Insanty The Asylum Volume 2 Review
< Sunday: November 18, 2012 >
The latest Beachbody program to add to my list of completed workouts is Insanity The Asylum Volume 2 … The Elite Training Series. If you are a graduate of Insanity and Insanity The Asylum Volume 1, you know this is the next program you have to get. Shaun T really takes insane training to the next level introducing 7 new workouts that introduce many new moves that activate different muscles at the same time which will make you work harder than you’ve ever worked.
Now considering that Asylum Volume 2 is a 30 day program, I didn’t expect to have any drastic changes. Perhaps the only thing I would get out of this program would be better to improve stamina and perhaps a little stronger. I would say with another 30 days it would help get me a bit of muscle to be sculpted around my body. But my goal for these 30 days was just to survive the onslaught Shaun T would throw at me.
Shaun T takes you far beyond your competitive limits by cranking up the intensity of the Athletic Matrix — his breakthrough pro-athlete training model that uses dynamic multi-directional movements to activate multiple muscle groups at the same time. So how is this any different form other sports performance workouts? Sports-performance moves work your muscles at angles and velocities you can’t simulate with static exercises. The Athletic Matrix’s system of max muscle recruitment can get you the same results in 30 days that it can take years to achieve in the gym. Just about every move I’ve done in Volume 2 incoporates this training technique which makes each workout challenging and makes your body work much harder than you would expect.
So if you plan on starting Insanity The Asylum Volume 2, I recommend the first thing you the day before you actually start Day 1 (which will be called Day 0) is to do the Agility Tutorial DVD that comes with the program. It’s basically a step-by-step breakdown of Shaun T’s 8 mind-twisting agility moves, so you’ll be a pro when it comes time to hop in the ladder. This was perhaps one of my mistakes I did when I started because I actually never took the time do the Agility Tutorial. Usually you would expect to see Shaun T give a demonstration of the next move during the workouts. But many times you will tell you to quickly start doing The Audition or Counter Attack or Crossword without demonstrating it at all. So I had no choice but to take more time to rest to look at this feet to see what the pattern of the move was. And during my first week it was kinda hard to keep up because I still wanted to make sure that I was doing the move correctly. This greatly affected me when doing my first Sudden Death OT because it requires you to do as many rounds of the Audition as you can. Shaun T actually demonstrates it one time but it took me a very long time to learn the order of the jumping through the ladder. I swear it was insane that I had to keep rewinding to see the pattern over and over again. So because this Audition sequence is shown in the Agility Tutorial, it’s best you watch it several timse so tha twhen you do Sudden Death OT for the first time, you’ll be able to get more rounds without having to wonder what the hell you do next. On my first attempt of doing Sudden Death OT, I barely got 7 rounds of the Audition. But after 30 days I was able to get use to the order of moves performed in the Audition that I can do 9.5 rounds. But sometimes I still have to keep thinking to myself which moves comes next and I sometimes get them out of order. So word of advice, use Day 0 to watch and do the Agility Tutorial.
One major difference between Volume 2 and Volume 1 is that there is a lot more strength training training in the workouts. From the 7 available workouts, about 5 of them requires the use of dumbbells for several of the moves. And those workouts are X Trainer, Upper Elite, Power Legs, Back & 6 Pack, and Championship. I remember last year when going to the Shaun T live event, he talked about how Volume 2 would focus more on strength training so I guess he was right about that. This way I really liked it because sometimes I just need a break from all the cardio. But in certain circumstances, doing some of the strength training was a pain in the ass because the pace at which you do the moves is pretty ridiculous. Especially the combinations in some of moves like the Olympic weight-lifting section where you do for sets of various weight lifting moves such as curls, a jump, a press, an upright row, a bent over row, and lastly a step back curl. All of that is just one rep and you gotta do that four times.It just got really tiring but in a good way I suppose. In the beginning I started out with 15lbs dumbbells which was hard enough when doing so many combinations of weight-lifting. But after my 30 days as my endurance got better, I was able to complete those sets with 20lbs. Just barely. And when doing my second round of Asylum, I plan on moving up to 25lbs which I think is going to be killer.
