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).


Program Details:

Where to buy?

Insanity: Max 30 – Basic Set


What is it?

Insanity Max 30 is a 2 month program with 5 programed exercise sessions, 1 recovery/stretch session, and 1 rest day programmed each week. The program is divided in half – the first month is “easier” than the second month. Each workout is approximately 30 minutes, and your goal is to go as long as you can in the session without taking an unprogrammed break. The moment your form breaks down and you need to stop, you are said to have “maxed out.” You write down that time, and try to beat it during your next session. Once you write down the time, take as much time as you need to collect your thoughts, and then get back into it. Don’t just end the workout when you “max out.” If your “max out” time gets longer and longer each session, you know you are making gains with your VO2 max, lactic threshold, and overall muscle strength/endurance.


Do I need any equipment?

No – this is strictly bodyweight. You’ll want some exercise mats though. Doing this on concrete might be unforgiving on your joints.


Is there a nutrition plan?

Yes. Beachbody does a nice job putting together a nutrition plan for you. This nutrition plan seems to build off the popularity of the food/portion control containers that first appeared in 21 Day Fix. If you are new to nutrition and have no idea what you are doing, you’ll be okay following the plan. If you already follow a Paleo or Primal or Keto type nutrition lifestyle – keep doing that – it’s better.


Have you ever done Insanity Max 30? If so, please let us know about your experience in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” and share. Thank you.


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