“One More Set of This Craziness, Ya’ll. Let’s Push” (Day 27: Plyometric Cardio Circuit)

plyometric cardio circuitMonth 1’s last workout is the same as the first regular workout of the month, the Plyometric Cardio Circuit. This time, when Shaun T said “One more set of this craziness, ya’ll. Let’s push” it would be the last set for this round of Insanity. Unfortunately, while I had hoped this would be a day to push and see how far I improved, I think I did worse than the first day. I had a headache and didn’t feel well before I started and every move made it worse.

I felt so lethargic throughout the workout, as if I were being held back by a tether. The push ups I had been doing normally I was down on my knees for and couldn’t even make myself do the floor sprints. I just stayed down and did modified push ups. I’m normally okay with the ski abs and in and out abs, but I was so slow I only got in about a half-dozen each set. This might be the one day where I really should have given it a rest and skipped but I’m glad I didn’t. I had to adjust to do less than I usually would, but at least I did it. Unlike last year, I completed Month 1 without skipping a single workout.


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“If You Wait for Perfect Conditions, You’ll Never Get Anything Done” (Day 24: Plyometric Cardio Circuit)

plyometric cardio circuitOn Day 24 last year I had gone to Georgia to see my boyfriend (who is now my husband) and forgot to pack my athletic shoes. I decided since it was the Plyometric Cardio Circuit and not, say, Pure Cardio, it might be okay to try barefoot. I used to do karate barefoot. Why not this?

As you can guess, that was a mistake. While I still worked up a sweat and in ways it was worth not skipping the day, things like the ski down were not feeling that great on the ankles and I overall didn’t feel like I was doing as much as I could have.

I don’t have much to say about Day 24 this year except that I wasn’t feeling that great beforehand, but I made myself push through. I started feeling a little better after the stretches and by the end I was glad I hadn’t skipped.

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“I’m Checking the Clock for You!” (Day 20: Plyometric Cardio Circuit)

English: an exercise of thigh

I did not eat enough food during the day and it made the workout a bit harder. I am doing well with writing down what I eat but have slacked on copying some of the calories and I know just from the amount of food even if I had the calories added up they would not be enough. So, my goal by the end of the Week 4 is to get some kind of system down where I can keep better track (paper obviously isn’t cutting it) and have foods available that are healthy yet enough calories to give me a boost.

Anyhow, during the power squats Shaun T said “I’m checking the clock for you!” I was glad for it, because it helped to be able to just focus and know how long I had to push without looking at the clock. I also still got enjoyment out of being able to keep up with the Level 1 drills. It’s nice to be able to feel the improvement. I was so tired at the end of the workout, especially due to starting with less energy but I pushed through. I appreciated the camera angles this time at the end because Shaun T places his hand such that you can pretend you’re hitting it and they show Chris’s hands moving in line with the screen for the attack so you can match the movements. Once again, it kept my mind off what I had left to get through so I could just get through it.

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“I’m Smiling Because I Love It” (Day 16: Plyometric Cardio Circuit)

plyometric cardio circuitWhile I generally like the Plyometric Cardio Circuit, I was not all that excited to do it on Day 16 and couldn’t really agree with Shaun T saying “I’m smiling because I love it.” However, I decided to do it anyway. I started to get tired even during the first circuit of the regular workout, but I kept going.

I’m glad I did. As you may be aware, I’m not great at push ups so the Level 1 and Level 2 Drills are a bit of a challenge. I have been having to pause the DVD to get the push ups in and then restart it, and sometimes even do the push ups modified. Well, this time I did the regular push ups, pausing for the first and second run through. During the last one, I left it play and finally managed to keep up with Shaun T’s speed.

My hair was falling out of my ponytail the whole time and sticking to my face but I didn’t want to stop to fix it. Having succeeded at the Level 1 Drills seemed to make the rest of the circuit go faster and I actually didn’t even realize I was about to be done until we stopped. If I hadn’t done my workout I would have missed my little milestone, so I’m glad I stuck with it.

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“You Gotta Push Through” (Day 10: Plyometric Cardio Circuit)

I've had a migraine/headache for 6 days straig...

Headaches make everything harder.

Usually I eat, wait about an hour, and then do my workout. Then, I eat within the hour afterward. On Day 9, I worked out a couple hours after eating and didn’t eat again until a couple hours after the workout. I started getting a headache before I ate. I felt a little better after eating but the headache remained, and got worse, turning into a migraine.

The next day, I still had it. Usually I work out in the afternoon, but I wanted the headache to go away first. I waited until after 9pm. While it had decreased in intensity, it was still there. The scheduled workout for Day 10 was the Plyometric Cardio Circuit. The following day would be Cardio Recovery. I seriously considered switching workouts, but I didn’t want to mess with the flow of things. So, I decided to just do the workout and take it slower if I needed to.

In the beginning, Shaun T said, “It’s gonna be tough. It’s gonna be super super insane. And I’m smiling because I love it.” Normally, that would be a motivating statement, and normally I do enjoy this workout, but on this day it made me wonder if I had made the right choice in not switching. The warmup was hard to get through and I had to get water more times than usual.

Because it was night, I used a yoga mat to reduce the noise of my feet on the floor. This made some moves more difficult, and I skipped the switch feet exercise because I could not do it on the mat. While I usually do at least some normal push ups during the Level 1 drills, this time I did them all modified. During the second and third run through I just did continuous modified push ups until I couldn’t do any more.

