Insanity Asylum Review: Strength

Insanity Asylum: Strength ReviewI’m back with another Insanity Asylum Review!  Today was actually an interesting workout, one that  I was actually looking forward to.  For those of you that have completed, tried or currently working out to Insanity, you know that there is not a weight workout included in the regular version.  Shaun T did release a Deluxe version which does include a upper body weight workout, but its an additional cost, and does not come included in the regular Insanity workout.   With Insanity Asylum, you get a great weight workout called Strength.

Insanity Asylum actually schedules Strength on a fairly regular basis, which works great for me! And I think you will like it too!

There were several things I liked about Strength:

1.  It’s a total body workout.

2.  It requires dumbbells or resistance bands.  Either one works fine.  AND… they have a special version of Strength that demonstrates the bands on each move.  So you can learn the proper technique very easily.  Simply select the “Strength with Bands” option on the DVD menu.  See the image at the top left.  In addition, both versions show examples of bands and weights.  Pretty cool!  I’ll also throw in a few screen shots of this for you.

3.  You can use a chin up bar or NOT.  So if you have one fine.  If you don’t, Shaun T very clearly shows you the variation.  To tell you the truth, the variations aren’t easy variations.  You still have to work!

4.  Strength is a tough workout, but it gives your legs a break from intense cardio.

5.  You use the same set of dumbbells throughout the entire workout.  That doesn’t mean you can’t switch out to lighter or heavier, it just means you don’t necessarily have to have multiple sets.  I would imagine at some time you will want to increase your weight or decrease, so the more the better.  The point I’m trying to make is that you are not constantly changing weights.

There were a few things I didn’t like about Strength:

1.  While it will only happen once, I would have liked some indication what the cast was using in terms of weight.  First time today, I just guessed at a weight range, and went for it.  At some point I realized I was too heavy.  It’s a one time problem but I wanted to mention it.

2.  The cool down and stretch was quick at the end. (Just over 1 minute). Of course we can always stretch past the end, but the DVD was only 47 minutes.  A few more minutes at the end would have been nice. Two fairly insignificant dislikes, and they are quickly over shadowed by the good points mentioned above.

Onward to the Review:

This will be quick, and somewhat to the point.  As mentioned above, the Strength workout was just over 47 minutes.

The workout starts with a refreshing change from the typical cardio warm up.  This warm up was actually using weights.  Nice change of pace, and it consists of 5 moves, repeated twice.  The warm up is somewhere around 11 or 12 minutes.  You get short water break, and then the stretch which was shorter than I would like, about 3 minutes.  Lots of weights to do I guess.  :)

With about 32 minutes left on the timer you start the workout.  The first part of the workout has 3 sets.  You do a 1 set, which consists of 3 or 4 exercises, get a quick drink of water, then the 2nd set, water… third set.  The sets are progressive.  Which means they get harder as you proceed through the sets.  So what starts out as “not so bad” gets “this is tough” fairly quick.  The first round focuses primarily on biceps, shoulders, mixed with squats and some jumps.  You are performing multiple moves at the same time.  This will make more sense as you go through the workout.  This first round takes about 12-13 minutes.

The second round is also progressive, and focuses on your back.  The second round is completed in the same pattern as the first.  This round lasts approximately 9-10 minutes.

The third round is again progressive and focuses on your chest, and also has some squats etc.  This round is about 7-8 minutes.

You finish the entire workout with an exercise called Frog Planks.  By this time you are completely exhausted. This lasts over a minute.  The cool down is amazingly quick.  Just over a minute. And you are now welcome to continue stretching, cool down, or lie on your back for a few minutes.  Not saying that’s what I did. :)

All in all, I really enjoyed this workout.  There were several occasions where my weight was too heavy, and I had to choose the smart path, and rest.  Next workout, I will likely drop my weight so I can go for time and reps, than maybe later graduate to my heavier weights.  Having said that.  Don’t sacrifice form.  Don’t try to lift weight that is so heavy that you lose form.  This does nothing but cause injury and heartache.  Be safe, work hard, and keep pushing play!  Join us on Facebook, and subscribe to our blog to catch all the new reviews as they come out.  If you’re doing Insanity Asylum, and have comments, we welcome them below!

