This post is a review of Insanity Asylum Strength workout.

Insanity Asylum Strength

The strength video and the whole asylum video’s are really part 2 of the Insanity series. They fill in some of the holes that were left in the regular Insanity videos, especially in your back and all your back muscles.

Tools needed:

  • Dumbbells or Resistance Bands
  • Chin-up Bar

Warm-up – Since I do not have any free weights at my house, I used a set of Bodylastics bands I bought a few years ago. The good thing about Asylum is there is a split screen that supplements for us who are using power bands. For this review, even though I didn’t use free weights, I will describe the workouts as if I were.

Halo Dead Lifts – Standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on both sides of the dumbbell and your back straight, get into a squat position with the dumbbell in between your legs about 3 inches off the ground, as you are standing up bring the dumbbell up to your head and “halo” the weight around your head going clockwise, when you return to your squat position, this is one rep. If you are using the power band do the exact same thing, but only do a half of a “halo” then return to the squat position. Halfway through the exercise switch to counter clockwise. If you are using power bands do the other half of the halo.

Skull Crusher Press – With your legs at shoulder width apart and the dumbbell in front of your face and your hands on both sides of the dumbbell, lift the weight up, then drop it back into a two hand triceps extension behind your head, lift the weight back up and return to the starting position. If you are using power bands you are doing the same thing. Since we are only in the warm-up be sure you can actually do all the reps and not kill yourself!

Knee Drive Curl – This exercise is just like the Halo Dead Lifts you just did; however, instead of doing a tricep extension behind your head, bring the weight up to your head, then lift one knee to hip height (Note: the weight and lifting knee are working in unison). Halfway through the exercise switch to the other leg, there is no difference in exercise for the power bands.

Lateral Squat Row – Standing straight up with the weight still in your hands, side lunge and drop the weight to 3 inches off the ground, then row the weight into your sternum, return the weight to 3 inches off the ground then kick yourself back up to standing position. * Keep your butt back in your side lunges and don’t arch your back*. With the power bands the move is the same, but you are only rowing with the outside arm. Halfway through the exercise switch sides.

Drop the weights.

Shoulder Tap Push-Ups – Starting in a plank position, drop and do a push-up, then using your hands tap the opposite shoulders (left-right) then drop and do another push-up. Halfway through the exercise, switch leading arms (right-left). Continue for the allotted time period.

Warm-up – Round #2

  • Halo Deadlifts
  • Skull Crusher Press
  • Knee Drive Curl
  • Later Squat Row
  • Shoulder Tap Push-Ups


Water Break.

Insanity Asylum Strength

Get your dumbbells

Progressive Dumbbell Rotation – L1 – (This is a compounded plyometric / strength exercise) Starting with your dumbbells in your hands, standing straight up, follow this sequence:

  1. Do a normal arm curl.
  2. While curling add a squat at the same time (Hold your curl).
  3. Come out of the squat and release the curl.
  4. From a standing position jump back into a plank position with the dumbbells in your hands.
  5. Do a push-up.
  6. Come back to a standing position.
  7. This is one rep.  Continue for the allotted amount of reps.

Alternating Shoulder Presses – Just like doing a standing military press, alternate your arms using the dumbbells, bring the weight down to ear height.

Dumbbell Rotational Jumps – For this exercise you are only using one dumbbell. With your hands on both sides of the dumbbell, elbows bent, you are jumping from a squat position and doing a 180 degree turn in the air.

  • The dumbbell should be in front of your face the whole time.
  • When you squat be sure to bring your elbows down to your knees.

Water Break

Progressive Dumbbell Rotation – L2 –The first 5 positions are the same as the Progressive Dumbbell Rotation L1 you just did. So continuing from position number 5 follow this sequence.

6. Spider your left leg – While still in plank position, bring your left knee to your left shoulder.

7. Spider your right leg.

8. Get back into plank position.

9. Jump up from the plank position.

10. Come back to a standing position.

11. This is one rep. Continue for the allotted amount of reps, staring at number 1.

Reciprocating Overhead Press – These are very similar to the alternating presses you just did, the slight difference is instead of just alternating, in which only one arm moves at a time, you will be reciprocating meaning both your arms will be moving all the time and the weight will be “level” halfway through the exercise.

Dumbbell Rotational Jumps w/Curl – These are the same as the Dumbbell Rotational Jumps you just did but, you will add a curl when you are in a squat position.

