insanity diaries – day 27

Almost can’t believe that I’ve completed the first month AND first half of Insanity! The program is truly insane so I’m feeling really good about how far I’ve come and eager for what’s coming next. However, this means I need to really put my head in the game in terms of discipline because this next level will be quite hard to conquer without being healthy and feeling balanced.

Let’s see what my week looked like:

M 3/7 – Plyo Cardio Circuit

T 3/8 – Pure Cardio

W 3/9 – Cardio Power & Res AND Cardio Abs

T 3/10 – Plyo Cardio Circuit

F 3/11 – Cardio Recovery

S 3/12 – Pure Cardio AND Cardio Abs

S 3/13 – OFF

I mentioned last week that I hadn’t been incorporating Cardio Abs at the end of some of the high impact workouts like I should, but rather adding it at the end of the Recovery Workout. So this week I pumped it up and did the 20 minute or so ab workout after two days – Wednesday and Saturday. It’s not the craziest video ever, but after 40 minutes of high intensity interval training (HIIT) and when you’re dripping sweat all over the floor you feel it to say the least.

Before Insanity, my workout regime consisted of running 2 days a week and a 25-40 minute workout from Jillian Michaels or Body by Jake on the other 4 days. If anyone has ever tried Jillian, from 30Day Shred, to No More Trouble Zones, to Shred it with Weights and Yoga Meltdown (a personal favorite), you know she kicks ass and has a no fuss approach to whipping you in shape with moves inspired by a variety of fitness techniques. Before Jillian, the only cardio I ever did was on a treadmill.

I used to think that working out for 30 minutes at or near my highest level of exertion was it for me, I would probably never be able to do more or even want to. I have 2 Body by Jake workouts downloaded from ExerciseTV made up of 4 circuits of 10 power strength/cardio/plyo moves done for 45 seconds to a minute each. The whole workout is 40 minutes but I typically only did half of it since I would just be so spent. I workout first thing in the morning and never used to eat anything beforehand. I can remember thinking 20 minutes of this was enough, that I’d never work up enough endurance or have enough energy to make it through all 4 circuits.

Enter Insanity. The intensity of these workouts is arguably double of what I used to do and I’m able to make it through 40-60 minute workouts, 6 days a week. I think it’s a combination of determination, built up endurance, and a more fulfilling/satisfying diet that more adequately powers my workouts. Now I eat something as soon as I wake up while I’m walking Lucy – either a 130 calorie Kashi Chewy Bar or a banana. I don’t think it gives me more endurance during the workouts, but it does prevent me from feeling that draining, draggy sensation when you haven’t eaten enough. I suspect that means your body is so short on energy supply that it pulls from your muscle rather than fat. I used to feel like that all the time, it was probably why I was only doing 25-30 minutes on average every day.

This progress makes me happy and proud. When I used to workout with my boyfriend every now and then, I’d be exhausted and starving after 40 minutes when he was just warming up. Now I feel like I can endure at least an hour, which will be great for when I do start running again or when I’m on vacation and need to improvise at a gym.

So how exactly do I think my endurance has changed? Well, don’t get me wrong, I’m not able to breeze through any of the workouts I’ve been alternating so far. But I have noticed this week that I’m significantly faster during the warm-up and feel more powerful during the actual workout. For example, Pure Cardio is non-stop 15 1-min moves. By the 7th or 8th move, I would be literally dying. On Saturday, my endurance level certainly increased so I could focus on doing each move with good form, not just actually making it through each interval. That’s the thing, with this sort of workout you can always push yourself. Once you get comfortable with the intensity, you focus on doing each rep with better form and in turn still work at similiar intensity.

I still can’t do a full set of Push Up Jacks. I do Level 2 Drills with modified push ups. And I probably don’t squat down enough in Hit the Floors. But I bust my ass and when I feel like I have nothing more to give, I go in my mind and turn on the overdrive. You can only go as far as you mentally allow yourself to, so when you get to that place where you think you can’t do more, get your mind out of it and just focus on powering through the set. It’s incredible how much your mind has to do with it.

So what’s next?

Tomorrow I’m scheduled to start a week of borderline recovery. However, shh, I am thinking of trying a day (or 3) of the new Max videos that make up the final 4 weeks. I suspect these workouts will be a huge challenge as they are longer with more advanced moves. So this is why I need to focus on really eating the right things at the right time and getting plenty of sleep in order to fuel these workouts. I’m looking forward to trying them and also having this week be a little test before jumping all the way in next week.

Bring it Shaun T! I’ve got another 2 inches to lose before Florida and only 3 weeks to do it.


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