An Insanity Experience

Hi Healthy Heddleston followers. My name is Daniele and I’m new the world of blogging, but an old high school friend of Katie’s. I recently began my journey to get back to working out and back into my jeans. When I decided a few weeks ago to start the Insanity workout program, I contacted Katie about wanting to share my progress. She’s super awesome, so of course she agreed.

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Picture of us during high school (Katie far left and Daniele in blue top). The time stamp on this picture said October 2002 – so we were juniors.

My journey to Insanity started last fall, when after a summer full of traveling and weddings, I found myself without any jeans that fit. I’d stopped working out in the spring because it had become a way (one of several) to avoid my master’s research. I figured I could control weight by diet alone (it worked before), but hadn’t considered was the effect working from home and a busy summer would have on my physique. Still stressed about my thesis and with family to visit for the holidays, presents to knit for Christmas, and a huge move from Pulaski, NY (#2 snowiest place in the US) to Austin, TX (no snow but lots of heat) I put off working out. I figured I would be even more careful what I ate and when I finished my thesis not only would I start working out, but I’d also be burning many more calories at a new job (you don’t walk much working from home in a 900 sq-ft apt). Nevertheless after a few months in Austin, despite carefully watching what I ate, I found that clothes that had fit fine in the fall were growing a bit snug. I was at that point, where I either resigned myself to buying a whole new wardrobe or got back on the horse and started working out again.   I chose the cheaper alternative.

In April, I started with my supply of workouts on video and Netflix and a goal to work out 40 minutes every day I could. Over the years I’ve learned to love workout videos. There’s no gym membership, no worrying if the machines will be available and no wondering if the gym is open or about making it to a class on time. I love that when I don’t want to work out I don’t have the added obstacle of driving to the gym. I love that no one can see me and that I don’t have to see (and compare myself to) anyone else. Most importantly I found I push myself harder because I genuinely enjoy the workouts.

I was about two months into working out and had managed to shave off enough weight to fit comfortably back into my shorts, when I stumbled upon the Insanity program infomercial. Well honestly I’d seen it before, but I was a prime state to try it because I had just tried Brazil Butt Lift program (also from Beachbody). Encouraged by my results with Brazil Butt Lift and enticed by the idea that none of the Insanity workouts were longer than an hour, I decided I’d give the program a whirl. I was so excited at the thought of how proud future me would be that I woke my boyfriend up (at 4 in the morning) to tell him my plans.

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The Insanity program comes with 14 videos, a nutrition guide (Katie and I will review in my next post) and a 9 week calendar that tells you which workout to complete. (You can find the calendar here). The first four weeks feature the 5 “easier” workout videos, week five is a week of lighter recovery workouts and the final four weeks introduce 6 new (much harder) workouts. Day 7 of each week is a rest day. The calendar labels the rest day Sunday but I recommend shifting the calendar so the rest day lines up with your busiest day, something I wish I’d done. Day 4 of each week is a recovery day in name only; it’s a challenging Pilates based workout the goal of which seems to be to remind you how sore you are.   Day 1,15,36,50 and 63 (every two weeks skipping the recovery week) you complete a fit test. (You can find the fit test at the bottom of the calendar). There are 8 different exercises and you must complete as many of each as you can in separate 1 minute intervals. You record these results and use them to measure your progress. I’ll be updating you all after each fit-test to share my progress with you. In addition to my fit test results I’ll share the number of inches I’ve lost from my waist, hips and thighs, but won’t be sharing lbs lost. I actually avoid weighing myself when I’m trying to lose weight. It may sound counter-intuitive but I often find that the scale frustrates me and that frustration can lead to angry fits (like gorging on ice-cream).   In general, I find measurements more reflective of how fit I actually am.

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I’ve just finished my Day 15 fit test. I recommend checking out your previous fit test results, this allows you to push harder and can be very motivating (I didn’t do this with the switch kicks). My measurements have gone down about an inch each. Previously, using other workout DVDs it’s taken me at least twice as long to lose that much.

