Insanity Workout Review: Good for OCS?

What is Insanity?

BeachBody’s Insanity program by Shaun T is a 60 day cardio-intensive at-home DVD workout using no equipment.


The Good

  • No need for lots of expensive equipment or a gym.
  • When you work out at home, there’s less time wasted and fewer hurdles to getting your workout in, so you probably will stick to the program better.
  • Insanity basically ensures you have superb cardio by the end! The level of intensity you will achieve will be off the charts compared to most civilian workouts.
  • Insanity is known for being…insane! Shaun T is a very motivating teacher and will help break many people’s mental barriers. The mental toughness of Insanity is a very important benefit for the future Marine officer.

The Bad

  • It is expensive new, and would require more room than some college dorms, but generally is attainable for most participants.
  • Where’s the strength and resistance training? With all the plyometrics, legs have a chance to grow, but muscle-building and weight training takes a back seat to burning off calories.
  • Lack of upper body/weight-bearing training does a poor job mimicking real OCS workouts.
  • No pullups. That’s just sad.

One Candidate’s Review:

I thought it works really well for cardio. It is fast paced and works you from the moment you start until you end. Breaks are kept to a minimum (usually under 20 seconds) and you almost never stay still. My main/only complaint (in my experience) is you plateau on it pretty quickly though. It doesn’t hold a candle to something like a hard Fartlek run but it is a good stand alone cardio workout.  –John Puller

The Bottom Line: Should I Get Insanity?

For the moderately fit candidate

Insanity is too incomplete of a workout to properly prepare for the full gamut of physical stresses at OCS. Insanity’s cardio standards are top-notch, but that cardio skill comes at the expense of a well-rounded workout program. The whole point of Insanity is to burn the maximum number of calories at the maximum level of intensity. How can you have a full workout with no pullup bar or ammo can pressing?

Click to see the INSANITY Workout DVDs on Amazon

Actually, if you’re overweight:

For the future candidate needing to lose a lot of weight, Insanity could be a good first workout. You could lose the extra weight, and get to a strong baseline cardio level to focus on the pre-ship PFT and the OCS workouts.

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