It's a new week and time for a new challenge, right? Although I enjoy running and group fitness classes at my health club, I am no stranger to workout DVDs. Cindy Crawford's Shape Your Body, Jane Fonda's Step & Stretch Aerobics, and Buns of Steel are just a few favorites from the past. Several of my friends have recently been raving about Insanity (and how insanely challenging the exercises are), so I decided to borrow their CDs and give it a try. If you've ever had a few sleepless nights, you've seen the infomercials for Shaun T and his Insanity workout program.
I completed the 45-minute Plyometric Cardio Circuit last night and, at times, felt like I was about to barf. That, however, was most likely due to the fact that I ate a substantial dinner shortly before popping in the Insanity CD. So, I recommend not eating much more than a very light snack, if anything, before the workout. You can pig out afterward because you will definitely have earned it.
Overall, the workout was insane. But, in a good way. The exercises felt like basic sports drills, only the reps kept going....and going....and going. I was dripping with sweat after about 3 minutes into it. The whole concept behind Insanity is to have long periods of intense intervals followed by short recovery periods. Coming from dance classes with almost the opposite philosophy, my body was in a bit of shock. There were definitely moments where I was either shouting obscenities at the television or had to stop and give my muscles a brief rest. Although disappointed I couldn't stick it out for every move, I was less disheartened after seeing people on the video take breaks as well.
Shaun T achieves a good balance between challenging you to "dig deeper" and reminding you to keep good form and take rests if you absolutely need them. He performs most of the exercises during the workout, taking brief moments to motivate class members to move faster, jump higher, or get those knees up in the air (yes, there are a lot of high knees). Since there is a class member in the video named Rachel, I did feel he was personally calling me out in my living room a few times. That was weird, but motivating. Also strange was the fact that I ended up performing these exercises in front of a small audience, as various family members kept popping in to check on my progress. My son was fascinated by the various football drills, and at one point asked me if I was getting ready to play pee wee football with him. My husband (while drinking a beer and munching on a Hostess Frosted Devils Food Donette no less) had the nerve to point out that everyone on the video was jumping up and down doing their mountain climbers, while I was stepping. I can't wait to pull up a chair and crack open a bag of Ruffles when he tries this later in the week :)
Is Insanity an insane workout? Maybe. It's too early to tell. But now that the burning in my thighs has subsided, I think I'm ready to give it another go tomorrow.