Tuesday, September 13, 2011



Every few years the fitness industry is hit with the latest craze. Whether it was P90x in the 2000s, Tae-Bo in the ‘90s or even the Jane Fonda workout back in the ‘80s, trends come and go. Which ones are legit?

If you have watched TV at all over the last year or so, you surely have seen the INSANITY follow-along workout DVD infomercials.

Recently my buddy BJ Gaddour, Fitness Director for Workout Muse, was asked to give his opinion about this program in contribution to an MSN Fitbie article called "Is this workout completely insane" - you can check it out here:


BJ's quote is on page 2 about the whole "Max Interval Training" concept promoted throughout the infomercials:

"The 3 minutes on, 30 seconds off "max interval" structure of the workout intervals has been met with controversy. "The workouts are built on the premise of recent research that shows higher-intensity intervals with shorter recovery periods stimulate the type 2 muscle fibers and will keep up the exercise after-burn," says McCall "So their work ratios are skewed higher on the work side and lower on the recovery side." But there is concern that 30 seconds isn't enough time to for an average exerciser to recover and then continue to perform at maximum intensity to make it a true anaerobic interval. "One of the biggest mistakes made with interval training is using work periods that are too long and rest periods that are too short, which ends up making the workout more aerobic in nature," says BJ Gaddour, a certified strength and conditioning coach and co-creator of Workout Muse. "For the average exerciser, incomplete recovery will impair performance to the degree that the intensity will not be high enough to generate the desired anaerobic training effects that boost metabolism for up to 48 hours after completing the workout. Will it get you really sweaty, tired, and sore? Yes. But it doesn't mean it's going to give you the optimal training effect."

My concerns go beyond the interval protocol itself, including the lack of exercise progressions and modifications and the exercise selection featuring an incredibly high volume of plyometric activity for extremely long work periods.

If you have any friends or family considering doing the INSANITY program, then you definitely need to read this article and share it with them on twitter and facebook to make sure they are better informed about its potential downfalls:


Jeff McDaniel, C.P.T.
FastFit Training & Fitness


PS- After you finish reading the article, I'd love to hear your thoughts over at my FastFit page on Facebook, especially if you (or someone you know) has done the INSANITY program before:


No comments:

Post a Comment