Insanity: Asylum Volume 1

Asylum2I have actually had Asylum Volume 1 for several years. I got it for my birthday right around the same time I rediscovered Cathe, which put a halt to me doing any other program for a long time. However, over the past year I have been doing workouts by other trainers and programs, and I am finally doing Asylum Volume 1.

Asylum is Shaun T’s follow up to Insanity, which I loved. Since then he has done Asylum Volume 1, Asylum Volume 2, Focus T25 and Max:30. They are all programs meant to be done for varying lengths of time. His regular programs are done for 60 days and his Asylum programs are done for 30 days. Since I just finished a month of Insanity Max:30, I am only doing each Asylum workout once to see if I like them and how they compare to the other Shaun T workouts I own rather than do a 30 day rotation. I am also hybriding it with Les Mills Pump.

asylum-strength-bandsAsylum Volume 1 includes 7 workouts plus a 13 minute add on workout called Overtime. You also get an agility ladder, a speed rope (jump rope) and two power bands in different strengths (resistance bands in a loop–you get the red and the green bands). The other program materials are smaller and more compact than what I am used to receiving with a Beachbody program. A fitness guide, a rotation calendar and a small nutrition guide that is actually more technical and specific than most Beachbody nutrition guides. The meal plan has you eating 6 meals a day but the calories decrease as the day progresses (breakfast like a king, dinner like a pauper). The macronutrients also change as the day progresses so that you are eating the bulk of your carbs in the morning. Actually a very good way to eat and one I wish I could adopt. According to the fitness guide, the focus of Asylum Volume 1 is sports: building speed, coordination, balance, agility and power. One of the workouts is actually the 24 minute Athletic Performance Assessment which is a fit test. On that same disk, there are also some little instructional segments. In the first, Ladder Drills, Shaun T shows you the different drills you will be using the ladder for and explains form. The second is called Jump Rope Drills and it is very short; in it he tells you how to make sure your jump rope is the proper length (but then you will need to go to the paper instructions that came with it to see how to adjust the length) and he gives some basic instruction on jumping rope. The last one is Pull-Ups with Shaun T. In that one he talks about the pulls ups you will be doing in Asylum. I did not know there were pull ups in Asylum and he makes no mention of using a band instead. So I am now a little nervous. One of the moves called Rock Climbing Switch is done from a pull up bar and looks super hard–I see no way to modify that. So I am getting nervous now!

Summary: In reference to the above paragraph, none of the equipment except the agility ladder is necessary to do the program. Now, for some exercises you do need other equipment, but you have choices: either dumbbells or a resistance band for some strength exercises and, rather than using a pull up bar you can do a different back exercise using dumbbells or a resistance band; also, in some of the workouts he has a push up option rather than doing pull ups. There is always someone doing the modified versions: jumping with no jump rope, doing the power loop exercises with no power loop, using a resistance band instead of dumbbells, etc. However, everyone needs the agility ladder. There are no modifications for that. Shaun T is a little different in Asylum Volume 1 than he is in the other two Insanity programs I’ve done. He’s a little meaner, more drill sergeant. Just like in all Insanity workouts he is running his crew into the ground. Somehow tho, they seem to be maxing out quicker in Asylum than they did in Insanity and Max:30. They all seem to be struggling and digging deep. None of them seem to be having any fun. But then, I would never classify a Shaun T Insanity program as “fun”–effective and challenging–definitely; fun? Not so much.

How does Asylum compare to the other two Insanity programs I’ve done? It is definitely a different animal. As I mention in the reviews below, it is challenging in a different way than the other two. Insanity and Max:30 are all about crazy intense cardio in which you go-go-go nonstop until your heart is about to explode so you must stop and regroup. They are also about doing every move as fast as you can. Asylum has a brisk pace, but it is all about control. You are doing very challenging exercises, lots of plyometrics, but coordination/agility/power are so important that you cannot do most of the moves at the crazy intense pace that the exercises are done in the other two programs. I’m surprised to say I really like most of these workouts and can’t believe I waited so long to sample them. In fact, I think hybriding Asylum with Insanity and Max:30 could actually create a pretty well rounded rotation–specifically if you also had Insanity’s Deluxe workouts. In particular, Strength and Back to Core are two Asylum workouts I will be returning to frequently, even if I don’t return to the others as often. Those two are excellent and effective workouts.

