Insanity Month 1 Has Come And Gone!

It is almost unbelievable to think that today is already May 9 and I began my Insanity journey just over four weeks ago on April 8. That’s right, this past Saturday I officially completed Insanity month 1! This expression is used far too frequently, but it truly feels like only yesterday that this whole thing started. I’ve just finished my workout for today (core cardio & balance, recovery week) and wanted to take this opportunity to get my thoughts down about the first month while everything is still fresh.

To start, I should say that I still haven’t taken my third set of body measurements or pictures. In the beginning I told myself I would only take measurements on fit test days. The intention here was to make sure I was not going neurotic over daily fluctuations (before Insanity, I have measured changes in weight as high as 10 pounds over the course of 24 hours).

Insanity Month 1
What can I say… This made me laugh and I had to share.

My next fit test is scheduled for Monday, May 13, so be sure to check back then for my month 1 results. I hate to speculate before measuring, but I will say that I have been feeling absolutely incredible about the strength/endurance gains from the past four weeks. Hopefully this translates into positive results elsewhere as well! Until then, I would like to take a minute to briefly recap the events of the last month (and maybe go back in time a little further).

A Little Background On My Fitness Journey #

Technically I was obese...
Technically I was obese… Calculator can be found here.

Although it started much earlier, lets go back 6 months. I remember packing my stuff and getting ready to move at the beginning of November of last year. Before packing it up, I decided to jump on the scale. What glared back at me was a bit painful… 225 pounds. Although I had been bouncing around between 220 and 245 for a while, this was the moment when I finally decided that it was time to make some changes. At the time I didn’t know what kind of changes they would be, but I was fed up with being overweight.

The first change ended up being diet. Staples had previously included greasy breakfast burritos, fast food burgers, of course plenty of beer :) and a nice variety of other junk. I didn’t eliminate any of these things entirely, but I changed the staples to a huge variety of fruits, vegetables and meats. I didn’t necessarily think that this alone would give me huge results, but it seemed like a healthy change and that was a step in the right direction.

The second change was equally as simple: start moving. Previously, I would sit at my desk at work all day and then get home and be too tired for any sort of activity. Instead I would just sit and watch TV or go out with friends for food and drinks. It was a very sedentary lifestyle, and I knew I needed to do something about it. Walking was the answer. Not a huge change, I know, but still a step in the right direction. Again, I wan’t expecting much at this point except a move toward a healthier lifestyle.

Insanity Enters The Equation #

Insanity Enters The EquationFast forward five months. With only these two simple changes, I had managed to drop an average of seven pounds per month. It was now the beginning of April and I weighed only 190 pounds. The only problem: I still had a little ways to go to my ideal weight, but weight loss had slowed significantly/stalled. The question became, what can I do next?

After a bit of research, I decided I wanted to give Insanity a try. And that brings us to the beginning of April and Insanity month 1.

Week One #

I took the fit test and found out just how Insane this workout would be. I powered through to the best of my ability, but still managed to miss two workouts. Not a great way to get started… Even so, I was incredibly sore for the majority of the week. But I didn’t let any of this discourage me and in fact used it as motivation to push myself harder the following week.

Week Two #

I made some slight diet modifications coming into week two. My body was adjusting to the constant exercise and the soreness began to go away. I was able to complete every workout as scheduled and was feeling great about being able to stick to the plan so well. Of course that feeling soon disappeared when I nearly ate myself into a coma over the weekend…

Week Three #

This week started with the second fit test and weigh-in. I saw big improvements across the board on the fit test, but still wasn’t seeing much in terms of visible results. I knew it was still early and rightly decided not to think anything more of it. In addition, I stumbled across at this time and began using it to track my diet. Since I was no longer following the nutrition plan exactly, it had become more important to pay attention to calories and macronutrient breakdown. This website would help me to do just that.

Last But Not Least, Week Four #

I felt pretty damn good all through this past week despite a number of transgressions (mostly dietary but I also missed one workout). I am exploding with things to say about this but I think it is best if I save the specifics for my next check in post later this week.

