Insanity Max:30 is said to be “The craziest 30 minutes of your day for the best results of your life” delivering lean, shredded and insanely ripped bodies for all ages, abilities and body types. The goal of each workout is to go as hard as you can for as long as possible before taking a break and getting back to it, with the aim to increase your strength and stamina a few extra seconds a day across two months. There are 150 moves packed into 10 routines that you can do in the comfort of your own home with no equipment or weights needed. And each routine is designed with a low impact modification so that no matter your fitness, weight or starting point everybody can achieve amazing results. So here I go again, another Beachbody workout and I’m literally grinning from ear to ear in anticipation of the burn. It’s safe to say that I’m a bit of a fan of these extreme home workout series as I have already completed Insanity, P90X, P90X3, Focus T25 and PiYo; so when I heard Insanity Max:30 was launching I literally couldn’t wait to work up a sweat.
I’m 27 years old, 5ft8″ a UK8 dress size and lifelong vegetarian, almost vegan as I don’t eat fish or egg and have only a little milk in cooking. I’m a single parent to my 7yr old daughter and 2yr old son and workout not to lose weight but to bulk up and build strength, stamina, agility, flexibility and help me to sleep at night. I also believe that being a mother means I shouldn’t let myself go, and if I’m ever to meet the man of my dreams and make it down the aisle then I’d like to think I could be wedding-dress-ready as soon as possible and not a dusty old spinster for the rest of my life. Due to a lack of childcare it’s not possible for me to attend a gym on a regular basis and I don’t have a spare room for gym equipment or machines, so being able to do a workout from home around the children is a massive bonus for me. I also have an insatiable passion for food and eat healthy home prepared meals which I ruin with the occasional bottle of wine, sticky puddings, chocolate bars and creamy curries. I guess in a way I workout so that I can enjoy my food without gaining weight. Therefore, in starting Insanity Max:30 I’m not looking to lose weight, but it would be nice to tone up my squishy stomach and scrawny chicken arms after a rather indulgent Christmas, and to sculpt and define my body, perhaps with some nice abs, muscular legs, toned arms and a peachy butt.
If anything I usually gain weight through muscle when I workout, and my results are more visual as opposed to statistical. I don’t measure or weigh myself, as weight doesn’t bother me, but I believe I’m around 9stones which includes my 30FF silicone breast implants that weigh an absolute bomb. When working out my vegetarian diet remains very similar to my daily routine of fresh fruit and vegetables, I get the majority of my protein from soya mince as well as leafy greens, nuts and seeds and find it easier to reduce sugary foods and snacks when I’m committed to a workout as my daily outlook is far healthier and more positive. I also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and it also serves to keep my sweet cravings at bay. For this workout I will be trying Shakeology for the first time, which is an all-in-one nutrition shake that you take once a day from a sachet by adding water or milk. The pack also includes a nutrition guide, wall calendar and tracker, results guide and no time to cook guide.
There is the choice of two different versions of Insanity Max:30, the Max Out workout of five days a week or the Ab Maximizer workout of six days a week which is the Max Out plan plus the odd 10-15 extra minutes of ab workouts on top. And seeing as the major part of my fitness goal is to obtain a set of washboard abs I’m really going to have to accept the challenge of the Ab Maximizer aren’t I? Eek! So here I will begin the Ab Maximizer workout calendar and post my daily workouts, feedback and sweaty progress pictures covering my thoughts and findings on all of the workout routines which consist of: Cardio Challenge, Sweat Intervals, Tabata Power, Tabata Strength, Friday Fight: Round 1, Max Out Cardio, Max Out Sweat, Max Out Power, Max Out Strength, Friday Fight: Round 2, Pulse and Ab Attack 10.
Day 1: Cardio Challenge
So today I had my first workout with the cardio challenge which is split up into five minute sections each with a 30second break in between. The sections look like blue loading bars that fill up along the bottom of the screen to show you how far you’ve come and indicate how long you have left, whilst a number counter on the right tells you what minute you’re on so that you know the exact time that you ‘max out’. And maxing out basically means the moment when you can’t take any more and have to stop for a break.
Before I began my workout I wasn’t really sure how you judge your max out point, as I started off getting a little out of breath a few minutes in, then my heart was pounding, my legs were on fire, my face was bright red and I was covered in sweat. As I got past ten minutes the 30 second break helped me to regain some breath and stretch out my legs with my head below my heart before jumping back into it for the next section. I could feel my arms and legs turning to jelly and wondered if this was my max out point, but I managed to carry on at about 60% of my ability as I got more and more wrecked and my jumps became modified by getting slower and lower whilst I huffed and puffed like I was imminently delivering a baby. I finally realised my max out point at 17:04 minutes when I was part way into a shoulder tap in and out’s on the floor and flopped into a sweaty panting heap instead of jumping back up again. Ohh, so that’s what maxing out feels like!
And at my max out I also realised why Insanity Max:30 is the most motivational workout I’ve ever done. The fact that Shaun T the instructor is super ripped and extremely easy on the eye is merely a bonus alongside his upbeat attitude, determination, enthusiasm and infectious drive. Throughout the workout he encourages you to max out when you need to and join in again when you’re ready, but in a way knowing that your max out time is recorded for each day makes you want to push yourself harder and make every second count. I loved Insanity which is twice the length and a gruelling total body workout that gave me amazing results, and this is basically a condensed version of Insanity which makes it more manageable for all on a daily basis. I also found that I pushed myself so much harder as I wanted to carry on for as long as possible to see what I was capable of, and because the test group was far larger than the other Beachbody routines you have so many more people to go up against to see who can stay in the longest.
I love how at the end of the workout everybody comes into a circle for the final minute and I was literally shouting and cheering at my screen as I pushed myself way beyond what I ever expected I’d be capable of for my first workout. I feel absolutely amazing, aside from dripping in sweat and being the same colour as a strawberry, my blood is pumping, my lungs are filled with air and every inch of my body feels alive. I finished up my workout with a vanilla Shakeology and a beautiful cold shower and I can’t wait to flop into my bed ready for tomorrows session.
