The Insanity Principle: A Portrait of Agony

During this evening’s circuit training, I managed to fall over mid squat-thrust. As I peeled myself off the mats to resume the hell, I noticed that my face had left an interesting sweat-mark on the ground. There were visible cheeks, a chin – even areas where eyes should go! It was a distinctly realistic-looking face…and it was in a lot of pain…

You see, these latest circuits are based on the Insanity principle. A contrast to traditional high intensity internal training (HIIT) (where one works very hard for short periods of time, then rests for a longer time), Insanity involves working very hard for longer periods of time, then resting for shorter periods of time.

So we work maximally for 2 minutes, then rest for 30 seconds…and repeat than for an hour and a half. By the end, I can barely stand, barely breathe and barely believe I haven’t just crawled out of a swimming pool, to judge by the dripping state of every item of clothing.

Exercises involved include punching or kicking a heavy bag as fast or hard as possible, standing sprints, handstand press-ups and chin-ups, not to mention the squat thrusts, kick-ups and variety of other nauseating bases. It’s horrible, truly. But it’s also brilliant.

You see, training to keep fit and healthy is all well and good but, to be honest, I find it hard to motivate myself to work hard for the simple sake of my health. I mean, it’s not like I actually have a healthy lifestyle outside of the realm of exercise. Instead, I like to train to achieve a goal or get better at something else, whether it’s something simple like lifting a certain weight, or something more on-going and complex, like being a better fighter.

In terms of training for professional wrestling, insanity training is just about ideal. Explosive and extended periods of maximal exertion, followed by the briefest intervals for catching your breath and recovering. That’s pretty much how a wrestling match works!

If I can put myself through that for ninety minutes a couple of times a week, before long a fifteen minute match shouldn’t be quite as hard. So, in theory, insanity training is perfect for wrestling fitness. Oh and wrestlers are also a little crazy, in case you were afraid I’d missed the more obvious of jokes there.

The only stumbling block is the CONSTANT AGONY and need to vomit. But hey, what’s life without a little bit of that?

About the Author
Ed Gamester is a silly man who lives in the United Kingdom. He is the harbinger of Ghost Squad, singer of Gay Bum and author of A Rum Run Awry. He fights, kills and dies for TV and films, and gallivants around the place wrestling, drinking and lifting things for glory and profit. Where Ed treads, there stamp the boots of the Guild. Ed does not wear glasses, but feels this photograph makes him look more intelligent and artistically talented than he is. Feel free to contact him: he is disappointingly affable.

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  1. WanderingCanary Reply

    I’m about to study at UCSB in California as an exchange student, and I’ve seen people talking about this online only today! It seems really popular. I was curious to learn what it was all about, and I happened to stumble on this, how fortunate! Sounds very good. I recently changed my gym programme to have a similar principle- I do what my trainer terms the “Blast workout”. It involves a lot of constant weight increasing, and short rest periods. For example we do exercises with reps that descend and ascend: 20, 12, 10, 8, 6, 8, 10, 12, 20, increasing the weight until 6 reps, then lowering it back down again. It’s tough!!

    • murorga Reply

      Sounds tough, mate! I used to train in a similar way; we called it Russian Pyramids, for some reason. Absolutely killer and worked like a charm. The physiology makes sense too; warm up and get the CNS firing on the way up, then absolutely thrash the muscles on the way back down. Bitterly painful 🙂

      • WanderingCanary Reply

        Ahh yes, it is largely based on pyramid training, essentially the same principle! It also has loathsome supersets thrown in there every now and again for good measure. But worst of all, each day has one “giant set”: basically, the last or penultimate exercise is 150 reps of a certain exercise, done in as many sets as it takes… and my trainer won’t let up on me haha. By the 120/130 mark, I’m torn between finishing the home straight and punching him in his smug little face haha. That aggression gets me to finish them up though, so I have an inkling that might actually be a devious tactic on his part… who knows!

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