as promised, i am going to check in and ramble a little bit about my journey with insanity so far. if you have no desire to read about my insanity challenge, scroll on down to the “meals” icon.
i started the challenge on april 3rd. it began with four weeks of workouts that were 6 days on/1 day off. there were a total of five workouts i did for the first four weeks.
- plyometric cardio circuit
- cardio power & resistance
- pure cardio
- cardio abs
- cardio recovery
each workout was around 40 minutes, aside from the cardio abs.. which was 16 minutes. that one was tacked on to the end of the pure cardio workout days. five of the six days were super intense and one of the days (wednesdays) was really mellow and easy.. the cardio recovery DVD.
after the first four weeks, there was one week of recovery. this week (which was last week for me) consisted of the same DVD for six days in a row. it was called “core cardio and balance”. don’t let the term “recovery week” fool you.. this workout was no joke. some of you warned me that the recovery week was in fact still a tough workout, and you were right. while it wasn’t very fast paced, it was incredibly challenging. there was a lot of focus on strengthening my core and working on my ability to endure slow, steady movements for a long period of time. for example, for three and a half minutes straight, i had to sit in a deep plié squat and hold my arms out and do various shoulder movements like flutters and circles. they don’t call this part “shoulder burners” for nothing! while it was a really great workout for core strengthening, i got SO sick of it by the sixth day! it was just too much of the same thing over and over. i was happy to cross off the last day of the recovery week!
i started out with a fit test on day one. the fit test consists of eight different moves. (i googled it and you can see the eight moves here.) you do each move for a solid minute and write down the number of reps you are able to complete during that minute. the fit test is revisited every so often to check on progress. so far, i have done the fit test three times. once at the beginning, once after 2 weeks and once on sunday.. after month one and after the recovery week—so five weeks in.
here are my results:
|move||start date||2 weeks in||5 weeks in|
|suicide jumps (burpees)||14||17||18|
|push up jacks||25||30||33|
|low plank oblique||50||60||64|
i wasn’t sure how i would do on the fit test yesterday.. but i was pleasantly surprised to see that i improved on all the moves. i guess there is something to this program, eh?
after the fit test yesterday, i still had to do day 1 of month number 2. i decided it was in my best interest to bake a carrot cake beforehand and give myself a little rest, since the fit test is a workout in and of itself.
after a brief break, i got down to business and completed the max interval circuit. it was an hour of heart pumping, high jumping insanity. no, really.. it was crazy. never in my life have i moved so much and so fast and in so many ways in such a condensed amount of time. i even screamed out in exhaustion a few times. i think i scared the dogs.
the workout consisted of a 10 minute warmup (if you can call it that—it is like a mini workout!) followed by 5 minutes of stretching. next up was a circuit of four different moves, each 45 seconds long with no rest. after the 3 minute circuit, you do get a brief 30 second rest to bring your heart rate down and get some water. the circuit is then completed two more times, for a total of three times through. at the end of the third set, there is one more additional move tacked onto the circuit block for good measure.
the workout then goes on to two more circuits with the same set up as the first: 4 moves, 45 seconds each without rest, a 30 second break, repeat the circuit twice more, then one more move tacked onto the third set. after all the circuits are completed, there is a short cooldown stretch.
and then you die.
if i had to compare month 2 to month 1, i would call the month 1 workouts a piece of cake. no, really. they are challenging, but do-able. while i worked really hard during the month 1 workouts, i never wanted to scream out in agony because i was so exhausted. month 2 is no joke.
even though it was incredibly difficult, i did complete the whole workout. granted, i was dead tired the rest of the night, but i did it.. and that is what matters. i think the most important part of completing these intense workouts is to do them with the correct form. it is easy to get caught up in the DVD and want to go at the same pace as the class on the TV, but it is important to remember to go at your own pace. always, always, always put form over reps. if you rush through the circuit trying to get as many reps in as possible, you risk doing the move wrong and that can lead to injury. i tried to focus on doing each move correctly so i could get the most out of the workout.
pretty sure that worked.. my whole body is sore today. my glutes and my shoulders are the most sore, followed by my inner thighs. it’s such a good feeling.. what can i say? i love DOMS.
i did the second workout of month 2 today after work. it was called max interval plyo. it has basically the same set up as yesterday’s, but there was more jumping and squatting. that was great on my sore glutes. there were also a zillion more pushups. oh, and marshall and his friends came home in the middle of my workout so i had an audience. lovely.
today’s workout was slightly easier than yesterday’s.. maybe because i was prepared for the worst or maybe it just consisted of moves i am better at. either way, i welcomed the fact that it was just slightly easier than the previous workout!
it’s definite that yesterday’s max interval circuit workout was, by far, the hardest workout of my entire life.
during month 1 and the recovery week, i did the majority of the workouts in the morning. as you know, i am NOT a morning workout person.. but was bound and determined to become one. i completed all but 3 or 4 of the workouts in the morning before work. i am not sure if i will be able to keep up the morning workouts during month 2. it requires so much more energy and also 20 minutes more time-wise. i am going to try to do it tomorrow morning and see how it works out. i hope i am able to do the workouts in the morning because i sure love having my evenings free.
i have had several requests for me to talk about insanity on a daily basis, but there really isn’t a whole lot to say from day to day. it’s a DVD workout series and it is somewhat repetitive.. so talking about it daily would be ultra boring to read. however, i do update my insanity page somewhat regularly. it is a journal-style documentation of the challenge and it really is pretty dull, but you can go ahead and knock yourself out if you want!
i am actually going to try to be more disciplined in updating it daily for these last four weeks. i also want to doclument more about how i feel.. so here’s hoping i can keep up with that.
insanity talk over! feel free to ask me questions if you want. i am no expert nor am i a trained professional.. but i can give you my opinion.
tonight’s dinner was real good.
it was an adaption of heather’s balsamic chicken & peas with a few minor changes.
here are the ingredients i used:
- cooking spray
- 12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into a/2” cubes
- 1 whole red onion, diced small
- 1 TB jarred minced garlic
- 2 cups frozen peas, steamed
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 TB whole wheat flour
- 1 TB dried thyme
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup skim milk
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- 4 oz whole wheat wide noodles (the curly ones), prepared according to package
- salt+ pepper to taste
i prepared the chicken and sauce using heather’s method, so you can head on over to her post and check out the how-to.
i didn’t have any gnocchi, so i used the pasta i had on hand and skipped the browning in butter part and just tossed the pasta with the chicken, sauce and peas.
i started making this meal at 6:30. i was done cooking, photographing and eating it at 7:15. it was a super quick meal!
i served it alongside asparagus. can’t go wrong with lots of green on a plate!
marshall said it was a little pea-heavy for his liking.. but i didn’t think so at all. i love peas! if you don’t like peas, you could easily leave them out or replace them with another veggie.
this recipe makes four servings, here are the stats per serving:
pretty remarkable! body for lifers, this one’s for you.
thanks for the great meal idea, heather!
in other news.. it’s shedding season.
marshall just bought a wire brush and is in the garage de-furring the pups. he started out in the kitchen..
and after only a few strokes this is what we had on our hands.. er, what marshall had on his hands. quite literally.
so he took it to the garage and is brushing away.
i just checked on them and by the looks of this pile, i am certain we will be able to build another dog by the end of the night.
good thing we have a nice vacuum. and a costco supply of lint rollers.
1. what was the hardest workout of your life?
2. do you like peas?
xo. janetha g.