Oh, he’s back alright. And, if I do say so myself, better than ever. I’ve done the first two weeks of the calendar for Insanity Max:30, and will be taking a quick 21 day hiatus because I just can’t wait to do the 21 Day Fix Extreme, so I figured I’d get my review of the first two weeks out there now. The first two weeks are a good look at the whole first month, there are 6 30 minute workouts that you cycle through, as well as a Pulse recovery workout and a 10 minute ab workout (that I can’t stop loving).
So, let’s get right into it.
What IS Insanity Max:30?
I kind of assume if you are here reading this, you know the idea of the program, but I’ll cruise through it just in case. Quick facts:
- 30 mins a day, five days a week
- 60 day calendar, split into two months with new workouts in month 2; extra calendar for “Ab Maximizer”
- Cardio workouts combined with Tabata workouts for strength
- No equipment needed, you just use your body weight and MENTAL POWAAAA
- Lots of new moves, it isn’t just Insanity shortened. GOOD moves too, by the way.
- There is a menu selection to watch the modifier (which alternates between Danielle Fit & Funky & Shaun T’s man, Scott) the whole time. I think this is so smart and long overdue.
- The whole idea is to MAX OUT, which means go as hard as freakin’ possible until you fail. Fail is when your form breaks, you need to stop to catch your breath, you slip in your huge puddle of sweat, or perhaps you die….all depends on how long you can fight your brain from telling you to give up.
- The goal of the program is to double your max out time for each video, and at the very best…make it through all 30 minutes without maxing out. Um, INSANITY.
Week 1 & 2 Workout Reviews:
If you’re familiar with Insanity, you recall the Fit Test that you used to track your progress. Even though you are dying every day during your workouts, the fit test serves as a great tracker for how much you are actually improving. This Cardio Challenge workout is supposed to serve as the fit test for this program, meaning you judge yourself by the progress you make by maxing out longer and longer each time. I like the idea.
The first time I did this workout, I’m not going to lie…I felt a bit duped. It was tough, sure, but it felt a heck of a lot like regular Insanity to me with a few new moves tossed in. The workout is five interval sets, 3 moves each, 30 second each, repeated three times. This ain’t no T25, or even Insanity for that matter. You do the warm up and hit the intervals after a quick active stretch. No marching in place a la T25, no minutes of hip flexor stretching a la Insanity. Not. Messing. Around.
- Start with 5 min ‘warm up’ if you want to call it that. It’s pretty serious right off the bat, but does include a new version of the Heisman that I can’t get enough of.
- 1st Interval: includes pike up spider and my new hatred: 10 & 2. Seems harmless until you think your calf muscles might pop your dog in the eye like a poor old rubber band.
- 10 mins in you get your first water break. You might be questioning your choices at this point.
- 2nd Interval: 4 jabs 4 high knees had me huffing and puffing. Looks like whatever, feels like scrambling up the Himalayas
- 15 min water break. Thank you Jesus, Shaun T!
- 3rd Interval: I personally thought this one was the craziest. I got my second wind for 4 & 5 because I could see the light, but interval 3 handed it to me. Plyo power knee, PLYO STANCE JACKS, can a sister get a break? Ugh. Good luck, friends.
- 20 min water/expletive break
- 4th interval: totally love the slap back jack. Its fun to say and do.
- More water, you can do this…almost done!
- 5th Interval: Had mega second wind energy for the first round of chair squats. By the last round of chair squats, I looked more like a couch. A really old one. On the corner. Help me.
- Cool down is an additional few minutes, just like T25 was. No whining, 30 minutes of hard core work warrants a 2 minute cool down. You won’t be moving anywhere fast after anyway, might as well cool it down.
MAX OUT MOVE: Plyo power kneed took me OUT.
I’ve come to really like this workout (spoiler alert: I love all the ones I’ve done so far) since doing it the first time. It does feel similar to Insanity, but hey…we loved Insanity, right?
*The best part of doing this review was I actually got to watch the videos for the screen shots. I was too busy throwing myself around and trying to keep the sweat out of my eyes while actually doing the workout. But this chick? Yes. She wins. Someone PLEASE tell me this is the same Shanita that wanted to LEAVE during Insanity? It must be!*
I have read about the almighty tabata, and I’ve done a few Body Rock TV workouts that were tabata style. Let me tell you, it rules. I love that damn beeping timer because when you hear it start, you get your butt going and when you hear it start to signal the interval is over its everything you need to force yourself to keep going a bit longer.
The intervals in this workout are 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Some exercises are harder than others, so in some cases you are dying for those 10 seconds and others you are just kind of starting to realize you are kicking ass. Then power jumps come and you don’t even remember where you are. Just a few highlights from this one:
- Burpee Lunge is for heroes and actually feels really fun once you get the groove of it.
- Push Up pop up eliminated any pride I had in busting out normal push ups before. I still have roads to travel, dammit.
- Ab work from this video is great. I love all ab work, but the L hold may be named that because you are shaped like an L but I think it might stand for LOVE. It’s the best.
- This might be a workout to slam some Results and Recovery during. My triceps and shoulders were angry at me the next day.
- Beware of the end. For real, don’t go getting cocky that you finished it because Shaun T saved you a WHOLE MINUTE of fast power jumps for the end. Generous man, he is.
