More Exercise – Insanity Max:30!

I have been very quiet on the review side recently as we’ve scaled down the eating out quite a bit over the last couple of weeks. In about three weeks’ time we are starting a six month road trip of America and in preparation I’ve started exercising more and eating better to be in tip-top shape by the time we get there. On the 18th March I completed my first round of 21 Day Fix and I loved it, even though I didn’t lose weight due to ‘ruining my exercise in the kitchen’ as Autumn would put it! The program did make me feel more toned and on the whole I enjoyed the routines. Since then I’ve been dabbling in various programs just to see what they’re like and to keep fit; a bit of Tony Horton, Jillian Michaels and Shaun T.
I was very excited when I found out that there was a new Insanity product out, called ‘Insanity Max:30’, and decided to give that a try. I completed the original Insanity probably three years ago and I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that it changed my life. Insanity completely changed the way I look at exercise and made me realise you don’t have to pay a gym membership to be fit and I really got into the potential of home exercise. I wasn’t necessarily a couch potato or overweight before Insanity, but doing the program made me see that you can do exercise anywhere, anytime and with minimal or no equipment – and this means you have no excuses for not doing something about your own health and happiness. Insanity was hard but I loved getting better at it and seeing the changes it made to my body. I never did Insanity Asylum as that seemed too much of a kerfuffle and to me detracted from the whole principle of not needing equipment to perform a routine, but I did P90X and Focus T25 and P90X3 when they came out (weights as equipment I am fine with!).
So, back to Max:30. In the last few weeks I worked my way through the first week of the program once, and then did a bit of the ‘new and improved’ P90, which I didn’t particularly like. In a last ditch effort to shake off some excess weight before America I then started another round of 21 Day Fix on 3rd April, doubling up with Max:30 where possible. I’ve already reviewed 21 Day Fix here, and will make an effort to review Max:30 as well.
Max:30 is billed as ‘The craziest 30 minutes of your day for the Best Results of your life’ on the Beachbody website. The program consists of twelve cardio and tabata strength workouts, split over two months. During Month 1 you do Cardio Challenge, Sweat Intervals, Tabata Strength, Tabata Power and Friday Fight: Round 1. Month 2 involves Max Out Cardio, Max Out Sweat, Max Out Power, Max Out Strength and Friday Fight: Round 2. I haven’t done Month 2 routines yet but judging from the names it sounds like more intense versions of Month 1, though how that is physically possible I’m not sure! As usual you get the wall calendars and nutrition guides with the DVDs and to me it doesn’t seem like there’s anything new or particularly different about the nutrition guides that hasn’t been covered in other guides. One useful new addition is the ‘No time to cook’ guide that will help people as it tells you the healthier options to pick when eating out or grabbing food from some of the better known fast food chains.
What is interesting in Max:30 is that Shaun T has incorporated the Tabata ‘craze’ into his routines. Tabata basically works on a principle of 20 seconds of very intense exercise, followed by a 10 second rest period, for four minutes at a time (8 cycles) and you can find this principle in use at a lot of gyms these days. The other new concept used in Max:30 is the whole idea of ‘maxing out’. Where Insanity used the Fit Test to measure your improvement over time, Max:30 uses the ‘maxing out’ principle. The idea is that you keep track of the time that you had to stop, or ‘maxed out’ for each routine and that way you can try and improve every time you do that specific routine, and it is genius! It really makes you want to push yourself harder and try to just get past your previous time and it is a much more immediate measure of improvement than the Fit Test. Similar to most of the newer Beachbody products, Max:30 also features a modifier and you have the option of playing the DVD in split screen mode so that you can watch the modifier at all times, and believe me, you will need her/him sometimes! In principle and on paper Max:30 sounds amazing and as usual Beachbody are showing you loads of pictures of people who apparently had amazing results (these can be faked as we now all know – thanks Internet!). Still impressive though!
I will review the individual routines as I go along, but for now I can say that they are not what I would call fun or easy! Coming straight out of finishing 21 Day Fix and being able to do most of the exercises and being quite fit, I really struggle with Max:30. I’ve never had to follow a modifier so much in any other program and to be honest, it is quite demotivating. Maybe it is an age thing, but I don’t think that a reasonably fit person should struggle this much with an exercise routine? I appreciate that it must be extremely hard to come up with new and improved exercises (and to keep selling new programs) all the time, but the Max:30 exercises sometimes seem over the top to me. There are a lot of exercises that combine two things, i.e. Burpee Lunges. I can do a burpee and I can do a lunge separately; combining the two may make it harder, but does it necessarily make it better?
Keep an eye out for my reviews to see what I think!

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One thought on “More Exercise – Insanity Max:30!

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