Well, its official, I am done the first 4 weeks of Insanity and I am now in recovery week. I missed a few workouts here and there (at most only 1 a week) but that is sufficient enough to say I completed it! So here is what I thought of the first month (And recovery week).
1. The Cardio is Awesome
I ran a 7K after 2 weeks of the program and I felt amazing. I definitely think it had something to do with doing Insanity. It was only 2 weeks in so maybe I didn’t improve my VO2 Max or anything but I think it was more that I was used to working out at a higher intensity so I was able to push myself and maintain a higher intensity longer for that race. HUGE bonus for my running!
2. Strength is the Same
While I still feel that the videos require a ton of strength, not only cardio, I don’t feel that I’ve really improved much in that area. Yes, I know the program is not designed for that so I wasn’t expecting to have guns after the month but I did think that the moves would get easier. While I might be able to squeak out 1 or 2 more push ups, I really didn’t see much gain in that area.
3. Boredom Could Set In
While I didn’t find the workouts to get that boring for me, I could see where someone else could. You repeat the same 4 DVDs for the first month in various orders. While I actually liked knowing what was to come for my workout that day, others might find it mind numbing. Oh and a lot of the moves are the same (the warm up for each DVD is almost exactly the same). I like knowing so it was ok with me!
4. I Heart Recovery Week
I don’t love it because its recovery week, I actually love the workout! I’ve only done it twice and its kicking my butt! It really is pushing my muscles to a different area (and all the hip flexor moves are really going to help my running!). While I love all the jumping around, intense cardio of Month 1, I really really love the slow controlled movements in Recovery Week. I like to make my muscles burn! Don’t let it fool you though, my heart rate still gets pumping and I burn about 250 calories in that half hour.
1. Increase in cardio and running performance.
2. Increased energy and desire to work out.
3. Increase in ability to workout with proper form.
Obviously, I am seeing some gains in my cardio (or VO2 max I guess you could say) which was expected. I’m also finding that I look forward to my workouts. I still dread them a bit but I get jittery and antsy when I haven’t done it yet (usually do it first thing in the morning but sometimes the schedules makes me put it off until night). And even when I don’t feel like doing the workout, I always manage to make it through without dragging my feet or actually have some energy by the end.
Also, I don’t know if its just because I’m getting used to the videos, but I find that I can do more of the moves with better or proper form. I am a big fan of proper form so that was never really an issue except when I started to fatigue. Now I find that even when I start to fatigue, I can still crank out a few more reps without sacrificing form.
While I can report those three possible improvements from doing Insanity, I have not lost a single inch. Now before you turn into the food police, I have been eating better in the last month and a half than I had been in the previous months (after I gained, but while maintaining). I have been tracking my calories more often than not and tend to hover between 1800 and 2000 calories eaten. That gives me a slightly negative calorie differential (i.e. I should lose some fat?), but is not so low that I am starving my body
I just don’t think my body wants to respond to any more cardio. It is used to running miles on end. It responds much better to weight lifting and I think this is just a personal result and should not be a reflection on the Insanity program. Which brings me to my next thought…
Should I continue with Month 2 of Insanity?
While I want to complete the entire program, marathon training is becoming more and more daunting and some of the training programs run into the last month of Insanity. I really want to finish though!!! But I also want to be ready for this marathon, injury free. And it doesn’t help that I’m not seeing results. I want to do some strength training but I won’t mess with “the program”. As for now, I’m continuing with Insanity (I’m in Recovery Week still, my favorite workouts remember?) but this is just a thought I had… yesterday. See, I haven’t mulled it over yet. If only those inches would move!
Edit: Rob has told me I am not allowed to stop doing Insanity half way through so it looks like I’ll be finishing it out! I’ll be fine for all the running since I’m in decent shape already!