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.

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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