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Does Insanity Max:30 Work? Workout Reviews (Complete List)

 

Insanity Max:30 Review

 

Does Insanity Max:30 Work?

We will see. Similar to the popular website article for my detailed P90X3 workout reviews, I plan to take a close look at all Insanity Max:30 workouts to decide for myself. I have long been a fan of performance-based Shaun T workouts including Insanity, Insanity Asylum and T25. However, I am most excited about the Max:30 release given the short workout lengths combined with new moves and opportunity to push myself to new limits. I also like the fact that you can lock the modifier moves on the screen to support a range of fitness levels. Your goal is to do your best and improve each time… your goal is to MAX OUT!

The success stories from the beta test groups for Insanity Max:30 are quite impressive. My goal here is to simply demonstrate the efficiency-effectiveness of the Max:30 workouts based on my personal experience. Given that I am a science guy:),  I will leverage heart rate analysis for each workout to draw conclusions and comparisons including the data in my perspective. I have a Polar H7 Bluetooth enabled heart rate monitor synced to my iPhone using the free Polar Beat Mobile App and Polar Flow (used “jogging” or “other indoor” setting as default). Warmup and cooldown time is included in the heart rate analysis. I will also try to draw links to other Beachbody programs for additional perspective where applicable. I have graduated P90X, P90X+, P90X2, P90X3, P90X One-on-Ones, P90, 10-Minute Trainer, Insanity, Insanity Asylum Volume 1, Insanity Asylum Volume 2, T25, Body Beast, RevAbs, 21 Day Fix, PiYo, Les Mills Combat as we all as other programs and hybrids thereof. Nutrition targets during this review are consistent with the Max:30 nutrition guide using the schedule for those weighing >150 pounds. Deluxe kit comes with the portion control containers, which are a BIG help. Supplements include E&E Energy and Endurance pre-workout, BCAAs intraworkout, P90X Results and Recovery Formula with MAX Creatine post-workout and Shakeology snack.

I was SO excited when my Insanity Max:30 DELUXE kit arrived!! I now have 16 new workouts to review… Bring it!!

 

Insanity Max:30 Arrival

Insanity Max:30 Arrival!! I am not sure who was more excited 🙂

 

The Workouts

Friday Fight: Round 2
Cardio Challenge
Ab Attack:10
Tabata Power
Pulse
Max Out:15 (Ab Maximizer Deluxe DVDs)
Max Out Abs (Ab Maximizer Deluxe DVDs)
Friday Fight: Round 1
360 Abs (Ab Maximizer Deluxe DVDs)
Sweat Intervals
Tabata Strength
Max Out Cardio
Max Out Power
Max Out Sweat
Max Out Strength
Sweat Fest (Live workout bonus from your Team Beachbody Coach or available separately!)

 

Insanity Max:30 Review Results

Results for the first attempt at each Insanity Max:30 workout, no modifier! (Click to enlarge)

 

The Data Analysis Summary

After ALL 16 of the Insanity Max:30 workouts (Base + Ab Maximizer + Sweat Fest bonus), I have compiled data from the heart rate analysis to summarize my findings with regard to efficiency-effectiveness of the workouts (as related to heart rate impact). Of course there are many other benefits of the workouts unrelated to heart rate, calorie burn and heart rate zone, however, I have found the heart rate analysis to be strongly correlated with certain results from previous experience (e.g., weight loss, lean muscle). 

The table below summarizes the data collected from the heart rate monitor in addition to calculations to normalize calorie burn to total workout time and separate determination on percentage of workout in upper heart rate zones “4″ and “5″ (keeping in mind extra warmup/cooldown will impact this value). Max Out times where I had to take a break the first time I pressed play on each workout are shown in the table. Click on the table to expand the view for easier reading. The two graphs below the table illustrate the findings and support the conclusions. You can see with regression analysis that there is a strong correlation between Average Heart Rate in the workout and normalized calorie burn in relation to total workout time (R2 = 0.94123). Also, regression analysis of Max Heart Rate as a function of Average Heart Rate further supports correlation with R2 = 0.83879 (y = 0.7498x +  61.046). It is great to see that the top workouts in the analysis range from resistance focus to more traditional cardio impact.

Max:30 Heart Rate Table Summary

CLICK TO ENLARGE !

Max:30 Heart Rate Graph Summary

CLICK TO ENLARGE !

Max:30 Heart Rate Regression Summary

CLICK TO ENLARGE !

 

I was not surprised by the results above as the most challenging workouts from a heart rate analysis perspective were some of the more demanding cardio routines. It is interesting to note that the top two workouts from calorie burn and average/max heart rates were Cardio Challenge and Friday Fight: Round 2. I made it through all 30 minutes of Cardio Challenge without maxing out, while I maxed out early in Friday Fight: Round 2 at 6 min 40 sec, yet, the data seems to indicate I got a killer workout in both cases. The point being, just because you max out doesn’t mean that you can’t get an amazing workout while coming back stronger next time to shown improvement. Further, results not shown here indicate that once you have your max out time to beat you typically meet or exceed that goal the very next workout as your mental focus drives your success.

I also found that some of the ab and core isolation moves were my weak link in the program, especially my hip flexor muscles, which caused me to max out earlier that I would have otherwise expected in some of the workouts like Tabata Power and Pulse. It was interesting to note that the workouts with more upper and lower body power and resistance moves provided lower calorie burns in many cases for the 30 minutes, but still highly elevated heart rates (e.g., Max Out Power and Max Out Strength). Awesome stuff.

