Saturday, March 23, 2013

Insanity Unboxing, Overview, and Progressive Review

What?  Insanity, America's #1 Workout
Where Did You Get It?
What Did It Cost?  $144.80

Why Insanity?

Insanity is now America's #1 Workout.  Fitness expert ShaunT put this program together after being approached by BeachBody.  The program's main selling point is two-fold.  First off, they claim you get a full year's worth of results in just 60 Days.  Secondly, they claim this is probably the toughest workout ever put on DVD.

Both points can be debated, but what do you expect from late night infomercials?

Unboxing and Overview on Insanity

As most of you know, I tend to be up pretty late at night as that is my "free time."  I sometimes have the TV on while I work on other things and as you might have guessed, if there is an Infomerical, I've likely seen it.  I remembered ShaunT from Hip Hop Abs (and no, I never ordered Hip Hop Abs).  The guy is in crazy good shape.  He seems very laid back and does a nice job conveying that he genuinely wants you to succeed and will motivate you every step of the way.

I will be honest, I've actually never bought ANYTHING off of an infomercial.  I think there have been a few times I've bought something from a brick-and-mortar store that was "as seen on tv," but I have never dialed 1-800 Something within x minutes, asked about express delivery, or begged to be one of the y people to get z bonuses.  It just isn't my thing.

As most of you should know I really like Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus.  Not so much for the base exercises, but the fun activities...I probably recorded the most comprehensive, commentated playthrough of the series on YouTube.  And yes, I plan to do the same for Wii Fit U (Nintendo, I really hope you kept and expanded Island Cycling, Soccer Heading, and listened to me when I said it would be great to have a "free roam" option on the Running).

I've always been into fitness and enjoy working out.  I've found with age, free time seems to be more and more fleeting...You really have to commit to something to make time for it daily.

I'm confident I could have done my usual routine and gotten back to the shape I wanted to be in, but something drew me to Insanity.

It wasn't just the 60 days to get a year's worth of results, it wasn't all the incredible before and after photos, it wasn't because it seemed like a good deal given the price of gym memberships and fitness equipment, and it wasn't the free t-shirt (which turns out has a lot of stipulations on it).  It was really make a 30% Combination of all those things...

So, what is the other 70%?  What was the bigger deciding factor you ask?


As I investigated the program I saw just as many people "giving up" on it as I did praising the life changing results.  I started asking around locally and was surprised how many people said they had friends that had Insanity.  When I asked how they liked it (I was looking for first hand, second hand info to help justify the purchase) I got the same story every time..."They said it was too hard and quit."  I heard some of the people aggravated knee injuries, or after several weeks just got to a point they were tired of having trouble walking.

This was my 70%.

I've always been one for the dark horse.  I enjoy doing things that people say shouldn't be done...I really enjoy doing things people say can't be done.  Hearing all of the stories of people quiting Insanity, giving up on the program, or having to suspend progression didn't just make me want to try my hand at it...It made me truly believe the stories and results those that dawn the t-shirt espoused.

Every program or product does before and afters coupled with provides some form of credibility.  It is usually these parts of the infomerical where folks like myself see right thru the gimmick.  The model will look looks more like they found fit people and paid them to gain weight etc.  When you view the infomerical for Insanity, and see those results you think it seems genuine.  When I couple that WITH all the horror stories of people dropping the program, or deciding it "really is insane" it gives all the credibility in the world to those testimonials.

So...I was hooked.  I bit the bullet and ordered Insanity!  As stated in the video, I went thru Amazon.  Shortly after I ordered they changed the infomercial.  I thought there was a price drop and I was ticked...However, it is the same price...I also found that shipping from BeachBody was basically the remaining difference between what I paid...crisis averted.

I know just had to wait...

Insanity Arrives

There was quite the issue getting Insanity to my door step, that is for another day.  When it came, it was inside a larger box from Amazon...The little Insanity box looked pretty discrete.  Nothing flashy, rather mundane...

I was happy to see the bold graphics were in-fact just on the inside of the box...I also got all the freebies and bonuses you'd get if you ordered direct.

