Insanity: Reflections on Month 1 and Recovery Week
So I've survived Month 1! It has not been easy but I am so proud of myself for doing Insanity every day, even the days when I have really, really not wanted to do it.
I've learned a lot the last few weeks and the honest truth is, I love it. Of course, I don't always love it when it's the last repeat of a horrible circuit (I'm looking at you, Plyometric Cardio Circuit!), but I feel so good afterwards and not tired and sleepy as I often feel after running.
My favourite thing about Insanity, as you can imagine, is the results. With running I can often go months without noticing a change in my speed or my fitness or endurance. With Insanity it's almost every day.
A few weeks ago I couldn't do full push ups and would do them on my knees. Now I can jump straight into those Level 1 Drills with no worries! The strength and core parts are still difficult, by far the hardest for me, but I can feel myself improving and I'm really pushing myself to keep going. There are still lots of things I can't do or can't do well, but I know Insanity is pushing my endurance and strength to new levels.
Last week was my last week of Month 1, and honestly, I was just about starting to get bored of the workouts, so Recovery Week has been a welcome break. It's great to find I can do the warm up with no breaks now though, and that I can push myself through most of the workouts without stopping. I convinced Phil to do Plyometric Cardio with me once after he had stayed at my house and I don't think he expected it to be so hard. He's desperate to borrow it from me when I've finished it!
The commitment of doing Insanity every day (bar Sundays) is really tough, and I can see how committing to the schedule is the main reason why people don't complete the programme, but personally, it works for me. Knowing I have a particular workout to do each day pushes me to get it done! And usually getting started is the hardest bit.
The thing with Insanity is that you get out of it what you put it. Because I use my Polar I can tell when I haven't worked as hard, because my workout calories will be much less than last time I did the workout. I try to burn 10 calories a minute and I always keep an eye on my heart rate.
Recovery week has been nice, but definitely not a recovery! I thought I would get bored of doing the same workout every day for 6 days but I've actually really enjoyed it. Core Cardio and Balance is my favourite- probably because it's the easiest!
I don't follow the meal plan because it doesn't work for my lifestyle, but I am super-conscious to ensure I get enough protein. I have a protein shake with milk straight after my workout and aim for at least 100g of protein per day. I've been loading up on yoghurt, eggs, chia seeds, milk, beans, frozen peas and fish. However I've eaten out a lot the last few weeks and I'm also just trying to live my life as normal. Rather than eat back my calories from each workout, I eat about 2000 calories a day. I follow Funeral for my Fat's BMR 101 guide.
I've also recently bought myself a Zaggora Hot Top so I workout now in my Zaggora Hot Top and Hot Pants and yes, it gets very sweaty but I love it!
So how are the results? As I mentioned in my last post, I'm not looking as much to lose weight but more to build muscle. I've lost about 2 pounds so far which is great, and I took my measurements today- 0.75" off my waist, 2.5" off my hips, 1" from each thigh and 0.5" from each arm. However the most noticeable difference is from the before photos! I took before photos the day before I started Insanity, and today at the end of Recovery Week I took 12 more. You don't notice the difference until you see it right in front of you! I can really see the difference in my arms, shoulders and stomach. I might show you the before and after photos when I finish the programme.
I start my new job tomorrow so 5.30am workouts are back on the table. Thankfully my new job is a much shorter commute so I will get a little longer in bed than when I worked at AO when I had to leave the house at 7.15am. However it will coincide with my first day of the Max workouts which is going to be a challenge. I'm determined to push through though. I hear Month 2 is absolutely horrible but I'm ready for Shaun T to bring it!