Will I be getting Asylum Volume 2? That is a good question. I initially didn’t think so. I felt that 3 Insanity level programs was really all anyone could ever really need. However, Asylum Volume 1 was such a surprise that I am now contemplating it.


Athletic Performance Assessment (aka Fit Test) is 24 minutes long with a 4:30 minute warm up and 1 minute stretch. Even tho I am not doing Asylum as a 30 day program, I decided to do the Fit Test anyway. It’s the first Asylum workout I am doing and I figured it could give me a taste of what is to come. This is definitely different from the original Insanity and Max:30. There is a lot of focus on the agility aspect and that definitely makes everything harder (for me at least!). You are supposed to do this Fit Test on Day 1, Day 15 and Day 30 to see how you’ve progressed. And unlike Insanity’s Fit Test, one rep is more than “one” rep. You can thank that agility ladder for that. Most of the Fit Test exercises are done with the agility ladder. The object is foot or hand placement in the agility ladder’s open squares when doing an exercise and one rep is going from one end of the ladder back to where you started. And if you hit the ladder and mess it up, you have to stop and fix/straighten the ladder before you can continue on. So the amount of reps I got on the agility ladder exercises is shameful. Shameful! I was messing that ladder up constantly on one of the exercises! The warm up consists of 1 minute of jump roping, 1 minute of high knee sprints, 1 minute of forward/backward agility (this is running up into a ladder square then back and doing that in each ladder square, then coming back). The warm up ends with a 1:30 minute stretch. For the actual Fit Test exercises you do each exercise for one minute and record how many you were able to do in that minute.

1. Agility Heisman: you are zig-zagging through the agility ladder, going from side to side diagonally making sure both feet are in every square; one rep is going all the way to the end and back. If you hit the ladder you have to stop and fix it.

2. In & Out Abs Progression: get into plank over the agility ladder and jump feet in and out; however, the feet have to go into the second box. Each jump is one rep and if you hit the ladder (which I did constantly) you have to stop and fix it.

3. Pull-Ups/Push-Ups: for this one you can do push ups or pull ups. I did push ups. They (of course!) aren’t normal push ups, but lat push ups where you start in plank but bring one hand to the side and back so hands are uneven and then do the push up; alternate sides.

4. Mountain Climber Switch Kicks: these are basically the same switch kicks from Insanity but with mountain climber arms; however, it doesn’t count unless your heel comes above your waist.

5. Agility Shoulder Taps: side walking planks with hands in the open squares of the agility ladder; however, each step/walk you tap your opposite shoulder and of course, one rep is going from one end of the ladder and back.

6. X Jumps: these are squat air jacks. Start in a narrow squat with hands touching feet and jump up into an X air jack.

7. Moving Push-Ups: this is #5 except instead of doing shoulder taps you are doing push ups. One rep is counted the same, too.

8. Agility Lateral Shuffle: running from one end of the ladder to the other with your feet in the ladder squares–feet never touching the ladder. Running from one end and back is one rep. If you hit the ladder you have to stop and fix it.

9. Agility Bear Crawl: you will do a bear crawl along the outside of the agility ladder; when you get to the end of the crawl up, you jump your feet in and out of the top square; when you get to the end of the bear crawl back, you jump your hands in and out the first square–that’s one rep. If you hit the ladder you have to stop and fix it.

Asylum3Speed & Agility is 45 minutes long with a 13 minute warm up/stretch and a 3:30 cool down/stretch. For this workout you need the jump rope and the agility ladder. The jump rope will only be used for the warm up and the agility ladder will be used for everything else. This was a tough workout. Different from the other two Insanity programs I’ve done, but tough nonetheless. The ladder makes the difference. I am forced to do things a bit slower than I normally would in an Insanity workout due to the precision needed when using the ladder. That’s not to say that you go slow. Shaun T uses the same method as in his other Insanity workouts–go, go, go, as fast as you can with good form. Well, form becomes a little more difficult when you do everything in that ladder and you are not supposed to ever touch it. The key word for this workout is control. You have to move fast, but with control in order to do the exercises properly (and not touch that @$#%& ladder!). Every Shaun T Insanity workout I have done is hard and it is hard for his crew members–that is obvious to the viewer; but this workout seemed especially hard and challenging for his crew. They worked hard and were clearly digging deep, but it was wearing them (and me!) out. Every exercise in this entire workout is done for one minute and that includes the warm up exercises. The warm up consists of high knee jump rope, squat jumps (with jump rope), in & out low jumps (jacks with jump rope), agility heisman (no jump rope, use the ladder), high speed high knees (with jump rope), criss cross (criss cross the feet with jump rope), 1-2 scissors (hop on each foot twice then 4 scissors–still with jump rope), agility heisman with tap (no jump rope and you used the ladder, tapping at each end), agility toe taps (get in plank with feet level with the ladder and fast plank walk, keeping feet in open squares of ladder). Water break. 2:30 minute stretch.


