Month: October 2013

My Thoughts on INSANITY Workout by Hull Coach

Insanity workout.

Not sure what it is?

Never seen late night TV (or early morning Teleshopping ads) ??????

You can see a snippet here:

shaun t snip youtube

These adverts are hugely motivational (and clever)….and if you are already sold on it – you can buy INSANITY workout  HERE .

Maybe you should just read the rest of this review first……


First things first


I’ ll point out first off that I have NEVER done an ‘Insanity workout.’

Therefore, I am not going to say “Don’t do it – because you actually might benefit …or even like it!

Hell, I even mentioned it HERE IN ONE OF MY MOST ‘SHARED’  ARTICLES on all of your OPTIONS TO LOSE WEIGHT. [CLICK]  (It’s about a 3rd down the page)…’s another option that might just be for you.


Anyway – I borrowed it from a bootcamper – and reviewed it this weekend.


My initial thoughts……

They warm up – good start! The warm up is crucial to any workout.  It sets the tone, wakes the body up, lubricates the joints (This workout is going to need it!) and most importantly – aims to prevent injury.

knee pain

Even the warm up is hard! It is some low level jumping that gets faster and faster.

I then saw:

  • Loads of bouncing
  • High knees
  • Heismans (side to side sprint)
  • Butt kicks
  • Mummy kicks? (These just looked odd)
  • Jumping Jacks


– A Break for 30 seconds

– Stretching – 7 mins


Back to workout

  • Suicides
  • Power squats
  • Vertical Mountain climbers
  • Ski jumps
  • Plyo ‘skip feet’
  • Football wide sprints
  • Press ups
  • Press up position mountain climbers


All the DVD’s seemed to be a mish mash of all these exercises.  They were just called something different.

It looked fairlytough though.


Those of you who are relatively accustomed to exercise may notice something that others have not.



I won’t go into why I don’t use many plyometrics – but you can quickly read about them HERE (Don’t forget to read page 2)


Go on.

I will wait for you. (It takes about 90 seconds)



Now that you have read that all-important link above……here is the one quote that stuck out in my mind like a sore thumb (or ankle or knee or calf – see what I did there?).

“High-intensity drills can subject a participant to forces up to seven times his or her Bodyweight”.


Do you think that sounds bad?  I do.

It’s almost ironic – because people worry when they see someone with a barbell on their back doing squats or lunges…….but really, the forces on the joints does not compare to ground reaction forces when jumping…………………………….Like, a thousand times.

Whats worse…….this jumping goes on and on.

And on.

And on.


shaun t jump


So what you have in the end – is a lot of jumping around, 1 footed or 2 footed , getting tired.  

So what you have in the end – is a lot of OVERWEIGHT PEOPLE (who are heavy) – who are not strong enough to control the deceleration of their body-  jumping around, 1 footed or 2 footed , getting tired – and increasing the risk of injury to the ankle/achilles, the knees, the hips and lower back.


lower body

A wiser move in my opinion would be to use strength training and use these plyometrics EXTREMELY SPARINGLY. 

For plyometrics – you need to be lean, strong, and have pretty sound ‘body awareness’ (coordination).


Here’s my quick summary of Insanity Workout DVD

Here’s the good:



  1. If it gets people moving – then it’s a good thing.  We need to move, and if this is what gets you moving (like if you hate the gym) – then by all means give it a go. (I would say if you ‘re really overweight, do not run and jump a lot)
  2. As it is a high intensity interval workout – you will more than likely get good results if your food is on track.
  3. Also, with a High intensity interval workout – you will get good results………AND WITH LESS TIME EXERCISING.
  4. The exercises are not inherrently bad………if you and your body are ready for them.

Here’s the bad:



  1. The risk of injuries is high. Simply because there’s like a gazillion jumps in each workout. This risk increases with more body weight, lower strength levels, and low body-awareness and coordination.
  2. It’s expensive? You might disagree but £106 for some DVD’s?  Sounds like a lot to me.
  3. Could be time consuming? 40mins per day. However, I’m still not sure if this is meant to ‘only be for 90 days’……… maybe you don’t mind that.  Either way, 90 days of this amount of jumping is not what I recommend.
  4. Like all DVD workout programs……it will get old after several weeks. You know right when Shaun T is going to say ‘Go for the burn!’ (Or whatever he says).
  5. You might lose weight – but you won’t get a great deal stronger.
  6. It doesn’t really give you any easier options – this is why people get injured and then say that they cannot do an exercise because their back or knees are killing them. The whole product could be made easier with this alone. (Although then you wouldn’t have the INSANITY theme anymore would it?)
  7. Do you not think it’s weird that this guy can be so intense and ‘PRO-hardcore’ in one ‘fat loss DVD’ (Insanity) and then so camp and ‘anti-harcore’ in another?  Click to see!

shaun t hip hop abs


Actually, I do know why.  It’s because people who think they are ‘hardcore’ will buy insanity……..and those that ‘do NOT DO hardcore’ will buy this tripe. (By the way, much like zumba – this dancey stuff CAN work…….but you need to do lots of it……not miss many sessions or you will lose the benefits…..and your diet better be 95% on it with real food and not go too high on calories).

