Review: T25 vs. Insanity
If you've been following me for awhile, you know that I'm a Shaun T groupie. He first won me over with T25, which is an exercise program that only takes 25 minutes a day x 5 days per week (with one longer/double session, plus one day of stretching and one day of complete rest each week). Who can argue with a program that will get you super fit in just 25 minutes a day?
I started T25 back in April and my husband soon got used to hearing Shaun T shouting, "Your focus... begins... now!" every morning after my alarm would go off, as he tried in vain to go back to sleep. I absolutely LOVED T25, but I'm not a person who likes to repeat anything (just ask my husband and friends... I rarely ever make the same recipe twice... that's how much I like to try new things). So after I finished the 10-week schedule of T25, instead of doing it over again, I decided to move on to Insanity. This was the program Shaun T released before T25. Since both of these programs are still available and they are among the program options in the 30-day fitness groups I run, I thought I'd offer my thoughts in a review so you can compare them side by side.
The first and most notable difference is the duration. As previously stated, the whole point of T25 is that it's only 25 minutes long. The Insanity workouts, on the other hand, vary in length from 40 to 60 minutes.
Since I've started Insanity, my aerobic capacity, strength, and endurance have improved for sure. I'm just not convinced that for the average person, Insanity offers that much more above and beyond what you would get from T25. Yes, if you want to be in super-duper-tip-top shape, with the endurance of a pro athlete... then by all means, go for Insanity. This is a program for people who LOVE to push themselves. If you want to challenge your body to new and unimagined feats of athleticism, this is the program for you! But if you're just looking to get in shape, gain strength and maybe lose some weight, T25 will be plenty challenging.
To be honest, Insanity is really, really, REALLY hard. I find myself having to take a lot of breaks. I'm hoping to get to the point where I won't need to, but for now that's what my body needs. The great thing about T25 is that I feel that 25 minutes is short enough that I feel I can keep going without any breaks. I'm motivated to push myself to my max and I don't feel I need to hold anything back. With Insanity, I feel like I need to take it easy for the first 1/2 to 2/3 of the workout so I don't just poop out by the end. And T25 does incorporate a double day (25 minutes x 2 = 50 minutes) once a week to help you build your aerobic capacity.
One thing Insanity offers that T25 does not, is sufficient stretching. The stretching portion of T25 is way, way, WAY too short (about 3 minutes at the end of your 25 minutes). I get what they were trying to do, with not making the workout too long so that people can fit it in in the morning before work etc. But the fact is that your body needs more stretching than that! If you aren't stretching out calves, glutes/piriformis, hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, and shoulders each and every day, you are risking injury when you do an intense program like this. Insanity has an extended stretching segment after the warm-up, and 4-5 minutes again at the end.
One thing T25 has that Insanity does not: a modifier. One of the cast members demonstrates low-impact moves. So, this program really is suitable for people with injuries and physical limitations, or who are just getting into an exercise routine. You can go back and forth between full-intensity and modified moves as needed. I suppose the creators figured that anybody ambitious enough to try Insanity probably wouldn't be interested in the modified moves, or would know their body well enough to modify as necessary.
Shaun T's demeanor is also really different between the two programs. For T25 he takes a warm and fuzzy, positive, supportive attitude. It was kind of a shock to boot up the Insanity disc and hear him bellowing at me, "COME ON Y'ALL... LET'S GOOOOOOOO!!!" In Insanity, his approach seems to be to scare people into working hard. Not my favorite, but I do like the sequences he puts together... Some creative and challenging moves. So I'll be finishing out Insanity and probably moving on to Asylum 1 and 2 (continuations of Insanity) at some point.
Insanity is definitely not for everyone, though... whereas I really do believe T25 is for everyone. And guess what! The T25 challenge pack just so happens to be on sale in the month of August. The T25 discs by themselves (a 10-week program) are normally $120, but this month you get it for $50 when you buy it with Shakeology (total of $180 for the combo pack). Order here or shoot me an email (address at bottom of page) with questions. And head on over to my Facebook page to see some video snippets from both T25 and Insanity coming up soon! (Check the "Videos" folder for T25 videos I posted earlier this spring... there are several.)