I awoke with a slight twinging in my right side (or oblique, if you want to talk ‘Shaun T’ – as my fitness levels increase, I aim to become increasingly smug by incorporating such words into my vocabulary). Apart from that, I felt surprisingly spry as I leapt out of bed with renewed enthusiasm for Day 2.
Day 2, if we are to believe the title card, will involve bunching up your fists and kicking like a steel flamingo.
Now just in case you need a reminder, everything about the Insanity programme is designed to terrify you and they begin this process with the titles of their workouts. Today’s workout is obviously so difficult that they decided to incorporate a 4-syllable nonsense word to try and intimidate the weak flabby mortal within. But as I was feeling confident pre-workout, I Googled the word out of casual curiosity. I quickly regretted it:
Plyometrics is a method of training muscle elastic strength and explosiveness to enhance athletic performance.
Does this reassure you? Personally, I don’t think it’s ever good when a workout involves exploding.
Now that I have just completed my Day 2 workout (frankly, reader, you’re lucky I’m still alive to even type these words), I realise that the word ‘explosiveness’ doesn’t even begin to describe the torture that Shaun T calls ‘the plyometric cardio circuit’. Instead of 3 super-fit athlete types to aspire to, we are now presented with a whole gymnasium of T-1000s. This is serious.
Here is a run down of today’s 40 minute workout:
1. Warm-up (3 rounds each of the following exercises)
(b) Jumping Jacks
(d) 123 Heisman
(e) Butt Kicks
(f) High Knees
(g) Mummy Kicks
This is a WARM-UP. You should feel pleasantly loose, invigorated and ready for more. However, if you are anything like me, you will already resemble a drowned rat in lycra pants.
2. Stretching exercises
3. Main Workout (the stage where the horror of it all begins to dawn on you)
Circuit 1 – repeat 3 times (3 rounds of each exercise below, 30 seconds each – with a 30 second rest in between rounds)
(a) Suicide Drills (yes, this exercise has the word suicide in it)
(b) Power Squats
(c) Mountain Climbers
(d) Ski Down
Just as you reach the end of the final round, Shaun sneaks in 2 extra exercises – the cad!
(a) Switch Feet
(b) Football Sprints
During this break, you will be feeling a tremendous sense of achievement, even as you writhe on the floor in agony. Your heart will be pumping, your face will be red and sticky and even Shaun’s collection of T-1000s look a little tired around the abs. However, you will then watch in horror as Shaun T begins to leap up and down like a mechanised frog and discover that in fact, you are only HALFWAY through the workout. This is where ‘insanity’ really kicks in.
Circuit 2 – repeat 3 times (3 rounds of each exercise below, 30 seconds – with a 30 second rest in between rounds)
(a) Basketball Drills
(b) Level One Drills
(c) Ski Abs
(d) In and Out Abs
This time, Shaun adds a whopping FOUR extra moves at the end of Round 3. At this point, you’ll be softly weeping in a corner of your living room. I know I was.
(b) Cross Jacks
4. Cool Down and Stretch
I confess, I just couldn’t keep up with it all. I was okay until I got to Circuit 2 – it’s a killer. I found myself resting a lot more during the push ups (In Out Abs). In fact, I would have happily gnawed my flabby arm off at that point – who needs biceps anyway? They’re overrated. And after all that sweating, there weren’t even any flamingo kicks. Gah.
But how’s this for a testament to how gruelling Day 2 is? At one point, you see Shaun T literally SCOOPING SWEAT OUT OF HIS EYES (or was it tears?). There are gratuitous close-ups of T-1000s grimacing. They yell in pain. Shaun T ridiculously asks puffing individuals questions like “How are you finding this?” and receives a yelp in reply. “Great! Great!” he enthuses, ignoring the fact that his sweaty minions can’t even form intelligible words.
But that being said, if you really want that fit body in 63 days then this is a fantastic workout: it tests you, pushes you and squeezes every drop of fluid you have in your body (let’s not dwell too much on that last part). It would be easy to give up at this stage because it’s Just. So. Hard. But if you can push through this day, push through this first week, think of how much you will have already accomplished. That’s what I chant to myself through the tears.
And look at them. They are all Abs Central, yet you can see them collapse under the exertion or even walk off early to sneak in an extra rest. It’s comforting to know that mechanoids get tired too.
I now understand why the franchise is called ‘Insanity’. It is precisely THIS workout that will show you just how totally unhinged you are for investing in this 63 day programme. But keep yourself motivated. Tell people you’re doing it. Try to rope in an exercise partner. I did this one on my own today. It felt a bit lonely at the end of the workout, when they all high-fived each other and whooped. I had to make do with high-fiving the Cat. He really didn’t appreciate that.
If, like me, you’re attempting this workout for the first time and aren’t particularly active then I want to reiterate: go at your own pace. Don’t try to keep up with the T-1000’s. They are professional mechanoids. And Shaun T will reassure you throughout – rest if you need to, go as fast as you can but keep an eye on your heart rate, stop if it hurts. The beauty of this program is that even if you can’t do as many reps as these super-fit athletes, YOU WILL STILL BENEFIT.
I really look forward to seeing my form improve as I continue though the programme. How about you? Are you trying Insanity?