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Thread: Insanity Diaries

  1. #1

    Insanity Diaries

    It was all PauliF's fault. In February, he started talking about P90X, and I trawled the internet for information. It looked pretty good, but some of the equipment required put me off - in particular the pull-up bar, as I have nowhere to mount it. But as with all internet searches, one thing leads to another and I ended up reading about Insanity…

    I had a few months delay as a building project meant that my home workout space was inaccessible, but that's finally complete, the DVDs have been ordered and I'm raring to go. I'd like to try to make this a lifestyle thing rather than a quick blitz, so I'm going to design it to fit around my schedule. I'm currently playing tennis on average 3 times a week and swimming when the weather's nice, so my goal is a minimum of 2 Insanity workouts each week, preferably 3 if time allows.

    The main things I'm trying to achieve are a better level of overall fitness and a stronger core, both of which will help immensely in my tennis.

    Bring it on.

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  3. #2

    Re: Insanity Diaries

    Day 1 - Fit test

    So you start off with a fitness test. It's clear that you'll repeat this later on, as a way to track your progress. The test lasts 30 minutes, during which you do 8 exercises for a minute each. That's right, you're only actually exercising for 8 minutes. But boy, did I work up a sweat. Felt a little jelly-like afterwards, which was the desired effect. Could I have cranked out more repetitions? Possibly, but first time around you're hampered somewhat by never seeing the exercises before: maybe I would have been a good idea to watch it through once first, but I'm more of a dive straight in guy. I was doing pretty well for the first 4 or so exercises, but my pace tailed off quite dramatically towards the end.

    The thing that drew me to Insanity was the lack of equipment required. A bottle of water and towel are a must. The only thing I've bought alongside the DVDs are some floor mats, and I think these'll prove a good investment. Not only do they act as cushioning (and there's a lot of jumping going on), but they stopped sweat from dripping all over the carpet. The pack I got cover 4 square feet, and I think I might double that.

    I haven't read through the nutrition guide yet, but my goal here is to stick to 'mainly healthy'. So far today I've eaten:

    Bowl of cereal
    Glass of orange juice
    Salami sandwich and a bag of crisps
    Tin of pop

    and planned for tonight are:

    Tuna and poached egg salad
    Greek yoghurt with fresh fruit

    I'll look to cut down on things like the crisps and pop, but I'm certainly not going to beat myself up over it. I'm also not going to hide it.

    When required, I also have some whey protein and those Bounce balls Pauli talked about a while back.

    Tomorrow I have a tennis match, so day 2 is likely to be Saturday.

  4. #3

    Re: Insanity Diaries

    Day 2 - Plyometric Cardio Circuit

    As the title suggests, effectively a session of circuits. It starts with the warm up, which lasts 10 minutes. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the warm up is what many people would consider a fairly serious workout. This is followed by 5 minutes of stretching, which gets you nice and ready for the workout proper.

    Each circuit lasts around 3 minutes, with a 30 second rest in-between. The focus in this workout appears to be legs and core: lots of explosive movements, bending deep and jumping around a fair bit. This is perfect for me.

    The duration of this DVD, including warm up, is 41 minutes. I keeled over in a sweaty heap on the ground around the 30 minute mark, feeling pretty much ready to vomit. It actually caught me unawares: I'd been keeping up pretty well until this point, then the exercises changed, I managed one more circuit, then imploded on the next. I tried a couple of times to rejoin, but ultimately had to leave it until the final stretching as my legs had gone.

    As it was, I didn't feel too bad about this. The video is filmed with a dozen or so super-fits, and around the same time that I ran out of puff they started dropping. In the final 10 minutes, several get told to take a break, and look pretty much as knackered as I did. Of course, they all get back on the horse, but when you see people in that shape struggling you think, hey, I'm not doing so bad. An added goal is that by the end I want to be completing each workout, no questions asked.

  5. #4
    Senior Member poker_Elmo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    Re: Insanity Diaries

    I've been doing the exercises, but not the diet, of P90X. I have insanity, too, but not ready to take the plunge. I'm excited to follow your progress!

    I think in the first couple weeks (especially - but I think this holds as time goes on, too) there's no shame in stopping early or taking it easy. The worst thing you can do is hurt yourself and not be able to do anything

    I really need to start adhering to the diet.

  6. #5

    Re: Insanity Diaries

    My first reader and a fellow exerciser to boot - sweet! How long have you been doing the P90X? And what are your impressions of it?

    I'm assuming the diet for these two is roughly the same (and both probably centered around Shakeology). I'm hoping to find a happy medium between something strict and something I can live with in an ongoing fashion. So far I just know that chicken and fish will feature heavily.

  7. #6

    Re: Insanity Diaries

    Day 3 - Cardio Power and Resistance

    Already starting to feel familiar: 10 minute warm up, 5 minutes stretching, then into the interval training.

    Although it still has the word 'cardio' in the title, I found it less demanding in that respect than yesterday. I kept up pretty well, and managed to finish the workout. There was only one exercise I had real problems with, and that was the walking pushup: after failing fairly miserably in getting those going, I replaced them with regular ones instead. And at the end, girly ones. Hey, upper body isn't my strength. I had a couple of short pauses throughout, but that's actually encouraged if your form starts to drop.

