Fitness Tips

Go into an Insanity Workout with a Sane Mind

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That was insane! This is the common reaction among fitness enthusiasts and athletes after their first Insanity session, and it’s an understandable reaction considering that the workout is among the most intense in the industry. Indeed, it’s considered as an over-the-top fitness program that will challenge even the fittest of the pack.

But this isn’t to say that the Insanity workout is only for people who are out of their minds, far from it. Instead, every fit individual who wants to push his or her body to the limit can enjoy the intense workout, as well as reap its numerous benefits especially for athletic performance.

Total Body Workout Taken to the Extreme

Of course, you don’t need to go to the gym if you want to be on an Insanity workout, especially as there are dozens of DVDs about it with workouts that can be done at home. But these workout DVDs aren’t advisable because of the higher risk for injuries involved in an Insanity program. You will maximize its benefit instead by enrolling in a UFC Gym Insanity class where a qualified instructor will provide professional guidance.

Keep in mind that Insanity is a total body workout that will push your mind and body to their limits. When you have reached your current limit, you will still keep pushing at it until your body is at its best shape.

The Insanity program is essentially based on max interval training instead of traditional interval training. In max interval training, you work your body as hard as you possibly can for 3 minutes and then followed by a 30-second rest in between, a cycle that will be repeated several times throughout the session. You can burn up to a thousand calories per hour while also building muscle strength.

In traditional interval training, the intense exercise phase usually lasts for 1-2 minutes depending on your physical condition followed by 30-second rest period. The alternating periods of intense activity and active rest results in an increased aerobic fitness level and fat burning.

Between the two types, max interval training is considered as the more intense and, thus, the more effective in increasing cardiovascular endurance and muscle strength.

But Not for Beginners

The Insanity workout isn’t exactly for everybody. You have to be already fit before you can engage in such a serious workout or else you will be injured.  There’s a good reason why Insanity enthusiasts boast that, “Your workout is our warm-up” because it’s such an intense, even insane, workout.

Even when you’re not a newbie to the fitness world, you must still train under a qualified instructor. You will be provided with instruction bout the proper form and technique for the movements, a must for reduced risk of injury. You will also learn to listen to your body and heed its warning signs lest you find yourself injured, perhaps hobbling around for days.

Let’s say that you are already a fit person but you have concerns about your medical condition and/or you’re taking medications. You must still talk with your doctor before starting on an Insanity workout. You should never attempt to do it when you have the following conditions:

  • Heart disease risk factors unless your doctor gives the go signal
  • Heart disease in any form
  • Back or knee pain
  • Arthritis and other joint problems
  • Pregnant or you suspect yourself of being pregnant

The Insanity program can be brutal on the body due to its high intensity and high impact nature. Unless your doctor and personal trainer approves, you should find other less intense workout programs that will still deliver on your desired fitness results.

Components of the Workout

While there are variations in an Insanity program in commercial gyms, the principles are the same. You will need gym equipment in most cases because your own bodyweight will suffice for resistance purposes. You have to be in your proper workout gear, especially in the proper workout shoes.

Each session can last for 30 to 60 minutes depending on the part being worked on. You may participate in the sessions for up to 6 days a week and the program may last for 60 days. You may also change your schedule based on your progress, usually determined on a weekly basis.

The workouts during the first 30 days can include a fit test, plyometric cardio circuit, cardio power and resistance, cardio recovery, and pure cardio. You will then rest for a week but it isn’t rest as the layman calls it. Instead, you will still perform your daily balance, flexibility, and cardio routines in the gym; these are less intense but still sweat-inducing exercises.

During the second 30-day program, the workouts will be different. These include intense exercises in max interval circuit, max interval plyometric, max cardio conditioning, and max recovery. You will likely find that it’s so intense that even with your already fit body, you will initially find it difficult than expected to keep up.

But if you survive the Insanity workout, you can have boasting rights! Your body will be proof of it, too.