You might well have heard of the infamous ‘Insanity’ workout, due to the frequently run infomercials which have adorned our TV’s in both the USA and the United Kingdom. The very first commercial hit our screens in 2009 and by 2011 the DVD was ranked the number one infomercial on television. Their motto was to put together ‘the hardest workout ever put on DVD’. Disciples are rightly called ‘insaniacs ‘because it really is the hardest class I have ever done and I have been teaching aerobics for 26 years! Aerobics has definitely come a long way since the Jane Fonda, leg warmers and thong leotards days!
The New Insanity Group Classes Are Finally Here!
The Insanity program was designed by Shaun T a fitness teacher and marketed and developed by a company called Beach Body. The programme started out as a supercharged home workout video series and now they have rolled out instructor training with pre-choreographed music and learning DVD’s for fitness instructors to teach in a group exercise setting. So now you will be seeing Insanity classes in your local gym, leisure centre or village hall. The class is a predesigned drill based high intensity interval workout.
Maximum Heart Rate Interval Training – The Science Behind The Workout
Insanity is a high-intensity cardio fitness programme which utilizes Maximum Interval Training at its foundation. The workout is so extreme that participants are able to beat the stress adaptation so they just keep pushing harder reaching new training heights at each session. Burning more calories and sculpting and toning the entire body.
Interval training targets fat loss through high intensity interval training. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a popular form of exercise that combines two of the most effective fat burning methods. High intensity training is Maximum effort to achieve muscle fatigue and oxygen use in a quick burst of exercise. In simple terms ‘ The harder you work, the more oxygen your muscles require’. VO2 max is the highest amount of oxygen consumed by your body during exercise. Working your body close to your VO2 max triggers the ‘after burn’ effect, which is the effect that continues to consume oxygen up to 48 hours after you have worked out. It takes about 5 calories to consume 1 litre of oxygen in the body, so the more your muscles scream out for oxygen during your HIIT work out the more calories you will burn, simple!
Not only do you burn more calories during a HITT session, but the effect of that supercharged exertion kicks you to still burn calories in the next 24 hours after the workout.
High intensity interval training will maximise your metabolic rate, optimise your muscle building and muscle retention during fat loss, and increase your calorie burn during and after your work out. The science behind HIIT is that it taxes and maximises both aerobic and anaerobic fitness, while cardio address only aerobic fitness. HIIT effects muscle tissue at cellular level, actually charging the mitochondrial activity in the muscles themselves. Studies have shown that 27 minutes of HIIT 3 times a week produces the same aerobic improvement as 60 minutes of cardio training 5 times a week.
Now I have been talking about traditional HIIT workouts which can burn around 750 calories in 45 minutes, which feature short bursts of maximum intensity with longer periods of rest. However, insanity classes flip this upside down and combine longer lengths of high intensity with shorter rests. Apparently you can burn 1000 calories in a 50 minute class. I think I need to put on my heart rate monitor to check that out :-)
Insanity Class Format.
To offer flexibility the class runs for 30 or 50 minutes.
In a 50 minute class there is a 9 minute warm-up, followed by a dynamic stretch, 3 workout blocks, abs and core followed by a stretch and cool down.
Block one focus’s on endurance and plyometrics and block two focuses on strength and agility.
Each block has 4 exercises, you do each exercise for 30 seconds, so you work out intensely for 2 minutes, followed by 30 seconds rest. You repeat this twice more. At the end of the 3 sets you do a one minute power move followed by a 30 second rest. The total time for each block is 8 minutes and 30 seconds.
In the Abs and core section you do 8 exercises for one minute each.
A new class is released every 2 months to keep the experience fresh and exciting. I think this is great as other systems like Les Mills release there’s every 3 months which can seem like a long time when you are doing these classes regularly.
I had the pleasure of doing the teacher training myself with Rob Myers-McLaughlin in Cornwall England on Thursday 12th June 2014. There were 20 fit and fearless fitness instructors who jumped, pumped and sprung their way through Round 5. There is a new release called a ‘Round’ every other month. They use current and motivational music so you knowing you will be working out to your favourite tunes! Do you fancy becoming an Insanity Instructor yourself? Here is the link if you do http://www.insanitycertification.com/
One of the things I like about the teacher training is you don’t need to buy a licence to teach it , all you do is pay a £24.95 a month and you get all their online promotioanl and educational material plus a new class with the music and a DVD of the class every 2 months. Another thing which I should have mentioned about the music which is really cool is that they have a horn which makes noice at the end of each 30 second exercise so you know you need to move on to the next exercise and there is also another noice to indicate when you are half way through your power move.
It was a fantastic experience and I am looking forward to launching Insanity at the Fresh Start Thailand fitness boot camp soon!
Fresh Start is a fitness retreat held at the Spa health Resort In Chiang Mai Thailand. Fresh Start helps people to lose weight, getter fitter and healthier and also an opportunity to escape the stresses of our modern life styles.
Please share this for me across social media as I think Insanity is a really great class format which would really benefit instructors and participants.