Sunday, July 8, 2012

Insanity - Week 9: My Insanity Graduation (Part I)

This week's workouts:

Monday - Max Interval Plyo
Tuesday - Max Cardio Conditioning + Cardio Abs
Wednesday - FINAL Max Interval Circuit
Thursday - FINAL Core Cardio & Balance
Friday - FINAL Max Interval Plyo
Saturday - FINAL Max Cardio Conditioning + Cardio Abs
Sunday - FINAL Fit Test


How could one be so verbose about doing workout DVDs for two months?

I'm an Insanity graduate.  That means nothing... except what I just said in the line above.   When the infomercial comes on, I can say, "Yeah, I tried that."  Strangely, I actually hadn't seen one of their infomercials for a couple of years and recently saw them pop up this past month.  (Or perhaps I'm just watching too much TV.)

But, I do get to order an Insanity shirt from the Beachbody website... and I'm really excited to get it *ahem, in 6-8 weeks*, which in my opinion, is harder than obtaining any race shirt I own.

Review of the Program:

Assuming you're not suddenly eating a ton more or were already a super athlete, you WILL change if you complete this program.  Even me, who didn't quite adhere to the nutrition plan, saw changes.  Of course, they weren't "infomercial" results, but I think this is one of those things that is more dramatic when you have more weight to lose.  "The Ukrainian," who just completed Phase I, has already lost a noticeable few inches.

The fact that this was "only" 63 days made this very do-able for me.  I know that the thought of popping in discs six days a week for nine weeks doesn't sound grand, but I've spent twice the amount of time running and training for a race.  As I've alluded to in my Running vs. Insanity post, I saw more benefit to my body doing Insanity for nine weeks than training for a marathon for 18+ weeks.  You may have noticed that after my marathon in June, I pretty much just stuck to the schedule verbatim instead of trying to swap workouts for runs.  I found my need to do Insanity much greater than my need to run.

This is not to say that I think Insanity is the end-all, be-all of exercise (there's Insanity Asylum, too, j/k!)... and I'm definitely not dissing running, but even after all those miles, I was humbled by the experience of struggling to get through, well, "just cardio."  And spoiler for the next post: I don't think I've ever been in better shape.

had to throw in a meme sometime... found on Facebook
Lesson learned: the end-all, be-all of exercise is one that you will do consistently over time with minimal damage.  In other words, there is no end-all, be-all of exercise.

Insanity really sucked me in at the beginning.  Although the workouts would push me toward my limits, I was addicted and was pumped for my next workout just hours after doing one.  I used to get this same feeling about running (seeing someone run after I have made me want to run again), but it's gone now.  Even as the initial addiction gradually phased out, I still kept motivated by reading forums and seeing my improvements over time.  I wouldn't say motivation really became an issue until part-way into Phase 2, because each workout really did require "bringing your all," and we all know how that isn't quite most of us function.

Even if you don't do the program in full, the workouts are pretty good stand-alone videos.  However, I wouldn't do the "Max" discs as stand-alone unless you're already pretty fit or do the Month 1 videos regularly.  Each disc burned between 350-650 calories, and at my height, it's pretty hard for me to burn calories, so yes, it's good exercise.  And not once did I experience injury from this, no matter how hard I pushed (then again, I am a stickler about form and know my limits).  I learned to get what I can get out of each exercise and go at my own pace (which was sometimes Shaun T's pace but not always).  And also, I never got nearly as ravenously hungry as I often would from running.

The system is well-designed.  Shaun T is excellent at motivating you through the screen, and the music is perfectly timed to get you pumped up when you need to be.  The setting of a high school gym is cute.  The group of people exercising behind him, although very fit-looking, have their faults, and they are entertaining enough for you to 1) relate to them, and 2) be distracted from your own suffering.

Hmm, I used the word "suffer," so I should qualify that word.  Yes, you will suffer -- not all the time, but more like at certain points -- just like in running.  You might not think you can hold a squat any longer, do another jump, or even hold yourself up sometimes, but the point is to do what you can.  Don't be intimidated.  As Shaun T says, "YOU can freaking do it!" (check with your doctor first, though!)

Future Plans:

Before my next mission (more on that later), I hope to do more running, which I have (sort of) missed since the marathon I did after Month 1.  

Since this program only takes up 1/6 of the year, I think it will be feasible for me to do this two (or three?) times a year.

In Part II, I will go over my actual results (I'm sure this is the part y'all are waiting for, anyway!)... this is getting too long as it is.  If you have any questions, I can address them in the next update.


  1. Awesome job! As an Insanity drop-out (after Month 1), I can really appreciate this. Your notes on the people working out behind him are spot on.

  2. I've never really done any exercise videos or ever committed to a "planned" program, so to me, your graduation is pretty impressive!

  3. Woo! Now I'm more curious about the whole program. Way to stick with it.

  4. Want to get fit but do not have access to a gym? Here is the solution. There are countless gym equipment that you can own at your home and use at your own convenience. buy home workouts machines