Speed and Agility
So it’s that time again. Time to man up and start the first day of a new workout program. Having recently graduated from Insanity, my wife and I decided initially to do Focus T25. However, we began to feel like we needed to take the next logical step in order to maximize our results, so we changed our minds and decided to take on the sequel to Insanity, Insanity: The Asylum Vol. 1. We actually ordered the deluxe combo pack, so we got Volumes 1&2, a resistance band (for an alternative to using dumbbells), 3 strength bands, agility ladder, speed rope, and fat caliper. In addition to that, we separately purchased an additional agility ladder and 3 more strength bands. We felt like the speed rope was optional (and not practical with our space issues and low ceilings), but there was no point doing Asylum without each of us having an agility ladder and strength bands.
Now we did something that I would suggest to everyone who has never done an Asylum workout before – watch the workouts in advance! It can be the night before, like we did, and you can fast forward once you get the gist of each move, but I’m telling you now – Shaun T goes fast. It’s one of the many ways that these workouts are like nothing you have ever done. So put the DVD’s in and take a gander. Just make sure to actually do the workouts after watching them, and don’t go running for the hills!
Speed and Agility seemed to me to be the most “cardio” of all the Asylum workouts. I knew going in that Asylum differs from Insanity in that Insanity is mostly cardio, while Asylum adds strength moves and works the entire body. But of all the workouts, Speed and Agility seemed to have incorporate the most cardio moves.
Speed and Agility: Warm-Up
Wait, we get a break from the monotony of the Insanity warm-up moves? No mummy kicks, 1-2-3′s, high knees, switch kicks, etc? I’m a fan already. Actually Asylum is more like P90X with its warm-ups. Each warm-up is geared directly toward the workout that follows – Same with the stretch exercises.
For the Speed and Agility warm-up, you will start with your speed rope, or mimicking using a jump rope if you are like us and don’t have room to use the rope. The warm-up is two rounds long and consists of the following minute long moves:
1) High Knees w/ jump rope – go at a moderate pace and make sure to get your knees high, just like you always did with Insanity
2) Squat w/ jump rope – you are down in a low squat and jumping
3) In & Out Squat w/ jump rope – stay in the squat, but this time you legs with do a jumping jack
4) Heisman w/ agility ladder – go left and right down your ladder, with each foot stepping in each box and at the end of each side, bring your leg up Heisman-style
5) High Knees Speed w/ jump rope – same as the first move but with a faster pace
6) Scissors w/ jump rope – scissors your legs while jumping
7) Switch Feet & Hop w/ jump rope – hop on the right leg twice, then the left leg twice, then do 4 switch feet and repeat (Note: I thought these were fun)
8) Heisman Tap w/ agility ladder – start on one end of the ladder, do the Heisman to the other side, tap the ground by your leading leg, then sprint back to the other side. Halfway through, switch sides.
9) Agility Toe Taps – start on one end of the ladder with your feet in the first box, and as you walk down the ladder make sure each toe lands in each box.
Speed and Agility: Stretch
After a short break (Shaun T doesn’t time them in Asylum, he just wings it, usually to your detriment), it’s time for a Speed and Agility customized stretch. Not a lot of detail here because I honestly don’t remember every move, but you do some stretches that work your obliques, hip flexors, hamstrings, groins, and of course, you do breathing exercises.
Speed and Agility: Workout
The actual Speed and Agility workout is roughly broken down into three phases: Speed, Agility, and Power. There are breaks in between each one, but they are very short so grab your water and drink a sip quickly, because Shaun T isn’t messing around and he lets you know that a few times. Make sure your ladder is laid out in a manner where you have plenty of room on all sides, because you will use the darn thing for all of the moves from this point on. Here are the moves:
Mountain Climber Progression – You know mountain climbers if you’ve done Insanity, which I assume you have, so you know to go into high plank, but this time you want to lay over your ladder, with your feet just beyond the bottom rung. You will do mountain climbers in the first three boxes, working your way up, 20 seconds in each box. If you are very short, the 3rd box may not be feasible, so if you can’t get there with good form, stay in the 2nd box. Trust me, the 2nd box will work you over big time.
Forward/Backward Agility – stand perpendicular to and behind your ladder, and pick a box. Step your feet in and out of that box, alternating feet, and try to not mangle up your ladder. Switch the lead foot halfway though. 1:00 total.
Moving Push-ups w/ In & Out Abs – well that says it all, right? Start at one end of your ladder, perpendicular to it and with your hands in the first box. As you work your way down the ladder, do a moving push-up, but after you come up, do an In and Out Abs move, then keep going. These are tough, as moving push-ups generally are quite hard.
In & Out Agility w/ Hop – Stand next to the bottom right of your ladder. You are going to work your way down the ladder, stepping your left foot in and out of each box as you work your way up the ladder, then hopping back down the ladder with your left foot stepping into each box. Switch sides halfway through. 1:00 total.
Mountain Climber Progression – same move as before, only this time pick a box to work in and stay in that box. I used the 2nd box and it worked me hard. 1:00 total.
Agility Sequence – this is a 3-part move, changing moves on Shaun T queue. Start at one end of your ladder, facing perpendicular to the ladder and behind it. Do “switch feet” (remember from Insanity?) stepping into the first box of the ladder with alternating legs. Upon Shaun T’s queue, switch to forward/backward feet, so this time you are stepping in and out of each box with alternating legs. Finally, when told to, do a 180 turn and land on the other side of the ladder, then do another one to end up back where you started. Throughout this try your best to not touch any part of the ladder (good luck with that!). Halfway through change your lead leg and do it all again. 1:00 total.
