Monday, March 7, 2011

The Beachbody® Chronicles:
Doing an Insanity® workout on Shaun T's terms

I tried to beat the horror of an Insanity® workout warm-up recently by skipping it entirely.
   That’s right: The warm-up for all Insanity workouts is absolutely horrifying.
   Jogging, power jacks, butt kicks, high knees, log jumps – these are thrown in your face the minute you start the workout routine.
   While you will definitely be warmed up when it’s finished, it’s nearly as difficult as the cardio workout that follows – when you actually get to it, that is.
   There's an annoying seven-minute stretch plopped in right between the 11-minute warm-up and the central cardio workout. In the Month 1 DVDs, the cardio workout ranges between 15 to 20 minutes.
   Don’t get me wrong. I love a good warm-up, and a bit of a stretch thrown in with it. In fact, a good warm-up is essential for me to perform well during a workout.
   I just don’t like such a long period of time between a warm-up and the workout, especially since the warm-up itself is so challenging. It’s deflating mentally and physically for me.
   So recently I took a different tack – I started with a 15-minute HIIT workout from TurboFire, then put in Insanity’s Plyometric Cardio Circuit (both workout programs are produced by Beachbody.)
   Since I was raring to go from doing a high-intensity interval training workout with TurboFire, I went right to the core 17-minute cardio workout of the Plyometric Cardio Circuit, leaving that annoying warm-up and stretch behind.
   It felt good and I was able to do it, later on I started to think about what I had done.
   I like to do a workout the way it’s designed. A trainer usually has your best interests in mind when he or she prepares a routine. Many trainers have been educated in the science behind what they are presenting and have developed what they believe to be the most efficient way to exercise.
   Although it truly escapes me why the stretch between warm-up and cardio needs to be so long, I wanted to do the workout the way Shaun T, who created the insanity program, designed it.
   So last week, when doing the Cardio Power & Resistance workout for the first time, I went for the whole 40-minute routine again: Eleven minutes of warm-up, nearly seven minutes of stretching, and about 18 minutes of cardio. I did my own stretch routine at the end.
   Cardio Power & Resistance, like other Insanity workouts, has two circuits in the central cardio segment. Both circuits are repeated twice, and you are encouraged to increase your speed in the second circuit if you can do so without compromising form.
   The first circuit in Cardio Power & Resistance is comprised of power jumps (jumping high with knees bent), belt kicks (squatting then kicking with one leg at a time), V push-ups (body is in a V position facing the floor) and tricep dips.
   The second circuit is comprised of hurdle jumps, globe jumps (jumping right, front, left and back and touching the hands to the ground each time), moving push-ups (I did regular push-ups instead), and floor sprints.
   When I was finished, I was glad that I had completed another difficult Insanity workout, and that I had done it on Shaun T’s terms.

Stay tuned to Fantastic Fitness DVDs for The Beachbody® Chronicles - a series of articles about the adventures my husband and I have using ChaLEAN Extreme®, TurboFire®, P90X® and Insanity®.
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