Finally, check out the comparison below to some key performance indicators relative to P90X3, the 30-minute version of P90X. Numbers shown are averages of all 16 Insanity Max:30 workouts and all 20 P90X3 workouts.

Percentage of workout in upper heart rate zones “4” and “5”: Max:30 = 78.9% vs. P90X3 = 42.8%

Average Heart Rate: Max:30 = 161 bpm vs. P90X3 = 139 bpm

Max Heart Rate: Max:30 = 182 bpm vs. P90X3 = 171 bpm

Calories Burned: Max:30 = 369 calories vs. P90X3 = 349 calories

Normalized Calories Burned: Max:30 = 14.01 cal/min vs. P90X3 = 10.65 cal/min

 

This comparison appears to indicate that Insanity Max:30 demonstrates a higher percentage of the 30-min workout in the upper heart rate zones in addition to higher average heart rate, max heart rate, calories burned and normalized calories burned on average. This is not surprising given the focus of Max:30 on high intensity cardio while P90X3 has little traditional cardio and more Yoga, Stretch, Pilates and resistance workouts. The averages for calories are fairly similar only separated by 20 calories, however, you can see the normalized calories burned per minute are almost 3-4 calories higher per min for Max:30, which would in theory result in a much larger gap in calories burned on average over a 30 minute workout. With that said, I make this high level comparison to suggest Max:30 and P90X3 would make a great hybrid schedule!! Personally, I also plan to hybrid Max:30 with Body Beast for a strong combination of cardio and resistance.

Combined with a solid nutrition plan as outlined in the Max:30 nutrition guide with portion controlled containers (Deluxe kit), I submit that Insanity Max:30 DOES work in only 30 minutes a day… but check out the workout reviews for even more details!

 

Favorite Workouts: 360 Abs, Max Out: 15, Max Out Strength, Friday Fight: Round 1

Least Favorite Workouts: Pulse, Max Out Power

Hardest Workouts (for me): Friday Fight: Round 2, Max Out Strength

Easiest Workouts (for me): Cardio Challenge, Sweat Intervals

 

The Reviews

Friday Fight: Round 2

Friday Fight: Round 2 was my choice for the first workout just minutes after the program arrived!! Why? Described as,

The new HARDEST WORKOUT EVER. Every move is a minute in this final fight between your body and your mind. Who’s going to win?”

As you can see I wanted to take the challenge from the start. I fully expect this to be extremely difficult and want to see how I do with the hardest workout ever on Day 1. Of course there you can focus on the modifier moves, but I will try to keep up with Shaun T. Just for fun. I look forward to then trying it again on the schedule in month 2 to see the improvements.

So how did I do in only 30 minutes of Friday Fight: Round 2?

 

FFR2two

Friday Fight 2 Review

 

First off, I was so excited to try this workout that I pressed play within an hour of finishing dinner after a long, busy day. However, I figured that this would be similar to many team members doing Insanity Max:30 or any other workout on a tight schedule. Been there, done that myself. Being only 30 minutes, I was able to complete the workout and help get the kids to bed. Success!

Okay, this workout was really hard. REALLY hard. It is supposed to be. But, I also watched the modifier moves and think it is definitely a workout that most can do and take breaks as needed. So, the premise of Max:30 is to do your best in the workout and record the time at which you need to take a break. Then, get back in the workout when ready, taking breaks as needed. There is no shame in taking breaks. Shaun T takes breaks as well as everyone else in the cast of the workout. In 30 minutes you can see I burned 506 calories with average heart rate of 173 beats per minute, spending a crazy 29 minutes and 8 seconds in zone 5 = “maximum” at 90-100% heart rate max. Max heart rate 186 beats per minute! I have never seen these types of numbers in a 30 min workout. Insane. I loved it. The first time I had to take a break was around the 6 minute 40 second mark, which is when a large number of people started taking breaks in the floor hop sequence after the insane IRON LEGS move. As a side note, I only remember 2 points in the workout where a short water break is provided (half way and near end). I took a few other breaks, but not bad for the first try and I am still learning the new moves. Stretching should be done prior to pressing play as there was no warmup, but there is a short cooldown after the main workout.

Some of the new moves are awesome in this one with variations for total body performance including power moves, cardio and resistance with body weight. Exercises are also included to isolate the core and many moves are designed to keep the core and lower back engaged throughout. The one handed plank punch burpees, or whatever they were called, were killer. Some crazy pushup movements as well. Did it live up to the “hardest workout ever”? I say “yes” if you want it to be. Tomorrow I will press play on the easier month 1 workouts starting with Cardio Challenge and Ab Attack:10. JOIN ME, get your copy of Insanity Max:30 HERE!

 

 

 

Cardio Challenge

After taking on the “hardest workout ever”, time to step back and begin with some of the Month One workouts, Month Two workouts and Ab Maximizer/Sweat Fest bonus workouts. I was excited to press play on Cardio Challenge this morning as it provides some foundation to the Max:30 movements and pushes you to gauge where your current fitness level is and where you are going during Insanity Max:30. Described as,

“This workout serves as your Fit Test, and your introduction to the program. 30 minutes of the hardest cardio sequences you’ve ever tried… Welcome to Insanity Max:30.”

