I have completed one week (actually more like a week and a half) of Insanity: The Asylum. In my initial review I went over the idea behind Asylum and reviewed the first workout of the program, Speed and Agility. Since then I have completed all of the other workouts except for Gameday and Relief (tonight’s program). The first week of Asylum was pretty interesting and also very challenging, if you wanted to know whether this workout is for real or not let me tell you, that it does indeed live up to its name. For this review I want to get into the separate workouts and give my thoughts and experiences with each section of the Asylum program. Today, I am reviewing the Strength DVD which does exactly what the title suggests, builds your strength.
Here is also the Amazon.com page for Insanity: The Asylum with further customer reviews and experiences.
Day 2: Strength
Day two wasn’t very fun, especially when I first woke up in the morning. Speed and Agility had my legs extremely sore, mainly in my calves but my quads were also fatigued to the point it was difficult to sit down. Even with all of the soreness that came with that first workout, I was still psyched to continue on because I knew that it was one hell of a workout if it could make me feel like this.
The Strength DVD has two options to choose from, the standard Strength workout with dumbbells or an alternate workout called Strength with bands if you are someone who uses power bands instead. This Asylum DVD starts out with a warm up which incorporates your whole body to burn the calories and gets your blood flowing. The first exercise is Halo deadlifts which engages your legs, core, and shoulders and it transitions straight into skull crushers. For these exercises, I use 20lbs on my adjustable dumbbells because I have bad shoulders, however it does seem to be a decent weight because the exercises are done one after the other with no rest in between. Shaun T keeps the rest to a minimum throughout the DVD series to really push you. However, when I feel that I need some rest I do pause the video briefly to catch my wind and to make sure that I can do as much of the exercises with correct form as possible. This can add some time to the workout which is already 50 minutes but if it’s the difference between me half-assing an exercise or getting the work done, I’ll take the latter.
After the initial warm up exercises there is some light stretching before the main course of exercises begins. Dumbbell progressions are done throughout the Strength training day and the first one is a curl into a squat into a dumbbell push up and another exercise is added to the progression for each set. Once you are done with the first dumbbell progression you move into a variety of presses, which on their own may not seem that difficult but fatigue definitely becomes a factor and I had to push myself to get through them. The great thing about the Asylum workouts is that they can always be made more difficult either by using more weight or by using stricter form.
I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as leg movements go in this DVD and after the first day I really was hoping that it would be kept to a minimum. Well, dumbbell rotational jumps and frog jumps were on the menu so I had to get through that soreness to keep going. The soreness really only lasted the first couple days of the program, I mean I still do get sore here and there but it hasn’t been as bad as the initial experience since. On the third day, I began to supplement with creatine which I think has helped curb most of the soreness and added some strength and endurance.
Pros and Cons of Strength DVD
I really like the Strength day for Asylum because I get to use my weights and it is one of the more difficult workouts in this series. Every muscle group gets utilized in this workout which makes it harder for other muscles to help compensate when you are getting tired from one exercise. This isn’t a traditional bodybuilder’s workout that uses heavy weight and equipment but it is a functional workout designed for athletic performance as all workouts in Asylum are. My favorite exercises on Strength are the chest press combined with leg extension variations because your chest and core are really engaged. One thing that I don’t really like about the strength day, is that I had to stop the DVD at some points in order to add or subtract weight from my dumbbells. It’s not a big problem and most people could use one weight throughout but with my shoulders I may need to use 20lbs but for the chest presses I may need to stack on 35lbs to really work my chest muscles.
Even if I don’t experience very much fat loss or any extreme changes in my body during this initial 30 day run through Insanity: The Asylum, I would still feel that the purchase was totally worth it. As I stated before the workouts can always be made more difficult and if you are indeed using the correct form and going hard then you are going to experience quite a few gut check moments. These are the moments when you are exhausted and don’t feel like doing another rep but you see that Shaun T’s clock still has 20 seconds left on it and that your work isn’t over yet. Will you quit or keep going? If nothing else my endurance will be greatly improved after my extended layoff just by using this program and hell after 30 days why not just do the Insanity/Insanity: Asylum hybrid and really turn up the intensity?