Day 2: Tabata Power
I want my Mummy! Boy oh boy does every inch of my body burn right now. Shaun T was an absolute beast today and despite how hard I fought to keep going I maxed out at 26:00 during the tricep dips. To start with the workout was broken into body sections with cardio and legs coming first, the lunges and jumps had my heart racing and I held out for the jogging to regulate my breathing. Just as I felt as though my calf muscles were about to explode we then moved onto arms with push ups and burpees surrendering into childs pose. The sets were relentless, but evenly spaced to allow my body to recover from upper and lower beastings, but the tricep dips were what finally finished me off. The speed dips and leg raises had me howling and shaking, and the slow controlled dips led me to flop onto the floor and beg for forgiveness. And lets not forget my abs turning into concrete during the single leg holds as I pushed my lower back into the floor and counted down the seconds with my eyes squeezed shut, teeth gritted and sweat dripping from my brow. What an insanely amazing and utterly destroying total body workout. Insanity Max:30 I adore you!
Day 3: Sweat Intervals
Today I’m seriously disappointed by my max out time of 12:15 as my legs were so stiff and tender this morning when I woke up that it hurt to even walk down the stairs. The sweat intervals routine features massively on jumps, squats and cardio and I could feel myself giving it after just a few minutes. At each water break I took just a sip of water to hydrate, but this time when I got into the jumps I could feel and hear the water sploshing about in my stomach and it was really off putting. My legs were literally screaming “I can’t do this!” and my heart was saying man-up and power through you spindly chicken bones, you’ve got work to do! I fought my legs the entire way through but the moving squat jabs were just too much for me and I finally had to max out. I paused the DVD, flopped onto the floor and pushed my knuckles into the backs of my calf muscles rubbing in circle, gasping for breath and feeling seriously pissed off with myself. My body could have gone so much further and taken so much more, but my legs let me down before I was ready to give in. I think I need a sports massage to loosen out the muscles or something as I’m walking like John Wayne now.
I still got back to the rest of the routine and carried on to the best of my ability, screaming “MAX OUT” with everybody in the circle at the end giving it my all. I know that as each day passes my body will respond more and my stamina will increase. Up until now I’d felt pretty good with my muscle recovery, drinking my shakeology after each workout and having plenty of water. But this morning my legs weren’t having any of it. Although I’m disappointed with my results and annoyed wih myself for giving in I know that it’s because I’ve worked so hard that my body feels this way, so it’s not a bad thing to feel the burn. Fitness is very much a mind game, keeping a positive attitude and saying yes when you’re feeling no, but always putting your health and safety first. I look forward to comparing my next results when I repeat this routine in a weeks time and I’ll take this as my marker! 🙂
Day 4: Tabata Power
I am literally on top of the world right now, as day four into Insanity Max:30 and I DIDN’T max out! I can’t believe I completed a routine from start to finish so early into training. I’m literally fist pumping and playing my air guitar, what a result from yesterdays let down. My legs were still a little tender today, but I spent the evening resting up last night so they weren’t as bad as yesterday thank goodness. Starting out Tabata Power for the second time I immediately noticed how much I’d improved from just a few days ago. When I jumped my core is now so much firmer and my body more controlled. Before my belly bounced right in the middle with each jump and this time it was much tighter just shaking instead. I feel far less bloated and my stomach is starting to shrink wrap and get definition. I’ve been eating clean without any junk or after dinner snacking, and having my Shakeology on top of three meals a day has given me the strength and nutrition to feel content and healthy.
I’ve also upped my water intake to stay hydrated from working out, which in turn has helped me to go to the toilet more often and clear out the toxins and backlog of junk food, I hope that’s not too much information! Where my urine was always yellow before it’s now clear and my stomach remains properly empty instead of carrying around a days worth of food that is sluggish to digest. I’m feeling like a well fuelled machine and I’m so much more responsive for it, I have more energy, I can lift the children with less effort and I’m strong and balanced. I’ve noticed my arms getting bulk too and I’m amazed at how quickly my body is changing, from flabby and scrawny to tight and thick in just four days which is the equivalent to two hours of exercise! The tricep dips and push ups were the biggest testing point for me today as I came close to maxing out at the same point of 26:00 as my first time, but thanks to training I had that extra 10% to keep me in it this time round, and that’s what makes the difference, taking little steps and improving gradually day by day. The ab work was noticeably easier as I didn’t start to feel the burn in my core until the “L” hold, but boy oh boy did it still push me! I’m smiling from ear to ear right now as I’m approaching the end of week one in a couple of days and I couldn’t be more happier with my results so far! Rock on!
Day 5: Friday Fight: Round 1
Today is my first Friday Fight: Round 1 routine and I really messed up my timing for my workout today. Normally I workout in the morning after breakfast, but as I was pushed for time today after getting the children ready and cooking, I didn’t get to do my workout until 2pm when I normally start at 09:30am. Knowing I’d have to wait ages for my food to go down if I ate lunch first, I began my workout at 2pm on an empty stomach with the intention of eating after and having a recovery shake. But in hindsight it left me with less energy and I know I could have done far better if I’d have worked out a couple of hours later. Argh. So I maxed out at 12:12 during the scissor stance jacks as I was a limp and floppy lettuce leaf trying to jump, bend and touch the floor which ultimately led to me sprawling across the rug panting for breath and begging for water.
Friday Fight: Round 1 is an amazing routine and really kicks butt, I just wish I’d have been on track with my meals today and gone into it with optimum energy and stamina, it really goes to show how important nutrition is in fitness. Although my legs were no longer aching when I started the routine, they’ll certainly taken a bashing today and they’re totally on fire from in and outs, burpees and jumps. This is such a physically demanding routine and you need to have your game face on to see it through. I recommend a hearty meal beforehand and plenty of water!
