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6-Pack at 36? Insanity Results

I've always enjoyed playing sports and staying fairly active, from Sunday league footie, mountain biking to more recently running and squash. I'm no fitness freak but I'll always be up for trying something new and having a go at the latest fitness crazes that seem to pop up every few months.

After a recent inspired change of events where I managed to switch my daily work commute from a car sitting in rush hour traffic to commuting on my bike and train, I joined a local gym as part of the switch so I could have a base on the journey to shower and get ready for work in the morning.

This naturally led into using more of the gym facilities, swimming pool, squash courts etc, so overall it was a healthier positive move. I enjoyed the gym setup, with tips from the personal trainers and using the free weights area at times, but I would find it very easy to go through the motions and not push myself, particularly if I was working out on my own.

body pump results

Body Pump Class

To get more out of the gym I started going to the classes led by an instructor, nice and easy to start with , bit of yoga, then with a mate I started to brave the hardcore classes such as Body Pump, which gets you lifting weights to music in a group. I find the classes work much better for me, they are an intensive burst of a workout that once you're in you are there to finish it, no hiding, no regular breaks to the water fountain for a breather, just a solid intense workout.

I've started to feel healthier, dare I say a bit more toned and lighter. I'm not particularly bothered about trying to get a six pack, but the fact my wife laughed at even the thought I'd get anywhere near it made me think, could I at 36? One last shot at the holy grail of male fitness, the benchmark that all men are measured? Probably not, it takes hours of dedication and gallons of strange powdered protein shakes, maybe 10 years ago I would of stood a chance, but then I started seeing posters for the new Insanity Workout...

What is the Insanity Workout?
insanity results from Shaun T

The Face of Insanity - Shaun T

The Insanity Workout has spread from the US like wildfire across UK gyms, workout videos and fitness magazines. Created by Beach Body in the US, the basic principle is work as hard as you can for a shorter block of time, often called High Intensity Training.

So instead of trudging on a treadmill for 40 minutes and then going through some weights for an hour, which may use 50-60% of your body's capacity, to get insanity results you go through a collection of circuit based exercises for 30-40 minutes that use 70-80% of your body's capacity.

What exercises are involved?

The range of exercises you can do include things like : Burpees, Crunches, Planks, Star Jumps, Jumping Jacks, Squats and Power Jumps. All designed to strip fat away and build muscle up. These exercises are grouped together into small blocks of time so 1-2 minutes with regular 30 second breathers to break it up, but the general idea is to keep moving throughout the session. If you attend a class or have a video/audio tape then there's alarms and bells ringing off to give you prompts when to push it, when a breaks looming and when to take a break to try and motivate you to keep on schedule.

Insanity Workout Results

Whilst its good to push yourself, its also important not to over do it, so if your struggling the emphasis is to reduce the amount of repetitions on that exercise, so go at your own pace and don't worry that the guy next to you is going like a train, just do what you can and move to the next exercise when the buzzer rings.

Sounds insane, what the hell are you doing?

Well if I'm going to prove the wife wrong and have a go at getting a 6 pack at 36 then I'm going to have to commit to this. The insanity workout looks my best bet, a regular intense workout that although it's hard work it is pretty easy to follow. Also the idea of posting my progress here on ManMade will act as a further prompt for me to stick to it.

Feel free to join the journey, sign up at your local gym or buy the insanity dvd workout plan for around £20  and let us know your feedback and experiences in the comments.

My Insanity Results & Update

October 2015 Update

Ok, so 8 months into the Insanity workout and this is the time I should be posting a selfie picture showing off my 6 pack... well in all honesty I'm not too far off. There is some definition there, but from speaking to other guys around the gym, there is one crucial factor I'm missing. It's all for nothing if your not putting the right goodness into your diet!

I previously considered myself a fairly healthy eater, however​ it appears that I've been over doing it on the carbs, particularly white carbs such as rice, pasta, potatoes and not enough protein, which is important for muscle growth and development. I'm not saying this is a must for everyone, but in your own quest to find out what works for you, make sure to really look at your diet to ensure your maximising the opportunity for better performance.

This type of adjustment is key, it is vital to keep track of your progress, see what's working and what's not and then react by switching things around or trying new techniques. To continue on my quest, I am now following Tim Ferriss's The 4-Hour Body: An uncommon guide to rapid fat-loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman - I highly recommend this book, as it breaks down various techniques into short bitesize activities and also has a great slow-carb diet which I'm really enjoying. ​

So, to wrap up this update, I'm still enjoying the insanity workout​. I have lost weight, which wasn't a huge priority but now any weight I do add back on should be just muscle weight. Plus with the new diet and extra gym workouts from Tim's book I feel better prepared and motivated to kick on from here!

About the author

David Toon

15 years as an IT developer and consultant, currently working with clients in education and online businesses. Founder of Toon Media, Subscription Radar and co-founder of ManMadeClub a lifestyle experience blog. Passionate about working with online technology and the pursuit of living a balanced and active life with my family.