Here’s a breakdown of the workouts during my experiences:
Insanity The Asylum Volume 2 X Trainer is basically the Speed and Agility combined with Strength of Volume 2. I’ve heard several things about this routine from a Facebook group I’m in on how there was this one section where you do 60 push-ups. What I didn’t know was that it was towards the beginning of the workout. You go along the ladder doing 5 push-ups with your hands in different boxes of the ladder and then holding plank for about 10 seconds. Then you either get put your hands closer or wider depending on what Shaun T says. And you do 60 of those which was just unbelieveable. Of course I had to take breaks going into child’s pose. I’m not even sure if I’ll be able to do the whole thing without any breaks after the 30 days. But that’ll be a goal that I can’t refuse in not making. Another move which I thought was just … catastrophic was flying push-ups which I didn’t think I could do but man did I amaze myself. I should never doubt myself. You start off in the end of the two boxes of the ladder and just do a pushup and jump to the other end of the ladder. After doing four of those, you get up and do a frog jump to the end of the ladder and go into a one handed plank. This took so much strength out of my body but I loved every second of it. It’s one minute of your life for every one of these moves and it’ll take everything you got.
Upper Elite seemed like it consisted of three sections. The first part consisted of like 10 minutes of jump roping and push-ups, then the second part consisted more of using the dumbbells to do curls, presses, and ladder agility. Then the third section was just an even more crazier version of part 2. The certain push-up move that you have to do a lot is doing something like an assisted push-up where you have one hard under your shoulder and the other hand is all the way out. Kinda like doing a wide push-up but just putting 80 percent of your weight in the center and just using the hand that’s out to help do a push-up. So it almost feels like doing a one handed push-up but with the assistance of the other hand that’s only using like 20% of your strength. It really works the chest and your posterior deltoids. And one move that felt almost impossible to do was this move dip where you place both your hands in one square of the ladder and do 5 dips, then you move one of your hands to the second box for a wider stance and do another 5 dips, then you move the hand out again to the third box and do another 5 dips. This was just murder on my triceps and my triceps were hurting already from those assisted push-ups. So I could barely do the first box and I couldn’t move to the second box. That was just brutal. But as time progressed, I managed to master that move by being able to use new strength to move to each box as I do the dips. Then the last sequence which lasted for about 6 minutes was called the burnout which is 6 minutes straight of doing all the moves you did throughout the hour which consist of the assisted push-ups, curls, presses, triangle up-right rows, and more. And also, there was this one move in the burnout which is like doing a pyramid of doing in and outs inside of the ladder. So doing 1 push-up, then jump in the square box of the ladder, then 2 push-ups, then 2 jumps in the square box, and all the way up to 7. This workout I would consider to be better than Strength because it really incorporates the Athletic Matrix in working out several parts of the body in just one move.
In the first half of this workout, Shaun T makes you put on the leg resistance and doesn’t make you take them off for about 25 minutes. So many moves are thrown in for these 25 minutes such as going into plank and having your feet in the boxes and just stepping out with one leg to the next box to work out the glutes, or doing agility squat twists which was insane, or even doing x jumps along the ladder going forward and backwards. I should have started out with using the green bands on the first day just to get a good feel for these moves but I just started out with the red bands because I’m just insane like that. And I stuck with each of those moves taking as much breaks as I needed. As long as I kept good form, I could definitely feel my legs screaming. Then the last half uses the dumbbell to do variations of squats along with some kettle bell swinging of the dumbbell. And in the end, you go through the burnout which I learned may be in every one of these workouts which will make you go through 5 minutes straight of doing all the moves you’ve learned and putting them all together. However in this case, the burnout consisted of doing squat pulses with the dumbbell while your feet are spread out across the ladded for 30 seconds. Then you turn left into a lunge and do lunge pulses for 30 seconds, then go back to the middle for wide squat pulses for 30 seconds, then going to the right for lunges for 30 seconds, then back to center for 30 seconds, and finally bringing the feet narrow and doing squats for 30 seconds. That was just a plain massacre on my legs. Even after completing 30 days, I still can’t go through that burnout without taking a couple breaks.
