I am really surprised at how fast the two weeks (plus extra rest days) have flown by in month 2 of Insanity. It hasn’t been easy and it certainly hasn’t been boring, but I can honestly say that every day is challenging and I’m noticing some physical improvements:

– I can button my pants without sucking my gut in
– the seams aren’t straining on my pants when I sit down
– I got muscle definition in my upper arms
– digestion has improved and I’m not as bloated in the morning

As I mentioned earlier, I did lose 3 pounds after the first month of Insanity (hooray!) and I’ve gotten more muscular and definitely feel stronger, too! When I ask my husband for a massage, I don’t whimper anymore when he squeezes my aching shoulders (do note that the amount of force he used to use on me was barely enough to pop bubble wrap.) Now, my knotted shoulders can handle the massages and I don’t feel like such a weenie.

My workout days don’t correspond to the scheduled Insanity calendar because of all the days I took off here and there. I don’t feel like I slacked but at least I don’t feel like I’m forcing myself to do it “just because.” It’s gotta be fun, right? :)

Thursday: Fit Test and Max Interval Circuit — Improvement!
When I did this same routine two weeks ago it was INCREDIBLY tiring, and today felt the same. After doing the Fit Test, even the warm-ups for the Max Interval Circuit was a challenge! My legs were tired, my arms were tired, and I moved nearly half as fast as the people on the DVD. But after a few minutes my blood was pumping again, and I was able to pick up the pace just a bit.

Oh yeah, Fit Test Results! Let me just say that I was actually cheering myself when I wrote down my results, and you can see why:

a LOT of improvement this week!

Some moves were still tough to improve upon, but overall I am a happy camper!

I feel so incredibly happy and accomplished, I’m not even going to talk about the rest of the butt-whipping workout. :)

Friday: Max Interval Plyo

I started my workout late in the afternoon, around 5:15 (I try to do it around lunchtime) and I normally like to do it before my husband gets home because I’m self-conscious about how I look when I exercise (tired, struggling, maybe grunting/whining too much.) but after I was done I told my husband, “Did you see me do push-ups??” He said no, because he knows how much I hate an audience. ;)

Monday: Max Cardio Conditioning & Cardio Abs

I don’t like Football Sprints.You’re running in place with a wide stance, palms facing outward. All that quick-stepping makes my body jiggle. Note to self: next time, tighter clothes!

image source: fitbomb.com

Tuesday: Core Cardio & Balance (supposed to be Max Recovery)

My shoulder felt tender so instead of doing Max Recovery I did Core Cardio & Balance today. My body felt like jello. I had very little energy, my muscles were fatigued even before I was done with the warm-up, and I blame it on poor food choices.

So pretty, but NOT the breakfast of champions. :(

Breakfast: rice krispies treats and coffee.
Lunch: corn chips, salsa and refried beans.

Lesson of the day: a good diet is just as important as good exercise!

Wednesday: Max Interval Circuit

I had more energy today than yesterday, and I made sure to eat a healthy breakfast (yogurt bowl) instead of eating just corn chips and rice krispies treats. My muscles didn’t feel as fatigued, but the workout was still challenging. Transitioning from the high-low jabs to high knees was tough. I couldn’t get enough air in my lungs so had to give my torso a good stretch and take a few deep breaths.

Friday: Max Recovery (supposed to be Core Cardio & Balance) PLUS Pure Cardio!

Yesterday I was busy with work and cleaning up around the house and didn’t have time for Insanity. Yes, it sounds like a poor excuse, but that’s the only excuse I have.

Max Recovery is all about stretching and strengthening. It’s difficult for me because I need a good warm up to get my blood pumping and my muscles flexible, so today I decided to get a really good warm up with Month 1’s Pure Cardio (about 37 minutes.) It paid off, because I felt better doing Max Recovery. Stretches in the beginning were still difficult, probably because I rested too long between DVDs, but overall I felt better doing the workout.

I started using Sunwarrior Protein Powder because so many people were raving about it. The first time I tried it I thought it was the grossest thing I ever tasted! Think of ginseng and licorice mixed together, and that’s what I thought the vanilla protein powder tasted like. Blech.

Solution? Add cinnamon and a ton of ice to make a slushie! I even added pumpkin pie spice, but it tastes nothing like the holiday treat:

84 calories per serving, but the taste may not be for everyone. Modify to your liking!

