Sunday, June 5, 2011

Insanity- Days 30-42

I can't believe today is the end of week six! So crazy! I have three weeks to go and it's going too quickly.

Let me just start off by saying that month 2 of Insanity is SO MUCH BETTER than month 1. I actually really like it and I find the workouts to be a little more balanced, fun, and filled with more variety. That's not to say that they're not hard- because they are- but just that the toughness of the workouts is much more manageable mentally than the other videos. I haven't put my finger on it as to why yet, but I'm working on it.

Overall, the workouts for month two are longer and the moves are on the whole harder than they were in month 1, but I feel like they are more creative and well-rounded. I don't leave a workout anymore saying, "Holy crap the amount of leg work in that workout was beyond ridiculous." Instead, I say, "Hey. My entire body hurts equally," which is a good thing even though it doesn't sound like it! I can definitely tell that my cardio vascular endurance has improved and I'm starting to see a difference in the definition of my core. Of course there's lots of fluff there to lose, but I'm starting to see some changes. Excellent!

Week 7 starts tomorrow! Yippee!!! I have to take Thursday off though because I am going to be traveling the entire day. Boo. At least it's recovery day- not so bad.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Insanity- Days 17-29

Phew! It's been a while since I've updated. Here's the low-down as to why...

After I completed week three (day 21), I left to go vacation in Florida for a week at Disney World. Yay! But not so good for keeping up with Insanity because I was staying in a tiny hotel room with three boys, meaning no room to do anything. I was so afraid of gaining back the 7 pounds I'd lost! Luckily, upon returning home, I had actually managed to lose half a pound! And anyone who has been to Disney World knows what a feat this is. I'm quite proud of myself.

But now I'm back and back at it. I just started my recovery week today after gardening for about five hours so boy was I exhausted! My body is totally hating on me right now, but I feel good about myself knowing that I did it anyways. I do really like Core Cardio and Balance, which I am apparently doing six times this week so it's a good thing I enjoy it! I do wish there was more variety to this week though. It seems kind of cheap/weird that they would just have you do the same thing over and over again for a week. All well- I am not passing judgement until the week is complete!

I've also grown to enjoy Cardio Power and Resistance (forgive me if I screw up the names of these... they all feel very similar). For the first few weeks there wasn't any workout that I particularly loved but now I can at least say that I like one of them. It's not to say that the videos aren't effective- they are. Incredibly so. It's just that, again, in comparison to P90X, they don't seem to have much character. I miss Tony's jokes and his attitude! He gaves lots of advice and varying motivation- I felt very connected. With Insanity, it feels like the same thing over and over again, nothing truly unique or interesting about what Sean T. has to say.

I guess another con that I'd like to point out is the fact that when I'm doing a move, I use the videos to keep my pace. Insanity makes that very difficult because it changes focus so much during each workout. Not only that, but it changes to give you a view of lots of different people in that gym who are doing it, and they're all going at a different pace! It makes it really hard to get a good flow going because it's not exactly clear how fast/slow/whatever I'm supposed to be going. There's not enough consistency within the group for me to be able to keep pace with them.

On the Pros side, I really do feel the results from doing these workouts. I know that my cardio vascular health is improving and I can feel my body changing. I think it's really going to help once I start training for my next marathon. After each workout I can really feel the difference in my body that Insanity has provided me.

Another workout I've also come to enjoy- surprisingly- is Pure Cardio. In the beginning I really almost hated this one because it didn't provide enough breaks, but now that I've been working at it and that I've been pacing myself properly, I've really started to see that I don't need those breaks- or at least not as many of them. The only complaint that I really have, and this is about the other videos too, is that the videos bunch together the arm work. All of the moves done in plank and pushup position are all bunched together within each video and it makes it really difficult for me to keep going as much as I should. This is probably a sign that I need to increase my arm strength, but I just think that it would be better if they were spread out a little bit. Same goes for the leg work. Insanity is already extremely leg-work heavy. Bunching that work all together does not help that! I'm sure that in the end it's for my benefit, but I'm really not a fan of it as of right now!

All in all though, it's been a really good couple of weeks for Insanity. I had this amazing moment last week during Plyometric Cardio Circuit, where I was at my mental breaking point but not my physical breaking point (it had been a hard day), and I just collapsed into child's pose in the middle of the workout and pounded the floor with my fist and told myself that I was better... that I could do better. And I was able to get up and press through. It was an amazing testament to what I am capable of. I proved to myself that I can do more than I think I can. If I can remember that moment through week 9, then I think I'll be in amazing shape. Putting everything else aside, Insanity has really changed my view on what I can and can't do.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Insanity- Days 7-16

Well, I've just entered my third week and completed my second fit test! I have to say... Insanity is one of the hardest things I've ever done, but also the most rewarding. In doing the fit test for the second time today I was able to see how far I've come in just two weeks. I increased in all eight moves and not just by a couple of reps- we're talking on some of them, I increased by 20 reps. I think that's something to be proud of! As much as I may hate it sometimes, the results don't lie. I feel very accomplished today!

