Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Asylum Volumes 1 & 2 Review

When I discovered last year that fitness expert Shaun T had created a sequel to Insanity, I knew I had to try it! Insanity the Asylum Volume 1 is a 30-day program designed to train you like a professional athlete. A few months later, Asylum Volume 2 was released, taking the workouts to a whole new level. What I love most about these programs is that they work your mind as well as your body. Focus is key!



The Workouts

Most of the workouts in both volumes of Asylum are between 40 - 60 minutes. Unlike their predecessor, Insanity, Asylum has more focus on resistance training in addition to cardio. It also requires more coordination since many of the exercises are performed using an agility ladder.

Volume 1 introduces you to the agility ladder. You'll learn how to maneuver your feet through the ladder in a variety of drills, as well as doing a fair amount of jumping and some resistance training. You'll need dumbbells for the "Strength" workout, and you also have the option of using a pull-up bar for some of the exercises. Shaun T does provide alternative training for those that can't yet use a pull-up bar or don't have access to one. You can read more about the workouts in Asylum 1 here.


Volume 2 takes the agility ladder a step further with complex drills that will require every bit of your mental and physical focus. This volume incorporates a lot more resistance training than the first. Dumbbells are used in every workout. One of the DVDs also incorporates the pull-up bar. You can read more about the Asylum 2 workouts here.


Equipment

Volume 1 comes with an agility ladder, jump rope, and strength bands. You'll also want to have some dumbbells or a resistance band, and possibly a pull-up bar.

Volume 2 requires the same equipment as Volume 1, but since it's a sequel, it doesn't provide the ladder, rope or bands. Beachbody assumes you already have those at home.

Who Is This Workout For?

If you are an Insanity graduate looking for the next big challenge, this workout is definitely for you! If you're just in really good shape and want something new and fun to try, this one is for you. I would recommend completing Volume 1 before attempting Volume 2 simply because of the complexity of the agility ladder.

That being said, Asylum 2 isn't for everyone. If you have a history of back/neck or knee problems, this program probably not for you. This workout isn't for beginners either.

My Thoughts

I loved both volumes of Asylum! They were a really fun change of pace for me. Volume 2 definitely incorporates more strength training than Volume 1. That was right up my alley since I love P90X, but if you're not used to doing any strength workouts, those will be a big challenge.

In both programs, the last workout each week is a series of sports contests. Shaun T actually tells you to visualize the competition right on your heels, which really pushed me to work harder. You'll do a whole range of "sports" during these workouts including a 1-mile run, swimming, rock climbing, soccer, football and gymnastics just to name a few. I loved doing this! It made the time fly by and kept the workout fun and exciting.

Here I am doing speed skating!
If you have any questions about Asylum Volume 1 or 2, please feel free to leave them in the comments below or email me at corvincrew@gmail.com.