Progress Update: Insanity Week 4

Another week is done and gone… Yessir, Insanity week 4 is officially over which means it is time for my weekly check-in. In addition, this marks the end of month 1 and the start of recovery week. This is a big milestone for me, and I am excited to share everything with you below.

If you are still on the fence about whether or not Insanity is right for you, I recommend a quick read of my month 1 closing post. For those that haven’t read it, I noted that I am waiting until the start of week 6 (fit test 3) before taking my next set of measurements and pictures. I have my reasons for this and I truly believe they are good ones, but I want to take a minute to explain them here for you:

Insanity Week 4Firstly, I know that if I were measuring too often the daily fluctuations might become a source of discouragement. Perceived progress is what keeps me motivated through this program, and I don’t want some extra water weight to screw this up.

Secondly, I want to keep things simple. I know that weight alone is not a good indicator of progress since I should be adding muscle mass and cutting fat simultaneously. In order to see the whole picture I would need to take some additional measurements and that is a lengthy process.

Thirdly, I have a tendency to get over-excited when it comes to results. Knowing myself, I would use results as an excuse for missing a workout or eating poorly. This could potentially set me back a couple of days worth of progress, or maybe worse.

And lastly, I have arbitrarily decided that I want to lump all of my progress indicators together, which means taking measurements on the same days as I take the fit tests.

Again, I think my logic on this matter is sound, and I would encourage any of you that are considering Insanity to follow a similar approach. With that out of the way, lets get on to:

Insanity Week 4: Week In Review

Insanity Week 4 looks like this:

Week 4 Calendar

  • Day 22: Pure cardio and cardio abs
  • Day 23: Cardio power and resistance
  • Day 24: Plyometric cardio circuit
  • Day 25: Cardio recovery
  • Day 26: Pure cardio and cardio abs
  • Day 27: Plyometric cardio circuit
  • Day 28: Rest

Now is probably an appropriate time to mention that this week was full of setbacks for me. I missed Friday’s workout altogether and lumped Wednesday’s workout in with Thursday’s workout, performing one in the morning and one in the evening. In addition, my diet suffered once again, primarily in the form of too much alcohol. I don’t believe this will put me back overall, and to be honest, I had a good time and don’t have any regrets. That said, this blog is here to keep me accountable, so I will provide all of the details below.

Monday: Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs

I think this was the first time I noticed just how cheesy the pure cardio intro is. They do a stupid little cheer that seems so forced, and it made me laugh a little bit. Anyway, I was feeling much better about this particular workout this time around. That is, until I hit the level 2 drills. I just about collapsed from exhaustion once again, but somehow managed to get myself back up and running.

I gave myself about 5 minutes of rest after pure cardio before jumping into cardio abs. I noticed huge improvements in all of my oblique work, which is awesome. I am curious if this will be evident in the fit test or if I am just imagining things. Even with these improvements, I am still struggling to perform more than two of the dual leg raises with proper form. If I hadn’t watched the whole Insanity crew perform them so many times, I might even go so far as to say that they are impossible.

My diet was spectacular on this day.

Tuesday: Cardio Power and Resistance

On Tuesday I realized that my favorite workout is cardio power and resistance. I think this is because it actually includes some resistance training and I would like to build up (among other things) my chest and triceps. This workout does just that. Unfortunately, this was also the last day that I will be performing this workout, so I can only hope that the max workouts prove to be similarly stimulating.

My diet was also spot on today. At least it was before the clock rolled over to midnight…

Wednesday: Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Fail Whale Wednesday!

Fail Whale! Speaking of Twitter, you should follow me

A little after 12:00 am on Wednesday morning my roommates walked through the door. Wednesday was labor day here in Peru and they were in a mood to celebrate. Three times they offered (delicious food and drink), but I only managed to turn them down twice… I finally gave in, ate an obscene amount of food (everything from chicken wings to corn smothered in cheese to chocolate-y desserts… All-in-all quite an odd combination of foods) and drank a lot of pisco.

Fast forward to Wednesday afternoon – I am stuck somewhere between food poisoning and hangover and decide to take the day off from Insanity. ‘Not a problem,’ I thought. ‘I will make up for it tomorrow.’

Thursday: Cardio Recovery

Due to my failure the day before, I decided to complete two separate workouts today. So I woke up in the morning and performed plyometric cardio circuit right away (incidentally, since this day I have been doing all of my workouts in the morning… It leaves me feeling more energized throughout the rest of the day). Then I went about my day and in the evening came back to the TV for cardio recovery. It was a tough day, but I felt great afterwards. Oh and let’s not forget to mention that I got right back on track with diet today.

Friday: Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs

I spent a good part of today ‘preparing’ for Sunday (I’ll explain below) and it left me unfit to perform todays workout. ‘No worries’ I thought once again – I can just do what I did last time I missed a workout. I didn’t let diet suffer, though I did drink a lot of tequila…

Saturday: Plyometric Cardio Circuit

On Saturday I had planned to do both yesterday’s and today’s workout, but when I considered that there would be three in total, laziness prevailed… Needless to say, I skipped Friday’s workout and only did plyometric cardio circuit.

Later on, ‘the night in white’ was going on just up the street from my apartment. This was a sort of art fair in the streets of Barranco, and it ended in another night of me having too much to drink. From a pure calorie perspective I probably did alright as I was having too much fun to bother to stop and eat my second meal of the day. However, I think it is important to note that I robbed myself of valuable nutrients by doing so.

Sunday: Rest

I think ‘fiesta’ would be a more appropriate description than ‘rest.’ Sunday was cinco de mayo which I always celebrate back home with Mexican food and margaritas. Not wanting to miss a beat, I cooked up some Mexican dishes for everyone and made a batch of margaritas (this was what I was ‘prepping’ for on Friday). With the way the week had already been going, one more day couldn’t hurt…

Thoughts On My Results To Date

The comment I made after week 3 still held true through Insanity week 4: I find myself pushing a little harder with every passing day. Before I started Insanity I was more than happy to just half-ass any workout I was doing. I believe this is a great indicator of the current state of my overall fitness. I am now able to take my workouts further every single day while still enjoying them. This is a new feeling for me, and one that I am very excited about! Hopefully it stands up to the test of month 2…

Additionally, I mentioned above that I can feel some serious strength improvements in my obliques, which is very promising. Even so, I hinted at the fact that my ab strength overall still needs a lot of work. I will be curious to see how this affects my results when the next fit test rolls around, especially considering I will have a week of ‘rest’ in between.

I am also very curious about month 2. I am not quite ready to watch the DVDs to prepare myself, but I have done a bit of reading on the subject. Most people seem to immediately comment on how difficult it is after the first workout (for example, and another). I hope this doesn’t prove to be something that puts me off of the program altogether and that I am able to continue normally. I believe that after having already made it 4 weeks into Insanity, nothing will be able to stop me from continuing. But I guess only time will tell, so be sure to check back soon.

What About You?

Have you started Insanity yet? How are you doing so far? If you have some insights into month 2, I would love to hear them.

For those that haven’t started yet, what is holding you back? Let me know in the comments and maybe I can provide the last little push you need to get into the best shape of your life.

Until next time,

Ryan


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