1. Mountain Climber Progressions (get in plank over the ladder; do mountain climbers but the first 20 seconds your feet go into the first square, the next 20 seconds they go into the second square and the last 30 seconds they go into the 3rd square)

2. Forward/Back Agility (run in and out of two squares of the ladder)

3. Moving Push Up Progression (do walking push ups with hands in ladder squares; after each push up jump feet in and out)

4. In & Out Agility w/ Hop (standing beside ladder, with one foot run in and out of ladder squares until you get to the end, then again with one foot in the ladder squares hop back, then at the starting position do a burpee and repeat)

5. Mountain Climber Progressions (same as #1 but he tells you to do it in whatever square you want to do it in)

6. Agility Sequence (scissor sprints with feet in and out of two ladder squares, on Shaun T’s command change to running in and out of same two squares and then, again on Shaun T’s command do a jump rotation all the way to the other side of the ladder and back)

7. Moving Push Up Progression (same as #3 except you jump your feet into the ladder–you actually jump into a squat, hands off ground, then jump back to plank and continue)

Water break

8. In & Out Ab Progression (get into plank over the ladder; jump feet in and out of first square for 20 seconds, 2nd box for 20 seconds and 3rd box for 30 seconds)

9. Stationary Criss Cross (with one foot in the ladder, criss cross jump, halfway through do a heisman run to the other end of the ladder and finish out the minute doing criss cross jumps at the other end of the ladder)

10. Agility Bear Crawls (bear crawl along the outside of the agility ladder; when you get to the end of the ladder, you jump your feet in and out of the top square; when you get to the end of the bear crawl back, you jump your hands in and out the first square)

11. Agility Stork Touch (hop on one foot into box and out (on other side) and touch the ground (while still on one foot) then back into box and back out, touch the ground; each jump you move up the ladder then back down)

12. In & Out Ab Progression (same as #8)

13. Criss Cross/Power Jump (same as #9 except you do 4 criss cross jacks (in ladder) and1 power jump)

14. Bear Crawl/V Push Up (same as #10 except at the bottom you do 5 V push ups instead of jumping hands in and out)

15. Agility Touch Squats (squat jacks in and out of ladder, touching the ground with fingertips)

16. In & Out Ab Progressions (same as #8 except Shaun T starts right off in 3rd box)

17. Criss Cross/Moving Power Jump (same as #13, except when you power jump, you jump into the next two boxes; do this to the end of the ladder and go back the other way)

18. Agility Bear Crawl/Tricep Ball (same as #14 except instead of V push up you do Tricep Ball push ups)

Water Break

19. Agility Hop Scotch (hop scotch in ladder)

20. Agility Hurdle Drill (sprint in place to count of 4 with one foot in ladder square then bring one knee up high (hurdle) bringing foot down into next square; when you get to the end of the ladder, run around back to the start and repeat)

21. Agility Dual Hops (starting beside ladder with feet close together, jump into square then out on other side and back in–moving up the ladder and back)