Max:30 comes back to this workout throughout the 60-day program to measure your progress with the goal to at least double your max out time by the end of the 60 days. Well then, let’s GO! I am not sure what to expect, but will press play without the modifier option locked on the screen.

So how did I do in only 30 minutes of Cardio Challenge?
Cardio Challenge Review

Cardio Challenge Review

 

Well, I can hardly believe it, but I was able to push through the ENTIRE 30 minutes of Cardio Challenge without any additional breaks for rest! I did not use the modifier. I am surprised, but very pleased. It also goes to show how hard Friday Fight: Round 2 is when I maxed out in 6 minutes and 40 seconds in that one!

Cardio Challenge was a tough workout though. Many people maxed out in the 7- to 10-minute range, Shaun T around 17 minutes (but he is teaching and motivating too so that is harder work) and I think the last person to max out was around 27 minutes. So, I did well. Calorie burn was 509 calories with average heart rate 179 beats per minute with 24 minutes 20 seconds in Zone 5 max at 90-100% target heart rate max. Max heart rate 193 beats per minute! There were several breaks, which allowed me just enough recovery between interval circuits to power through the entire workout. First break was around 5 minutes and every 5 minutes thereafter. Each 5 minute circuit consisted of 3 rounds of each set. The initial sequence was more of a warmup, but still challenging. My favorite moves were some of the plank pushup moves including pike up to spider lunge and plank jack in & out abs. Wow. Great workout and I look forward to Cardio Challenge again soon!

 

 

 

Ab Attack:10

My first Ab-focused workout of Max:30. I was really pumped for this workout since 10 minutes seems like just enough time to get a great, effective workout, but not too long that days combined with other cardio workouts get too long. Seems very doable. I pressed play on this workout AFTER Cardio Challenge. Described as,

“This 10-minute routine will feel like an attack on your abs but you’ll love the results.”

So how did I do in only 10 minutes of Ab Attack:10?

 

Ab Attack:10 Review

Ab Attack:10 Review

 

Okay, that was killer. Maybe it was because I just finished all 30 minutes of Cardio Challenge and was exhausted, but I had a HARD time with Ab Attack:10. I actually think this is one of the most challenging ab workouts I have done. The workouts alternates between plank ab moves and ab work on the floor seated or back on floor. In 10 minutes I was able to burn 131 calories with average heart  rate 153 beats per minute with a majority of the workout in zone 4 = “hard” at 80 – 90% heart rate max for 5 minutes and 45 seconds. Max heart rate 173 beats per minute! This workout keeps you moving! There are some great modifiers in this one too.

I have a lot of room for improvement in Ab Attack:10. I actually first maxed out around 4 minutes and 30 seconds in the Switch Kick Abs sequence. I had a hard time keeping my legs straight and my abs were on fire and form suffered. The other move that destroyed me was the Ab Sprint near the end. Most of the plank moves went well for me and I like the side plank punch and reciprocating knee exercise. The last move Drum “V” was insane and most of the cast on the DVD had a challenge with that move. I need more practice in this workout and look forward to extending my max out time!

 

 

 

Tabata Power

I have been looking forward to the Tabata interval workouts from Insanity Max:30 given the well-documented success that the Tabata regiment have had over the years for gaining anaerobic capacity benefits. Early studies were with Olympic speedskaters with Tabata intervals at an intensity gauged for performance at about 170% of VO2max! You will find Tabata intervals in a range of workout disciplines including Crossfit. I had the opportunity to originally test drive these new Max:30 Tabata workouts back in September live with Shaun T and loved them. I was excited to press play on the official workouts! Described as,

“Your strength training starts here with a traditional Tabata-style “20 seconds on, 10 seconds off” workout structure. This plyometric-focused workout will your muscles begging for mercy.”

Sounds promising.

So how did I do in 30 minutes of Tabata Power?

 

Tabata Power Review Tabata Power Review

 

Wow. First off, awesome. Second, my review is based on doing the workout without using the modifier, but, again, watching the modifier as well it is clear that this will be a great workout for a range of fitness levels. Your body is your equipment. So, the workout begins with approx. 4 minute strength warmup to increase range of motion. Throughout the workout there are series of movements that are 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off with multiple sets of each. In 30 minutes you can see my calorie burn was 452 calories with average heart rate 167 beats per minute with most of the workout spent in zones 4 (hard) and 5 (max) at 80-100% target heart rate max. Max heart rate was 192 beats per minute at the end with the burnout series including one minute of fast power jumps. My max out time was 20 minutes and 10 seconds in the killer scissor abs sequence. Ironically, I maxed out when my abs gave out, even though my heart rate was the lowest of the workout.

This workout is designed to get you to max out. Seriously, you perform the Tabata series on each body part with enough sets to make sure you go to failure. I made it through the legs, chest, triceps, but the abs got me again, similar to Ab Attack:10. Once I maxed out at 20 minutes and 10 seconds I was able to complete the rest of the workout without additional breaks, but I wanted to tap out many times. These workouts are as much mental as physical. You can do more than you think. Trust me. I enjoyed the pushup series with plyo pushups and pushup rows in addition to some of the triceps work. Made it through the plyo pushups without modification. It took everything I had to finish up the last minute of fast power jumps. Insane. Love this workout and can’t wait to try again soon! Time for some PULSE “recovery”. This should be fun.

