I've wanted to do Insanity for a really, really long time, and finally received it for my birthday back in March. The problem was, I just didn't have time to do it. I had the Great Manchester Run a few weeks after my birthday, and then we were going to Prague and with one thing and another, I knew I couldn't dedicate 2 months to the programme. We're off to Whitby in 8 weeks, so when we got back from Prague (my post is coming this week I promise) I knew I could just about squeeze it in before then.
The honest truth is that I've been a bit frustrated with running lately. I've been stuck in a rut, struggling with increasing my speed and not really enjoying it. I knew this was a good time to take a break, as I want to do the Stockport 10K in September, and will probably do a couple of other 10Ks before the end of the year, and maybe (probably) another half marathon next year. I was also hoping 2 months of high-intensity Insanity would be a great push for my stamina and fitness, which would hopefully help my speed and endurance.
Those of you who don't know, Insanity is a 60 day workout programme by Beachbody and it's based on high-intensity cardio and interval training. Month One is based around a rotation of five different workouts, then you take a recovery week before starting the harder workouts of Month Two.
Because Insanity is meant to offer incredible results, you are supposed to take photos every 2 weeks of the programme, in a variety of different positions (I followed this list), to compare results. Similarly, Day One starts with a Fit Test, which you do every 2 weeks to monitor your progress. It involves having to do 8 different moves as many times as you can for one minute, and then writing your results down. The hope is that your fitness will continue to increase over the course of the programme.
The other four workouts are all slightly different, but with the exception of Cardio Recovery, they all have a similar theme of high intensity intervals. Each workout lasts between 30 and 45 minutes, starting with a warm up and stretching and ending with a cool down.
I won't go through each different circuit, as you can find loads of Insanity reviews online, but I will say that so far I am loving it. Like running, I get up early to do it so it's the first thing I do in the morning (read my tips on becoming a morning exerciser here), and sleep in my workout clothes (I have a spare set so I can rotate!). Unlike running, I don't eat anything before the workout as people online said it could make you sick! I do down a banana Nesquik or a protein shake straight after though before jumping in the shower and having a proper breakfast.
Shaun T makes a lot of references to checking your heart rate so I would definitely recommend getting one if you don't have one (I have the Polar FT4) as it's good to keep your eye on. I also use it to monitor my calories to make sure I don't eat too little after the workout.
My goal really is for fitness and toning, I'm not really using it to lose weight (though I hear it's great for that and I definitely won't be complaining if it happens!). My biggest worry is that I won't commit to the full 60 days. It's been okay this week but I don't know how I'm going to feel on day 10, 20, 30 or 40!
Also, I will warn you, it's hard! I consider myself average fitness, and I've run a half marathon and done numerous Jillian Michaels DVDs but this is something else. I've never had to totally stop and have a breather in between sets! Shaun T always encourages you to take breaks though, and he is just so likeable. As much as I love Jillian her shouting is grating, and her dancers are just so good. What I love about Insanity is that the cast members are clearly exhausted too and Shaun is always telling them to take breaks. You also have regular prescribed water breaks throughout each workout.
As an additional point, I also found out this week that I'm suffering from anaemia, which makes me very tired, but I'm trying to get lots of sleep and just push through my workouts and I'm feeling okay. I've been to the doctors and I've been prescribed iron tablets so hopefully I'll have my energy back soon. I'm also trying to increase my protein intake to rebuild after the tough Insanity workouts, and back to drinking protein shakes after my workouts which I hope will help too.
Today was my rest day but tomorrow I'm back on it for week 2 and I'm excited!
Have you done Insanity? How were your results? Any tips?