The mat makes ski abs and in and out abs a little harder but it didn’t hinder me much last time. This time I was only able to do about every other one. I hadn’t realized the headache would take so much out of my workout. But some work is better than no work, and the exercises I got in were better than if I skipped so I’m glad I did it. And I still managed to work up a sweat.

Coincidentally at this time last year I had noted in my journal that Shaun T said “You gotta push through” during the workout, and that it was what I had to do. I had been sore all day, had a 13 hour day at work, and had considered skipping. I didn’t, but I didn’t do as well as usual during it either. But because my arms were heavy and I’d worked up a sweat I knew some work had gotten done and it was worth it to do it.

While there are many things that have been different this year and this time through, it’s interesting to look back and see how some things are the same. But I know one thing that will be different this time is that I won’t stop after the first month. I gotta push through.

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“Insanity All the Way!” (Day 6: Plyometric Cardio Circuit)

The sixth day was a repeat of the Plyometric Cardio Circuit from day two, so I won’t detail the whole workout. During one of the high knees exercises in the warm up, Shaun T said “Insanity all the way!” and it definitely was.

While I almost always worked out at night my first time attempting Insanity, this time I have been working out during the day. But we had things to do during the day and went over to a friends that evening, so this was the first time for this attempt that I exercised at night. Because we have parquet floors that echo when I run or jump and I didn’t want to disturb anyone, I used a yoga mat throughout the workout. It made it a little harder to do some of the moves, but it was much quieter.

During one of the butt kick warmup sessions, Shaun T said if you get tired  to take a long deep breath and let it out. I do find that to be helpful while exercising, and often it’s only concentrating on breathing that gets me through some of the harder stretches to hold. My left side started hurting during the warmup, but it subsided during the stretching.

Impact of water in a water-surface

Water never looks so good as during Insanity.

Throughout the workout, nearly every time I stopped to catch my breath or grab water was right about the time Shaun T would say some version of “Keep going!” the first of which was where he said “Eight seconds. I’m checking the clock for you!”

For the Level 1 drills (4 push ups, floor sprints, jump up, and back down), I once again hit pause as the push ups started so I could do them all. I did regular push ups for the first time through the circuit. Then I did them modified for the rest.

During the in and out abs, Shaun T asked Chris, who runs marathons, how Insanity compares. He says “Oh…my…god” as he keeps pushing through the exercise. I concur. I have never been much of a fan of running although I ran cross country and track in junior high. I don’t remember running 6 to 8 miles a day ever feeling like as much work as doing 30 minutes of Insanity.

But it’s definitely satisfying when you finish a day. When I finished, my face was so red I looked like I had gotten a sun burn, and I was so sweaty I looked like I had been in the shower I badly needed. It’s not the most attractive look in the world, but at least it’s evidence I put in work. There would be a much-needed day of rest, and then it would be on to Week 2.

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“Get Fit or Get Out” (Day 2: Plyometric Cardio Circuit)

get fit or get out

Close-up of poster from picture inside the case.

Day two was the first day of the regular workouts, the Plyometric Cardio Circuit, although Shaun T introduced it simply as “Cardio Circuit”.  It was also the first time I ever noticed the “Get Fit or Get Out” banner hanging in the back of the gym. Personally I prefer the “Dig Deeper” motto and that Shaun T frequently reminds participants to “Keep Pushing,” but whatever works for people.

The workout began with a warm up and stretch. Shaun T stressed the importance of never skipping this part of the workout and said to remember, “stretching and warming up muscles prevents injury.” The warm up alone felt like a workout and consists of jogging, jumping jacks, Heisman’s, 1-2-3 Heisman’s, high knees, and butt kicks. The warm up was repeated three times with increasing speed.

After a brief break, we did some stretching and then we were into the workout. The first circuit was suicide drills, power squats, mountain climbers, and ski jumps. The circuit was repeated three times with breaks between. Then we did one circuit of switchfoots and football sprints. My first time through Insanity, I was on a carpeted floor, and the switchfoots were hard to do. They were much easier on the parquet floors we have now.

plyometric cardio circuitThe next circuit was basketball drills, level 1 drills, ski abs, and in and out abs. This was the circuit that was a struggle for me the first time, and was again. The level 1 drills require four pushups, floor sprints, and jumping up. Shaun T was usually on the sprints before I was done with the pushups. I started doing them on my knees to be able to keep up and occasionally stayed down instead of jumping up so I could finish the floor sprints.

The ski abs and in and out abs are one of my favorite parts and it doesn’t take long to feel them working, but they’re also very draining. I had to take a break a couple of times during them, but I didn’t feel too bad because there  were people in the class who had to as well.

The circuit was repeated thI had only eaten a cup of yogurt and banana a couple of hours before the workout, so I was starving afterward. The first time through Insanity I could never make myself eat right afterward (although usually I was having to do it late at night when I got off work). This time I had a fried egg and cheese sandwich, a banana, and another cup of yogurt. I had finished half a 1.5L bottle of water during the workout and drank some more while eating. I ended up being hungry within the next couple hours. I’m going to have to work on eating more often than I have been so I don’t lose too much weight and am not hungry all the time. On the upside, an increased appetite means increased opportunities to try new food.

Overall, I’m already feeling a lot better than I have been in a while and feel like I have more energy. The soreness has started to kick in a bit though. Just like the first time, I’m noticing it mostly after I sit for a long time and then walk around. But I don’t mind a little pain. It lets me know that my muscles are getting their strength back, and this time, I plan to keep them that way.

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