I’ve been doing Shaun T‘s exercise video series Insanity off and on for about two years now. My friends and husband all think that I am insane for Insanity. But they (and I) had no idea how insane things could get. Because this Saturday I had an opportunity to see Shaun T do a live demonstration of his workout at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.
For those of you who don’t know what Insanity is, it’s basically a more intense version of P90X, the workout series that gave Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan his rock-hard abs. Insanity is published by BeachBody, the same company that puts out P90X. And P90X is nothing compared to Insanity.
I know because I’ve done both. And I remember the first time I saw Shaun T’s face. Or maybe it was his abs. I don’t quite remember which, but something caught my attention. It was early 2010; I was in the middle of a self-imposed and rather obsessive workout kick to get ready for my wedding. The center of my routine were the P90X DVDs, which were effective workouts, but left me wanting more. After weeks of watching them over and over and over, I was bored to tears. I was so bored, in fact, that I found myself staring blankly at the infomercial that runs at the end of the workout DVDs. And that’s when I saw Shaun T and his Insanity. I ordered the DVDs immediately.
Insanity is a 10-disc, 60-day workout program designed by Shaun T, who is well known for his other Team Beach Body workout Hip Hop Abs. The premise behind all the workouts is intense interval training; they require no equipment, no weights, jump ropes, resistance bands or equipment. Insanity promises you a completely transformed body in 60 days. I was in pretty good shape when I tried my first Insanity workout, but when it was over I wanted to throw up. In other words, I loved it. For one thing, the workouts are so hard, you don’t have time to think about being bored, and the endorphin kick post Insanity-workout is incredible. My husband would tell me I had “Percocet eyes” after finishing an Insanity DVD. After two months, he banned the word Insanity from our household after I wouldn’t shut up about it. A week before my wedding, I was home in Georgia with my mom who told me she wouldn’t show up to my wedding if I mentioned Shaun T’s name one more time.
I’ve been doing Insanity on and off now for about two years. (I did pause my workouts in the three months before and after I had my son. But now I’m back.) So when I was found out I’d have a chance to do an Insanity workout with Shaun T live and in person, I nearly wet my pants. This guy, this Shaun T, has been a part of my daily life now for so long that I’ve heard myself spouting off Shaun T-isms to my 10-month-old without even thinking about it: “Come on, get there!” “Jack it out!” “That shit is bananas, yo!”
I could not wait to meet Shaun T.
This past Saturday at Chelsea Piers, I was front and center in front of Shaun T — along with the rest of the Insanity crew, including Tanya, my former nemesis. Tanya is a member of the Insanity crew. She appears in all the videos and Shaun T often walks over to her during the workouts to demonstrate proper technique of his moves. I’d grown to resent her perfect form and stamina over the years. God I wished I could be as insane as Tanya. Other Insanity fans have noticed Tanya too. But when I met her in person she was completely adorable. Tanya is now my favorite member of the BeachBody team.
Oh well. We weren’t at Chelsea Piers to talk about Tanya. We were there to workout and talk about Shaun T’s new drink Powerade Zero. The workout was as hard and fun as I’d expected; Shaun T didn’t disappoint. But what really took me aback was just how truly obsessed the crowd was with Shaun T and his workouts.
Don’t get me wrong, I can understand these people and their obsessions—like I said, I thought I was obsessed as well. But I had no idea.