 

 

 

Pulse

The Pulse workout is a recovery workout, but I know better. Ha. Recovery for Shaun T is a whole different ballgame as I learned from Insanity, Insanity Asylum and T25. The term “pulse” brings me back to Asylum “Back to Core” and variations in other programs from Shaun T. It is a lot of work when you pulse while your muscles are engaged providing a strong burn. Described as,

“Aka Shaun’s version of a recovery workout, a low-impact combo of stretching and small “pulsing” movements, so you still feel the burn as your body rejuvenates for the week ahead.”

Doesn’t sound like much recovery, but I decided to press play on this one after Tabata Power to check it out!

So how did I do in 20 minutes of Pulse?
Pulse Review

Pulse Review

 

I knew it. This workout was no joke. Pulse is a recovery workout, but not really. The workout alternates exercises with stretches with pulse motions mixed in throughout for each muscle group. Many people will max out in this workout without modifier. My form suffered around the 14 minute mark with the switch kick pulse punch ab sequence and I had many moments where my muscles were shaking. I did this workout after Tabata Power and in 20 minutes I burned 234 calories with average heart rate 146 beats per minute with almost 10 minutes in zone 3 “moderate” at 70-80% target heart rate max. I was surprised how much time I spent in zones 4 and 5 though for a recovery workout. Max heart rate was 172 beats per minute.

So, Pulse felt like a mix of a stretch workout (typical forms) and Insanity Asylum movements. Besides the pulse sequences for legs, chest, abs, arms and back, there were some Asylum favorites modified for this workout including plank walk shoulder tap and bear crawl walk out. Yes, bear crawl walk out in a recovery workout. Moves were all done very slow and controlled. Not going to lie, I sweat a lot and my arms and chest were shaking by the end. Awesome stuff, but not much recovery!

 

 

 

Max Out:15

Ab Maximizer ReviewI selected the DELUXE version of the Insanity Max:30 program given that it includes the portion control food containers and the exclusive Ab Maximizer nutrition plan and workouts. Ab Maximizer is also available as an add-on kit to your Max:30 program.

The 7-Day Ab Maximizer plan was designed as a way to drop a few pounds and get your abs poppin’ all in a week’s time and perfect to use when you have a vacation or special event coming up and want to look your best. I was excited to try Max Out:15 specifically as I want to see how hard I can push in 15 minutes! Described as,

“Just as intense as the 30-minute workouts, but at least it’s half the time! This is 15 minutes of insane cardio, Shaun T–style.”

So how did I do with 15 minutes of Max Out:15?

Here is the heart rate analysis summary…
Max Out 15 Review

Max Out 15 Review

 

I just found my go-to workout for when I am on the road! That is a busy 15 minutes, no breaks with a range of moves to work the entire body.  This workout is awesome. I did not use the modifier and burned 242 calories in 15 minutes with average heart rate 168 beats per minute with 12 minutes and 40 seconds in zone 5 max at 90-100% target heart rate max. My max heart rate during the workout was 186 beats per minute. You can see the workout is intense from the heart rate data tracking relative to workout time. I pushed very hard and maxed out at 14 minutes and 16 seconds during the last burnout Plank Jack Front Raise. I will hit 15 minutes next time! I really liked the Hit the Floor Tuck Jump move, Ab Attack and Hurdle Drill while the Push-Up Spider near made me max out around the 10 minute mark. The modifier moves were designed well for this workout and should be a great fit for a range of fitness levels. I highly recommend Max Out:15 for your workout collection!

 

 

 

Max Out Abs

Max Out Abs is also part of the Ab Maximizer plan. As mentioned, I selected the DELUXE version of the Insanity Max:30 program given that it includes the portion control food containers and the exclusive Ab Maximizer nutrition plan and workouts. Ab Maximizer is also available as an add-on kit to your Max:30 program. The 7-Day Ab Maximizer plan was designed as a way to drop a few pounds and get your abs poppin’ all in a week’s time and perfect to use when you have a vacation or special event coming up and want to look your best. I was excited to try Max Out Abs for more core variations Max:30-style, and Max Out abs has a workout time that adds 5 minutes relative to Ab Attack:10. Described as,

“Shaun T completely shreds your abs as you alternate between seated and standing moves for 15 minutes of crazy core work.”

So how did I do with 15 minutes of Max Out Abs?

 

Max Out Abs Review Max Out Abs Review

 

Max Out Abs is hands down the BEST ab and core workout I have ever done (and I have done a lot). In only 15 minutes, no modifier, I burned 219 calories with average heart rate of 163 beats per minute with 7 minutes and 36 seconds in zone 5 max and balance mostly in zone 4. Yes, and this was an ab workout! Max heart rate was 184 beats per minute. I made it through the Genie Tuck jumps where most in the cast maxed out, but I did max out with the Speed Knee Abs move at 9 minutes and 23 seconds. I later maxed out at side knee taps around 12 minutes (side plank crunch) and switch kick abs around 13 minutes 30 seconds and also the last move “X” abs around 14 minutes 30 seconds. My hip flexors were a weak link for me and I had to max out when my form suffered. A lot of improvement potential! The workout alternates between standing dynamic core work and seated core isolation where moves were complementary in succession to burn out the abs. The Rope Climb exercise is probably my favorite move of Insanity Max:30 thus far and I really liked the Slalom and Ski Down Abs. Max Out Abs is a great workout to do with Max Out:15 for 30 minutes of total body domination!

