Monday, June 20, 2011

Time to Get Serious!!!

So, I was talking to my brother the other day to get an idea of how he was progressing out in the desert, and I was quite shocked. He told me that he is already nearing his goal of 175 lbs and anticitpates that he will be exceeding his own expectations by the time his deployment is complete. This can't be possible; I'm talking about my little brother who is supposed to be skinny and puny! Last I saw him, he was at 160 lbs, which was the heaviest he's ever been. As of two days ago, he is at 168 lbs.

I'm sitting here wondering why it is that I have not stepped my game up at this point. I've been taking it easy on myself lately, but I am more than happy to show people different exercises I've learned thorugh Insanity in an effort to get folks to join the workout fever. Seeing how quick my brother has progressed has reinvigorated my desire to push ahead. I was actually contemplating delaying another few weeks to get the necessary equipment for the P90X workout, but I think I am going to go ahead and start doing workouts in my job's fitness center 5 days per week. This way I just don't skip a beat.

Another thing I am going to do is work toward doing at least 150 pushups per day. Once I get used to it, I will increase the count to 200 pushups and continue increasing in increments of 50 until I reach my peak. I guess my workout partner is proving to be more of a motivator than even I anticipated! It helps that he likes to brag about it: something I used to do quite a bit until I got out of the military and reallity set in, lol. I could use the excuse that I didn't have time to keep myself in shape, but that would just be a lie. I got lazy and let myself go. Anyway, that is in the past and is not important today.

The point is that my brother is in this just as much as I am. While we are not in the same place, we are still trying to outdo each other. It is great when there is someone there to challenge you to exceed expectations. That mindset applies with anyone. You always want someone that is going to push you as much as you push them. It's almost like being in a relationship with a significant other. In order for it to work, you have to be able to see things eye to eye with one another. Additionally, it is important for you and your significant other to challenge one another to be better as time goes on.

I am not a professional coach or trainer. I don't have a degree, certicication, or any other formal education to back up what I say on my blog. I do have my word. I do have my pictures to support my testimony. While I don't have the educational background, I have my lifetime experiences. I go with what I know. There are people who always like to see the proof behind what I tell them. Everyone is always looking for someone to support their argument. Well, I am the proof to my arguments. I intend to improve going forward. My brother is my motivator/challenger. In six months, the results will be the proof.

The question everyone asks me: how did you change so much in such a short period? The answer I give them: a lot of hard work and discipline...with a little dose of Insanity. Until next time...KEEP DIGGING DEEPER!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Workout Buddies Don't need to Be Present!!!

There is this constant that I hear from everyone: it would be great to have a workout buddy! For a long time, I fell into the category of needing a workout partner. As a matter of fact, I still do! I think it is great to have someone there, giving you the motivation to get that extra rep done during a given exercise. Not only do you find it in you to get that last rep in there, but you suddenly feel like you can go another 2 hours in the gym after accomplishing the feat.

There is just something about the feel of going to the gym by yourself that leaves you less motivated and unwilling to give it your all. There were so many times where I would go to the gym, and not even know what to do. In those situations I would get on a random machine, do some reps, and just walk around for a period until I felt like there was something else I could do. My motivation would be at an extreme low; after a while I would just leave the gym feeling like it was a waste of time and gas.

I feel like I am being somewhat hypocritical right now. The reason: I didn't have a workout partner present when I did my Insanity routine. Not one time did I have someone working out beside me: unless you consider my two year old daughter a workout partner! There were plenty of times throughout the routine when I would wonder how it is that I am getting through this without anyone there. That is when it dawned on me: I DID HAVE WORKOUT PARTNERS. The only thing is that they were not there with me.

Technology has made life easy; in some ways, it can be considered a gift and a curse. In this case, however, it was definitely a gift. About two weeks into Insanity, I found out that my best friend in Boston was working out as well. Being the competitive one, I knew I had to finish this routine: especially knowing that he was on a quest for weight loss as well. I also found out that one of my younger brothers - who happens to be stationed out in Alaska - is also on a fitness trip. He is in it for muscle building/weight gaining purposes. While our goals differ, they are fitness related nevertheless.

While the motivation was not in front of me, I still received it from people who were also in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. They may have been thousands of miles away from me, but their progress has proven addictive as it only helped to increase my desire to improve as well. The conclusion: workout buddies do not have to be present in order to provide you with the additional push. I am in Texas, and I was able to go the extra mile through motivation from people in Massachusetts and Alaska.

