When the original Insanity workout program hit the market, it immediately gained notoriety among fitness trainers and athletes around the globe. Insanity workouts feature intense and explosive cross training methods used by athletic trainers and professional athletes to train to the extreme. Suddenly, these workouts were no longer unattainable, but instead available for anyone to do in the comfort of their own home. Because of Insanity’s popularity and constantly increasing fan base, fitness guru Shaun Thompson decided to follow up Insanity with Insanity Asylum.
THE ASYLUM is state-of-the-art training that was once reserved for only top-tier athletes at Olympic training centers and exclusive sports performance labs.
Insanity Asylum is the second program in a series created by fitness trainer Shaun Thompson, commonly referred to as Shaun T. Shaun is a world renowned fitness trainer and choreographer with a long list of credit below his belt, including Hip Hops Abs, Rockin’ Body, Focus T25 and the original Insanity series. Shaun grew up dedicating his life to sports, playing football, baseball and participating in track and field. He went onto college where he studied sports science and eventually pursued a degree in fitness. After gaining weight in college, Shaun wanted to change his body and teach others to do the same. He began a career as a personal trainer at gyms across the country and also began teaching fitness classes. His background in theater and dance gave him an advantage when it came to choreographing routines and made his classes some of the most popular classes around. While teaching at Equinox, Beachbody reached out to Shaun and he joined their team.
Soon after joining Beachbody, Shaun created the Insanity series. It was released in 2009 and became an instant hit, selling millions online and through infomercials. Insanity, an intense max interval training program, was quickly touted as the most difficult workout program on the market with popularity and a following that continues to grow today.
Several years after the original Insanity series was released, Shaun T followed up the series with Insanity Asylum. Insanity Asylum uses high intensity, cross training workouts to challenge the body and help you achieve top results in as little as 30 days. It promises to help increase speed, power and strength, while also improving coordination and agility. Asylum is based on the training concept known as the athletic matrix. It pushes every muscle in your body to its limit through continuous sports drills. This means, with each Insanity Asylum workout, you will work every muscle in your body. The workouts have little recovery time and are extremely fast paced. This is not a workout program intended for beginners or individuals that are not already in fair to good shape. The Insanity Asylum program can be done alone or combined with the original Insanity program and P90X for more noticeable results.
What’s Included in the Insanity Asylum Workout?
The Insanity Asylum workout program comes with six DVD workouts, a speed rope, an agility ladder, a workout calendar, a nutritional plan, the athletic performance assessment DVD, a bonus workout titled Overtime and the Playbook. The complete cost of the program is $89.95 plus $14.95 shipping and handling. As with all Beachbody programs and products, if you are not completely satisfied with the program, you can return it for a full refund within 30 days.
Insanity Asylum Workouts
The six Insanity Asylum workouts are Speed & Agility, Vertical Plyo, Relief, Strength, Game Day and Back to Core. Overtime is a bonus workout included with Asylum. It is shorter than the rest of the workouts and is intended to be added to them in order to kick your workout up a notch. Prior to beginning Insanity Asylum and doing any of the DVDs, make sure you do the Athletic Performance Assessment. It will help you see the progress you make as you complete each week on the program and give you an idea as to what you are in store for.
Athletic Performance Assessment
The Athletic Performance Assessment is the first DVD you should put into your DVD player. It will need to be done prior to beginning the Insanity Asylum workout program in order to properly measure your progress with the program throughout the 30 day period. It is approximately 25 minutes long, but it is by no means an easy work out. Even in the assessment DVD, you will incorporate the ladder and jump rope that come with the program. While doing the fit test, you should expect to do plenty of push-ups, pull ups, mountain climbers, bear crawls and a variety of other moves. You will also be doing some ladder moves and, since these are new to most people, they will take some getting used to. As you do the Athletic Performance Assessment later on during your 30 days with Asylum, you should see some marked improvement in your results. By the end of the 30 days, you should be performing the moves much faster and be able to do more of them in the allotted time frame.
