Thursday, November 19, 2009

Round 2 / Day 4: Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance

I was dumb to think that I'd have enough energy to give 100 percent to my Insanity workout this morning after a 40-minute barefoot run. (As one particularly nasty opposing counsel in one of my old cases once wrote in a letter: "You must have overdosed on your stupid pills this morning.") Although I'm running much more slowly and carefully than I typically do in big-ass running shoes, I did attempt to increase my turnover speed, which tired me out. Plus, it's (unsurprisingly) a lot more difficult to run in the dark, frigid cold of the San Francisco Bay Area than in the wet heat of Hawaii. When my calves began to ache, I packed it up and headed home.

When I headed into my garage to pop in the Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance DVD, I actually felt pretty decent: Not too tired, kind of exhilarated, a little nervous.

But then the workout started, and once again, it was a punch to the gut.

Details after the jump.

Like the Plyometric Cardio Circuit workout, this routine is roughly 40 minutes in length, and it starts abruptly with a shitload of blood-pumping cardio warm-up moves: Jog, Power Jacks, Log Jumps (which are side-to-side jumps similar to the P90X Towel Hops), 1-2-3 Heismans, Butt Kicks, High Knees, and Vertical Jumps (similar to P90X Squat Reach Jumps). This lineup of exercises is repeated three times without breaks, and with increasing speed and intensity each time. At the end, you're basically sprinting in place, splashing through a puddle of your own sweat.

Shaun T then offers a 15 second water break. That's right: FIFTEEN SECONDS. Enjoy.

After some stretching, the workout begins in earnest. It consists of two high-speed, high-intensity rounds of uninterrupted, hellish exercises.

First up: Power Jumps. These are just like the Jump Knee Tucks that we know and love from P90X Plyo, except higher. And faster. And longer. In other words, you're asked to perform like Dominic (or Tania, a.k.a. "The Machine," pictured below).

Next: Belt Kicks. Squat down low, and as you come up, kick with one leg. Squat again, and kick with the other leg. Repeat until Shaun T moves on to the next exercise (or until you hurl chunks of breakfast all over the floor, whichever comes first).

The third move is called Hit the Floor -- from a standing position, you lunge to one side, bending your back leg and reaching down to touch the floor with the opposite hand. Then, jump back up to your starting position. Alternate sides, and keep going.

V Push-Ups are up next. These are similar to P90X Pike Presses, and it was a relief to take some of the pressure off my wobbly legs and focus on an upper-body resistance move.

This sequence of four exercises is then repeated twice more -- and with each cycle, Shaun T challenges you to dig deeper and move faster. Afterwards, Shaun T throws in two more moves: Triceps Dips (which are familiar to anyone who's done Core Syn from P90X) and Triceps Ball Push-Ups (which are similar to standard push-ups, except that your legs are curled up underneath your core, with your toes on the ground and your knees against your chest).

Round two consists of another four exercises:

First, Hurdle Jumps -- you sprint in place and then jump over an imaginary hurdle to the side. Keep sprinting, and then hurdle back. Repeat.

Next are Globe Jumps, which I remember well from the Insanity fit test. Starting in standing position, you jump to the side, reaching up with both arms, and landing in a low squat with your hands touching the floor. Repeat, only jumping backwards. Then again, to the other side. And again, this time to the front. Keep going.

Shaun T then shows a little mercy by introducing Moving Push-Ups, which are identical to the Side-to-Side Push-Ups from P90X.

Lastly: Floor Sprints, which are just another name for plank runs.

All four moves are repeated twice more, but before introducing the cool-down stretch, Shaun T trots out one last exercise: 8 Hop Squats / 8 Push-Ups. You repeat this sequence as fast as you can for a full minute, and then crumple to the floor, utterly spent.

The session concludes with a few minutes of stretching, but I was too tired to focus on it. Still, I'm happy to report that I only collapsed in a sweaty heap once during this workout. Progress!