To put this on full display, I have decided to have my brother participate in this blog with me. Folks, he is no longer in Alaska. He will be reporting from the other side of the world: in the Middle East. That being said, he has not lost track of his goals. He plans to gain between 10 and 15 lbs in the next 6 months while he is deployed and serving his country. Just to give people an idea of the challenges he is facing: my brother has a very active metabolism that will be working against him. Additionally, he is going to have to contend with the summer months; that means he will be experiencing temperatures between 125 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. If you take those two factors into consideration, gaining 10 to 15 pounds is no small feat.

So, I am challenging him in a few ways. I want him to keep accountability on this blog just as I have. Our goals kind of work out evenly because I have about 15 pounds to LOSE to get to my goal weight while he has the same amount of weight to GAIN to reach his goal weight. Secondly, I am going to have him include pictures of his own to track each other's progress over the next 6 months. This should be pretty interesting.

His method of training will involve more heavy lifting, while mine will be a little more cardio based. There will be lifting involved through the P90X training, but not to build mass. As previously stated, I will probably substitute some P90X workouts with Insanity workouts. This will most likely happen if I notice more building taking place as opposed to breaking down. If anyone wants to join us in this challenge, by all means let me know and I will be sure to help you in tracking your progress as well.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Insanity and P90X...Why Not Insanity: The Asylum?!

I've been told by plenty that the P90X routine pales in comparison to the Insanity routine as far as the intensity level is concerned. That being said I am still not going to take it lightly. I think I am so focused on maxing out from Insanity that I am going to find myself doing the same with P90X. I think I will still be able to feel some kind of effect simply because I haven't been doing my Insanity lately.

Unfortunately my youngest daughter sustained an injury. As a result, she has been super demanding of attention. She's calmed down quite a bit as of late so I am going to do a combination of the core cardio and balance and the cardio abs. I'll do cardio abs every other day so that I can avoid potential soreness that may result. Ok, enough about Insanity and my petty reasons for not staying religious with my workouts: I want to talk a bit more about the P90X routine.

It is definitely a routine which piqued my interest well before I became interested in Insanity. As a matter of fact, I was contemplating taking the step forward and buying the equipment in preparation for acquiring the routine. I decided not to simply because I was living in an apartment at the time and did not want to deal with the possibility of disturbing neighbors while I jumped around with my workouts on at full blast. I like to make the experience as real as possible. Once I got into a house, I realized I didn't have to worry about disturbing people above or below me, so life became significantly more convenient.

Many people have told me I got the hard part out of the way by doing Insanity, but I think it really depends on how one approaches it. I think P90X can be a beast in its own right if you do it right. I am going to look into picking up some weights, but I am going to make sure that I have enough weight so that I can increase my intensity as I go through the workouts. I am going to try every workout at least once just to see where I stand. If I see that my endurance is higher than expected, I will either increase the weight I lift with, or I will simply substitute that workout for one of my Max Interval workouts from Insanity. While I may increase in my muscle tone and mass through P90X, I can still work to get the quality burn from Insanity.

Now, I have been asked on a few occasions why I am electing not to go with the Insanity: The Asylum workout and the reason is simple. I want to wait a while to see what people have to say about it. I am sure that there is plenty of intensity involved, but I want to see what other say as well as their results upon completing the program. I am also making sure that it turns out to be a positive investment in the long term as well. I have already seen and heard plenty about what P90X has to offer, so I think that this is a more conservative move on my part.

The way I see it, by the time I have completed the P90X routine, there should be a healthy dose of reviews and results to based my judgement on the Asylum workout. If I decide I am going to do the Asylum workout, I will first do a recovery week and another full month of the Max Interval Training with Insanity. I think that will be more than enough to prepare myself for the Asylum workouts. It's always good to look ahead, but I am going to worry about one thing at a time.

For now, it's just all about P90X and what results I can achieve from that routine. I know I haven't posted lately, but it's mainly because I am not doing much that would be relevant to the routines involved on this blog. Right now I am limited to regular weight training in the fitness center at my job. At the very least, it is helping me greatly with maintaining my weight. As a matter of fact, I am down to 194 lbs., so despite doing weights I have still managed to lose another pound.

More to come in the near future. I'll be going to home to Boston for a week, so I'll be pushing to start P90X upon returning from my vacation. Until then, KEEP DIGGING DEEP EVERYONE!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Insanity is done. I am surprised that I was able to get through this program. I had my reservations at the beginning considering that it has always been difficult for me to actually apply myself to anything. For a number of reasons, I was able to just maintain the motivation I had from the get go. The feeling I have is one of gratification, accomplishment and pride balled up into one. I wake up, and the first thing I do is look in the mirror. I can't help but crack a slight smile because the stomach I had is no longer there. The fat on my arms has turned into definition. My face is no longer round and the cheek bones I thought disappeared at one point in time have finally returned. All of that is good, but the best thing I got out of this workout was the fact that I am not tired all day. I am not out of breath. I can keep up with my kids.

