Insanity Review: Fit Test

Insanity Review: Fit Test

Insanity Fit Test[This is the first Insanity review in a planned series.  I will post additional Insanity reviews in the near future.]  If you have any questions about this workout, contact me at]

Insanity Fit Test General Impressions

You know you’re in for something fierce when the fit test to the exercise program can make you gasp for air, and a proper warm up and cool down are necessary.  That’s Insanity.  I’ve been doing Insanity in combination with P90X for several months now, but have never taken the fit test.  This was a mistake on my part, but I was anxious to get right into the workouts.  I needed something to replace the cardio routines in P90X (Kempo X and Plyometrics) because I was finding them too easy, even at the highest intensity levels.

The fit test measures your baseline fitness level prior to commencing the program.  It also measures your improvement as you progress.   If you were doing the entire program instead of grabbing bits and pieces like me, the fit test is an integral part of Insanity and should be performed every two weeks.

Insanity is cardio and lower body intensive.  The exercises in the fit test reflect this.  Each one of them, when done with maximum effort, will make you suck wind.  You will be looking at the timer waiting for the 60 seconds to count down.  You might not be able to do some of them for the full minute.  Get used to them, because they appear in one variation or another in all the Insanity routines.

The DVD is low key with only Shaun T and two demonstrators, Tonia and Chris, appearing.  Shaun T first shows the proper form for each exercise, and then Tonia and Chris go at it under timed conditions.  Shaun T refers to Tonia as “the machine” for good reason.  She is a fitness animal, crushing each exercise with extreme prejudice.  She should be in great shape, having appeared in almost every one of Shaun T’s fitness programs.  In fact, she is the lead trainer in the Shakeology Workouts.  Having been a triathlete, Chris is no slouch, but he just can’t keep up with La Machina.

Breaking Down the Insanity Fit Test Exercises

Switch Kicks.  You perform this exercise standing up.  You alternatively kick each leg to your front as high as you can.  They key is not to stop between each kick.  Meaning, at least one leg should be in the air at any given moment, and the supporting leg should be moving off the ground prior to the kicking leg returning to the floor.  This exercise works your legs and lower abdominals.

Squat Jacks.  We’ve all done jumping jacks.  This exercise turns up the intensity level by making you land into the squat position at the end of each repetition.  Doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but your gluts and quads will be screaming for mercy at the end of the minute.

Power Knees.  This exercise looks easy, but will bring the burn if you do it with full intensity.   It is done standing up and slightly bent over.  You start by putting your weight on one leg and your hands clasped together.  The other leg is bent, and the objective is to raise it up to chest level as quickly as possible, touching your hands to the bent knee.  As you lower the leg, your foot should only touch the floor for a millisecond.  If done correctly, you will look like a piston in a well oiled engine.  This exercise works your lower abs, but I found that the butt cheeks of my supporting leg side will burn like crazy after thirty seconds.  I would go faster and faster like a maniac just to keep my mind off of the pain in my ass.

Power Jumps.  This exercise is not for the weak hearted.  All you are doing is jumping into the air as fast and as high as you can.   Your knees are raised past waist level as you jump.   In order to do this exercise correctly, you should be able to slap your knees with your hands at the highest point of your jump.  If you can’t slap your knees, that means you have not raised them high enough.   You land in the squat position and start the next jump from there.  Repeat until completely exhausted or when the 60 seconds runs out, whichever occurs first.  This exercise works your entire lower body.

Globe Jumps.  This exercise is a series of hops:  one to your right, another to your back, another to your left, and another forward.  Your body is tracing a square or rectangle shape as you hop.  Each square constitutes one repetition.  That means each rep is four hops.  If you are doing the exercise correctly, meaning, your hands are touching the floor with each hop and you are raising them over your head at the highest point of the hop, it will not be easy.

Suicide Jumps.   This exercise is aptly named because you’ll feel suicidal as you’re doing them.  You start off in the plank position as if doing a pushup.   Second step is to hop so that both feet land right behind your hands.  During the hop, your hands remain firmly planted on the floor and only your feet move forward.  When your feet reach your hands, immediately leap up with your hands raised to the sky.  When you land, jump back into the plank position and repeat the exercise.  The raising and lowering of your body from the plank position into a leap will cause lots of heavy breathing (of the painful kind).  This exercise is also known as Burpees.

Push Up Jacks.  Pushups, but raised to the next level.  This exercise is pretty much impossible to do unless you can already do a regular pushup.  It can’t be performed using the modified bent knee pushup position, unless you want crushed knee caps.  You start off in the plank position with your feet together.  As you lower your body, you simultaneously move your feet apart by 18-24 inches.  As you push your body up, you will simultaneously bring your feet back together again.  If you are doing it correctly, it looks as if you are doing jumping jacks while in the pushup position.  Works your chest like crazy.

Low Plank Obliques.  This exercise is also done from the plank (pushup) position.  You can modify it by supporting your body in the plank position with your elbows instead of your hands.  While in plank, bring one knee as close as possible to the arm that is on the same side as the knee.  For maximum effort, touch your knee to the elbow.  Alternate knees with each rep.  This exercise works your entire core because your body should remain as rigid as possible while you are moving the knees up into position, but your obliques feel it the most.

That’s it.  Your body should now be glistening with sweat. Enjoy the cool down.  If you barely made it through the fit test, you should know that at only 25 minutes it is the easiest routine in the entire Insanity program.  Scared yet?

Don’t forget to record your results on the Insanity Fit Test worksheet.  You’ll be shocked at your rate of improvement at the end of 60 days.  Download the worksheet here: Insanity Fit Test Worksheet.

Check out this video to give you an idea of what you’re signing up for:

To read more reviews related to Insanity, click here. If you have additional questions about Insanity and Insanity Fit Test, please email me at, or send me a private Facebook message. I love to hear from my readers about their Insanity experiences. Let’s get the conversation started!

Sign up for my free Fitness Success CourseDo you have any questions about this article or anything relating to health, fitness, and weight loss? Email me at I love to hear from my readers!

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About Khoa Nuyen

Aging and feeling crummy are for people who don't know any better. If a middle aged dude with a sedentary job can get these results, you can too.
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