Before we dig deeper into what the Insanity program’s MAX Interval Training principle is, I need to first explain exactly what interval training is. Interval training is simply when higher intensity exercises are performed in set periods of time (known as intervals), which are then followed by an interval of rest or lower-intensity exercise.
Classic Interval Training Example
For a better understanding of interval training, here is a sample interval training program that involves sprinting and walking:
A runner would perform a classic interval training exercise session by sprinting full speed for 30 seconds and then perform a light jog for one minute. Once the light jog interval is performed, the sprinter would sprint again for 30 seconds and then a light jog again for one minute. These sequences would be repeated for a total of 10 minutes.
So…the basics of classic interval training are short bursts of high intensity exercise with longer bursts of lower intensity exercise.
What is MAX Interval Training
Shaun T, the trainer in the Insanity workout program, took the classic interval training principle and turned it upside down. With Insanity, you perform long bursts of high intensity exercise with short intervals of low intensity exercise.
Using the runner example again, MAX interval training would be three minutes of sprinting with only a short 30 second jogging period in between these longer sprints. The cycle would then repeat itself for the desired amount of time.
Classic Interval Training vs MAX Interval Training
As you can see, MAX interval training is not an easy training technique. It is also the reason why Insanity workouts can burn up to 1,000 calories per workout and why beginner exercisers should take it easy when they first begin the program. With Insanity, workouts will have your heart rate over 80% of your maximum, making your entire body work hard.
This is why the biggest downside of MAX interval training is how hard it is to do. This is not to say that classic interval training is not difficult, but Insanity takes the difficulty of interval training to a whole new level. You may think you’re in pretty good shape until you try MAX interval training…trust me.
MAX interval training has the ability to change your body quickly, but it is very difficult exercise. Even a well-conditioned athlete will have a difficult time with Insanity workouts in the beginning.
Luckily, the Insanity workouts are also very easy to perform at your own pace. If you can’t keep up with Insanity workouts in the beginning, you should not be disappointed in yourself, because you know what? – most people can’t. However if you stick with Insanity every day, you will become slightly stronger and slightly leaner every single day. And before you know it, you will be asking for more from the Insanity workouts. It will take some time, but you will get there with hard work and perseverance.