“Why Do I Do The Things That I Do? ‘Cause I Wanna Look Good” (Day 26: Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs)

pure cardio & cardio absDay 26 was the last day of Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs. I noticed that I’m getting more flexible in the leg stretches, which is good. Unfortunately, I still struggled with the Level 2 drills and modified most of the push ups. I also still chuckled during the mountain climbers when Shaun T asks the girl how she feels. She says “I wanna leave” and he asks “Are you feelin’ insane yet?” then catches on and says “You wanna leave? Go sit down.” It’s funny how little quotes like that are still amusing even when I’ve done the workout a few times. Toward the end he says something like “As a fitness professional sometimes I’m like ‘Why do I do the things that I do?'” and answers “’cause I wanna look good.” Don’t we all? At least those of us who keep pushing through Insanity know we’re earning that end result.

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“If It Is Important To You, You Will Find A Way. If Not, You’ll Find An Excuse”(Day 22: Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs)

pure cardio & cardio absDay 22 was hard to get in. I ate in the late morning and started working on Beachbody Coach training. (I’ll post more on how I became an Independent Beachbody Coach later.) After a few hours, I was about to eat when my husband wanted to go out for a bit. So we did. We finally ate when we got back, but I didn’t eat much. I went back to working. By the time I was done, it was close to time for a live webinar with the CEO of Beachbody (which was recorded and is available at the link). So, I decided to eat a little again and do the workout after the webinar. Since that happened around midnight in my time zone, that technically meant doing the workout the ‘next day’ but since I was still up and it was still Monday in the eastern time zone, I think it counts.

After the webinar I pushed myself to do the workout. Since it was so late at night and I didn’t want to wake my husband, I went with doing everything on my yoga mat as well as trying to land softly to be quieter. In ways I felt like I didn’t get to work as hard, but I did get to practice the often repeated instruction to “land softly”. I still worked up a sweat so I know I still got something out of doing the workout, even with the adjustment. I did everything in the Pure Cardio, but in the Cardio Abs I did skip the tuck jumps and wide tuck jumps because there wasn’t really a way to do it without too much making noise. I’m still gad I did it and didn’t let it having gotten too late be an excuse, but I could have done better if I’d scheduled my time accordingly.

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“We’re Gonna Have To Push, Ya’ll” (Day 17: Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs)

pure cardio & cardio absI was a little more tired than usual during the warmup on Day 17’s Pure Cardio but I felt more energized after the stretching. During the stretch, I noticed I am getting more flexible and also that my calf muscles are developing. It’s nice to see some visible progress.

As I mentioned in the post about Day 16, I finally managed to do the four push ups in the Level 1 drills without having to pause and at the correct pace. So, I decided to see how I would do for Level 2 drills (with 8 push ups) without pausing for this day. I didn’t quite keep up and ran about two push ups behind, but it’s an improvement.

During the power knees, right before the mountain climbers Shaun T said “We’re gonna have to push, ya’ll” and push I did. While Pure Cardio is exhausting without set breaks it always helps to know I just have to get through each exercise for one time period and then it’s on to another. For the most part, it went the same as previous times although I think I’m improving how much I can actually do.

Sometime the scissor runs are a little awkward to do on carpet or the parquet floors we have. This time I tried them on the yoga mat and they were a lot easier so I’ll probably just get it out every workout and use it on the exercises it helps with and move it aside on the ones that are harder with it (unless it’s late at night in which case I usually just suck it up and use the mat so I don’t disturb people).

I paused at power jacks to see why my dogs were kicking up a fuss and then resumed. I didn’t even realize that was all I had left to get through until it was time for the stretch. Of course, that wasn’t the end because I still had to do Cardio Abs. While much of it hurt, I know it did me good, and it really didn’t make the workout seem that much longer. Plus it would be followed by a well-earned Cardio Recovery.

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“I’m Not Trying to Hurt You, Just Trying to Make You Better” (Day 13: Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs)

Day 13 was another round of Pure Cardio and the first time it was paired with Cardio Abs. My husband and I had gone to Mannheim that day, so I did the workout at night and used a yoga mat to reduce noise. As usual, Pure Cardio was tough but nothing I couldn’t handle. I did skip everything but scissor runs which I skipped due to the mat. During the workout Shaun T said, “I’m not trying to hurt you, just trying to make you better.” He definitely is. In the last couple days my husband has noticed more definition in my triceps and I have noticed my calf muscles getting bigger.

After Pure Cardio, I was dripping sweat. Usually that would be a successful end to a workout, but I had to go in to Cardio Abs. This workout did utilize a yoga mat for part of it, but one doesn’t necessarily have to use one. I didn’t the first time I started Insanity as I was on carpet. If you’re not, I recommend it. The workout starts with a warmup which consists of jogging, high knees with the arms up, high knees with twisting, “jump rope”, and tuck jumps followed by a water break. Even though I was already “warmed up” from Pure Cardio I didn’t skip this because it was different movements all designed to work the abs.

English: Another common form of calisthenics u...

Be glad not to be doing these.

