T25 vs Insanity – How Do These Two Shaun T Workouts Compare?

t25 cardio piviot lunge

Fat loss?  Time commitment?  Now that Shaun T's workout plan has been tested by real people, it's time to see how it stacks up against his  famous Insanity program.

Shaun T's Insanity workout series made a strong case for his total expertise in helping people burn fat and build muscle at home.

If you've heard about the T 25 and are wondering which is better for you, here are some things to consider.

Workout time Is the biggest difference!

The absolute most important difference between Insanity and T25 is the time commitment.

When they chose the name for Insanity, they were right on the money because it's a full hour of, well...insanity.

Insanity: 60 minutes of punishment for a hard-core workout.

If you can manage an hour a day, then it works great.  But what so many people have found is that they just didn't have that full hour every single day, and ended up doing the absolute worst thing possible: nothing.


T25: Shorter workout, customized starting point, less punishing but still intense.

Speed 1.0 hip flexor stretch
So T25 was created for people who need to get it done in less time (without sacrificing fat burning and muscle-building results).  It's still the ultrapotent mix of cardio, core fitness, and sculpting, though.  Remember, this is Shaun T we're talking about here...he's not going to produce a weak fitness program!


So she difference is, T25 is designed for results without having to punish your body.  It begins with a self- defined starting point so you aren't killing yourself on day one.  You get to start at a comfortable yet challenging rate and build from there.

By the time you've finished the Alpha phase of T25, you'll be at a level where you're really challenging your body, but you'll have gradually worked up to that point rather than beat yourself up to force your body there.


Update: 12/72018!
While both of these programs work awesome there is now a new kid on the block that you should consider looking at which is just like Insanity and T25 but SHORTER!


T25 may be a shorter workout in terms of time spent, but it's not necessarily "easier".  Since you're packing more into your allotted workout regimen, you'll be expected to push a little harder.

And, since your workout is only 25 minutes (not 60), you can let yourself push harder since you know it'll be over quicker!

For that reason, T25 can be considered "intense", but nothing compares to the intensity of Insanity's workout hour-long session.

What's more intense than a full hour of pushing yourself?

Insanity is an hour-long workout, and done right, it can be amazingly intense...even more so than T25.  It all comes down to how hard you're able to push yourself...and for how long.  And in Insanity, there's not much room for modifying the intensity to suit your needs (more on that just below).  Shaun T wants you to push at peak levels through the whole thing.

For people who can't push that hard for an entire hour, T25 makes more sense.

Again, since it's only 25 minutes, you can push yourself at 100% effort, knowing it's only going to be, say 10 more minutes.  With Insanity, you're pushing yourself hard, but in the back of your mind you know you've got another 40 minutes left.  It's hard not to try and reserve energy for the fight that's ahead!

The final point about intensity is that since T25 has so many ways to modify the workout to fit your fitness level and abilities, it's much more amenable to becoming less intense, to fit your personal levels.  Remember, the Insanity workout asks you to push like a brute for the entire hour, no excuses, no exceptions.

Let's talk about those modifications...

These Are Great Additions To Personalize Your Workout

AllvodesBands Resistance Workout Band Set
BalanceFrom Extra Thick Exercise Yoga Mat
Sportsroyals Power Tower Pull Up Bar

Modifications: Not in Max 30!

shrink your absInsanity Max 30 was aptly named: there are no modifications!  So, if you hit a point where you can't keep up, there's no "out", no placeholder move to do while you catch your breath or work up to that move.

You could simply jog in place, but that's going to get stale very fast.

So for many people, that means they can't even continue with the Insanity workout, especially if they are beginners.  With T25, there are various ways to perform every action, so you can keep working out even though you're not yet at peak levels of fitness.

T25 has low-impact modifications built in.

For anyone with bad knees, T25 might be a better choice.  Same goes for anyone who hasn't worked out in a very long time, or who is starting from a low level of fitness.

That's because it's entirely possible to finish the T25 routine without your feet ever leaving the ground.  You can do it without jumping, so it's low impact.  For lots of people that's fantastic news.

It means the Shaun T workout results are now accessible to a whole other segment of the population.  It really opens up doors to people who formerly couldn't take advantage of Shaun's great knowledge and super-effective routines.

How the workout programs are structured

Insanity is what you might expect, sort of like bootcamp: you start strong, power through, and keep it up for 60 days.

T25, on the other hand, actually has a starting point and then works you up to higher levels of fitness GRADUALLY.  There are actually 3 phases of T25:

  1. Alpha.  This phase is for acclimating your body to working out- nobody's asking you do dive in head first here, like with the Insanity program.  You're testing the waters, then getting in at your own pace. You can find the t 25 schedule here if you want to see it.
  2. Beta.  Once you're on track with the routine of working out and you're past the initial soreness of waking up your muscles for the first time in a while, you'll add some basic core conditioning.
  3. Gamma.  T25 Gamma is sold separately but I'd highly recommend it before continuing on to Insanity.  Now you'll be doing some real weight training, preparing for the hard-core Insanity program.

