Insanity Max 30 is yet another high-intensity Shaun T program and one of the latest additions to Beachbody’s Insanity franchise.
But do these ridiculously tough 30-minute workouts really guarantee the “most insane results of your life,” as Shaun T suggests? Is it worth trying?
Keep reading to learn more!
About the Creator – Shaun T
Shaun T is a Beachbody Super Trainer best known for a stream of highly successful fitness programs. His record-setting routines include:
While the trainer rivals Tony Horton in terms of popularity, his passion for fitness wasn’t always lifelong. In fact, it took packing on 50 pounds in college to discover his true calling.
Shaun T had a chance meeting with a Beachbody executive while teaching a dance class in West Hollywood. The rest — as they say — is history.
What Is Insanity Max 30?
(As Shaun T says in the trailer, “I’m back bitches.” If the original Insanity program didn’t convince you to get therapy for your self-destructive choices, Insanity Max 30 just might.)
Click here to see our review of the original Insanity program.
Insanity Max 30 follows in the footsteps of Beachbody’s original Insanity program (good luck…). Shaun T’s latest sweat-dumping, doubled-over-in-pain, nausea-inducing routine:
- Promises the “most insane results of your life”
- Asks you to train at maximum intensity until you need a break (“Maxing Out”)
- Requires absolutely no equipment
- Spotlights 150 brand new moves
- Lasts 30 minutes per workout, five times per week (similar to P90X3)
- Features low-impact modifiers for beginners and intermediates
Month one zig-zags between high-intensity 30-minute cardio workouts and Tabata-style (20/10) strength training, all to prepare you for the weekly “Friday Fight.”
After four weeks of that, you’re ready to crank things up a notch with 45/15 Tabata cycles.
Survive. Build up your strength and endurance until you can outlast an entire Insanity Max 30 workout by “Maxing Out” at the 30-minute mark.
Insanity Max 30 Details & Features
The constant grunting, groaning, and “Dig Deeper” references in the Max 30 trailer is enough to scare off even the most elite athletes. Read this if you’re still considering the program.
The Workouts tab is where you’ll spend most of your time while following Insanity Max 30. But before you sign the next eight weeks over to Shaun T, here’s a closer look at its workouts:
Insanity Max 30 technically doesn’t require any fitness equipment.
If you don’t have carpet in your living room or rubber tiles in your gym, we recommend a mat.
The classic Max 30 schedule calls for five consecutive days of training with an optional low-impact session on Saturday. Week one on Max Out looks a little something like this:
- Cardio Challenge
- Tabata Power
- Sweat Intervals
- Tabata Power
- Friday Fight (Round 1)
- Rest or Pulse
Shaun T also designed an alternative calendar for users ready to make their six-pack pop through additional weekly core training. Week three on Ab Maximizer* will resemble this:
- Cardio Challenge & Max Out Abs
- Tabata Strength
- Sweat Intervals & 360 Degrees Abs
- Tabata Strength
- Friday Fight: Round 1
- Pulse & Ab Attack: 10
Keep in mind that both calendars dial up the intensity after a month. Then, Shaun T swaps out that Cardio Challenge, Sweat Intervals, and Tabata sessions for near-daily Max Out workouts.
* Ab Maximizer builds two workouts into the schedule three times per week — one standard Insanity: Max 30 workout plus a 15-minute core-focused session.
Insanity Max:30 Workouts
The 11 basic Insanity Max 30 workouts are interval, circuit, and plyometric-heavy, leaving you keeled over and huffing for air by the time you Max Out
- Cardio Challenge
- Tabata Power
- Sweat Intervals
- Tabata Strength
- Friday Fight: Round 1
- Max Out Cardio
- Max Out Power
- Max Out Sweat
- Friday Fight: Round 2
- Pulse (Insanity Max 30’s recovery workout)
- Ab Attack: 10
Expect both high and low-impact exercises — like high knees, diamond jumps, and lateral lunge kicks — with brief 30-second water breaks scattered throughout,
Insanity Max:30 Deluxe Workouts
Beachbody subscribers also have access to three Deluxe workouts seen Ab Maximizer:
- Max Out: 15
- Max Out Abs
- 360 Degrees Ab
(Follow the Ab Maximizer track if you want a six-pack that rivals Shaun T’s.)
The Modifier Track
Shaun T considers Insanity Max 30 to be an advanced program. But, although it’ll rank a 0.5 on the official Noob Gains “fun scale,” there’s a Modifier Track for every workout.
Click the circle with “MOD” in it on the bottom-right side of the screen when you play a video.
That’ll open a split-screen version of the workout: the original with Shaun T and the crew on the left and a modified beginner-friendly version on the right.
It offers a tamed-down version of exercise at 25–75% of the intensity.
Shaun T also packs ten documents, guides, and worksheets into the Program Materials section:
The QuickStart guide is literally a one-page PDF explaining how to start Insanity Max 30. (Hint: Take measurements, hit “play,” record your Max Out time, and read the nutrition guide.)
The 22-page Fitness Guide is where Shaun T prepares you for what he calls “the hardest 30-minute workout of your life” (times thirteen…).