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The month one workouts are challenging (see workouts 2-5 on the Insanity website). The warm-ups involve a circuit of 7 workouts, repeated three times with increasing intensity. I sweat more after this warm-up than I have at the end of many other workouts. After a pretty lengthy stretch, you’re already about half way done; however the next ~15 minutes are rough. Two of the workouts include two different circuits of four exercises each. You repeat each circuit three times with increasing intensity and with 30 second breaks. In the Pure Cardio workout, instead of circuits you do 15 exercises for one minute each back to back with no rest. There is also a short abs focused workout (only 16 minutes). For more details on each video check out the blog Charles Lloyd Fitness. During the workouts, I use the power of the DVD player and pause it when I need more than a few second of break. It allows me to get my heart rate down without missing major parts of the workout Many of these exercises are interesting variations on burpees, squats, jumps and push-ups and will look familiar (especially if you’ve ever played a sport). While I’ve found some of these moves very fresh and efficient at working many different muscles, the revolutionary part about these workouts is that you’re driving to do as many repetitions in the allotted time instead of completing a set number. This means that Insanity should never get easy and it also means that you could use these videos indefinitely.

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All in all, I love Insanity and the results I’ve gotten so far. I feel great and I’m proud of how hard I’ve worked, which only motivates me to work harder. I’ll be doing three more posts after each of my fit tests and I’m super excited to share my progress with you and get your feedback! There’s a lot more to talk about: the nutrition plan, the month two workouts, my biweekly results, and what comes after Insanity.

Has anyone else tried Insanity? What’s your favorite way to get the most out of any workout?

Thank you for sharing your experience with Insanity Daniele! Looking forward to your next update!   


  1. 1

    Good for you for pushing yourself with this program! What did you think of the Brazilian Butt Lift program? I’d like to firm up my backside, and I feel like I’d be more efficient with a more structured program. Do you think it’s worth the price?

  2. 2
    Daniele B. says:

    Thanks Lauren! I did like Brazilian Butt Lift. I’ll tell you my opinion and let you decide if you think it’s worth the money since I borrowed these DVDs from a friend. You can check out what the program comes with on the website:
    I really liked the “bum bum” workout video. Insanity is hard but the bum bum workout was definitely one of the hardest, most targeted series of “butt-sculpting” exercises I’ve ever done. I’ve done a lot of the specific exercises before but never back to back with no breaks. Because of that I noticed a significant difference in my backside after only 3 times using that DVD. What I love about the program are many of the moves are ballet inspired so you don’t bulk up. My only problem with the system (and the reason I moved on to insanity) while the ‘cardio axe’ video was challenging and fun, there was only one cardio video in the entire set. When I’m done with Insanity I’ll probably work at least some of the videos (especially “bum bum) back into my regular schedule. They do have a 60-day money back guarantee, so you could try it out and see if it works for you. There are also some pretty detailed reviews out there worth checking out. Let me know if you have any other questions about it. Happy to answer them!

  3. 3
    Anna akin says:

    I am a beachbody coach(I sell all the programs and nutrition). I love insanity! I have tried p90x and turbo fire and insanity is literally insane! It’s so fun!
    Also, @Lauren T, yes a lot of people have had great results with brazil butt lift.

  4. 4

    Good for you! I’ll admit, I’m afraid to try Insanity, because I’m terrified that the truth is that it will KICK MY A**!! I will do it one of these days, just not quite yet…

    • 5
      Daniele B. says:

      Gina, I was scared too. And I’m really afraid to start month 2. I keep reminding myself that I don’t have to do as many or do them as quickly as they do and that I can take breaks whenever I need to. Good luck when you start!!

  5. 6
    Daniele B. says:

    Gina, I was scared too. And I’m really afraid to start month 2. I keep reminding myself that I don’t have to do as many or do them as quickly as they do and that I can take breaks whenever I need to. Good luck when you start!!

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