|Fit Test #1
|Fit Test #2
|Fit Test #3
|Fit Test #4
Day 50 vs. Day 1
|Low Plank Oblique||36||54||64||60||67%|
Huge improvements over Day 1. Lesser improvements between the subsequent tests. I set the bar rather high on the second test – it’s been tough to top! My biggest gains have been in the lower body exercises which make perfect sense to me because I knew going in that my lower body was the weakest/least in-shape.
I’m entering the final week for this first round. I’m excited to finish, take measurements and weigh-in again. Not so excited about having to put up pictures but maybe I will be pleasantly surprised!
… but not working out. Things certainly have not gone as I planned in terms of blogging the second month of Insanity. Life has been too hectic for blogging it seems. I’m a dad, husband, full-time office monkey, musician, and like to occasionally pretend I have a social life. I’m lucky most days to just work in time for exercise, much less time to update the blog.
But with a few exceptions lately (more in month 2 than in month 1), I have stayed on schedule. Twice now I’ve decided been forced to take an extra day of rest and push the schedule back one day. Some nights I manage to get my workout in as soon as I get home while my girls are napping. Other times its more like 10 or 11 at night. With the Max workouts being 10 – 15 minutes, on average, longer than the month 1 workouts I’ve often found myself cooling down and showering at midnight or later. This is far from ideal but those nights in particular I’m very glad that I found the motivation to still get that workout in.
And I have to say, at this point in the program it is starting to pay off:
- I’ve lost a full 2 inches off my waist since starting Insanity
- dropped 3 – 4 pant sizes
- fit back into 2 old pair of pants I had “outgrown”
- starting to have people ask questions like “Have you lost weight?”
Speaking of weight, last check (around the halfway point) I had only lost maybe a 1 – 2 pounds but I’m satisfied with that number because I’ve put on a lot of muscle especially in my legs. I think weight loss will really occur as I finish out this 2nd month and the weeks to follow, and of course if I decide to go for round 2.
Now, I know in my last post I promised results from Fit Test #3, pictures, and in-depth reviews of the Max workouts. However, I have yet to delivery any of those obviously. Yesterday’s workout included the 4th Fit Test so now I’m really behind. I do hope to get both results up soon. As far as pictures go, I’m just going to wait until Round 1 is finished completely.
In regard to the reviews of the Max workouts, I’m not going to elaborate much beyond what I’ve already said, “They’re super tough”! They’re long, extremely challenging and painful at times. Rather than rehash each workout in great detail, I’m going to link another site that has already done a great job of detailing each Max workout. The website is Extremely Fit and in addition to the Insanity reviews they have some great information on some of the other Beachbody programs. Here are the links for each workout:
Extremely Fit did not review Max Recovery so I’m going to refer to Wellspere.com ‘s review of it:
I had intended to write an update on Saturday after having done the 3rd Fit Test and the first Max workout, however, that didn’t happen. What can I blame it on? Busyness, kiddos, yard work (nope, not that one). This unfortunately will only be a short update and I will hopefully get a new post up in the next day or so with the Fit Test results, pictures and some in-depth discussion of the Max workouts. For now:
The Fit Test doesn’t get any easier. You simply are able to accomplish more in the allotted time. My results were similar to the 2nd Fit Test, in that I really improved in some areas and made more minimal gains in others. I’ll post my results soon.
The 3rd Fit Test is performed on Day 36, which is also day 1 of the first week of Max workouts. The schedule has you doing both the Fit Test and Max Interval Circuit which, combined, equals about an hour and 25 minutes of workout. A smart person would probably do one in the morning and one later in the day. Not me. I did them back to back which was brutal but I burned just over 1,880 calories so I’m happy. I rewarded myself with a bit of Cicero’s pizza later on in the night.
I’ve done 3 Max workouts at this point. They are every bit as hard, if not harder, as I thought they would be. It’s a bit daunting hitting play on that first one and seeing the clock begin counting down from 60 minutes. Shaun T. Immediately says “I’m going to kick your butt today.” The man does not lie, not one bit. Brand new warm-up, mostly new moves, and longer workouts really bring up the intensity. There are a few what I would call exotic moves, things maybe you saw on the infomercial that look really challenging or painful, such as side push-ups, diamond jumps & balance push-ups. You also get into Level 3 drills and Full Body drills. More on those soon.
I feel like I have a bit of perspective now on the program and it seems like the first month is really geared towards getting you in shape and prepared for the second month. When you first start the program, you are really encouraged to use the fitness test to gauge where you are at physically and help determine if you are up to the Insanity challenge. But, now I understand that what the average person considers “in shape” is really out of shape as far as Insanity goes. So, month 1 is geared towards getting you in “Insane Shape,” if you will, so that you can handle month 2 effectively, push yourself and get the crazy results you see on TV.
Recovery week! Woo hoo, almost halfway through. Though, one would have to argue that Insanity saves the hardest for last. I’m pretty nervous about the harder and longer “Max” workouts that make up the last 4 of Insanity.
