Insanity Max Interval Plyo Review

Insanity Max Interval Plyo: Putting the Insane in Insanity

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Insanity Max Interval Plyo First Impressions

I’m going to spill my guts and say that Insanity Max Interval Plyo is my least favorite Insanity workout. I almost dread doing it. At 55 minutes long, I found it to be the most tedious, mainly because there are a lot of pushup moves involved. I can’t stand pushups. Since my days in the Marine Corps, I see pushups as a form of punishment. Doing something stupid like dropping a rifle will cost you twenty pushups. Didn’t shine your boots until they gleamed like silverware? Twenty pushups. A loose thread on your uniform? Pushups. And so it went. There wasn’t any wrong that couldn’t be remedied with enough pushups. I know damned well pushups are one of the best upper body exercises you can do. I wrote about it here. But, I don’t have to enjoy them. I prefer doing pullups, but Insanity as a workout program has zero pullups exercises. Nada. Zilch. I consider this one of its flaws.

Aside from all the freaking pushups that I despise, Tonia is back. “The Machine” went missing for the first time in Insanity Max Interval Circuit but she returns in Insanity Max Interval Plyo to inspire us with her badass fitness. An Insanity workout is not the same without Tonia around to remind you how pitiful and weak you are compared to her. She will crush your ego with the striations in her abs. That’s Tonia in the header image in case you didn’t know.

The Insanity Max Interval Plyo Warmups

The new and more brutal warmup introduced in Max Interval Circuit shows up again. There are a series of eight exercises lasting about 30 seconds each. The series is repeated three times with increasing intensity. The last one should be a sweat throw down. If you’re doing it right, the end of the 10-minutes warmup should leave you very worried about whether you’ll have enough gas to finish the workout.

Run In Place. This exercise needs no explanation. Pretend you are running. The blood starts moving faster, and the breathing gets shallower as your body prepares for intense exercise. In Month 1, the warmup was jogging in place. Now, Shaun T exhorts you to pick up the pace.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-jog in place

Straight Jacks. Jumping jacks, but instead of moving your arms up and down along your side, you will be pumping them up and down in front of you.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-straight jacks

1-2-3. You are sidestepping from left to right, taking about 3-4 steps each way. On the last step, bring one leg as close as possible to your chest. Gets the entire lower body (including your abs) involved, and helps improve agility.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-123

Jump Rope Side to Side. Basically, you are hopping side to side while twisting your wrists as if you’re jumping rope. If you want to intensify, add a jump rope.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-jump rope side to side

High Knees with Arms Extended to Side. Almost the same thing as running in place, but you’re bringing your knees above your hips with each step. Raising your legs gets the lower abdominals in play. Extending your arms to your sides increases the intensity level because they cannot be used to help you build momentum or maintain balance.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-high knees with arms extended

Switch Kicks. You perform this exercise standing up. You alternatively kick each leg to your front as high as you can. They key is not to stop between each kick. Meaning, at least one leg should be in the air at any given moment, and the supporting leg should be moving off the ground prior to the kicking leg returning to the floor. This exercise works your legs and lower abdominals.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-switch kicks

Hit the Floor. You sidestep to the right as fast as possible, reaching down to touch the floor with one hand after 3-4 steps. As you raise your body, leap to the right side. Repeat all these moves, but to the left. Alternate sides with each leap. This exercise activates your core as you touch the floor and raise your body.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-hit the floor

Side to Side Floor Hops in Plank. While in a plank position, keep your feet together and hop from one side to another. Use your hands to support your body. Will activate your abs, shoulders, and lower back. Make sure your lower back is warmed up and limber prior to attempting this move.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-side to side floor hops

Shaun T gives you a 30-seconds water break at the end of the last exercise in the warmups. Most likely, you’re splayed on the floor from doing the Side to Side Floor Hops.