My Review After Insanity Month 1 #

In all, the past four weeks have been great! Knowing myself, I expected to have lost motivation by now. Thankfully, that has not been the case. I feel so much better than I did when I started all of this and am enjoying the progress I am seeing when I look into the mirror every morning. This pushes me to keep going as I know that the biggest results are still to come if I can just keep at it. I hope you all have had or will have a similarly great experience with Insanity.

For those of you that still haven’t made the leap, hopefully I can help you decide by providing the following info. After all, being halfway through the program I think now is as good of time as any to lay out my first impressions of the Insanity workout. There are four important thing I want to cover here:

Shaun T Was Born To Do This #

Shaun T Was Born For This Bizness
‘Stop it… You’re making me blush…’

There is no doubt in my mind that Shaun T was born for this. To start, he seems to enjoy pushing people to their absolute limits (that sick bastard…). But aside from that, he is a great motivator. Every time I am ready to quit he is right there cheering me on, encouraging me and telling me how much better I am going to feel when it’s all done. To be completely honest, I am not sure I would have been able to keep going this long with anybody else but Shaun T. In fact, if I were to move on to another home exercise program after finishing Insanity, there is a good chance I will look for another by Shaun T.

What To Expect (And What Not To Expect) From Insanity #

Since starting Insanity, most of the people I have spoken with about it seem to think I am going to be a ripped, muscle-bound beast at the end of the program. The fact is, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. At it’s core, Insanity is about cardio health, burning fat and shaping your muscles. You will likely see some muscle growth as well (I suspect in the chest, abs and thighs especially) but the biggest results will be from the combination of shaping your muscles and removing the fat around them. Beyond that, I suspect that every person will get something slightly different from this program, depending primarily on their fitness level when they started.

And What About The Cost? #

I imagine that most people see the price tag and immediately turn away (I did at first). At the time of this writing Insanity is selling for about USD $150 (click to check current price), which is a pretty big chunk of change for someone like me. But then I considered that my alternative option was buying a gym membership. I remember getting a quote from a gym just up the street from my house before moving: $30 per month and $150 in startup fees. That’s $510 for the first year! And because I wouldn’t have known where to start to achieve my goals, I would probably end up hiring a trainer as well, the cost of which I won’t even speculate about. Insanity and Shaun T provide the whole package at a fraction of the cost, which ended up being the deciding factor for me.

From The Perspective Of A Fitness Beginner #

I think this program is perfect for fitness beginners. In fact, Insanity may be better for beginners than for anyone else. I say this because the exercises performed in Insanity are all very simple, performed at home and with no equipment. Someone with more fitness knowledge and experience probably doesn’t need the motivation that Shaun T provides and could likely design a similar program for themselves. $150 saved.

Being a ‘beginner’ myself, I had no idea where to start on my own. But Insanity provided a step-by-step guide… From diet to exercise and everything in between. Like I mentioned above, with Insanity you are getting the gym and the trainer all in one easy package, which is why I believe this is a great option for beginners. However, as with all things there are some exceptions:

  1. People with any serious health problems (for example, a heart condition). In this case, you should consult with your doctor before attempting any exercise as strenuous as Insanity.
  2. People with bad knees (or general joint problems). You will be doing a lot of jumping with Insanity which could likely cause further damage.
  3. People that can’t commit to the lifestyle change. As I said, Shaun T is a great motivator but in the end it still comes down to you. If you can’t commit, you are throwing your money away.
  4. People that can’t or don’t want to pay $150. There is nothing wrong with this… There are plenty of free alternatives. For example you could start by committing to a change in diet and going for a walk (or bike ride) every other day. The results may not be as quick and apparent as with Insanity, but any small change in the right direction brings you one step closer to your overall goals.

Now It’s Your Turn #

Hopefully you have found some value in my Insanity month 1 recap, and will come back to support me through month 2! In the meantime, I would love to get your feedback on my progress so far. If you have any experience with Insanity or general fitness expertise, I would love to hear any thoughts or recommendations you have. Feel free to unload in the comments below!

Until next time!