This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
Insanity, heard of it? Experienced it? I’m not talking about the other half driving you to distraction or children making you loopy! I’m talking about Insanity, the American fitness regime that’s truly for the insane! I stumbled across it on a mundane midweek evening back in April. I was aware that my fitness regime of power walking and the occasional run wasn’t showing the results I had hoped; no matter how much I increased my pace or distance I didn’t see the overall toning I assumed I would achieve. So whilst Mr B was engrossed in another naff reality TV show, I browsed through my emails and found the following ad:
Are you ready for the Insanity challenge? After warming up and stretching you work flat out in 3 to 5-minute blocks, and take breaks only long enough to gulp some air and get right back to work. It’s called Max Interval Training, because it keeps your body working at maximum capacity through your entire workout. You keep pushing your limits – so your body has to adapt.
‘Ooh’ I thought, ‘that sounds fun’ and whilst glugging another glass of wine responded to the ad, requesting a place on the course. After a few polite and administration emails I was asked to sign a medical form and to return asap with all emergency contact details. I thought it was a bit OTT for a little aerobics class, honestly, all the red tape these days spoils everything! A week before the course commenced I received this rather OTT motivating email:
Please bring towels to mop up the sweat plus sweat bands are always useful! Please arrive on time and be ready to start as once we get going there ‘ain’t no going back’ to the start! 😉 I will discuss options as we go so don’t panic…not yet anyway 😉 It is going to be FUN and we are going to work hard and I want to see results….be afraid….very afraid!! Let’s do it, let’s go crazy for 12 weeks and share sweat, blood and tears 😉 I am ready. Are you???
Oh dear…more Americanisms! I can’t stand all the jeered up American hard core, pumped up fitness talk, load of baloney! I forwarded the email to my darling other half who promptly called me back advising me to search for Insanity on YouTube. Oh Lordy….what had I got myself into?!?!!! Please, at my amusement, feel free to do the same! The video is filled with pumped up American fitness fanatics doing lunges, squats, one handed push ups, planks, bench presses, tuck jumps and other fat busting moves! Wow, now I was scared. What on earth had I signed up for? Worse still, am I going to be the most unfit person there? This is obviously aimed at the gym loving adults of the world! In other words not me….
Well you’ll be please to know I survived the first session. I was so nervous I had butterflies and for about an hour before the class kept needing to pee! I thought I was going to die only five minutes into the class but somehow I survived and managed to walk out elated. It is not for the fainthearted. Honestly this is a hardcore fat busting routine that pushes you to your limits, not only physically but also emotionally.
The classes intensify on a weekly basis and you use your own bodyweight to train. The pace is fast, and even when you think you can’t move a muscle, somehow you always find a way. My other half summed it up perfectly, you’ve got to be a masochist to love it!
I am now on week 8, I still leave wobbly legged, beetroot red, sweat pouring from every pore and more exhausted than the week before, but I will confess it’s also mildly addictive. I have lost just over 4kg in 8 weeks so I am seeing results on the scales, but most importantly I am getting toned. My stomach muscles now show, my arms have definition and my bum has lifted itself off the floor!
My local paper did an article on our class with the headline, “Are you insane enough for this exercise class?” Quite, which is why I’m signed up for the next one too! Sweatbands at the ready!