Sunday, January 09, 2011

Crazy, Insane? Insane, Crazy?

I mentioned back on my first day of being unemployed that I was starting the Insanity workout series, which has been kicking my tail 6 days a week ever since. Can I just say that this workout series truly lives up to its name? I can't even describe how intense it is. Since I've done the P90X workout series (which is 90 days long) a couple of times in the last couple of years I thought I was accustomed to insane workouts. Insanity is just insane on a whole different level and in a whole different way.

I liked P90X, but it's mostly weightlifting, with just a couple of days during the week that were cardiovascular workouts. Although it made me super sore at first, there were only a couple of workouts each week in which I worked up serious sweat. When my 90 day regimen was complete, I was way stronger, but I hadn't really trimmed down at all. In fact, my arms had gotten even bigger with the added muscle! Although I used to lift weights on our Crossbow almost exclusively for my workouts, I think as my metabolism has slowed down with age, weightlifting just doesn't give me the results I want anymore. I crave cardio these days, which is why the Insanity series was right up my alley. Almost every day was so grueling and exhausting that I was drenched after finishing my 40-60 minute workout. For anyone who's done P90X, remember when Tony says the Plyometrics DVD is the "mother of all workouts"? Insanity is similar to that, except that it's every day instead of once a week!

The awesome thing about Insanity is that even though it's a massive cardio workout, there's also a ton of strength training (push-ups, lunges, etc.) so you feel like you're getting the best of both worlds. I like the idea that I'm burning calories and gaining muscle at the same time! It's a great challenge for both guys and girls, which both my brother and my husband can attest to!

One of the other cool things about Insanity is the "fit test" that you do every two weeks to track your progress. It takes about 25 minutes and is a series of 8 exercises that you do for a minute each to see how many you can do during that time. You can see your improvement in writing every 14 days, which is very encouraging. Here are my results over the course of the 9 week program, from day 1 to today, day 63:

You can see that my improvement, especially on the exercises that I really stunk at in the beginning, was pretty insane! I'm an average of 77% more fit and strong than when I started! :)

So here's the bad news. For me, this increase in fitness didn't actually equate to much of a change in body shape. It's like God gave me a certain sized body, and no matter what I do, that body stays pretty much the same. Of course, it might also be that during the last few weeks especially, I was working out so hard I was kind of famished all the time, so I probably consumed more calories than normal! Really, all I would have liked was for my jeans to fit a little looser--for my thighs and booty not to take up so much room! While I can certainly tell my legs aren't quite as jiggly (sorry for that disgusting image burned into your mind), their size was virtually unchanged. I took "before and after" pictures, and while I did see a little more definition in my abs in the after picture, the change in my out of proportion thighs was downright negligible. What a bummer!

With that said, I really do like the Insanity workout and totally plan on doing the 60 day series again soon!


Tish said...

man you're hardcore!

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering how the Insanity series is compared to P90X! Thanks for the review:) Jess

cw said...

Don't mean to be a topper, but this weekend I sat around and watched four playoff games, KU basketball, and a golf tournament. Not sure which feat is more impressive, but I am a little sore as well.