This was followed by wide tuck jumps. Then we got into the C-sit position and did twists, A-frame twists, A frame twists with the knee up, and holding the C-sit position. Then there was a break for water. During the water break Shaun T said “No sit ups or crunches. Be happy about that.” I actually don’t mind sit ups or crunches, but Shaun T’s workout seems more effective. I would have to do crunches for longer than I had to do Shaun T’s workout to feel like I got the same results.

After the break, we did single leg raises followed by a break. Then we did raises with both legs. This was followed by work in the high plank position alternating the knees, then doing it faster. Then we did low plank alternating knees. The final exercises was alternating pulses in low plank and high plank. This was followed by a brief set of cool down stretches mostly consisting of child’s pose, cobra, and some back and oblique stretches. Next time it will be time to find out how much I’ve improved in two weeks of Insanity with the second Fit Test.

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“Cardio: The Best Thing That’s Gonna Shape Your Body” (Day 9: Pure Cardio)

Right before my workout, my min pin started barking at other dogs outside and scratched me when I pulled him away from the window. I didn’t realize Day 9 was going to be Pure Cardio until I looked at the Insanity calendar. This was about to sting. But I was already getting a late start to the day so I figured I better just get to it. As Shaun T says, “Cardio [is] the best thing that’s gonna shape your body.”

Unfortunately, there are no set breaks through the whole main workout. But there’s a girl in the class that Shaun T asked the age of and she told him she’s in her forties. I’m over ten years behind her so if she can push through, so can I. As Shaun T said in the workout “The stronger you get, the better you’ll feel,” and it’s true. I always feel better after I work out.

The good thing about Pure Cardio is that you only have to do each exercise for about a minute and then you go on to the next one, never to return to that exercise (at least for that day). During the other days, you know you still have two more repetitions coming when you finish a circuit.

English: an exercise of chest

The regular push up I can’t usually do.

As usual, the push ups were challenging, and this time it was Level 2 drills which require 8 push ups. I managed to do all of them regular (usually at least some are modified). During the third drill Shaun T said “This is about the time Shaun T needs to take a break.” So you see even though there are no set breaks, even the instructor needs one now and then. Of course I needed more than he did and stopped several times for some water.

Usually I exercise in the early after noon but this time I had run late so my husband got home as I was doing the frog jumps. I paused the DVD to talk to him for a couple of minutes. This was good for the relationship but bad for the workout because it caused me to get out of my groove (and to notice the sweat stinging my arm). I only had 12 minutes left so I got back into it. Even though I had stopped, I worked back up a sweat in that time and finished out strong.

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“That S*** Was Bananas Yo” (Day 5: Pure Cardio)

pure cardio & cardio absThe fifth day was the most intensive, consisting entirely of cardio without any set breaks during the main workout. The warmup was the same as the one in the Plyometric Cardio Circuit except the order of butt kicks and high knees was reversed. This time, Shaun T gave some of the reasons for the exercises. He pointed out that butt kicks are a drill for speed and that if one wants to get faster on a track or court, doing them will help. The high knees are for power. Those were two things we always did in track and cross country, and now I know why.

As usual, the warm up circuit was repeated three times with increasing speed. By the second time, Shaun T said, “You’re probably breathing hard already.” Of course I was. After the warmup, we went through the usual stretching, then it was in to the workout. During the last stretch, Shaun T said, “I have to be honest right now. I’m actually really nervous for this workout.” When the instructor is saying that, you know you’re in for some hard work.

The full circuit was as follows with one minute for each exercise: suicide drills, switch kicks, wide football sprints, stance jacks, the pedal (lunge on each side then sprint), hooks and jump rope, power jacks, level 2 drills (8 push ups then floor sprints), frog jumps, power knees, mountain climbers, ski down, scissor runs, suicide jumps, and push up jacks.

While there were no water breaks during the entire circuit, Shaun T said during part of it, “It’s okay to stop and grab some water.” I drank several times, probably too much. I didn’t feel too bad because several people in the class fell out. Some he even told to go sit down and grab water. If it tells you how much work the day is, Shaun T says toward the end, “I’m so tired I can’t even remember the names of my moves.”

Shaun T didn’t explain the purpose of most of the moves, but he did say that frog jumps work the abs and scissor runs were to provide “a slight, small recovery”. I believe it was during the power jacks that he said, “Cardio: the best thing that’s gonna shape your body.” If that’s the case then Insanity should help because all of the workouts in the first month besides the Cardio Recovery consist of some kind of cardio.


I’m working on them.

Overall, I didn’t have a problem completing most of the circuit but the pushups were a challenge again. When I told my husband about not being able to do all of the push ups in time the last time, he suggested pausing the video so I get the full workout. While that is a hassle during some exercises, I did hit pause at the beginning of each Level 2 drill to do the push ups, then unpaused and got back in position o do the floor sprints. I managed regular push ups the first two times and then had to do modified ones for the last two. He maintains that isn’t cheating to have to do them modified, but I will still be glad when I don’t have to do that.

At the end of the workout, Shaun T said “That s*** was bananas yo.” That’s an accurate way to sum up it up. We wound down from the craziness with stretching. The first time, my abs had quivered during the contract and relax, and that didn’t happen this time. Overall, it feels like the first run through of the DVDs went better this time than my original first time. Day six will be a repeat of the Plyometric Cardio Circuit, and Week 1 will be complete.

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