Who does T25 vs who does Insanity

This part is simple: T25 is for anyone.

Insanity is for fit people, or people who were once fit and just need to get back to that place.  To understand the difference, we can look at another Shaun T product: Max 30.

T25 is a major departure from Max 30

My Insanity Max 30 ReviewInsanity Max 30 was one of the later incarnations of the original Insanity workout.  It featured routines which had you going until you maxed out...that is, had to stop because your heart rate reached its limits, or because you just couldn't do the move any longer without compromising your form.

Max 30 is probably the most intense home workout DVD you will ever find.  It's not for everyone.  It's for a select market of already-fit or formerly-fit people who crave extra challenge to make a home fitness program work for them.  Let's face it, we're not all in peak shape and we're not all ready for this workout.

Like Max 30, Insanity is really for people who are used to working out and who know how to push themselves to extreme limits.  Although original Insanity isn't quite as "insane" as Max 30, it's definitely closer to that idea than the T25 program is.

If you were to place people on a spectrum of fitness levels, then match those levels to the Shaun T workouts, it would look like this:

Weight loss

If you're weighing the differences between T25 and Insanity based on which will help you lose the most weight, it's really going to depend on your circumstances.

Weight loss is a simple thing: when caloric intake is less than caloric expenditure, you lose weight.  That's going to depend on so many things besides which type of workout you're doing.

You can lose weight with either program.

t25-results-lost-37lbsBoth workouts include a nutrition program, and people have lost weight as a result of both T25 and Insanity...even in the first 30 days.  So if you're afraid the shorter T25 workout won't be as effective in helping you lose weight, you're just plain wrong.  It's way more complicated than that!

What it's going to boil down to will be which fitness routine is the one you'll stick to?  

T25 and weight loss.

You can expect weight loss with T25, even though it's a shorter workout and allows for modifications to suit your fitness level.  People have reported up to 10 pounds of weight loss on this program, just in the first 30 days.


Pricing is the same for each program.

Other Notable Workouts of Interest: Bench Press Workout Routine

The bench press is a staple exercise in any workout routine, and for good reason. Not only does it target the chest, shoulders, and triceps, but it can also be performed with a variety of weights and intensities. The bench press is a great exercise to add to your strength workout routine, whether you want to gain muscle or just maintain the strength you already have.

But the bench press can also be dangerous if not performed properly. This is why it's important to use a spotter when lifting heavy weights and to focus on good form.

Bench Workout Routine

When performing the bench press, it's important to start with a warm-up set or two. This will help get your muscles warm and prevent injury. Once you're warmed up, you can start your working sets.

For each set, it's important to choose a weight that you can safely lift for the desired number of repetitions. For example, if you want to do 8-10 reps, choose a weight that you could probably do 12-15 reps with. This will help you make sure you're using good form and not putting your safety at risk in order to work harder. You could also use a resistance band.

Once you've completed your working sets, it's important to do a few light sets of 20-30 reps to prevent your muscles from tightening up.

Here is an example of a bench press workout routine:

Warm up sets:

Set 1: 45 lbs x 10 reps

Set 2: 95 lbs x 8 reps

Working sets:

Set 1: 135 lbs x 8 reps

Set 2: 185 lbs x 6 reps

Set 3: 225 lbs x 4 reps

Light sets:

Set 1: 135 lbs x 20 reps

Set 2: 95 lbs x 30 reps

This routine can be performed twice per week, with at least 48 hours of rest in between each session.

If your goal is to gain more muscle, you can increase the weight and/or number of sets for each exercise. For example, you could do 3 sets of 8 reps with 185 lbs. Or, you could do 5 sets of 5 reps with 225 lbs.

If your goal is to maintain your strength, you can keep the number of sets and reps the same but increase the weight. For example, you could do 3 sets of 8 reps with 205 lbs. Or, you could do 5 sets of 5 reps with 255 lbs.

No matter what your goal is, the important thing is to focus on good form and to use a weight that you can safely lift. By doing this, you'll be able to get the most out of your bench press workout routine.

So, is T25 for you?

T25 can do a lot for anyone, it's no doubt.  I'd say if you are a beginner, then definitely choose T25 over Insanity.  You can always try Insanity after you've worked through the 3 phases of T25. I would recommend looking at the beachbody on demand program so you can get it streaming on your ipad, phone, roku device etc... You can read my review here on it.

Because of the modifications I mentioned earlier, T25 is way more flexible, so you can adjust the program to your starting point.  And of course, if you have less-than-perfect knees, start with T25 for sure.

Ultimately it does come down to two things:

  1. your starting point on the fitness journey
  2. how much time you've allotted each day for achieving your goals

Still have questions?  Go ahead and leave a comment and I'll try and answer them.  The more details about your fitness situation, the better.

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