Yeah, life is definitely better today than it was two months ago. Now it is time to get ready to implement the next step of my quest for ultimate fitness. The first round of Insanity is over, and I was thinking about how to ease my way into the next big routine: P90X. From what I have seen out of P90X, it looks more like a strength based workout as opposed to cardio. I still want to keep my cardio going for the moment, so I am going to continue my second month Insanity workouts and incorporate some moderate weight lifting so that I can work more toward toning my upper body. I am looking to starting the P90X routine around the second week of June. I would start a little sooner, but I have to make a trip back home to see family and friends.

I've also decided that I will not be working out in my house when it comes to the P90X routine. The way my living room is set up just makes it way too inconvenient. I want to be in a position where I can see the movements as they are done so I can get the proper form down. This is where having a garage does wonders. What makes it even better is that the summer is coming around, which means that I will have plenty of Texas heat hitting me; that will only amplify how much of a sweat I break during my workouts! I am hoping to achieve maximum results by doing my workouts in the garage. I guess you can say I am using the heat as a sort of sauna suit.

If you look off to the side of my blog page, you'll see my final results. I have been including strength training with my regular workouts to create a little bit of bulk. The funny thing is that I haven't gained any weight as a result. I think there is a little bit of difference in my upper body mass from the last progress pics I took, but it could all just be in my head. Anyway, this ends my journey with least the first round. I'm still going to keep using the workouts on a steady basis. They have given me awesome results. I didn't lose any muscle, but I didn't necessarily gain any either. My main purpose with this workout was to shed fat. Now that I have done it and tested my endurance along with it, it's time for me to take it up a notch.

Keep following my blog, folks. There will definitely be more to come in the near future. Until then, keep digging deep!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Insanity WILL Get You to Burn as Advertised!!!

I've had my heart rate monitor through my entire time of doing Insanity. I have seen plenty of people counting their calories burned on here and all I could do is sit here and watch everyone else brag about how they burned 500 or 600 calories in a given workout. Still I sat there wondering, how are these people counting their calories burned?

I was messing around with my heart rate monitor the other day and guess what I realized? My heart rate monitor DOES keep a count of calories burned! At this point my face flushed beat red with stupidity as I quieted laughed to myself. HOW COULD I HAVE MISSED THAT THIS WHOLE TIME?!?!

Anyway, so I decided to put it to the test. How many calories can I burn on my Insanity workouts? So, I did my Max Interval Circuit workout today. I wasn't expecting anything crazy. I figured that I still have a long way to go before I can say I burned 1,000 calories on a workout. Well, assuming made an ass out of no one else but me!

I was just 26 minutes into my routine and had already burned 475 calories! By the time I was done with my Max Interval Circuit, I had burned a whopping 1,057 calories! SERIOUSLY?!?!?! Let me go ahead and say it again. In just under 60 minutes of Max Interval Circuit training, I burned 1,057 calories. WWWWWOOOOOOWWWWW!!!!

In conclusion, folks...believe what they advertise when it comes to Insanity. I have given people the burden of proof they need as far as whether or not you can truly burn 1,000 calories in one hour. Yeah, I'm loving every bit of it!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Progress PICS...and Other Stuff!

If you go ahead and scroll down, you will see my current progress pictures after completing 7 weeks of Insanity. The first thing that comes to mind is shock...I am shocked that I have been able to generate such insane results in such a short time. I am shocked that I managed to maintain most of my build up top and added definition to boot! At the same time, I am slightly dismayed. I would have really wanted to hit my goal of 185 on the first go. That said, I will go ahead and refer back to what I said on my first post: while I would love to be down to 185, the 190's-range is also acceptable so long as there is a significant difference in my overall appearance. I'll just let the pics speak for themselves.

Another thing I am slightly down about is that time flew by on me. I still feel like I just barely started the routine and I am already 10 days away from being an Insanity graduate. You better believe that I'll be getting my Insanity shirt ASAP! Don't worry, I'm still going to continue my routine, but I am also working toward purchasing the P90X routine, Insanity: Asylum, a few more Insanity DVD sets that are separate from the regular collection as well as a boxing workout called Savage and Serene. I figure, the more workouts I get: the more I can shock my body in every possible way. OH YEAH, and I'm thinking about taking up hot yoga: a form of yoga which takes place in a room where temps are set at between 95 and 105 degrees. I think it's supposed to allow you to get a really good stretch. That will be key when I see that REALLY good recovery from everything.

