Hey there! I’ve already told you about the exercises and sessions that make up the first month of Insanity training in my post, Insanity Workout Part 2: Week 1 Review, so this post is more about my personal experience and how I scraped and clawed my way through that first month.
Hold on a minute, I’ve made it through the first month of the Insanity workouts! It’s been a crazy journey with Shaun T and the crew during the last four weeks and last night when I completed my final session of Plyometric Cardio Circuit. Dang it felt good! Lots of punching the air. I know there are still five weeks to go, but it’s definitely a milestone.
First off, eating all those clean calories was difficult. When you’re eating clean there is a lot of bulk in the food. I used the Harris Benedict equation to work out how many calories I needed and it came out at just under 2,800 per day. Now that’s not a lot of food if you’re dropping burgers, chips and sausage rolls into your daily diet, but when it’s rice, tuna, chicken and spinach those portions are mega huge.
For breakfast on the first day I had the cottage cheese combo plate at 500 calories. Now I don’t usually eat a lot of breakfast, so this combination of a nutrition bar, a 300g pot of cottage cheese and a few tablespoons of chopped nuts on the top got me struggling. It took nearly 20 minutes to eat it. Plus four more meals to go after that.
Once I got the training underway, after maybe four or five days, I found it a lot easier to get the calories down me. I worked out that I was expending between 600 and 1,000 calories per Insanity training session, so the food was certainly being burned up fast.
Also, after a few weeks I realized that I was taking on more calories than I should. It’s all to do with the cup measuring system, which is a standard food measuring system in the USA. Thing is, for rice, I think the Insanity system was using measures for cooked rice, where I was measuring it out first and then cooking it. Hence what I thought was 350 calories of rice turned out to be more than 700!!
So if you’re having problems with measuring out your food, here’s a post that I put together on Insanity nutrition, calories and the cup measuring system.
During the week, I always did my session on the evening straight after work, eating two or three meals during the day (in addition to breakfast) and trying to get my pre-workout meal around 3 or 4pm, with my training session dialed in for around 6pm. This seemed to work pretty well for me.
After a few days on the Insanity training sessions I started getting a bit of a nagging pain in my right knee. Nothing major, just a dull ache. This concerned me, as a lot of people I know who gave up on insanity did it because of knee or ankle trouble. The good news was that after a few days of aching, the pain subsided and then disappeared completely. I have no idea what it was, but I’m guessing it was just my body getting used to the impact after so many years of doing very little. Dang, I was glad that it was nothing serious.
During the first week or so I was grabbing a shower after the workout session, getting my evening meal and then having to lay down on the lounge floor for half an hour, because I was just completely wasted. One day, my brother called around 8pm and halfway through the call I had to lay down on the floor to get myself straight. Insanity does these things to you, wrecks your body in order to rebuild it harder and stronger.
My first pure cardio session blew me away. It was killing me, but I just kept coming back and hitting it. It was grinding me down, but I kept on attacking the moves. Then, about half way through the session I suddenly felt my second wind coming on. I lit up and was nailing the moves for the rest of the session. Very odd feeling being able to power through when I felt smashed just a few moments before, This was one of my most euphoric moments from Insanity training. Pure, full-on workout nirvana!
Though on the whole, for the first few weeks I had some real problems keeping up with all the exercises and getting the rest that I needed between sets. I didn’t pause the DVD at any point though, I just kept taking the rests that I needed – spotting that the rest of Shaun T’s crew kept ducking out on occasion to take a breather. The more I repeated the sessions, the stronger I got and after a few weeks I was matching the DVD move for move, and was very chuffed to be doing so. Josh :-).
For me, it took around a week for the Insanity training to kick in and start making a difference to how I felt. Seven days after starting the programme I started to fell more ‘poised’. My suit jacket felt a bit tighter on me. As I walked around during the day I could feel my body moving and felt more in touch with my physical actions. It’s weird to describe it and I feel a bit of an idiot writing this, but I definitely got more of a sense of my body after a week or so. In some ways, it put me more in touch with my physical form, if that makes sense.
Some of the roads between home and work are pretty small and quite poorly maintained. I drive a sports car and the suspension may as well have been designed to hit everything in the road. Well, about a day or so after gaining this new self-awareness, I also noticed that my stomach had stopped jiggling around when I went over potholes. I was definitely feeling leaner!
By my second fit test day I had put on 2Kg, but as a lot leaner with it as well. My waist was smaller and my chest, legs and biceps were getting bigger. I also smashed the fit test, making some sizeable gains on every exercise except for the globe jumps. Times is good! Life is great!
During the first month, there has only been one session that I really struggled with. From the outset I just didn’t get my head into it. It was the plyometric cardio circuit the day after the second fit test. I really struggled, I don’t know why. I also had a slight asthma attack and needed to use an inhaler. The first and only time so far that this has happened. I still have no idea why I found it so hard, but I just stuck with it and grinded out the exercises one by one. Dang, when I finished that session it was a massive relief.
Getting to the end of the first month feels so great. It’s been tough. Brutal. Grueling. But I’m elated that I’ve made it this far. I celebrated with a shot of scotch whisky that my girlfriend bought me for our anniversary, with a little water dropped on it. Spot on.
Next week is recovery week. I am looking forward to it, that’s for sure.
Until next time, cheers! If you liked this post, please share it or leave a comment below – I’m really hoping you will!