Insanity  Max Interval Circuit

This is one of the hardest if not the hardest workout I have done in the whole Insanity series. Think slightly harder than an “average” P90X workout….yeah that good! This is Insanity Max Interval Circuit.

The workout is almost an hour long; by the 35 minute mark I’ve already blown a gasket. To me, this is the mark of a really good workout.

My pet peeve:

As a fitness trainer, one of the most annoying things about people working out is they don’t really *go-for-it* and most of the time it’s the people who need it most (read: FAT PEOPLE). It’s like they are more concerned about trying to look cute than really doing what they need to do (BUST THEIR ASS).

To further emphasize this point, here is Julie, my editor and F.I.I.T.Camp instructor extraordinaire, explaining what she sees during her training.

“I think the biggest thing I have to keep reminding people of is what INTENSITY really means. First of all, most people (new people that is) come into my F.I.I.T (Focused, Intentional, Intensity, Training) camps thinking that it can’t be that hard.  I mean, they workout already, they lift weights, they do the elliptical, they cycle, do Pilates, whatever.  How hard can this be?  Wham!!  Hard, just like this DVD.  This is when I find out who is serious about working out and who just thought they were coming for another easy group training.  The ones that are serious, they love to hate me and they come back.  The ones who only came to say “I work out everyday, I’m cute, I’m in shape,“. . . well, I never see them again.  Once the serious people come back, then it’s all about getting them to push themselves an understanding intensity.  Charles is right, this isn’t for everyone . . . only the serious people!  J”

The beautiful thing about this Insanity or any of the Beachbody workout DVD’s is you don’t have to worry about looking like an ass in the gym if you are that self-conscience. I know that even though both Julie and I just explained what “other people” do, that does not apply to you, and you only have “a few extra pounds” to lose, and the “I don’t have time” crowd. These workouts are even a better deal for you because you don’t have to watch other people waddle their fat ass around the gym trying to look cute.

Insanity Max Interval Circuit

More success stories:

Insanity Max Interval Circuit

Like every other workout in this series, the structure is Warm-up, Stretch, Workout, and Stretch.

I still don’t like the fact that you do an intense warm-up to get your heart rate and core temperature high, then immediately go into static stretches. I believe that if you HAVE to do it this way, then at the very least do some ballistic stretches just to keep moving.


OK, no deviation from the norm here, the warm-up is the same as all the other videos thus far.

Round #1

  • Jog – For the first round, don’t go crazy
  • Straight-Arm Jacks
  • 123-123
  • Jump rope – No you are not using an actual jump rope
  • High Knees  with your Arms out
  • Switch Kicks – Try and get both feet off the ground for at least a split second
  • Hit the Floor
  • Side-to-Side (S/S) Floor Hops – I don’t think we have ever done these in a warm-up or workout…I may be wrong though. Get in a plank position with both feet and knees together and off to your right side, now jump over to your left side (while still in the plank position) try and get your legs up as high as possible, like you are going on the outside parameter of a rainbow with your feet.

Round #2 – Be sure to keep your core tight throughout the warm-up

  • Jog
  • Straight Arm Jacks
  • 123-123 – Be sure to suck you stomach in and keep your core tight for this exercise
  • Jump rope
  • High Knees / Arms out-Use your core to lift your knees
  • Switch Kicks
  • Hit the Floor
  • S/S Floor Hops

Round #3 – This is where you go full-out! Don’t compromise form

  • Jog- Not really a jog, more of a sprint
  • Straight Arm Jacks – go for speed without compromising form.
  • Jump rope
  • High Knees / Arms out
  • Switch Kicks
  • Hit the Floor
  • S/S Floor Hops

Warm-up Done! Time to stretch.

This is still the worse part of the DVD, and yes I have said it in every single Insanity workout we have done thus far. In no class of mine would you ever go full bore then stop instantaneously to do stretches. It is the equivalent of doing the Polar Bear dive after you just sat in the sauna for 30 minutes…just not a good idea.


This is comprised of various full body stretches to get your joints ready to roll – very important and necessary. If you are on the fence about getting any of these DVD’s, have a look around my site for all the reviews (including p90x)…and no, they are not all good. It’s an honest review.

I am now a Beachbody coach so when you are ready to buy go here. Also you can go and checkout the Shakology program for a nutritious meal.


This was a good workout, and is one of the longer workouts of the whole series. It’s hard if you really go for it, which should be every workout you do. Don’t half ass any workout. Half-ass workout = Half-ass results. Etch it in your brain.

Water Break

Insanity Max Interval Circuit

First thing to remember is these are long circuits, take a break when you need to and watch your form/technique.