Here, Shaun T explains how to maximize your results: proper form, resting on an as-needed basis, following the diet plan, drinking water, focusing on micronutrients, and modifying.
The guide ends on a predictable note — with a plug for the Beachbody Challenge.
Quick Start Guide to Nutrition
We pray for a lot around here, namely world peace, to win the Powerball, and for Beachbody to stop including the damn Quick Start Guide to Nutrition with all of its programs. (We’re 0/3 here.)
This 84-page paperweight is NOT the official Insanity Max 30 diet plan. But if you’re a sucker for capitalism and enjoy nonstop advertisements, give ‘er a scroll.
The 124-page Nutrition Guide is not only the real Insanity Max 30 diet plan, but it’s also the one document in the Program Materials tab worth reading cover-to-cover.
Without completely boring you with the details, here’s what Shaun T stuffs into this guide:
- Two diet plans. Follow Plan A if you weigh under 150 pounds and B if you weigh in over 150. There’s absolutely no mention of calories in this guide. Instead, each plan divides your daily intake into food charts describing how many servings of each type of food you need per day (i.e., veggies, fruits, proteins, carbs, healthy fats, etc.)
- Five meals per day. Shaun T recommends three meals per day plus two snacks.
- A food directory. The comprehensive food directory details what counts as a serving of protein, fruit, and more. Shaun T also lists dozens of foods to help you plan out your meals without breaking your (not) diet. (While you technically don’t need the Beachbody portion control containers, they definitely take the hassle out of measuring ingredients.)
- Substitutions. Shaun T gives you permission to swap out one portion of carbs for “cheat foods” like milk, wine, dark chocolate, or frozen yogurt three times per week.
- A water, coffee, and tea bar. A high-sweat program like Insanity Max 30 means upping your fluid intake. If plain water, tea, and coffee taste “meh” to you, Shaun T lists ways to spice up the flavor without adding extra calories.
- 30 recipes. The guide also includes 30 tasty sample recipes, including breakfast (spinach and onion scramble), lunch (tuna garden salad), dinner (citrus grilled steak), veggies (broccoli stir fry), carbs (sweet potato fries), and easy snacks (vanilla berry cup). Each recipe includes the ingredients, cooking instructions, and color-coded portions.
- A sample meal plan for diets A & B. Shaun T maps out a single day of eating for each.
- Extra tips. From the “no time to cook” guide to subtracting or adding foods to dining out, this 124-page guide also includes plenty of healthy eating tips for any situation.
The Insanity Max 30 nutrition guide — and its complete disregard for calorie-counting — is essentially a more complex version of IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros).
But aside from that little fumble, the guide is ridiculously detailed and informative.
Fire up that printer, baby! The Insanity Max 30 Progress Tracker is where you’ll record your body measurements on days one, thirty, and sixty.
Grab your tape measure and jot down measurements for your:
- Triceps (presumably the upper arm?)
There’s also an ungodly small box in the table for progress photos.
Insanity Max:30 Max Out Tracker
The Max Out Tracker also doubles as the program’s official two-month calendar for the Max Out and Ab Maximizer options.
This satisfyingly colorful guide separates each route into two color-coded months. Every box lists your daily workout(s) and a small slot to record your Max Out time.
(Hey, at least you can monitor your progress, unlike T25’s “Nailed It” and “Barely Made It.”
Insanity Max:30 Food Tracker
The one-page Food Tracker is where you’ll log your daily veggies, fruit, proteins, carbs, fats, seeds and dressings, and oils for each meal.
Shaun T posts a reminder at the top for how many servings of each you need for plans A and B. However, the sheet is not editable, and it only includes two days’ worth of charts.
7-Day Ab Maximizer
Shaun T’s 7-Day Ab Maximizer is a 24-page guide explaining how to make your abs “pop” in the seven days before leaving for vacation or attending an event.
(Because it’s apparently not douchey to lift your shirt and flaunt your six-pack at your buddy’s wedding, college homecoming, or grandma’s funeral.)
This 24-page Ab Maximizer guide includes:
- A condensed version of the food directory and plans A & B
- A 7-day journal that breaks down how many servings of each food to eat per meal
- Two workouts per day (typically Max Out: 15 and an ab workout)
- Tips for guaranteeing “extreme” results during days 3–7
“All” Shaun T asks is that you chug 1–2 gallons of water per day starting on day three.
Oh, yeah, and don’t drink any water on day seven, avoid salt, eat fruit every three hours in the morning, eat one serving of carbs every three hours after that, and voila — you’re ripped!
Basically, ditch the water weight.
If you still have questions about Insanity Max 30, Beachbody offers nine answers here.
Shaun T’s Insanity Max 30 Spotify playlist is totally not surprising, given his lifelong passion for dance. The 12-song line-up includes “Jealous” by Nick Jonas and “Elastic Heart” by Sia.
We’d describe this one as a “choice.”
Insanity Max 30: Typical Results
There’s an entire page on the Beachbody website dedicated to Insanity Max 30 results.