22. Agility Plank (plank walk side to side with hands in ladder)

23. Agility Shoulder Taps (same as #22 except you alternate tapping shoulders)

Water Break


Strength is 47 minutes long with a 14 minute warm up and a 1 minute stretch. There are two ways to play this workout. The regular way or, if you are using bands (rather than dumbbells), you have the regular way on the right side of the screen and on the left there is a close up of one of the crew members using the band. Now, even doing the workout the regular way there are several people using resistance bands, so the band version of the workout isn’t required even if you are using bands. You can almost always see what a band user is doing. All the resistance band version does is give you a constant view of someone using bands since the moves are somewhat different when using a band rather than using dumbbells. This is a tough workout! I really liked it, but it wore me out quick. My arms are still hurting! It is also different from the Shaun T/Insanity workouts I have become accustomed to. Since this is strength work, it is all about control. He is not rushing you through anything. That does not mean the workout is not intense–it is very intense and very challenging. The exercises are primarily compound strength moves and some of them are very complex. Not complex as in hard to do–but complex as in several moves put together to create one heck of a challenging exercise. Exercise #1 below is the perfect example of this (particularly by the time you get to the third circuit variation). Equipment needed for this workout is dumbbells or a resistance band. Also, for some of the back exercises he gives you the option of doing pull ups or using dumbbells/resistance band. Since I used dumbbells, I will be describing all of the exercises with dumbbells rather than bands. I used 15 pound dumbbells for most of the exercises and 12 pounds for some of the shoulder exercises. For the warm up you need one dumbbell or a band. Each warm up exercise is done for one minute. Warm up: 1. halo deadlifts (holding one dumbbell in two hands squat, bringing dumbbell between legs then stand and halo dumbbell around head, 2. skull crusher press (still holding dumbbell on both hands raise over head and do tricep extension), 3. knee drive curl (still holding one dumbbell on two hands, squat bringing dumbbell down between legs then stand, raising one knee and curling dumbbell up to forehead), 4. later squat row (still holding dumbbell in both hands side lunge and row dumbbell to waist), 5. shoulder tap push ups (repeat all warm up exercises). The warm up ends with a 2:40 minute stretch.


1. Progressive Dumbbell Rotation L1–8 reps (bicep curl, squat while holding dumbbells at top of curl, stand and lower dumbbells, lower dumbbells to ground, jump feet out to plank, so one push up, jump feet back in and stand)

2. Alternating Shoulder Press (12 reps)

3. Dumbbell Rotational Jump–30 seconds (hold one dumbbell and do 180 squat jumps, never coming out of squat and elbows remain on or close to knees)

Water break

4. Progressive Dumbbell Rotation L2–8 reps (same as #1 except after the push up you “spider” each leg; that is bringing foot on same side to hand/dumbbell; then do another push up , jump feet in and stand)

5. Reciprocating Overhead Press–12 reps (alternating shoulder press but you do them simultaneously)

6. Dumbbell Rotational Jumps w/ Curl–30 seconds (same as #3 except add a bicep curl before each jump)

Water break

7. Progressive Dumbbell Rotation L3–8 reps (same as #4 except after second push up do 8 mountain climbers)

8. Dual Overhead Press–12 reps (just press both arms overhead at the same time)

9. Dumbbell Rotational Jumps w/ Curl/Press–30 seconds (same as #6 but add an overhead press after the curl–you will be in a deep squat while doing this btw)

Water break

10. Hip Flys–12 reps (holding a dumbbell in each hand, bend over with dumbbells at side and palms facing behind you; with arms straight lift dumbbells behind you to the level of your bottom and squeeze)

11. Wide Flys–1 minute (get in same starting position as #10, but do wide rows) or Jumps Pulls if you are doing pull up option

Short water break

12. Hip Flys–12 reps

13. Pyramid Rows/Push ups–2 minutes (these are done in ladder count–1 bent over row, one push up, 2 bent over rows, 2 push ups and so on for two minutes) or Pyramid Pull ups if you are doing the pull up option

Short water break

14. Hip Flys–12 reps

15. Elbow Plank Row–1 minute (get into plank with dumbbells; go down to low/elbow plank, come back up to high plank and do renegade rows) or Rock Climber Switch if you are doing the pull up option

Water break

16. Chest Press w/ Leg Extension–1 minute (lay on back with knees raise and bent and head raised; do a chest press while straightening legs and lowering them until they are 5 inches from ground)

17. Squatted Fly–30 seconds (no dumbbells; squat jacks while opening and closing straight arms in a chest fly move)

18. Chest Press w/ Single Leg Extension–1 minute (same as #16 except you do it on one side of the body (one arm and one leg) for 30 seconds and then the other side for 30 seconds)

19. Back Fly Lunge–30 seconds (no dumbbells; stepping back into alternating shallow lunges while opening and closing straight arms in a chest fly move)

20. Chest Press w/ Stationary Leg Extensions–1 minute (lay on back and do chest presses with legs extended straight and approx 5 inches off floor)

21. Frog Jump / Single Leg Plank–30 seconds (frog jump forward, do one single leg plank, frog jump backward, do one single leg plank–other leg)