Pedal/Power Lunges

You run in place (Pedal) for a few seconds then immediately going into Power Lunges. Power Lunges are done with both hands straight up in the air then jump into a lung with you right leg forward, then jumping into another lunge with your left leg forward.

Ski Abs/Push-up Jacks/In-out abs/Oblique push-ups

  • Yes this is one exercise; we have done these exercises individually in the past but not as a set.
  • Ski Abs – Get into a plank position, then step both feet out to your right (this is your start position)  Now hop back into a plank position, next hop out to your left. (Buy the DVD to know how many you are supposed to do).
  • Push-up Jacks – We also have done these in other Insanity videos- Get in a plank position. When you go down to do a push-up hop your legs apart, then come back up.
  • In-out abs – From the plank position use your core to hop inwards (knees to chest)
  • Oblique push-ups – Also from the plank position, bring your left knee to your left arm, and then bring your right knee to your right arm.

Power Strike

This is a striking exercise and requires a touch of coordination and concentration. First, start off by shifting your weight to your left leg, next step-out with your right leg, third use your left fist to punch toward the ground toward your right leg. Repeat 2X then switch to your right leg. This is a difficult exercise to write in words, which is another reason you need to buy the DVD’s from my shop.

Frog Jumps

  • Get into a frog position with just your fingertips touching the floor. Next jump up with your hands in the air. Get back into the frog position. Lastly jump backwards with your hands in the air. Repeat for the allotted time.

Water Break – 30 Seconds

Repeat the circuit for Round #2

  • Pedal/Power Lunges
  • Ski Abs/ Power Jacks/In-Outs Abs/Oblique Push-ups
  • Power Strikes
  • Frog Jumps

Water Break – 30 Seconds

Repeat the circuit for Round#3 – Here is where it sucks and is very hard if you are putting forth 100%. Remember half-ass workout=half-ass results.

**Remember not to compromise form…EVER**

If you feel like your form is off (you will) then take a break. There is no shame in it.

  • Pedal/Power Lunges
  • Ski Abs/ Power Jacks/In-Out Abs/Oblique Push-ups
  • Power Strikes
  • Frog Jumps

NO Water Break – we immediately go into the next exercise!

Football Runs/ Cross Jacks

  1. Football runs – are simply you do a complete circle with your body, using steps and not spinning on one foot, then clapping, then going in reverse
  2. Cross Jacks – Are simply jumping jacks that you do with one arm and your other arm will be on your abs, and then repeat with on the other arm.

Water Break – 30 Seconds

Jump Hooks

This is another multipart exercise that should be called Hookjumps but it’s not, so learn to live with it.

  1. First start out with 4 high hooks with your left hand.
  2. Then get down in a low squat position and give me 4 low hooks with your left hand.
  3. Finally jump up and give me 2 double rope jumps – meaning jump high enough so your imaginary rope will come underneath your legs 2x.
  4. Repeat with your right arm

High Knee w/Twist

  • These are the same as your normal high knees but you are only adding a twist every time your knee comes up.

High – Low Jab w/Squat

There is a similar exercise in the P90X series. Starting out in a squat position facing forward, use your left arm to punch toward the left bottom edge of the room, next jump up and punch toward the right edge of the room. Do this for the allotted time period. Be sure to land softly from your jumps

Floor Switch Kicks

Get into a “M” position. The “M” position is a reverse plank or table top with your butt down (but not on the floor). Now do you remember the switch kicks you do in the warm-ups? Good now you are going to do those, but on the ground. Don’t think for 1 second that this is an easy exercise. Strive to get both feet off the ground for a split second.

Water Break – 30 seconds

Set #2 – Round #2

  • Jump Hooks – Watch your form and stop if/when you need to.
  • High Knees W/Twist – Watch your form and stop if/when you need to.
  • High – Low Jab w/Squat – Watch your form and stop if/when you need to.
  • Floor Switch Kicks – Watch your form and stop if/when you need to.

Water Break – 30 seconds

Set #2 – Round #3

  • Jump Hooks – Watch your form and stop if/when you need to.
  • High Knees W/Twist – Watch your form and stop if/when you need to.
  • High – Low Jab w/Squat – Watch your form and stop if/when you need to.
  • Floor Switch Kicks – Watch your form and stop if/when you need to.

1-2-3 Jab Across – Just like the exercise states, you are doing the same 1-2-3 exercise that you do in your warm-up but at the end of that exercise you add a “Jab across” with the opposing arm. For example: If you are going to your right, jab with your left.

