I’m writing this post the next day. I did the second INSANITY workout yesterday evening, and woke up this morning feeling like somebody had spent the night beating me up with an iron skillet. My hamstrings seem to have shortened by two inches, my feet are sore, my lats are smoldering, and my shoulders feel tight. Cardio & Plyometrics is a tough, tough workout. And it looks like I’m a secret masochist, because I’m gunning for tonight’s workout. Somehow, for some bizarre reason, despite the pain and soreness and stiffness I’m loving the INSANITY workout.
Before I jump into the workout itself, I just want to comment on my diet and appetite. Before starting INSANITY I was cruising along with a minimum of exercise, coasting on a previous stint of resistance training that had lasted me several months during the summer. I’d lost some weight, my appetite was down, and my energy levels alternated between sluggish and plain normal. The day before the Fit Test I hit the grocery store and bought a bunch of the recommended food stuffs (can we say salmon, asparagus, broccoli, etc?) and on Monday I ate a metric ton. Tuesday, I ate even more. After the Cardio & Plyo workout I ate two salmon wraps (my own concoction, and incredibly delicious) and this morning inhaled a massive bowl of cottage cheese, fruit, crushed flaxseed and granola. My point is this: three days in, and my appetite has tripled, I’m feeling sore as all get-out, but deep down, I’m already feeling great.
SO. The actual workout. Cardio & Plyo starts off with the same warm up from the Fit Test. If you recall from my first post, the warm up is no joke. And any urge to giggle is immediately destroyed when you realize that Shaun T makes you do it 3 times in a row, each time increasing the speed and intensity. By the time I’d finished the warm up, I was already gasping and covered in sweat. Which made the stretch that followed it so incredibly delicious and welcome. While I had trouble holding the yoga poses (that’s basically what they are, a mix of triangle and warrior poses meant to open up the hips and extend the ham strings), I relished the break. Because I knew worse was coming.
And come it did. My memory of what I ended up doing for those next twenty minutes is a bit hazy. I know that it involved circuits of different movements, ranging from squats to mountain climbers to side shuffles and more, but they’ve blurred into a series of high knees, side jumps, gasping and sweating. I managed to hang in there, working my way solidly through the first half, but then Shaun switched things up and we started doing the football drills.
Football drills. I’ve never played American Football, but now I feel sorry for those guys. I could do little more than zombie shuffle my feet up and down when I was supposed to be on my toes, and when we hit the basketball drills I was reeling. Jumpshots for ten seconds, and then down to bust out four pushups, then sprint your feet eight times while in the pushup, then up for another jump, and then back down, then more, and more, and more until you just collapse, forehead against the ground, heaving and trying to get back up.
The worst, the best, is that you’ll do each set three times, each time increasing the intensity, until you can’t give any more. And then, on the last set, Shaun immediately transitions into some crazy and extreme exercise, and forces you to give more than you thought was ever possible. At the end of the basketball drills, when your shoulders and core are a blasted inferno, having done ski jump plank crunches until you want to die, he forces you to start hopping your feet up next to your hands, still holding the push up position, and then back out into plank. And then hop them back up. Then out. And up. And out. Over. And over. And this is when your arms water, your shoulders are jellied, you can’t breathe, you can’t think. In. And then out. In, and then out. For ever.
I wish I could say I managed to stick with it the whole way, but I couldn’t. I had several moments where I simply knelt there, head down, sweat dripping to the ground, my lungs heaving like bellows. I always tried to throw myself back in, but it’s evident, painfully, clearly, gloriously evident that I have a lot of room for growth. It was some consolation to a number of Shaun’s backup exercisers also take breaks, but man oh man. Rough!
When we finally settled down into the cool down stretches, I was floating. I don’t think I’ve ever been as drenched in sweat, reeling and euphoric at the same time. Because if I can stick with this for sixty days, if I can push through and hold on, then I know I am going to reap some incredible rewards.
And oh—let me finish with a quick word on Shaun T as a fitness coach. Amazing. He keeps up a dialogue the whole time, encouraging you, yelling at you, cajoling you, ordering you to dig deeper, to push through, telling you that he’s right there with you, to not give up, to try harder. And it’s amazing what a difference it makes. As the music gets more intense and your lungs are burning and your eyes are closed against the stinging sweat in your face and you’re on the verge of collapsing, hearing Shaun’s voice pushing you, pushing you just a little further makes an incredible difference. Tonight is the third workout.
Wish me luck.
If you want to read my first experience with the INSANITY workout, here’s the link to my Fit Test post.
Excellent summary! I did this workout for the second time today, and your description is spot-on!
