The INSANITY Workout: My Review of the First Month
Not Going to Lie: The first month was hard!
As someone who has struggled with maintaining my weight, I was in search of something new. I have always been one of those individuals who's weight fluctuates so often that a routine and structure is almost necessary to loose any amount of weight. Before I started this program, I had given myself the goal to lose 30 pounds. I went to the gym every day... for about 2 weeks. After that, there was always some reason I could get there; work, relationship, family, bills, events... all the usual things that get in the way. I decided I wanted to try something new.
I started the INSANITY Workout, with the promise to myself that I would at least press 'Play' every day. It didn't matter what was going on in my life that might prevent me from getting to the gym, I could at least press play on the DVD Player; especially knowing that I somehow make time for a little TV every evening.
Let me preface by saying that I started this workout goal relatively out of shape. Thirty pounds overweight, and little stamina and/or endurance. Yes, I had started going back to the gym the month beforehand, but I was by no means back in shape. I made the commitment to myself knowing these videos would be an absolute challenge.
What Exercise Video's Do You Do in INSANITY?
The scheduled routine has you completing an exercise video six of the seven days a week; for example, Monday through Saturday, with a rest day on Sunday.
The first day was pitiful at best. The routine has you complete a 'Fit Test' first so you can both see and feel where you are starting from. The Fit Test challenges you with one minute intervals of exercises that the instructor, Shaun T, demonstrates before you begin. The goal is to see how many of each given exercise you can complete within the one minute. You write down your number and get a 30 second water break before the next exercise. The Fit Test is completed every 2 weeks so that you can track your progress over time.
The rest of the first month you alternate between Plyometric Cardio Circuit (42 minutes), Cardio Power & Resistance (40 minutes), Cardio Recovery (33 minutes), Pure Cardio (40 minutes), and Cardio Abs (15 minutes).
These videos are designed to push you to your very limit... no matter what fitness level you are starting at. Honestly, once you get through the 'warm up,' you are already sweating and your heart is pumping (and maybe you are cursing at your television!).
30 Day Review and Results
This might sounds a little cheesy, but the INSANITY workout video's are indeed insane. The cardio circuits and exercises are designed to challenge your entire body and bring your heart rate way up. Being so out of shape when I started this, it was honestly difficult to complete the videos and I usually needed a small unscheduled water break. I also don't think any exercise or sport activity has had me sweating so much or pushing my body so hard before.
Before I get to the results, I need to preface by noting that the whole first month, I wasn't physically able to do a video six days a week. There were times starting out that my body was just too sore or fatigued to safely complete the schedule video, and I wanted to avoid injury (I've had 5 knee surgeries). My guess is that I probably completed about 65% of the scheduled first months program.
Having said that, I am now in my 5th week of the Insanity workout, and I can feel my body changing. It is much easier to complete a video, and with correct form. My endurance is improving dramatically. My strength is improving dramatically; I can both see and feel a difference in both my leg strength and arm/upper body strength. Most importantly, I am no longer too sore or too fatigued the next day (or even later on in the same day!) to complete the next scheduled workout.
I can't say that I have lost many pounds, as I've lost only about 6 pounds thus far. However, I have seen a noticeable difference in a loss of inches; my waist, hip, and thighs are all beginning to shrink and tone as I build some muscle. It is very exciting. I can't wait to get back to my athletic build and healthy weight!
Because I wasn't able to complete the all the scheduled first month workouts, I have decided for myself to now start from the beginning again. Sounds painful, and like I'm putting myself through some added unnecessary pain and torture, but I decided that I want to be able to complete the first 30 days in its entirety before getting in to the more intense second month.
Would I Recommend the Insanity Workout?
I absolutely would. I love how encouraging the instructor is, and hard he motivates you to safely push your body to it's limits. And he speaks at you like he is actually in the room with you. This is both a good and bad thing!
If you aren't in great shape, don't worry, I wasn't either! I would, however, encourage you to pay attention to your body. If you are in pain, beyond the pain of fatigue, your body is telling you something is wrong. If you just feel fatigue and you keep at it, you will notice that over time you can do more and more and keep up with the instructor easier. I would even go so far as to say that if you make the commitment to yourself, the design and intensity of this program is so great that I can't imagine anyone not seeing results.
It is also important to keep in mind that the point of these videos is push you as hard as you can go. Don't judge yourself and give up if you can't keep up with the instructors. I would have given up in the first week if keeping up with the instructors was the point of the videos!
I wouldn't buy the program unless you are serious about committing to it, though. It is a little pricey to just collect dust and you have to have the motivation and commitment to keep trying. It is a very high intensity program, so you want to go in to it knowing that your body is going to hurt.
Stay tuned for a results and review after I complete the first month over again, and then the entire 60 day program!