Rose: Insanity Max 30

Yesterday I officially started a new workout program: Insanity Max 30. This is like a condensed version of the Insanity program but harder and, in my opinion, more cardio-based. I’m now two days into the process, and I thought it might be fun to share my thoughts so far. Hopefully I can read this after 60 days and look at how far I’ve come.

Day 1: Cardio Challenge.

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I feel like this photo sorta sums up how I felt. EXHAUSTED. While I don’t look sweaty in this photograph, I can assure you that it was pouring down. This workout is probably one of the hardest I’ve ever done, next to Kam’s classes in Pittsburgh. It seems to tap my heart rate the most. At many times throughout, I just wondered if I’d ever catch my breath again. My heart was beating FAST.

As you can see, I “maxed-out” early (this is the point when you have to stop and take a break or modify). The five-minute intro itself is dizzying. That said, I liked the balance of cardio moves throughout. They feel effective, especially for my legs. By doing this program I’ve realized how much my legs are out of shape. I don’t run very much, and the workouts I did over the summer were more geared toward my arms. So this program is definitely putting the emphasis back on my thighs and calves. All in all, I’m glad I finished!

Day 2: Tabata Power.

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I did a little better today in terms of my max-out time. But this workout is a different animal altogether. It is much more focused on strength and using your own body as weights. Think: tons of push-ups (unlike any you’ve seen before), tricep dips and core work. What I love about this DVD is the new moves. I have done thousands of push-ups but none like these. Shaun has you go down, lift back up and bring your arm up to your shoulder (like a row). It is HARD. I can only do a few and then I have to modify.

This workout seems to affect my back the most. My muscles must need improvement in that area. Last week, I was sore for days after doing this workout. I sense the same thing will happen tomorrow. Either way, I know I’m working parts of my body that have long been ignored.

Overall Thoughts

I am going to stick with this. I love the shorter length. It’s manageable, and I can fit it into my day. I truly feel like I am pushing myself to my potential — which I love. This program is not for the faint of heart. Good thing I am a determined son of a gun!

Wish me luck, friends.

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Rose: Gun Show

There is a reason for posting this photo that goes well beyond vanity:

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For once in my life, I have arm muscles. Things take shape when I move my arms. There are indents in places that used to be squishy. There are sharper lines and curvatures. There is real definition.

I realize that posting a picture of yourself post-workout in “gun show” position seems a bit narcissistic. And honestly, that’s usually the case with blogs – they are designed to be self-centered. But posting this picture goes beyond that. This picture is proof that, even when I feel like I’m slacking, I’ve spent the past several months working hard. We all know muscles don’t come overnight.

The old me would have never, *ever* posted a photo such as this. I’d spent years being embarrassed by my body, trying to cover it up. It’s not that I flaunt it or anything now. I am still a work in progress. But I’ve gained a confidence I never had before, and it was all through a few daily pushups (and some serious Shaun T. training).

This year I’ve completed Insanity, Focus T25, and I’ve trained and ran a half marathon. At the moment, I’m looking for something new. Since time is in high demand, I’m re-doing month two of T25. But, as I feel every couple of months, I want to kick things up a notch again. Focus on a new program or exercise.

I’ve contemplated CrossFit, but I’m not sure I can fit the daily WODs into my schedule (they are at a bad time), and I don’t want to become obsessive with exercise or suffer from a muscle meltdown. I am thinking about running another race, at least a 10K, now that I live next to a beautiful trail. Thoughts? What do you suggest should be my next endeavor?

setting goals

I really enjoyed Jenna’s last post recapping the Color Run and her fitness goals. And, like any good blog post, it inspired me to consider my own fitness goals.

Drenched in sweet & feeling strong.

Drenched in sweet & feeling strong.

For a while, I was a runner who would “phone it in.” My goals were simple: I would go running every other day, putting in 3 miles at a moderate pace on a treadmill. It wasn’t inspiring or fun. It helped me maintain my weight, but it didn’t tone my body. And it certainly didn’t challenge me.

At the time, I wasn’t mentally sound. I’d become a sad person, and my body began to resemble those emotions. I was overweight, tired, and unhappy: the beginnings of any typical weight-loss journey.

Then, I found Insanity. In truth, I had it for months before starting the program. Mentally, I wasn’t ready to get out of my routine rut. That was a convenient plan. But then I completed the program from January to March of this year. And I was hooked.

Afterward, I moved into half-marathon training and completed the Pittsburgh Half in May. I got my best time yet, and I credit Insanity and working hard. Since then, I’ve been taking a variety of hip hop classes and other workouts. So I’ve been ready to start a new program like  Focus T25.

For now, that is my goal. For the next 10 weeks, I will commit to this program. But I have a few other fitness goals, too.

Short Term Goals

  • Complete additional workouts on top of T-25. These include: hip hop classes, softball games, and walking.
  • Shed a few pounds, gain strength, and toning
  • Continue eating “clean”
  • Make the workouts “work” for me: fold them into busy days, allow space for social events and hobbies

Long Term Goals

  • Reach my goal weight or below (I have about 7 pounds to go) OR drop a clothing size/inches.
  • Run another half marathon in 2014. Beat my time from last year.
  • Maintain a balance of exercise and healthy eating as I move into a busier fall/winter.

What are your goals?