Hardest INSANITY Workouts

INSANITY focuses on body-weight exercises, such as push-ups.
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INSANITY is touted as one of the most challenging DVD-based fitness programs. This 10-disc product of the Beachbody fitness company features personal trainer Shaun T as your guide through intense cardio and strength workouts. Insanity relies on body-weight exercises, meaning no gym equipment is required. This hardcore workout program is for people who are willing -- and able -- to go full throttle. If you have any medical conditions or orthopedic concerns, discuss workout options with your doctor.

Insane Intervals

INSANITY uses interval training to build muscle fast. Instead of regular interval training -- short bursts of intensity in the midst of moderate exercise -- this program favors long intervals with short rest periods. Participants are called upon to sustain an all-out effort for each workout, ranging from 20 to 60 minutes -- that's what makes this kind of exercise among the hardest. INSANITY proponents claim it burns up to 1,000 calories per hour. Of course, with increased effort and exhaustion comes a higher risk of injury and other mishaps, so proceed with caution.

Max Interval Circuit

Over the course of 60 days, workouts get progressively harder, with a big jump in effort between the first and second month. Some people find cardio easier, while others are already strong from lifting weights. So participants won’t always agree on what’s the hardest workout. But many INSANITY exercisers groan over the 60-minute max interval circuit. After the warmup -- which is long and difficult in itself -- you complete series of timed strength and cardio exercises. These include jumping lunges, frog jumps, variations on planks and pushups, kicks, jabs, squats and more jumps. Every once in a while you get a 30-second water break. Other than that, it’s go, go, go.

Max Interval Plyo

Beachbody coach Paul Farmer describes INSANITY's max interval plyo as the hardest workout he’s ever done. As you can guess from the name, this workout involves plyometrics, which means a lot of jumping, bounding and leaping. This second month workout ratchets up the intensity. After three rounds of warm-up exercises, you get into the serious plyometric moves. These include: switch jumps, in which you start in a low squat, then jump and turn 180 degrees in the air to land softly facing the other direction; power jumps, during which you jump straight up, bringing your knees waist-high at the top of your jump; and pogos, which are like doing deadlifts on one leg with an added hop.

Insane Abs

Insane Abs combines core-focused cardio moves with slower ab work in a 30-minute workout. Personal trainer Carey Martin warns that this workout will have your core on fire; you might want to avoid laughing for a few days afterward due to sore ab muscles. Many movements are upright, such as standing leg lifts or frog jumps, done with the core engaged. After a while, you move down to the mat, but things don’t get easy just because you’re on the ground. The workout features lots of moves similar to Boat pose in yoga, but with leg variations like scissoring and alternate leg lifts. You’ll also do several versions of plank.

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