Okay, so as you know, I’m a bit of a workout DVD junkie. After completing Insanity (see the reviews here!), I decided I needed another intense workout DVD fix. So here we go again! Welcome to my review of the Insanity Asylum: 30-Day Sports Training Program! Each week I’ll be posting my experiences doing the workout and at the end of Asylum, I’ll post up my results (weight and measurements) so that you guys can see what the benefits of the program have been for me!
Asylum is 30 day long program and includes 6 intense DVD workouts taught by one of my fave DVD fitness instructors, Shaun-T. It is geared towards Insanity Alumni, but I think anyone in good physical shape could do it. Here’s my review of Week 1.
Week 1 Review
I’ve done Insanity so I knew Asylum would be hard. I didn’t know it would be THIS hard! Once again I’m having some trouble walking and sitting due to soreness! Lol! So the first thing that was tough for me was the use of equipment. With Insanity you’re literally just using your body for the workout. With Asylum there’s equipment brought in (resistance bands, jump rope, floor ladder etc), so for me this first week was just about getting used to using these additional tools.
I started out with the Fitness Assessment, which I STRONGLY encourage anyone considering this program to complete. I consider myself to be pretty fit, but the Fitness Assessment was hard! There are about 8-10 exercises in the Assessment that you have to complete and (similar to Insanity) you are supposed to write down how many of each exercise you can do in the allotted time. I was immediately thrown back into my Insanity days doing the Assessment and realized that this program would be no joke!
The first DVD of this week was Speed and Agility. It reminded me a lot of Insanity because it was hardcore cardio (but now with equipment mixed in). The floor ladder made the workout tough! Here’s what the floor ladder looks like:
<—- You can imagine my horror! I HATE the floor ladder!! It is literally a torture device- you’re sprinting through it, jumping over it, doing squats in it- SICK! I find myself wanting to throw it against the wall at times, but it definitely keeps you honest on your form. Tough stuff!
The next DVD was Strength. This DVD is the first time I worked out with Shaun-T using weights. I actually enjoyed this DVD the most from this week! Lots of back exercises (a great way to help with your posture ladies!) and arm workouts too. Triceps, biceps, you name it, we worked it! This DVD was a welcomed change from the cardio craziness that I experienced in Insanity. Day 3 was Back to Core. All I can say is CRAY. This is not a crunches video! There was a lot of lower back exercises (guess who just discovered she has a weak lower back?) as well as oblique work and general ab work. Get it right get it tight! The last DVD of this week Vertical Plyo. Shudder. Um yeah, I already knew from Insanity: Max Interval Plyo that I would not be enjoying this DVD. And I was right! This DVD had a lot of stuff in it that reminded me of Insanity (tuck jumps, frog jumps, power jumps, etc) but there was a twist. For example imagine doing a power jump but landing inside the floor ladder! Umm yeah, bananas. Let’s just say I spent a LOT of this DVD trying to catch my breath and cursing. But hey, it’s only Week One so I’m just going at my own pace and learning the moves at this point!
Should You Do It?
So if you’re considering either Asylum or Insanity what should you be thinking about? Well keep in mind that this is only my FIRST week, but here’s what I’d say are the key differences between Asylum 30-Day Program & Insanity 60-Day Program so far:
-Equipment Required. The first difference I would highlight is that there is equipment required for Asylum. When you order the DVDs you receive (1) a jump rope and (2) a flat floor ladder, but you will also need (3) resistance bands (one light band and one heavy band to really get the most out of the workouts) and (4) hand weights (I use 8lbs but you might need lighter/heavier weights depending on your fitness level).
Pros: The equipment definitely brings a new angle to the workouts (who knew jumping rope could be so hard?!). Shaun has you jumping rope into a squat position, on one leg, crossing your feet- you name it. So you’re getting a different kind of workout and challenge which I think is awesome! Also the use of weights is helpful for anyone trying to build muscle mass- which was something I’m trying to do.
Cons: One of the things that I liked about Insanity was that I could literally just ‘press play’ and get going- all I needed was my body to do the workouts. So the equipment does slow things down. I’m sure once I get through all of the DVDs it will be easier to remember what I’ll need for that particular DVD, but it’s definitely been an adjustment. Also, if you plan on working out while traveling, the equipment makes this a bit inconvenient.
-Sports Training. Shaun-T’s approach to the workout in Asylum is all about sports training. You’re doing exercises that athletes do (sprints, bear crawls, pull-ups) and the entire theme of the DVDs is that you’re training for “Game Day”. This is a bit different from the Insanity DVDs, which was really just about pushing yourself to Dig Deeper.
Pros: I kind of like the idea of thinking of myself as an athlete doing the exercises so I think this is a pretty cool motivational approach!
Cons: None here in my opinion!
-Cardio vs. Strength. I think Asylum is more balanced than Insanity when it comes to cardio vs strength training. Because there’s weight-training DVDs along with speed/agility DVDs, you’re getting a more well-rounded workout. Insanity is about getting your heart rate up primarily through cardio to burn fat, whereas Asylum is about getting your heart rate up through BOTH weights and cardio so you’re getting an aerobic and anaerobic workout.
Pros: I think this is ALL good. For me, I’m not as concerned with weight loss as much as toning up, so I’m hopeful that Asylum will take to me that next level of fitness. If you’re focused moreso on toning than shedding pounds, Asylum could be for you.
Cons: If you’re looking to shed a lot of pounds, Asylum will certainly do it, but you’d probably be better off starting with Insanity because every DVD is hardcore cardio.
-Easier on the Joints! My last comment would be that I think Asylum is a bit easier on the joints than Insanity is. While there are definitely some moments when the exercises can challenge your knees (c’mon Shaun, one-legged power jumps?!), I think overall, the workouts are a lot gentler on the body than Insanity.
Pros: This might make Asylum slightly more attractive to those people worried about injury.
Cons: None that I can see!
Well that’s all I’ve got! Stay tuned for my Week 2 review!