The stretch routine, at only 4:40 minutes, seems very short to me. I’ve suggested that the best strategy for Insanity is to do some pre-stretching even before you push the play button. You won’t ever regret extra stretching, but you will regret not doing enough. An extra 2-5 minutes won’t add much time to your workout, but can mean the difference between being able to walk around the rest of the day without lower back pain.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-stretching

Another 30-seconds water break follows the stretching portion. Shaun T rounds up the crew to get back into position to start the first circuit.

The Insanity Max Interval Plyo Exercises

Insanity Max Interval Plyo is a high intensity interval workout comprised of three circuits. High intensity interval training is comprised of short bursts of maximum exertion followed by short rest periods. The first circuit is comprised of a series of four exercises lasting 30-45 seconds each (and a bonus one at the end of the third series). The series is repeated three times, and you get a 15-30 seconds break between each series.


Switch Jumps. Start in the squat position. Jump and twist your body around so that you land in the squat position 180 degrees from where you started. This exercise is a circuit training staple for a good reason. It’s easy to do but it gets the heart pumping.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-switch jumps

Squat Pushups. Get into a high squat position with knees slightly bent. Make sure there is a soft surface in front of you. Drop down onto your hands and lower your body as if doing a pushup, but keep your knees bent. Push yourself upwards, using your arms to drive your body back into the standing squat position. Do not walk your hands up into the standing position. Rather, push off with enough force to move your body backwards. It should be one fluid motion from bottom to top. You will need a bit of upper body strength to be able to do this exercise properly.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-squat pushups

Wide In-Out Abs. Get into the plank position with your legs extended and feet spread out a little bit past shoulder width. Hop forward so that your feet come up to your hands, while keeping your hands firmly planted in the ground. Hop back into the wide-feet plank position. Repeat until time is called. A variation of the Burpee move. Activates your core if you use correct form.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-InOut Abs

Power Jumps. You’ve seen this exercise before in the Insanity Fit Test. It is not for the weak hearted. All you are doing is jumping into the air as fast and as high as you can. Your knees are raised past waist level as you jump. In order to do this exercise correctly, you should be able to slap your knees with your hands at the highest point of your jump. If you can’t slap your knees, that means you have not raised them high enough. You land in the squat position and start the next jump from there. This exercise works your entire lower body, and heart and lungs.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-power jumps

V Pushups On One Leg (bonus exercise). This exercise is not your typical end-the-circuit-with-an-easy-move, because it will work your shoulders to failure. Bend over and make an inverse V using your body. Your hands should be one end of the V and your toes are the other end. Your arms and legs are straight. The point of the V is your butt. Raise one leg off the ground to add resistance. From this position, lower your head towards the ground by bending your arms. Push back up. Do as many reps as you can for 30 seconds before switching the raised leg.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-V pushup

Another short break marks the end of the first circuit. The second circuit follows exactly the same format, but with different exercises.


Pogo Jump. Stand on one leg and hop to one side. Keep one leg off the floor and hop back to the starting position. Repeat until you run out of time. Mostly works your calves. You will jump from the right leg in the first circuit, the left in the second, and alternate legs in the third.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-pogo

Power Pushup. This is a plyo type pushup that requires good upper body strength. Start from the plank position. As you do a pushup, exert enough force so that your body moves directly into a bent over standing position. That is, you’re trying to connect your hands and feet with each pushup. If you can do this move properly and fluidly, you can start your career as a break dancer.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-power pushups

Globe Twists. Hop from one side to the other. Touch your hands to the ground and raise them overhead with each hop. Land in the squat position. Repeat until time is called. Your gluts and quads won’t like this exercise.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-globe jumps

Level 3 Drills. A double combo move consisting of sixteen pushups and sixteen plank runs. Like all combo moves, this one will leave you breathless.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-level 3 drills

Lunges/Hop Squats (bonus exercise). True to convention, the second circuit ends with a combo move with alternating two lunges and two hop squats. Both moves work your gluts and quads, but in different directions. Nice.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-lunges with hops

Enjoy the 30 seconds water break before the third circuit begins.


