"My goal isn't to kill you; it's for you to kill yourself." – Shaun T
Infomercials could be the death of me. Everything looks absolutely amazing. It doesn't matter if it's RonCo's Showtime Rotisserie Oven ("Set it and forget it!") or some other gadget I don't need, it all looks perfect.
The worst of the worst may be the exercise equipment. Sometimes it might actually work – I did buy an ab wheel because of an infomercial I saw and that thing is quite effective – but more often than not, these advertisements fall into the "get fit quick" bucket that never, ever works. And it doesn't matter how many times I remind myself that it's a combination of fitness AND eating right, I can never get the eating right part down. (Seriously, I had a bacon sundae from Burger King this weekend.)
And then there’s the workout video. From Jane Fonda to Yoga for Beginners and everything in between, the exercise video has been around for decades, often--at least from my perspective--marketed towards stay-at-home moms looking to firm up a bit without investing in a costly (both in time and money) gym membership. Then came P90X, one of the first mass-released DVD sets that was clearly targeted towards men. It was about shredding your core, getting in ripped beach shape, impressing the ladies with your new lean, fit body. Ironically – or not so much – the parent company of P90X is called BeachBody.
On the heels of P90X came Insanity, BeachBody's next workout. Instead of the 90 days it takes to whip your butt into shape, Insanity takes only 60 days. The infomercial stresses, more or less, pushing yourself to the max. It's all before-and-after images of people without shirts on talking about how crazy (but satisfying!) the workout is. Forty minutes a day, six days a week is all it takes. Just one catch – it costs $120 for the box set, which is a lot of money for something that I don’t know will work.
So, after watching the infomercial at least 50 times, I started to do a little research. I placed bids on eBay for used copies of the collection, but they still hit around $100 when the dust settled on bidding. Still too rich for my blood. But then I stumbled on Insanity: Fast and Furious. $20. 21 minutes. Much more my style.
I have to preface this review by saying that I work out a fair amount. I do Crossfit-inspired total-body workouts without many isolated-muscle lifting sessions. I always have limited time, so I would rather do some mix of running, sprinting, burpees, pull-ups, lunges with curls in the middle, squats with shoulder-presses thrown in… hitting the bench press this is not. But that's just me. I consider myself in fairly good shape, despite the fact that I may not look it – again, the disgusting eating habits – but really, how hard can 20 minutes be?