With the new fitness craze sweeping the nation, I was excited when the Insanity workout came to my gym. I tried it for the very first time yesterday. So what is the Insanity workout all about? Created by Shaun.T., in a nutshell, it is high intensity interval training where you perform long bursts of maximum intensity exercises (2 to 3 minutes) with short periods of rest (30 seconds), as you alternate between cardio and strength training movements.
I have to admit, going into the workout I was nervous. I asked a lady in the line waiting to enter the studio, “is this class very hard?” The lady looked at me through wide eyes (of terror?) and said, “oh yeah. It you want a challenge, this is the class.” Gulp. Okay, the line is moving. Can’t back out now. Insanity it is my friends.
How can I sum it up? It was difficult. The class was a full hour and was very intense throughout. We immediately started with knee-high running. I was sweating buckets under 10 minutes in. This is not the class for you if you like keeping the treadmill setting at a comfortable 3.5 and walking leisurely or going in the cycle studio, but never increasing your intensity on the dial. You will be pushed and your physical limits will be challenged without a doubt. I think this program is called Insanity for a reason. The drills are nothing short of crazy, insane, peeps! Superman’s, burpees, push-ups, planks, jump squats, tricep dips and football runs are a few of drills we did, with very little rest. I was proud of myself in the end. A special thanks to the 20-somethings in tanks and body-hugging Lycra with the bouncy pony-tails and buns of steel in the front row. You really motivated this 40-something behind you who was trying to keep up with you. (and did a pretty good job I might add.) I also know my stamina has increased and so has my strength. A year ago today, I would have lasted maybe the first 25 minutes of this class. Working hard and pushing yourself is the biggest reward.
My tips for the Insanity workout:
- Bring water. Don’t forget to bring your full, refreshing water bottle. You will need to replenish liquids throughout the class as you are burning a lot of calories.
- Bring a towel. I forgot to bring one and had to keep running out the studio to grab paper towels to wipe away the dripping sweat from my face and neck.
- Challenge yourself. The program is difficult. Go in with a positive attitude and be prepared to work. (or “bring it” as the instructor said.)
- You should be at least at the high intermediate to advanced fitness level to attempt this class. Do not attempt if you are new to fitness.
- Have fun and feel energized. It’s fun!
Oh and one last tip. The day after Insanity, take a rest day from the gym. Your body may be sore. This is a full body workout and you will need to rest and recover.
I do not advise starting any fitness program without first consulting your doctor or certified fitness professional. Insanity is not for beginners or those with health limitations. Safety must always be considered first and foremost when beginning any fitness program.
further resources: http://www.bodyexcellencecoach.com