For now, I still have plenty of Insanity left on my plate, so I won't be stopping any time in the foreseeable future.I have already developed a plan that I call my 6 steps of Pure Madness. If I see that it is working for me in the long run, I'll be putting it out there for everyone to follow. No worries, I'll keep the progress pics coming. However, I think that I will spread it to a monthly basis after I complete the Insanity workouts. I will get back to posting bi-weekly progress pics whenever I decide to get into the P90X mode. Take it easy folks, and remember to always DIG DEEP!!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Ok, I'll admit, it's been a tough week. It's been gloomy out, which has led me to be a bit sluggish at the start of my days, but that has not deterred me from doing my Insanity workouts. As of now, I am down to 196 lbs! That adds up to a total of 13 lbs lost so far. I haven't taken any measurements as of late, but I think I am going to wait until I am completely done with my routine.

The second month of Insanity has not disappointed one bit! Every workout is absolutely nuts, and I love it because I am now incorporating my upper body a lot more; that was a minor concern during the first month. My legs feel like cinder blocks: not because they weigh me down, but because of how solid they are! I have noticed an increase in my definition all over, and I think there are signs of my abs starting to show! I was expecting results, but I thought myself to be overzealous with my initial expectations. I honestly didn't think I would get under 190. If I give it my all for the last 2 weeks, I think I'll be around 189. We'll just have to see what happens!

Another thing that I have been incorporating into my Insanity routine is some moderate lifting, but only for the upper body. As previously mentioned, my legs are pretty good. I want to keep it to where my upper body is more or less proportioned with my lower body, so I figured some weight training would do me good. One thing I got a real kick out of was that I can definitely notice the difference in the upper body! I got to lifting weights the week before last and was in shock by what I saw: my muscles in my chest and shoulders were rippling with each rep on dumbell curls! I'm sorry, but I have never had that happen; if it seems like I am giddy from this entry, it's because I am!

I think I have reached the point where it is time for me to consider becoming a Beachbody coach. I have been approached about this, but I put it on the backburner simply because I don't want to coach people through something I have not yet completed myself. There is no question that I am going to finish this routine with only two weeks remaining after this! I have had a great deal of fun with this routine. For those of you who have stopped by and checked out my blog, I hope that my progress has given you the added motivation to pursue your healthier lifestyle.

So, what happens after Insanity? I think I am going to do another round of Insanity, which will bring me into the May timeframe. Once I am done with the second round of Insanity, I am going to look into acquiring the P90X routine. I'll go through P90X and be done by the end of Summer. From there, I think I am going to do a hybrid style routine which will consist of a P90X workout one day and then an Insanity workout the next day. That should take me through to the end of the year and maybe a little into next year. From there, the sky's the limit. I know some folks out there must think I am a little too ambitious with my approach, but I have found something outside of my relationship and my children that I can truly be dedicated toward.

So, week 8 is right around the corner. That means I will be taking my fourth fit test and I will also be taking progress pictures as well. Being that it's been 3 weeks since my last progress pics, I anticipate a noticeable change in the new ones. We shall see soon enough. Until then, I will just keep digging deep; I hope you do too!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Measurements, Fit Test and The Beginning of Month 2!

I decided that there was no better time to take measurements than my half-way point on Insanity. There was a slight bit of anxiety coupled with excitement because I knew I had improved, but I didn't know how much. Here are my measurements prior to Starting Insanity:

Waist: 38
Hips: 41
Biceps (Right/Left): 15/15
Thighs (Right/Left): 25/25
Chest: 43
Body Fat %: 30.6

I knew there were going to be some differences in my measurements just by looking at my photos over the past four weeks, but I was not expecting the differences I saw! The following are my current measurements as of last Friday:

Waist: 36
Hips: 40
Biceps (Right/Left): 14/14
Thighs (Right/Left): 24/24
Chest: 39
Body Fat %: 18.8

Now, I was excited enough as it was to see that - after only 5 weeks of Insanity - I have already shed 11 total inches from my body. What was absolutely astounding to me was that I also managed to reduce my body fat by almost 12 percentage points! That was nothing short of amazing to me. What gets me even more than that is the fact it all happened through the first month and my recovery week! I can't even imagine what kind of results I can achieve with the second month, which brings me to the next part of this post...

Today was day one of my second month of Insanity. I would just like to state that the second month is the reason why the first month was put in place. The first month and the recovery week were all just a brief glimps...better yet, preparation for the montster that is called Month 2. Folks, the second month of Insanity is why this workout is so appropriately named. But before I go into that, today was also the day of my third fit test.

