Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What is Insanity?

Hillary left a comment asking about what "Insanity" meant on my workout schedule. We all have our own definitions of Insanity. I think most triathletes are insane, and that includes my Running Buddy. My husband thinks I'm insane, because I get up ass-early in the morning two days a week to run before work (I'm sure that's just one among many reasons...). Lots of people think runners are insane, overall, because they just don't understand. Sometimes, I wonder if they're right.

(January 22, 2011 - Flying Pig Training Run)

Anyhow, the Insanity that I'm talking about goes beyond all of that. I'm talking about the Shaun T. brand of Insanity.


Insanity is just that - absolutely crazy. We started the set last May, just after the Pig. I thought that it would be a piece of cake. Insanity? Pfft, it's just cardio. I just ran a freaking marathon. Boo yah! We popped in the first disc and I was prepared to just skate right through it. Ummmm, not so much. I had my ass handed to me like never before. We jogged in place, did a million jumping jacks, a million more heisman plyo moves, some heisman 123s, butt kicks, high knees, and mummy kicks. We finished the first circuit, which was about 3 minutes worth of ass-kicking, and then got a 30 second water break. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. 10 minutes and two repetitions later, and I'm already soaking wet from head to toe and ready to die. And that was just the warm up. 30 minutes later, we were ending with Level 1 Drills - stand up, jump your feet back into plank, do 4 push-ups, 8 counts of plank run, jump your feet back in, jump up, and repeat until you puke.

Good times! No, really!

Insanity is another program from the Beachbody people, the company that produced my beloved P90X. However, Insanity is a completely different type of hell than either P90X or marathon running. It's based on High Intensity Interval Training, which roughly translates to "Shaun T is going to make you work until you can't feel your legs and you melt, a whimpering heap, into the puddles of sweat that have collected on your basement floor." The whole idea behind HIIT is that you work out pretty strenuously for 2-4 minutes, pushing your heart rate up near your max, and then have a 30-second cool-down period before doing it all over again. And this isn't just any cardio, it's pretty heavy on the Plyometrics (jump training).

It's a 60-day program, if you follow the schedule they lay out. We opted not to, because we both like weight training and I like running, so we just use the program on our cardio days. Months and months later and it's still a 100% ass-kicking. I fully attribute my 10K and 5K improvements to Insanity and following the FIRST program.

The program was actually just featured in Self magazine this month, and they included a list of six exercises that are included in the Insanity workout.

Here's a small sampling, though I don't think my favorites (in and out abs and frog jumps) are included here.

The best thing about Insanity is the workout. The second best thing about Insanity is looking at Shaun T. I love his Jersey accent! Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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