Take On The Insanity 60-Day Challenge

Image of before and after pics from doing Insanity workout

Beachbody on Demand offers numerous workouts for people with all different fitness levels, so finding one that is right for you shouldn’t be difficult. One of the most popular workouts they offer is the Insanity workout, and the first thing you need to know about it is yes, it is a little over the top – but over the top in a good way! If you want a really intense workout because you’re serious about improving your overall health, the Insanity workout might be for you. 

I decided to take on the Insanity 60-day challenge to see how hardcore it really is. Read on to find out more. 

Unlike a lot of aerobic programs that rely on short, but intensive, intervals of exercise followed by longer periods of rest, Insanity does just the opposite. Its program requires three-minute intervals of intense exercise followed by only 30 seconds of rest, but the program truly works wonders.

Image of Shaun T doing the Insanity workout
Shaun T drives the Insanity workouts

There are 10 different exercise sessions that each take from 30 to 60 minutes to complete. Even more important than that is the fact that you’re expected to do these workouts six days a week, which of course helps the weight just drop off, especially if you combine it with a nutritious meal plan.

<–1 Trick to flatten your stomach while driving –>

The Insanity workout is designed to last for 60 days, and month one provides a different set of workouts than month two. Naturally, the second month takes the exercises up a notch and are considered “max” workouts – max interval circuit, max cardio conditioning, and more. All Insanity workouts target areas such as abs, legs, glutes, arms, and core, and they emphasize not just aerobic and cardio health, but also flexibility, strength-training, and low-impact options.

Image of Insanity workout calendar
Insanity month 1 workout calendar plus recovery week
Image of Insanity calendar
Insanity month 2 workout calendar

How Exactly Does it Work?

Okay, here’s the best part about the Insanity workout – you can do it in the comfort of your own home! You simply stream their workouts through the Beachbody on Demand website, where you can download the exercises to your mobile phone, computer, or television set. This means you can work out any time, anywhere, and you don’t have to go to a gym to do so. In fact, you don’t even need any barbells or free weights, because your body is the only weight you need. 

Even better, the entire program costs around $120, which is much less expensive than a gym and is a steal when you consider everything it offers. Insanity is a very powerful exercise program and is the perfect tool for getting in great shape and looking and feeling a whole lot better.

<–Broccoli & your abdominal fat?  (odd fat-fighters)–>

One word of caution, though. Insanity is not meant for newbies because you do have to have a little workout experience under your belt before you start the program. If you’ve never exercised before or it’s been a long time since you exercised regularly, the Insanity workout is not the exercise program you want. It also isn’t good for people with certain medical conditions or any type of joint pain; it is just too intense for these people.

Its Many Benefits

Insanity is a very intense program that will challenge even people in good shape who think they can’t be challenged anymore. If you’ve been exercising for a long time and your goal is to push yourself some more and learn how to do one of the most powerful and active exercise programs on the market today, you should definitely give the Insanity program a try.

Take On The Insanity 60-Day Challenge

I called my challenge, 6-Pack In 60 Days and blogged about it on Facebook where you can see my day-to-day journey. I didn’t quite get the 6-pack but I got pretty close. 

Food

I was pretty silly in the beginning because I didn’t research a proper diet to got with the workouts. I still ate healthy food, but it definitely wasn’t optimized to weight loss. In week 2, I read Tim Ferris’s, The 4-Hour Body, and so I’incorporated a few meals from the book. In particular, his breakfast which is very simple and nutritious. The flavour is decent enough. More details on that below. 

<–1 Unique spice that beats abdominal fat–>

From week 3 when I wasn’t noticing too much weight loss, I stepped it up a notch by introducing the Dukan Diet. I think it made a huge difference, especially the attack phase.

Variation of The 4 Hour-Body breakfast - chicken, broccoli, pinto beans, salsa, yellow peppers

Exercise

Obviously I have mostly relied on Insanity, but I did squeeze in a few squash games when courts were available. 

