Today marked the start of week 3 of INSANITY, which means that we are halfway done with the first month of the two-month program (halfway to halfway – a fourth of the way done for those of you who are good with fractions). It also means that it was the day that we took our second “Fit Test.” This is one of the good things about this particular program; you are scheduled every couple of weeks to take the same fit test in order to help track your progress. Sometimes seeing your number of repetitions rise is more encouraging than simply feeling like you were able to get through a particular workout with a little more ease.
So, how did we do then? Did we see improvement in our repetitions? Did we get through the workout a little easier? Are we feeling fitter than when we started?
The answer to all of those questions is yes. Yes, yes, and yes. And yes. Our fit test numbers showed substantial improvement in each of the 8 different exercises that were tested. (Confession: actually on one of the exercises, I showed no improvement, but I kind of blame that on the spacing in my small apartment…) I think that we were both pretty pleased to see the numbers jump up quite a bit in each category.
More than just seeing our reps go up for each exercise, however, was how we felt during and after the workout. I just said above, that sometimes it’s nice to see actual numbers go up than to just have a general feeling that you made it through the workout with a little more ease. Well, in this case, I think that we were both equally impressed with how we felt along with seeing our numbers rise. If you remember, in my first post on INSANITY, I told you that even though I considered myself to be in great shape, I was pretty gassed after the first fit test. Extremely gassed, to be honest. As I pointed out then, that’s a product of any kind of “max out” fitness test – if you are pushing yourself to the limit, then you will exhaust yourself regardless of how fit you are. But, let’s be honest, you can still feel a huge difference. I did work hard today. My reps went up, and I was sweating like usual (a lot!). But I was ready for more by the time we got to the end. I was surprised that it was over already. The slightly longer breaks between the exercises felt like an eternity (ok, slight exaggeration – but I felt that I was able to fully recover between each different exercise). We both said that it was an “easy day.” You didn’t hear either of us saying that after the initial fit test. In sum, our level of cardio has improved a lot just in the first couple of weeks.
A few other notes about INSANITY thus far:
- The morning workouts are still a bear. We don’t necessarily want to do them, but we always feel better when we do.
- Doing it with someone is great for accountability. I know that otherwise, there would have been a day or two where if we had just been on our own, we may have let a workout slide.
- It’s still hard. I told you how much better we both felt after the second fit test, but that doesn’t mean the workouts are easy. They are each extremely challenging!
- It’s nice not to have to worry about equipment. I have a pullup bar and one set of dumbbells in my apartment, but it’s kind of nice to be able to just go for it without stopping to switch equipment etc.
- The warm-ups are hardly warm-ups! I am sweating and ready to go by the end of the warm-up. It’s crazy.
- Cario recovery is awesome. It is perfect to have that one day of a little less intensity, though by the time you’re into it, you realize that you still end up working hard…holding those squats!
- It’s nice to have a day off a week. And I’m glad we made ours a Saturday (see posts below about the weddings and other events we’ve had going on).
- The length of the workouts is perfect. They are extemely intense, but manageable. The warm-up gets you moving hard by the end, then a few minutes of stretching, and then usually 15-20 minutes of intense work followed by a few minutes of cool down stretching. This is a length where you can go all-out and really push the entire time.
A few challenges/difficulties:
- I think that the stretching could be a bit more effective. It often ends up being almost completely centered on lunges (and variations lunges), which I think probably leaves out some stretches. He also sometimes misses a stretch or two to keep things “even” on both sides.
- Some of the exercises can be hard on your lower back. We were both pretty sore in our lower backs for the first couple of weeks, though I think that the past few days have gotten better. The nature of a lot of the exercises put a lot of stress on the lower back (especially if you begin to get tired and sacrifice good form – though even with great form, I think it’s rough on your back). We both have felt better recently, however, which means that our backs are getting stronger, and that our form is staying better throughout the rest of the workouts.
- I’m a little surprised at the lack of ab-work thus far. While you’re nearly always supposed to be “engaging your core,” exercises specific to the abs are few and far between. His one “cardio ab” workout is extremely challenging, though you only end up doing it once a week.
- I think we have found the eating to be most challenging thus far. This is a product of our weird summer work hours, not INSANITY. Basically, we are having a hard time eating enough, because we are hopping from one job to the next, and we sometimes aren’t both home together to eat dinner until 10pm.
Basically, as you can see, I am pretty happy with the program so far. The fit test today affirmed that we’re making a lot of progress – both in hard numbers of reps and how we feel throughout the workout. I’ll continue to keep you updated sporadically on our progress!
- How is your INSANITY journey going?
- What kinds of workouts do you like to do where you can set benchmarks to track your progress?
- What do you love about INSANITY or your workout? What could be better about INSANITY or your workout?
*A sidenote: One of the girls on a lot of the workout videos looks exactly like Em’s best friend, Abra. We’re happy that Abra joins us in my living room every day for a good, hard workout even though she lives a couple of states away!