Reebok Sports Club

Instructor – Tanya Camilleri – Group Exercise Manager | words by Laura Morris

The Insanity workout craze is something our friends across the pond know well and it’s hitting our shores here in the UK with a new class added to the Reebok Sports Club scheduled this spring.

Created and promoted by Shaun T, a very shiny and sculpted hard man who takes you through a series of DVD work outs with impressive ‘before/after’ photos slung in for good motivational measure. Insanity promises to burn upwards of 1000 calories per 45 minutes, and give you a sculpted, toned physic in 60 days. Insanity scoffs at High Intensity Interval Training and instead prefers the term ‘Max Intensity’. Imagine the rest period of HIIT is in fact the work out, and the rest element is trimmed down to a measly 30 seconds – basically just enough time to gulp some air, wipe the sweat from your drenched forehead before it starts all over again with the next break nowhere in sight.

The very impressive Reebok Sports Club in Canary Wharf, always ahead of the curve with exercise trends, are introducing a weekly classes from April onwards should you be brave enough and dedicated enough to take it on. I was invited along to give it try, as an addicted gym class goer I like to think I could hold my own in most classes on a schedule, but a quick pre class you tube view of Insanity left me feeling a little nervous of just how hard this class was going to be.

Guided by Tanya Camilleri , the Reebok Sports Club Group Exercise Manager, we immediately kicked off with a fairly challenging accelerated warm up of star jumps and side twisting fist pumps. The warm up seemed to last for ages but perhaps because we were doing everything at a really fast pace we probably packed in more than your usual class in just that first 5 minutes.

Insanity targets the entire body through sets of intense work out blocks with the short 30 second breaks in between. The plyometric and endurance section which includes ‘jump training’ I found very tough, high tuck jumps over and over again, getting faster and faster with each set and no break in between. This really gets your blood pumping and heart racing and it doesn’t let up from here on in. Then onto strength and endurance, if you fear a push up like me you will find this challenging again, star shaped push ups, dynamic moving push ups, one leg up push ups, and it goes on and on.

At this point Tanya’s motivation shouts from the front of the class were much needed; she did every single move with us whilst also giving instruction and much needed alternatives to some of the harder moves.  The third set focuses on agility and coordination, think jumping side to side lunges which increase their speed until you are moving faster then you’ve probably moved in a long while!

Finally the end was in sight and we moved onto a core and stability section, any chance to sink to the floor was most welcome at this stage. But of course this is Insanity, no sneaky lying down on the mat whilst you throw in a few sits up here and there to show face. We ended with bicycling elbows to knees, alternate planks and side planks, twisting and turning and adding to that lovely pool of sweat you created during the endless push ups.

So would I do it again? Yes and no. Insanity did throw me a little; it’s like nothing else I’ve done before. On the one hand I hated it during the entire class, vowed to never, ever do it again. But on the other hand looking back, have I sweated that much since? No. Or felt so exhausted post work out that you literally crawl to the showers? No. Turns out, I quite like that feeling, knowing you have really worked at your maximum, pushed your entire body, and lived to tell the tale. I can see how that could get additive. And no doubt with dedication you would see results. So, I suggest man up and give it a go. It might not be for you long term, or you might find the holy grail of the exercise buzz and become a regular tough guy just like Shaun T, or Tanya, who is a whole lot prettier.

Insanity classes at Reebok Sports Club, Canary Wharf, E14, membership £116 per month or £69 for weekend-only, reebokclub.co.uk