For intense cardio I love interval training and running. I’ve always wondered how Insanity (one of the hardest/most fun interval training videos I’ve tried) compares to running. Now that I have my heart rate monitor, I figured I’d check it out.
I used Insanity Max Interval Circuit – which I consider the most intense cardio routine of the set – to capture my data. Insanity Max Interval Circuit is a warmup followed by 3 sets of 4 moves with a few recovery moves thrown in – think burpees, squats, pushups, lunges, etc.
For my run, I used a long (1 hour 23 min) run at a steady pace.
Summary of both workouts:
I burned ~5.96 calories per min with Insanity, and ~7.15 calories per min with running.
If I did my Insanity video for as long as my run, I would have only burnt 494 calories (vs the 593 I actually burnt with my run). I’m not sure I could have kept going for the extra 23 minutes though – I am always dripping in sweat by the end of Max Interval Circuit! It really works your whole body.
Heart Rate Comparison:
Zone 1: Warm up/Cool Down= 50-60%
Zone 2: Fitness (Fat Burn)= 60-70%
Zone 3: Aerobic (Endurance)= 70-80%
Zone 4: Anaerobic (Hardcore)= 80-90%
Zone 5: VO2 Max (Max Effort)= 90-100%
The warm-up, stretch, and cool-down portions of the Insanity workout bring the average down quite a bit. During the peaks of the Intervals, I am working at 89% of my max (heh, hard core – for real!).
During my long run, my Heart Rate was surprisingly similar:
Overall, with Insanity, you are getting a great full-body workout. It is a full-body, body-weight (I added some 7.5 lb dumbbells at the end) interval program that has a similar (though slightly lower) calorie burn to steady-state running. It’s impressive that interval body-weight training can get your heart rate up so well. I like that Insanity can be done anywhere, and requires no equipment. It’s wonderful for travel, rainy days, and tiny apartments ☺.