Hello, it’s Fitness Friday – or, I’m just glad it’s Friday!
This week I am reviewing the Insanity® class that we took part in during our Fitness Fiesta. I wrote about the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) last week. They call Insanity ‘Max Interval Training’ because you are working to your maximum – pushing yourself to your limits.
A quick recap on HIIT:
The intensity kicks your body into hyperdrive so you burn more fat and calories (than a steady pace run) in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout just to recover! In that vein, HIIT stimulates production of your human growth hormone (HGH) during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. This is great because HGH increases caloric burn and (supposedly) also slows down the aging process, making you younger both inside and out! (source).
I got thinking and wondered if, in fact, it is down to a depletion of glycogen which results in the extra calorie burn. If you body can only store 350g of glycogen (used for energy) in the liver, and you are burning through that at a faster rate while working at high intensity – perhaps the body is just using what you then take in as stores – just a thought??? Let me know what you think.
I saw the effects of tabata training at the gym this week. As you know, I love my Polar Heart Monitor. I took a lunchtime gym session recently where I incorportated a couple of sessions of tababta intervals. I worked myself hard. In the evening I went to my usual yogalates class, and I burned a third more calories than I normally do, doing much the same routine as always! The only thing I could think to put it down to was the ‘afterburn’ effect of my lunchtime training!
So to Insanity®. Here’s what we were told about it:
Insanity® creates insane results in just 60 days. But are you brave enough to try it or crazy enough to enjoy 60 minutes of muscle searing exercise. Is Insanity® hard? Yes, it‟s totally crazy…but it‟s going to get you crazy-good results.
So what did we do? Here’s where it gets a bit complicated. Instead of a simple 4 minute workout as with tabata – this was 45 minutes of intense, gruelling work. Endurance training at a high intensity. To top it off, it was our last ‘working’ class of the weekend!
After an old school style warm up, getting us used to the moves, there were 4 chunks of work:
- Abdominal workout
Each of the first three sessons were broken down into 4 different workouts, performed for 30 seconds each, followed by a 30 second rest, repeated three times, followed by a 1 minute power move. After that we were allowed a two minute break before we moved onto the next chunk of work. Confused? Here is the strength session we did:
- 30 seconds – Single leg floor touch with a jump
- 30 seconds – Tricep push-up pulse
- 30 seconds – Other leg single leg floor touch with a jump
- 30 seconds – Tricep dips on the floor
- 30 seconds – Rest
- Repeat steps 1-5 twice more
- 1 minute power move – jumping push ups from side to side
- 2 minutes rest
Wow! It was hard! After the three ‘chunks’ we then had 8 minutes of abdominal work. Simply 8 different exercises – 1 minute each. We did exercises such as:
- Russian twists with hands in prayer position
- Cossack kicks
- speed jabs from a squat position
The great thing about this class was that you didn’t need any equipment – your body weight was enough. It REALLY was tough. I was expecting it to be one of the toughtest, and it didn’t disappoint.
Thanks to Rob Myers-McLaughlin for a tough session.
Have you ever done an Insanity workout? Have you done the dvds or in a class? Which would work better for you? Do you have an opinion on the HIIT ‘afterburn’ effect?