I think I’ll try the chocolate flavor next…in a smaller bag.

I’ve got one more week left for Insanity and I’m feeling excited, hopeful, anxious, and just want to DO BETTER! Can I be stronger? Faster? Can i jump higher and do more push-ups? We’ll see at the end of week 8!

Recovery Week is all about doing the exercises at a slightly slower pace. “Core Cardio and Balance” allows you to focus on your abs on routines that are more about strength than cardio. You still get a good sweat and your heart rate gets going, but as Shaun T points out, you’re not supposed to be burnt out by the end of the workout.

With my in-laws visiting, my Recovery Week actually lasted ten days because I took more breaks than usual. I did 2 consecutive days of workouts, followed by workouts every other day. I also snuck in one day of Cardio Power and Resistance in the middle of my recovery week because I felt like I had to get some excess energy out of my system!

There is not much variation from one day to the next for me, but it was a wonderful change from the challenge of the past four weeks…with the slowed-down pace, I almost felt like I could match my pace with everyone on the DVD. There are still some challenging exercises depending on your level of strength and flexibility (like the one below was for me):

Your leg stays up and you bend at the knee…less cardio but just as tough! Image source: http://www.fitbomb.com.

My favorite move was the last one, because for me it was the “easiest” to do. With Hip Flexor Burners you are in a low pliet, arms extended straight out, and you move your arms up and down slowly (like slo mo flapping,) but keep your shoulders still. You then move your arms forward so they’re straight out in front of you, then straight out to the side, maintaining a low pliet. There are more arm movements, and this really work your shoulders AND your quads, but Leah Sarago’s Ballet Body workouts as well as Jazzercise’s Ballet Body helped with these moves:

For two minutes you maintain this pliet position while doing various straight arm movements. Great for the shoulders, quads, abs, and lower back. Image source: http://www.buildahardbody.com.

Anticipating Month 2 of Insanity…pretty nervous & excited! And the next Fit Test is coming up, wish me luck! :)

Now that's progress :)

Repinned from Jenn@Peas and Crayons’ Pinterest board.

Day 13: FIT TEST!

(Note: I’ve only taken one day of rest during the first two weeks. My Day 13 is the 13th day of exercise. If I followed the Insanity calendar, the Fit Test actually falls on the 15th day, which includes rest days.)

FIT TEST!!! I covered my results from Week One’s Fitness Test so I wouldn’t let that distract me After I was done with today’s Fit Test I compared the difference after two very challenging weeks of Insanity!

I was happy with the improvements, but also wondered what the heck happened on some exercises where I either stayed the same or…did worse??

One less power jump this week! I think that huge increase in the power knees from 58 to 99 took the starch out of my shorts (so to speak.)

I’m glad I did better with push-up jacks, but will need to work on my globe jumps.

Day 14: Plyometric Cardio Circuit and that Time of the Month

I woke up really, really tired and was wondering how I would do with today’s Plyometric Cardio Circuit. I started around 8:30 a.m., did okay with the warm-ups, but felt like everything else was just too hard. I was doing better with Mountain Climbers and could maintain my “picking guava” arm motion, thanks to my improvement with push-ups! I tried to push harder and dig deeper, and it seems I’ve been doing just that the last 3 or 4 days. Today during the in-and-outs (start in plank position, hop both feet in with knees to your chest, hands on the floor, then hop feet back out back to plank position) I was having a tough time just to do 2 of them consecutively. Again, I blame myself for not getting enough sleep. My flexibility wasn’t good today, either.

After the workout I wasn’t very hungry and felt like my stomach would prefer to be left alone for the time being. I did make a protein shake and bring some chocolate chip zucchini muffins with me on my errands so I could eat when I got hungry.

Day 15: Pure Cardio/Cardio Abs, 1200 Calories per Day

I did a 9 a.m. workout, still a bit tired and I think it’s because of my period (blech!) I had some cramps during the warm-up, but they disappeared…or maybe I just didn’t notice them during the intense cardio session! My quads never seem to feel like they’re getting stronger; power jacks, squat jumps, and especially the Cardio Abs section where you jump and have to bring your knees to touch your elbows…wow, talk about challenging! I felt like a rock, as soon as I jumped up, I was already coming down.

