Health & Fitness

Does Insanity Work & How?

If you’re looking to know how does Insanity works then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’ll be trying to explain to you as simple as I can, how does the Insanity workout work.

So How Does The Insanity Workout work?

The way Insanity helps you burn fat is by helping you achieve what scientists refer to as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC for short) or in laymen’s terms, the Afterburn Effect. Studies have shown that by achieving this state, participants were able to increase their metabolic rate (the speed at which you burn calories just breathing and “living”) for hours long after having completed their workouts.

And the best way to achieve this Afterburn Effect is through either HIIT, Tabata, or in this case Max Interval Training. You can also achieve this by using weights but from my own experience, I found bodyweight routines using any of the three methods to be much more effective.

What is  Max Interval Training?

Shaun T used the concept of Max Interval Training as the name of the advanced fitness technique in his Insanity workouts. It’s sort of similar to HIIT or the Tabata protocol where users follow a higher working to resting ratio (usually a ratio of 2:1 but there’s nothing to prevent you from having a 3:1 ratio or 10:1). In other words, if you were to work out for 20 seconds, you’d get 10 secs of rest, if you did 30 seconds, then you’d get 15 seconds of rest, and so on.

How Well Does Insanity Work?

When it comes to improving cardio, all three methods are on the same page. However, when it comes to burning fat, Max Interval Training is the best method. Here’s why:

Max Interval Training Vs. Tabata Protocol

First of All the Tabata protocol is simply research done to prove how HIIT is better than long steady cardio. It’s not an actual workout… The metrics used in the Tabata protocol are simply guidelines set for the experiment.

Max Interval Training Vs. HIIT

HIIT and Tabata both focus on one exercise per routine. For instance, if you were a sprinter, you’d sprint using a 2:1 working to resting ratio for several sets. You can also use an elliptical machine to do HIIT or Tabata.


The Max Interval Training makes use of various other exercises during one routine. In other words, your workout has more muscle fibers than by doing HIIT or Tabata.

For a full insanity schedule, feel free to read our article on the Insanity workout calendar.

How Many Calories Does Insanity Burn?

This can vary but some people burn between 400-1000 calories depending on the workout you’re doing.

Does Insanity Build Muscle?

Yes, but only to a certain extent. If someone with very little physical strength or no fitness experience were to try the Insanity workout program, he or she would without a doubt pack on some muscle but not a lot. Anyone whose fitness level is close to nil will pack on muscle the moment they start to exercise.

The point I’m trying to make here is that if you’re looking to pack on a lot of muscle mass, then this isn’t the right workout program for you. But if you’re looking to get ripped because you already have a decent amount of muscle, then I’d say this is exactly what you need.

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