I didn't think I was going to do very well on my fit test today simply because I decided to party with my little brother who came down to visit from Alaska (he's in the military). I had a few drinks, ate a bit more than I normally do, but I was not going to pass up my fit test just because of a little excessive partying. As I was doing my fit test, I was growing more and more astonished at the improvements I was making across the board. So I shall let the results speak for themselves; they are in order from the first results to my current results:

Switch Kicks: 90/100/120
Power Jacks: 30/36/49
Power Knees: 50/67/82
Power Jumps: 11/24/27
Globe Jumps: 5/6/7
Suicide Jumps: 6/12/13
Push-up Jacks: 18/22/30
Low Plank Oblique: 28/45/52

I am loving the results that I have seen so far from this workout, and I only anticipate them getting better with each passing week. My first day on the second month was absolutely brutal! I felt like it couldn't get much worse than what I went through on the first month, but it's not often that I am blessed with being correct on such an assumption. Believe me, this was no exception. I was absolutely drenched in every way, AND I LOVED IT!!! In two weeks, I hope to wow everyone with my updated photos: including myself. I am beginning to grow much more optimistic that my goals are completely achievable. Until I get to the end, I am just going to continue digging deep. More updates to come...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Start of The Recovery Week

Four weeks down: five more to go. I have completed my first month of the Insanity routine, and I am quite pleased with my results thus far. While I have not lost too much in weight, I have trimmed down in the correct areas and toned up in others. It has been nothing short of challenging and it feels great to enter my Recovery week.

The recovery week is still challenging in the sense that you are continuously breaking a sweat. That being said, it is not quite as strenuous as the other workouts have been. One thing I did notice on the Insanity calendar the other day was the Recovery workout (Core Cardio and Balance) is going to be replacing the Cardio Recovery in the second month of the routine. This has me beginning to wonder about how much more rigorous the routines are going to be in the second month. I guess I will find out in a week.

There are some exercises on this recovery DVD that look awkward when you initially watch them being performed, but believe me when I say they work! I was surprised by how much I was able to feel my core being engaged with almost every movement. I had to stop every now and then just to stretch out my abdominal area, but I kept going anyways.

As I stated at the beginning of this post: I am very pleased with my results to this point, and I am definitely looking forward to the workouts coming up in the second month. I'm going to watch the workouts for the second month and I'll probably post something up letting everyone know what I think about them. I'm actually pretty excited now to see what's to come. I'm extremely psyched out that I have made it this far. I'm looking forward to completing this routine and possibly doing another round before I decide to get into anything else.

More updates to come...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Week 4...Day 1

This is my final week of month 1 of Insanity. As expected, I hit a plateau with my weight loss, but I am not disappointed at all. When averaged out, I have lost 2 lbs per week since the start of my routine. My energy is still sky high, but I continue to push myself to my limits with every workout. It doesn't matter how much tolerance you build up over the course of the routine; you are supposed to burn yourself out every time. I think that is what I love most about Insanity: no matter how good you get at this routine and no matter how much shape you are in, you will still get worn the hell out!

Here I am approaching the halfway mark, and I am surprised at how quickly time has passed since I started. I am noticing the difference, however gradual it may be. I have already lost about an inch and a half off my waist. I am not sure how much I have lost everywhere else, but that is enough of a difference to get me that much more encouraged! My mother - who I previously mentioned was one of my best critics - is beginning to chime in as well! Her remark: "I'm finally getting my son back!", referring to when I weighed much less. It was nice to see her acknowledge that I was losing weight before, but this most recent comment from her just reinforces the fact that what I am actually working. It's not so much that I need the vote of confidence from people, but it is good to know that I am not the only one noticing any results.

It's been a great journey so far, and I only see it getting better as I prepare for the next month of Insanity. It looks to be quite intense. I'll be posting up my progress pictures after I am done with my 4th week, so we'll see how things are at that point. I am looking forward to seeing the difference! Until then, I'll just keep digging deep!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An Aside: My Motivation

I just realized that I never really established what my motivations were to pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Of course, wanting to be fit is enough reason in itself, but there is more to it than just being fit. So here is a little bit on my motivation.

For a long time I was in denial that I needed to lose weight. This is not the first time it happened. I had a reality check when I was 19 years old and trying to enlist with the Air Force. I wanted to get in, but I was overweight at the time. I weighed in a 220 lbs. and I needed to get down to at least 189 lbs. in order to qualify. Fortunately, I had a fast acting metabolism and was able to shed off the weight with minimal difficulty in 2 months time. That, and ephedra was still legal in weight loss supplements. It's almost 9 years later, and there is a completely different dynamic involved. One can look at it as a fight to be able to finally LIVE.

When I reflect on myself two years ago, I can recall looking at myself and being completely disgusted. I was over 220 lbs. again and I had been out of the Air Force for about 2 years. I had a daughter on the way, which I was happy about; I was not happy with myself though. I remember being able to at least hide the pudge in my stomach whenever I would go out on a night with the guys prior to meeting my current girlfriend, but I was also in decent shape because of the military fitness regimen we went by. No, this was definitely different. I was unhealthy, irresponsible, and I lacked any kind of motivation to really do anything about it. This was in 2009. When my girlfriend was pregnant with our daughter, I used the excuse that my weight gain was the result of sympathy symptoms. No, it wasn't that at all; I just liked to eat. The fact that she had more of an appetite gave me more excuses to take her out to eat wherever she wanted.

