8 floor sprints.
  9. Frog jumps – new move alert!!! This is the up/back portion of the globe jumps. This is where I personally usually tap out for the first time if I’m playing the…”how far can I go…” game. This makes my legs feel like they will explode.
  10. Power knees – you did these during the fit test. Now you’ll get to do both sides! Hooray for symmetry. Don’t want to look like this guy…uneven muscle
  11. Vertical mountain climbers – reboot from Plyo Cardio Circuit.
  12. Ski down – another reboot from Plyo Cardio Circuit.
  13. Scissor runs – this was a bonus move from Plyo Cardio Circuit. He called it switch feet back then. This is a nice little recovery leading into the last two exercises.
  14. Suicide jumps – you did these during the fit test. Remember – no pushups at the bottom. Those come next…
  15. Push up jacks – another fit test reboot. This is another exercise where I try to beat my previous best – both in terms of how many I do, and how many I do before I rest on my knees.

Overall, I agree with Shaun – that shit is bananas yo!


Cardio Recovery (approx 32 minutes) – this won’t make you huff and puff, but there will be some deep muscle work and deep muscle burn. There will also be plenty of extended static stretches. Its a workout you can do as a standalone on a day where you don’t feel like whooping yourself, but don’t want to be sedentary either.

Calorie burn (approx): 79 C

Heart rate chart: as you can see – relatively mild workout with only 1 HR spike.

Insanity recovery HR chart

Structure: It’s just one big flow through the end with lots of rest peppered in.

-Warmup & stretch: nothing too crazy here, just a series of dynamic movements for 3 minutes.


Plank work

Hamstring stretching

Squat series (be ready for holds and pulses)

Lunge series (be ready for holds and pulses)

Squat series (faster this time)

Lunge series (faster this time)

Plie squat stretch series

Glute raise/pulse series (from modified plank/table top)

Oblique crunch series (from modified plank/table top)

Hip flexor stretching series (with a mixture of yoga stretches)

Warrior 3 series

Knee to chest stretch

Knee to chest (side) stretch

Final stretching


Cardio Abs (approx 17 minutes) – he promises no sit ups or crunches, and he delivers. He leverages a position he calls the “c-sit position” as well as some plank work to really give an all around excellent core workout. Even beyond Insanity, you should keep this in your arsenal as a nice way to say “hi” to your core. I guess the only sick and twisted thing about Cardio Abs is that it’s always programed as the 2nd workout you’ll do that day. You don’t get to have just a “cardio abs” day if you follow the calendar strictly. 

cardio abs

Calorie burn (approx): 79 C

Heart rate chart: HR spikes during the warmup and tuck jumps, then relatively mild HR work the rest of the way.

insanity cardio abs hr chart

Structure: (30 seconds for most of the moves, finish the C sit series, then onto the plank series). Rest and child’s pose are peppered in.



Tuck jumps

Wide tuck jumps

C sit series (30 sec each exercise)


Twist with knee raise (each leg)

“A” twist (hands/arms overhead)

“A” twist with knee raise (each leg)

C sit hold

Single leg raise (knee in, out, straight leg lift) (each leg)

Double leg raise (both knees in, out, both legs lift) – 1 MINUTE!

Note – I like how Chris craps out about 10 seconds in and has to rest.

Plank series

High plank oblique crunch (slow, then fast)

Low plank oblique crunch (one tempo the whole time)

High plank/low plank alternating with 8 pulses (high plank, 8 pulses, switch to low plank, 8 pulses, back to high plank – 4 total sets)


Core Cardio & Balance (approx 38 minutes) – six straight days of this during your recovery and transition week. In my humble opinion, the clear champions of this workout are the hip flexor burner series and the shoulder burner series. These are sequences I still use to this day in other miscellaneous programs that I put together for my own use or for friends. The first time you do those two sequences, you won’t be able to fathom a day where you can complete it without tapping out. But, by day 6, you’ll be shocked at how much you’ve adapted. Just roll with the burn baby!

Calorie burn (approx): 248 C

Heart rate chart: even though this is programmed during the recovery week, he still manages to get your HR up.

Insanity core cardio and balance HR chart

Structure (this will just be a series of low impact exercises 1 minute in duration that flow one into another, followed by a balance portion at the end) – you’ll still breath hard, but this won’t be a “killer” like the other workouts. You have plenty of time in-between moves to grab water and collect your thoughts.

