Anybody can grab the INSANITY workout, go into their garage and bust out a session. Just pound their bones and joints out on a cement floor, gulp down a glass of water, and then go about their day, feeling raw, pumped up, and ultimately worn out and in pain. Folks, this is an extreme fitness program for a reason. This is marketed to the elite because it takes more than mental toughness (that’s the most basic requirement). It requires that your body be in top form, that you be in fighting shape, that you be able to take an extreme amount of physical stress and thrive. And unless you’re a machine, or a marine, or a decathlete, you’re going to need to take care of yourself. Yes, nutrition, yes nine hours of sleep. But these three things below will help you not only get through INSANITY, but to thrive.

Joint Support Formula

Am I the only dude out here on the Internet hammering away at this? Maybe it’s due to my own experience with Insanity–by the beginning of the third week, my knees were crackling like a brush fire, and my wrists and ankles were in similar shape. There is a TON of plyo in Insanity, people. That means almost an hour of jumping at times, of flexing your knees, going into deep squats, doing endless push ups, running on the spot. It adds up, and what’s worse, it’ll wear you out if you’re not ready for it. Take care of your joints, or you’ll be forced to drop out due to pain and swelling. Get the Joint Support Formula, which is made up of glucosamine, collagen type II and methylsulfonylmethane, all of which support joint flexibility and cartilage function. A couple of these/day will help your body stay on top of its game, and keep those crackling noises at bay.

Black Matt by Manduka

Back to all that plyo. When I first started Insanity, I thought it would be hardcore to do it on bare cement in my garage. It felt hardcore. And after awhile, it felt awful. All that pounding, those shocks to the knee. I tried grabbing a yoga mat I had lying around, and for awhile that worked, but then I stepped it up to the Manduka Black Matt, and baby I was in heaven. Soft yet secure, it was specially designed for plyometrics, and is a true monster of a matt. This thing makes all the difference, and if you feel fond of your joints and health, you’ll get one. Don’t mess around folks. You need to take this stuff seriously.

Recovery Formula

You ever been lying there on the floor after an Insanity workout, sweat dripping from every floor, feeling wasted, broken, exhausted, exultant? And then seen Shaun T come back on the screen, all fresh faced and brimming with energy, and tell you to drink the Recovery Formula? I know I have. The reason he’s pushing it is that after a workout your body will have a 90 minute window or so during which it’ll metabolize nutrients much faster. Drinking down the correct mix of carbs and protein at this time will boost your absorption of glucose and help replenish your exhausted stores of energy. Which will make you bounce back all the faster from your workout, and be ready for tomorrow’s. It makes the difference between dragging yourself into the next workout with feet like lead and legs like rubber, and attacking your next workout like a starving tiger, ready to detonate and destroy every move Shaun T throws at you.