Now it's 2010. I step on the scale at the very beginning of the year and am shocked at what I see. I have now reached a weight I never thought I would. I hit 230 lbs. I promise there wasn't any muscle gain in that time. We decide to get a gym membership and I started losing weight immediately. I am feeling marginally better, but I am still not feeling good about myself. While I am incorporating a better workout routine, I am still eating the same old trash. As a matter of fact, I start eating more of it because my appetite increased with my workouts. So I plateau at around 215. I try to give myself some kind of pat on the back, but what is there to be proud of? I lost weight, but I feel the same; in that case, I did not achieve success. Bills start to come around, other miscellaneous expenses and a stupid attempt at trying to do an online business bring on a whirlwind of stress because of all the money being thrown away. I give up my gym membership, and start eating more. I close out 2010 thinking to myself, "the last two years have been pretty rough and I am nervous about entering this next year."

So here we are in 2011. I go through a string of nights where I dream of nothing but working out and how much I know I can get in better shape. I can't get this thought out of my head. I've been waking up sweating. I know I have to do something about how I feel, but I need to find my drive. One day I wake up and see my youngest daughter, Amaya. She lets out the most beautiful smile almost as if to say, "Yup, daddy. I think you finally figured it out." I get out of bed, I am sluggish but I muster up just enough energy to lift her up and give her a morning hug and a kiss on the cheek. One can argue that my girls are all the motivation I need, but I need more than that. I decide to think about where I am, and where I want to be.

I want to be able to wake up in the morning, look at myself in the mirror and be proud of what I see in that reflection. I am not necessarily pursuing to be nothing but muscle, but I do want to see results. I want to be able to run around with my girls and not have to stop because I am out of breath after only 5 or 10 minutes. I want to have the endurance I once had when I was younger. Do looks have anything to do with what I am trying to do here? Not as much as one would think. See, I was comfortable with my weight. I was not worried about anyone's perception of me. However, I began having a lot of pain in my knees and ankles; this leads me to my next motivation. I want to run around and jump around without the fear of waking up the next day with sore joints.

Again, I flash back to the Insanity workout infomercials and immediately recall having the link saved on my desktop. I go ahead and take another look at it and read testimonials. I look everywhere for any kind of reviews on Insanity because I want to make sure this is the route I want to go. I get slightly nervous when I see that people recommend to workout for a period of time prior to doing Insanity. Many people say, if you are not physically fit, you should not get into this. I begin to feel a slight hint of reluctance. The fact that there is a diet I should follow is even more intimidating because I have never attempted to change anything about what I eat. I realize I need to give up on soda, the drink I consume more than water. For a minute there, I thought I was going to give up on the IDEA of purchasing Insanity. I reflect on my motivation and then speak with some family to get their input. The decision is made.

Here I am now, in the midst of my 3rd week on Insanity. I haven't looked back. I see who I was as a reminder of where I don't want to be again in the future. I see my girls and realize that I need to be healthy for them. I see my health, and how irresponsible I was with my eating habits. I know I am traveling down the right path. I will be healthy; I will be happy. This is my motivation.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Week 3, Day 1: Fit Test 2

Let me begin by saying I thought I was going to die doing this fit test before I started simply because all I had to reflect on was the first fit test. I knew I would probably be able to tolerate more just because of going through the routine, but I was still intimidated nevertheless! Well, the key to it all is to max out on each exercise, so I guess I am still exhausted in that sense. That being said, I am THRILLED with my results!

Some were modest, but there were other exercises that I went up significantly in my reps. Yes, I was completely worn out, but I was able to recover quicker with the breaks in between. Well, needless to say I am completely sold on Insanity, and I will be pushing through the whole routine. At first, I was skeptical, but now I am a complete and total believer in this program. The following are my results for week 1 and weeks 2 respectively:

Switch Kicks - 90/100
Power Jacks - 30/36
Power Knees - 50/67
Power Jumps - 11/24
Globe Jumps - 5/6
Suicide Jumps - 6/12
Push-up Jacks - 18/22
Low Plank Oblique - 28/45

As you can see, the results don't lie. Now, seeing as I am now 2 weeks into this routine, I am going to post up my progress pics to this point. While I do not see a significant physical improvement, my endurance is way up. I know I am not far from seeing some results on my midsection. We'll see how I am doing in 2 more weeks. I am sort of dreading the second month of the Insanity workout, but I'm excited too!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Time To Dig Deep for Week 2!