-Warmup & stretch – lots of new warmup up moves. This will be just a continuous circuit of moves – no repeating.

-Round 1 (the cardio round):

Moving ski hops – just like ski hops, except you are hopping in one direction 4 times before hopping back the other way.

Hit the floor – you’ve done this before a couple of times.

Level 1 drill – you’ve done this before a couple of times (4 pushups, 8 floor sprints).

Heisman – this is a staple warmup move. You bound from side to side with your legs wide. It gets its name because at the top of each bound, you look like the bronze guy on the Heisman trophy.


8 switch kicks, 8 hop squats – combines two things that you love to do.

Vertical jump – this was a warmup move in Cardio Power & Resistance.

Moving plank walks – you’ll just walk back and forth in plank position (4 moves each way).

8 elbows, 4 suicide drills – just like it sounds – throw 8 alternating elbows with, do 4 suicide sprints, and then repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat…

-Round 2 (the balance round):

Single leg hops – 4 hops on each leg with the other knee raised, hop to the other foot, repeat.

Jab switch jump squats – perform 8 jabs in a squat position (alternating jabs), and then do a 180 degree rotational jump into a squat, do 8 more alternating jabs, and do the rotational jump again – rinse, repeat.

Hip flexor burner series – this will burn.

hip flexor burner

  • right leg hip flexor tap x 30 seconds
  • right leg hip flexor pulse x 30 seconds (foot can’t touch the ground)
  • right leg hip flexor straight leg/kick pulse (foot can’t touch the ground)
  • left leg hip flexor tap x 30 seconds
  • left leg hip flexor pulse x 30 seconds (foot can’t touch the ground)
  • left leg hip flexor straight leg/kick pulse (foot can’t touch the ground)

Oblique knee lifts – 30 seconds per side, raise right knee to right elbow (standing oblique crunch), then do left knee to left elbow. Feels nice – not too hard at all. Aim for a nice long stretch with your arm at the top.

Shoulder burners in plie – how ever much fire you experienced in the hip flexor burner series, throw some rocket fuel on it.shoulder burn

The prescription/instruction is to remain in the plie squat for the entire circuit. This is TIME UNDER TENSION. Aside from your shoulders catching fire, your lower body (if you stay in the plie squat) will start to do some funky seizures. My heels were actually jackhammering the ground as my lower body tried to rebel.

  • Plie squat, vertical shoulder pulses (its like you are flapping wings) x 30 seconds
  • Plie squat, horizontal shoulder contractions (move shoulders from wide to in front of your chest) x 30 seconds
  • Plie squat, vertical shoulder contractions (move shoulders from wide to above your head) x 30 seconds
  • Plie squat, horizontal shoulder circles backwardx 30 seconds
  • Plie squat, horizontal shoulder circles forward x 30 seconds

-Cooldown (good luck stretching your shoulders).

Max Interval Circuit (approx 60 minutes) – welcome to Thunderdome. Right off the bat, you know this is going to rock your world based on the warmup. He cycles in new movements, and now you are even doing switch kicks AS PART OF THE WARMUP! And, the moves are longer too.


Calorie burn (approx: 341)

Heart rate chart: lots and lots of spikes.

insanity max interval circuit hr chart

Structure: (3 rounds total, 4 exercises repeated 3 times per round, 45 seconds work, 30 seconds rest). Yeah, you read that correctly – the work/rest ratio is now 45:30!!! I’ll make this suggestion – don’t look at the time remaining after you finish the first round of round 1. You’ll be so deflated because you’ll realize that you are pretty much at the same time stamp as the START of month 1’s Pure Cardio circuit 🙁

-Warmup & Stretch

-Round 1

Pedal sprint/lunge (sprint, then do 4 plyo lunges on his cue)

Ski abs + push up jack + in/out abs + oblique push ups (4 each, one right after the other) – yes, it’s as exhausting as it sounds.

Power strike (two downward punch strikes while doing a reverse lunge step) – THANK GOD for this recovery move!

Frog jumps (jump back and forth from low squat position while raising hands overhead) – this will burn.

***Football runs/turns + cross jacks (you did these both in month 1, and now he mashes them together) – this is a BONUS move at the end of the third circuit!!!