 

 

 

Friday Fight: Round 1

I was trying to decide on the workout to test drive today for Insanity Max:30, but since it is Friday I am going with Friday Fight: Round 1!! This will also be the 8th workout I have tried of the 16 in my Insanity Max:30 kit and I have to say that Max:30 is quickly becoming one of my favorite programs and one that I will use for years to come, even in Hybrid schedules. I am  big fan of the concept of focusing on form and giving it all you have, and then taking a break when you fail while simply trying to improve each time. Can you imagine how much more progress will come if you mentally let yourself fail and then just go out and do your best? Awesome stuff. The modifiers have been designed well and I am confident a range of fitness levels will get tremendous benefits from the program. I was excited to try Friday Fight: Round 1 this morning, especially to compare to Friday Fight: Round 2 where I maxed out around 6 minutes and 40 seconds in what was arguably the hardest workout I have ever done! Described as,

“You have been preparing all week and now it is time for the Friday Fight. This workout will be a battle between your mind telling you to push to a new Max and your body saying, “OMG, are you serious?” And this is just Round 1.”

So how did I do in 30 minutes of Friday Fight: Round 1?
Friday Fight Round 1 Review

Friday Fight Round 1 Review

 

I enjoyed this workout. Friday Fight:Round 1 is a challenge, although I can now say that for me Friday Fight: Round 2 was WAY tougher. I did not use the modifier, but the modifier moves were developed with many fitness levels in mind. For Round 2 the other day I maxed out at 6 minutes and 40 seconds, while in Round 1 today I maxed out at 19 minutes and 41 seconds. Mentally I almost maxed out a few times before that including wide in & out knee taps (around 8 min) and speed in & out abs (around 12 min), but stuck through until wide pike ups in plank at a little under 20 minutes. I then had to take a few short breaks during squat kick, “X” jump to “X” plank and plank punch. In 30 minutes I burned 484 calories with average heart rate 173 beats per minute with 27 minutes and 44 seconds in zone 5 max at 90-100% target heart rate max. Max heart rate was 188 beats per minute. My favorite move was tricep dip reach, alternating burpee lunge and burnout with punching abs at the end. Awesome workout!

 

 

 

360 Abs

360 Abs is the last workout of the Ab Maximizer plan for my review. I already did my Max Out: 15 Review and Max Out Abs Review, both awesome workouts. As mentioned, I selected the DELUXE version of the Insanity Max:30 program given that it includes the portion control food containers and the exclusive Ab Maximizer nutrition plan and workouts. Ab Maximizer is also available as an add-on kit to your Max:30 program. The 7-Day Ab Maximizer plan was designed as a way to drop a few pounds and get your abs poppin’ all in a week’s time and perfect to use when you have a vacation or special event coming up and want to look your best. I was excited to try 360 Abs to compare to Max Out Abs and Ab Attack:10. Described as,

“A 360-degree attack on your abs and core…on the floor, in plank, and more! With moves like these, you can go from 0 to six-pack in no time flat.”

So how did I do with 15 minutes of 360 Abs?

 

360 Abs Review

360 Abs Review

 

360 Abs is a great workout and really focused on slowing down the movements to really isolate and work the core and lower back. The modifiers were developed well to help isolate the abs when other muscle groups may fail first and limit effectiveness of the workout. No jumps or standing moves, alternates between moves on your back and then stomach. 15 moves at 1-minute each with no breaks. In 15 minutes I burned 138 calories with average heart rate 125 beats per minute and most of the workout spent in zone 2 “light” at 60-70% target heart rate max. Max heart rate was 147 beats per minute. I maxed out at 11 minutes and 43 seconds in the plank balance clap move where you are in plank on one arm and then perform a slow arm raise with the other arm, bring it down to clap the hand on the ground WITHOUT touching the ground and repeat. Insane. My hip flexors were also having some challenges near the end. I enjoyed the moves on the stomach like reverse butterfly, diamond back and other moves that reminded me of Insanity Asylum Back to Core. My favorite moves were rope climb and reciprocating rope climb. I highly recommend the Ab Maximizer Deluxe workouts as they bring different challenges to the abs and core relative to Ab Attack:10. I actually like Max Out Abs and 360 Abs the most from Max:30. Ab Maximizer is also available as an add-on kit to your Max:30 program. Max out!

 

 

Sweat Intervals

Sweat Intervals is the 10th workout of the 16 that I am reviewing for Insanity Max:30 and is found in the Month 1 schedule of the program. I have not pressed play on the entire workout yet, but there is a lot of feedback on this one since it was released early as a preview to Max:30. Most of what I have heard is that it is really hard so I was excited to take a run at this one today. Described as,

“Just in case you didn’t think Cardio Challenge was hard enough, you’ll have Sweat Intervals to tackle as well. 30 minutes of screaming, sweating, calorie-scorching madness.”

For me, I thought Cardio Challenge was a tough workout, but I did not max out and looking forward to some calorie scorching!

