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Getting the Best Results from Insanity - Speed or Endurance?
Hi all!

I have been thoroughly enjoying doing Insanity for some time now and am definitely seeing improvement in my fitness level, but I'm trying to figure out how to best maximize my results. I'm still not yet at the point where I can even remotely match the speed of Shaun T and his crew for an extended period of time. This leaves me with two options:

Option #1: Focus on speed + technique and completely exhaust myself quickly, requiring more frequent rest breaks during the workouts.

Option #2: Focus on endurance + technique and do the entire workout at my own pace, requiring only the normal rest breaks.

What do you think is the best choice? Or is there another option that I'm not considering?

Thanks for your help!
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Hey Davamik,

Okay I'm not sure that what I have to say will completely answer your question, but here are my 2 cents. First of all, nobody can keep up with Shaun T and the gang (at the beginning, and sometimes the end) and even his crew often have to take breaks, so don't worry too much if you aren't performing like Tonya.

With that being said, either option looks good simply because you're going to be improving each time you do the workout. If you pick option 1 and really give'er with speed and technique--ultimately your endurance is going to improve. If you go with option 2 and go for endurance, then ultimately your speed is going to pick up as you get stronger (just don't dog it). The things I would recommend is to always focus on having the best form possible, and don't go so nuts with the speed so much that you hurt yourself. Push yourself as hard as you can, take a wee break and modify as needed, and get back in the game. As Shaun T says, you aren't supposed to be able to rock these workouts at the beginning (especially the interval training), and the interval training is designed so you get your heart rate up radically for a short burst of time, followed by a quick rest--and repeat that--so you don't want to dog it either. Also, be sure to work from the core so that you prevent your knees/ankles taking the brunt of the impact--to avoid hurting yourself.

So, I don't know that I've answered your question. You may find that no workout is the same, simply b/c you will get stronger each time you do it--and with that happening, you'll be able to push yourself that much harder each time you do it.

Best of luck!

Coach Zarno
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I think this is a pretty common question for many different types of exercise.

Running: Do I want to run a marathon, or do I want to sprint 100 yards very fast?
Lifting: Do I want to bench 225 20 reps, or do I want 350 only once?

Typically workouts are tailored for one goal or the other. Of course most folks mix it up a bit. Usually only professional athletes go extreme in one direction or the other.

Sprinter/Max Lifter types typically go for something called High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT). The idea is to have short bursts of maximum effort to train the body to perform at it's peak for short durations. Insanity is a bit "insane" in that it flips the stopwatch upside down and goes for LONG bursts of maximum effort with very short recovery periods.

As coach Zarno points out, quality must always take precedence over quantity. Injured exercisers don't! (exercise)

Ultimately the choice is yours. What is your goal? Do you want improved peak performance, or improved endurance? The question isn't meant to be rhetorical. I would expect all of us to have different answers depending on where we are in life and what we are trying to accomplish. And it's OK to change the answer repeatedly as time goes by and we feel our abilities have moved too far to one side of the equation.
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I have to disagree a bit with the advice above. Insanity is designed as a high intensity interval training (HIIT) program. Which means you go really hard for short periods of time. So I would say go as hard/fast as you can with good form, and take short breaks when needed. That's how the program is designed to be done.

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