Hey everyone, so today is the start of my second week of insanity. I have to say that I am even more amped up right now than I was when I finally got over my soreness (day 4). I just did my first weigh-in after starting Insanity, and I have to say that I am quite impressed! I originally weighed in at 209 lbs.; I am now down to 204 lbs! I know that is probably more water weight than anything, but it is great to say that I have already attained some kind of results.

I didn't think it was possible to be more energetic than I was just 3 days into the workout, but I can say that I am even more energetic than when I started! I know, I am only on my seventh day of Insanity, but I am already craving tomorrow's workout! Now that I see how much of an improvement has been made in such a short period, I just want more; it's like another addiction.

As the workouts have passed, I have noticed gradual increases in my stamina, as well as my endurance. I find myself more capable of completing more repetitions of each exercise as opposed to when I started. I am still taking plenty of breaks, but I am definitely not as exhausted as I was last week. I am still workiing on getting my form up to par. I will say this: despite not keeping up with the pace, I am still getting a great workout by simply focusing on my form.

Needless to say, this has been a very challenging workout so far, and I am enjoying every bit of it. If you have been like me for the past two years (just staring at the TV envying the great bodies on the infomercials but not motivated to do it yourself) then you definitely need to get this collection of DVDs! Either that, or you can look at my results as I go through the routine and let that serve as the proof that it works!

More updates to come! Two week photo update coming up next Monday (2/28/2011)!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 3 - Still Sore!

I got done with day 3 of Insanity earlier today. While I am still quite sore from the workouts, I am beginning to build some tolerance. I am managing to do at least some repetitions of each exercise, but I am still taking multiple breaks. This routine really wears you out! Just when I think I have exhausted all of my energy, Shaun T makes some kind of statement that gets you to put out just a little bit more. It's almost as though he is in the room with you. I didn't believe the reviews I read because I felt that other workout videos came off relatively generic and rehearsed.

There are plenty of reviews out there highlighting the fact that you will be the most sore in the first week of Insanity and then the soreness should subside. I am slowing becoming convinced by those reviews as I go through these workouts. The way the schedule is set up is making much more sense. People complained about how the workouts become played out because of doing them over and over again, but there is a method to the madness.

The hope is that I can come back on here in two weeks and realize that I have improved significantly despite feeling absolutely burned out. I have to say it again: Insanity is the real effing deal! I was dripping sweat today. I haven't had that in the previous two workouts. That lets me know I am already working harder. What's great is that, through all the soreness, I am actually gaining a degree of enjoyment with Insanity.

I am already experiencing an improvement in my stamina over the course of the day. I am not as sluggish, and I have not needed any dose of caffeine - something which was a ritual prior to starting Insanity. I normally drank at least 5 cokes and had upwards of 4 cups of coffee, hot chocolate, or both. Let me not forget to mention that I added plenty of sugar to those cups of coffee. I eliminated so much just by cutting out the coffee, soda and hot chocolate. Couple that with the fact that I have already improved on my diet, and there is nothing to stop me from reaching my goals: except myself.

Well, there is no question that I am going to keep up with Insanity, just as there is no question that I am going to continue providing updates for everyone to see. I have 11 days left until I post up my progress through 2 weeks. We'll see how that goes. Until then, keep digging deep!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 1: Fit Test

Today was day 1 of my quest for Insanity. The first challenge was the Fit Test, which consisted of 8 workouts; you do as many reps as you can within an allotted amount of time. This test definitely gives you an idea of what is in store over the course of the next nine weeks, and it absolutely obliterated me!

I can definitely share in the sentiment of so many reviewers whenever they mention their thoughts in the first day or two of the Insanity Routine: WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?!?! What makes it all the more intimidating is the fact that there is more time between the exercises than in the actual workouts. I had a minute - in some cases, more - to get a drink and prepare for the next exercise while Shaun T. explained how to perform each movement. I will only be given 30 seconds of rest between circuits in the actual workouts.

Let me take a moment and provide a suggestion that I have not seen too many people make. Get a heart rate monitor! You definitely want to keep track of your heart rate throughout the workouts in an effort not to overwork yourself. I bought a monitor by new balance for 50 dollars since I am only using it for workout purposes. There are more expensive heart rate monitors which offer more operations should you desire one that offers more versatility. In any event, get one!

Here are the results I achieved on the first Fit Test:

Switch Kicks - 90
Power Jacks - 30
Power Knees - 50
Power Jumps - 11
Globe Jumps - 5
Suicide Jumps - 6
Push-Up Jacks - 18
Low Plank Oblique - 28

Another note I would like to make is that I did my best not to pay attention to the people doing the exercises on the DVD only because it is not accurate to measure up to them if you are barely getting into this routine. The folks on the DVD have already completed the workout, so don't be discouraged with your numbers. I think my numbers were fairly solid considering that I haven't worked out in quite some time, so I anticipate a steady improvement going forward.

