Experience Life Magazine

One Crazy Workout From Shaun T.

Fresh from Shaun T., an Insanity-inspired circuit so effective at elevating energy and building base-level strength, you’d be nuts not to try it.

In the waning moments of our first conversation, I asked Shaun T., creator of such popular home-workout DVD programs as Hip Hop Abs, Asylum and Insanity, if he’d put together a workout for Experience Life readers. He jumped at the chance — I suspect literally, though I can’t say for sure because we were speaking on the phone. The man’s off-the-charts energy is that palpable, regardless of distance or medium.

Shortly thereafter, Shaun T. delivered this adaptation of his “Cardio Power and Resistance” workout from Insanity: a mix of heart-pumping, power-building moves that will strengthen your whole body and energize your whole being.

“At its core, Insanity is about making yourself better,” says Shaun T. “I give you a specific time frame to do as many reps as you can do. It’s not about beating anyone else. It’s about holding yourself accountable. It’s about doing the best you can do. When you repeat the workout, try to beat your number. Just as in life, as long as you’re constantly progressing, it doesn’t matter how gradually.”

Full disclosure: Shaun T. admits this version is a touch more intense than the ones in the Insanity DVDs  — which is really saying something.

So if you’ve been out of the fitness game for a while, you’d be wise to ramp up slowly. “It’s OK to be tired,” says Shaun T. “It’s OK to take a break or slow it down. Just don’t compromise form at all.”

That said, if you’re already in good shape and feeling eager to ramp things up, you can minimize breaks and maximize pace for a workout that will flatten even the fittest contender. (I can attest to this, as you will see in the video demonstration at ELmag.com/insanevideo.)

Jot down your reps for each exercise set, and perform the workout weekly or biweekly to track your progress. And prepare to see results.

Shaun T.’s Crazy-Tough Routine

Ideally, you’ll complete the entire circuit three times, but if you need to start with one or two rounds, heed your instincts. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, resting as little as necessary between reps. Rest for 30 seconds between rounds.

1. Pushup Jacks


  •  Get into a straight-arm plank position, body in a straight line from head to heel.
  •  Lower your body into pushup position.
  •   As your chest nears the ground, hop your feet wide apart, jumping-jack style.
  •   As you push your chest back up, hop your feet back together. Repeat.

2. Power Knees


  • Stand with your weight on your left leg, knee slightly bent, left hand on top of right.
  • Bring your right knee to waist height, tapping your knee with your right hand when it reaches that height.
  • Do as many reps as you can in 30 seconds.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

3. Ski Abs


  • Start in a straight-arm plank position, feet together.
  • Hop both feet up to the right, trying to bring your knees to the outside of your right elbow.
  • Hop back into plank position.
  • Repeat the move, alternating sides for 30 seconds.

4. Triceps Dips


  • Sit on the ground and position your hands just outside of your body with your fingertips facing your rear end.
  • Propping yourself up on your hands and feet, lift your butt off the ground.
  • Bend your elbows, lowering your butt until it’s close to the ground. Repeat.

5. Plank Squats


  • Start in a straight-arm plank position, feet together.
  • Hop your feet forward and pop up into a squat position.
  • Place your hands on the ground outside your feet (not shown) and hop back into plank position. Repeat.

6. Power Jumps


  • Stand with your feet hip- to shoulder-width apart.
  •   Quickly dip down, then jump up, lifting your knees up to waist height.
  •   On the way down, straighten your legs and land softly on the balls of your feet.
  •   Once your feet touch the ground, immediately recoil and jump again.

7. Power Squats


  • Stand with your feet together.
  • Hop your feet out, dropping to the bottom of a squat position. As you do, move your arms straight out in front of you until they are in line with your shoulders.
  • Hop back to the starting position. Repeat.


www.shauntfitness.com For all projects Shaun T.

www.getinsanity.com If you dug this workout and want more, check out the whole DVD series here.

www.tryasylum.com The Asylum DVD workout series takes the intensity up a notch, and adds an agility and footwork component.

www.hiphopabs.comHis first DVD project, Hip Hop Abs, was a bestseller because of the fun, dance-party atmosphere. 


Jen Sinkler is Experience Life’s editorial director of fitness content. “Like” her Facebook page, Survival of the Fittest, at www.facebook.com/survival.fittest.

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7 Comment to One Crazy Workout From Shaun T.

  • Rosalyn says:

    I like to do leg workouts including squats, lungs, jumping.

  • Tabatha smith says:

    Mountain biking is my favorite workout but my core gets neglected.

  • Harry says:

    Hey all, agree that the shauns workouts are great!:)

    @Angel Wieser,
    Age does not matter..what matters most is that you have achieved your goal (desired body shape)! :)

  • Elaine says:

    Awesome workout, we did it this morning and talk about sweat gusher! Thank you for sharing and will be doing this again and again.

  • Diane ONeil says:

    Shaun is awesome…I started Insanity at age 52 in January & completed the challenge & still do the dvd’s 5 days a wk.w/other Beachbody dvd’s added in also. I love starting my mornings with Shaun to give me a great workout!!

  • Natascha Favero says:

    love all of shauns workouts! doing a mix of the asylum and insanity for a year now :)

    • angel wieser says:

      I workout 6 days a week with a mixture of Insanity and asylum. Best 2 workouts EVER. I am in the best shape I have ever been at 44 years old,and I did bodybuilding competitions when I was in my 30′s. wish insanity and asylum were around then.

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