Shawn T’s Asylum vs. Insanity Review


Shawn T’s Insanity workout video is amazing and one of the toughest workouts I’ve ever done. That is until I “graduated” to the next level Asylum. This is not for beginners. It’s not easy even for those that workout and are “athletes.” I loved the results, physically and mentally that I got from Insanity so much, I was ecstatic to find out he made a follow up video. There are some similarities but there are a lot of differences. The biggest similarities is that it’s tough, it gets quick results and you’ll constantly be challenged.

Asylum is a one month program as opposed to Insanity’s two month program. You don’t get an actual rest day but he has a program called Relief where it’s 23 minuets of amazing stretching that will loosen you up to perform the workouts better. Another difference is that he uses some equipment in Asylum. The beauty of Insanity was that you just used your own body for everything. What Shawn T. does best though is to give you alternatives if you don’t have equipment. He shows you dumb bell vs. resistance band options based on what equipment you have. For the pull up bar sequences, he gives you push up options. And if you don’t have any equipment at all? He also shows you how you can do them without anything. And trust me, the moves are super tough with no equipment. He has some sequences using a jump rope and although I have one, I don’t use it because it’s pretty dang tough just using a pretend rope. My thighs are burning, my glutes want to quit and I’m breathing so loud I’m surprised the neighbors haven’t complained.

There is also more variety to Asylum than Insanity. Insanity is basically 6 days of high intensity training. Some workouts are tougher than others and some focus more on quick cardio, some on core, some on upper body. I started Insanity last year while I was training for a marathon, which every time I hit the half marathon mark, I remember I’m not a long distance runner and will learn to accept that. I thought my endurance and cardio was in high gear until I did the Fit Test in Insanity. That test was a hard workout in itself.  In Asylum, he has a specific strength training video, which is where the weights are used most. In that video he talks about the importance of cross training. Athleticism is a balance of cardio and strength. Both work together to maximize performance. His core workout is a full workout in Asylum instead of a supplement in Insanity. What he says as core is not what you traditionally think of a core workout. There are no crunches or planks. He stresses that core is also your back and you work that to the bone! Most people have a weak core, both back and abs, and these are muscle you use in your daily routine. Asylum’s two major cardio routines incorporate a lot of strength training and even use resistance bands and agility ladder. Again, you don’t need them because the moves are super tough. You’ll recognize some moves from Insanity like mountain climbers, tuck jumps and in and outs but now they are heightened to the 10th power. Now it’s mountain climbers with switch kicks, single leg tuck jumps and in and out progression.

Asylum is more sports training and you get to prove it on Game Day. It goes through a series of sports like basketball, tennis, swimming, wrestling etc. It’s really fun and gives you a better appreciation for athletes in all shapes and form. Shawn T. really motivates but doesn’t take any excuses. In Insanity, he encourages you to do what you can and you’ll see the improvement. In Asylum, he yells at you because you’ve already graduated Insanity. You think you’re tough enough to do Asylum so don’t punk out. He tells you you’re letting your team down if you quit, you have to jump higher, mover faster and if you really are tired, take two breaths and get right back in. If you can’t then drop down and do push-ups.

This workout isn’t for those that want to be coddled. If you want to improve, be a better athlete, challenge yourself and work all muscle groups while building strength and leaning out, then first do the 2 months of Insanity and if you got over the tears, sweat and blood, then pick up Asylum and see your body change even more than you though possible.

This is my first month of Asylum results. I’ve leaned out, gained more muscles in my arms and definitely in my inner thighs and quads. I’ve also gained 3 lbs of muscles and all my clothes are getting looser on me. For the first month, I modified some moves and am not using a jump rope. Now I’m in my second month repeat and will step it up to prepare for the next workout program Asylum 2.



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