While I do enjoy Insanity, I'm starting to feel like a lot of the workouts are way too similar. Sometimes it's hard to tell them apart! That's really the main downside to this program- variety is scarce. That's something I loved with P90X, and it's not something I'm really getting with Insanity. However, given how quickly I'm progressing, my complaints are minimal. It really does work, and it works quickly- if you're willing to put in the effort.

On some of the workouts I'm still having to pause once or twice to catch my breath, but this is an improvement from having to pause three or four times per workout like I did in the beginning! And I'm able to get through the warm ups without feeling like dying, so that's exciting. Seeing these little improvements is really keeping me going at this point. Although I do have to say- this program works the calves harder than pretty much everything else put together. I can't begin to describe the pain they've been in! There's A LOT of leg work in the Insanity workouts. An extreme amount. Luckily I have very strong legs- I just wish that the workouts were as hard on my abs and upper body as it is on my legs.

All in all, things are going very well though. I'm really starting to get the hang of the program and while I am not following the diet plan, I've started to notice myself craving things I don't normally crave. My habits are changing, slowly but surely. And I swear that I can actually feel my lungs growing inside my chest. Probably not possible, but I know that my lung capacity has increased. They feel so much more open- it's hard to describe, but totally true! It's like the inside of my chest has grown or something. Very cool. I can't wait to try this out with running and see how it's improved my pace!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Insanity- Days 1-6

It's been over a year since I've updated this blog! Too long. But I've accomplished a lot in the time that's passed! March 2010 I did the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World and this past January I did the full Disney World Marathon. Both were incredible- and very different- experiences, and both were accomplishments far beyond my wildest dreams. I never imagined that I'd ever be able to do something like that in my whole life. And now I'm signed up to do the Disneyland Half Marathon in September and I'm planning on either doing the full or half marathon at next year's Disney World Marathon Weekend. I haven't decided which yet, though! While the feeling of accomplishment you get when finishing a full marathon, but the half marathon distance is just so much more... friendly. I'll probably end up doing the full because I can never settle for anything less than the best. A gift and a curse.

In other news... I am now through my first week of Insanity! Which is, for a lack of a better word, insane. Truly. It takes all the hardest parts of P90X and combines them all and then makes you do them every day. It's crazy intense and SUPER hard. I'm pretty sure this is even harder than marathon training. But I truly feel great, which is the weird thing. And I'm proud to report that in just six days, I've improved! The day 2 and day 6 workouts for this week were the same (Plyometric Cardio Circuit), and while I still had to pause it twice today, I was able to get totally through the warm up and the first three circuits without having to cheat or stop to take a breath, and I was unable to do this the first time around. So basically, within the space of five days, I was able to improve significantly. This gave me a lot of hope, I have to say! Even after the fit test (day 1), I thought I was going to die. I got to the end of the work out and half of me was thinking, "What have I gotten myself into?!" Luckily, I stuck with it, and I can already feel the difference in my body. (My calves are perpetually on fire.)

Now, as I've been doing this, I've been comparing both Insanity and P90X in my head. I haven't come to a conclusion about which one is my favorite or if one is better than the other (I'm only a week in), but there are a few things I'd like to note:

-Cardio Recovery (Insanity) has definitely become one of my favorite workouts. It gave me a great break in the middle of a hard week and helped my body to recover enough so that I could knock out the last two difficult days. Shawn T also talks in "dancer lingo," which proved to be really helpful for me given my 17 years of dance lessons. He combined yoga with some regular stretching and some light strengthening exercises. It proved to be a very helpful and enjoyable workout- I think I liked it better than Yoga X (P90X). It feels like sacrilege, but now that I've done Cardio Recovery I really wish P90X had a workout like this, and Yoga X is the closest thing to it.

-More break times in Insanity. While Insanity proves to be a lot like doing Plyometrics (P90X) every single day, I felt like Insanity was more reasonable with breaks. I didn't feel like there were too many or too little, and they provided just enough time to recover.

-Way too many plyometric push-up moves in Insanity. This is one of the real downsides for me. Push-ups have never been my strong suit, and Insanity just takes that to another level. I know it's good for me to do hard things, but oh man. So hard.

- Long and difficult warm ups in Insanity. Now that I'm six days in I can't say that I hate them, but they do run a bit long and can get slightly boring, and the warm ups in the different workouts are VERY similar. I wish there was a little more variety, but they are effective and get you going RIGHT AWAY... if you can make it through.

Well, those are my notes for now. I'll continue updating as I continue with Insanity and all my other physical activities. Keep bringing it!