So how did I do in 30 minutes of Sweat Intervals?
Sweat Intervals Review

Sweat Intervals Review

 

Sweat Intervals was a great workout. It was a challenge, but I am not certain that it was more challenging than Cardio Challenge as advertised. You will see my heart rate analysis indicates Cardio Challenge pushed me harder. However, Sweat Intervals was heavy on the leg work with many variations of squats and lunges in dynamic form. As such, cardio impact was significant. Calories burned in 30 minutes was 451 with average heart rate 167 beats per minute with 21 minutes flat in zone 5 max at 90-100% target heart rate max. Max heart rate was 188 beats per minute. (Note: The heart rate flow data vs. time shows a loss in signal from the chest strap for 30 seconds around 20 min mark as the strap slipped during the move. However, negligible impact on results.) I did not use the modifier and I DID NOT Max Out.

The workout started with a 5-min warmup, then a active rest jog followed by 5 minute segments of upper and lower body work separated by short breaks. I almost maxed out in the series hop-hop-runner/power jump-squat push/switch kick punch, but powered through with good form and A LOT of sweat. That was tough. This workout felt a lot like a shorter Insanity workout with the power jumps hit the floor, ski abs, plank moves and punches. Good modifiers presented for all fitness levels. Loved it. Bring on the next Insanity Max:30 workout!!

 

 

 

Tabata Strength

After pressing play on Tabata Power, I was a bit nervous for Tabata Strength. I love the concept of the Tabata intervals discipline, but I know that these Tabata workouts will push me PAST my limits… by design! The Tabata intervals are 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off in Month 1 Max:30. I maxed out with my first attempt at Tabata, the Power version, in the 20 minute time range. That is okay though, I am ready to Max Out with Tabata Strength and then show improvement in Max Out time each workout. Of course modifiers are available as needed to still drive success in your health and fitness. Described as,

“You won’t see this until halfway through Month One because Shaun T takes it up a notch (or two) in this NO REST, Tabata-style workout. You heard right… 30 minutes, no rest, and we haven’t even gotten to Month Two yet!”

Wow. Okay, here we GO!

So how did I do with 30 minutes of Tabata Strength?
Tabata Strength Review

Tabata Strength Review

 

Tabata Strength done. Man. Your body is your weight and it is ALL about range of motion and control! This was a killer workout. No rest, just active rest with either jog or child’s pose between Tabata circuits. I did not use the modifier and burned 426 calories in 30 minutes with average heart rate of 162 beats per minute and 16 minutes 53 seconds in zone 5 max at 90-100% target heart rate max. Max heart rate was 181 beats per minute. I maxed out at 20 minutes and 16 seconds during the “V” pushup HOLD. After 11 of the 16 Insanity Max:30 workout reviews, Tabata Strength was the most challenging for me other than Friday Fight: Round 2.

The workout started with approx. 4 minute warmup and then went into Tabata circuits separated by active recovery moves. This included a Tabata series with Diamond jumps, which even consisted of Diamond jumps to one-legged burpees. Wow. Other Tabata series included squats, lunges, power knee moves and pushups. The Diamond pushup sequence around 11 minutes with Knee Diamond Hold was really challenging, but I powered through. For all these moves there are modifiers for all fitness levels. I made it through the 4-count “V” pushup that blasts the shoulders, however, I maxed out near the end of the “V” pushup HOLD in the down position at 20 minutes and 16 seconds. Lots of sweat! The scissor pushups were very hard where you are in plank position and bring your leg under your body to the opposite side, hold it there and then do pushups for 20 seconds… each side. I made it through the rest of the workout and finished up in the burnout with the chair hold pulse. Loved this workout and I WILL improve next time!

 

 

 

Max Out Cardio

Here we go, Month 2 workouts of Insanity Max:30 where the intervals get longer, but the rest during the workouts stays the same. After maxing out during four of the six Month 1 workouts, this makes me a little nervous. Ha. Love it. Bring on the challenge! Max Out Cardio is the next level relative to the Cardio Challenge workout in Month 1. I did make it through Cardio Challenge without the modifier and without taking unscheduled breaks, so I was excited to see how I would perform with the “harder” Month 2 version. Described as,

“This may be the craziest cardio workout you ever tried. Just wait till you get to the first Power Move. What minute are you maxing out?”

So how did I do with 30 minutes of Max Out Cardio?
Max Out Cardio Review

Max Out Cardio Review

 

What a great workout. Seriously. This one was also a challenge as the intensity does appear to increase in Month 2 of Insanity Max:30. More challenging that the Month 1 version, Cardio Challenge, with more power moves. I burned 491 calories in 30 minutes with average heart rate 173 beats per minute and 26 minutes and 50 seconds in zone 5 max at 90-100% target heart rate max. Max heart rate was 189 beats per minute. I did not use the modifier and maxed out at 20 minutes and 10 seconds during the second round of floor hop sequence. There was around 4 minute warmup and then went into circuits that challenge the upper and lower body with short breaks sprinkled in every 5 minutes or so. Even around 6 to 10 minute mark with the balance kick back/speed in & out abs/plank side punches I had to power through and mentally focus. Genie tuck jumps were also a challenge in the 11 minute mark with other moves including plank to squat, sprint-jack and basketball move. The pike-up oblique knee series was awesome. After I maxed out around 20 minutes I was able to maintain good form to the end. The modifiers are very doable for this workout and I look forward to increasing my max out time next time I press play on Max Out Cardio!

 

 

 

Max Out Power

So, Max Out Power is Tabata discipline similar to Tabata Power in Month 1 of Insanity Max:30, however, the intervals are longer, which ultimately means less rest. I ended up maxing out in Tabata Power Month 1 around 20 minutes and I am looking forward to how the higher degree of difficulty influences my max out time in the Month 2 version. Described as,

“The intervals are longer in this “45 seconds on, 15 seconds off” Tabata-style plyometric power madness.”