In the graph below, you can see how I stepped it up in the final 25 days. I had lost so much weight, my abs were beginning to show a bit and that motivated me to do more Insane Abs workouts. Since I had access to a gym, I also did 7 Upper Body Weight Training sessions. 

Comparing first 35 days (22 workouts) and final 25 days (39 workouts)

Just to be clear about what the graph is saying:

Insanity includes the following workouts: Plyometric Cardio Circuit, Cardio Power and Resistance, Max Interval Circuit, Max Interval Plyo

Pure Cardio includes Pure Cardio, Max Cardio Conditioning and the few squash matches I played.

Abs refers to Insane Abs (Insanity Deluxe).

Weights refers to Upper Body Weight Training (Insanity Deluxe).

A breakdown of all my workouts (61) over the 60 day period

Week 1

Day 1

Instead of posting every diary entry, I’ve decided to post just two days in every week. Read the full blog here.

Day 1

Breakfast: almonds, blueberries, apple, jasmine tea

Lunch: chicken leg, doufu, vegetables, rice, white coffee 1 sugar

Dinner at 4:30: small portion beef, vegetables, rice, iced latte 1 sugar

Snacks: strawberries, banana

Exercise: Insanity (Max Plyometric 55 mins)

Comments: Just arrived on set late last night so up late this morning. Therefore had light breakfast knowing lunch would be at 11:15. No gym access so can only do Insanity workouts in my room. Also no choice on the food, eating box meals lunch and dinner. The mission is to avoid the rice which is not easy since Chinese food was kinda designed to be eaten with rice. I’m hooked on tea … green, tieguanyin, jasmine, oolong.

<–7 “fatty” foods for a flat stomach–> 

Day 6

Breakfast: muesli, orange, almonds, oolong tea

Lunch: chicken, vegetables, rice, white coffee 1 sugar

Dinner: (at restaurant) fish, vegetables, a little rice, puer tea

Snacks: almonds, orange, dried berries

Exercise: Insane abs(33 mins)

Comments: I am really finding it hard to avoid eating fruit later in the day since it has always been a big part of my diet. Been reading the 4 hour body and Tim Ferris reckons one should kill all white carbs and fruit. Therefore need to tweak my diet even more.

End of week 1 review:

As you can see, I’m eating way too much fruit and carbs. I found it very hard to avoid eating rice with greasy Chinese food.

Week 2

From now on, I’m really trying to avoid fruit and anything white as Tim Ferris talks about in his book, The 4-Hour Body. I start to properly incorporate this from day 12 when I was able to get the ingredients. 

Day 12

Breakfast: 2 egg whites, canned spinach, pinto beans, leftover chicken, salsa

Lunch: beef salad

Dinner: omelet, 3 glasses of red wine

Snacks: cashews, dried peaches, carrot and celery sticks, chips

Exercise: squash (60 mins)

Comments: I’ve been reading Tim Ferris’s The 4-Hour Body and so I’m starting to sample some of his low carb diet recipe ideas hence the breakfast. He condone’s the drinking of dry red wine ideally just 2 glasses in the evening. I was at a party last night and so just drinking 3 glasses exemplified serious willpower.

Weight: 87kg

<–This plant food HARMS your metabolism & heart (caused heart attacks in New Zealand study)–>

4 Hour-Body breakfast - 2 egg whites, canned spinach, pinto beans, salsa

Day 14

Breakfast: 3 organic eggs, pinto beans, canned spinach, salsa

Lunch: spinach salad, fresh fruit with yogurt, small cappuccino, white coffee

Dinner: pork ribs, baby chicken, side salad

Snacks: 2 fruit smoothies, cashews, yogurt with blueberries and strawberries

Exercise: squash (60 mins)

Comments: Really low energy today, was gasping on the squash court pretty much during every point, had more fruit to try and energize a bit

End of week 2 review:

I’ve definitely been eating too much fruit and will try and curb that from now on. I needed a break from Insanity and so I played more squash this week since I was in Beijing and had access to courts. 