Moving Push-up w/ Jump – do the same as before, but instead of doing an In and Out Abs after each push-up, jump your feet up so you actually land in the box in front of you, putting you in a low squat position. Jump back out and keep going. 1:00 total. Enjoy a brief water break.
In & Out Abs Progression – remember the Mountain Climbers you did about 10 minutes ago? Of course you do, and you probably hoped they were gone for the day. Well they are, but in their place are In & Out Abs, worked the same as before, moving up each box after 20 seconds. Again, do the 3rd box if possible with good form, otherwise stay in the 2nd and you will still feel the intense burn.
Stationary Criss Cross – stand in your ladder facing perpendicular to it, with one foot in the first box and one foot outside the first box. Criss cross your legs as you jump, and try to not touch the ladder (yeah right!). At the midway point, sprint sideways down the ladder and switch the lead foot. 1:00 total.
Agility Bear Crawl – did you think the workout was tough up to this point? Well it’s been easy compared to what is next. If you ever were on a wrestling or football team, you probably have done bear crawls. If not but you have at least a decent imagination, you know what’s coming. Get down on all fours at the end of your ladder and straddling it. Crawl up the ladder (you know, like a bear would), and at the top of the ladder, bring your feet in and out of the top box. Then crawl back down the ladder and at the that end, bring your hands in and out of the first box. Sounds easy, not easy. 1:00 total.
Agility Stork Touch – Pick a leg to stand on and work your way down the ladder, jumping in and out of boxes diagonally as you go back and forth. Each time you jump outside the ladder, touch the floor to the outside of your body. Halfway through, switch the leg you are standing on. 1:00 total. I think that doing this exercise alone would be easier, but like so many of Shaun T’s moves, they are harder because of where they are placed. I think any move done after bear crawls would be tough, but these are just brutal when trying to do them with good form.
In & Out Abs Progression – this is exactly the same as before, as you will work your way up the first 3 boxes.
Criss Cross w/ Power Jump – you probably cringed when you saw Power Jump didn’t you? Are you even still reading this? Go back to the Criss Cross you did a few moves ago, but this time after 4 Criss Crosses (is that a word?), do a Power Jump. 1:00 total.
Agility Bear Crawl w/ V Push-up – yes we are crawling again and yes Shaun T made them harder. Same exercise as before, but when you get back down the ladder, instead of bringing your hands in and out of the box, do 5 V Push-ups. If you’ve done Insanity and you should have prior to this madness, you know how to do these. Essentially you are in pike position with your hands facing each other and doing push-ups. 1:00 total. Time to call the paramedics.
Agility Touch Squats - I think Shaun T calls this an “active recovery” exercise, and I guess they are slightly less intense, but at this point…still tough. Start at the end of the ladder facing parallel, and do jumping jacks with your legs so that they land in and out of the boxes, and each time your legs land outside the box, touch your hands down in the box. 1:00 total. Funny, I don’t feel recovered!
In & Out Ab Progression – these just won’t go away. Do them the exact same way as twice before. 1:00 total.
Criss Cross w/ Moving Power Jump – do these exactly the same way as before, but move down a box with each Power Jump. 1:00 total.
Agility Bear Crawl w/ Tricep Ball Push-up – Shaun T isn’t afraid to give a move a long name, is he? Do these the same as the last ones, only do a Tricep Ball Push-up instead of a V Push-up. 1:00 total. Tricep Ball Push-ups are done in the same Insanity workout as the V Push-ups (Cardio Power & Resistance). The paramedics might be at your house by now. Tell them you need a little longer. Oh and take a brief water break before the power round starts.
Agility Hop Scotch – remember Hop Scotch from when you were a kid? I guess that depends on how old you are, but basically you start at one end of your ladder facing parallel, jump on one leg into the first box, then jump both feet outside that box. Continue up and down the ladder that way, and at the halfway point, switch your “stork foot”. 1:00 total.
Agility Hurdle – if you didn’t already know that Shaun T was a track star, he reminds you here. Stand at the end of your ladder facing parallel, and position yourself so that as you work up the ladder only one leg will land in the boxes. Start sprinting in place for a 4 count, and after the last step, hurdle your leg up to your chest (the leg that is landing in the box) and work up to the next box. When you get the end of the ladder, sprint back to the other end. Halfway through switch the leg you are hurdling. 1:00 total.
Agility Dual Hops – Remember the Stork Touch move you did earlier? Of course you do, it was pretty dang hard. This time move up and down the ladder in the same sequence, but keep both feet down and together. 1:00 total.
Agility Plank – Two more moves and you are in plank for both. I consider these two moves together to be a burnout, and I think you benefit big time from these if you can find enough gas in the tank to plow through 120 more seconds. Your shoulders will definitely benefit from it. For this move, get in the position you were in for moving push-ups, but just walk your hands and feet up and down the ladder. The key here and what makes it so difficult is staying in good plank form. 1:00 total.
Agility Shoulder Taps – ah shoulder taps, I have heard about you. You are not fun. After the previous exercise, Shaun T has your shoulders near muscle failure mode, so these truly are a burnout exercise. Do the same thing as the last move, only after you move through each box, bring your hands up to tap the opposite shoulders. Shaun T will be with Alicia (blond from Insanity) and trying to get her to do 5 rounds of back and forth, but I have only been able to get 3.5 the two times I have done this workout. That means what? That I have a GOAL TO REACH!!! 1:00 total then grab some water, do the cool down and stretch. You made it.
Speed and Agility: Conclusion & Photos
Well to conclude my review of this workout, I am giving it a 5/5. This is my new favorite workout and I can’t wait to see what it will do for me after 30 days. Below, you can see some of the high I was on after completing this killer. A little fist pump never hurt anyone.