MAX OUT MOVE: Pop up Push Ups were so bad they made me laugh. Comically painful.
I totally love this style of workout. There is another workout “Tabata Strength” that comes in week 3. I’m excited for that one.
Have ya’ll done PiYo? You know that one workout called “Sweat” and by like, minute 15 you’re like, “Yeah Chalene! I’m feeling some drops of sweat! I might need to wash my hair!” That’s the first 15 SECONDS of this workout. (No offense Chalene. You rule and so does PiYo.) Sweat Intervals means SWEAT.
This is another interval workout, but with different moves and timing. Shaun T’s man Scott is the modifier in this one, and if you can’t tell from the pic above he is managing to build himself quite the PUDDLE even modifying. So yeah, bring a towel. Maybe two. I thought there were some really great NEW moves in this workout. Some are just a twist on an old one, but it feels good to add to an old move and feel yourself progressing. Some samples:
- Push up punch: Plank punch is like an elementary school friend to me. I look forward to my pal in all the workouts, so Push Up Punch was like she showed up to lunch with a new hair color and killer boots. I love her and hate her at the same time. Welcome, Push Up Punch.
- Hop Hop Runner: Even better than older sis Hop Hop Squat because you work that SIDE of your butt so much more. I seriously could do this move all day. Scratch that, I’d love to do this all day but in all actuality can hardly do it for the required time. Yikes.
- Hurdle Jumps: Reminded me a lot of Asylums and those are my favorite Shaun T workouts. If you haven’t done them, & you survive Max 30, you may want to check them out. If you really are insane.
MAX OUT MOVE: Squat Oblique Knee. Definitely finished with the modifier for this one.
OK, get ready to judge me here. There are some really sweet moments in this DVD when you feel like you are working WITH the cast, like you’re all in it together, not just some sweaty mess alone in your basement. During one of the water breaks, Shaun asks how she’s hanging in and this girl shares one of the best motivational statements ever:
For real, I found that so powerful. The success in these intense workouts doesn’t come from your muscles. It is all about how far you can push your brain before you give up. We all hit that “OMFG I’m going to collapse” moment in our head LONG before we are actually going to collapse. If you hit that moment and you make yourself do just THREE MORE REPS, you’re an allstar. And your results will show it.
Shaun T has evolved so much, certainly since Insanity and even since T25. He is one of the most motivating people on the scene, in my opinion. He lives and breathes this and he knows just what you’re up against. I am lucky enough to have wonderfully supportive family and friends, but this hit home with me. If you are going at something this intense and you don’t have someone that has your back, you really need to hear that someone…SHAUN T…is proud of you. Anyone doing these workouts, whether you max out at 1 minute or you kill the whole thing, is attempting something pretty amazing and I think we all deserved to be acknowledged. (Note, reading this review doesn’t count as attempting. You gotta actually push play.)
Ok, emotional break is over. Get back to work.
>FRIDAY FIGHT: ROUND 1<
I am not a mother. I have never experienced someone giving birth to an actual human. However, I’d BET MY LIFE that women have done so with LESS grunting and moaning than I expelled during this workout. The struggle was real, friends.
This is a “fight between your mind and body. Which one will win?”
This workout goes HARD, from ‘warm up’ straight into the moves. No active stretch, no water break until HALFWAY THROUGH. You’ll think it is T25 again, only all hopped up on Energy and Endurance.
- I LOVED the tricep dip reach (best new move pic). Shaun T is the master of training your whole damn body without you even realizing it.
- 4 Jab 4 High Knees is back and Tom is a sweaty bald mess when Shaun T palms HIS HEAD and tells him he’s killing it. Never a dull moment.
- At the end of a lot of these workouts, the team forms a circle and finishes together. I think that’s a neat move. In this one, they all line up and do the punching abs that shows you exactly how much flab you have left while also showing how much muscle you’ve built. It is an interesting move and if you can’t tell, I have mixed opinions on it. But yeah, abs and DONE.
MAX OUT MOVE: I was just about to Max out when the 15 min break came. After that, I definitely maxed out on the Ab Attack. The girl in pink is killing it, meanwhile, it was killing ME.
Again, Shanita. Winning my heart.
An additional ten minute workout that is incorporated in the Ab Maximizer calendar, this is one of my favorite ab workouts from Beachbody. It is ten minutes, each move is a minute long. You alternate between a move on your back and a plank position move. I love it, and it burns. By the end I’m counting down the seconds in intervals of ten just telling myself make it ten more, ten more. It has some NEW moves that you should definitely be doing.
The 20 minute recovery workout for this set. I won’t lie, I’m not very good at doing the recovery workouts. I usually do something else on those days, and I will probably continue to do so. Pulse is okay for a recovery day, but I liked the recovery workout from Insanity better. This one is a tad boring. I think I will supplement these recovery days with PiYo, but make no mistake…recovery days are necessary and will be taken. Yay.
Overall, I really enjoyed these workouts. I will hop back into the calendar after I wrap up this round of 21 Day Fix Extreme, and post the rest of my reviews then! Thanks for stopping by, and good luck if you dig into this program! You might hate it, but you won’t regret it!