Back and 6-Pack:
The routine really consisted of going back and forth between using the chin up bar and the mat. However if you don’t have a chin up bar, you can do alternate exercises with the dumbbells or resistance bands such as variations of the row. So because I wanted the challenge, I decided to use the chin up bar to do variations of pull-ups which is something I really want to continue in being good in. Plus I feel doing pull-ups are the best ways to sculpt that back. One move I liked in the pull up was to do a pull up and the crunch the right oblique and then crunch the left oblique. Now that was a whole new feeling for me. I’ve done oblique crunches when in plank position or when standing up but never have I tried doing it during a pull-up. The squeeze felt more effective since I guess the gravity is making you work harder to lift your hips more upwards to squeeze the obliques. Towards the end of the workout where my back was just feeling devastated, Shaun T had us do a 5 count pull-up when coming down. So you do a regular wide pull-up and then take 5 seconds to come down. I was barely able to do two normals one until my arms and back just gave out on the third one which made me use the chin up assist which really helps. The one move that made me yell out so much was this superman move where you lift up a light dumbell twice and then go into plank position to do 2 plank twists to work the core. Then you go back down and do 4 superman dumbbell lifts and then 4 plank twists. So you increment 2 more each time until you reach 16. When I reached 8 that’s where my body felt like it couldn’t take anymore so I took a couple breaks to regain my strength a bit. But it’s lifting the dumbbell and squeezing the back that takes all the energy out of you and I felt like that was the most difficult part of the entire workout.
Championship + Sudden Death OT:
If you’ve done Asylum Volume 1’s Game Day workout, then Championship and Sudden Death just goes beyond that. It has the style of combining multiple sports into one workout. But the difference between this and Gameday + Overtime is that it also includes some weight lifting. The workout begins with some track and field which I know is Shaun T’s favorite and you being with about 3 rounds of 400 meter dashing that you do along the ladder which is a good warm up. Then the plyo starts getting involved as you start doing some decoy jumps, tuck jumps, power jumps, and jumping over the entire length of the ladder is variations combinations that will get your heart pumping fast. Then I got excited when he started incoporating volleyball moves into this because volleyball is my favorite sport. You get to use the red band in this one as you get into a squat position with hands out while you hold the band with both hands, then you dive forward staying in plank position, then you use the power in your arms to stretch out the band by extending one of your arms in front of you. This goes in a pyramid fashion where you do one, then two, then three, then four, and finally five. Then another nice one I loved was the soccer goalie drill of diving to the side and then quickly coming up to jump up in the air like you’re blocking a ball from crossing the goal line. In the end, you get to do the fit test which requires doing the Agility Sequence that incorporates a foot movement pattern that you learn in the Agility tutorial. Unfortunately I didn’t see the Agility tutorial so I had to try to remember this combination as I go. I recommend that you do watch the Agility Tutorial to remember this sequence because it was hard to remember and it messed me up a couple times. But for the mean times that I’ve done Sudden Death OT, the most rounds I’ve ever gotten is 9.5. Eventually as I continuing doign Sudden Death OT, my goal to complete is 11.
I really loved Volume 2 because it brings a new level to the Insanity franchise of Beachbody and it really did so much work on my legs. Utilizing the ladder a lot was actually a gift to me because it really made my legs stronger in my opinion. And adding in a lot of weight lifting in almost all of the workouts, it really got me stronger and increased my endurance considering the speed. But in 30 days I really don’t it made much of a huge change in my body appearance. This workout is mostly to help burn fat and help increase your athletic ability. My goal is still wanting to gain more muscle mass which is why I’ve decided to do a Body Beast / Asylum Volume 2 hybrid. So I won’t post any before and after photos this time around. I will however post them at the end of the year once I’ve completed my Body Beast / Asylum Volume 2 hybrid. And because I’ve done Insanity and Asylum Volume 1, there was no way I could miss doing Volume 2. And so should you! I highly recommend trying out Asylum Volume 2 if you’ve done Insanity and Asylum Volume 1. It introduces new ways to train your body in ways you can’t even imagine. I’m really hoping a Volume 3 will come out after seeing how sucessful Volume 1 and 2 were.