Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Insanity - a short exercise program review

Last year, roughly this same date, I was flipping through the channels and saw the infomercial for Beachbody's "Insanity" program.  After seeing it for the 1000th time, I figured why not try something new. Marketing aside, I was interested in something that might be different than what I've done in years past. So, my adventure with Shaun T began.  However, starting in late January, was not a good idea with 15K of Saint Patrick's Day racing, and I managed to only get through 3 weeks.  After one or two sessions after that, I shelved it and went into normal trail and triathlon "glory."

This year, I started on October 13th, breaking only for my normal Tues-Thurs swims and even in the first couple weeks doubled up the workouts. I finished the program today with the final Fit Test and improved in everything minus the "switch kicks," which is no big deal in my book.  This program was my only training leading up to the Turkey Trot 5K and the New Years Day 5 Miler.  My times for both races were on par, and best of all, I had no pain in the Achilles, IT, or a bunch of other places where injuries are starting to creep up.

But, did I lose any weight? No, not a single pound. I didn't gain any either. I started at a svelte 204 lbs, and ended at the same 204 lbs. But, is that a measure of fail on part of the program or myself. The answer is neither and both. It is a difficult program, and coupled with the right nutrition plan could begin the start of an amazing transformation from couch master to exercise fiend. For an unmotivated semi retired tri/trail runner, it showed me that I still have the drive to complete the workouts, while still finding time to eat whatever it is that I'm eating. My job has me firmly planted behind a desk 95% of the time and that doesn't bode well for the overall picture. But, enough of me, what are the pros and cons, in my estimation

PROS: Be prepared to work the upperbody and do pushups. "Oh, is that all?" I hear the incredulous remarks, but lets face it, how many pushups, and I'm talking correctly, can the average person do? Probably 30. Now, even after the program is over, I still incorporate them into my normal stretching and somehow still squeeze 55-60 out in the morning. They suck, but I feel better for doing them. The 2nd big pro, is the renewed interest I have for exercises that utilizes body weight and range of motion. The average time for the workouots were from 40-60 minutes. Is that bad? No, not really. The number one excuse, "I don't have the time," is utter crap. When you think of the time you spend on social media sites, mindlessly flipping through channels, and just basically screwing around, the time is there. I can say, honestly, that I had to make that time available. Usually when my 6 yr old was trying to watch "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse." And what was he doing up at 0530 anyway?

CONS: Not a whole lot really. Other than some of the same people on the videos over and over, I did find the one chick who I enjoyed watching while suffering along with. She wasn't in it often enough. And Shaun T never manhandled her like he did the one blonde girl. I guess that wasn't really a con. Probably my largest complaint was the lack of variety in the first month. The normal person gets bored and loses interest after 2 weeks. The addition of something new might've bridged that. I know of 2 people who quit at the same date, week 3 day 2, because it was monotonous. Just a thought.

And that was my short review of this fine workout series. Will I do it again? Don't know, I might incorporate some of the videos while I consider life after this years race season. Which is not looking too healthy, other than 1 race I keep signing up for and really don't want to do. Go figure.

On on

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