insanity diaries – day 2Posted: February 17, 2011
From what I gather, I’m not the only one. Beachbody workout programs seem to be all the craze. Starting with P90x and most recently with the release of Insanity, apparently the most hard-core of them all. What piqued my interest (along with my boyfriends) was a late night infomercial for P90. First off, let me take a step back and say a little bit more about myself.
I’m 26 years old and have been working out for years – 10 I think? Starting in high school with 20 minutes or so every few days running on the treadmill. Eventually I became comfortable with the weight room and dabbled in basic weight training and mat ab work. Fast forward to my college years, and I found myself at all sorts of gym classes. Kickboxing, ab and bum blasters, Pilates and even tai chi. At this point I was doing around half an hour of cardio a day followed by 15-20 mins of weight training, with a couple of days here and there of Pilates. Post college things changed quite a bit. The last thing I wanted to spend money on was a gym membership, so I had to be creative. I moved to Boston in 2007, this is when On-Demand became popular through my cable provider and Exercise TV really turned out to be a god-send (the website is just as amazing http://www.exercisetv.tv). As part of my subscription I was able to view full-length workout videos which helped increase my fitness level and test my body in new ways. In no time I was officially a huge Jillian Michael’s fan, the concept of jump training blew my mind and I quickly became addicted to high intensity workouts. This is also around the time I first gave yoga a shot and learned all sorts of new ways to use my body, I was really inspired by how yoga defined parts of me I had never seen before and how much more dynamic a practice it can be than Pilates.
Needless to say, over the past few years I’ve carved out a significant spot in my life for fitness and always find myself looking for the next instructional video to challenge me physically and mentally. I religiously workout every morning, 6 out of 7 days a week. Yes, there have been plateaus, yes there have been times when I haven’t been inspired as much as others, but overall pushing myself physically has become an official and unplanned outlet and destination in my life.
I’ve been looking for an excuse to start any sort of blog for the past few weeks, if for nothing more than a creative outlet. At the same time, it seems I always feel an underlying nag to completely re-vamp my life. My diet, my body, my appearance, work, location….I could go on and on. Why don’t other people feel this way? Is everyone so happy or at least satisfied with the status quo that they don’t constantly stretch their mind for ways to improve their life?
Anyway, enter Insanity. Am I unreasonably attached to Jillian Michael’s DVDs? Yes. Do I have a Bob Harper DVD that’s still in the wrapper, yet I can’t wait to try it? Yup. Do I think the Beachbody videos are a tad cheasy and cliche? Perhaps. But one thing I’ve learned from self-improvement is to always have an open mind because you never know how things will work out or what will actually make you happy. So I am in! All or nothing baby. I need something to shock my system (both mentally and physically) and since I’ve become strangely addicted to the way it feels to be strong and toned, Insanity felt right up my alley.
So I have a confession. You are supposed to complete the Fit Test on Day 1. I cheated a bit (or maybe actually pushed it) and did the Plyo video from P90x. Just to get a taste, and decide which program was right for me. Also, my boyfriend joined the fun just to see what the fuss was about. My impression of P90 was too slow and more geared toward men or those who aren’t used to killing themselves at least a couple times a week. If I was going to make a huge difference I wanted to really feel it, feel like I’m going to die. I decided Insanity sounded like more of fit for me, so I began today with Cardio Power & Resistance.
Can I just say that I am not a fan of warm-ups. I usually fast forward to the actual workout if nothing more than to save time. You don’t want to do that with these, the warm-ups are essential and definitely part of the workout if you are looking to maximize calorie burn. All in, the warm-up in this video was close to 15 minutes. The first section was comprised of 3 sets of 8 cardio moves that really fire up your heart rate. Then a brief stretching section. You are literally almost halfway through the workout by the time the warm-up is through. I wasn’t dying as I’ve read in other reviews, but I felt it. The rest of the workout consists of 2 circuits: 3 sets of 4 strength/jump/cardio moves that increase in pace with each round. He also throws in a couple sets in between the circuits so just when you think it’s over, think again. I skipped the cooldown because I was late for work.
Cardio Power & Resistance was exactly what I expected. There were certainly points where I wanted to die and I had to modify some moves (especially the Hit the Floor and Moving Push-Ups). Since I’m a Jillian Michaels snob, it did feel like the sequence lacked substance and purpose – just a bunch of crazy cardio moves strung together to make sure the majority of users feel like this is the most ‘insane’ workout they’ve ever done. I always feel with Jillian, the workouts, down to the moves and length of each, are well thought out and purposeful.
I’ve put together my own workout and progress calendar which I will share later and do plan on completing the Fit Test on Day 4. Tomorrow is the Plyometric Cardio Circuit, which based on today’s ‘strength’ video will probably be just short of first degree murder. Wish me luck!