Monday, May 14, 2012

Secret Insanity

Doing all the workout DVDs I've been doing lately, I knew it would be inevitable that I'd eventually spill over into infomercial territory.

I have avoided doing this in the past for several reasons, the first being cost.  Luckily, I was hooked up past this obstacle.  =)

Second, I figured that these types of programs are probably no better than running and just working out consistently.  I've been working out to videos for about six months now and sometimes I do get a little bored (just as I do in the gym, mind you), but in combination with running outdoors, I'm still just as fit as when I was a gym rat when I'm eating properly.

Finally, these programs are very "committal."  "Committal" is a word my sisters and I use out of its true definition to describe large servings of food that you need to "commit to" in order to finish... but in this case, it meants that you really have to dedicate yourself and follow the program closely.  These programs often demand 6-7 days a week of this commitment (e.g., 30-Day Shred).  BUT I can't give up running, even at the downgraded level I've been doing lately.... and it's not possible to do both fully, at least not for me.

But enough about why I haven't tried this.  WHY am I trying this now?  Why this one over others?

My main motivation is curiousity, and yet another is seeing my friend's results after completing P90X-2.  She mentioned that she has started dabbling into Insanity territory.  The main factor for me choosing Insanity over the others (and there are a ton... Brazil Butt Lift, anyone?) is the time factor (well, first was being hooked up with it but that's beside the point).  Each workout is about 40 minutes in the first phase and a bit longer in the second, which is about all I can squeeze into my schedule right now.  Plus, it'll all be over in about 60(+3) days, versus, say... 90.

A small blurb about weight-loss:  As I mentioned in this entry, I negated the progress I made toward my "equilibrium" goal.  I know I can start things back in the right direction without doing a "committal" series like this one, so I don't have any expectations in this realm and just hope that eating better will set it off rather than crazy workouts.  However, I am curious to see what changes would happen if I tried one of these highly-marketed programs.  Do they live up to their hype?

I plan to substitute up to 3 runs a week.  If I feel good, I'll try to add on the runs rather than just skip the Insanity on those days, but I know me and know that I am okay with putting in half the effort for half the results and half the risk of injury and/or burnout.  So in a way, I'm not really doing the program at its fullest but this is what will work for me this go-around.

I did my first Fit Test the day after the OC Half-Marathon, waiting until the PM so I've had a chance to rest in the AM and at work.  Stupid, I know, but I really wanted to start it as soon as possible before my motivation left me.  There are several more Fit Test-s in the program, and I hope I see some progress as I go along.

Fit Test 1
Fit Test 2
Fit Test 3
Fit Test 4
Fit Test 5
Switch Kicks (2 sides=1 rep)

Power Jacks

Power Knees

Power Jumps

Globe Jumps

Suicide Jumps

Push-Up Jacks

Low Plank Oblique (2 sides=1 rep)

Reflections of Week 1:

Monday - Fit Test
Tuesday - Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Wednesday - Cardio Power & Resistance and light cross training in the PM
Thursday - Cardio Recovery
Friday - Pure Cardio
Saturday - Long run, 15 mi walk/run (instead of repeating Plyometric Cardio Circuit)
Sunday - rest (I will definitely adhere to rest once a week)

- So far, I'm struggling to keep up with the speed while keeping the form right, but I figure as long as I am careful, there is a trade-off there.  Even the show-off chick in the video didn't adhere to the form that well when she was going for reps.  Been working out long enough to know when I'm downright hurting myself.

- I stuck to the schedule pretty well this first week because I wasn't ready to run again yet and wanted to do all the DVDs this week.  Incorporating more running is the goal next week.  And so far, the long run (in prep for my upcoming marathon) did not bother me, nor did it seem any easier from doing these workouts but that could be due to the lack of rest before it.

- Oh, the sweat... it's that uncontrollable kind that drips everywhere.  Been doing the workouts before work when possible and just tying/pinning back my hair for the day to prevent overwashing my hair (I do shower, though!).  Ick factor is not as bad as I feared.

- My yoga mat configuration is crappy... they keep sliding around and bunching.  Need a better solution because I spend part of the precious rest periods readjusting.  The mats are for a little cushioning, even though I already have carpet -- as well as protection of said carpet from said sweat.

- I don't think this is burning a whole lot of calories, contrary to the commercial claims, but then again, I'm not using any real means of measuring it (e.g., HRM)

- I started off feeling weak and shaky after the workouts.  Had to work through the initial soreness Days 2 and 3 but nothing I'm not used to from running.  To ease this, Sunwarrior Protein in my Blender Bottle with water right after is helpful, though after a while, these initial feelings are gone/minimized.

- I have heard about being careful with your knees in this program, but since I live in an apartment, I need to be conscious of how I land anyway.

- There is a nutrition component, which I will write about another time.  In general, though, it doesn't demand much more than what I know I should be doing -- minimizing junk and fueling frequently/enough.

- This program has some addicting factor to it.  It reminds me of when I was in track and field in high school.  I know the program gets much harder, but somehow I am looking forward to the challenge.

So now that I haven't quit after the first day, I decided to come out of secrecy and admit to this experiment so that maybe someone who reads this might want to follow along or watch me squirm.  I plan on updating approximately weekly as my schedule allows, and there will be some scheduling issues during these 60-ish days with a week-long work trip across the country, marathon, day-long relay, and weekend in Vegas implanted in there somewhere.  I think "insanity" is a good way to describe this beyond the content of the workouts themselves.


  1. I can't wait to hear more about this...the Boyfriend and I have tossed around the idea of picking it up, so we are very interested to hear what people think!!

  2. I caught myself watching the infomercial for insanity this past weekend. It does look challenging and I like the "no equipment" factor. That being said, I still love the competition of the Crossfit gym.

  3. I need to do this DVD series! I've heard so much good stuff about it.

  4. I actually just watched that infomercial recently and was super intrigued. I'm excited to see what you think after doing it a while. You also inspired me to dig out my 30 Day Shred to actually use it :-)

  5. Insanity is my favorite home workout! I liked it better than P90X (the first one) b/c I found myself bored with P90X by the 2nd time you go through the program. This one here, especially if you get the spare Workout with Weights, is awesome. I have to try Insanity: The Asylum next. I'll be checking out your friend's blog about P90X-2, too. I wanna save and get that for my birthday.

  6. I totally drank the koolaid - I LOVE Insanity.

    You've pretty much covered any advice I could give - watch your knees, take a rest day.

    Also, regarding "the show-off chick in the video" - google "Tonya Insanity" and see what the first 4-5 hits are. It's pretty funny.