Monday, July 1, 2013


Month 1


Hey everyone, I am a little behind on my blog.  Life has been full of everyday adventures lately so I’ve been really busy.  Not too busy for fitness though.  I’ve finished the first month of INSANITY.  The INSANITY workout is just that – INSANITY.  No, not really but I did say “this is insane” repeatedly the first time I did the workout.  It is seriously intense but not impossible.  It is one of the most difficult cardio-based home workout programs around.   The basic concept is “Max Interval Training”, which requires you to work at a really fast pace for short periods of time with little breaks in between.  It is a 60-day program that requires you to work out six days a week.  The first month the workouts range from 30-45 minutes and the second month they are closer to 45-60 minutes. 

Shaun T is the instructor and he asks that you push yourself and reminds you to “dig deeper.”  He really is motivating and he is not annoying like Tony Horton in P90X (sorry Tony).  Shaun T is motivating and I find myself trying to dig deeper every time he reminds me.

So month 1 was great.  I knew it was going to be intense but I never really understood just how intense.  Wow!!  However, throughout the workout Shaun T says not to compromise form.  I’m not willing to risk injuring myself so I sometimes took it slow, especially in the beginning when I was learning the workouts.  The workouts also require strength, not just cardio and in just a month I see improvements in both areas!


·         It is an intense workout so you can really see results fast.  I’ll talk more about my improvements later but in just two weeks I could tell that my cardiovascular ability and strength both improved.

·         Although intense, there is room for modification.  You can work at your own level.  On days that I just wasn’t feeling the INSANITY love, I still pushed play and did what I could.  And you know what?  I still got in one heck of a workout!

·         After I finish the INSANITY workout I get that “runner’s high” and that is kind of addicting so I keep pressing play.  It creates a cycle since the more you workout, the better your results.


·         Although it was a nice change of pace from P90X, I will say there is a little too much repetition.  The warms ups all seem the same and some of the workouts do the same exercises over and over through the whole workout.  While this makes it easy to learn the moves, I get a little bored.


·        The recovery week is a little boring because it is the same workout every day.  I think Shaun T could have mixed it up.


·         If you are not careful you can hurt your knees.  Invest in a good pair of cross trainers (not running shoes) so you have the right support and use a foam mat (sold through beachbody or a sporting goods store.  I use my son’s old alphabet mat, lol!).  Also, be gentle when you jump.  If you are in control and land softly you will protect your knees.

Here is some information about each of the DVDs in Month 1


Cardio Recovery

This is the least intense but it is still a good workout.  There are a lot of yoga type stretches to warm up, leading into plank work, lunges, balancing and more stretching.  It’s a good workout to recover from the intense workouts in weeks prior.   I just wish there were maybe two versions of the cardio recovery.


Core Cardio and Balance

This DVD is a little less than 40 minutes.  There is a short warm up and then 10 exercises, 1 minute a piece.  The moves include ski hops, hit the floor (I always pay attention to form and protect my back on this one by holding my knee when I bend down), level 1 drills (four pushups and then while in push up position run in place with your feet – kinda crazy but effective), switch kicks/squat jumps, plank walk, jabs, etc.  I did not list them all but you get the flavor. 


Cardio Power

This has a similar warm up to the other DVDs.  This is interval based and includes power jumps (vertical jumps with knees brought up to waist – but my knees never get that high!), belt kicks (these feel like a nice break after some of the intense jumps), suicide drills, v-pushups (ugh!), globe jumps (fun!), etc.  It is about 40 minutes and is a good balance of cardio and strength.


Pure Cardio

There aren’t many breaks in this 40 minute DVD.  Again, the moves are similar to the other workouts but a few different one and the order is mixed up compared to some of the other workouts.  It includes a warm up and then suicide drills, switch kicks, football sprints, pedal lunges, hooks & jump rope, power jacks, frog jumps, mountain climber (talk about a move to get your heart rate up) and then a cool down.


Cardio Abs

There are no situps or crunches.  It is a 20 minute workout with a warm up and moves such as a “C-sit” – basically leaning back, knees bent and plank work.  It is challenging but not as tough as Ab Ripper-X in P90X. 


Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Let me just say when I did the warm up I asked myself, “Is this really the warm up?”  It feels like a workout.  It is three rounds and you push yourself harder each round, increasing speed and intensity.   The moves in the warm up include jogging in place, jumping jacks, Heismans (jumping side to side), etc.  The workout includes suicide drills (did I mention I hate these), football sprints, basketball jump shots, jumping drills, burpees, mountain climbers, etc.  This DVD is divided into three sets and it has water breaks in between.  The 40 minutes go by quickly but I don’t like the repetition, by the third time I am looking for it to be done.


Final thoughts 

Is this workout for everyone?  No, but I think many can do it with modifications.

 So here is my overall assessment:

o   One heck of a workout!

o   Not for beginners. 

o   Make modifications as needed, never sacrifice form.

o   Let your goals and progress be known publicly.  You are less likely to give up.

o   Get a virtual workout buddy – I’m here for you!!

o   Better yet, join a challenge group.  I usually have one running so let me know if you are interested. 


I’ll almost be done with month two and I’ll post my review in about 2 weeks. 


Focus T25

Shaun T has a new workout available – Focus T25.  Work out for 25 minutes for 5 days a week for 50 days!  The workout is similar to INSANITY but includes more resistance.   July 15th is the first day of my Focus T25 Challenge Group.  There is still room.  Let me know if you are interested!





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