Monday, 16 September 2013

Ending The Insanity - Sort Of

So at some point last month I completed Insanity. I ended with more of a whimper than a bang though. First I went on holiday again and so I missed a few days, and then I got slightly ill - nothing serious, in fact I was able to exercise a couple of days, but I knew I wasn't at full form. So I actually didn't even do the final fit test, which part of me felt was a bit of a cop-out (especially as Eve posted her final results especially for me on Twitter!), but the larger part of me thought would be silly to do as I wasn't fully functioning, so what would I rally be testing?

The strange thing is, Insanity had become so much a part of my life that there was more a feeling of emptiness than of completion. I knew that I would no longer have that daily routine of working out to an exhaustion high. No longer would I have that daily sensation of sweating from every pore in my body - I mean, I've had sweat run down my back before when working out, and I've even had sweat run down my legs - and with Insanity during the summer, sweat dropping off my nose wasn't unusual - but sweat running in little rivulets down my FOREARMS??!! That was new in the last month of Insanity.

BUT - I knew I had to do something different to another round of Insanity. Whilst my cardio capability has gone through the roof with it, I was well aware that my legs and arms had lost strength. I also found that I was gaining weight rather than losing it - and not only because I was constantly starving hungry, because I'm actually pretty good at ignoring hunger if I have the motivation. I think it's just something about my body - it needs muscle to burn fat or something, and too much cardio sends it fatty. It sounds mad, but I think it is true!

So I've started using P90X, another Beachbody programme. I began by following a hybrid routine of P90X and Insanity that I found on the Beachbody website, but I found I preferred to mix it up my own way. What I do currently is alternate P90X and Insanity during the week, roughly following the hybrid programme, but doing one more 'normal' Insanity and missing out the cardio recovery/X-Stretch - then at the weekend I usually have more time so I do P90X Kenpo or Plyo, then cardio recovery or  X-Stretch or Yoga-X. And I usually have one or two days off exercise a week.

After Insanity, P90X actually seems really slow on the weight workouts, so I have printed out the routines and once I've run through them with the DVD once, I just do the routines myself watching Corrie or whatever, and do it way more continuously - no pausing or hanging around. Even so, the weight routines and abs take about an hour to get through. I'm already feeling the benefit, feel stronger again, can see more definition on my triceps and on my shoulders - the guy has even the women doing chin-ups etc. Not that I can do even one full chin-up or pull-up, I have to use a chair, but that is my new goal - I WILL be able to do a chin-up by the end of this!

I've also found that I'm not losing my cardio ability - I was initially shocked at how much easier the Insanity workouts were the second time through. I really did think the second month's workouts were easier than the firsts, and yet coming back to those first month workouts, I was much better able to do them this time around. And I'm still improving. So I'm thinking I'll do the final fit test at the end of this P90X/Insanity hybrid to see if I've continued to get fitter - because although I was aiming at maintaining fitness, I can see that there are places to improve strength, and maybe that will improve my cardio performance too?

As for Insanity - I cannot recommend the programme enough. Not as a first step into fitness, but as a follow-on to something like Jillian Michaels it is perfect. It is a lot of money, but if you compare it to a gym membership - well, I was a gym member, and despite being 13 years younger and spending two hours in the gym daily doing various classes and using the machines, I was not as fit as I am now. Insanity did that, and for me that makes it a BARGAIN.

So that's where I'm at right now with my fitness. Feeling really good. And only slightly obsessed :-)

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