Insanity For Pussies (and runners)


Shaun T, creator of Insanity

I’ve finally figured out how to do the Insanity programme without injuring myself. The trick is…to never do Insanity on consecutive days. I call it “Insanity for Pussies”.

Let me explain…

Just over a year ago, on the advice of my sister in law who was an Insanity addict, I decided to do the hyper-intense exercise programme. I’d been running and doing circuit sessions to improve my fitness, so I felt like I was ready for the next step.

How wrong I was. After just five days I had managed to totally wreck my back. A combination of bad form and trying to go too fast too soon resulted in a back injury that was simply excruciating. I slowly recovered, but my back continued to give me problems, so I stuck to running. But running became a problem when I started to get ITB pains.

After visiting with a physiotherapist, we finally got to the bottom of the pain – a trapped nerve was causing referred pain into my legs and affecting my running. I’m convinced that it all stems from the original Insanity injury.

So that’s how I came to Insanity For Pussies. It’s all about accepting that your body isn’t quite ready for a full 60-90 day exercise programme. And as a runner, I need to be out on the road too. The smart compromise is to mix up running and Insanity sessions and never do Insanity on consecutive days to allow your body to recover. Here’s a typical rolling schedule:

  • 3 days on:
    1. Insanity session
    2. 5-8 mile run
    3. Insanity session
  • Rest day
  • 4 days on:
    1. Insanity session
    2. 5-8 mile run
    3. Insanity session
    4. 10-13 mile run
  • Rest day
  • Repeat

Basically, you take your pick from the Insanity sessions from the DVD set. Make sure to mix them up so that you’re working all your body parts. Or if you want to be true to the schedule, then stick to Shaun T’s timetable, just spreading the exercise out.

The advantages are that you get to slowly build your strength and cardio while giving your body time to recover. Doing Insanity on consecutive days knackers you and compromises your form, especially if you’re not used to that level of intensity. And if you’re a runner, you get to spend some time building your speed and endurance – notice I’ve factored in one fairly long run for each rotation. You may even be surprised how your running improves now that your core and form are stronger.

So far – after several weeks of doing Insanity this way – I’m seeing amazing body changes. I’ve shed the few excess pounds I’d gained due to inactivity and I can feel muscles building. And today I beat my 10k personal best on a run. And you know what? My recovery between sessions has been fantastic.

If you’re someone who would like to try Insanity but is concerned about injury, maybe try my modified timetable and see how it works for you. Let me know how you get on!


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