Shawn T’s Asylum vs. Insanity Review

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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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Total Body Weight Training Workout Videos

Weights

By popular requests I’ve streamlined a 4 day alternating body part weight training program. Since we are working different body parts each day, you can lift weights everyday. This is an instructional video so I’ll show you what moves to do in modified and advanced levels, the sets and reps and the order to do them in. I like training alternate body parts each day because you really get to target the muscles and they get to rest the rest of the week. I also believe in keeping your heart rate elevated to burn fat while building muscles. By getting in a cardio workout while lifting, you get a full workout that will tone, tighten, drop fat and burn calories.

I want to stress how important it is to lift weights. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to get “bulky” ladies unless you are taking enhancers like steroids. I lift a ton and I’m not even to the level of muscles I want to be. It is hard to accomplish that. You will just look lean and tone, the ideal body that you want. Also, don’t worry about how many calories you burn while working out. It’s the calories you burn AFTER working out that counts. Muscles burn more calories while stationary so you’ll be constantly burning fat even after working out.

So for day one, you will do the Chest and Tricep workout. You want to pick weights that are light enough to get to 12 reps but also to have the last 3 be a little hard. Play around and keep a record of weights used so you can progress and be consistent. You do the first exercise for 12 reps and immediately go to the 2nd exercise. After 12 reps you immediately jump rope for 1 full minute. That is 1 full set. You repeat the steps all over again for those two exercises with the 1 min jump until you’ve done 3 full sets. Then immediately move to the next two exercises followed by 1 min of jump ropes. Continue your 3 sets of 12 reps until you’ve performed all the exercises. This is meant to keep your heart rate up so you should be tired but keep pushing. Rest when you need to but don’t let your HR drop. Get right back in when you can.

Day two will have you do Backs and Biceps. Follow the same instructions of 2 exercises for 12 reps each followed immediately with 1 minute jump rope. You can do any cardio exercise you want if you don’t want to do jump ropes. You can jump, do high knees, run on treadmill etc, it’s just about keeping your HR up. Perform all sets to the end.

Day three is Leg Day!! Keep in mind to keep weight on your heels, squat as low as you can and keep knees behind toes. You can use your own body weight but legs are a big muscles so I encourage the use of weights and ankle weights for leg lifts. Instead of doing jump ropes, I would suggest you doing lateral jumps and box jumps. It is leg day so you want to max them out.

Day four is Shoulders and Abs. These are smaller muscle groups. Really make sure you’re resisting the weights and use your abs to engage your core. There you have it, a full body workout routine. Do this for two weeks consistently then increase the weights the next two weeks. Increase your jumps. Always challenge yourself. You will be surprised at how much more you can do. 🙂

4 Minute Tabata Ab Workout

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Yes I still have those old school T.V.’s because I believe sitting around watching shows is not being productive and conserving energy. I use it for workout DVD’s.IMG_0156IMG_0157

Too busy to workout? Well you can always sacrifice 4 minuets to blast some fat. Here is my 4 minute tabata ab workout. Do the modified version and work your way up to the advanced version. Do it 3-4 times a week for 4 minutes then start increasing the rounds aiming for 20 mins total. I use the Simply Tabata app because you can preset the interval times. Just set it for 20 secs on and 10 secs rest. Remember to push hard, fast and strong. You should be drenched at the end of the 4 minutes. Good Luck!!

 

 

4 Minute Tabata Total Body Workout

4 minutes a day to get to a leaner you? Yes it’s possible. High intensity interval training is designed to burn fat as you push as hard as you can for short burst at a time. This combines cardio and strength training so no excuses to not workout. You have 4 different exercises performed for 20 seconds with 10 seconds rest. Once you have done all 4 exercises for one round totally 2 minutes, you repeat the steps again. That makes it 4 minuets total. Although it’s only 4 minutes, you have to maximize every second. Push yourself harder, faster and stronger. You should be sweating and breathing so hard you can barely talk. Once you get stronger, start adding more rounds. Strive for 10 rounds which will be 20 minutes total. I use the Simply Tabata app on my iphone. You can preset the interval and rest times. Just set it for 20 seconds on with 10 seconds rest. Here is my video that you can workout to in real time. Good luck!!

Transformation Thursday!

I’ve had random strangers ask me workout questions. I’ve had friends and family ask me for health related advice. Somehow I must be projecting an image that I’m athletic or look fit, yet I struggle to see myself that way all the time. Growing up I never did sports or was physically active so it’s hard for me to consider myself an “athlete”. As I continue to live a healthy lifestyle and workout, I try to tell myself that I am “athletic.” It’s hard for me to see myself the way others do. It’s just been recently that when people ask me if I’m a runner, I’ll say yes. Before I would answer that I liked to run, but was not a “runner.”

