Ok, so for the next few
weeks (prolly longer) I am going to be going through every single DVD of the Insanity Workout’s that Beachbody puts out including this one Insanity Dig Deeper and Fit Test. As a reader of this website, I want you to know exactly what you are getting yourselves into before you go out and buy the set, and to help you make a quantified judgment of whether or not it’s actually worth it.
As I mentioned last year when I did the full review of the P90X DVD’s (you can search for it on this site), I still have no affiliation with Beachbody, so I could care less if you buy the thing or not. Although that may change in the future, as of today they don’t pay me jack to promote their products.
Insanity Dig Deeper and Fit Test
Insanity is straight up plyometric and circuit training. This is the stuff I have wet dreams about :p, If you don’t know what plyometric exercises are, let’s get that out of the way first.
Plyometrics: A type of exercise training that is designed to produce fast, powerful movements. These types of exercises stimulate the Central Nervous System (CNS) and vastly increase your performance in sports. More specifically plyometrics is sometime referred to as explosive movement training. In other words almost any type of exercise that have quick explosive movements is plyometrics.
That in a nutshell is plyometrics. No, you do not have to be an athlete to start this sort of training; and in my estimation, it is the best way to stay in shape. I personally don’t care for going into the gym and lifting weights for an hour. It gets boring after a while, and while I do know the benefit of weight training, most people, especially guys, overdue it and completely ignore any type of circuit or plyometric training. This basically makes them a one trick pony. Sure, they can bench press 450lbs five times but couldn’t jog a mile in under 30 minutes, or do any cardiovascular activity for more than 30 minutes without throwing up. In other words, if you’re not already doing plyometric exercises….START.
Ok so when I first popped this DVD in the first thing I noticed about Shaun-T (the instructor) was he looked like Quentin Rampage Jackson’s (former UFC champ) light-skinned younger brother. I actually said out-loud “Dude you look like Rampage Jacksons younger brother”… to the TV… while I was by myself…staring at the TV… in my living room. Tell me these dudes don’t look like brothers
This is the hype section of the video. Basically it just goes over how much the DVD’s will kick your behind, how good you’re going to look in ‘X’ amount of days, plus they throw some pictures of some good looking people doing some plyometric exercises inside a gymnasium. They show off some abs and get you amped up about doing the program. The host goes into the basics of the program. He tells you it’s Interval Training while sitting on a bench in what looks like a high school gym. To tell you the truth the video starts out looking like a porn video, then the host has a very soothing voice…like a porn star, its actually pretty funny. He then just goes into how most people do interval training, then how he does it. The idea is very good, I won’t go into details but even for me it sounds like it’s hard. The first part of the DVD is only about 5 minutes and it does a pretty good job of hyping you up. Since I love plyometric training anyway, I am already amped about doing the program.
Since I have already done the P90X program, the format is very familiar and is true to how Beachbody makes videos, so if you are familiar with P90X and the layout of the videos, then this is the similar with slight variations.
The last section of this Dig Deeper section of the DVD includes the basic moves that will be utilized in the program:
Jumps are just that, you jump up and down, but a plyometric jump is you are using your whole body to jump; this enhances your explosive ability. Think of jumping from a standstill to as high as you can, but then modifying that to about 1/3 the effort so you can do it repeatedly. Yes, you are getting airborne with each jump. Land softly so you don’t kill yourself!
Squats are the same as jumps but you don’t jump in the air, use the exact same intensity. Everything is the same but jumping in the air. These are the foundation moves of any plyometric/sports training exercises.
Planks, if you are familiar with push-ups then you are familiar with this move, you are in the top position of a push-up, hands slightly wider than your shoulders, just make sure your body is exactly straight, keep that butt down.
The C-Sit is sitting on your butt with your torso and legs “V”d out so the only thing that is on the floor is your butt and your hands, which are by your butt. In this position you can do scissor kicks and a bunch of other core work. It is called the C-Sit because your back is rounded as you are sitting on the floor.
Overall it does a good job of hyping up the program, but since we have not actually done anything so Ill wait till the end to give it a Charles Face rating.
Ok, I see this as a baseline fitness test that you do to find out where you are before you start the Insanity DVD’s. So far this is one of the best thing I have ever seen in any fitness/workout DVD box set, because, most workout programs I have done in the past just start you working out. Although Bill Phillips was doing this back in the late 90’s with his Body for Life program, but in book format. I personally think it is one of the best things you can do when starting out any program, whether it be a workout program or not.
The reasoning behind this is to establish where your exact fitness level is now, in order to gauge your progress in the future. Think of it as a starting line. It’s hard to find out or judge how far you have come without knowing where you started from. So when you are doing this DVD make sure you have a pen and piece of paper handy. In this program you will be doing the Fit Test every two weeks.
