Photos by Ryan Mowery
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone! Christmas has really taken it out of me. With all the shopping, baking, and working I’ve been doing, my week has been insanity. Literally! I started the 60-day Insanity Workout program last week, and I haven’t had the energy to do much else.
The Insanity Workout is one of the most, if not THE most, difficult workouts to be put on DVD. Apparently it is so strenuous that you have to be insane to do it. My friend Beth was gracious enough to let me borrow her DVD set, so I’d like to give a big thanks to her here. Now a week and a half into the program, I can attest that I do indeed question my own sanity while doing these videos. More evidence for why I might be clinically insane lies in the fact that I have only EVER done this workout after the hours of 1 am. I think it’s because I did the first one late, and have consistently needed at least 24 hours to recuperate before I can muster up the energy to do it again. To be honest, I’m not sure how I muster it up each night because it really is extremely exhausting just to think about it. I’m actually getting a little exhausted right now.
It’s common for me to look up at the TV from my sweaty, breathless exhaustion and gasp the words “you’re insane” at the digital image of workout instructor Shaun T.
The program, so far, is mostly an ongoing and extensive series of high intensity sports drills and power moves, with very little rest in between reps. Imagine doing sprints for 40 minutes straight…with push-ups and lunges and frog jumps. That’s what it feels like. I consider myself to be a pretty fit person, but after doing the Insanity Fit Test, my eyes have been opened to an entirely new level of fitness. Phil and I nearly vomited after day one. Even a week and a half in, I get pretty tuckered out just doing the warm-up…sometimes I have to take a brief rest.
Despite the extreme difficulty level of this workout, there is a lot about it that I enjoy. First, I like that it actually works. I have been eating a notable amount of cookies on a daily basis for the last week or so (give me a break, it’s the holidays!), but have still managed to lose a couple pounds. In fact, both my Mom and my friend Ryan told me that I look thinner in my face. Hearing those affirmations made me more motivated to stick with the program, and loathe it less. Second, I like that I haven’t really experienced any soreness. During each workout, Shaun T guides you through two stretching sessions: one after the warm-up, and another for a cool down. I believe them to be preventative measure for the soreness and stiffness that I often feel after working out. I think it’s also because the workouts are every day, so our muscles don’t have the chance to rest long enough to get sore. It’s nice. Thirdly, I really enjoy the way the workouts are constructed; it’s no muss, no fuss. The entire workout is a good use of your time, and you definitely feel like you’re getting somewhere. You will sweat in places you never knew you could, and there’s an overwhelming sense of accomplishment after you finish. I imagine that it feels somewhat similar to running a marathon, but I really wouldn’t know.
Right now, I think that Insanity is doing a great job of helping me get into great shape, and lose a couple pounds while eating Christmas cookies. But after today, I will no longer be using the Christmas spirit as an excuse to indulge freely in sweets and things. I expect that for the next three weeks before Maui, my body’s changes will become more significant since I’ll be eating much (MUCH) leaner.
What’s really convenient is that there’s a week-long break for recovery between month 1 and 2 of the Insanity program, and it’s scheduled for the same week that I’ll be in Maui! A week off from work, a week off from Insanity, and a week off from Oregon rain. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.