Insanity workout instructor insists on taking breaks

One week down, eight to go in my Insanity workout challenge.

Well, it hasn’t been so bad. I say that now, when I’m not in the middle of one of my workouts, cursing Shaun T., the instructor on the DVDs.

Day one was fairly easy, although I didn’t think so at the time. I’m now comparing it to the other workouts I had to endure the rest of the week.

Day one was the fit test. I was given a list of eight exercises. I had to perform each exercise – one at a time – for one minute each, to see how many I could do in that time. After I completed each exercise, I recorded the number I did on the chart that came with my Insanity kit.

I will do this fit test every two weeks and record my progress. The goal is to do more than I did last time. I can’t wait to see how many more of each I can do next week to see how I’ve improved.

For the next five days, I did the following workouts: plyometric cardio circuit, cardio power and resistance, cardio recovery, pure cardio and plyometric cardio circuit a second time.

The workouts, to put it very simply, are a lot of running in place, quick steps and movements, jumping and push-ups. Most of the workouts are a series of four of five different exercises repeated three times. Each time a new circuit is started, Shaun tells us to go faster and do more than the last time.

One thing I really like about Shaun and his crew is that they aren’t all “machines.” Shaun may look like one, but he gets tired, too, and needs to take breaks. He encourages everyone to take breaks when needed and in between workout circuits, there are 30-second breaks to check your heart rate and get a drink of water.

It even says “go at your own pace” on the screen at times to help remind you to do what you can and not push yourself to injury.

Cardio recovery workout is more of a slower pace day to remain active and give yourself a workout but help your body recover a bit.

If this is the only workout you would do from this video series, you would feel like you are dying. But when it is thrown into the middle of the other crazy workouts, it’s a bit of a relief.

On Saturday, my rest day, I actually felt weird not working out. I like that feeling because I felt like I actually wanted to exercise.

Any other time I would exercise I would almost dread the idea, and even though last week was the craziest workout week I’ve ever had, it made me feel pretty awesome.

I didn’t only workout six times with my Insanity workouts, I also had a two-hour derby practice twice last week. So, realistically, I will be working out eight times a week.

With that being said – after my eight workouts last week – it was a little discouraging when I realized that I have had absolutely no physical change after week one of Insanity. I guess I was expecting to lose 20 pounds and magically be transformed into Wonder Woman after six days of workouts. But, alas, I’m still me.

However, I did the plyometric cardio circuit twice last week. Once on day two and again on day six, and I did see a definite improvement from what I could do before compared to the second time. I feel stronger in general and I’m starting to push myself a little harder during the workouts.

Another thing that may be playing a part in my body’s stubbornness could be the fact that I’m not eating the way it is suggested to eat. I am supposed to eat five meals a day and, according to my personal calorie intake, each meal should be around 400 calories each.

Also, I was drinking diet soda and failed to read absolutely everything in my kit before I started the challenge because it says that drinking diet soda, coffee with cream and sugar or any drinks with artificial sweetener in them, even alcohol, can keep you from losing weight. So, I’m sticking with water as best as I can.

I also will need to hit the grocery store and make sure to have some meals ready for me to go every day. I will need to get some things that I will be able to take to work so I can be sure to remember to eat regularly.

Ask any of my co-workers – I have a huge problem with eating while I’m at work. Many days I will go without lunch. So, this is a challenge in itself to get me to eat five times a day as opposed to two or three.

Short-term goals for week two are to push myself a little harder during each workout, drink more water and eat more regularly.

Hopefully, I will see some physical results soon!

Reppert is the Lifestyles editor.