It’s important for me to stay positive and see myself realistically because I don’t want to be the only person holding me down. I have so many workout/health goals that it’s easy for me to feel so inadequate. It’s at those moments that I look at how far I’ve come and the accomplishes I’ve made.

Slow and steady has always been my motto. I used to say it to compensate for placing last or not hitting my weight loss goals in the span of a week. Now I say it because I know that I’ll get there. I just have to be consistent, eat right, workout, stay active and limit the times I indulge. By doing those things, and really enjoying it, at some point I hit my goals. Sometimes I also realize I hit goals I didn’t initially think about. Ex: Eating healthy fats like EVOO, coconut oil, avocados, and nuts helped me to stay fuller longer, be more satisfied and leaned out. Or that the goal I thought I wanted isn’t that important compared to other things I gained. Ex: weighing 120 lbs. I’m 135lbs ave but my body fat is at a fit 23%. I am concentrating more on getting to 20% body fat than 120 lbs because that’s more realistic.

Looking back on what started this all: my first triathlon. My only concern was to finish. Here are my results, which I am really proud of. I don’t swim, have only ever biked on those little BMX bikes and never run/walked more than a half mile because I was forced to at school.

CapTexTri – 1st Tri

05/25/2009

Austin, TX

CapTexTri - 1st Tri

Triathlon
Summary

Total Finishers: 256
Men: 135 (01:14:00 avg)
Women: 121 (01:22:00 avg)

Gun Time Chip Time Bib First Name Last Name Quick
Search
City State Division Class
Position
Overall
PlaceName
Age Zip Country Gen
Place
400m
Swim
Rank
400m
Swim
Time
400m
Swim
Pace
T1
Time
10K
Bike
Rank
10K
Bike
Time
10K
Bike
Pace
T2
Time
5K
Run
Rank
5K
Run
Time
5K
Run
Pace
01:33:38 01:33:38 4048 Linda Yang Search for  Helotes TEXAS 1st Tri F 0-99 101 222 28 78023 United States 101 234 16:00 4:00/M 05:54 206 27:51 13.4MPH 04:45 212 39:06 12:32/M

As you can see the ave time to finish was 1:22 and I did it in 1:33. I ranked 222 out of 256 for men and women and 101 out of 121 for women only. I didn’t care because I had finished and my personal best was not walking the 5k run at all. It’s something I had never done before, even in training. I’ll take the 12:32 pace.

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Even though I was happy to just finish, seeing the results really made me analyze where I can improve. I saw that I was able to do something I thought was just for “athletes” and now I wanted to see where I could take it. I continued to do other races and see improvements. The next year I did the same race but the longer distance to compare results.

Gun Time Chip Time Bib First Name Last Name Quick
Search
Race
Photos
City State Division Class
Position
Overall
Place
Age Zip Country Gen
Place
Tot
Div
Tot
Gend
Tot
AG
750m
Swim
Rank
750m
Swim
750m
Swim
Pace
T1 20K
Bike
Rank
20K
Bike
20K
Bike
Pace
T2 5K
Run
Rank
5K
Run
5K
Run
Pace
02:12:04 02:12:04 2668 Linda Yang Search for  San Antonio TEXAS Sprint F 25-29 68 822 29 78240 United States 297 836 338 76 917 45:27 6:04/M 04:19 548 43:20 17.2MPH 03:18 611 35:39 11:26/M

My swim was not very good. I struggle with some anxiety in open water swim but it’s all about not giving up. Yes it was a blow to my pride taking 45 mins to swim 750m when most people can easily do it in 15 mins. Even at 30 mins that’s a really slow time and I took way longer than that. What I was proud of was that I didn’t give up. I pushed through the fear, disappointment and held on to the life boats twice, but I made myself finish. I tried to focus on my successes. A 17.2 MPH pace for biking is really fast for me ranking 548 out of 927 men and women. My run pace also improved to a 11:26. 27970_10150182276470034_4530884_n

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It’s hard not to feel bad that my friends have to wait for me at the finish line but I also realized that the only person complaining about that was me. My friends have only ever encouraged me no matter what. I need to remember that we are all just trying to do our best. In 2011 I really trained hard and saw even better results. I finally was 10 out of 18 in my category and swam my best 400 m time at 13:50. 40467_392137214057_64646_n40948_416398547212_1738835_n41223_416099742212_853831_n

 

More races and healthy life changes later….

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I ran my best 5k pace on a duathlon at 8:54 and ranked 2nd in my division for the bike.