-Round 2

Hook jumps (4 high hooks, 4 low hooks, 4 jump rope jumps, alternate arms each set)

High knee oblique twist (stationary high knee run, twist elbows to knees as you run)

High/low jab w/squat (punch high + jump, drop to squat + punch low – same arm entire set)

Floor switch kicks (get in tabletop position, and switch kick your feet)

***1-2-3 jab and cross (jump/hop to one side, do a cross punch, then jump/hop to the other side, do cross punch) – this is a BONUS move at the end of the third circuit!!!

10 minutes left

-Round 3

Side suicide jumps (do a suicide jump, but your body flairs out diagonally instead of straight back – FOLLOW HIS CUES) – I could really feel the tension/twist in my obliques

Squat/hooks (do a jack squat with a hook punch at the bottom of the move) – this takes a few moments to get the pace/sequence down – the dude in the maroon shorts is doing it wrong, he is too high up.

Full body drill (suicide jump, 8 mountain climbers, 4 moving pushups, 8 wide floor sprints, suicide jump up, repeat) – this is TIRING!!!!

Plank punches (get in plank position, and alternate punches in front of you) – this might not seem like much, but after the full body drill, this is HARD!

-Cooldown (you earned it!)

Max Interval Plyometrics (approx 55 minutes) – the third round of this workout is a nice change of pace. After killing yourself for rounds 1 & 2, you dread the third round, but he kind of changes things up on you. Your legs and arms will be cooked after this workout. 

Calorie burn (approx): 359 C

Heart rate chart: You can see that the third round is a little less stressful from a HR perspective.

insanity max interval plyo hr chart

Structure (2 rounds, 4 exercises each, 45 seconds per exercise, 3 circuits per round; 1 round 4 exercises, 1:30 per exercise):

-Warmup & Stretch

-Round 1

Switch jumps (squat, jump 180 degrees around, land into squat, repeat) – this really takes its toll after 45 seconds. Tempo is your key here – don’t kill yourself the first time around.

Squat push ups (start in low squat, fall forward into push up, and explosively push yourself back to low squat) – don’t let your shoulders go too far past your finger tips.

In/out abs wide (do in/out abs, but keep your feet wide) – hips and abs will burn

Power jumps – UGH – they return!

theyre back

***One-legged V-push ups (pike position, bend a leg, do v-push ups) – congrats on the BONUS MOVE at the end of the 3rd circuit! – Elbows will bend a little more obtuse than 90 degrees – you’re head won’t hit the ground

-Round 2

Pogo hop right (one-legged semi-squat and jump) – this is a strength/balance challenge. Note this is not a warrior 3 type move where you hinge at the hip – you want to go as deep as you can into the one-legged squat. A few people in the video are doing it WRONG.

Power push up (from low push up position, explode up and pike your feet in) – this is a BEAST if you can turn over reps like Chris did in the third circuit. It’s a beast in general. This reminds me of a progression move for Aztec push ups.

Side to side globe jumps (this is the left-right move from globe jumps)

Level 3 drills (suicide jump down, 16 push ups, 16 mountain climbers, suicide jump up, repeat) – are you FRIGGIN KIDDING ME? These made Shaun actually fall over at the end.

are you kidding me.

***Power lunges + hop squats (2 alternating plyo lunges, 2 hop squats, repeat for 6 sets) – THIS IS A BONUS!!!

-Round 3 (approx 6 min semi-continuous)

Side push ups (staggered hand position push ups, body in side plank position – 15 right/15 left) – these are tough – works your oblique and lats

Kickstand touch the floor (knee lift, reverse step back, plyo jump with opposite leg as trailing knee goes back up – 15 right/15 left) – these are also called “landmines.” Very good single limb leg exercise.

8 power knees + 4 diamond jumps (do all power knee reps on one leg, do 4 diamond jumps (hands/feet each form a diamond as you jump up), and repeat other side power jump)

Push up to single arm/single leg balance (same arm and leg go into the air on the up movement of the push up – 6 right/6 left)


Max Cardio Conditioning (approx 48 minutes) – same format as Pure Cardio from month 1 – just a flurry of exercises 1 after the other, and you go as long as you can until you decide when to stop for a water break. He does pepper in some nice recovery moves that make this workout manageable. Still a killer, but manageable. 

