Insanity Week 1 Review

After surviving one week of the Insanity workout, here are my thoughts on each day.

Monday: Fit Test

I had decided that the best time to do the Insanity workout was when I got up in the morning, before eating breakfast and before taking a shower.  That way I could get up, do the work out to wake up for the day, get some breakfast, take a shower, then head to work.  Luckily, Monday was a holiday and I quickly found out, working out on an empty stomach is not a good idea.  My first attempt at the fit test had me stopping after the third exercise because I had zero energy.  So, I attempted it again an hour or so after breakfast and fared much better.  And just to throw it out there, here is how I did on the fit test exercises:

Exercise Count
Switch Kicks 62
Squat Jacks 46
Power Knees 59
Power Jumps 21
Globe Jumps 7
Suicide Jumps 9
Push Up Jacks 5
Low Plank Obliques 30

Looking at the numbers you can tell where I really started to get tired and had to rest more than I would have liked, but the body told me it wanted some rest, so I gave it as little as possible since I’m trying to do the whole “max interval training” bit as much as possible.  Since these are just a starting point and the idea is to improve, I hope to see how much I improve.  And the fit test is hardly just a few exercises it is a full-on workout and like I said, the first time I attempted it I had to stop after three exercises because I had no energy to go on.   I also learned you need a decent sized area to work out in and preferably, a high ceiling as well.  There is a good amount of jumping and if you’re tall like me, you’ll find yourself scraping hands on the ceiling if you don’t watch out.

Tuesday: Plyometric Cardio Circuit

I woke up thinking I felt pretty good, then the soreness from the workout began to hit me.  I was dang sore and felt it all throughout the morning but it meant the workout was doing its job.  After getting home from work, I ate a quick snack and grabbed two bottles of water and started the plyometric cardio workout.  After the Fit Test, I thought I knew what to expect: a warm up, a set of exercises, a water break and another set of exercises then a water break, etc. until a water break and then a cool down happened.  I figured, at max 30 minutes and I’d be done.  Tired. But done.  So when I saw the time as 42 minutes I knew I was going to feel more pain than expected.  I pushed through it, I needed breaks.  I’m not afraid to admit it, it kicked my butt.  I just know I keep it up and I’ll be able to go longer before needing to take a break.

As far as the exercises go, the last sets of exercises reminded me of kung fu.  It had a lot of jabs, uppercuts and chops.  Some of the stretches done were also positions that were used in Yin Style Bagua, so at least I felt good when I could do some of the stretches and exercises really well.  The other sets incorporated basketball, football, skiing and mountain climbing style movements.

I ended tired and thirsty but after a cool down from the exercise I feel like I could do it all again.  As messed up as that sounds, it is true.

Wednesday: Cardio Power and Resistance

Like Tuesday I woke up sore but ready to go.  After making it home from work, I grabbed some bottles of water then popped in the disk.  The warm-up routine is about the same, if there are a few different exercises, it wasn’t that big of a deal to me.  Mainly, jogging, jumping jacks, butt kicks and a few other things.  The actual workout had me sucking wind after the first 10 minutes — at least I made it through one full set of exercises before feeling everything burn.  The water break helped me out and I still pushed myself each time, but it was definitely a work out.  As it began to integrate more jumping exercises into the workout I really felt it.  It was hard to work up the energy to jump up and do the exercises, so I had to slow down, sacrificing speed to maintain the form.  I’m looking forward to the Cardio Recovery to see what “Recovery” is in the world of Insanity.

Thursday: Cardio Recovery

Cardio Recovery is easy compared to the other routines I’ve done so far.  I was able to keep up and perform all of the exercises and stretches exactly like the video.  Does this mean I’m getting more used to it or this is just much easier than the previous exercise routines?  I think it is a little of both.  I picked up a heart rate monitor to monitor my heart rate and see where it was falling during the exercises and I was constantly in the 160s until the stretches where it’d drop to the 140s then as the routine wound down so did my heart rate.  I’m curious to see what my heart rate will be for the harder work outs.

Friday: Pure Cardio

The burn the next morning from the workouts is beginning to fade into the background, I still feel it, but I ignore it.  The Pure Cardio routine doesn’t seem near as bad as the previous exercise disks, but I think I’m getting into a little bit better shape in terms of what to expect for the intensity of the workouts.  My trusty heart rate monitor pegged me in the 180s bpm range while doing the workout with an average of 150 during the entire 38 minute routine.  It also calculated that I burned ~600 calories.  I don’t know how much to trust that, but if the bpms were correct I’m definitely pushing myself while doing this.. cause I want it to work.

As for the routine, it uses the same warm up and cool down routines that have been done in the other disks while the exercises in the center are different or variations of ones you’ve seen on the other disks.  I’d definitely follow their guidelines of taking a rest when your heart rate goes too high and cooling down when you’re skimping on the exercise itself.  Up next is seeing the Plyomeric Cardio Circuit.  How I feel about this one will tell me if I think I’m progressing or just fooling myself into thinking I’m doing better.

Saturday: Plyometric Cardio Circuit

The second time I’ve gotten to see this circuit.  My goal for this time (other than keeping up with Shaun T.) was to only take a break when they gave them.  Of the goals, I managed to keep up for the first few sets, but the last two sets I had to take breaks near the end of each exercise.  So, I kept up for about 30 of the 40 minutes, which I consider really good.  Granted, I wasn’t as fast as them but I was pushing myself through all of the sets doing them.  On the later exercises I had to stop about halfway through the minute of each of them because my body just didn’t want to move the way they were moving.  But I feel really great that I’m doing as well as I am.  According to my trusty Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor, my average heart rate was 169 and I burned 757 calories — not too shabby for a 40 minute workout.

I can’t say I’m totally looking forward to the recovery day because I’d like to exercise some more on Sunday, but I know I’ve got to take a day off.  So, here I am looking forward to Monday for the next exercise routine: Cardio and Power Resistance.

General Week One Thoughts

A few random thoughts:

  • Have water close by, you’ll go through two or three bottles of water in the first few workouts as you get conditioned to the amount of work
  • A heart rate monitor is a good idea.  It’ll let you know how much harder you need to push yourself to get into your optimal heart rate range [bpm >= (220 – your age) * .80]
  • Wear comfortable clothes, you be moving the entire time
  • You’ll sweat.. a lot.
  • If you can’t push yourself or don’t have the willpower to push yourself, this isn’t for you.  There is no one checking up on you seeing how you’re doing.  If you need someone checking up on you, find a workout partner or go to a gym and get a personal trainer.

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