Water Break – 30 seconds

Set #3 – Round #1

Side Suicide Jumps

  • Starting in a standing position, you are going to go into a left offset push-up position. An offset push-up position is just like a normal push-up but everything from your shoulders back to your feet is in an “offset” position, meaning you are going to torque your body as far to your left as you can in the plank position. Next you are going to jump up with your hands straight in the air then repeat to your right side.

Squat Hooks

This is less of a complicated exercise, just as the name states you are combining a squat with a hook. So as you are going down for your squat throw your hook with your left arm, repeat with your other arm.

Full Body Drill

This exercise is a combination of 3 different exercises joined together.

  1. Start in a standing position arms up.
  2. Jump down and do 8 mountain climbers.
  3. Next do a set of 4 moving push-ups to your left.
  4. Lastly do a set of 8 wide leg mountain climbers.
  5. Now repeat this same sequence to your right.

Plank Punches

In a plank position, use one arm to straight out above your forehead. Alternate between your left and right arms.

Water Break – 30 seconds

Set # 3 – Round #2

  • Side Suicide Jumps – Watch your form and stop if/when you need to.
  • Squat Hooks – Watch your form and stop if/when you need to.
  • Full Body Drill – Watch your form and stop if/when you need to.
  • Plank punches – Watch your form and stop if/when you need to.

Water Break – 30 seconds

Set # 3 – Round # 3 – Yeah this is where it sucks, because you are already silly tired. Don’t compromise form. Take a break when you need to. WORK! WORK! WORK!

  • Side Suicide Jumps – Watch your form and stop if/when you need to.
  • Squat Hooks – Watch your form and stop if/when you need to.
  • Full Body Drill – Watch your form and stop if/when you need to.
  • Plank punches – Watch your form and stop if/when you need to.


This was a very hard workout. I mean really hard. The only part I didn’t like was the warm-up/stretch sequence.

The results are real, if you apply yourself. I will almost say guaranteed as long as you follow the guide and do the nutrition plan.

Now that you read the review, go buy the DVD from my store. Also don’t forget to get the best shake on the planet in Shakeology.

This gets a 4.5 out of 5 Charles faces.







This has been a Insanity Max Interval Circuit – Review, thanks for looking.

Charles Lloyd
Charles Lloyd

Self processed fitness missionary and author of most of the ridiculous fitness articles written on Charles Lloyd I am not really a writer, but a workout fiend who happens to have a blog. The single mission of this website is very simple: Get You In Shape. I have been blessed with the gift of good health and want to share it with you. Join Me.

    18 replies to "Insanity Max Interval Circuit Review"

    • Shell G

      Soooo I did this workout yesterday and I thought my life was over. I shouldnt have done spin class the day before because my quads were DONE! This is my second time doing Insanity and this workout (the first of the second half) makes you feel like you’ve never worked out before. Nonetheless I’m the fool who will not back down so bring on tomorrow!

    • Leonie


      I have enjoyed reading your workouts, however I’m a little confused about your ‘plank’ I always thought a plank was when you are on your elbows and toes, but I see that you mention a plank then to do a press up, suggesting that the start position is a press up not a plank. I have copied push up jacks for the example. Thanks if you could clear it up for me!!

      Push-up Jacks – We also have done these in other Insanity videos- Get in a plank position. When you go down to do a push-up hop your legs apart, then come back up

    • Charles Lloyd

      Hey Leonie, When you start out on your elbows & toes that is also a plank, but it is commonly called a “low plank”. A “regular” plank as I talk about here in this review is starting out on your hands and toes just like you are in a push-up position. Hope that clears it up for you. Thanks for dropping by.

    • Jack

      First of all, I love your Insanity reviews! I love the way you break each exercise down individually.

      Secondly, I just did this workout yesterday, and it has got to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done physically. By the time I was done with it I could barely move, and today I’m hurting just as bad as if I hadn’t spent the last 5 weeks getting my ass kicked. But I’ve been pushing through, and I’ve seen incredible results so far just since I’ve been doing it.

      I like what you said, a half-ass workout = half-ass results; that’s very similar to what I’ve been saying to the 3-4 people who regularly read my blog (I’ve been blogging on my weight-loss journey for about 5 months now). Shaun T is always saying not to sacrifice form, and so when I’m not able to keep the proper form I take a break. I ended up taking quite a few of those breaks during this video (i.e. the majority of the last set) but I’m sure that, just like with the first month and the “recovery” week as time goes on I’ll be able to go harder and longer.

      I was really dreading this workout because of the length, but once you get started you don’t even pay attention to the time. There’s no time to watch the clock. It’s just over when it’s over, and you keep pushing through the pain until you don’t have to anymore.