Water Break

Progressive Dumbbell Rotation – L3 – We are just building from the Level 2 of the Progressive Dumbbell Rotations. So continuing from position number 7 of the Progressive Dumbbell Rotation L2, follow this sequence:

  1. Do another push-up.
  2. Do 8 mountain climbers.
  3. Get back into plank position.
  4. Jump up from plank position
  5. Come back to a standing position.
  6. This is one rep. Continue for the allotted amount of reps, starting at number 1.

Dual Over Head Press – These are standing dumbbell military presses. Do 12 reps.

Dumbbell Rotational Jumps w/ Curl / Press – Again starting from where we left off with just the curl. When you are in a squat position and you curl the dumbbell, continue to press the dumbbell over your head, and then bring the dumbbell back to its starting position. Continue with the 180 degree rotational jump from a squat position. Do as many as you can for the allotted time period.

Water Break

Get both dumbbells again.

Hip Flys – Starting out with both dumbbells in your hands, get into a standing tabletop position (Feet together, bent at your waist, flat back and the dumbbells at or below your knee level, palms facing back). Now lift the dumbbells past your hips and try and squeeze the dumbbells together. Squeeze your back muscles!!

Wide Flys – Starting out in the same standing tabletop position. Now “fly” the dumbbells out from your sides, so that they come to chest level. Again squeeze your back muscles. Do this for the allotted time period.

  • Alternative – This is what I did, If you have a pull-up bar you will be doing:
  • Jump Pulls – Isolating your lats, all you will be doing is doing a slight jump and squeezing your lat muscles. To do this for a minute straight was a b!tc#!!

Water Break

Hip Fly’s – Yep again.

Pyramid Row / Push-Ups – This is where I started to have problems; those jump pulls just kicked my ass. Starting in a standing tabletop position, do one row (bring the dumbbells straight to your chest) then jump down and do one push-up. Now repeat the sequence for 2 rows, 2 push-ups. Keep going up in the amount of reps for the allotted time period.

  • Alternative – I didn’t do these!
  • Pyramid Pull-ups – You follow the same sequence of pyramiding, 1 push-up, 1 pull-up, 2-2, 3-3. Continue for the allotted time period.

Hip Fly’s – Yep again.

Elbow Plank Row – These are military craws with a dumbbell row. If you are not sure what military crawls are, you honestly have no business doing the Asylum series. I would suggest getting the regular Insanity videos or P90X. SERIOUSLY.

  • Alternative – Because I am a glutton for workout pain, I did these! Probably shouldn’t have since it basically killed the rest of the workout for me.
  • Rock Climbing Switch – While in the up position on your pull-up bar, alternate grips and use your core to hold your legs up as if you are rock climbing. Do this for 1 full minute!

Water Break

Chest Press w/ Leg Ext. – Lying on the ground with your knees up and your calves parallel to the ground, both dumbbells in your hands in a down press position (position 1.). You will press the dumbbells and extend your legs until they are 6 inches off the ground (position 2.) Then go back into position 1. Continue this exercise for the allotted time period. Be sure your lower back stays on the ground.

Drop both of your dumbbells

Squatted Fly – We have done something similar in other Insanity workouts, starting in a standing position, you will be doing jumping jacks with a squat, but with your arms going straight out to your sides (parallel with the ground) and clapping your hands in front of you.

Grab your dumbbells again.

Chest Press w/ Single Leg Ext. –  Assume the same position you just did in Chest Press w/Leg Ext (both arms in the up position) but this time keep one leg extended 6 inches off the ground, and one leg in position 1. As you extend the leg in position 1. Also press the same arm, so it coincides with the extending leg. After 30 seconds, switch arms and legs.

Drop your dumbbells.

Back Fly Lunge – From a squat position, alternate legs lunging back and “fly” your arms to your sides at the same time. Be sure to keep your head in one position and be as smooth as possible. Alternate legs for the allotted time period.

Grab your dumbbells again.

Chest Press w/Stationary Leg Ext. – Ha. Stationary Leg Extension?? Sounds like an oxymoron huh? Keep both your feet 6 inches off the ground and start pressing the dumbbells. Continue for the allotted time period.

Frog Jumps / Single Leg Plank – Just like you were in elementary school, frog jump. Then jump back into a single leg plank, alternate single leg planks. Be sure you are jumping from the bottom.

Water Break

Stretch – Do this.



As I said at the beginning of this workout, the best part of the Asylum series is that it fills in the holes left in the regular Insanity series. There is a lot more strength required in this workout and it is more finely tuned than Insanity; however, that could be a minus as well for those of you looking for just a general all around workout.

I give this workout 4.5 out of 5 Charles Faces!

This concludes my review of Insanity Asylum Strength.

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.

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