Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Beachbody® Chronicles: Let's get ready to rumble - Insanity® vs. barre workouts

One night last week I was complaining to my husband about being sore after doing Physique 57, a type of barre workout, in the morning.
   “Barre workouts are really tough. In their own way, they’re just as hard as Insanity,” I said.
   As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I knew I had the idea for my next blog entry: Insanity versus barre workouts.
   It’s a tight match-up.
   Insanity®, a series of workouts on DVD from Beachbody, is harder than hard.
   But barre workouts are also tough as nails. They require the same amount of stamina and focus as Insanity does.
   Both Insanity and barre deliver butt-kicking workouts in different ways: Insanity for cardio, and barre for butt, thighs and abs.
   Both stick with your body and mind for the hours and days after doing them.
   The toughest barre workouts on DVD I currently do are Physique 57® (click for my review) and Pure Barre® (click for my review of the latest DVDs).
   They are inspired by the Lotte Berk Method, an exercise technique that uses small, targeted movements to work the muscles of the body. Many of the exercises are done at a place to rest the hands and keep balance, such as a ballet barre, chair or sofa.
   By the time one of these workouts are done, my abs, butt and thighs are always burning and I wonder how I was able to get through it.
   The same is true with Insanity – when one of these workouts are done, I always marvel at myself for getting through it without dying.
   Insanity workouts, created and led by Shaun T, are intense cardio sessions that use movements inspired by athletic training such as running in place, hurdles, and push-ups. A lot of jumping is involved.
   While barre workouts provide targeted toning for the lower body and Insanity a supreme workout for the heart and lungs, both also get deep into the other’s zone of dominance.
   Here’s what I mean: While barre workouts deliver the toning goods, they are also super cardio workouts. My heart pumps like crazy and sweat gushes down my face.
   Insanity, in turn, does have toning properties, especially when it comes to moves such as push-ups. My shoulders have never felt such burn after some Insanity workouts.
   Even though Insanity and barre workouts make me grumble, I won’t put either of them aside because, at the end of the day, I love a challenging workout that delivers the goods.
   And I like variety, too. For me, boredom with a workout is the most powerful motivation killer.
   Insanity and barre workouts will continue to go head-to-head in my workout week.

A complete list of barre workouts reviewed on Fantastic Fitness DVDs

Stay tuned to Fantastic Fitness DVDs for The Beachbody® Chronicles - a series of articles about the adventures my husband and I have using ChaLEAN Extreme®, TurboFire®, P90X® and Insanity®.
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