By Steve Edwards
INSANITY’s sibling sequels—THE ASYLUM Volumes 1 and 2—may be billed as athletic training, but in reality they’re far more than that. Those ready to withstand their rigors will find a veritable fountain of youth. Let’s lift the hood on Shaun TFormer Competitive Bench Presser Loses 28 Pounds in 60 Days. Read more ... »’s latest exerciseIs This the New Celebrity Diet?. Read more ... » programs to see if you’re ready to get in the game.
ASYLUM Volumes 1 and 2 mimic athletic training, but these programs are not just for athletes. The movements you’ll learn are the same you use in your day-to-day life to stand up, sit down, clean house, do yard work, and so on. These movement patterns regress as we age, both naturally and because we stop pushing our limits. Training with THE ASYLUM will awaken long-dormant neuromuscular connections that will have you moving in ways you may not have done since you were a kid. There is a catch, though: You’re going to have to work for it.
How is ASYLUM different from INSANITY®?
Shaun says in one of the workouts, “It’s not INSANITY.” What he means is that it’s harder than INSANITY. Since most of you are aware that INSANITY is very difficult, this may be a daunting statement.
But that should not deter you. BeachbodyBeachbody Black Friday Huge Holiday Savings. Read more ... »® offers several training programs that will get you ready. You don’t necessarily even have to do INSANITY first. P90XBeachbody Black Friday Huge Holiday Savings. Read more ... »®, TurboFire®, and even RevAbs® will prepare you adequately. Trying THE ASYLUM off the couch is not recommended. You likely wouldn’t make it through the warm-up.
Because the workouts in THE ASYLUM series are more targeted, the load is more spread out. This allows you more recoveryWhat is a Recovery Workout?. Read more ... » time between similar workouts. Yes, there will be moments in each workout where you can’t imagine finishing, but the cumulative effect is easier on your body and you’ll recover faster than you think. Also, since most of the individual workouts are under 45 minutes, and both volumes of THE ASYLUM are only one-month training phases, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel to keep you going.
What is the difference between ASYLUM Volume 1 and Volume 2?
Start here first. Volume 1 has 6 workouts, each of which train the body in a different way: Speed & Agility, Strength, Vertical Plyo, Back to Core6 Moves for a Six-Pack, An Isometric Core Workout from Tony Horton. Read more ... », Relief, and Game Day. There’s also a bonus 10-minute workout called Overtime that’s used to add a brutally hard finish to any workout.
The workouts are aptly titled; they tell you how they’re going to exhaust you. Game Day is the culmination of your training and mimics playing a bunch of sports in one day, all condensed into an hour.
Nailed Volume 1? Welcome to Volume 2! Part deux follows the same pattern, but ramps things up a notch. The workouts are a little longer and a little harder for the most part, but follow the same pattern. Reviews of the individual workouts will be appearing on my blog, The Straight Dope, shortly.
What’s so special about THE ASYLUM?
There are two aspects of THE ASYLUM that make it unique. First and foremost, it’s fun. Any egghead can design a technically-advanced training system, but it takes a great trainer to make it entertaining. More than anything, ASYLUM workouts are a blast. Shaun T takes you through myriad movements in each workout that mimic playing sports. If you were ever an athlete, a lot of this training will seem familiar. But, unlike your old coach, he’s combined these sports with movements based on the latest research in applied science. The resultsWhen Will You See Results? Plus, Answers to More of Your Top Fitness Questions. Read more ... » are workouts that are both scientifically sound and fun.
But don’t equate “fun” with “easy.” Workouts in THE ASYLUM will be a challenge, no matter who you are. Even Shaun himself struggles throughout the program. Elite fitnessSee How I Gained 20 Pounds of Lean Muscle with P90X. Read more ... » always must be earned.
So it’s fun. But does it work?
Absolutely. The second key aspect to ASYLUM is the science. The programs are based on something we call the Athletic Matrix. Essentially, it’s a system utilizing a wide spectrum of sports-specific training techniques that are modified to offer fitness and performance benefits beyond those sports.
We coined the term because our harder programs are based on the same kind of structure used to train professional athletes. It can cover a range of techniques. For example, P90X is like training for a sport in that you isolate various functions (flexibility, individual muscleSee How I Gained 20 Pounds of Lean Muscle with P90X. Read more ... » groups, cardiovascular conditioning, etc.) and focus on them separately using the different workouts. On the other hand, INSANITY is like playing the sport because you train everything at once.
The P90X2Beachbody Black Friday Huge Holiday Savings. Read more ... »®/ASYLUM analogy is similar, but slightly more targeted. P90X2 is like off-season training. It’s what you do when you have time to systematically break down your body and build it back up to be better than it was. THE ASYLUM, with its frenetic time-efficient structure, is more like football’s tradition of Hell Week—what you do to get ready when the season is about to start.
With P90X and P90X2, you work across 90 days—a lengthy periodization structure where you work on specific elements of fitness, switching from one to another. In THE ASYLUM, we distill 90 days of training into a single month. This means you’re training all of the physiological needs of an athlete at once. There are always some sacrifices when you do this. THE ASYLUM is less versatile than P90X2 and doesn’t go as deep at training certain areas, but it does whip you into condition quicker.
Both variations are ideal for athletic training, but the Athletic Matrix provides benefits far beyond the playing field. You’re building muscle, teaching the muscle how to move in all directions, and improving your cardiovascular system, flexibility, and power. You’ll be stronger, run faster, jump higher, be more flexible, and basically move like you did when you were younger. This works to your advantage whether you’re throwing a 45-yard pass, dancing at your 45th birthday party, or chasing four 5-year-olds around the room.
It’s game night at THE ASYLUM. You ready to play?