Water break


Back to Core is 42:30 minutes long with a 9:30 minute warm up and a 3:30 minute stretch. This was an unexpected surprise. This was not at all what I expected from an Insanity workout, but these Asylum workouts continue to surprise me. I keep expecting something very much like Insanity the original or Max:30 and I am not getting that with Asylum. Back to Core is a strength workout–no plyomentrics or super fast moves. It is all about control. The strength work is also primarily bodyweight strength work though the green power band is used for some of the exercises. The power band is a resistance band in a loop–Cathe calls them Firewalkers, as they are primarily used for lower body moves, but Shaun T uses it for upper body in this workout. The reason for the title, Back to Core, is because the focus of this workout is work your entire posterior chain, or the back side of the body from back to calves. This is an impressive workout. Challenging but very controlled. Definitely a keeper. The warm up is made up of a series of jumping jacks with different arm focus that works the back side of the body; you do each jack for one minute: back fly jumping jacks where you open straight arms wide as if in chest fly, squeezing back/shoulders, overhead jacks where you clap your hands behind your lower back, and shoulder blade jacks where you raise straight arms overhead. Then you do a minute of monkey squats (stand with feet together then bend over and grab your toes; squat and straighten legs in this position). Repeat all of the jacks + monkey squats.


1. Side Lunge Flys–15 reps each side (bring arms straight out in front of you with back of hands touching and palms facing outward; do a side lunge and when lunging, open arms wide (keeping them in same position) squeezing the back/shoulder blades together)

2. Lat Pull Downs–one minute (hold power band overhead in both hands; pull it down behind head so that arms are in goal post at bottom of move)

3. Wide Lat Flys–one minute (same as #2, except keep arms straight and pulls them down wide behind head)

4. Rotator Split Lunge–15 reps (get into static lunge and hold arms straight overhead; twist torso toward front leg while lowering arms so one is straight in front of you and the other is pointed straight behind you and you are looking toward your back hand)

5. Iso Hold (this continues from #4; on rep 15, you hold in position for one minute, the pulse for one minute)

6. Repeat #4 and 5 on other side of body

7. Hip-Up Twist Curl–one minute on each side of body (sit on bottom, right leg forward, left leg back, right arm on the floor behind hip, left arm overhead; press hips up, twist over in to plank, curl right leg, return to start–reverse order for other side of body)

8. Swimmer Band Exchange–one minute each way (roll power band up into small roll, lay on stomach with chest and feet lifted arms held straight in front of you (one hand holding band); bring arms behind you and pass the band to the other hand at the small of the back)

9. Low Back Strengthener–one minute (lay on stomach with chest and feet lifted arms held straight in front of you; bring straight arms around behind you, when they are by hips make sure palms are facing up, curl palms under at hips, then (while keeping arms close to sides–no bowing of elbows) bring palms/arms back up in front of you never letting palms or arms touch the ground, so you will probably have to lift the chest higher to accomplish this)

10. Same as #9, just reverse the motion–also for one minute

11. Hip Up Plus–one minute (lay on back with knees bent, feet on ground and arms spread wide and on the ground; raise and lower hips into bridge)

12. Same as #1 but raise arms straight to ceiling and hold in that position throughout move–also for one minute

13. Hip Up Single Leg Extension–one minute (same as #12 but with one leg raised to ceiling, 30 seconds each leg)

14. Hip Up Single Leg Toe Tap–one minute (lay on back with knees bent, feet on ground and arms spread wide and on the ground; raise hips into bridge, raise one leg, lower the leg and lower hips–30 seconds each side)

15. Alt Reverse Plank–one minute (while in reverse plank, alternate bringing knees into chest)

16. Single Leg Reverse Plank–one minute (while in reverse plank, pulse one knee into chest for 30 seconds each side)

Vertical Plyo is 39 minutes long with a 13 minute warm up and 3 minute cool down/stretch. This was a tough one and closer to the original Insanity than any of the others I’ve done so far (and I’ve done them all at this point except Game Day and Relief). It is still different tho. Just as the title suggests, there are a lot of plyometrics. There are almost no breaks. So you are going non-stop in this workout and it is exhausting and your lower body will burn out. However, like the other workouts in this program, control is the key word. So even tho you are doing a lot of plyo, you are not doing it light speed as you often do in Insanity and Max:30. You are trying to do it as quickly as you can, however, form is paramount and because these moves are generally more complex than in the other two afore mentioned programs of Shaun T’s that I’ve done, you cannot do them super fast. Plus, the agility ladder is present and he doesn’t want you to touch it when doing exercises with it. He makes some of the crew members stop, drop and give him push ups when they touch the ladder. Even tho you pretty much never stop moving (there is one water break near the end) he does give you one minute “active recoveries” which are jump rope drills. Also, for some of the exercises you will be jumping over the ladder length-wise. That is a long jump. So he tells you to adjust the ladder if you are not capable of jumping that far. All that means is folding the ladder over a rung or two to a more manageable length. Equipment needed is jump rope, agility ladder and both power bands.

