March 31, 2011 posted by

Back To Core In The Asylum

Back to Core is one of the more interesting core routines I’ve done, and unlike any other core routine in that its focus isn’t on your abdominal region. Right now my back is sore in spots I’ve never felt. My back. Not my abs or obliques.

The core is not just the front side of the body and by the time most people reach the entry level for Asylum they’ve done requisite ab work. Back to Core puts its focus on areas of neglect, which are mainly in areas of the back that aren’t strengthened doing traditional back exercises. The net effect is that you can feel your posture improve after each workout.

On the challenge factor—important for both Asylum and Insanity—it ranks below many of the other workouts in the series as it’s not explosive. You can do these movements. The only question is whether or not you can do them with good form and for the requisite amount of time, which results in a dialog with yourself about pain tolerance. I have good core strength and was able to “on sight” this workout (do all of it first try). But it didn’t get easier second time through; it was the opposite. This is because as my form and range of motion increased, as each exercise can be made harder and then harder still.

I begin each set thinking “this isn’t too bad” but by around 15 seconds it’s hurting. By 30 seconds I’m thinking there is no way I’ll finish. The rest of the movement becomes about concentration and staving off pain. My focus is clearly placed on only the next breath and, if I’m still standing I re-focus on the following one. Somewhere in this pain exchange I would find the zone, which allowed me to finish sets that lasted as long as three minutes.

The benefits of this workout are already apparent. I’m standing taller, my shoulders fall further back, my stomach tucks in a more natural position, and I move in a more aligned position. It’s going to stay in my arsenal of workouts long after I’m through with this training cycle.

pic: of shaun, in case you’re questioning the six-pack factor


  • wow just look at him, how he's changed from insanity

  • Thanks so much for sharing! I took a look at the teaser video shaun and everyone else looks super lean. Cant wait.Has beachbody thought about making sport specific programs? If you guys do that I would love to get involved!Best of luck on your training and competitions!

  • But still no release date…

  • Shaun seems to have made a transformation himself and I'm often left wondering…..#1 What did he change ?….and #2 How has it helped him perform ?

  • Abdominal muscle strengthening is important for strong core muscles. In addition, you may prevent the occurrence of abdominal strains by toning well your abdominal exercise muscles.

  • Nice spam. Is that a site from the 80s? You can do ab exercises until the cows come home and it's not going to be a thing for helping you get a six pack, which is a function of body fat and, hence, complete body composition change. It's only important to train your ab muscles in balance with the rest of your core for functionality. It has nothing to do with how you look. I know bodybuilders who do very little actual ab work because they'd rather focus on muscles that grow. And all of em look like Hercules.Release date…Soon. Very very soon.

  • You know, the base I built from beachbody products helped me so much in my bodybuilding training these days. My strong core from all those core workouts from tony and Shawn's insanity helped me deadlift/squat heavy weights without any strain in the groin or lower back. The company did a lot for me, your training routines like WFH helped me build the foundation of my later to come hypertrophy training. Thanks for that Steve!

  • … somehow I get the feeling that this product is never going to show. I know, I'm exaggerating (lol), but seriously – May 7th for coaches now? This is getting a bit silly. What gives?

  • Steve, how is this core workout different from P90X Core Synergistics? Thanks!

  • Today is day 3 of Insanity Asylum for me which means Back to Core. Definetly not what I was expecting from this workout. Check out and follow my blog as I make my way through the 30 days of the Asylum.

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