Here is a quick rundown on what is inside the box:

Intro Letter from ShaunT: Background, program design, and well wishes

Fitness Guide: A quick pamphlet sized overview of the program and how it works

Elite Nutrition Plan: Basically the Insanity Meal Plan

Fit Test Card: Small and easy to fill out

Insanity Wall Calendar: What Workout to do on what day, plus another place to track Fit Test progress

BeachBody Support: Free, just create an account and log on

Quick Guide on How To Get Your Insanity Shirt (Read Online Info too)

DVD Binder: A nice case for all 10 DVDs
-Dig Deeper & Fit Test
-Plyometric Cardio Circuit
-Cardio Power & Resistance
-Cardio Recovery
-Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs
-Core Cardio & Balance
-Max Interval Circuit & Fit Test
-Max Interval Plyo
-Max Cardio Conditioning & Cardio Abs
-Max Recovery

*Note Cardio Abs is a separate workout, but on the same disk as Pure Cardio
**Dig Deeper & Fit Test are also separate entities
***I assume that will be the case for the "max" DVDs, but have yet to use them

All-in-all this is a well packaged product and I have to say I feel it is worth the asking price.  Here is a final look at all you get:

Insanity Begins

I planned to dive right in...I then saw the workout calendar started on a Monday.  Rather than be off beat 2 days, I decided to just wait it out...great call on my part!

Why?  Apparently ShaunT has a "Birthday Challenge" and it turns out he is doing Insanity and he started on the exact same day as me!  He is pretty active on Twitter and it really helps provide that extra push...Had this arrived when it should have (had a big snow storm slow down the already slow processing from Amazon (see also Super Save Shipping) I would have been a week ahead...

I have to say it is really cool going thru the program at the same time as the creator of it!

My Thoughts

This isn't just me dreaming stuff up, rattling off criticism to promote another workout, or drumming up praise sent to me from the PR department at BeachBody, this is my own, honest evaluation of the program.  Now that I'm posting this (I recorded the unboxing March 1st, 2013...I started Monday, March 4th, 2013...This is  Day 19 Friday, March 22nd, 2013), I hope to provide a little review on each DVD and offer up my opinions on each etc.  I apologize for the delay, but I have been extremely busy...I remember my gripes though so fear not.  Similarly, despite being busy I have made the time for Insanity, even thought that time is usually 11 PM-Midnight.

Here are some early pointers I will give you:

*Get a good exercise mat!  I posted the unboxing and wrote a review on the Altus Workout Mat for a reason...I believe in it!  If you are doing this on a hard surface, you would be crazy not to spring for a good mat...It cuts down on a lot of impact...every little bit helps!

*I tend to go through 3/4-1 bottle of Powerade per workout...and yes, I'm serious.  Those sweaty people in the infomerical?  I can safely assure you that they are not staged actors with on-demand sweat glands.  You'll likely be covered in sweat just by the 2nd round of the warm-up in most videos.  That means you need to re-hydrate!

I like to keep the "sports drink" I alternate between Powerade and Lemon Propel (love that stuff) handy with a glass of water.  The Powerade bottles seem to pack a few more oz. than the Propel bottles.

*If you have time, watch the video first...even if you just skim through it, this will acclimate you to the moves you are supposed to do and might help you avoid stalling and watching.  That said, stalling and watching isn't a bad move when you are covered in sweat and out of breathe...

*Take rest as you need it!  Not only do you catch the workout participants dropping out of the frame from time-to-time, there are a few occasions where ShaunT himself has to pause.  Only stop long enough to catch your breathe, get a drink, or study the move...Keep going!!

*Modify.  If you can't replicate what you see on whatever it is that is as close to what you see as possible.  The success you will see is based on Max Interval need to keep the heart rate up!  Remember, for all the time you spend panting and thinking you can't go on, that is that much less you will see on Day 63.  Don't kill yourself, but push hard and dig deep (sounds cliche I know).  I stop all the time, but I then go hard to try and make up for it.

*As you progress, you will get better.  Take pride in that and use it as motivation!

*If you are really in pain, stop!  I've had a few times my arches have been screaming for mercy.  If you pull something, or press on to the point of injury you will only wind up having to wait till you can resume.

*Document your progress.  Scratch off the calendar and keep tabs on your weight and/or measurements.  While it may not seem like much day-to-day, the goal here is Day 63.  Just envision comparing it to Day 1.

*Stick with it.  Don't give up!  This is hard, no doubt about it....Use that to fuel your drive to make it thru!  Not only will you have results to be proud of, you can take pride in being one of the few to even complete the journey.

And as of that it is 12:15 AM on 3/23 and I need to get my 3/22 workout in!  I have the unboxing going up and I will come back to this post to provide updates and post analysis on each workout.  Stay tuned and good luck!

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