    • Charles Lloyd

      Perfect Jack, A LOT of people who read this or are new to the program get caught up into doing EVERYTHING to the letter, but then sacrifice form for reps or numbers. BAD WRONG X and any other negative remark you can think of. Seriously its better to do only 1 perfect (insert exercise here) than it is to do 75 half-ass anything.

      I remember the first time I did the whole Insanity workout, my hand would be literally shaking like I was nervous from exhaustion after the workout, I would sit in my office chair reading something then next thing I knew it was 1am!

      Keep up the good work Jack.

    • Paul

      Did this workout today for the first time, together with the fit test, and it totally kicked my butt. Serious stuff!!

    • Charles Lloyd

      Yeah it is Paul. BTW who is your Beachbody Coach?

    • ucs

      Wow…this one is a MONSTER!! No Joke…Month one does nothing to prepare you for the Length…I am sure i will do better next time through.

    • Tom

      I am really glad I read this today. I did this exercise yesterday after the fitness test and questioned my commitiment. I pushed through it and sweat more than I ever have. I am dreading and looking forward to tonight and eventually seeing my abs for the first time in my life!!!

    • Charles Lloyd

      Good stuff Tom, keep at it.

    • Dominic

      I’ve just finished the fit test…. got a nice meal in….now time for this circuit…..wish me luck.

      ps Charles….. i like the stretching in Insanity…. really gives me that chance to regroup and focus on what’s to come….just my opinion.

    • Coach Wagoner

      Stretching after the “warm up” is good because if you go hard the 3rd time through, you need that break before cranking it up again. Plus your muscles are plenty warm and you get a great stretch in at the beginning as well as the end. Knowing that I have the stretch coming allows me to go as hard as I can….and I bust it. It’s not like the stretch is easy either. They work your body even in the stretch. All in all I just finished insanity and started asylum volume 1 today. So far I’ve lost 24 pounds, but even better, I’ve gone from 30% body fat to 16%! None of my clothes fit and I feel great. Thanks to these reviews an of course Shaun T!

    • Joanna

      As a woman who has lost 210 pounds by working out and eating better – gone from a size 28 to 10 – I find it offensive that you call yourself a trainer and would actually use the term “fat-ass” on your blog. Way to not motivate people.

    • Justin

      @Joanna – I’ve lost 115 lbs by working out and eating right, and I am in no way offended by the “fat-ass” comment. I was a fat-ass. Period. The truth hurts, and once you realize the truth and come to grips with it, you can begin to heal your body. Stop being so sensitive. These workouts are not for the mentally weak. Stay strong. I hope you meet or have met your goal weight, but more importantly, it’s a great feeling knowing that you’ve added years to your life. No name can ever take that away.

    • Wally

      Your reviews and attitude suck my dick.

    • Clare

      Hi Charles, I love your reviews I think they are really honest and they do motivate me as if I know what’s coming before I do the workout it really helps me focus. That’s just the way I am I suppose but I don’t like surprises inmy workouts. For instance I have a spinning instructor who tells you you have 30 seconds left on an interval so you put everything you can into that 30 seconds, then he just carries on for like another minute! I’m so gassed because I gave everything I had to give and now I know he lied once there feels like there’s no end point in sight so I don’t know how hard to push meaning I sometimes run out of steam and have to stop! What I’m trying to say is that I love the way you break these workouts down to the letter and because I know there will only be 30 secs on everything I can really push as hard as I can on every exercise! This workout was really tough but because I knew it es token down into sections I could just focus on the section I was on and managed to get through it. I can honestly say I never sweated so much on any workout!
      I’ve been doing insanity for 5 weeks and although I’ve seen my fitness improve massively and I’m looking really toned I’m not losing any weight. I haven’t got a lot to lose anyway I only really need to lose about 8-9 lbs as I’m not big but I haven’t been following the nutrition plan. Is it possible to start to lose some of the weight in the time I have left if I start following the plan now?

    • V

      did you seriously just call out fat people? I love when skinny people get high an mighty enough to look down on others. way to go-douche. worst fitness missionary ever.

    • B Lem

      I have seen awesome results in the past five weeks of doing the insanity workouts. I was really looking forward to the fitness test and seeing my gains yesterday (Monday) as I started week six. However, I had played pickup basketball for hours after my workout Saturday, and after the fit test, I just didn’t have the energy to follow up with another workout. I woke up early this morning in hopes of doing the Max Interval Circuit in the AM and then was hoping to follow up with today’s scheduled workout later tonight. After doing the Max Interval Circuit for the first time this morning, I’m not sure if doing the next workout tonight is a good idea. I know I need to let my body recover, but I really want to get back on track, as I have not missed a workout up until this point. Anybody have any tips on the best way to get back on pace with the workouts?

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