Warm up: Jump rope series: start with alternating split squat jump rope, next remain in static split squat and jump, abductor jump rope (squat jumping with knees and feet touching). Drop jump rope. Abductor tuck jumps (squat with knees and feet touching; jump and at bottom of jump touch ground on the outside of foot with opposite hand). Ladder hop squats (straddling ladder in a squat with hands between legs, hop forward 3x and back 3x tapping the floor with fingertips). Grab jump rope again for another jump rope series: hopscotch jump rope (2 one leg hops, 2 squat hops, alternate legs), double jumps (fast high knee plyo jumps with jump rope).
Drop rope. Wide spider lunge (get into plank and bring foot to outside of hand on same side of body; alternate). Ladder rotational jumps (straddle the ladder in a squat and do 180 jumps, tapping fingertips to ground between ladder rungs). Water break. 3:30 minute stretch.


1. Standing Long Jump–one minute (jump over the entire length of your ladder (adjust the length if it is too long for you) then sprint back to the starting position)
2. Split Squat Back Fly–one minute (grab green band and hold it in both hands; alternating jump lunges with front foot in ladder while pulling band outward/wide in front of you in a fly with each jump; you are also moving down the ladder and back with each jump)
3. Back Fly Tuck Jumps–one minute (using the green band the same as you used it in #2, do tuck jumps while pulling the band outward/wide in front of you in a fly each time you jump)
4. Low Stance Jacks (grab red band and put around ankles; squat jacks while touching fingertips to outside of foot on opposite side)
5. Single Leg Jump Rope-one minute, 30 seconds each leg (no band, just jump rope)
6. Resistance Power Jumps–one minute; 30 seconds outside of ladder and 30 seconds inside of ladder (grab red band and put around ankles; wide tuck jumps touching the ground at bottom of jump)
7. Resistance Plyo Push Ups–one minute; 30 seconds with hands in ladder and 30 seconds with feet in ladder (keep red band around ankles and put green band around hands; plyo jacks jumping both feet and hands)
8. Resistance X Jumps–one minute (keep bands on ankles and hands; narrow squat, touching feet, then air jack)
9. Mountain Climber Switch Kicks–one minute (no bands; switch kicks bringing feet to hip height while dong mountain climber hands overhead; half way through do them in ladder)
10. Low Squat Jump Rope–one minute
11. Rotational Jump Squat Agility–one minute (180 jump squats over ladder, then jump into ladder and out of ladder, then 180 jump squat back over ladder; keep repeating)
12. Decoy Split Jumps–one minute (one foot in ladder, get into a shallow lunge and jump up, switching feet in air, but landing on same side you started)
13. Scissor Jump Agility–10 jumps/5 push ups–repeat 4 times (squat in front of ladder with hands between legs touching inside of ladder behind you; jump scissoring feet and when you land, squat, touching ground in ladder behind you)
Water Break
14. Double Jumps Jump Rope–one minute (fast tuck jumps with jump rope)
15. Single Leg Power Jumps–one minute each leg; 30 seconds outside of ladder and 30 seconds inside of ladder (one leg tuck jumps)
16 Lateral Jumps–one minute (adjust ladder to shorter length if necessary; lateral jump all the way over the length of the ladder and back)

Relief is 23:30 minutes long. Relief is another unexpected Asylum surprise. In the two Insanity programs I have done thus far, the recovery workouts still made you work. The original Insanity’s recovery workouts just sucked and were dread inducing. In Max:30 the recovery workout, Pulse, was actually a recovery but it still made you work. Relief is exactly that–relief. No punishment or real work. Shaun T rewards your muscles for all of the hard work by stretching them out. Deeply. I am not going to break this workout down move-by-move. I don’t generally do that with yoga/flexibility workouts anyway, but also, this is not a yoga workout (though he does have you do 2 obvious yoga moves) it is a stretching workout and I don’t know what some of these stretches are called, but they are common ones. Just know that this is primarily a lower body stretching workout. Your shoulders are stretched out and your back, too, but you will spend 80% of the time stretching hamstrings, inner thighs, glutes, quads, hip flexors and calves. These are done through common stretches. The two yoga stretches you will see are down dog and child’s pose, but everything else is basic flexibility. And it does feel good! He holds the stretches a long time. It is definitely a relief!