So first off you start off with some warm-up exercises to get your blood pumping. This is very important that you actually do this because you need to get your core temperature up so you will prevent injuries and so you can work out longer. If you are new to working out this may sound kind of odd, but you need to get your core temperature up PRIOR to any workout. This is one of the main reasons people just starting out quit. It gets hard and then they injure themselves then they stop. Bad, Bad, Bad.
The warm-up consists of the first few minutes of a light jog in place, then some jumping jacks. You then immediately go into some Heisman runs side to side, then you go to 1+2+3 Heismans, followed by some butt kicks. After your Heismans you will be doing some high kicks, then mummy kicks. If you’re not familiar with these exercises, this is a good reason for you to get the DVD.
The stretching just consists of some upper and lower body stretching. This is also important, if you are new to any exercise program, you need to stretch out your muscles so you do not cramp up and injure yourself.
This is the first exercise of the Fit Test. Switch Kicks are just what they sound like, you are jumping in place and kicking your legs out in-front of you. Remember this is a plyometrics workout so ALL of your Fit test exercises are going to be running, jumping or doing some really quick repetitive moves. The goal here is to do as many switch kicks as you can in the allotted time. When I did this exercise it was pretty easy for me. No sweat.
** Small Rest
Power Jacks are jumping jacks that you do squats with in the down position. Again very basic move if you are (used) to working out. I really had no trouble with these, although I did get tired, as I was trying to do as many as I could in the time allotted.
** Small Rest
Power Knees (aka Coconut Crushers)
Oh Boy, this is where the fun starts. In Power knees, all you are doing is while in the squatting position you bring your knee (right or left) to the opposite side of your body to your hands like you are crushing a coconut you have in your hands with your knee. I call this move coconut crushers they call them power knees. Tomato; ToMAto. Why do I say “Oh Boy” you will see when you hit around the 70 or 80 mark. Again you are doing as many as you can in the allotted time period. This is what is called a ‘burn-out’ maneuver.
These hurt if you previously went full blast with the power knees. In this exercise you jump in the air and bring your knees to your hands at about waist height. You will be feeling it if you did a lot of power knees. I love this stuff! This is the stuff dreams are made of! Yeah, I know I’m a nerd.
Globe Jumps (aka box jumps)
This is a very hard move to do a lot of. You do a squat jump (exactly what it sounds like) and you are jumping in a box, or you jump to all four corners of your imaginary box. Four jumps in a box count as 1 repetition. Unless you are a super freak animal or only half-assed it in the previous exercises, don’t think you are going to be doing a ton of these.
These things are a blast, if you like to work, this is where the magic happens. These are somewhat hard to describe, but here goes. A suicide jump is a combination of a plank and a jump. You start off standing up then you squat down in the plank position, while in the plank position you keep your upper body and arms planted, then you swing your butt down to where you almost hit the floor, as you are pushing up your butt and your knees into your chest so that you land in a squatting position, then from this position you are jumping in the air, this is one rep, with every jump you are exhaling. You repeat this maneuver for as many times as you can in the allotted time. If it sounds hard it should if you do them properly. It is very important that you keep your core tight throughout the exercise. Remember form is always half the show, without it you are only cheating yourself.
Insanity Dig Deeper and Fit Test
**(This exercise is difficult to explain without actually seeing it)**
*** If you still want to know, look at my article on 8 count bodybuilders. It is a combination of Count #1, #2 and #3.
If this sounds like a lot, it is and we are not even halfway through yet! Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy
These are exactly what they sound like. You are doing a push-up and a jumping jack at the same time. Your down position is when your legs are spread and the up position your legs are together. This was by far the hardest exercise for me. I can gut the rest of the exercises out, but this one seriously put me in the hurt locker.
Yeah, I was kidding earlier about not being half way done. At this point even the serious athlete is cooked. Why? Because, you can only go full blast for a certain amount of time. If you have seen my Cousin Andre’s chest workout video then you know what I’m talking about. Yeah, he bench presses 500+ pounds and it takes him about an hour to do his whole workout, but the actual exercise part of his workout is only about 8 minutes.
Low Plank Oblique
So if you made it this far then congratulations. This is your last exercise.
A low plank is a regular plank but on your elbows, then you are bringing each knee (alternating right and left) to your chest from the side, like doing mountain climbers with your legs out. Make sure you hit it as hard as you possibly can. This is your base point to improve.
For the cool down we just do a series of stretches, to keep you from tightening up.
Over all I like the workout. It has less of a big production feel than the P90X DVD’s that are made by the same company, which in my opinion makes it that much better. I just wish they had some fat lady or man struggling to do the exercises in the background; that would have kept me motivated. So, so far so good, I am looking forward to the other workouts.
Four out of five Charles faces
Thanks for looking at my review on Insanity Dig Deeper and Fit Test.