Speed & Agility
Speed & Agility is the first workout in the series, following the Athletic Performance Assessment before you begin. In this workout, you should expect to do fast paced cardio drills using the rope and ladder. The workout is approximately 45 minutes long and is pretty intense.
On your second day, you will be doing the Strength workout. It is approximately 50 minutes long and includes some resistance training with dumbbells. In addition to working with dumbbells, you will also be doing some resistance training with your own body weight. You will be doing some plyometrics, push ups, pull ups and several other moves. The difficulty in this workout lies in the combinations that all of these moves are presented in. Instead of doing straight sets of push ups, you will be combining them with pull ups at the same time. For example, you will do 2-3 push ups, then 2-3 pull ups. You will go back and forth, working multiple muscle groups at a time.
Back to Core
Back to Core is one of the shorter workouts in the series at only 25 minutes long and you will encounter this DVD on your third day with Asylum. Although this workout is short, it is by no means easy. Back to Core will help strengthen your core by working your back and ab muscles. You will also be working your lower body to build balance and strength from the ground up.
Vertical Plyo includes plenty of plyometrics, just as expected after reading the title. It is approximately 40 minutes long and is filled with explosive movements and vertical jumps. This workout focuses on the lower body and much of it is done with the jump rope. You will jump rope on one leg, do push ups with resistance bands and jump from the ground up over and over again until you can hardly feel your legs.
Game Day is the longest workout in the series. It is an hour long and it incorporates drills that are performed by athletes in virtually every sport imaginable. It includes basketball, baseball, running, swimming, wrestling and even surfing drills. The workout is varied and aims to give you one of the toughest whole body workouts possible. It mixes things up, incorporating moves that are new to Insanity and new to any Beachbody series. You will definitely not get bored since you will be transitioning quickly, with little time for breaks or water, during the 60 minute time period.
The Relief workout is considered a stretching workout, but do not let that mislead you. It is still not easy to complete and is approximately 25 minutes long. The workout helps strengthen your muscles and increase flexibility through various stretches. You can do Relief on its own as a “rest day” away from the typical fast paced Asylum workouts or add it on days that you do other workouts to kick up your routine.
The Overtime workout is only 15 minutes long, but still manages to push you to your limits. You can do this workout on its own or add it on after one of the main six workouts in the series. It will be a fast paced, whole body workout session.
The Playbook is your step-by-step guide to transforming your body with Insanity Asylum. It will lay out the program, day by day, so you know what days to do what workout. The Playbook will also explain how to combine Insanity Asylum into a hybrid program with Insanity and P90X workouts blended in. If you prefer to do a wider variety of workouts and want to incorporate other programs, the Playbook will explain how to do this in order to achieve the best results possible and kick up your routine. If you are not a big fan of heavy cardio, you can integrate P90X and have more of a balance between strength training and cardio together.
The agility ladder that accompanies the Asylum DVDs is a training tool used to increase the difficulty of the moves performed in the workouts. You will use it for mountain climbers, push ups, running exercises, agility work and even ab moves. When you first take it out of the box, you will wonder how this can even be incorporated into the program and, even more so, how it can possibly make it so much more difficult. After incorporating it into the first few workouts, you will soon find out what an effective tool it can be. It will help improve your form and your coordination while performing even the most basic exercises.
The speed rope is a basic, light weight jump rope. For some that lack coordination, the rope can be difficult to get used to. It can slow you down and take away from your workout. If you find that the difficulty you have using the rope is not allowing you to get a good workout and get your heart rate where it needs to be, drop it and simply jump to the rhythm. This will be just as effective and not slow you down. A heavier gauge jump rope may also help. It is best to practice jumping rope prior to beginning Insanity Asylum and intermittently throughout the 30 days to improve your technique with it. The rope can be an asset to any workout program and is an excellent tool if you are proficient with it.
Prior to beginning the Insanity Asylum program, you should take out the workout calendar and hang it on a wall as a reminder. This will help keep you accountable and remind you of what needs to be done each day in order to complete the program and achieve your fitness goals in the 30 day time frame. The schedule will outline what workouts need to be done on what day, so you do not have to guess what comes next. The calendar also includes the Asylum/Insanity hybrid workout schedule and the Asylum/P90X hybrid workout schedule as well. The hybrid schedules are also 30 days long.
