Hi everyone! Here’s the next instalment of my Insanity diary… if you haven’t caught up on my foray into the world of cardio so far, you can read the first post here.
DAY FOUR: CARDIO RECOVERY
When I saw the word “recovery”, I felt happy. I felt hopeful. About two and a half minutes into the video, my hope had been viciously smashed into pieces. This workout, for me, is the worst of all of them so far!
Cardio Recovery is a bit of a break from all of the out-of-breath, sweaty craziness, focusing instead on stretches and slow strengthening moves. It’s similar to yoga or pilates, just you know, Insanity style. Oh my goodness… the BURN. I felt like I was dealing very well with the super-slow squats, until the last one, when you have to stay down… and hold… and hold… and hold… then PULSE… and then hold some more! This is followed by the same thing in a lunge, back to squats, and then a lunge on the other leg. This was the stand-out low point for me, but it is amongst a whole host of other torturous exercises.
This workout comes about in the middle of every single week, and it’s obviously important to give your body that ‘active rest’, i.e. taking a break from cardio whilst still working the muscles for maximum results (a proper rest day where you have a complete day off comes at the end of the week). However, this is definitely my least favourite.
DAY FIVE: PURE CARDIO
I was so not prepared for this… think ‘plyometric cardio circuit’ but WITHOUT THE REST BREAKS. That’s right, apart from a water break after the warm-up and after the stretches, you go full-out for the entire length of this video! It struck me as highly ominous when Shaun T admitted he was “nervous” about the workout that was to come. I felt this could not be a good sign. Yes, it is as hard as it sounds… however, because there’s no breaks, it actually goes by pretty quickly. You don’t keep repeating the same exercises the way you do in the circuit training videos, so it doesn’t get boring and you can give your all to an exercise without that dread of having to come back to it again in a couple of minutes. I had to keep stopping for short periods to recover a little, but I was surprised at how much I managed to push through. At the end of this video, you’ll definitely feel accomplished. Don’t worry if you end up looking and feeling half-dead (see pictures below for real-life examples), because even the class of annoyingly fit, enthusiastic helpers on the video were all on the floor by the end of this!
However, there was one additional snag… as I was doing my cool-down there was a bang on the door (unusual as we live in a secure building so someone has to ring our buzzer from outside to get access to our door) and it was the downstairs neighbours coming to complain about the noise! Yes, this video involves a lot of non-stop running and jumping, so keep that in mind. I am pretty annoyed at downstairs for coming to complain, though, because I was actually doing this video at around 3pm on a Saturday afternoon… hardly an unsocial time. We have genuinely skipped days in the past if we haven’t been able to do the workouts in the day time, so that we can cause as little disturbance as possible. My boyfriend spoke to the neighbour at the door, and I later dropped him a note explaining that on a Saturday, I can only work out at that time as I am at ballet all morning and work all evening/ night. I do understand that the noise must be super annoying but the workouts are only about half an hour long, so I think that coming and banging the door down was a bit excessive!
In light of this awkwardness, we decided to make Sunday, which was supposed to be Plyometric Cardio Circuit, a rest day, as I work all day and would only be able to work out in the early morning or evening- pretty unsocial on a Sunday. So yesterday I “rested” (I still had to walk 45 minutes to work, stand up all day, then walk 45 minutes home but it was still a better recovery than “cardio recovery”!). Today I will continue with Day 7 as the Plyometric Cardio Circuit that I missed yesterday, and then carry on the workouts from there.
At the end of my first week (pretty much, I’m one workout short because of starting on a Tuesday but as I’ve had my rest day I’ll consider it week one) I am feeling fitter and better able to cope with the demanding workouts already. The warm-up is the same or similar in most of the videos, and I’m coping with it better than at the start. I am, however, a bit disappointed that I haven’t lost any weight at all yet. Although, because of all the strength work, I wonder if I might be losing fat and gaining lean muscle (muscle is heavier than fat so it is possible and quite usual to be getting slimmer whilst remaining the same weight or even gaining it!). I’m not sure if I look slimmer, but when I was doing my hair this morning I did a double-take because I noticed an arm muscle that definitely wasn’t there before, so I guess that’s progress.
Stay tuned for Week 2 updates! Comment with your own workout experiences, especially if you’re doing or have done Insanity before, because I’d love to compare suffering. For daily updates of me crying over having to do cardio, follow me on Twitter and Instagram!
Until next time,