Day 6: Pulse
The pulse routine was beautiful today, 20minutes dedicated to stretching and, you’ve guessed it, pulsing muscles as a way to unwind from an intense week. But don’t be fooled by the gentle title, as holding muscles under tension certainly works up a sweat. There were two moves that really tested me and had me gritting my teeth as I powered through. The first real burner was the plie pulse where you stand with your legs apart at 90degrees pulsing in a squat with your arms out, my thighs were literally on fire and I really had to focus my mind and control my core and legs to stay in it and fight through. The second killer move for me was the back stroke, lifting my feet a few inches off of the floor and tapping alternate arms above my head, my abs were rock solid and my entire core trembling as I pushed the small of my back into the floor and grimaced my way through. I loved todays workout and I’m totally looking forward to my rest day tomorrow to recover for week two of this insanely wonderful regime! Bring it on!
Day 7: Rest
Ahh, rest day at last, and boy oh boy did I take advantage of it. I’ve been so lazy, snuggled up on the sofa watching daytime TV and eating crunchy peanut butter on ripe bananas for protein and sweetness. I feel really good at the end of week one and can’t believe how quickly it’s going. I adore the focus and routine and I feel so much more energetic and capable with my day.
Day 8: Cardio Challenge + Ab Attack: 10
Week two and welcome to the jungle! This is where the hard work starts. Todays double routine started with the Cardio Challenge again and I managed a pretty impressive 28:15 for my max out time. When I got to the football run I was literally sprinting like jelly and could feel my arms and legs melting away, my whole body wanted to give in and I couldn’t catch my breath quickly enough, I held out as long as I could before I maxed out, took a few minutes breather and then got straight back into it.
Next up was the Ab Attack: 10 which was a compact routine lasting ten minutes and, you’ve guessed it, focusing on the abs. To be fair all of the moves set my stomach on fire, but the one that really burnt was the plank toe taps and I felt rigid as a rock as I gritted my teeth and tried my hardest to keep my back straight and my hips down to put tension on my abs. I saw the routine all the way through and celebrated with a nice cold shower and a creamy vanilla Shakeology. Bliss!
Day 9: Tabata Power
Tabata Power again today and I totally smashed it with another 30:00mins victory, and I’ve come to realise that my times have changed massively from first starting out as pretty good to now being perfect, as I can see a routine through from start to finish without stopping. But what has changed is the way that I manage the effort that I put in, to start with I hit it all guns blazing and maxed out pretty early on, finding it more difficult to come back to a routine after hitting the wall. So now that I’ve realised my limit, and understand what I’m capable of, I push myself until I’m about 5% away from maxing out and then I modify my moves to suit the amount of energy and effort I have left, thereby avoiding hitting the wall and giving in. I know the whole purpose is to max out and then get back into it, but personally I find reaching my limit and then maintaining a constant steadiness helps me to stay consistent in my workout. As time passes I will no doubt get stronger and more capable and the moves towards the end of the workout will be modified less and less. For now I’m really pleased with my progress and how hard my body is becoming.
Day 10: Sweat Intervals + Ab Attack: 10
The curse of the tired out legs hit me again today during squats and I pulled a face like a frightfully smiley shark during the the squat lunges and burpees. But I soldiered on and made it all the way through, albeit I was limping my way across the finish line. The Ab Attack has to be one of my favourite workouts simply because my stomach is the area of my body I’d like to change most. My core is firmer by the day and when I twist and bend I notice my new found strength and stability. I have no idea how long it takes to make a six pack, if ever I’ll have one, as after having two children I know there are no guarantees that I’ll be able to pull my stomach muscles back to where they once were. Overall I’ve been good with my diet and having my Shakeology shakes daily, but I have had the odd naughty treat and glass of vodka on my cheat day. I don’t believe in denying yourself the treats you enjoy, so long as you’re able to workout to earn them. But at the same time I realise that abs are made in the kitchen and I’m not going to get my dream stomach unless I’m prepared to be strict on my diet. The way I see it is that I’m building the foundation of muscle from within whilst weaning myself clean from sugar, and as I gradually take steps towards a healthier lifestyle my abs will come out of hiding! I hope!
Day 11: Tabata Power
Tabata Power, you’re a cheeky little thing aren’t you! My triceps have stated they are divorcing me and I don’t blame them after todays routine. Wow do my arms burn. I’m red hot, dripping in sweat and feeling a million dollars for how pleased I am with todays routine. I really thought I’d max out at the ‘L’ leg hold on abs at the end, but I shouted my way through it and hit the golden 30:00 minutes yet again. I think from todays progress picture you can see how my arms are developing and getting shape, from a scrawny stick to a not so shabby bicep and firmer tricep. My stomach is literally solid and I’m maintaining my no-junk diet, every day that passes is one step closer to a six pack and I know that patience is key.
Day 12: Friday Fight: Round 1
Today I maxed out at 18:15 during the burpee lunges and was literally on my hands and knees panting for breath and strength. This was my second attempt at Friday Fight: Round 1 as my first max out time was 12:12 so I’m really happy to improve. What makes this routine so hard is the fact that the first break comes at the ten minute point and so your body doesn’t have as much time or frequency to catch up and recover. A couple of minutes before I reached my max out point I began modifying my moves to hopefully ensure a consistent finish, but this time it took me over the edge and I had to break. I’m following todays routine with a strawberry Shakeology mixed with a banana and a scoop of peanut butter, cold showers never felt so good!
Day 13: Pulse + Ab Attack: 10
So today is the recovery day for this week, which started with a 20minute Pulse workout followed by the 10minute Ab Attack: 10. My legs loved the spider lunges and the cobra stretch was bliss on my spine, it really helped to unwind my muscles and top off a hectic sweaty week. My core is coming along nicely and I’m managing the burn of my quads much better now and making sure I keep up with my Shakeology and snack on crunchy peanut butter spread over cold bananas to get an extra kick of protein to help with my muscles. I just have to stop myself from eating an entire bunch at a time because it tastes incredible!
Day 14: Rest
Whoop! Rest day is the best day, as I can catch up on sleep and be lazy. Not that I recommend being a slob, but after going hard at it all week it feels incredible to crash out and heal. I took a bit of a step back today diet wise as I had a salad baguette for breakfast followed by homemade soup with crusty toast for lunch, major carb alert! So far I’ve kept away from bread but I just craved it so badly today. I’m giving myself 24 hours as a cheat day to have those little treats to keep my stomach gremlins away. I also snacked on some salted crisps that the children were nibbling on when we went to their grandparents, but rather than eat a whole bag to myself like I usually would, I only nibbled on three or four when the children were sweet enough to offer me some. Next week it’s back to the grindstone and I’ll no doubt pay for my treats in sweat very shortly!