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I finally placed first in my category at 8:20 pace for a 8k and did my best 5k pace of 7:54. It is nice to place well but I see more of how far I’ve come and how hard I’ve worked to get to where I’m at. It’s easy to want to work out and eat healthy because I see such positive outcomes. 408001_10151331894147213_621040461_n74491_10151295684042213_1799937585_n

So though I still struggle to see myself as an “athlete”, I do take pride in the hard work and dedication I put in. Slowly but surely I do improve and accomplish my goals. It’s important to remind yourself that it’s a life long journey and you will get there. Plus it’s a lot of fun along the way. See a hurdle? Just jump over it. Burns more calories and builds more strength 😉

 

Low on Time? Do High Intensity Interval Training

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I am so into high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts now. I’ve avoided this for years because they are TOUGH! I like running at a comfortable pace because it relaxes me and is the one time each day that I don’t have to listen to anyone or think about anything. Running is great, especially for cardiovascular health, endurance, weight loss and toning your legs. But if you want to get cut, drop lots of fat fast, and transform your body to have lean muscles, you have to do HIIT workouts. And the best part is they are fast workouts.

This is the quick down and dirty without all the scientific jargon I don’t understand. HIIT workouts are anaerobic instead of aerobic workouts. Aerobic is traditional workouts like running, jogging, biking, cardio exercise dvd’s, etc. that is performed consistently about 30-60 mins. Anaerobic exercises are weight lifting and for cardio, quick bursts of high intense movements followed by a short rest and repeated for 4-40 mins. The easiest way I look at it is comparing a marathoner’s body and workout to that of a sprinter. Marathoners are aerobic so they are very lean with very lean/thin muscles. Sprinters are anaerobic and have sculpted defined muscles without the bulk. I like a sprinters body so I’m forced to do HIIT workouts. Anaerobic also burns more calories post workout than aerobic.

I’ve been experimenting around with different programs. I’ve done some good but super intense ones that I can only last 15-20 mins. I found this easy to follow program on fitnessblender.com. I like how easy the moves are and while it will be a challenge, it’s definitely doable. There are many different workouts that range from 8 mins to 1.5 hrs. I think their HIIT programs are a good introduction to incorporating HIIT into your workout routine.

I just did their 45 Minuet HIIT & Total Tabata workout. It’s not the most exciting program and they don’t play pumping music but it’s in real time and they really explain how to do the moves before you start them. They also tell you the countdown on time and reps. It’s not as intense for me, but I also workout like crazy and have been doing insane HIIT workouts. I definitely will add weights and increase speed so that it’ll be more challenging. I do think this will be a tough and challenging workout if you aren’t used to HIIT workouts. Do what you can, rest if you have to, then get right back in.

I was always afraid of HIIT workouts before but now I’m addicted. I’ve seen way more definition, especially in losing belly fat. This has also increased my speed in distance running. I workout in shorter increments but smarter because I really maximize those 15-20 mins. I’ve been running long distance for a few years and was baffled that my body wasn’t where I wanted it to be. Now with HIIT training, I see the results coming in faster and better.

There is nothing wrong with aerobic workouts. I love them and still do them when I can. I really miss just going for a good run. I started HIIT because I wanted to build more muscles and really drop body fat. Since doing HIIT, my muscles are more defined, my speed in my 5k is faster and I’ve leaned out, especially my abs. With the added muscles, I am burning more calories at rest. Also when I overindulge, I don’t feel “fat” because my body metabolizes it so fast. Here is my abs before HIIT and current abs. I’m going to really work on getting that cut look.

Before HIIT

Before HIIT

After one month of HIIT

After one month of HIIT

Ladies, I’ve mentioned before in my Jamie Eason 12 Week Weight Lifting program how important it is do build muscle. Trust me it’s impossible to get bulky without taking testosterone supplements. You will just end up with the body you’ve always dreamed of. Here is the link to the workout program. They have lots to choose from. Aim to do one each day at least 4-6 times week.

http://www.fitnessblender.com/

Enchanted Rock

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Enchanted Rock is exactly like the name says. It’s a big rock that is quite enchanting. I like it mainly because Texas is pretty flat and this gives me some climbing. It’s about an hour or so away from San Antonio. Here is the link http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/enchanted-rock

It’s worth the drive to take in the view and see all the flowers that grow there. You can rock climb, camp and just explore. Asides from the giant rock, there are other trails to walk around. IMG_7631

To make it more challenging I wore my ankle weights at 2.5 lbs each. It was a good sweat running up that rock. I had to stop twice but next time I will make it all the way with no stops.

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Only in Texas will you find a grill in the shape of the state. Love it!IMG_7633

Amazing view

Amazing view

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And of course I always injure myself. Totally fell while standing still on some loose rocks. I didn’t realize the amount of blood came from all those rocks scraping my knee. Sadly the puppy got hurt too so we took turns carrying her. Yup I carried her like a baby with 5 lbs ankle weights and a bleeding knee. That’s fitness for ya 🙂

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