I would like to be fair and point out that some of the exercises are great calorie-burners.  If you’re an ex-athlete, and are only a little out of shape……..why not do the following?

  1. Do 20-40mins strength and muscle training (low or no impact)
  2. Finish with some of these exercises….and stop at the point that technique breaks down (to prevent injury)



In my sessions – I kind of have a ‘RULE’ (and I believe it should be a rule of every personal trainer)


“First rule of personal training….DO NO HARM”


People cannot improve if they are injured.



Once you really injure someone – they are changed for life. Both Physically – and psychologically (be it confidence etc)

Given all the evidence, here’s my thoughts in 1 paragraph?

Insanity should NOT be a long term solution.  The plyometrics are just too much!  By all means, use the exercises shown, but not all thrown together in the way they are here. When your joints are worn down – they are worn down.  Use strength training as your main focus, and finish it with some moves like this if you are in relatively half-decent shape…..if you have more than a few stone to lose – then stay away from this and use something else – and as always, focus on the food.


I might get some flack for the above article – I am sure there are loads of people who have done well with INSANITY – and not got injured. You might be lucky. You might previously been involved in sports when you were young and so will be well-coordinated. Or, your joints might start to detereorate in a few years.

I just have to give the pros and cons as I see them for the long term success of you – the reader.


Want to say something about this? Then get to the Your Next Level Fitness Page and let’s hear it! [Click]


 An After Thought

Insanity is one of these products that’s marketed to those that are desparate for a quick-fix.

” I need to lose 2 stone in 6 weeks.” etc.

You know what?

“An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure”


an ounce of prevention





John Cammish Bio

Trust Me – I’m A Doctor

This TV show was on last week – and I am looking forward to this weeks episode.



If you missed last weeks – you can catch it on Iplayer by clicking the pic below:

It looked at the following:

 Can you be fat and fit?

Could you improve your health by staying in bed longer?

Should we all be taking an Aspirin pill to help us live longer? 




Fat and Fit

First off, they looked at people’s

  • BMI
  • Body fat %
  • Aerobic fitness


It was good that they showed that BMI can be misleading – but still, I think they could have done a waist circumference example……….simple becuase many of you at home will want a practical tool you can use, and don’t have access to body fat scales (which can be wildly error prone too) or a treadmill with gas exchange system!

treadmill gas system



2. I love the idea of being in bed longer!

Unfortunately – this girl makes it harder at the moment!




I do know the research is quite clear and I know myself that I am not as ‘on it’ if I am extremely tired.

Last night Baby Kiera stayed at Nanas for the first time – sleep city for 1 night! Kiera is getting better as time goes on – and it hasn’t even been 4 weeks yet! How time flies.


3. They said about the 2 Litre water myth.

water overflow

I disagreed with this.  I think that water HAS A TON OF BENEFITS, like

  • weight loss
  • appetite suppressing
  • lubricates joints
  • feel fresher

That’s not even a comprehensive list!  I know that when I drink more water – I feel more alert, and better all-round.

Check this funny picture out:

water is deadly


4. Aspirin

Should we take aspirin as a precation? (The risk of stomach bleeding as the counter argument)

I’m not your doctor and won’t commment on a specific situation – but I wouldn’t like to take anything that has side effects. Talk to your GP if in doubt.




Check out this weeks episode Thursday 8pm BBC2.










Be The Leader

Have you noticed?

People FOLLOW people.

Just look at Twitter……


And Facebook.

(In fact I just put a status on my facebook page the other day about companies are able to ‘buy LIKES’ ….so that they look more popular to YOU….the consumer….and I think it’s plain wrong, companies will still do it.  My advice is to ignore lots of likes – and ask your REAL friends about the product or company etc  )





I sometimes see patterns with my large group training sessions.


One person is brave enough to try and make a change – and try it!

They come and try our Bootcamp sessions…..they are brave as they come on their own. Then, their friends come when they hear about it!

Sometimes you just have to be the LEADER.


Also, sometimes a person will try a harder variation of an exercise  ( like a  press up, or use a heavier weight)

They succeed!





Then someone thinks  ” I’ll have a go”

 Sometimes you’ve just got to get a  little fearful, and have a go. You probably won’t be perfect – like hitting X number of reps………..but if you lift it once or twice then you have made an improvement to YOU.


Be the LEADER.


In fact – have you seen the advert with the Fosbury Flop?


fosbury flop advert



Sometime….. YOU have to be the LEADER.






John Cammish Bio