Day 15: Cardio Challenge + Max Out Abs
Hello week three! How wonderful it is to see you, and boy oh boy are my calf muscles crying right now. The cardio challenge was a killer, and I was dripping in sweat within the first five minutes. I’d just to explain todays photo as to why it appears that I’m wearing bright red lipstick for my workout, as I had a cosmetic lipblush treatment yesterday to add pigment to my lips and make them fuller and rosy. At present my lips are scabby and healing which makes them very bright and bold, but in a weeks time they will have healed and look more natural. So I’m not actually wearing lipstick when earning my abs, although it does look a bit strange!
In the cardio challenge I maxed out at 16:49minutes today and just couldn’t hold on any longer. It was the shoulder tap in and out’s that finished me off and I took a welcome crash out on my carpet crying like a baby for my mummy. The second routine was scheduled as Max Out Abs, however on my workout calendar it says this routine isn’t included in the standard Insanity Max 30 pack, so if like me you don’t have it, then you should do Ab Attack 10 again instead. I was slightly disappointed to discover this, as I’m really into this workout particularly for the abs, so a new and exciting side routine would been great but I can understand that it’s an acquired challenge and not everybody wants all the extras. Had I have realised this when starting the program then I would have made sure I got it.
Thanks to Ab Attack 10 I now feel as though I’ve been kicked in the stomach by a horse and my abs are on fire, which means I gave it my all and I’m buzzing right now. I’m also paying particular attention to my hydration, as after cardio workouts we lose a lot of fluid in sweat and my urine becomes stronger. Sorry if that’s too much information! So today I’ve upped my water intake, ensuring I take little sips of cool tapwater throughout the day and I can use my toilet times as a colour guide to where I should be, as clear and colourless urine is healthy urine! Yum!
Day 16: Tabata Power
NEW ROUTINE ALERT! Whoop! Today was Tabata Power for the first time and I noticed a few familiar moves that I loved from Insanity, especially the Mummy Kicks and 2+2 Power Strikes. I managed a full 30:00mins without maxing out today which makes me so happy, pumped and excited but boy oh boy did I just hang in there.
This routine has far more breaks than the others I’ve done so far, as you have 20secs on and 10secs to rest along with the water breaks, so it’s enough to keep you alive but only just! Literally my entire body is burning right now, particularly my arms and my wrists feel rather weak and abused after all of the press ups and burpees, but my arms are the weakest part of my body and I’m keen to grow these so it’s a case of no pain no gain! I very nearly maxed out within the last minute of the chair hold squat and shouted and gritted my teeth all the way through. It was such a positive and powerful ending shouting MAX OUT with knees and it gave me the guts and courage to fight through those last few minutes.
I’ve made a very shocking boo-boo as I nibbled on a chunky peanut butter and bananas last night and somehow ate my way through two and a half jars since yesterday! Peanuts are a great source of protein, but this brings my additional calorie intake up by an extra 7,500kcal on top of my daily 2,500 eek! I have no idea why I ate so much but I’m literally craving peanuts now and have to go to bed early so that I don’t raid the cupboard with my teaspoon in hand. I guess I could call it my cheat day for this week, or rather my entire month. My period is approaching shortly so I blame my moment of weakness on cravings and hormones, lesson learnt, I’m being a good girl now to work off the massive overeat.
Day 17: Sweat Intervals + 360 Abs
Today was a gloriously sweaty double routine with Sweat Intervals followed by Ab Attack 10 as I don’t have 360 Abs. I got my period this morning, the first time since starting this routine and had the worst backache, stomach cramps and pain so I took some painkillers, drank some water, gave myself a pep talk and absolutely kicked my arse and now I’m dripping like a tap. It seems when I workout from the backfoot, ie. on my period, the discomfort makes me aggressive and I go even harder than usual and really smashed it today. I managed the full 30:00minutes and where I’d normally modify and feel weaker towards the end I actually felt stronger and more capable. Isn’t the body a funny but amazing thing, it’s totally mind over matter!
Day 18: Tabata Power
My second attempt at Tabata Power and I smashed it through the full 30:00minutes. I love how my body is progressing and more core is already so much stronger than when I first started. I don’t rock as much when I do the plank toe taps, and I can hold myself straighter, stiffer and for longer. My arms are also far stronger, but they have a long way to go and my wrists are now burning like mad. Baby steps each day.
Day 19: Friday Fight: Round 1
Friday Fight Round 1 totally beat me! I maxed out at 23:10 during X Jump X Plank today and ended up on the floor like a sweating and laughing blob of jelly! I love earning the burn and really hoped I’d have lasted longer but it shows how much I pushed myself and the effort I put in, so I’ll take it as a gracious water break. I’ve still got my period which makes me weak and tired and all I want to do is curl up into a ball and hug my stomach, but when I’m working out I feel so much better. Week 3 is almost over and I can’t believe how fast it’s going. Time flies when you’re having fun!
Day 20: Pulse + Ab Attack: 10
Today was the cool down routine for the week meaning plenty of stretches, lunges and ab work, and although it isn’t as full on as a sweaty cardio routine it still puts you through your paces. I feel really happy with my body and results, I’m certainly bulking up as my legs are much wider than before. My core is strong and hard and is gradually getting definition, mostly from my ribs downwards but I’m secretly hoping for a ‘V’ shape from my bikini line, I just need to stop myself from pigging out on naughty treats!
Day 21: Rest
My peanut butter addiction is at an all time high, and todays rest day was sabotaged by three peanut butter bananas and one loaded with peanut butter and chocolate cream eggs and baked in the oven. Oh and an entire family tub of Carte D’or vanilla ice cream. And some vodka and redbull. And a Mexican. Whoops! Cheat day?
Day 22: Cardio Challenge + 360 Abs
Hello kickass calorie cruncher! Cardio boiled me today and I smashed my way through to the final minute before throwing myself out in the garden into the snow to cool off. I feel amazing and destroyed at the same time. And again as I don’t have the 360 Abs routine I switched it for the Ab Attack 10. I’m on the final day of my period and my stomach cramps have been replaced with ab cramps from plank punches and v-hold! Rarrr!