    Still lots of jumping and use of legs and core, but more upper body was introduced. You don't necessarily notice it at the time, but my arms have a good ache now.

    One thing it has brought back to me is that by exercising late afternoon / early evening, it means my evening meal is later. This is a good thing: I have a horrible tendency to snack in the evening, and eating that bit later will help cut it out. I still haven't properly looked at the diet yet, but will do soon.

  8. #7
    Senior Member darvon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Re: Insanity Diaries

    I am interested in p90x, but wonder if I can deal with the diet.

    I eat on the road most lunches and some dinners.

    I also don't want a week's diet that you have to buy 3,239,029 items. A low ingredient diet would be what I want.

  9. #8
    Senior Member poker_Elmo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    Re: Insanity Diaries

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogs
    My first reader and a fellow exerciser to boot - sweet! How long have you been doing the P90X? And what are your impressions of it?

    I'm assuming the diet for these two is roughly the same (and both probably centered around Shakeology). I'm hoping to find a happy medium between something strict and something I can live with in an ongoing fashion. So far I just know that chicken and fish will feature heavily.
    I love P90X. I think Tony Horton, the lead guy, is hilarious, and almost every other male I know who has done this thinks the same. My brother actually said he has a "man crush" on him, lol. Most females that I know who've done it don't like him, however.

    I think the workouts are great, but they do work you. It rotates through various exercises daily, so you hit chest, back, arms, legs, back, and also some cardio exercises and yoga. They talk about "muscle confusion", which I guess just means working muscles in different ways to keep getting results. I've certainly never been stronger than I am now ---

    The diet isn't a requirement. If you don't change your diet but do the workouts, you'll get good results. Their diet will almost certainly help you lose weight, however.

  10. #9

    Re: Insanity Diaries

    Day 4 - Cardio Recovery

    Yes, I know. I had a shocker last week. I played tennis 3 times and had a scheduled night out, but the rest was just being back late from work and crashing out. Times like this you could do with others along for the ride to inspire you and pull you along (*cough*... ah, you all know who you are...). But anyway...

    Cardio recovery really is just that. There is really no cardio work involved at all, and I only had the tiniest of sweats on by the end. A shorter day at 30 minutes, and it's all about stretching. I've never done yoga or pilates, but I imagine this isn't too disimilar. In many respects, it's much harder than the cardio: I had to break some of the stretches early because I just couldn't hold them any more. I would have said it concentrates firmly on the legs, but my biceps also have that warm, worked feeling too. Points of note from today: I am thoroughly inflexible (not news to me), and don't have the balance that I thought I did. I'm very curious to see how these improve.

    I'm mildly annoyed with myself, as this would have been a good workout after a couple of days of strong cardio rather than a week later. I'll know for next time though. Playing tennis tomorrow, but will look to do day 5 on Wednesday.

    As a side note, as Elmo mentioned Tony Horton of P90X I figure I should say something about Shaun T, the Insanity instructor. I've really warmed to him. His style is very much encouragement, and when he tells you to dig deeper you want to do it for him. Not a full-on man crush yet, but perhaps by the end.

  11. #10

    Re: Insanity Diaries

    Day 5 - Pure Cardio

    What would come after Cardio Recovery? Ah yes, Pure Cardio. You'd think it would be the other way around, but perhaps that's the point. A shade over 40 minutes, and the warm up seems to last a little longer than before. And he seems to push a little harder. And talks about how he's a little nervous about what's to come. Hmm...

    Most of the exercises are ones we've seen before. This really does help, as you don't find yourself spending 30 seconds every time you change working out what you're trying to do. I still haven't quite worked out why a 'football sprint' is so-called though; I may be rather green when it comes to your sport, but I've watched enough to know I've never seen that move on the field of play.

    At the 30 minute mark, I realise what's different about this workout: after the warmup, there are no prescribed breaks. That means you can potentially go non-stop for 15 minutes or so. I say potentially, because you're always encouraged to stop when you need to, to the extent where they even focus the camera on some of them when they have to take a pause. I slowed quite significantly towards the end and did stop a few times, but got through it fairly well.

    I'm spotting a trend with which exercises I struggle with, and it's the ones where you start standing up, drop so you're on the floor, and then jump back up. Burpees would be an example, though they don't call them that here. It's ok if they appear fairly early on, but when they crop up later in the workout that's when I tend to lose it. I shall try to focus on these a little as I probably rest too often with the exercises that make me struggle, rather than just when I need it.

  12. #11

    Re: Insanity Diaries

    Day 6 - Plyometric Cardio Circuit

    And we're back to the circuits. Would I fare any better second time around?

    First thing of note was that I was wrong about the warm up being harder yesterday. He pushes just as hard in this one, but I possibly didn't notice before as I wasn't familiar with the exercises and so was spending more time watching the screen. I do wonder how fit you'd get just doing the warm ups and nothing else... it'd probably do a reasonable job.

