Thursday, October 18, 2012

Insanity, Round Two

As you probably know, my workouts for the past five months have primarily been Insanity ones.  I started a second round in August and am nearly done, again (I'm on Week 8 of 9).

For a something like three weeks, I did follow a P90X/Insanity hybrid schedule, but it wasn't working for me (perhaps I will post more about that another time).

One of my most popular posts on this blog has quickly become this "How Hard is It?" update I did in my first round, so I can see that this program has generated a lot of interest.  [I also recently read that Shaun T got married this past weekend, so I've been thinking about this program often.]

Now that I'm nearly done again, I thought I'd answer some of the frequently-asked questions that I get whenever people find out I'm doing the program again:

1) Why??!

The simple answer of why I came back to this program was because P90X wasn't working out, it got WAY too hot to run this summer, and frankly, it was just convenient to know what I'm doing, and when... right in my own living room.  Of course, the fact that the wedding is coming did give me extra motivation to just continue with what "works," and it also allowed me to have structure during an otherwise busy time.

Plus, "The Ukrainian" wanted to do this, and there's nothing more motivating than a workout buddy who is doing the EXACT same stuff as you, on the same schedule.

2) Is it easier this time?

Yes and no.  I know what to expect this time, so my form is better and my pace throughout the videos is more even.  However, I still sometimes can't hang with doing some exercises for a long time, since I push harder on others (e.g., ski abs, power jumps, @%^&).  In terms of calorie-burn, I do notice it is a little decreased from the last round, so either I'm slacking off or my body got used to the exercises (probably the latter).

Also, not sure if this factors in, but I skipped doing the Fit Tests this time, because I find them too stressful and conducive to bad form.  I have also been skipping rest days in favor of running, though I still do the "recovery" workouts.  I've worked out every day since August 26th.

3) How do you not get tired of it?

By now, I can practically quote Shaun T in some parts ("Jump from the bottom!!"), but I kind of just learned to go on auto-pilot mode and use the same ol' verbiage as time cues.  Also, since there are a bunch of cast members, I notice new stuff on the videos all the time and make mental commentary (or sometimes out loud if I'm working out with "The Ukrainian), e.g.:

- Tania cheats on her Fit Test: incomplete Power Knees, counts both legs as reps in Switch Kicks, brags and makes Chris look bad when he's the one with better form

- Akil quits too often, for the physique that he has... almost makes me think he's acting

- Shanita appears in like two Month 1 videos and drops off, because clearly she cannot hang!!

- Ariel is either two people, have similar-sounding names, or dyed her hair during the course of filming.  The blonde Ariel is inspiring -- great form, hardly quits, and nice abs

- Mandy seemingly can't count toward the end of Max Interval Plyo, counting down rep #7 as #11.

- Darren's inability to stretch properly (in multiple videos!!) causes us to stay in certain stretches waaaaay longer than I'd like as he gets "fix"ed.

- I always look forward to Jimmy saying "I'm a Beachbody coach!" in his squeaky voice, because that's my cue that the "high/low jab with a squat" is almost over.

- There's a "over 40" woman in the back of some of the videos who is often ignored but is the only girl who isn't half-naked.

- How does Angelique do all the workouts in a hat?  Ick.

- There's a girl who doesn't tie her long, curly hair in a Month 1 video, and I love when she says she feels "like $*it" during tricep dips, because that's accurate.

- I'm neutral to Rachel... she can really pick it up when I'm otherwise dying.

- Anna is my favorite... not too skinny and really "brings it" to each exercise.

- Jeff (and I think Frankie?) is a beat-boy... I notice he does really well with the camera on him and then he kind of slacks if he's not the focus... probably the same with the other guys.

- Shaun T makes random flubs here and there -- wrong names for the moves, missing some leg lifts on one side when stretching, saying stuff like "put your knee against your knee," etc.  But we all know what he's trying to say, and in general, his cues are pretty good.

... I guess these are those "you had to be there" things in order to understand ... and clearly, I am willing to pay attention to anything to divert focus on the pain. (I don't mention all this to normal ask-ers.)

4) (not a question) You'll hurt yourself!

Surprisingly, the only "injuries" I've had was a sore ankle that actually was the result of wearing high heels for too long while traveling for business... and recently, I think I irritated my back landing on Power Jumps... thankfully, I now am on a trip where I only plan to run/elliptical will allow me to rest it... not going to eff with back things.

I do get sore a lot, but that's to be expected, especially since I miss my rest days.  I experience more injuries from running, frankly.  To avoid injuries doing Insanity, follow his reminders to focus on form.

5) Are you going to keep doing this? / What about running?

I will finish this round and then focus on marathon training.  At least, that's my intention.  The weather is cooling down, and I think I actually want to start training for races again, instead of winging them.  I do plan on breaking out these workouts once or twice a week, along with some other ones I've reviewed on here.

At the moment, I don't know if I could do another "round" again in the future.  I do like the structure, but I'd imagine I'd get really burnt out.  If I hit another running lull, I might either re-try P90X, the P90X/Insanity hybrid, or my secret want, Insanity: The Asylum.

6) (not a question) You must be getting really ripped!

No, I still eat cookies for breakfast, but sometime during the second month, I definitely notice flatter abs, more toned arms and legs.... enough for me to see that it's working.  Also, the fact that I can still race without dying is another (non-scale/non-appearance) benefit.

7) Can I do this??

Yes, just go at your own pace, and please have a fitness base.  Lots of people want to just dive into this program from practically "nothing," so I think that's like going from couch to... at least half-marathon.  I don't like to sound mean, but if you can't hang with Jillian Michaels, how can you expect to be successful with Insanity??

8) Anything else?

Do workouts that interest you, not because other people try to convince you that it is THE way (ahem, Cross-Fit, marathoning, etc.).  I personally like Insanity because Shaun T is an excellent motivator, and I'm used to drill-like routines from high school (the perk of working out at home efficiently is also alluring).

The best workout is the one that you will keep doing. ;)

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