Day 23: Tabata Power
Tabata Power I smashed you! Wahoo! I love it when I make it all the way through but I’m literally crossing the finish line on my hands and knees to get there. My period is over, I’m filled with energy and I’m eating rather clean now. I’m still utterly addicted to crunchy peanut butter on bananas, but I’m trying to limit how many I have. Protein is great and I know that I get everything I need from my Shakeology, but I’ll always have that sweet tooth! My goals are to really focus on cutting definition in my abs and to up my water intake, I just can’t stop running to the toilet because my bladder is always full! 🙂
Day 24: Sweat Intervals + Max Out Abs
I’m drinking more fluids today and feel amazing, I totally earned my sweat and my abs are killing me but in the best way possible. My son came out of preschool today as he was feeling weak and poorly so I’m hoping it’s just an overnight thing and that we’re not all going to come down with something because once one of us gets ill it soon takes the whole family down! Eek!
Day 25: Tabata Strength
Tabata Strength today and my arms have officially filed for a divorce, I can hardly lift the kettle to make myself a green tea! I smashed the 30minutes again today and I really had to fight my mind to do it. My legs are burning and I need a nice cool shower to bring me back to the land of the living. My little boy was off of school today and needs lots of kisses and cuddles for feeling drained and poorly poor thing. Although I feel destroyed now I’m hoping it’s from my workout and not a dreaded bug!
Day 26: Friday Fight: Round 1
Friday Fight, how I love you! This is still the hardest routine of Insanity Max 30 so far, and despite managing my maxing out to 30:00mins recently, I hit the wall at 23:09mins today during the X Jump X Plank routine. My entire body was dripping in sweat, my lungs flapping like a parachute and I was bursting for the loo because I;d drank so much water between reps to keep me going. Despite having all of the doors and windows open in this sub-zero weather I just over heated, over spent and maxed out with every fibre of my body crashing and it felt so good. I literally laid on the floor in a puddle of sweat laughing and thinking ‘darn it!’ the finish line was so close yet so far.
I’m sitting on the fence right now over my energy, my son is back at school and seems to be ok, but when I’m walking I can feel myself getting slower and it taking more effort. Maybe I need my rest day more than I think, but I don’t feel ill at all, so perhaps it’s just a few too many late nights. Pulse tomorrow should sort me out!
Day 27: Pulse + Ab Attack: 10
Pulse and Ab Attack 10 today and my core is feeling excruciatingly alive! I held out for the final seconds to compete both workouts without maxing out. I’m trying my hardest to eat clean and had grilled courgette and mushrooms with a soya sausage this morning for breakfast, but this little devil on my shoulder whispers “sugarrrrr” in my ear and immediately I drool at the thought of it. After having my two children my skin stretched incredibly and I’m unsure of wether the front of my stomach will ever be tight again. Although my stomach it may look flat the skin is still slightly loose and sits away from my muscles rather than shrink wrapping onto them which makes me think that I’ll never visibly have lower abs, but when I touch my stomach I can feel the hardness below. Perhaps it’s my naughty eating that I have to master? I guess only time will tell.
Day 28: Rest
Rest day has been utterly optimised to the max! I’ve unashamedly had a day of eating treats, going to the cinema, snuggling on the sofa and being a lazy sugar fuelled little squirrel. I was surprised by how quickly eating chocolate filled me up and tasted so sweet and sickly as I dived into a bag of giant milk chocolate buttons and couldn’t even finish half of them. Wow, how things change! Normally I’d eat them all and then scour the snack cupboard for what to have next but oddly today I found it too much and only had a few handfuls. Perhaps my body is far more in tune with a clean lifestyle than I’ve given it credit for?
Day 29: Max Out Cardio
WEEK FIVE! Oh no, if I thought Insanity Max 30 was hard enough already, I’ve just began month two of the calendar and move from the blue zone into the red. My palms were literally clammy with sweat as I push play on the DVD knowing that cardio is a killer on the best of days, but Max Out Cardio seems far more scary!
I was determined to ram headfirst into this routine after my rather calorific cheat day yesterday. One thing that really stood out from this routine was the fact that each move is so brief, and just as you’re about to cry for forgiveness it switches to another, from arms to legs, jumps to planks. For me it made the workout seem far longer than usual, despite only being 30mins like every routine in this package, as you return to each move more than a couple of times and my body was ready to move on after the second set of each reps. I literally hung in by the skin of my teeth until 14:30 when the Moving Slap Back Jack just finished me off and I had to crash out on the floor and catch my breath and cool off.
Day 30: Max Out Power
I knew Max Out Power would be painful, simply from the title! And I was determined to give it my all and get to the 20th minute at least, but I took my max out at just 13:08mins during the push-up pop-up’s. Right before that the squat holds left me shaking and grimacing and the arms just finished me off, they’re still the weakest part of my body and my biggest mountain to climb. Without a doubt the pop up killed my biceps and I just had to flop. But then I got back up and carried on and earned that burn! Iron Legs – I hate you but I’m smiling so much right now! Rarrrr! 🙂
Day 31: Max Out Sweat
Well that did exactly what it said on the tin! Boy oh boy did I sweat today, I think I’d have been drier standing in a thunderstorm! I maxed out at 14:40mins during the knee switch kicks which left me jumping like a tender jelly after my legs took a mega pasting. The squats, lunges and burpees were delightfully violent and I just couldn’t hold it out until the water break despite trying my hardest. A few minutes of huffing and puffing like an old pelican and I was straight back to it, hobbling my way through the rest of the routine where I’m now triumphantly burnt out but pleased with my effort. I’ve come to bed at 18:53pm for two reasons, firstly I’m done it, and secondly if I’m in bed then I’m at the fridge licking out my crunchy peanut butter jar! Must stay strong if I’m going to get those abs.
