Beachbody Coach Summit 2016

Okay, doing a workout literally called “Insanity” doesn’t really sound fun. Like, at all. But devotees of Shaun T’s Insanity Beachbody program swear it’s worth the sweat and tears. (Hopefully not blood…)

So yeah, though it first launched in the 2000s, Insanity is still hugely popular. But what does the workout entail, exactly? (Also: How likely are you to straight-up collapse on the floor?) Let’s get to it:

What Is Insanity All About?

This 60-day program involves seriously intense interval training—or what’s dubbed, “max interval training.” In most HIIT workouts, you crank out 30 to 45 seconds of effort, followed by a similar rest period. But with this program, you bust a move for a full three to five minutes, yet you still only get a few seconds to recover in between exercises.

MY FAVORITE #INSANITY exercises will burn those calories and since it’s Monday, time to get that EXTRA cardio in! YES! Even if you worked out already DO IT NOW!? ? And while we’re talking about INSANITY… if you’ve been thinking about becoming an INSANITY Instructor, I’m coming to the midwest this summer for another INSANITY Certification! Stay tuned for the location announcement THIS week.

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The program costs $144, and includes two phases over a roughly two-month period. In the first phase, you get five workouts, including sequences focused on lower-body plyometrics (explosive movements), upper-body strength, cardio and abs, plus a recovery workout.

Then, in the second phase (which you start in the second month), you’re introduced to four new workouts—and the interval pushes get even longer.

Insanity results: What can you expect?

The program touts serious muscle-building benefits, but Noam Tamir, C.S.C.S, trainer and owner of TS Fitness in New York, says the program is mostly about cardio and burning cals.

“You’re doing bodyweight circuits for time, so the stress on the muscular system won’t really help you build muscle,” he says.

Still, if you haven’t hit the gym in a while, you might start to feel more toned. “The more untrained you are, the more stress it will put on your body, so you would build more muscle then someone who goes into the workout in better shape,” says Tamir.

I’m resetting my workout routine and I’m getting “back to the roots”, to where it all started — to Insanity workout?? Insanity celebrates 10 years this year, so I’m doing the 60 day challenge and I’m currently on week 3☝?✌? I gotta say, this workout never ceases to amaze me-it’s so difficult and challenging, yet it’s totally awesome and fun— AND I’M SMILING BECAUSE I LOVE IT? #insanityworkout

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Can anybody do Insanity?

These are really tough workouts, so they’re not for the faint of heart. (Seriously though: If you have a heart problem or any other medical condition, see a doctor for the okay first.) And if you’re totally new to fitness, you may want to proceed with caution, too.

“I wouldn’t recommend it [for beginners],” says Tamir. “It’s for a person that has decent cardiovascular fitness. The warm-up is even intense because of the continuous activity with no break. You are doing a lot of jumping so being able to handle that requires a lot of stability and strength.”

Those explosive or jumping movements, mean it’s not great for those with knee, shoulder or other joint issues, Tamir cautions. Disc issues could also pose problems.

It’s best for people, “with a sports background or those who do obstacle course races, or people with good conditioning and [who] train regularly with weights and do endurance workouts,” Tamir says.

How to do Insanity without collapsing on the floor

“This workout definitely keeps you motivated because of the energy, but you need to listen to your body and make sure you don’t injure yourself,” Tamir says.

If you do give it a go, make sure you go at your own pace. Feeling super-exhausted? Take. A. Break. You can also turn explosive exercises into more low-impact movements or do only every other exercise.

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The most important thing: Know your body and pay attention to it. “There are less intense workouts that you can do to start. There’s a reason they call this one Insanity,” says Tamir.

To get a taste of Insanity, try this exclusive routine from Shaun T.

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