Wow, that is a big difference. Compared to Month 1, that is an extra 25 seconds “on” during the moves with only 5 extra seconds “off” during the workout. This should be intense, especially with challenging power moves. I will try without the modifier.

So how did I do with 30 minutes of Max Out Power?
Max Out Power Review

Max Out Power Review

 

One word. BRUTAL. Max Out Power is a brutal workout. Loved every second! This one has around a 4 minute warmup that was actually the easiest warmup of all the Max:30 the workouts I have done so far, but what followed was very intense without the modifier. The modifier looked very much doable for a range of fitness levels. I burned 379 calories in 30 minutes with average heart rate of 151 beats per minute and 16 minutes and 17 seconds in zone 4 “hard” at 80-90% target heart rate max. Max heart rate was 178 beats per minute. Calorie burn is not as high with these Power workouts, but it doesn’t mean that the workout is easier by any means. I maxed out at 12 minutes and 20 seconds during the arm jack pushups.

There were a lot of squats, lunges, pushups and ab work in this one, including slow pulses while the muscles are engaged, however, it was much more challenging considering that the Tabata intervals were 45 seconds “on” and 15 seconds “off”. It was much harder than the shorter intervals of 20/10 in Tabata Power and Tabata Strength in Month 1. The “off” segment was usually a light jog or child’s pose. I almost maxed out during the low squat pulse – up/back move and slow pulse near 10 minutes. My quads were on FIRE. The chest work that followed on the ground with the pushups was just craziness. I made it through the plyo pushup jacks with good form, but the arm jack pushups were too much and my arms gave out so I finished those on my knees (and I am pretty good at pushups, usually). Jumped back in and did the pushup popup sequence without modification, but it was hard. For the rest of the workout I did good and really liked the pike-up extension move and the low plank pike-up was pure ab/core torture. There was a 3-4 min sequence of isolation power ab exercises and A LOT of burpees at the end. The workout finished with a burnout of probably one of the hardest movements in the Insanity Max:30 series, IRON LEGS where you lunge back right, lunge back left squat, jump with criss-cross. Say what? Awesome. There were a few short breaks in this workout, but not much. Again, very doable with the modifier and just look for improvements in max out time each time you press play. This is a GREAT concept.

 

 

 

Max Out Sweat

The Month 2 Insanity Max:30 workouts have been amazing, and, although I was dreading the Tabata versions of the workouts, I was looking forward to Max Out Sweat cardio version. In the Month 1 version, Sweat Intervals, I made it through the entire 30 minutes without modifier and without maxing out. I was expected a big challenge though with Max Out Sweat. Described as,

“The more minutes you make it through, the more you SWEAT and the more calories you burn. You’ll know why we say, “twice the sweat in half the time” from this workout.”

Well, awesome. Given that I made it through Month 1 Sweat Intervals, I was excited to see if I indeed burned even more calories in this workout!

So how did I do with 30 minutes of Max Out Sweat?
Max Out Sweat Review

Max Out Sweat Review

 

At the end of Max Out Sweat, Shaun T says that it is the hardest workout he has ever taught. That says a lot. The crazy amount of sweat on my shirt and gym floor appear to confirm I definitely worked hard! In my personal opinion, Friday Fight: Round 2 is still the hardest workout I have ever done, but I sweat the most with Max Out Sweat. It is a tough workout. I pressed play without the modifier, but I noticed the modifier moves were well constructed and should suit a range of fitness levels. In 30 minutes I burned 462 calories with average heart rate of 168 beats per minutes with a majority of the workout at 22 minutes and 11 seconds in zone 5 max at 90-100% target heart rate max. Max heart rate was 183 beats per minute. I maxed out at 19 minutes and 49 seconds during the second round of wide fly in and out abs. I will get it next time!

I am in very good cardio shape and made it through the entire Month 1 Cardio Challenge and Sweat Intervals workouts without having to max out with extra breaks. However, Max Out Sweat got me. There is around a 4 minute warmup that goes immediately into speed in and out abs, a short break and then numerous upper and lower body challenges over the course of the remaining 25 minutes with a couple short breaks added in every 5 minutes or so. Most circuits required 3 times through the sequence. The wide in and out knee tap around 7 minutes ALMOST caused me to max out as I was watching the sweat drip from face to the floor beneath me. I pushed through. This workout had a lot of plyometric moves in lunge, squat and plank position. I like the hit the floor tuck jump move and the burpee floor punch was brutal in the 12-16 minute time frame. I maxed out during the second round of wide fly in and out abs/free runner/moving pushup around 20 minutes. The moving pushup was burning my shoulders and I couldn’t then hold my body with the one arm required in wide fly in and out abs. I made it through the rest of the workout and really liked the 360 hop squat and burnout with power jump dive pushup and floor sprints. Time to towel off!

 

 

Max Out Strength

This is my last official Insanity Max:30 workout review for the program and I saved it for last on purpose. Actually, Sweat Fest will be the final workout I review, but that is a LIVE Insanity workout that comes with Insanity Max:30 as a bonus exclusive from your Team Beachbody Coach. Max Out Strength looks awesome and is supposed to be a total upper body challenge with Tabata-style intervals. Described as,

“Max strength and max fat burn are what you’ll get from this “45 seconds on, 15 seconds off” Tabata routine. Your arms, shoulders, chest and core will be toast after this upper-body-focused strength workout.”

