Can You Do The Insanity Workout If You’re Out Of Shape?

Insanity Workout

The Insanity Workout is billed as an extreme workout. It’s meant to challenge even the most conditioned of top level athletes, meant to push people who are already incredibly fit and healthy to new extremes. The videos show terribly athletic people collapsing in pools of sweat as Shaun T urges them to go just a little further. Does this mean that the Insanity Workout is for nobody but the physical elite? Can somebody climb off the couch and give it a shot? The answer is simple: anybody can do Insanity. Read on to see how.

First off, as with any new exercise program, a beginner should seek medical approval before starting out. If you haven’t worked out for years, are overweight or have a history of medical conditions, you absolutely want to get a green light from your doctor before exerting yourself. Blood pressure, heart disease, joint injury, all of these can cause serious problems if not taken into account, so yes: see you doctor first.

If however you are good to go, but have not worked out in years, then the trick is simple: go at your own pace. Don’t try to emulate the guys on the screen, because remember: everybody on that basketball court had already finished Insanity once before the filming. You’re just getting started. It doesn’t make sense to think you’ll be able to keep up with them. So in the beginning? Don’t try. Go at your own pace, break a sweat, work out for those 45 minutes, but don’t give yourself a heart attack. Remember: the journey to fitness is a marathon, not a sprint, and while the Insanity Workout can give people incredible results in just 2 months, you have to already have a base line of fitness to reap the greatest rewards. Regular people should see this as a motivational tool to get moving, not a death defying challenge on which to destroy themselves.

How do you go at your own pace? Get a heart monitor and watch your heart rate as you work out. Figure out what you’re comfortable with, and then don’t exceed that. I know purists and extremists disagree with me, saying that everybody should just go for it, but remember: the best workout is the one you stick with. If you make yourself nauseous in the first week, odds are you won’t do the second. If instead you pace yourself, remain motivated by approaching it wisely, you’re more likely to do week 2, and 3, and pick up the pace as you go.

Final word of advice! Try doing a warm up week before the actual program of the Cardio Recovery workout. It’s an easier, introductory workout that can help you warm your body up before throwing yourself in the deep end. Try the Cardio Recovery workout for the first week, and then go from there!



  1. Awesome blog, and this is a great 1st post for me to have read. I am a 28 year old father of 2, and am 2 days away from finishing my first time through insanity.

    I started out at 340 pounds, which even at 6’2 is severely obese. So obviously I wasn’t able to do every exercise on day 1. But with a few modifications, I was able to complete the first week and it’s all been downhill from there.

    Now 70 pounds and 8 pants sizes later, I still have trouble matching the frequency of some of the more extreme stuff, but can do about 95+% of the exercises. In fact, the added challange of actually becoming fit enough to complete the exercises for someone of my fit level is an additional dimension of the program that makes me want to come back for more. -T

  2. My name is mark; Iam 21 and not in the shape i should be, by a long shot. My wieght is 302, although i do go to the gym more than most, I have been unsuccesfull at both dropping wieght and having the “cut” look. I just ordered insanity and cannot wait to have it and to start! Ive read about it, Ive heard about it and now I am taking the step that should put me where i want to be physically. I am a Firefighter and in Iraq for the next year and plan to do my first 60 day through insanity just as soon as i get it and cannot to go home for my R&R and see peoples faces over the changes i plan to have in myself. I will let you know how it all turns out for me……and keep you updated.

  3. Hello,

    Am about to end the 3rd week of insanity and for someone who had not worked out
    In more than 2years,I was beginning to think to think I had wasted money.I can’t keep
    Up with shaun t.I feel encouraged and am committing to getting to day 60.
    A big thank you to you

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