Regardless of the workout program you decide to use, you will need to work on improving your diet as well if you want to see results. Your diet is just as important, if not more important, than the exercise you are getting. The Asylum nutrition plan will lay out what you should be eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the 30 day workout program. It will restrict your calories according to your frame and gender, but not to the point that it will leave you starving or without enough energy to make it through the workouts. The nutrition plan includes many of Shaun T’s favorite recipes, as well, so you can try new foods or revise some of your favorite meal time staples.
What Can I Expect From the Insanity Asylum Program?
If you have already completed Insanity or P90X and are looking for the next program to conquer, Insanity Asylum is it. If you have any background in sports and competitive training, you will instantly feel like you are back in the midst of your training days. The extreme cardio drills and resistance training will work every muscle in your body with only a few pieces of equipment that you can take with you if you travel. Asylum is not only a new program; it’s a program that was created with new, innovative combination moves to target each and every muscle in your body. Even if you have done many of the Beachbody and Shaun T programs, many of the moves in Asylum will be new to you. After completing the program and following the workouts and the nutrition plan, you should expect to see marked results both in your appearance and your performance. Not only will you lift more, jump higher and have more endurance, but you will also have more stamina to power through workouts. Asylum can deliver amazing results but, as with any program, it all depends on how much effort and dedication you put into it.
As with many workout programs, there are those that love them and those that hate them. Not all programs are designed to fit everyone’s goals. Look over the pros and cons below to see if Insanity Asylum is a good fit to improving your fitness regime.
- Asylum features workouts that are similar to the intense training most athletes receive when competing.
- Many of the moves in the Insanity Asylum workouts are new and more challenging than those in the original Insanity series.
- The program is only 30 days long, so you see results faster than with longer 60-90 day programs.
- The program can be combined with Insanity and/or P90X to add variety.
- The workouts are easy to follow and the moves are all clearly explained.
- The equipment necessary to do the program is small and can be taken with you on vacation or while traveling for work if need be.
- Asylum is not for everyone. If you are not in intermediate shape, at minimum, you may not be able to complete the workouts.
- There are only six workouts so the program may seem repetitive if it is not combined with others, such as P90X or Insanity.
- Requires more space than other at home workout programs.
Conclusion: Should I or Shouldn’t I Do the Insanity Asylum Program
If you are in decent shape and are looking for a program to improve your stamina, agility and overall athletic performance, Insanity Asylum can help you do that for you. The workouts are diverse and the equipment used (i.e., agility ladder, resistance bands, jump rope, dumbbells, etc) while doing them will help you become more precise and coordinated while doing them.
If you are not in shape and have not yet attempted Insanity or P90X, you may want to try those programs first. Other programs, such as Turbo Fire and Power 90 are also good options for beginners. Insanity Asylum is extremely challenging and it can be discouraging if you try to start a fitness program that you cannot complete. If you are not already working out regularly at a mid to high intensity level, you will definitely want to start with a more basic program.
I was also able to see the improvement in the increased number of exercises I was able to do. I couldn’t believe the difference. I never thought I’d be saying that Insanity was easy but, after doing Asylum, it is definite not as grueling as Shaun T’s follow up to it, Insanity Asylum.
Joe Davis – Austin, Texas
After doing Insanity, I lose almost 19 pounds in two months. I am about half way done with Insanity Asylum and, so far, I have lost almost 27. I think I’ve lost more but I’m definitely gaining muscle too. My muscles are more defined and some of my t-shirts are getting tighter in my arms and chest.[/testimonial][testimonial author=”Allison Turner – Fullerton, California”]Insanity Asylum quickly helped me realize what a real workout was and I was hooked. After a month, I had lost 15 pounds and felt better all around. I was sleeping better, felt more alert and definitely improved my performance on the workouts from day one to day thirty.
Lauren Bergeron – San Mateo, California