Every year Google releases its most searched terms, and this year, they have an exercise category. So in this column, and the following one, I'm going to explore five workouts: Insanity, CrossFit, Ab Workouts, the 7-Minute Workout and Kettlebell Workouts.
I've spent a lot of time on each workout, one common theme is high-intensity and getting the most bang for your buck while working out. Another trend is using your own body weight to provide resistance.
What is it? Insanity is an intense 60-day workout DVD by Beachbody, the producers of P90X. There's no equipment required, you use your own body weight for resistance. One of the keys is doing interval training at a high intensity. From the producers: "Fitness expert and college track and field star Shaun T has taken traditional interval training and turned it upside down. Instead of long periods of moderate exercise with short bursts of intensity, you'll perform long periods at maximum intensity with short periods of rest. Each workout keeps you constantly challenged as you alternate between aerobic and anaerobic intervals performed at your max. The result: burn up to 1,000 calories in an hour and get the most insane body in 60 days."
Health benefits: Burns lots of calories and gets you in great shape without joining a gym.
Health consequences: If you're not ready for this, it could cause injury. Some of the reviews posted by users online indicate that people have gotten hurt. Also, I'm concerned about sticking with this program because it's so intense.
From one Amazon user: "I read many reviews before doing Insanity about it being a high-impact workout with repetitive jumping and motions that can cause deterioration in spinal discs. Oh how I regret not paying attention to that ahead of time. I'm 34 and was in good shape before I started Insanity and have always been athletic. I've never had back pain before but now I'm stuck."
Here's another one: "I've been working out for over 20 years (I'm a 35-year-old, 5'9", 155-pound male) lifting weights, running, swimming, cycling, hiking, skiing, and practicing yoga. I've never had any serious injury due to any of my exercises. I had to stop walking up and down stairs around week five of this program even with icing my knees after every workout. I finally decided to stop the workout completely when I couldn't do the moves during the workout without joint pain (not the "good" burning pain from working out)."
Bottom line: I love the idea of using your own body weight to get in shape, however, it's too bad there isn't a beginner's version for those just starting to become "insane." You need to be in shape; it's not for the average person or those with special needs. Perhaps try this at-home routine instead.