So…Insanity Max 30…how good is it really?

Well…I have finished week four and I am still going so it must be pretty good…I haven’t got much patience for exercise that I don’t enjoy!!

In other words…it is Awesome!!


this is an accurate representation of the plyometric sections of Max 30

the first thing that makes it awesome is the fact that it is 30 minutes long!

30 minutes!

It is impossible to not have time for it! 30 mins is less time than it takes to make and drink a cup of coffee.

well it is for me…I won’t drink instant coffee and I have it black so it takes ages to cool down enough to drink…so 30 minutes is the minimum amount of time I would allow to have coffee.

The good thing about 30 minutes is no matter how hard it is, you tell yourself before hand,it is only 30 minutes I can do that!

No matter that  you know that it will be a crazy 30 mins that will leave you in a heap with kittens gathering around your head to steal the heat (yes…this did happen…). It always seems somehow more doable for being short.

On saying that…the illusion of it being doable because it is short is just that an illusion! This is every bit as hard as the original Insanity workouts, if not harder because it is more concentrated. There are fewer breaks and more compound exercises, more plyometric content and did I mention fewer breaks…

Along with super high intensity and (I hesitate to repeat) fewer breaks, this Insanity heralds a new way of working out. Or at least a new way of measuring your performance.

IMG_5498[1]It is known as Maxing out…you go as hard as you can for as long as you can then write down the first time you need to take a unscheduled break. The definition says that you max out the first time you fail or need to rest, or your form is being compromised so much that you are not really doing the exercise any more.

You write the time down, then the next time you do that workout you attempt yo beat your own time. You are not competing against anyone else, not the dvd people or anyone, you simply need to try to do better than you did last time!

This fits really well into the theory that you don’t need to compare yourself to other people in order to be working hard. Just because someone else does it better doesn’t mean you are not working to your maximum capacity. If you are working as hard as you can, if you are challenged you will see a change! In addition, for me personally, I find I have more determination to do better this way! It is a very clear way of charting improvement.

And you know what..the system works! Every time I have repeated a workout I have improved my max out time, even if it is by 30s it still makes you feel awesome!!

The other awesome thing is it doesn’t matter when you max out…as long as you get right back in and max out again…and again 😀

SO what do you find yourself doing during these work outs?

Crazy stuff that is what!

Stuff you never thought that you would even know the existence of let alone say you have been doing! Every move is a compound move, every move more or less works every part of the body. Some place more emphasis on certain parts but there are no isolation exercises!

some of my personal favorites are:

Diamond Jump to Burpee…

this is like a burpee…only instead of doing a normal jump where you manage to get your feet about 1″ off the ground, you have to do a diamond jump…
Diamond jump…what is a diamond jump I hear you ask…will it is a jump (obviously) where you start in a squatish position…jump up as high as you can bringing your knees out to the side and touching your feet together, at the same time bringing your hands together over your head…

diamond jump

yes…exactly like that!

The diamond jump looks like that…

I am at least 80% sure I don’t look like that when I do it…

If only because I am not actually Shaun T…or a man…and I normally wear more clothes than that…

oh…and my feet are smaller…

yes they are the only reasons I can think of!

There are actually about 1 million (give or take) different varieties of burpees in Insanity max 30…there is the diamond jump to 1 legged burpee which is just crazy, the burpee to split lunge jump, the “X plank X jump” which is a star jump into a burpee with an x shaped plank, there is the suicide burpee which is one where you run sideways in between burpees…the list is (almost) endless.


what ever else we did…I don’t remember this…perhaps it is in month 2 I will keep you posted…

Aside from a plethora of burpees we have such gems as “plank jack in and out abs” which is basically alternating a plank jack with a squat thrust!

We have switch kick punches, which are jumping switch front kicks with additional punches with the opposite arm!

we have 5 whole minutes of tricep dips, ones where you have to lift your leg up and reach for it with your hand on the up phase, ones where you just put one leg in the air, ones where you go super-slow down for a count of 4 and back up again…

There are jumping power knees, which is like the original insanity power knees except you jump on your supporting leg every time you do a knee…

and power knee jump 180 into lunge…that one is good too!!

there are lots of jumping jack legs with punches of different varieties, plank punches, pike ups into spider lunges!

I could carry one but I suspect the crazy overload limit is being reached!! I am afraid I can’t tell you which work out which thing comes from…once they are over they wipe out of my brain and all blur into one big mess of jumping and more jumping!

All I can say…is if you are thinking of it, and are not a complete beginner…try it!!

Even if you are a complete beginner…you can always follow the modifier…which is not easy….just lower impact 😀

yes...this happens to me a lot...only Shaun T never takes over...I always have to get back up and start again!

yes…this happens to me a lot…only Shaun T never takes over…I always have to get back up and start again!



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About Sam Catchpole

Exercisaholic, Photographer, Artist, Writer, Engineer, Morris Dancer, General Obsessive...

7 responses to “So…Insanity Max 30…how good is it really?”

  1. NancyTex says :

    Holy schnikey! That is brutal and awesome. Thanks for the thorough review and explaining the Max Out definition. I like the idea of applying this Max Out (and bettering your max out time each time) to any workout that you do repetitively. This just makes good sense!

    Right then, it’s 10:30 pm, I’ve been up for the better part of 36 hours now, and I’m wide awake. Since my day starts with a breakfast meeting at 6:45 am tomorrow, I’m thinking I’d better figure out a way to try to get some sleep. Melatonin. Please let it work.

    p.s. We are heading out to Halifax first and then working our way up the east coast. I’m looking forward to checking out these new places! That is, assuming I don’t fall asleep in the car, which is quite possible. 🙂

    • Ice_Badger says :

      The max out thing really works! Even if you beat it by a few seconds you feel awesome!

      36 hours is too long to be awake…go to sleep forthwith!!
      I am saying words like forthwith to make you feel at home in the England 🙂
      (Although you are in Manchester…so I should attempt to remember some of my mancuinan)

    • Ice_Badger says :

      Ooohi just saw the driving bit!! !! That sounds good!! I am envious!! I used to live on the east coast 🙂 I lived in Hull if you pass it… And went to a lot of coastal places as a teenager!!!

      • NancyTex says :

        I think Hull is on the list tomorrow. As a side note, I’m getting a kick out of the newfound knowledge that places like Halifax and Hull were around long before Canada named our cities the same. Had no idea! 🙂

      • Ice_Badger says :

        Oooh! You are going to lots of places I used to live!!
        Just need to add Oxford, Guildford and Grimsby now!
        On second thoughts…skip Grimsby… It is grim!!
        I had no idea there was a Hull in Canada!

      • NancyTex says :

        It’s on the Quebec/Ontario border as Ottawa’s sister city. Ottawa on the Ontario side, Hull on the Quebec side. 🙂

      • Ice_Badger says :

        It is probably nicer than ours!
        Although I am led to believe that it has changed a lot in the last few years!
        ( to be honest I liked it but it is one of those places people put down a lot! There is a quote about Hull, Hell and Halifax… But I can’t remember it properly!)

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