Day 32: Max Out Strength
Today was Max Out Strength and I smashed my way through an impressive 30mins and feel so proud. Yes, I had to modify my moves from about two thirds of the way in and I crossed the finish line at about 60% energy, but I wanted to prove to myself that I could go the whole hog. Now I can work on upping my output and reaching a max out point that I can be proud of.
Day 33: Friday Fight: Round 2
Today my period came, and it only seems like the other day that I said goodbye to Mother Nature? I’m feeling blah and just want to snuggle up on the sofa with a hot water bottle and jar of peanut butter and veg out. But a little bit of blood never hurt anyone! And I have to be stubborn and not feel sorry for myself else I’ll be in danger of turning into a quitter, and winners never quit because quitters never win. I maxed out at a rather nonchalant 11:13mins today during the free runners where I literally couldn’t even jump off of the ground I was that destroyed. I had to pause the DVD< take a five minute green tea break, catch my breath then get back to it and I cross the finish feeling beautifully destroyed. Unlike Friday Fight Round 1, Friday Fight Round 2 has shorter bursts for each routine which makes the session seem far longer, and after a minute and a half of one set I keep expecting it to be the same as the five minute mark of month one which is a little disheartening! But month 2 has some fantastically gruelling routines which leave me catastrophically content! 🙂
UPDATE: Health Issues
I just wanted to pop a little update quickly as you may have noticed that I haven’t posted my progress in a couple of weeks now, but I’m still here and soldiering on! After having my last period I continued to bleed for several more days and became very weak and tired constantly, eventually going to the doctor who advised I had failed to ovulate properly at my last period, which meant my body didn’t switch off the bleeding. As a result I lost a lot of blood and was put on medication to slow the bleeding until my next period. I’m on iron tablets to help and I’m due a blood test in a couple of days.
The doctor advised my healthy active lifestyle has nothing to do with my period failing, as it’s just one of those things that happens sometimes and the body has to reset itself. I’m still a little weak and shaky but getting stronger by the day and hoping to return to my Insanity Max 30 routine within the next week once I get the all clear from my test results. In the meantime I’m trying to clean up my diet and eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in preparation for finishing the final few weeks of my routine. Taking a break during a routine isn’t ideal as it means I’ll have to do a lot to catch up to where I was, but health comes first and I’d rather finish late than never.
Day 34: Pulse
Today I returned to Insanity Max 30 today after I thankfully received the all clear from my doctor and despite feeling weaker than my usual self, I didn’t realise just how quickly my body could slip. I’ve been comfort eating large meals the same size as if I were training, only I’ve not done any exercise other than my daily walking and tending to the children. I’m on iron tablets which have started to help as they’re now in my system and creating very interesting bathroom times! Oh joy. As far as my stomach goes the excessive bleeding has stopped and I’m still getting stomach cramps which I hope will turn into a real and successful period very soon! The doctor is happy to think that my failed ovulation is a one-off and possibly down to my hormone imbalance, as it’s tortured me for many years and disrupted my cycle many times before, just never quite to this extent.
Checking my calendar for todays workout I was incredibly relieved to see the Pulse routine as it’s somewhat the cooldown of them all and is only twenty minutes in length. I took to it like a shaky lamb, with my arms, legs and core burning with every squat, pulse and hold and I really had to grit my teeth to get through it, but boy oh boy do I feel so alive for the first time in what feels like forever. To feel my heart beat, my blood pump and my body burn is simply beautiful and I’m determined to clean up my diet and get on track for the final few weeks on Insanity Max 30. It’s a shame that my period failed and stopped me in my tracks, but I’m keen to carry on from where I stopped and pick up the slack.
Day 35: Rest
Today is supposed to be a rest day but seeing as I’ve taken so much time off of training to heal I’m skipping the rest and going straight into the next workout which just so happens to be a double routine of Max Out Cardio and Ab Attack 10, d’oh! It’s not how long it takes you to finish but the fact that you see it through until the end that counts.
Day 36: Max Out Cardio + Ab Attack: 10
So the floor hops floored me today at 21:28 mins and I’m pretty impressed that I lasted so long. The low plank punches really tested me today, as did the slap back jacks and literally every move to be fair! I gave it my all and really tried to hold for my max out time, I’m just glad to have made it past the half way mark and hope that each day I will regain my strength and stamina and do better. My abs feel like they need an ice bath after Ab Attack, thank goodness it’s only ten minutes of torture!
Day 37: Max Out Power
Wow! My arms! My legs! My core! Blimey that was hot! I made it all the way through without maxing out and I feel on fire right now with the biggest smile on my face. I really thought I’d crack when I was working on my arms, by far still the weakest part of my body and I was trembling like jelly as I’ve not worked my arms in weeks but I made it through, slow and steady and at my own pace. And just as I thought my arms would die we switched to legs and I realised I could face a whole lot more torture, those chair holds and pulsing, my goodness! Literally by iron legs time I was squealing like a piglet, screwing up my face, grunting through each breath and burning on all cylinders to kill that final minute. I feel amazing, so alive and I’m so happy to have pushed myself and held my own. I’m getting my body back on track again and loving it.
Day 38: Max Out Sweat + Ab Attack: 10
10:23 switch kick punch. You killer you! So that’s a max out time that I’m not too proud to boast about, but I gave my all and burnt out pretty fast today. This routine is just so pumped with cardio and it literally set me on fire by the two minute mark. Reciprocating knee and low plank punches always kill my abs, but when you feel that burn you know that you’ve earned it and that’s what keeps me going!
Day 39: Max Out Strength
Whoop, 30:00minutes and I didn’t max out! Thank you, thank you! I feel fabulous today, and after the Max Out Strength my arms are destroyed and my legs are crying like the worlds tiniest violins each time that I walk, but it was well worth the effort indeed. I’m expecting my period to show its face soon, but I’m not 100% sure when that will be. Hopefully my body will have reset itself since my last menstrual cycle failed and I can continue to complete the rest of Insanity Max 30 without a hitch! I’m looking forward to earning myself that T-shirt with some wicked before and after pictures! 🙂
Day 40: Friday Fight: Round 2
Wow, 11:00 minutes in and Free Runner just topped me off, I laughed myself onto the floor as I maxed out like a mother! What a sweaty hot panting mess I am today. But Friday Fight is always the strongest workout of them all and it really takes all you have and then some to keep it going. I’m really pleased with my results and I’m eating so clean and healthy all week and having a cheat day at weekends enjoying pudding and wine because I think I’d go insane without something sweet and intoxicating. So long as you strike a good balance and put more good in than bad food wise then you’ll always come out on top. I have just two weeks left of Insanity Max 30 and I seriously don’t want it to end, I love the routine and energy that it gives me, and without it I know I’d be a summer couch potato!