The Tabata workouts have been some of the most difficult for me in the Insanity Max:30 program and I have yet to make it through any of them without maxing out.

So how did I do with 30 minutes of Max Out Strength?

 

Max Out Strength Review Max Out Strength Review

 

Max Out Strength is no joke. 45 seconds “on”, 15 seconds “off” with only a few short breaks. Advertised as a upper-body-focused Tabata workout, many of the cast members actually maxed out in the first sequence after warmup with the lower body circuit. I almost did as well. What followed with the upper body was insane. Modifier will be a good fit for many people trying this workout. In 30 minutes I burned 376 calories with average heart rate 151 beats per minute with most of the workout in zone 4 for 14 minutes and 58 seconds at 80-90% target heart rate max. Max heart rate was 182 beats per minute. I somehow made it on pure willpower to max out at 21 minutes and 41 seconds during floor tuck jumps. If it wasn’t for Shaun T yelling motivation and inspiration throughout this workout I would have been toast much sooner. Shaun T is at his best in this workout and I believe Max Out Strength gives Friday Fight: Round 2 a run for the hardest workout in Insanity Max:30.

The workout started with around a 4 minute warmup, fairly low key similar to the other Tabata workouts in Max:30. However, the workout then get’s real with a 6 minute killer leg circuit of split plyo lunge/Plie plyo squat/2 hop squats 2 lunges/hop squat lunge/squat thrust lunge/squat thrust. Again, 45 seconds on, 15 seconds off in the movement with jog during the “rest”. This was tough. I made it through and then it got really tough with approx. 6 minute circuit with pushup jack tap/pushup jack/plank jack pushup/plank walk pushup/knee pushup/8-count knee pushup with child’s pose during rest. I made it through this pushup series, but it was SO SO hard without the modifier. Again, Shaun T really motivated me to be my best. Unfortunately, my body gave out at the end of the core and ab sequence of floor switch kicks/tricep reach kick/alternating tricep knee taps/tuck extension/FLOOR TUCK JUMPS/speed knee abs with C-Sit Hold during rest. The floor jump tucks got me to max out at 21 minutes and 41 seconds as my abs and hip flexors were on fire. Wow. Finished the rest of the core sequence and then had to take some short breaks during the last circuit of tricep-driven chest work. This included tricep pushup jack/dive pushup/alternating lat pushup/low pushup pulse with knees down/8-count knee pushup and finished up the last minute with low plank hold for one minute! Took everything I had to hold the chest and triceps tight with good form at the end, but I survived. Amazing workout and I can’t wait to try it again!

 

 

 

Sweat Fest

Sweat Fest is a bonus workout that comes with Insanity Max:30 kits for free as a gift from your Team Beachbody Coach. Also available separately, I was really excited to press play on this LIVE workout with Shaun T! Described as,

“If you think you’re up to the challenge, Shaun T is ready to put you through the paces in this total-body workout that burns MAX fat and MAX calories while it sculpts sexy muscles in half the time! Shaun’s taken his favorite INSANITY moves and created a 30-minute workout that’ll leave you drenched in sweat and begging for mercy. You’ll take your body to the limit while sculpting insane abs, arms, legs, hips, and glutes. It’s going to be hard, but it’s totally worth it.”

So how did I do with 30 minutes of Sweat Fest?

Sweat Fest Review

Sweat Fest Review

 

Interesting. This was a great workout, and can catch you by surprise. Sweat Fest is deceptively hard. It is based on the moves from the original, 60-Day Insanity program. I graduated Insanity years ago and did many of the workouts in preparation for Max:30. After 2 weeks of Max:30, I had no problems with the Sweat Fest workout until about the 26 minute mark. Sweat Fest is a LIVE workout recording with about 25 people in a gym class. The workout started with the standard Insanity warmup to begin for approx. 5 minutes and then a long warmup with break followed by the first series of moves. After doing Insanity Max:30, I realize that Max:30 can be much more challenging for many people than the original Insanity, especially if you do not use the modifier. There were numerous breaks in Sweat Fest similar to Insanity. I ended up burning 410 calories in 30 minutes (even with all the scheduled breaks!) with average heart rate of 158 beats per minute and most of the workout in zone 5 max at 18 minutes and 10 seconds. Max heart rate was 187 beats per minute. I did not MAX OUT in this one, but came VERY close in the last few minutes where sweat was pouring off my head during two circuits of power jacks/floor switch kicks/pushup jacks/ski abs followed by one minute of plank punches! Wow, so basically some of the most challenging moves of the entire Insanity program in the last few minutes of the workout. If you loved the original Insanity, you will love this 30 minute version of the best movements from the program. Dig Deep!

 

Insanity Max:30 Review

 

 

 

 

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Premiere 5 Star Diamond Independent Beachbody Coach, CEO and Founder of TEAM RAGE, Mike Nowak Fitness, HowDoIGetRipped.com and How Do I Get Ripped, LLC. You are about to learn how I went from out-of-shape busy dad with significant travel, 2 kids and a wife to losing 20 pounds, 16% body fat and 7" off my waist while getting paid more income from home than my Ph.D. in Science & Engineering. Retired my Ph.D. career to focus on FAMILY & FITNESS!

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