For those of you who plan on trying to maintain some degree of muscle mass, I would recommend doing some minimal weight training throughout the routine. That being said, I think this workout will allow for better results when it comes to muscle building. I will probably incorporate 3 days out of the week to do some light to moderate lifting, but that's about it.

My next update will probably come on wednesday, and every third day after that. I will also put up posts every time I do a fit test. Future fit test posts will contain only the results and no additional commentary. That will be on my 3 day updates. Until next time, keep diggin deep!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Just Received Insanity

Let me start off by saying that I am not trying to sell anything. If anything, you can consider me doing this pro bono since my understanding is that this product sells itself. If you see my results and are motivated to get in shape you are more than welcome to visit and purchase it from them. My only payoff from whoever reads this is their new found motivation to want to get in shape. So, enough about that.

I am aware that I am what most would consider a late bloomer in terms of acquiring this work out as it has probably been out for close to 2 years. I first caught the advertisement around the end of Winter in 2009 and was immediately drawn to the infomercials. I was very hesitant to get into such a committment for a number of reasons; unfortunately, I used the lamest excuses to not take the plunge.

Any time I see an infomercial advertising anything - and it mentions that all you have to do is make so many easy payments of $xx.95 - I automatically write it off as an attempt at scamming people. That was my first lame excuse. The second lame excuse I came up with was that I already had a gym membership and I was doing better on my own. I thought I was in pretty good condition. Not only is that lame, but I couldn't be further from the truth.

If there is one thing that stings more than an ass whoopin, it's cold hard facts. When you suddenly find yourself surrounded by people telling you that you need to get in shape, it can hurt your ego pretty bad. I'm talking about friends, family, co-workers, etc. Now, I am not saying I became grossly overweight, but there was a marked decrease in my stamina; additionally, I had a noticeably larger appetite and people even pointed out that my personality changed: not for the better. My smoking habit has grown beyond control, and while I may not drink as much, I am still paying for it with all the other negatives.

Being overweight is not the only way to be unhealthy. I have not been happy with myself for quite some time. I am not proud of my appearance, my mentality, my outlook for the future, and my overall health.

To tell you the truth, I really don't know what exactly led me to allow things to get so out of hand, but I do know that now is the time to do something about it. If I don't stop my downward spiral, I may get to a point where there is no chance to recover.

About two weeks ago, I received a positive remark from my mother, who just so happens to be one of my best critics. She noticed that I have slimmed down. One of the areas I promised my girlfriend I would improve on from New Years was my diet. I have definitely minimized how much food I consume. I should have felt great hearing my mother's remarks, but I didn't. I told her that I was nowhere near as healthy as I need to be. She nodded her head in acknowlegdement and then we changed subjects.

I must have arrived home that day with perfect timing because as I stepped in I heard the commercial for the Insanity workout and something just triggered in my mind. It was at that moment I realized it was time for me to do what I should have done two years ago. I went to the beach body website the next day and made the purchase, but not until I made a promise to myself: no matter how difficult this routine may be, I need to complete it. I cannot sell myself short, or my efforts will all be in vain.

Look, I am not claiming to be some special exception: there are plenty of folks out there with the same story, some of you may be reading this right now. I am just an average Joe trying to show everyone that it is indeed possible to improve your lifestyle in more ways than one - and in a short period.

I just received the Insanity workout in the mail yesterday, and I am intimidated even with the way it was packaged! This workout means business. I decided to just get an idea of what I have to look forward to in the first month. It gets pretty damn intense; that's great, considering it's supposed to be that much more challenging in the second half. Well, I have already made the investment and I have made a committment to myself to follow through with what looks to be the greatest physical challenge I have ever experienced to date!

I will say this: I am excited and I am nervous for the same exact reason...this looks hard as HELL! So, in an effort to allow folks to keep up to date with my progress, I will go ahead and post my official before pictures. Again, while I may not look completely unhealthy, I feel it in so many ways. As of today, I weigh 209 lbs.

I have two goals:

1. I drop down to 175-180 lbs as a result of minor muscle loss, in which case I build it back up the right way. This actually might be ideal for me...

2. I drop to 185-190 and maintain most of the muscle up top.

Either way, I am trying to drop at least 20 lbs and I'll be happier if I lose closer to 30. Regardless of the outcome, it will still be an accomplishment. Check out my blog for weekly updates. My progress pics will be posted up every two weeks. Wish me luck folks.