Snob Essentials

INSANITY 60-Day Total Body Conditioning Workout:

A friend of mine gave me these DVDs as a gift. He is an actor and was introduced to this workout while on set. Apparently, the Insanity 60-Day Total Body Conditioning workout is what a lot of actors do before filming an action movie in order to get in shape quickly…very quickly. My friend followed this for 40 days, and his body was completely transformed. He is thin to begin with, so he had that on his side, but that was also his problem: he had a hard time building muscle mass. He showed me “before” and “after” pictures, and I was blown away. That’s when he handed over his DVDs to me, led by the intense (to say the least) Shaun T. In a mere 40 days, he went from lanky to Olympic athlete. Now his abs are ripped with an eight-pack and his arms are cut and massive.

Believe it or not, I did the Insanity workouts every morning during my vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. It was actually really fun because four of us did it together so there was encouragement and support, followed by commiserating over not being able to move afterwards. The concept of why this is called Insanity doesn’t hit you right away. It takes a little while to realize just how insane it is. I thought the first workout out was crazy, and it only escalates from there. By Day 4, we were all like, “You gotta be F’ing kidding, this is INSANITY.”

First, there is a fitness test (which is not easy, but it obviously goes at your own pace since it counts how many reps of each exercise you can do). Then there’s Day 1, the first workout, which is pretty brutal – a lot of jumping around and non-stop cardio. It offers lot of water breaks, so it wasn’t totally awful; we all got through it. But afterwards, I felt awful – dizzy, nauseous, just sick-feeling. I sat in one place for a long time before I could get up, but after I ate something, I started to feel better. Later that day, even though I was already sore, I was fine and went to the beach and walked around town.

Day 2: Brings more specific exercises to target each muscle group, but all of the exercises are designed to work multiple areas at the same time. Your core is always engaged and your glutes are always working – great because those are the two areas everyone wants to improve. There’s still some jumping up and down (i.e. various jumping jacks, high knees, jumping straight up then going to plank and coming back up, dropping down to do a push-up then hopping back on your feet to standing and going back down to push up).

Day 3: By then, I was so sore I couldn’t possibly do anything but this was “Recovery Day.” Thanks to my workout buddies, I was forced to do it and I was glad I did because this was the “easy” day. A lot of stretching and holding of poses to push out the lactic acid buildup.

Day 4: Thanks to the “recovery,” I was way less sore and fresh again to have a full-on workout as designed. Turns out I was not as fresh as I needed to be because this was when we all shook our heads because it was ridiculous what Shaun T. was making us do! It just doesn’t seem humanly possible, but it was nice to see the people on the workout DVD also falling to the ground, grunting in pain, and taking many breaks. It was non-stop (no breaks) cardio intensive exercises that worked the large muscle groups with a lot of jumping around and everything required going up and down from the floor back up. Shaun T. tells you to take breaks if you need to so you can make it through the entire workout and not give up halfway, which I did. I was able to finish, but for the first week, I did not expect to get through all of the workouts without stopping.

The workouts are designed to confuse your muscles. Each day works different areas so you are actually able to do them without muscle fatigue. The fatigue part comes from the constant cardio work, which keeps your heart rate up almost the entire time (there is a lot of stretching). Then there are the recovery workouts that allow your muscles to get a break; you do 6 days and have 1 day of rest.

After the fourth workout, I felt so proud and good that I was able to get through it that I became completely motivated. My brain got over the fear of this idea that the workout is impossible. It IS possible because I got through the worst part!

The other huge motivator is that each workout is only 40 minutes, there is a 10 minute warm-up (which is really, really hard) with a 8-10 minute stretching segment so the actual intensive workout is around 20 minutes. Being able to get this type of intense workout at home in only 40 minutes saves a ton of time and is the most effective workout I have ever done.

Having had a trainer for more than a year now, I have to say: I have never worked out as hard with him (I hope you’re not reading this D!) as I have with Insanity. $150 sounds expensive, but it’s the cost of two sessions with a trainer and in 30 days you will see results (actually, in one week you will get the mental results of feeling confident; in 2 weeks, you will be able to get through the entire workout with no breaks) and in two months, you won’t even recognize your body.

Here are some tips:
-Don’t push yourself or else you will throw up.
-Take breaks when needed. Have a ton of water next to you.
-Have a yoga mat for floor exercises.
-Don’t eat 1-2 hours before (just do it first thing in the morning) and have something light afterwards.
-Have everything set up so all you need to do is push a button on your DVD player (or whichever method you’re using) every morning.
-Make sure there is good air circulation.
-You have to have well-fitting shoes because there is a ton of impact on your feet.
-If you want to get a massage, do it on the recovery days.
-If you skip a day, don’t skip a workout. Continue in the order on the calendar and just push everything back. And remember, if you only do 60% of the workout, you are still doing a lot more than an hour at the gym.

On Amazon for $144.80 (from $169.99).



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