Calorie burn (approx): 304 C

Heart rate chart:

insanity max cardio conditioning hr chart

Structure (24 exercises, 1 minute each, one right after the other w/o programmed rest):

-Warmup & Stretch

Hi/low jab with squat (you did this in Max Interval Circuit)

Football runs/sprints (good old fashioned “hit it” drill from high school football)

Basketball drills with rotational hop (same as regular basketball drills, but you do a 4 point rotational turn to get to the other side)

Right kicks (kick, step back, kick again, repeat) – he will ask you to go faster

Left kicks (kick, step back, kick again, repeat) – he will ask you to go faster

go faster

Diamond jumps (low squat, jump up touch fingers at the top, touch toes at the bottom in a diamond pattern)

In/out abs + push up jacks (4 each) – this will catch up to you!

Suicide jumps – because why not… – note, this is the point where you see the progress bar has a low intensity section coming up, and part of you cries for joy.

8 high sprint, 8 low sprint, 8 mountain climbers (just like it sounds)

Ski abs – 1 full minute. UGH. You’ll see a person just completely in the semi-fetal position. Love it!

Kick step back left leg (kick, and step back with the non-kicking foot) – this is your first recovery exercise. LOVE IT!!!

Kick step back right leg (kick, and step back with the non-kicking foot) – this is your second recovery exercise. LOVE IT even more!!!

Squat twists (semi-plyo, touch left foot with right hand, squat up, squat down, touch right foot with left hand, repeat as fast as you can) – this is your third recovery exercise. Loving it less…one to go.

Over the river hops (hop from leg to leg with a light arm swing and let the non-landing leg trail behind the landing leg) – this is easy. Live here as long as you can because the recovery work is done.

Attack (low squat with hand strike, twice, rotate 180 degrees and do it again with other hand, repeat) – not too bad, feels like another recovery

Power knees left (you’ve done these a lot)

Power knees right (you’ve done these a lot)

Ski down with hook punch (ski down hop side to side with hook punch at bottom of hop)

Belt kicks (you did these in month 1)

Forward/back suicide shuffles (fast feet up, squat down touch floor, fast feet back, squat down, touch the floor, repeat)

Oblique half push ups (halfway down on push up, bring knee to elbow, push up, alternate, repeat)

Plank alternating punches (you’ve done these before) – Note – why does he keep programming plank punches after push up work?????

burning arms

8 jump rope jumps + 8 hop squats (just like it sounds)

Low squat speed back (hold low part of squat, and cycle arms like you are punching a speed bag) – your hips will BURN!!!


Max Recovery (approx 48 minutes) – half tempted to send Shaun a dictionary so he can look up the word recovery. All I’m going to say about this workout is plie squat series. Holy hell. The hip flexor burner series and shoulder burner series from the month 1 workout are child’s play compared to what he puts you through towards the end here. 

Calorie burn (approx): 251 C

Heart rate chart: the plie work and plank work at the end spikes the HR.

insanity max recovery hr chart

Structure (5 workout sessions of varying duration that hit different areas. Big focus on core work):

-Warmup & stretch – overall not a huge fan of this sequence; it was one of the more tedious flows that are in the program.

-Workout 1 (14 minutes)

Hamstring stretch flow series

Plank work series

Mountain climbers

4 count push ups (2, 4, 8) – the 8 reps of 4 count up and 4 count down is challenging but nice.

Hip flexor stretch series and glute lifts – this series will BURN your hips and glutes. The holds feel like they take forever. I will say that you do feel yourself falling deeper into the stretch with the static holds.

-Workout 2 (6 minutes)

Plank work and single limb balance holds – you will do push ups as you alternate between the one-armed balance holds. And, the push up volume increases with each set of balances (2, 4, 8).

Low plank oblique work – 4 oblique crunches, then 8, then 16

-Workout 3 (6 minutes)

Plie burner series – no sugar coating here. This sucks. Your hips/quads/glutes will burn. The progressive pulses (4, 8, 16) just make it even more murder. Just wait for the toes.

escalated quickly

-Workout 4 (6 minutes)

Hi plank/low plank work – 4 reps, 8 reps, 16 reps – FOR EACH ARM! It’s actually not as bad as you’d think.

-Workout 5 (4 min, 30 seconds)

Standing core work – this is a nice change from being trapped on the ground. Pretty easy series. Follows the progressive/regressive rep count sequence. He fudges his numbers a little here.




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