Week 3

Tim Ferris talks about a cheat meal once a week. I took it to the next level and had a cheat day! At the Hilton! Yes, I know I slipped up a bit, but at least I did a good Insanity session.

Day 15

CHEAT DAY (spent day and night at Hilton)

Breakfast: smoothie (blueberries, coconut milk, maca, almonds)

Lunch: left over chili blended into a soup with added canned spinach and pinto beans, white chocolate mousse sponge cake

Dinner: pizza, cheese, little sandwich, 3 glasses of red and white wine

Snacks: strawberries, chocolate sauce, Belgium chocolates, half bottle Prosecco

Exercise: Insanity (Max Cardio 47 mins)

Comments: I made myself kinda sick on all that sugar – I got my fix anyway.

Day 21

Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs, banana

Lunch: box meal (chicken drumstick, veg), canned tuna, white coffee 1 sugar

Dinner: box meal (meat, veg), oolong tea

Snacks: orange, prunes, almonds, pear

Exercise: Insanity (max cardio 47 mins)

End of week 3 review: 

Well it’s been 3 weeks now, the fat is definitely not just dropping off – I have no scale with me but looking at before and after photos I can barely see any difference which is frustrating. I just got the Dukan Diet which is supposed to be effective. 

I want to get back to Beijing where I have better protein options and a proper gym. I really need to ratchet it up a notch otherwise I’m gonna be outa pocket soon. The tough part is eliminating things which are supposedly healthy but don’t necessarily help with weight loss for eg. nuts and fruit

<–The Salad Dressing to NEVER Eat–>

Comparing day 1 to day 21

Week 4

Being back on set made eating healthy difficult. The box lunch is not conducive to optimized eating.

Day 24

Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs, pear, green tea with mint

Lunch: box meal (meat, veg), black coffee

Dinner: box meal (meat, veg)

Snacks: almonds, grapefruit, banana, Chinese biltong, walnuts, jasmine tea

Exercise: Insanity (Max Interval 60 mins)

Comments: spent most of the day watching amazon instant video – bloody awesome!

My delectable box lunch - I have to steal 2 of them to get anywhere near full - if I was eating rice they'd taste a lot better - the glamour of being an actor in China is truly overwhelming!

Day 27

Breakfast: 1 boiled eggs, nature valley bar

Lunch: box meal (meat, veg), black coffee

Dinner: veggie soup, T-bone steak, 2 fried eggs, small fruit salad, glass red wine

Snacks: almonds, banana, walnuts, green tea with mint, sesame seed bar

Exercise: Insanity (Max Plyometric 55 mins)

Comments: I’m really getting sick of these box meals. I can’t wait to get back to Beijing. I need to vary my diet if I’m gonna stay healthy. I can feel myself buckling. I’m craving salmon sashimi and real meat. And I need a good cheat meal.

End of week 4 review: 
My stomach has been feeling weird I think because of too much oil. So I have been having rice with dinner in an attempt of counter the oiliness. Shooting tomorrow and then back to bj in the evening. About fucking time. Dieting when you have no good food choices is shitty. I’m not looking for excuses but I definitely am better in Beijing.

<–Red wine and your GUT?–> 

Week 5

So the last week I was off the grid working on a small Indy project. I didn’t do any exercise and I just ate the standard box meals consisting of veg, a tiny bit of meat and rice. This was augmented with nature valley bars, canned tuna, canned salmon, boiled eggs, porridge and oat meal. Apart from the rice, the week wasn’t too calorie dense. Last night we had a wrap dinner which was a free-for-all with beer. So be it. Anyway, I’m back in Beijing now and so ready to continue the health extravaganza coupled with good exercise. It’s good to be back.

Week 6

Day 37

Dukan diet day 1 (attack phase – tweaked to provide energy for workouts and to avoid constipation) – I’ve got 23 days left so it’s time to get serious.