The floor exercises were easier for me, and it felt like I worked my obliques a lot more than the abdominal muscles. One thing you should do when you’re doing the c-sit position exercises is to make sure your belly doesn’t pooch out (I learned this from Leah Sarago’s Ballet Body exercise DVDs!) Contract those muscles and make your belly nice and flat:

Keep your abs flat, make sure they don’t pooch out! Image source: http://www.fitbomb.com

I have only lost about a pound since I started, and it’s time to do the thing I hate most: count calories. It’s easy for me to eat more in the evening, especially when having a glass of wine, extra helping of dinner or grabbing the bag of chips and just crunching away. And now that I think about it, that’s nearly 50% MORE of my daily intake–yowza!

So, I’ll be limiting myself to 1200 calories a day, but will also allow an extra 300 for “emergencies.” My plan is 3 meals and 1 in-between snack, drinking more water (including tea, I don’t like plain water much,) and eating lots of low-fat, nutrient-dense foods. My main concern is getting enough protein, and I’ve been leaning towards a vegetarian diet lately. I’ve been eating yogurt every day and having meat dishes at dinner time since I cook for my husband and myself (but sometimes I cook veggie meals.) Vegetarian sources of protein are usually high in calories and fat, so I will probably need to incorporate more eggs into my diet. My protein powder has 130 calories and 14 grams of protein. Half a cup of yogurt has 70 calories and 11 grams of protein. If dinner has about 30 grams of protein, I should be good for the day.


Day 16 & 17 workouts combined: Cardio Recovery / Cardio Power & Resistance

I took an Insanity break this weekend. Saturday I got distracted making myself a pair of pajama pants and a new cat toy for Trixie (pants took me over 3 hours to make, but I love ’em!)

Sunday was spent running errands, taking a much-needed nap (my cramps were pretty bad) then spent 3 hours or so cleaning out the garden. I did limit my calories on Saturday, though Sunday I may have gone up to 1500 calories (OK for my weight maintenance, but not for weight loss.) So to make up for it, I started Monday with Cardio Power & Resistance to get the blood pumping, then did Cardio Recovery right after (the schedule has C.R. first.) This may or may not be a good idea, but since I’ve been doing Insanity for 2 weeks already, I felt it would be okay to double-up with cardio and non-cardio workouts.

My mouth seems to get pretty dry just during the warm-ups, must be all that heavy breathing! I feel like I’m doing a better job of keeping my abs in and even doing a better job of breathing. That extra power from exhaling really helps to firm up your abs so you’re more steady and feel stronger. Every little bit helps! Globe Jumps are in this routine, and I keep on saying how much I don’t like them. Well, I don’t like them less, now. :) I feel like I’m less sloppy with the jumps from side, to back, to side, to front, and I think it’s because my arms and shoulders are stronger, so I’m less tired and less sloppy.

My left ankle felt a little bit sore after doing Cardio Power & Resistance, but I ordered a new pair of Ryka shoes so that should help alleviate my foot problems. With the Cardio Recovery, there’s a series of balancing exercises toward the second half. My left leg is way more flexible and stronger than my right, and I’m not sure how to even them out, unless I do my own stretching exercises. I am not really fond of the yoga poses, probably because (I’ve said this the last time) the twisting position makes it hard to breathe.

Breakfast (10:30am): peanut butter jelly & toast w/coffee – 225 calories
Lunch (3pm): 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 2 cups chopped fruit – 300 calories
Snack (4pm): 6 corn chips, corn flakes (standing up, eating from the box!) – about 125 calories
Dinner (8pm): Light batter fried fish & Thai sweet chili sauce, quinoa, cucumbers & cucumber kimchee – 550??

Daily calories: around 1200 calories

Day 18: Plyometric Cardio Circuit

My hamstrings felt overstretched from yesterday’s exercises, and I’m surprised my back and shoulders weren’t too sore from the V-push-ups. I wonder if I did them properly? Usually if I perform an exercise routine and it’s not making me struggle, I am probably doing it with bad form to compensate for the tough workout! This DVD has a couple of plank exercises that make me want to stick my butt up to compensate for the extra work my back & abs would normally do, so when I make sure my butt is down, I feel my back working extra hard and I know I’ve been doing them wrong! Sure, I’ll be slower, but as Shaun T says, “form over speed.”

Week 3 workouts done, woo hoo!