So there are lots of crazy commercials, and stories about INSANITY. But does it work? Can you tell with just one week? What is involved? How hard is it? How do you feel during the workout? How do you feel after? INSANITY is a 60 day program. With my first week of INSANITY fresh in my mind, i’m going to write everything I experienced during the first 6 workouts of INSANITY.
Day One – You start off with a fitness test. Shaun T demonstrates a few exercises to perform as fast as you can within a given time. They aren’t as hard as you might think. It’s the speed you can do them in is what your looking for. I thought nothing of it after I was done. But my body felt bit like jello in my legs and back. The next day I woke up sore in my leg muscles, and almost all the muscles in my back and immediately thought “that was only the Fit Test!”
Day Two – and the first real workout was the Plyometric Cardio Circuit. Which starts with a very long very fast paced warm up. Lots of jogging in place, jumping jacks, and many other exercises meant to warm up your legs, and your body. By the time the warm up was done I was already sweating and burning up. The sore muscles from the day before were a bit weak, but thankfully the warm up got them in operating form to at least complete the workout. Once you get going and get into the rhythm of the exercises and let your body do about 75% of the auto-pilot effort. And then you just make sure the rest of the time your in proper form pushing to get the results you want. Making sure your legs are kicking out far enough. Making sure your knees are coming up to your waist with the high-knee exercises. Those seemingly little things that make all the difference between an exhausting workout or cheating your way through. The workout consisted of lots of explosive movements. Kind of jumping squats, jumping into push-up position, and back up. Just lots of big movements mixed in with a constant jogging-in-place type of cardio. Its all punctuated with little 20-30 second breaks for catching your breathe and getting a drink of water. At this point I was taking many breaks in the middle of the workout. I didn’t feel too bad when I saw some of the demonstrators in the background doing the same. The warnings on the screen constantly appear with “Know your limits!” or “Rest when needed.” I couldn’t help but laugh when it would say “rest when needed” just a few seconds after I would take a minute to kneel down and catch my breathe. I could only think ” one step ahead of you!”
Day Three – Cardio Power & Resistance. Basically a little less of the plyometric workout. Your still jumping around. Your still doing things like push-ups. But they aren’t combined into one big explosive movement. Many of them are separate exercises with minor differences. Push-ups while keeping your butt high up in the air with your legs straight. I simply remember this workout as being sheer torture on my legs. The previous two days had done their damage and I couldn’t find a muscle in my legs that didn’t hurt. I even had small muscles in my feet that were sore. Again, thankfully the warm up got me in working shape to at least perform most of the exercises. Again I had to take a few breaks in between other than the designated water breaks. But I was sweating all over the place, and I definitely got a work out. Felt more like I was in a fight after it was done though.
Day Four – Cardio Recovery. Basically Yoga on steroids. Lots of squat exercises. Slow repetitions. Really set your legs on fire. And if your just starting out like me and were suffering through sore muscle it was basically a muscles failure session. I could barely keep standing at some points but after the workout I did feel like some of that lactic acid was squeezed out of my legs. And it was at this time I was noticing I could stretch significantly farther than normal. Something I was never ever good at. I the type that has to bend their knees just to touch the ground. After a few days of exercise and deep stretching, and especially after the Cardio Recovery workout I was able to do most of the stretching properly as they were demonstrated on screen.
Day Five – Pure Cardio. This one was a doozy. For 15 minutes you do not get a break. And your doing a few exercises that involve large explosive movements. The exercises are mixed into a constant pace of your normal running in place, football drills, variants of jumping jacks, and kicking out in front of you. At this rate I was just trying to survive. The soreness in my legs was really started to wear me down. I did notice however my cardio was improving and the rest of my muscles were getting stronger. This was just after a few days. I didn’t feel too bad for not surviving all the way through. Instructor, Shaun T and his demonstrators writhed on the ground gasping for air by the time the exercise was done. It might as well been a part of the exercise cause I followed their demonstration on that as well.
Day Six – Plyometric Cardio Circuit. Yes you do the Day Two workout again. Same exercises, yes. But I was very intrigued with how it played out this time just days after the first time I tried it. My body was almost fully recovered. I needed fewer breaks and was able to complete more of the circuit without stopping due to cramps or fatigue. I was able to do more repetitions, and with better form. I was really impressed with how much more I was able to do. It let me focus on pushing harder because I had that extra energy and strength left. By the time it was done I was still exhausted. I was still drenched in sweat by the half way mark. I got a great workout. I hope this last workout and being able to measure and feel the difference in my improvement is something I can count on for the rest of the 60 days.
The First Week – It was very tough. Mostly it was muscle soreness that kept me down in this first week. But i’m confident that I will have much less trouble with that for this next week. I already feel a boost in my energy. Its easier to get up and down the stairs to my apartment each day. I overall feel better. And though its not a huge change I do notice my body slowly starting to lose fat in my mid section and legs. Muscle tone is very slightly starting to appear in just the first week. For a program that doesn’t use any weight lifting that pretty amazing to me. The hardest part is simply getting started. I’m excited for week two as i’m sure it will be a challenging and interesting experience in being able to gauge my improvements.