Breakfast: Dukan gallete (2 egg whites, 2 Tsp oatmeal, 2 Tsp plain yogurt, 1 tsp honey) – this is delicious btw

Lunch: 12 pieces salmon sashimi

Dinner: steak, a little salad

Snacks: 2 boiled eggs, canned sardines, canned tuna, protein powder with flax-seed oil and chia

Supplements: CLA, multivit, spirulina

Exercise: Insanity (Max Cardio 47 mins), upper body workout (43 mins)

Comments: I finally got my body fat measurement – 15.8% and on my new scale at home I weigh 88kg (86kg on scale at gym) – I basically have to lose about 6% body fat in order to see abs. Game on!

Day 37

Day 41

Dukan diet day 2 (cruise phase) – I’ve got 19 days left

Breakfast: 2 egg whites, canned spinach, salsa, rooibos tea

Lunch: 12 pieces salmon sashimi, 6 pieces tuna sashimi

Dinner: chicken breasts, salsa

Snacks: 3 small cappuccinos, turkish delight (shit!), 3 small chocolates (shit! shit!), tuna salad

Supplements: CLA, multivit, spirulina, lean fat burner, b-complex

Exercise: Insanity (Max Recovery 47 mins)

Comments: Binged on sweets this evening. I gotta hit the gym hard tomorrow. I shaved my chest and now I look like a turkey breast! But at least I can see clearly how much work I still gotta do.

Image of Duken Gallete in the post
I love the Dukan Galette which is super easy and tasty - 1 egg, 1 tbsp oat bran, 1 tbsp plain yogurt, Italian herbs (I added grated cheese to this one). You can eat it in the Attack Phase.

Week 7

Day 44

Breakfast: egg spinach salsa chicken, rooibos, protein shake with papaya (after Insanity)

Lunch: tuna wrap

Dinner: steak, veg, small salad

Snacks: protein shake, cashews, almonds

Supplements: CLA, spirulina, lean fat burner, b-complex

Exercise: Insanity (abs 33 mins), upper body (35 mins), incline walking (30 mins)

Comments: None

Day 37

Day 46

Breakfast: Dukan gallete, rooibos, protein shake with banana(after Insanity)

fuck it – i’m bored of logging food

Exercise: Insanity (abs 33 mins), Insanity weights (49 mins)

Comments: None

End of week 7 review:

I was clearly getting frustrated over the last week. Just the repetition of eating healthy food and the constant exercise was starting to get to me.

Week 8

Day 50

Breakfast: oatmeal, Nature Valley bar, rooibos tea

Lunch: half can Hormel chili, canned spinach and beans, 2 eggs, southwest salsa (all cooked in my little electric pot)

Dinner: the other half of Hormel chili, canned spinach and beans, veg from boxed lunch, southwest salsa, 2 spoons rice

Snacks: cashews, almonds,

Supplements: CLA, spirulina, b-complex

Exercise: Insanity (abs 33 mins)

Comments: so I arrived back on location (Chinawood) at 4:30 this morning thanks to another delayed China Southern flight. That’s the beauty of flight in China – if you’re late getting to airport, it’s unlikely you’ll ever miss your flight (don’t worry they’ll wait) In my attempt to avoid eating the box lunches, I’ve done my doomsday prep (check out the photo). I was 15 kg overweight at check-in! I know canned food is not ideal but it still beats bloated Shanghai river pig. 

Stocking up for film set life in Shanghai

Day 52

Breakfast: oatmeal, Nature Valley bar, black coffee

Lunch: half decent box lunch (shooting all day)

Dinner: canned tuna, canned spinach and beans, 2 eggs, southwest salsa

Snacks: cashews, almonds

Supplements: CLA, spirulina, b-complex

Exercise: zip

Comments: I’ve got just over a week left – in the photo you can see a fair bit of progress, the upper abs are making an appearance but there’s still a chunky slab of flab just below that’s gotta go – i’m thinking 2 Insanity’s a day should help

Day 60

So I’m planning to do an Insanity later today. I’m just leaving the hotel and heading back to Beijing which is awesome. I will treat myself to a burger and some beer tomorrow. Fuck yeah!