Day 41: Pulse + Ab Attack: 10
Low plank punches always get to me, as do the plie pulse squats, but I grit my teeth, dug my heels in and aced todays double routine without stopping. Can I get a “hell yeh!” It’s a relief that today wasn’t as fast paced as the others, yet it’s certainly still trying on every inch of the body. My core literally feels as though I’ve been kicked by a horse and that’s why I’m smiling because I sure earned that burn! Whoop! Bring on next week and the countdown to the finish line begins!
Day 42: Rest
I think it’s safe to say that I aced todays rest day, I’m rather good at crashing out and doing nothing! Boy did I need a rest after this week!
Day 43: Max Out Cardio + Max Out Abs
Pumped and puffed sums me up pretty well right now. I maxed out at 15:40 minutes during the plank squats and feel pretty great about the effort I put in as I really hit it at 100% full steam all the way thanks to my pre workout. My body feels so alive and I’m loving the tone and solidity of my body, if only my fridge wasn’t filled with Easter eggs and chocolate bars, bad times!
Day 44: Max Out Power
Push ups, iron legs and slap back jacks. Need I say more!? I have no idea how I hung on for the full 30:00 minutes, a little like the terminator I suppose when the machine is chasing the people in the car with iron hooks stabbed into the rear window, flailing and being tossed about like a rag doll. I really focused on my breathing, taking big lung fulls of air and pacing myself with each move counting down a minute at a time until the relief of changing to the next body part. Fitness is indeed a mind game, now I just need to install a lock on my fridge door and I’ll be well away!
Day 45: Max Out Sweat + 360 Abs
High knee switch kicks at 16:15 yoooooow! I’m a sweaty bright red mess right now, so I guess I’m doing it right then. Thanks to Ab Attack 10 again my abs are so hot I could jump into an ice bath and melt it in an instant. 11 days until the finish line, I’m coming for you t-shirt!
Day 46: Max Out Strength
Today I have my period which is a little strange as it’s certainly not normal. I have tenderness, stomach cramps and lower back ache but hardly any blood which is frustrating as I don’t think my womb has had a chance to catch up with itself yet. Max Out Strength today was a bit of a tough cookie as the breaks were few and far between, but thankfully it’s a routine that switches up between body areas allowing me to recover inbetween as I think a cardio routine would have killed me off today. Despite Mother Nature pulling a strop on me I feel really good in myself, my thoughts are positive and I’m loving my fitness journey, I just need to get my insides on par! Plenty of water to hydrate and fresh homemade food and I’m sure I’ll be fine in a few days.
Day 47: Friday Fight: Round 2
Friday Fight Night is always a punishment, but a welcome one at that. And although I feel rather blah still from my period I’m in a really positive mood, with a can-do attitude and I paced myself and took the full 30:00minutes of my workout in my stride. My lungs feel as though they’re on fire now but it was well worth the effort and I’m drinking plenty of water to rehydrate and keep active. Fitness is certainly a case of mind over matter and today totally proved that for me.
Day 48: Pulse + Ab Attack: 10
The combined Pulse and Ab Attack 10 workouts today really got me burning, although they’re not so cardio involved they still push your muscles and make you feel the burn. The squats always get me gritting my teeth, low plank punches make me want to cry and I’m getting rather good at the ab sprint now and final few minutes of punches. I feel great about my body and stamina, just a little blah and tired from my period, great timing as always but it won’t stop me reaching that finish line.
Day 49: Rest
I really needed todays rest break, my period is certainly giving me a run for my money! I need a good back rub, feet up and a bunch of grapes. Boo hoo!
Day 50: Max Out Cardio + 360 Abs
Cardio today got my blood pumping hard, it’s been almost half an hour since I finished my double workout and I’m still looking rather peachy! I ran at about 80% all the way through today and feel great about my stamina, I’m much happier with my legs than when I first started as they’re picking up size and definition amazingly well. My core is just solid, yet my love of ice cream gets in the way of my abs coming out to play. I simply can’t deny myself the food that I love in life, but I’d love to have a six pack. Will I find the will power to say ta-ta to sugar for my final five days? Let’s hope so!
Day 51: Max Out Power
Max Out Power today really got me burning, I’m glowing like a strawberry at the moment, huffing and puffing and every inch of me aching. The arms section really got to me today but I modified and carried on the entire way through. They’re still the weakest part of my body but I’m so much stronger than when I first started and my arms have definition and allow me to lift shopping bags and the children with less effort than before so I know that I’ve progressed. Iron Legs left me howling at the end and now I’m looking forward to a beautiful cool shower to celebrate. High five fitfam!
Day 52: Max Out Sweat + Max Out Abs
What a nice little killer combo today was, I love a good sweat session and it certainly didn’t disappoint. 30:00minutes of smashing it and keeping my breathing and mind on track, although I was in my underwear with all the doors and windows of the house open to let in the cold air, glugging back gallons of water with my music cranked up to keep me in the zone. The 360 frog jumps were what almost finished me and I came so close to maxing out, but I’m glad that I didn’t because I’ve become accustomed to maintaining consistency now. My body is feeling great and I’m celebrating todays win with a sweet potato salad and pint of water. Only three more days until the finish line, eek!
Day 53: Max Out Strength
Today was a wonderful mix of the entire body to the point of my muscles wanting to explode as the press ups and lunges really got me grunting. I have just two workouts left until I complete Insanity max 30 and I’m feeling on top of the world right now. I went so hard today and fully expected to max out during the arms section but my water break came at the perfect time and gave me enough chance to recover slightly and keep going.