For now, it’s all Core Cardio and Balance. 6 days straight of lower intensity exercises with plenty of stretching and deep muscle work. Shaun T. makes it clear in the beginning that this is not the time to go all out, “If you’re worn out at the end of this workout, you’re going too hard…” What may be even better than getting to take it a easier is having a new (mostly) batch of exercises to do. During the first four weeks you’re rotating between only 4 different workouts so it’s just starting to get monotonous by the time you reach Recovery week, in my opinion.
Hip Flexor burners: stand with feet together, arms out, elbows bent (like you’re blocking your face), start raising one of your legs till your knee’s above your hip, back down, tap the floor, repeat. Sounds easy does it? Do a couple more and get back to me. 30 seconds later, hold it so your knee’s above your hip, start pulsing that knee a little higher for 30 seconds (screaming yet?). Now, hold that leg still and start extending your heel for 30 seconds. Now go straight to the other leg.
Shoulder Burners or “The Battle against the Amalekites” exercise (biblical reference, see Exodus 17): Squat down in that Plié position (squat position with feet angled outwards), hold your arms straight out from your sides, start pulsing them up and down, then all the way up to touch your fingertips together and back, then out in front and back, then backwards circular motion, forwards circular motion. Each variation is approximately 20 – 30 seconds as far as I can tell. If it sounds easy, you’re wrong. Basically if your shoulders aren’t burning, your thigh/quads are. More than likely they both are!
The above 2 exercises are the last two of the workout. Up until then things stay pretty fun. There are quite a few combo exercises wish I find more enjoyable for some reason:
8 High Knees/8 Power Jacks
8 Fast Feet/8 Hooks
8 Switch Kicks/8 Hop Squats
8 Elbows/4 Suicide Drills
8 Jabs/Jumps & Turn/8 Jabs
All exercises are a minute long. Calories burned has been in the 720 – 730 range for me.
Next post will most likely be after I complete the 3rd Fit Test on Saturday. Also coming: Day 1 and Day 36 pictures.
I have yet to make it all the way through one round of the final circuit of the Plyo Cardio Circuit which consists of Basketball Drills, Level 1 drills (4 push ups/run-it-out), Ski Abs and In-and-Out Abs. Basketball drills “ain’t no thang”, its the latter three that really inflict pain. However, my shoulders are what actually force me to drop out, not my abs. Specifically my Anterior Deltoid (see below) start to give out. The fact is, you spend almost a minute and a half straight on the plank position, between the three exercises. Your shoulders are doing the majority of lifting of your body. I keep thinking “they’ll get stronger and I’ll eventually be able to make it through” but it doesn’t seem like I’ve made much progress with this round in the last three and a half weeks.
Another particularly difficult spot is for me, believe it or not, in the Cardio Recovery workout. At least two different times Shaun T. has you hold a position, in a squat and a lunge, for upwards of 30 – 45 seconds, the latter coming after you’ve already done some pulses. I guess my legs still are not in the best shape yet because I can’t handle it. The pain gets too bad and I have to pull out of it. None of the guys or gals on the video seem to have any trouble with it which makes me feel like a weakling!
Tomorrow will be the last workout in the first month, then its 1 week of Core Cardio & Balance before jumping into the second more difficult month of “Max” workouts. I’m not sure what to expect with either but I’m excited to be nearing the halfway point.
Yes, in order to warm-up and stretch properly. But I’m talking about the schedule…
I found myself, mid week 3, just getting home at 10 o’clock at night completely worn out and considering “altering” (not skipping) the schedule. I did it. I did not work out on what should have been day 5 of the week. I couldn’t do it, just too worn out and in need of sleep. So… I took my rest day mid-week instead of at the end of the week. No big deal though right?
I think it actually did me some good. I was really dragging this week due to busyness and lack of rest (the sleeping kind). After my day off I hit it hard again last night with Cardio Power & Resistance. I had a great workout powering through those killer moving pushups, v-pushups and vertical jumps. Total calories burned eclipsed 870. And today I feel even better. One of the many benefits of working out so hard is the good sleep it brings with it!
The last two days have been pretty typical. Feeling some soreness again but today is recovery day which should remedy that. Workouts were Plyometric Cardio Circuit and Pure Cardio+Cardio Abs. I really like having the heartrate monitor to track not only the calories I’m burning but also what heart rate I’m maintaining during the workout. I’m staying at 80 – 90% of my max output for 25 minutes of the workout on average. I’d like to get closer to 90 – 95%.
Plyometric Cardio Circuit: 864 calories
Pure Cardio+Cardio Abs: 1007 calories!
I did not expect to break the 1000 calorie mark but they do advertise you can burn up to 1000 calories an hour. However, Pure Cardio+Cardio Abs clocks in at just over 50 minutes so…. I was kicking my own butt as hard as I thought I was!