Comparing day 1 and day 60

Final review: 

I didn’t get the 6-pack that I hoped for. This is no doubt because of my eating in the first few weeks where I consumed too much fruit and carbs.

The Insanity workout program was fantastic. I love how you can do it anywhere even in the smallest hotel room (I just upturn the bed if necessary) and you get an amazing, high-octane workout every time.

So, are you ready to take on the Insanity 60-day challenge? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

For other home workouts, read Why Home Workouts Make Sense.

READ THIS NEXT: Why The 4-Hour Body Really Works

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If you’re really wanting the full workout package, then Insanity is the way to go. Max:30 is Shaun T’s more recent installment which just means the insanity is squeezed into 30 mins. I’ve included Shaun T’s CIZE Dance workout as an alternative. It is one of the most popular home workouts on Amazon.

*Please note that I receive a small compensation if you use my links, but it will not increase your purchase price. It may help me earn enough to buy a beer or two. If you use my links, I truly appreciate it 😉

READ THIS NEXT: Why The 4-Hour Body Really Works

More Ways To Knuckle Down

10 thoughts on “Take On The Insanity 60-Day Challenge”

  1. When I see some professional ads about workouts I don’t believe them.

     But your article is very convincing! While reading it I feel your perseverance and hard work towards the goal! It is relay inspirational. I relay wanna try Beachbody. My biggest problem is not a proper diet. I always feel like I have low energy!

     I can’t find any link. Can you provide a link to Beachbody? 

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Thanks for sharing your hard work that you put into this 60 day challenge. I have spent a good share of time weight training but I have a role around the midsection that I really need to work on but need to put more emphasis on cardio. Unfortunately I don’t think that the 60 day challenge would be a good idea for me because of my lower back issues and I have problems with my hip and knee. I’m 50 years old and I am not getting any younger but I still have weight to lose. Your challenge was definitely an inspiration to me and I need to put more emphasis on a proper diet and not just eating what is convenient.

    1. Hi Neil, I hear you when you speak of injuries and the difficulties of working out to lose weight. I injured my neck which makes certain exercise pretty much impossible for me. I would suggest finding a biokineticist who has a good understanding of your ailments and can suggest exercises accordingly. Regimenting the diet for folks like us with injuries then becomes even more important because we can’t burn it off at the gym or playing squash in my case. 

  3. amazing review you have here on insanity workout 60 day challange..While reading it I feel your perseverance and hard work towards the goal! It is relay inspirational. I relay wanna try Beachbody. My biggest problem is not a proper diet. I always feel like I have low energy!..

    thanks for sharing…i look forward to share…

  4. Insanity workout 60 day challenge is truly insane. You really have to be discipline to start this program. This program might be for someone who wants to lose the weight by going the distance. They have to do a complete diet change. Those foods you’ve listed look decent and interesting. I see that it is mainly about cardio. Not bad. Given the fact that you can do this anywhere. You’ve truly committed yourself to it by posting your before and after pic. I don’t see why anyone can’t do this.

    1. Anyone can do it, John, you just need to go at your own pace if you find it tough in the beginning. That’s how I approach it when I haven’t done it in a while. And yes, measuring your progress by taking important definitely helps with the motivation.

  5. Great article, but there is no mention on warm ups and cool downs, which are very important, failure to do them could result in injuries. You do mention rice but if it in your food intake, I know you try to avoid anything white, mentioned once, but rice is mentioned in most of your food intake I hope it is whole grain or wild rice, healthier but White rice is processed and has very little nutrition. After 60 days what do you do, carry on or just stop the workouts as this could be know good for your overall heath.

    1. The warm up and stretch is built into every Insanity workout. After 60 days I would keep doing the Insanity, but not as frequently, perhaps 3 times a week. But the eating of nothing white is something I try and do all the time. 

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