Work up a sweat with plyometric circuits.
INSANITY is described as an extreme fitness challenge designed for people who already have a good base of fitness. Offering 11 different workouts from 20 to 60 minutes in length, the program utilizes high-intensity interval training to get the heart rate to skyrocket and burn maximum calories. The plyometrics cardio circuit combines calorie-burning training methods such as circuit training, high-intensity intervals and plyometrics. How many calories you'll burn in a session depends on a few variables, but INSANITY claims you can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour.
Explode with Plyometrics
INSANITY has it all - the intensity, the fast pace and limited rest breaks. Instead of using traditional strength exercises such as squats and pushups in the circuit, INSANITY uses plyometrics. These are quick, explosive movements that involve jumping, hopping and leaping. They're also compound movements that use more than one muscle group at a time, which the American Council on Exercise says are best for fat loss because they use a lot of muscle and require more oxygen - which means more calories burned.
Embrace the HIIT
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, became popular for its ability to burn a lot of calories in less time than steady-state cardio. By alternating periods of all-out effort with periods of recovery, you're able to work out at a higher intensity than during steady-state cardio. All things being equal, the cumulative result is higher calorie expenditure. This is supported by scientific research, including a 2015 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research that measured calorie expenditure among aerobic, resistance and combined HIIT training and found HIIT to be the winner.
Consider Your Fitness Level
Everyone's calorie burning potential is different because of all the factors involved in energy expenditure. Heavier people burn more calories than lighter people because of the increased effort of moving their bodies. For example, according to Harvard Medical School, a 125-pound person burns 300 calories doing 30 minutes of high-impact step aerobics, but someone who weighs 185 pounds burns 444 calories doing the same exercise for the same amount of time.
Your fitness level also affects how many calories you'll burn. Those who are more fit don't have to work as hard to complete the same workout at the same level of intensity as less-conditioned people. Therefore, they'll burn fewer calories. However, according to Dr. Robert A. Robergs and Dr. Len Kravitz of the University of New Mexico, fitter people tend to challenge themselves more by exercising at a higher intensity, which means they're elevating their heart rate more and potentially burning more calories.
Speed Up Your Heart
If you do the plyometric cardio circuit as intended, you'll burn a lot of calories. The idea is to complete all the moves at maximum effort, taking short breaks to recover when directed. If you don't work as hard as you can and stop to take a lot of breaks, you won't burn as many calories. So, basically, the number of calories you burn depends on how you complete the program. To accurately assess your calorie burn, wear a heart-rate monitor. If you're not satisfied with the number of calories you're burning, plan to work harder in your next session to increase your energy expenditure.