I was channel-surfing early one morning when images of sculpted bodies working out together caught my attention.
It wasn’t the first time I had seen this Insanity infomercial, but it was the first time I wondered if the person on the screen could be me.
Could this DVD transform my 50-year-old body? I wanted to test the testimonials, and convinced my (eager) 17-year-old daughter Samantha to try it with me.
With the order placed, my first order of business was scheduling a photo shoot to establish my “before” image. This was not pleasant. I look good in clothes. I do not look good in Spandex shorts and a sports bra.
So I don’t know what was more difficult, my “before” photo shoot or the first few days of Insanity workouts.
One advantage of doing Insanity workouts from home is that Samantha is the only person who can see me or hear me struggle. And her struggles look and sound a lot like mine.
The first four weeks are spent alternating four DVD workouts: Plyometric Cardio Circuit, Pure Cardio, Cardio Power and Resistance and Cardio Recovery.
By the time we finished the first stage and got to “recovery” week, I could see progress. Not a huge amount of weight loss, like the participants on the DVDs, but progress. I can do more, my stamina has increased and I don’t dread the workouts anymore.
Recovery week was not as easy as I anticipated. The DVD is titled Core Cardio and Balance. The workouts are a grueling 45 minutes, every day.
Shaun T. has ingeniously come up with new ways to torture my body. One minute of high jumps, jumping straight up. Long intense squats combined with stretching. Shoulder burnouts for three minutes. Hip-flexor burnouts and more.
What I discovered, doing virtually the same thing every day for a week, is that my mind and body adapted. I could anticipate the moves, which meant I could push, do more, try harder.
The last stage of Insanity is all about Max: Max Interval Circuit, Max Cardio Conditioning, Max Interval Plyometrics and Max Recovery. The Max DVDs are longer, the warm-up is longer, the reps are longer, the sets are longer.
The Max stage lasted three weeks, followed by the final Fit Test to measure my progress. At the end of two months, I had improved on every test. I can do 30 push-up jacks in one minute; at the start I could barely complete 13. I doubled the number of reps for two of the most difficult moves.
Samantha increased all of her beginning numbers too, doubling her Globe Jumps and low plank obliques.
Insanity is not a weight- loss method, but it does require you to monitor your food intake and prohibits sugar and processed foods. I started at 175 pounds and finished at 166.5. Samantha weighed 163 pounds at the start and is now at 155.
The program is, however, about reshaping your body. These workouts took off 2 inches from my thighs, hips and bust. My waist is down 1 1/2 inches.
My daughter’s results are similar. She took 2 inches off her waist and hips and 1 1/2 inches from her thighs.
The Insanity program is not for the sedentary. Samantha and I both exercised regularly before starting. Samantha plays water polo and swims for Lamar High School. I had been swimming 2,000-3,000 yards a few times a week and regularly doing a spin class.
Insanity also is not for wimps. It’s hard and it takes a big commitment to stick with it the full 60 days.
I kept a daily journal of my Insanity trek. When I read through it now I laugh . About half way through, I devoted an entire entry to the noises I made while doing the workouts. Whimpering, whining, grunts, ughs, wheezing.
There were times in the beginning when I thought I would cry, I felt so sorry for myself. The journal helped me see how much I had grown emotionally. I became tough enough to power through the difficult parts.
In the end, doing the Insanity program was a rewarding experience. I’m proud that I finished it with some success: I see more muscle definition in my legs, my shoulders and triceps are sculpted and my back has better definition.
I wanted Insanity to transform my body. I don’t think I got that, but I did get muscles, strength, endurance, balance and some respect from my daughter.
I gained confidence from deep down inside of me. I did this. I got up five or six times a week at 5 a.m., and I did the work even when I wanted to quit.
And it was worth it.
Source – Chron.com
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