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13 Comments

  1. jamie franks said:

    So what weight would you recommend starting with

  2. Robert Harden said:

    I started with 25 lbs. However, I wasn’t able to complete some of the harder sets. So I’m going to try 20 lbs next workout, and see how that goes. I want to be able to finish all reps or finish the time on each exercise. Some may be stronger than me, and start higher, the guys on the set looked like they were using larger bells, but I couldn’t tell for sure.

  3. Jamie K said:

    I saw you recommended 20.. What would you recommend for a girl? I have done Insanity once, and then did a round of Brazil Butt Lift, in which i used 5lbs weights. I think i could increase it but I have always heard reps over weight! I should be getting my Insanity Asylum today! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!

  4. Robert Harden said:

    Would be hard to say Jamie. I think there will be guys that can do more than 20, maybe less than 20 too. It will vary per person. I think you should start with whichever you feel is best, 5 or 10. An in between weight like 8 would be nice too. First time out, maybe start at the safer weight, then bump up if you feel that you could push through at the heavier weight. I would only caution good form, and then adjust your weight as long as that’s maintained. We would certainly appreciate your perspective on it. When you try it, come back and let us know what your recommendation would be for other girls. Good luck with Asylum :)

  5. Robert Harden said:

    I did Strength for the 2nd time this morning. I did move down to the 20 lb dumbbells. And I still worked hard, and was able to finish everything to the time limit without having to stop early. I think that’s a good thing. Still room to get stronger in this routine though. I’m trying to incorporate what Shaun T says. “If you have to take a break, you get two breaths, and then you get back in it.” The other thing I am trying to avoid is resting on my knees. Now I don’t always accomplish both, but I’m trying hard! Dig Deeper!

  6. Jamie K said:

    So I finished Day 2 Today- Strength! I started with 5lbs. At the beginning I thought, ” this is Easy. Insanity is not meant to be easy.. this can’t be right..” But quickly after that… the pain set in, but it felt amazing! I paid a lot of attention to my form and doing each rep perfectly! I am glad i started out with 5lbs. I think i will do 1 or 2 more with 5lbs. Then i can move up to 8lbs. Shaun T- Your amazing!!! At the end; he had a speech that really hit home for me! He said something like, its not about your body its about your mind and training them together! He said you pushed play today not because your body told you so but your mind told you that you have to! It really motivated me! I am SO happy i decided to start this program!!

  7. Robert Harden said:

    Finished my 3rd Strength workout. I started with 25lbs, and that was too heavy. I dropped to 20lbs, and that allowed me to finish the workout and was a challenge! So this workout, I decided to go with 25lbs for the first set of the cardio bicep rotation, then back to 20lbs on the rest. i then did two sets with 25 on the back flys, then back to 20. I’m still a ways out from doing 25 all the way though with good form, but that will be my goal.

  8. jamie franks said:

    That’s the line I have taken with it robert. I also alternate pullups one session, then lat pulls the following session and so on. I love the strength workout my arms shake for ages afterwards haha

  9. Ryan said:

    I have powerblock dumbbells, will they get in the way of the moves in which you grab both ends of the weights? After all the powerblocks are pretty bulky, plus I like to use 15 – 20 pound weight. ( Just ordered the Asylum, should be here in the next 2 days, but I want to do finish insanity, then do p90x first. Because I know my body’s not ready for that intense working out, I’m not even sure if I was ready to do regular insanity! :)

  10. Robert Harden said:

    Hi Ryan,

    I have Powerblocks, and they work fine for me. On the one bell moves, I grab the power block by the sides, not end to end, works fine. :)

  11. Robert Harden said:

    Jamie, The rock climbers are CRAZY hard. It’s nice having options like that too. Pullups one time, pushups and lat moves the next. :)

  12. Robert Harden said:

    Had a great Strength workout this week. I pushed myself further than ever this rotation. I used 25’s on all but 2 sets of weighted exercises. This is such a great workout, it’s hard not to love it/hate it. :)

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