Game Day is 61 minutes long with a 5 minute warm up and 2:30 minute stretch. Game Day is a very cool workout and easier than I feared. That is not to say it is easy, but I recently completed Max:30 and his Friday Fight workouts are nightmarish. I felt this was the pinnacle workout and since I had already done Overtime and it was nightmarish, I thought this would be, too. It is very challenging but also very doable and fun. In fact, this is very similar in concept to the original Insanity‘s deluxe workout Max Interval Sports, which I love. The idea is sports drills. Each drill (or collection of drills) is themed after a specific sport: track and field, tennis, football, etc. This is the exact same thing that is done in Max Interval Sports. I would have to say that Max Interval Sports is harder tho. That is because a lot of the moves in Game Day are so complex that they require Shaun T to take time to demonstrate the move. More recovery time. The moves are intense and challenging, make no mistake, but you get more recovery between most of the moves than you did in Max Interval Sports. However, some of the moves, once they are demonstrated, are done for longer than in any of his other workouts. Sometimes 2+ minutes non-stop. So he definitely wears you out so you welcome that recovery! I will say that I enjoyed Max Interval Sports more. I do like Game Day a lot, but Max Interval Sports was more fun. For Game Day you need your agility ladder. Pull up bar is optional. If you don’t have one (or can’t do pull ups) he has an alternate exercise you can do–lat push ups.

Warm up: 1-3 are done for one minute each and #4 (stretch) is done for 2 minutes. 1. In & Out Agility (stand beside agility ladder; run in and out of the ladder all the way to the end and back); 2. Agility Split Squat Touch (jump lunges with front foot in ladder and finger tips touching the ground at bottom of jump); 3. Agility Dual Hop w/ Jump (small/shallow jumps from on end of the agility ladder to the end, tuck jump over the last rung, then sprint around back to the starting position); 4. 2 minute stretch.

Track & Field: This segment starts with the 1 Mile Race which is 6 minutes long. You change to different types of runs on Shaun T’s command; each run is done for one minute. After that is complete you move onto other track & field exercises. 1 Mile Race: 1. Flat Run High Knees (just a fast high knee run), 2. Up Hill Climb (still high knee run but you do it slower), 3. Down Hill Butt Kicks (fast butt kick run), 4. Steep Hill Climb (a one arm mountain climber but your butt is higher than it normally would be), 5. Flat Run High Knees, 6. Sprint to Finish (high knee run but faster). Water break. 7. 100 Mete Agility Dash–one minute (the ladder has 4 open squares; you will be doing an out-out/in-in run, center squares to outer squares, in the ladder). 8. Competitive Long Jump–one minute (run in place and on Shaun T’s command jump the length of the ladder then spring back to start).

Basketball: 1. Fake Out Lay Up–one minute (standing beside agility ladder but facing the side get into a wide squat with hands near ground like you are holding a ball; bring outer foot forward so you are now facing ladder (still in squat), bring leg back to start (still in squat), then do a lay up jump over the ladder and spring back round to start), 2. Daikeler  Jump Shot–one minute (standing beside agility ladder but facing the side get into a wide squat with hands near ground like you are holding a ball bring back foot forward and jump as if making a basket).

Wrestling: 1. Mounted Mat Maneuver–2 minutes (get on all 4s then raise knees off ground and one toes; twist around bringing opposite leg under you and straightening it, raise arm to ceiling then bring back to ground and do a push up in this position, return to starting position and do a tricep push up).

Soccer: 1. Soccer Kicks–one minute (run forward and do one high straight leg kick, touching toe with opposite hand, run back to start; repeat but do two kicks, keep repeating until you are doing 8 kicks), 2. Juggle–one minute (two high knee runs alternated with 2 “juggles”–a juggle is bringing your foot up so you can tap the inside of your foot with opposite hand), 3. Repeat 1 using other leg, 4 Juggle.