Day 54: Friday Fight: Round 2My final Friday Fight and I owned it all the way to the finish line, a full 30:00minutes – take that sweat!! Pow! I feel totally on fire, pumped up, adrenaline fuelled and going out on a high right now for my final mega workout. Tomorrows cardio challenge can’t possibly be as demanding today, and I feel like right now I can take on anything. I’ve loved my Insanity Max 30 journey and can’t believe I’ll be crossing the finish line tomorrow, it’s gone so fast, but I’m so ready for it! 🙂
Day 55: Cardio ChallengeToday I ended my Insanity Max 30 journey with the same workout that I began with, the Cardio Challenge. And boy oh boy was it a challenge! These past few months I’ve accustomed myself to going harder for longer within my workout and I had to prove to myself today that I could see it all the way through to the final minute which I’m over the moon to have achieved.
When I started my Insanity Max 30 journey I wanted to gain strength, muscles and firm up my stomach and the icing on the cake would be to have a six-pack. When I don’t workout I’m scrawny and squishy, and when I do workout I eat like it’s the end of the world and my entire body becomes thick and hard. It’s not easy to gain muscle but it’s worth every drop of sweat and ounce of energy to earn it, and for some my before and after pictures might not seem that dramatic. Instead of losing weight with Insanity Max 30 I have used it to gain weight, in muscle, and it’s been the most energetic and challenging experience.
When I walk my legs feel so strong and sturdy, I feel like a machine as my body carries me forward with very little effort or resistance, unlike before training when I would get out of breath walking up and down the stairs or struggle when carrying my shopping up a hill, now it’s an absolute breeze. My arms have always been a sticking point in my fitness, as I had very little calcium as a child and had to take osteo tablets in my teens, my wrists and elbows click and I find it hard to support my body weight, but through doing Insanity Max 30 I now have strong biceps and triceps. You know when you hold a baby and they seem so tiny and light, and then you pick up a toddler and they feel like a battleship in comparison, heavy and chunky? Well that’s how my arms feel now, only as the reverse, as before I would struggle to pick up my seven year old daughter and spin her around, and now I do it with very little effort and fling her about as if she’s suddenly the same weight as a baby. My strength and ability has improved massively.
Moving on to the stomach, my problem area and worst enemy! When I had my two children I put on 8stone in weight across both pregnancies, and this in turn affected my stomach muscles. There are two large parallel bands of muscles that meet in the middle of the abdomen, and under pressure these can separate, which is a condition called diastasis recti or diastasis recti abdominis which causes a bulge in the middle of the abdomen. When I put my stomach muscles under pressure, such as doing crunches and situps, my stomach rises up into a cone shape and it makes me look pregnant from where my muscles have been stretched. As my stomach got so large during my pregnancies my skin also stretched which gave my stretchmarks across my stomach, hips and thighs and now that I’ve lost my baby weight the skin around the front of my stomach is no longer tight, but more of a loose pouch that sits away from my muscles. Since this is an area of my body that I particularly wanted to change, I wasn’t sure just how effective a workout could be when my skin is loose and sits away from my body.
Through choosing the Ab Maximiser routine for Insanity Max 30 I had hoped that this would be my best chance of achieving a six pack, and although the final photos do not show it, my stomach has changed incredibly from inside. Before when I would poke a finger into my belly it felt as though I was touching a pillow, my finger could sink in with very little resistance. Now when I poke my belly I immediately hit a wall of muscle and if I push my finger in further I can feel it pushing back and springing into place, so the framework and support is there, just it’s below the surface and perhaps not that visible. A major factor in building abs is undeniably the lifestyle that you lead and food that you eat, and for me food has been a major challenge. When I workout I get incredibly hungry, and without working out I simply love and adore food anyway. To achieve abs you have to be scrupulous with what you eat and avoid food high in calories such as reducing whole fat milk to low fat milk or oat milk instead. Carbs, protein and fats are essential to building abs, only their portions have to be carefully monitored. It’s best to reduce your carbs, but still have a little, however because I’m vegetarian I consume a lot of rice, pulses and lentils, with brown rice and chickpeas being my staple breakfast each day when working out because it is high in energy, yet also high in carbs. Peanut butter is an amazing source of protein which I very quickly became addicted to and had to stop buying as I was getting through a bunch of bananas and a jar of crunchy peanut butter each day! Processed peanut butter contains added sugar and fats which aren’t as healthy as pure peanut butter, but it tastes so great I couldn’t resist it.
In all, my love affair with food was never going to allow me to be strict on myself, as upping my calories to gain and support muscle development then affected my ability to sculpt abs. The abs exercises in the workout have certainly made my core incredibly strong and responsive and now I can crunch, situp and floor cycle until the cows come home, but I have to accept I can never have a six pack. Post pregnancy skin, upping my calories so that I don’t lose weight, and loving my food is not a winning ab equation. But at the same time it has allowed me to have a fantastic lifestyle. During Insanity Max 30 I certainly haven’t dieted, I’ve eaten almost twice as much as I normally would, and I’ve had heaps of Easter chocolate, treats and cheat days along the way, but I could afford to do it because I used my workouts to break even on my eating. If I hadn’t have eaten so much food when doing my routines I would have lost weight and become anorexic and my muscle tissue would have wasted away because of a lack of protein and nutrition. Insanity Max 30 isn’t a diet, punishment or burst of exercise, it is a lifestyle, a healthy way of living and a small 30 minute change to your day, each day, every day. And that’s what makes it so successful.
Thanks to Insanity Max 30 I am the strongest I have every physically been, my stamina is second to none, my agility, flexibility and control is on peak and I’m eating a healthy balanced diet, sleeping soundly and keeping my body hydrated and fuelled. From a worn out, hectic single mother to a muscle bound calm swan, I couldn’t recommend fitness more highly to change your life completely. And from all of the Beachbody programs I have tried for home workouts, the Insanity Max 30 certainly delivers a manageable and concise burst of energy to your day that makes an incredible difference to your physique in such a very short space of time.
If you have any questions, thoughts or feedback on Insanity Max:30, or if you’re doing the routine too, please feel free to leave them in the comments box below for me and don’t forget to check back tomorrow for my progress! Let’s get fit together!