If you haven’t heard of Insanity yet, let’s just say it’s not for the faint-hearted. Insanity has been and still is one of the most challenging fitness programs on the market.
As a total body workout that requires no gym or equipment, the program is based on a fitness method called "max interval training”.
Max interval training consists of 3-minute work intervals, with 30-second periods of rest in between. In some people, exercising at this extreme intensity level will burn up to 1,000 calories an hour.
It had to take someone very special (or insane) to introduce Insanity to the Shanghai fitness community.
Born in Venezuela, and growing up both in his home country and the U.S., Richardson Manzol came to China around seven years ago.
After an exciting first year in China and having gained 10 kilograms, he decided to get back in shape and stumbled upon a completely new type of workout. Intrigued by the promise of quick weight loss and simultaneous muscle gain, Richardson embarked on a 2-month Insanity journey right in his apartment with the help of a DVD program.
Needless to say, his results were amazing and soon people around him started to notice and ask questions. They wanted to get in shape too - and fast.
Already being more and more comfortable in guiding his friends and acquaintances towards great results, it was the small nudge of a fellow coach that inspired him to actually go and get certified as Insanity Trainer.
This was back in 2014 when the majority of the fitness community in Shanghai hadn't heard much yet about high intensity training or the like. Naturally, challenges arose.
Being driven by the urge to help people in a more professional way, and wanting to get closer to future students, he went from studio to studio to introduce the new workout. It was a slow process involving a lot of free trial classes, and the tough realization that while people loved Insanity they also dropped out frequently. The market wasn't ready yet.
Fast forward to 2017 and things have changed a lot inside the Shanghai fitness community but also for Richardson. These days, he feels that it is easier to organize events, plan classes, and manage groups. He’s come a long way from not knowing anyone in the industry to becoming a part-time fitness coach with a huge and vibrant network of friends, clients, and fellow coaches.
His real passion though is teaching and motivating people on a larger scale. He's frequently invited to run Insanity classes during local events, but has also taken his passion further on a regional and even an international level. Some of his favorite engagements were for example preparing participants for races such as Tough Mudder, Spartan, or marathons. He enjoys thinking back to these moments.
He also fondly remembers the time that he gave a talk at the Fitness Expo FIBO in 2016 - something that he’d like to continue doing.
Most recently, his passion has even driven him to organize a few large events in Panama in Central America - with over one hundred people working out with him in a park he was truly in his element.
Apart from being a professional Fitness Coach, In-Line Speed Skater, and Marathon Runner, Richardson is also vegan and very well known in the vegan community in Shanghai. Preparing delicious and cruelty-free food goes hand in hand with his healthy and active lifestyle.
Richardson, who’s been named Mr. Insane by some of his students, plans to “stay insane forever”. He says he is built for this workout, and if you take a class with him you will instantly understand why.
Moving forward, he wants to continue motivating people and being there for them with classes and advice whenever they need him - for example through short workout videos that he’s already started sharing on YEYU and other channels.
But as an Insanity role model he also wants to reach new people and show them that everything is possible as long as you stay active and healthy. In order to do that he will organize more events also in cooperation with other fitness entities and partners such as YEYU.
If you want to learn more about Richardson and Insanity, simply search for his profile and the tag “Insanity Live” on YEYU, or catch him at Style Fitness in Shanghai during one of his regular classes.
The whole YEYU Team is happy to have Richardson as our Ambassador and partner.