Thanks! Check back in for future updates on my torture and huffing and puffing 😉
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I am owner of http://www.chatscoop and i felt that i was in great shape until i tried insanity. im on my second day and almost died during the workout there tough…
You know what Phil, I am so glad someone else is doing this with me every step of the way. This is what people need- accountability. I just finished day 2, and through the whole time I found myself yelling and screaming on the top of my lungs to keep myself hungry and motivated to stay on track with Shaun T and everybody else. You’re right, the music really helps a lot, and Shaun T is a great motivator. “secret masochist” EXCELLENT WORDING. I believe everyone needs to be a bit of a masochist in their own way to succeed, and this INSANITY program is definitely helping me with mental training as well
I’m glad you agree, James! I think everybody reaches a point where they have to look at themselves and ask, ‘Why am I doing this to myself?’ And you have to admit that part of you just likes the pain, the challenge, how hard the workout is. But man oh man, if you stick with it? The results are all the sweeter. Congrats on taking up the INSANITY challenge, and let us know how you do as you continue along the path!
I have to send my husband your blog! We are on day 7 tomorrow but going by the calendar (which we are) day4. It is just working that way due to the day we need to be our rest day. We have done Cardio Plyo Circuit several times..to get on track with the calendar and each time are amazed!! Today during Power we were both yelling at Shawn T during V push ups , around the worlds , and the squats and push ups at the end! Currently – we are both drained of energy, have to stop and catch our breath, wonder if we will see a day when things are easier..just like you said the warm ups are amazing, and my poor husband and his flexibility! !! We are currently in a town – in the mountains- with a much different atmosphere than we are used too so just overcoming that challenge has added some excitement (as in we can’t catch our breath) to our INSANITY workout! Its tough but I really hope we can tell a difference…soon! I am a personal trainer so understand about body fat loss vs lb loss;) With all of that….I find myself really looking forward to the workout every day! HA!!
Melissa–fantastic! It sounds like you guys are rocking the program, and it’s awesome that you have your husband to work out with. Nothing will keep you as motivated as having a partner to suffer with 😉
You guys seem completely on track, and I’m sure in a month or so you’ll be back telling me how awesome you feel and how total your body transformation has been. My one question–how are you guys doing on the sleep and nutrition front? I’m willing to bet you have that under wraps, but I just want to make sure!
We are getting 8 hours of sleep and our bodies are completely requiring it! 😉 Our nutrition is going good eating small meals 5 times a day but that is not a change, however we do want more! I think part of the drain on our bodies is due to the atmosphere….hopefully we will adjust soon! I so hope I write back soon on how awesome I feel!!!!
That was spot on. However it hurts so good!!!
I just finished day 2 as well. I have the same mix of intense pain/soreness and euphoria for this program so far! I work from home and burn little to no calories. I used to power walk for about 45 – 60 minutes 4 days a week, but that is just not cutting it anymore. So…hello INSANITY! It feels SO good to sweat buckets and buckets of sweat! I used to be a dancer when I was a teenager and spent 6 days a week in the studio, sweating like crazy. Nothing has made me work like that since, until I started these videos. Admittedly, I cannot do a lot of the push up combos at all! I end up doing them on my knees since I have spaghetti strings for arms. But hopefully I’ll build up to being able to do them full-on like the folks in the videos. Please tell me that if I just try my best and do these videos every day (and eat well), that I will be strong and lean like the people in the films!
Congrats on finishing day 2! I think day 2 is actually one of the hardest days of the entire workout, because you’re hit with the intensity of the program with no holds barred, and many people quit right there and then. But it sounds like you have a really healthy attitude going in, so that’s great! I can’t promise that you’ll be as amazing as the people in the films–they were in insanely good shape BEFORE doing the Insanity workout–but I can promise that if you do your best and follow the program, you’ll get startling, fantastic results, and will improve your health, energy levels, body composition and well being! You’re in for an incredible ride–just hold on, keep sweating, keeping working out, and watch your performance level improve like crazy!
Best of luck!
I completed the second workout last night and, let me tell you, your description was so precise and visual…I could not help laughing and also feel a bit masochistic as I look forward to tonight’s workout. I was an athlete in high school…now I am a 28-year old mother of two who is not overweight, but severely out of shape. I don’t doubt INSANITY will shape me into a healthier and more fit person than ever before. Thank you for this blog!!
Well I’m 24 and have two boys a 7 yr old and a 2 yr old and i am not overweight but i’m not sculpted or anything either. I wanted something to give my body that fit look and WOW I just did the first workout about an hour ago and it was harder than I thought it would be!! I put the second dvd in for a few minutes just to watch it to see what tomorrow has in store for me, and I”M SCARED!!! but i’m excited its hard just like they tell you before you order it , and from seeing how hard its gonna be, I dont doubt that in a couple months i’ll be sculpted and in shape.