Tennis: 1. Forehand/Backhand–one minute (standing beside ladder, lateral spring to the other side and do a forehand strike, sprint back to start and do another forehand strike (with other hand); halfway through you will change to backhand strikes); 2. Volley/Overhand–one minute (sprint from one end of the ladder to the other (feet in openings), jump feet to outside of ladder, do two “volley” hits, shuffle back to start and do a jumping overhead hit).

Speed Skating: Fold ladder in half. You will be doing two exercises for this sport and he demonstrates them both at the beginning so you can work through the entire series w/out stopping. 1. Speed Skating Sprint–one minute (you do fast skaters touching opposite hand in far square of ladder while leg is out straight), 2. Coast–one minute (still skaters but slower , you jump wider and you balance on each leg–you also do not touch the ground with hands), 3. Speed Skating Sprint–one minute.

Swimming: 1. 100 Meter Breast Stroke–2 minutes (lay on stomach with legs and chest/head raised; flutter kick while breast stroking which is bringing straight arms in front of to the small of your back, keeping arms straight–do this for 30 seconds, after that you stop flutter kicking but keep feet raised and just do breast stroke for one minute, for the final 30 seconds add the flutter kick).

Surfing: 1. Ride the Wave–one minute (lay on stomach with legs and chest/head raised; flutter kick while doing freestyle arm stroke, on Shaun T’s command you jump into wide squat with arms held wide and straight to side and pulse squat).

Football: One up ladder again. 1. Lineman’s Drill–2 minutes (every different move in this series is done on Shaun T’s command: fast feet, shuffle back and forth along the length of the ladder tapping the floor at each end, jump over the ladder and back (width-wise) landing in squat and touching floor when between legs when landing).

Rock Climbing: Fold ladder in half again so only two squares are open. 1. Mountain Climber Jacks–one minute (start in plank with feet in first square; plyo plank jacks forward in back, so jump out of first square and when you jump back in you are jumping feet into second square), 2. Rock Climbing Switch (which is a pull up move) or Alternating Lat Push-Up–2 minutes (bring one hand to side of body, close to body to do each push up–alternate sides), 3. Mountain Climber Push Ups–one minute (you are doing the same thing as in #1, except now you add a push up–so plyo push ups–when your feet jump out of the first square it is a regular push up, when the jump out of the second square you do a tricep push up), 4. Same as #2–either the pull up version or the push up version; the only difference is for the lat push ups, you lift one leg–2 minutes.

Baseball: 1. The Pitch–2 minutes (standing to the side, raise front leg/knee high like getting ready to pitch a baseball, do your pitch and bring hands down to ground and do one mountain climber to switch to other side and do the same thing), 2. Batter Up–one minute (get into a squat and hold arms like you are holding a bat at the ready; swing the bat while doing a 180 squat jump).

Overtime is is 13 minutes long. No warm up or cool down because the idea of this workout is you are tacking it on to another workout for some extra work so you are already warmed up. Equipment needed is agility ladder, jump rope and chin up bar. This little add on is uber-advanced. Out of my league advanced. I did try to do every exercise but some were so incredibly advanced and complicated for me that I maybe eeked out 3-4 reps in the minute given to do the exercise (I tagged those as “nightmare” below). I had to regroup after every single rep. Now, that is not the case for every single exercise, but about half of them. I will not be returning to this workout. I suppose some people might want to one day be able to achieve such feats of fitness as what is contained in this mini workout, but not me. I have no desire to try this again. The first 2:30 minutes are a progression where each variation of the exercise gets more difficult–they are all high impact/plyo moves but I am not going to break these exercises down and describe them because, as I mentioned, I will not be returning to this workout.

1. Scissor Runs (30 seconds)

2. Split Squat Sprint (30 seconds)

3. Split Squat (30 seconds)

4. Split Squat Touch (30 seconds)

5. Mountain Climber Clap Switch (30 seconds) (nightmare)

6. Floor – Up Decoy Split Jumps (one minute) (nightmare)

7. Stationary Bear Crawl (one minute) (nightmare)

8. Floor –  Up Power Jumps (one minute) (very hard)

9. Tricep Push Ups/Hover (one minute)

10. Single Leg Push Ups/Jump (one minute) (nightmare)

11. Double Speed Jump Rope (one minute)

12. Lat Pull Ups/Push Ups (10 pull ups, 25 push ups)



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