The third circuit in Insanity Max Interval Plyo is a little different from the first and second. There are only four exercises in one series. The only repeating you will be doing is when you alternate sides. The exercises are more complicated than other moves in Insanity, so Shaun T makes more of an effort to explain them. Take the extra time to catch your breath.

Side Pushups. Place your hands on the ground so that they are perpendicular to each other. Your legs are positioned to one side, and not in line with your body like a traditional pushup. Do fifteen reps on each side.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-side pushups

Kickstand Touch the Floor. You start off in the lunge position. Leap vertically into the air with one arm reaching the ceiling while raising one knee as high as possible towards your chest. Return to the lunge position as you land. Do fifteen reps on one side and repeat for the other. It works not only your core, but your gluts, quads, and hamstrings as well. It resembles the pogo jump, but you will be leaping from the floor with both feet.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-kickstands with touch the floor

8 Power Knees/4 Diamond Jumps. A combo move where you are doing eight power knees on one side, followed by four diamond jumps. A diamond jump is similar to a power jump, except that at the top of the jump, you touch your hands together above your head (to form a shape of a diamond), while at the same time touching the soles of your feet together (to form the end of an arrow).

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-diamond jumps

Balance Pushups. Start off in the plank position. Do a pushup. As your body comes up, simultaneously straighten and raise you right arm and left leg off the floor, while maintaining balance on the right leg and left arm. Return to plank and do another pushup, this time alternating the balancing arm and leg. Do as many reps as possible before Shaun T calls time. This exercise works mostly the core and pecs, but also activates the shoulders and gluts.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo-balance pushups

Final Thoughts on Insanity Max Interval Plyo

The remaining 4:30 minutes of Insanity Max Interval Plyo is devoted to cool down and stretching. Not a whopping amount of time. Shaun T likes to remind us that the stretching is the most important part of the workout, but he never seems to devote enough time to them. This is one of my main criticisms about the Insanity program. I can keep up with Shaun T and any of the fitness demonstrators, but my middle aged lower back will protest afterwards if I don’t do a proper pre-workout stretch.

Max Interval Plyo is the only Insanity workout that really blasts the upper body. The Squat, V, and Power pushups come to mind. If you’re not used to them, get ready to hurt. A lot. Of course your legs will get play time, too, but your chest and shoulders will feel the brunt of this workout.

To read more reviews related to Insanity Max Interval Plyo, click here. If you have additional questions about Insanity and Insanity Max Interval Plyo, please email me at, or send me a private Facebook message. I love to talk to my readers about their Insanity experiences. Let’s get the conversation started.

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Did you enjoy reading this review of Insanity Max Interval Plyo? If yes, click on the link above to purchase Insanity. Not only will you be supporting this blog, I will be assigned as your personal Insanity coach (without any additional cost to you). I can help maximize your results, keep you motivated, provide accountability, make suggestions, and offer encouragement. You won’t be doing Insanity Max Interval Plyo alone!

About Khoa Nuyen

Aging and feeling crummy are for people who don't know any better. If a middle aged dude with a sedentary job can get these results, you can too.
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15 Responses to Insanity Max Interval Plyo Review

  1. Very good review of Insanity Max Interval Plyometrics!

  2. Insanity definitely lives up to it’s name. I did one full round and put it away because like you I wanted pull ups and I also like weights.

    I will say that I broke the plateau that I was on and my body fat dropped from 8% to 5%. My speed and agility were never better than after completing this program and I could jump higher than ever before. I recommend this program to anyone that is looking to improve their ability on the court or field.

  3. Tammy Fuller says:

    I have a love/hate relationship with all the Insanity workouts. I do them several times a week – the other days I do P90X. I find myself talking back to Shaun T all throughout the workouts but the results are awesome.

  4. Joseph says:

    nicely done!!!

  5. Yolanda Greene says:

    I do the Insanity workouts once a week and I’m sore from the day after until 4 days later. Not fun! But it DOES work. Nice review!

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