Cardio workouts form the basis of the Insanity workout DVD series, with some body-weight resistance exercises added throughout for circuit training. The 10 workouts created by Beachbody and hosted by trainer Shaun T. range in duration from 30 to 86 minutes; these workouts are designed to raise your heart rate and burn calories. As cardio provides an important component of any weight loss plan, a set of workouts as intense as Insanity can certainly help you reach your goal.
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How Fat Loss Occurs
Fat loss occurs when you burn more energy than you take in. Your body turns to your fat stores and siphons off triglycerides, which get broken down several times until they're in a form that your body can use as fuel. If this happens frequently, your fat cells eventually shrink, because they're no longer so full of triglycerides, and you notice your waistline getting smaller. The key to this equation is energy burn, and cardiovascular exercise is the most effective way to expend the most effort in a short period of time.
The Insanity Workouts
In addition to circuit training, Insanity also employes interval training and plyometrics to increase your heart rate and keep it high for the duration of the workout. The strength exercises help you retain lean muscle mass as you lose weight, which helps your body burn calories faster. Beachbody claims that Insanity workouts burn 1,000 calories per hour, but your results may vary. Your calorie burn is directly related to your age, state of fitness and the amount of effort you put into the exercise. If you just go through the motions, you shouldn't expect results; but if you give it your best shot, you'll burn plenty of calories even if you can't keep up with the people in the videos.
Don't Forget Diet
The Insanity package comes with the Elite Nutrition Plan, which shows you what to eat to fuel your workouts and shed fat. The focus is on reducing fat, eating enough carbs to fuel your endurance and eating lean protein to assist in muscle repair. The plan is customizable based on your size and workout schedule, but it's a vital part of the weight loss equation. Intense exercise can increase your appetite, and it's possible to negate an entire workout with one ill-advised snack. A statement in the medical journal "Medical Hypotheses" suggests that a low-fat diet is important if you want to maximize the fat loss from your workouts. If you're forcing your body to feed off stored fat, you don't want to keep loading it up with new calories.
Your Fitness Plays a Role
Insanity keeps your heart rate within 80 to 90 percent of your maximal heart rate for the majority of each workout. Consult your doctor before beginning the program, and take the fit test included in the set before you begin. If you can't complete the fit test, you may not be ready for the intensity of the workout. Start slow, and focus on mastering technique and form before you worry about keeping up with the video. You can always go faster as you get stronger.