    Into the circuits, and it's quite welcome to be told to break every 3-5 minutes, even if it is only for 30 seconds. Again, I was fine through the first group, but after the exercises change (probably the 4th circuit), it all changes. That second group involve a fair amount of time horizontal doing pushups, squat thrusts or whatever, and in circuits 5 and 6 I hit the mat more than once. Perhaps because those exercises are harder, perhaps because it's easier to collapse when you're already close to the ground. I kept coming back though, and no complete stopping this time was a definite improvement. Lasting an entire workout without stopping, but that'll be easier said than done.

    Must have a look at the diet guide soon.

  13. #12

    Re: Insanity Diaries

    Day 7 - Rest Day


    I did think about cracking on, but was particularly tired today so decided to have a day off. If it falls on a tennis day in future I may count that as the day off: we'll see. Next week some good weather is forecast. If that happens, I'm likely to be swimming.

  14. #13

    Re: Insanity Diaries

    So in tennis, I have a nemesis. I beat him once about 3 years ago, and have failed to repeat that ever since. He's kind of frustrating: looks out of shape, but is actually very fit and deceptively quick, and has a very good eye for picking your weaknesses and playing on them. Someone who I feel I should be going toe-to-toe with, but ultimately get pwned every time. Much like Llan and hawk in that respect.

    Today, the streak ended with a crushing 6-1 6-4 victory. It should have been 6-1 6-2, but mental demons still haunt me and I tanked it on the first attempt to serve it out. Not the second time, though. Now, this victory could be attributed to:

    - me improving at tennis
    - him having a really bad day
    - that we were playing on the new acrylic courts, which I've played on twice and he never had
    - because I've got 7 days of Insanity under my belt.

    I'll let you decide. Though it was probably a combination of the first 3. There was however one point that stood out: I had a gut-busting sprint for a short ball, followed immediately by another to the back corner. After making both of those I lost the point, but my explosiveness when starting the sprint has possibly increased, and certainly my recovery afterwards was pleasing. He actually applauded the effort.

  15. #14

    Re: Insanity Diaries

    Day 8 - Cardio Power and Resistance

    The sun has come out here in Blighty. A positively balmy 21 degrees. Workout or swimming? If you saw me after the event, you'd probably think I'd just got out of the pool. Right up until you saw my shoes, that is.

    For today at least, Insanity won out. Day 8 of 63, week 2 of 9. I'm hoping to finish it in 18 weeks, just in time for, erm… winter. I realised that this workout actually has a different warmup from the rest, something that was brought home as I almost put my knee out in the first 5 minutes. The left knee has been a tiny bit suspect for a while, and I really must make sure I warm it up slowly. Extra heat does make these workouts harder, and today could possibly have been the most I've ever sweated.

    I kept pace reasonably well, right up until the final circuit which was done in slow motion and a vaguely half-hearted way. I tried hard to keep going with the push-up exercises, which weren't made easier by the fact that I've got an inflamed tendon in my wrist from tennis. That's right, dodgy wrist, dodgy knee… you could make an argument for exercise being bad for you, but right now I'm positively buzzing from the aftermath of a good workout, and that's a feeling that no amount of donuts can bring. The left side of my abs were also humming by the end, but I think that was just because they were being worked and they feel ok now.

    Minor landmark: during each session, it appears to be a requirement that all the men shed their shirts at around the half-way mark (the ladies don't follow suit, which I find horribly sexist). Today was the first time mine was removed. Unfortunately there's a mirror nearby and that meant I was left with a fairly unpleasant sight, but it can only get better. Perhaps it'll motivate me to look at that diet (must look at the diet).

  16. #15

    Re: Insanity Diaries

    25 degrees, the sun is out, I was off work, so I figured I'd have a swim. Got the suncream out and oiled myself up like a Roman gladiator ready for battle. Well, I say gladiator, but that's rather wishful thinking at this point... perhaps a prisoner who has been starved for a week and is about to be thrown to the lions would have been more accurate.

    Somewhat narked to go outside and find the pool full. Don't people work anymore? Half of them don't even bloody live here and it turns out my home has been turned into some sort of holiday camp for kids. All the sun loungers (4) are taken, and when I say taken I actually mean someone's put their towel on them to make sure no one else uses them whilst they're frolicking in the pool. So I sit on a chair for an hour or so, thinking these people must get tired soon. Do they bollocks. The new Newton Faulkner album later, and I decide I'm going to swim anyway. I traverse the child picking up rings from the bottom of the pool, swim under the woman floating about on a large inflatable whale (she would have been quite attractive, but you've never seen anything so unladylike as her attempt to mount it backwards. Honestly, legs splayed everywhere, and a good 5 minutes before she admitted defeat and decided to just bob up and down riding it the way nature intended), and weave past the people having a fight with foam tubes. I lasted 4 lengths before giving it up as a bad idea.

    In a right funk, I had a shower and decided I'd do a workout instead. Two minutes into the warm up, I realised that the sun had sapped all energy from my legs and that it would be a really bad idea to try to continue. Arse.

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