Insanity 60-Day Workout Program Review

A horizontal studio shot of the intense home fitness workout program called Insanity by Beachbody. Here the DVD case and an assortment of the DVDs can be seen, along with a pair of women's Asics Gel-Kayano 18 tennis shoes and a bottle of Deer Park water.

 CatLane / Getty Images

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The Insanity Workout series, by the makers of P90X and part of the Beachbody program, tests every cardio limit you have with 10 high-intensity and self-described "insane" workouts. There's no equipment needed, and there is a wide variety of cardio moves, from burpees and football runs to jumping jacks and line drills.

The schedule maps out 60 days of increasingly intense interval workouts, and the work-to-rest ratio (3 minutes on, 30 seconds rest) keeps you in the anaerobic zone for most of the workouts, making this a series that will appeal to experienced exercisers who want to push their limits.

Insanity Workout Basics

The name of this workout series, Insanity, says it all. This 60-day cardio-based program includes 10 workout DVDs with one goal in mind: To kick your butt with high-intensity aerobic and anaerobic interval training.

Many of the workouts follow the same basic formula: High-intensity exercises for 3 minutes, followed by 30 seconds of rest. This very short recovery time combined with such high-intensity exercise makes for very challenging workouts that quickly sneak up on you.

The program also includes a basic nutrition plan (not reviewed) and a calendar mapping out your 60-day schedule, which includes three weeks at a high intensity (workouts are scheduled every day except one) followed by a week of recovery workouts.

The Insanity Program

For the first 30 days, you do up to 6 cardio workouts a week, each with a different focus— plyometrics, power and resistance, pure cardio, and circuits along with core workouts. The last 30 days follow the same schedule, but your workouts increase in both time and intensity.

Though they include different exercises, many of the workouts follow the same format: 3 to 5 high-intensity exercises in a row for 3 minutes, rest for 30 seconds and then repeat the series for a total of three times, working harder each time.

The workouts are led by Shaun T, a lean and motivating instructor. He also created the T25 workout and the Insanity Max:30. The videos also show a gym full of exercisers that Shaun T pushes along the way. Though they're all very fit, they do take breaks throughout the workouts.

The Insanity Workouts

If you don't like high-impact exercise or gasping for air, you won't be a fan of these workouts. The exercises are straightforward and athletic, require no equipment, and you'll recognize many of them, such as jumping jacks, burpees, and line drills.

There are unique moves as well, such as side burpees, combination pushups with jumping jacks, frog jumps, and more. It's hard to believe someone could come up with that many high-intensity, killer exercises with no equipment needed, but they managed to do it. The DVDs include the following workouts.

Dig Deeper Fit Test

You know a workout is going to be hard if you have to do a fitness test before attempting it. The Fit Test gives you a taste of what's to come with high-intensity exercises like jumping switch kicks, plyo jacks, power knees, power jumps, and burpees.

You do as many as you can in one minute with, thankfully, a minute of rest between exercises. The fit test is about 30 minutes long but is a workout all on its own.

Plyometric Cardio Circuit

This 40-minute workout may seem short, but it's long enough to kick butt with explosive moves like power squats, ski jumps, pushups, and mountain climbers. There's a tough 10-minute warm-up, a 5-minute stretch, and then about 20 minutes of the intervals - 3 minutes at high intensity followed by 30 seconds of rest.

Cardio Power and Resistance

This 40-minute workout feels similar to the plyo cardio circuit and it is—it has the same format, but with different exercises and a focus on muscular endurance. Some moves include power jump squats, squat kicks, shoulder pushups, dips, hurdle jumps, and moving pushups.

Cardio Recovery and Max Recovery

There's no cardio here, but there's plenty of challenge and variety with a mix of planks, squats, lunges, pushups, and stretches.

Pure Cardio

This workout is 40 minutes of with no rests. You do move after move such as line drills, switch kicks, power jacks, and frog jumps without breaks. Even the video exercisers look ready to drop.

Cardio Abs

This 20-minute workout starts with high-intensity cardio and ends with core moves. You hold the same position (a v-sit) for a number of variations followed by leg raises, planks, and more.

Core Cardio & Balance

This recovery workout includes a series of cardio exercises that get increasingly difficult followed by standing core and conditioning drills such as knee lifts, extensions, and arm moves.

Max Interval Circuit

During the second month, your workouts jump to 60 minutes, following the familiar format, but with even harder moves such as side burpees, pushup jacks, plyo lunges, and more. Fatigue sneaks up quickly in this workout, but wearing a heart rate monitor can help you manage your intensity.

Max Interval Plyo

By the time you make it to this 55-minute cardio extravaganza, you really will start to question your own sanity. You follow the same interval format, but this one is all about plyometrics, which means you do quite a few powerful pushups, squats, and core exercises.

Max Cardio Conditioning

This nonstop cardio workout (meaning all cardio, no breaks) is possibly the hardest with everything from switch-kicks and sprints to planks with punches.

Pros and Cons

Before investing in the program, consider the benefits and drawbacks to make sure it is right for you.

  • Easy learning curve

  • Easy-to-follow schedule

  • Good cardio workout

  • Can get boring

  • Doesn't address strength training

  • Risk of injury


The program is all laid out for you, complete with a calendar of your scheduled workouts, making this a snap to follow (if not to actually do). These workouts burn lots of calories with high-intensity interval training designed to push your limits. You get a lot done in a short period of time.

Insanity workouts aren't easy, but most of the moves are straightforward and athletic with no choreography or equipment to worry about.


At about $145, Insanity is definitely a long-term investment. Most of the exercises are high impact and intense and, while Shaun T stresses safety and good form, there is a risk of soreness and injury.

The workouts have different exercises, but most of them follow the same general format. Doing the same type of workouts day after day can get tedious. Insanity is, by definition, a cardio-based program, but a complete program should include strength training, something you'll have to do on your own. That isn't easy with such high-intensity cardio to recover from.

Overall, the Insanity workout series offers a variety of challenging, intense workouts that will appeal to the experienced exerciser who wants to take their cardio training to the next level.

The workouts can be deceptive. You might feel like you are working moderately hard for the first 20 or so minutes, only to have fatigue hit hard halfway through the workouts. However, if you can monitor yourself and enjoy being pushed, the Insanity series may be a good choice for you.

3 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Sarkar S, Chatterjee S, Dey SK. Effect of 8 week high intensity interval training on maximum oxygen uptake capacity and related cardio-respiratory parameters at anaerobic threshold level of Indian male field hockey players. European Journal of Physical Education and Sport Science. 2019;5(5):106-116. doi:10.5281/zenodo.821824

  2. National Academy of Sports Medicine. A perspective on high-intensity interval training.

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How much physical activity do adults need?

By Paige Waehner, CPT
Paige Waehner is a certified personal trainer, author of the "Guide to Become a Personal Trainer," and co-author of "The Buzz on Exercise & Fitness."