With impressive before and after photos attached, some users report shredding 15.5–34 pounds with just one round of Insanity Max 30 (about 60 days).
However, most of the program’s success stories don’t come from first-timers.
Those who dropped 40–170 pounds either repeated the program for several rounds or combined it with another Beachbody program, like the original Insanity.
Generally, we’d say 8–15 pounds of weight loss throughout the two months is typical.
If you average about 369 calories burned per workout five times per week, you can torch 1,845 calories — or 0.53 pounds of fat per week.
But since Insanity Max 30 doesn’t mention calories, it’s tough to estimate how much of a caloric deficit plans A & B can create.
Is Insanity Max 30 Considered Cardio?
Insanity Max 30 is considered cardio. Each of these Shaun T workouts will maximize your fat burn, challenge your muscles, and improve your stamina. The Tabata and Max Out workouts are both strength and cardio-focused, following the principles of high-intensity interval training — 20/10 and 45/15.
How Many Calories Does Insanity Max 30 Burn?
Insanity Max 30 burns about 131–509 calories per workout, according to data from HowDoIGetRipped (exact numbers depend on your body weight and workout intensity). Cardio Challenge and Friday Fight: Round 2 burn 500+ calories each. But, on average, expect to burn about 369 calories per workout.
Does Insanity Max 30 Have A Recovery Week?
Insanity Max 30 does not have a recovery week between months one and two. Yet, Shaun T is an advocate for a week’s rest after month one of the original Insanity. He encourages subscribers to allow their mind and body (namely the knees) the rest they need to maximize power, endurance, and strength.
8 Excellent Benefits of the Insanity Max 30
- It doesn’t require any equipment, though a yoga or exercise mat couldn’t hurt.
- Shaun T condenses a ridiculous amount of training into just 30 minutes a day. With five training sessions per day (plus three extra sessions per week if you’re trying Ab Maximizer), you’ll exceed the CDC’s 150-minute aerobic activity recommendation. This alone can lower your risk of conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
- The nutrition guide packs tons of information into 124 pages. It’s an even better resource to calm the “what if…” scenarios running through your mind. If you’re dining out, buying frozen food, don’t have time to cook, or don’t know what counts as a portion of protein, this guide has the answers.
- The Modifier Track turns each advanced, heart-pounding workout into a semi-beginner-friendly training session. Follow along with Shaun T until you Max Out, and then perform the low-impact modifications as your leftover energy slowly fizzles.
- Insanity Max 30 alternates between sweaty 30-minute cardio sessions and HIIT-style strength training workouts. Research from 2019 also concluded that interval training could create a 28.5% greater loss in absolute fat mass.
- The full program includes 16 workouts. Even though you’ll repeat each workout several times over the course of the next few months, there’s a good deal of variety.
- Even if you never Max Out at 30 minutes, as long as you push yourself to your limits with each workout, you’ll end the program fitter, stronger, and with more stamina.
- Although the bouncing and jumping exercises are similar to Insanity, most users don’t believe it’s on the same level intensity-wise. It’s a decent stepping stone toward Insanity if you’re not quite ready for that yet.
5 Negatives of Max 30
- The high-intensity training pre-Maxing Out will land you in the fat oxidation zone where your body burns fat most efficiently. According to 2009 research, this is somewhere around 60.2–80% of your maximum heart rate. But the training intensity will likely dip considerably after reaching that point, taking a water break, and jumping back in.
- The only time Shaun T mentions calories is when you’re burning them or when you’re limiting them by drinking calorie-free beverages like water, tea, and coffee. The training alone will help you burn about 1,845 calories per week. However, if you really want to lose weight and see the “most insane results of your life,” you need to create a wider caloric deficit with diet included — to the tune of about 3,500 calories to lose one pound.
- There’s nothing about the trailer that makes Insanity Max 30 feel or look noob-friendly, even with the casual mention of low-impact modifiers. We wouldn’t recommend this program to anyone with severe medical issues, little to no training experience, or a struggle with training motivation.
- The 7-Day Ab Maximizer Guide — which isn’t the same as the Ab Maximizer schedule — is a bit questionable. Depriving yourself of water and salt on day seven (to shed water weight) and training twice a day won’t make a non-existent six-pack pop.
- The pull exercises (back and biceps) hardly get any attention. (That’s what you get when you create an equipment-free routine, huh.)
Wrapping Up This Max 30 Review
Insanity Max 30 is a high-quality Beachbody program if you want to improve your stamina, burn fat, and make strides toward a more aesthetic physique.
Shaun T leaves you few to no excuses with just 30 minutes of training per day, no equipment needed, exercise modifiers, and the option to pause when you need to.
The nutrition plan is solid (with a few flaws), you’ll almost definitely lose weight, and Insanity Max 30 is doable at your own pace.
But this program is best for advanced-level Beachbody users.
The “Max Out” emphasis is gimmicky and doesn’t deliver any extra benefits, some muscle groups get neglected, and the modifications are too low-impact.
Our suggestion: Try Max 30 if your end goal is to complete the OG Insanity eventually.
Rating: 8.2 out of 10