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Shaun T: One Crazy Workout

In the waning moments of our first conversation, I asked Shaun T., creator of such popular home-workout DVD programs as Hip Hop Abs, Asylum and Insanity, if he’d put together a workout for Experience Life readers. He jumped at the chance — I suspect literally, though I can’t say for sure because we were speaking on the phone. The man’s off-the-charts energy is that palpable, regardless of distance or medium.

Shortly thereafter, Shaun T. delivered this adaptation of his “Cardio Power and Resistance” workout from Insanity: a mix of heart-pumping, power-building moves that will strengthen your whole body and energize your whole being.

“At its core, Insanity is about making yourself better,” says Shaun T. “I give you a specific time frame to do as many reps as you can do. It’s not about beating anyone else. It’s about holding yourself accountable. It’s about doing the best you can do. When you repeat the workout, try to beat your number. Just as in life, as long as you’re constantly progressing, it doesn’t matter how gradually.”

Full disclosure: Shaun T. admits this version is a touch more intense than the ones in the Insanity DVDs  — which is really saying something.

So if you’ve been out of the fitness game for a while, you’d be wise to ramp up slowly. “It’s OK to be tired,” says Shaun T. “It’s OK to take a break or slow it down. Just don’t compromise form at all.”

That said, if you’re already in good shape and feeling eager to ramp things up, you can minimize breaks and maximize pace for a workout that will flatten even the fittest contender. (I can attest to this, as you will see in the video demonstration at

Jot down your reps for each exercise set, and perform the workout weekly or biweekly to track your progress. And prepare to see results.

Shaun T.’s Crazy Workout

Ideally, you’ll complete the entire circuit three times, but if you need to start with one or two rounds, heed your instincts. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, resting as little as necessary between reps. Rest for 30 seconds between rounds.

1. Pushup Jacks

pushup jacks  pushup jacks

  •  Get into a straight-arm plank position, body in a straight line from head to heel.
  •  Lower your body into pushup position.
  •   As your chest nears the ground, hop your feet wide apart, jumping-jack style.
  •   As you push your chest back up, hop your feet back together. Repeat.

2. Power Knees

power knees  power knees

  • Stand with your weight on your left leg, knee slightly bent, left hand on top of right.
  • Bring your right knee to waist height, tapping your knee with your right hand when it reaches that height.
  • Do as many reps as you can in 30 seconds.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

3. Ski Abs

ski abs   ski abs

  • Start in a straight-arm plank position, feet together.
  • Hop both feet up to the right, trying to bring your knees to the outside of your right elbow.
  • Hop back into plank position.
  • Repeat the move, alternating sides for 30 seconds.

4. Triceps Dips

tricep dips   tricep dips

  • Sit on the ground and position your hands just outside of your body with your fingertips facing your rear end.
  • Propping yourself up on your hands and feet, lift your butt off the ground.
  • Bend your elbows, lowering your butt until it’s close to the ground. Repeat.

5. Plank Squats

plank squats   plank squats

  • Start in a straight-arm plank position, feet together.
  • Hop your feet forward and pop up into a squat position.
  • Place your hands on the ground outside your feet (not shown) and hop back into plank position. Repeat.

6. Power Jumps

power jumps   power jumps

  • Stand with your feet hip- to shoulder-width apart.
  •   Quickly dip down, then jump up, lifting your knees up to waist height.
  •   On the way down, straighten your legs and land softly on the balls of your feet.
  •   Once your feet touch the ground, immediately recoil and jump again.

7. Power Squats

power squats   power squats

  • Stand with your feet together.
  • Hop your feet out, dropping to the bottom of a squat position. As you do, move your arms straight out in front of you until they are in line with your shoulders.
  • Hop back to the starting position. Repeat.

For More For all projects Shaun T.

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