Saturday, July 17, 2010

Insanity Review

I've said so much about the Beachbody Insanity program over the last three months and now that I've officially completed my first round, I find it the appropriate time to give my formal review.

INSANITY is NOT for the faint of heart or for those who don't want to sweat.  This program is high intensity total body conditioning and will challenge anyone, regardless of fitness level. 
This is what I LOVED about Insanity!  I started the program with a pretty solid cardio base.  I'm very active and was running regularly before I started.   I love a challenge and I LOVE to sweat.  Even the warm up and cardio recovery days were hard in my opinion.

The workouts focus on interval training or bursts of high intensity following by a short recovery. 
Interval training is tough physically and will be a challenge to anyone mentally, but I LOVE it because you work really hard for about three to four minutes (Max intensity) and then you let your heart rate come down for a short 30-second recovery.  I always knew that if I could make it to the end of the interval, I could get a little break and get back into it.  Allowing my body to go beyond that comfort threshold, made me become extremely efficient in burning carbohydrates and fat and I was able to quickly improve my fitness level and lose weight.

There are no regular home fitness DVDs like Insanity.  It's a series of multiple DVDs broken into two months.  Workouts are six days a week ranging from 40 minutes in the first month to approximately 60 minutes during the second month.  Each calendar week follows a different sequence in an easy to follow schedule, so you never are doing the same thing week after week.
I'm a stickler for following a schedule when I workout.  It makes it easy to get out of bed knowing what workout I'll be doing.  With a variety of workouts, I never got used to doing any of them.  It was always different.  I definitely preferred some of the workouts (max interval circuit)!  I dreaded others (plyometrics)! The second month is preceded by a week of core cardio and balance.  It was a welcome transition before the INSANE month two started.

The only equipment required is yourself AND a good pair of shoes.
I haven't been to the gym or lifted a single weight in over three months.  I have developed more lean muscle mass (body fat went from 21.5% to 19%) due to the cardio that incorporates a lot of plyometric exercises ...aka jumping and some crazy push ups.  I would suggest using a good pair of cross-trainer shoes due to the intense jumping.  My arches were feeling it the first month because I was wearing my running shoes.

Fit tests are done every two weeks to chart your progress.
The fit test is a 20-minute DVD that include eight (8) one-minute drills ranging from power jumps (hated these) to push-up jacks (the crazy push ups that get your arms CUT).  I'm not sure if I was really competitive or if my cardio strength really developed, but I increased my numbers each fit test, even on the ones I really dreaded.

Insanity comes with an Elite Nutrition Guide with easy to follow recipes, formulas to determine your daily caloric intake and great, healthy snack suggestions.
I truly believe following the nutrition guidelines is what made all the difference in my body transformation.  I started out at 130 lbs and ended day 63 at 121 lbs.  I ate five times daily, eating a good combination of carbs, protein and fats.  I kept my meals small and focused on food quality.  I was never hungry and always satisfied.  I even developed my own morning juice smoothie, aptly named Rhonda's Original Green Recipe.  I kept a daily journal of everything I ate to hold myself accountable.  I lost 2" off my waist and thighs!  That's HUGE for me!! 

Shaun T will motivate you and push you to work harder than you ever imagined.
Shaun T is CRAAAZY (in a good way) and he is so motivating.  I think the best part of the very raw at times DVDs, is that it's real.  Shaun has to take breaks, the people in the videos, albeit very fit people, are constantly taking stopping (and wincing).  It's like he is right in your living room and he will get in your face.  He says some funny one-liners that will keep you laughing in the midst of wanting to curl up on the floor and die.  I simply cannot wait to meet and workout with him one day! 

My Recommendation:
What are you waiting for?  If you are serious about making a REAL change in your life, I HIGHLY recommend buying a ticket on the Insanity train.  With a lot of hard work, a strong will and determination, you will be forever grateful you did!

Click here to see my before and after pics.
Month One sample workout
Month 2 Max sample workouts

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