Sunday, January 25, 2015

Here it comes...Insanity!

Tomorrow I'm embarking on the 63 day program known as the Insanity workout.  I'm a little scared, but mostly excited to try something new - and to share the experience here.

Let's start with some basics:

What Is Insanity?
  • Have you ever head of HIIT (high intensity interval training)?  Basically, you warm up to a moderate pace and then throw short blocks of hard/intense work before shifting back to a lower gear to grab a drink/catch your breathe/slow your heart rate - and you repeat this pattern throughout the duration of your workout.  Insanity flips this formula on its head with something they call Max Interval Training. You come out of the gate hard and push yourself to the max for 3-5 minutes, take a quick (30 seconds or so) break to get a drink/wipe the sweat of your face/curse yourself for deciding this was a good idea, and then it's back in for another 3-5 minute block of intense exercise - for 63 days.   The fine folks at Beachbody, the company behind Insanity, claim that you can get a year's worth of results in 60 days.  I don't know that I necessarily believe that, but I do know that traditional interval training does deliver much faster results that just slogging along at one pace through an entire workout.

What's In The Box?

  • 10 DVDs
  • Nutrition Guide
  • Wall Calendar
  • Fit Test Tracker
The DVD's are divided into 3 phases:

Month 1: 
  • Plyometric Cardio Circuit
  • Cardio Power & Resistance
  • Cardio Recovery
  • Pure Cardio
Recovery Week:
  • Core Cardio & Balance
Month 2:
  • Max Interval Circuit
  • Max Interval Plyo
  • Max Cardio Conditioning & Cardio Abs
  • Max Recovery
There's also a Fit Test DVD that is used 5 times during the program (Days 1, 15, 36, 50, 63).

The Nutrition Guide is pretty good.  Unlike a lot of so-called nutrition guides that come with workout  programs, this one actually has the user go through a relatively complex formula to determine how many calories the body needs to function (known as basal metabolic weight or BMR) + how many calories you burn going about your daily activities (a desk jockey like me will burn fewer calories than a someone doing physical labor like construction).  From there you also factor in your gender and age.  After that, you add or subtract calories based on your goal - lose weight, maintain weight, or gain weight.

Once you determine your calorie level, you use the Nutrition Guide to build a menu of 5 meals a day. Each meal starts off with a base calorie level around 300 calories and there are suggestions of how to increase the calories to 400 or 500 based on your needs.  I like this feature a lot since it means that Mr. R&R and I can eat roughly the same meals, but I won't be over-eating and he won't be starving!  Oh yeah, did I mention that he's doing this too?  I guess we're both insane!

Finally there's the Wall Calendar (self-explanatory) and the Fit Test Tracker - a fancy-sounding description for a card that looks like this:

Why Am I Doing This?
If you've been hanging around here for any length of time, you know I love a challenge and I enjoy finding new ways to make myself sweat. I'm pretty sure that Insanity is going to give me a run for my money - in fact, I'm pretty sure it's going to kick my ass around the block and then wipe the floor with me.  I'm also hoping that Insanity will help me build a really good cardio/endurance base for my 2015 training/racing season - which just happens to start the week after Insanity ends.  Oh, and then there's the little matter of an upcoming beach vacation.  I'll be wearing a swimsuit... in April.  I can deal with being pasty white (which is pretty much par for the course in my life), but I'd really rather not display my current layer of winter insulation, so it's time to lose it. What? Vanity can be a damned good motivator sometimes.

This afternoon, Mr. R&R and I both calculated our calories (and did our starting weights, measurements, and photos), menu-planned, hit the grocery store, and then got to work doing food prep for Day 1.  All I can say at this point is that our refrigerator is near-bursting, I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to manage to eat all the food this program calls for, and I'm really not looking forward to doing all the dishes that will be resulting from this adventure!

Questions? Comments? Offers to do my dishes?


April said...

I'll lend you moral support and question your sanity...but no, I won't do your dishes. I hate doing my own, and there's just one of me!

Mary said...

I'll take it!