Total Fitness: Losing My Sanity

INSANITY came to me one day when a friend gave me a copy of the dvd workout, after I shared with her that my body seems to have already settled comfortably into my running routine that I am no longer feeling the pain I usually associate with a good workout.  Weirdly enough, I was also at that time getting bored of my frequent visits to the gym and lifting mild weights. Surely, there must be something out there more fun, less expensive, and most importantly, would give me the kind of pain my body craves for.

That something turned out to be INSANITY.

Losing my sanity.

INSANITY Workout is a 60-day cardio-based total-body conditioning program that is perhaps the most intense workout ever put on DVD. Fitness expert Shaun T drew on his collegiate track and field training plus his subsequent years of experience as an elite trainer to create a program that takes total-body conditioning to an extreme level.

Now what I like about this workout is that it’s very low maintenance. No gym memberships or heavy workout equipment are required. In fact, all you need is an ample space in the house, garage, the hotel room, or your backyard; towel; water for hydration; and your commitment to dig deep as you go from one level to another – every day for the next 60 days.

Work it!

Now I take great pride in my endurance and slightly high tolerance for physical pain. When I took a peek at some of the workout routines I thought they were pretty doable, even with my zero background in athletics – except maybe for running which I don’t get to do as often as I would have liked. Until I took the Fit Test – which is a prerequisite before you go head-on into the 60-day program. The fit test is a series of workout routines that you have to do as many repetitions of within one minute and it is advised that you do it every two weeks of INSANITY. Although my numbers weren’t as bad the first time, I did not expect to find myself sprawled on the floor, sweat-soaked and breathing heavily. Let’s not even talk about the expletives I let out a barrage of while going through the routines. That was just the beginning.

As I went deeper and deeper into the program, my body’s transformation is beginning to become more visible. First and foremost, I noticed that my core is gaining strength I never once achieved in my years of gymming. I also began sporting abs that was getting noticeably firmer.  The shape that my arms, thighs, and back were taking after merely two weeks of doing INSANITY also pleasantly surprised me.  Shaun T knew exactly what he was talking about and allow me this one line of false modesty, I may just be a walking proof of it!

One of the routines I struggled mightily with. Still not doing it perfectly.:(

Once I had crossed the first half of the 60-day program, the workouts became more intense. This is where nearly every workout routine is labeled Maximum – Maximum Cardio, Maximum Plyo, Maximum Sports Interval – and much to my amazement; my body continues to respond to the orgasmic torture. I was far from getting bored! I realized I was getting addicted to it when I refused to start my day without INSANITY – even while on vacation. I remember when my friends and I were on a holiday in Shanghai, bunking together in a tiny hotel room, I convinced them to move the beds and side tables around just so I could have my small space for INSANITY every morning at 6:30.

I love this workout so much that soon as I finished one cycle, I just took two days off and started the 60-day program all over again! Although unlike the first cycle where I tried not to allow myself to default for one day – and if I ever did, I made sure I did double-INSANITY to sort of punish myself for failing to stick to my workout plan – I was more lenient with myself on Cycle 2. Besides, around this time, my running has picked-up as well and I have become more visible in road and trail races.

Aside from the very obvious fast calorie-burning effect of this high-impact circuit training (minimum of 600 calories per workout), I am a huge fan of INSANITY because it strengthens my core; increases my agility (physical and mental); increases my flexibility (the stretching exercises include yoga poses and are highly effective in avoiding injuries); increases my speed in running; and this has to be said, it has given my body a whole new fierce look /shape – something I never had even when I was in my 20s; nor imagined I would achieve now that I’m in my 30s.

I could almost hear Olivia Newton John's song playing here 'Let's get physical...physical!'

And because I want to spread the fitness virus among friends, I have given some of mine their copies of INSANITY dvd in the hopes that they would get into the madness as well. Unfortunately, I have yet to hear about them completing the 60-day program. I am far from giving up though. One day, I know they will.

***Grab a copy of TOTAL FITNESS October issue for this a lot MORE!


TOTAL FITNESS October 2011

It’s not carved out of stone but initial observation in the United States peg women to be the common sufferers of migraine – with a three out of four of the nearly 30 million migraine patients in terms of statistics. The reason may have to do with a woman’s menstrual cycle, but triggers can also include alcohol, weather changes, stress, food and lack of sleep. Ask people who often suffer from migraine and you would discover that most of them prefer herbal cure and home remedies – for a good reason. As it is, migraines are incapacitating and prescription drugs at times are associated with side effects.

Here are some remedies that you can try:

Water. The many great health and wellness benefits of water cannot be emphasized more. Oftentimes, these headaches are caused by lack of water in our system.

Butterbur. Root extracts of the Butterbur plant has been employed for medicinal purposes since hundreds of years. A research conducted in 2004 showed that the intake of seventy-five mg of butterbur two times a day appeared to be working in lessening the regularity, strength and time of migraines. Detrimental reactions to watch out for, however, are burps, weariness, scratchiness and abdominal issues.

CoQ10. CoQ10 or coenzyme Q10 is a substance manufactured by the cells of our bodies. According to Dr. Brian Grosberg, assistant professor of neurology and director of Inpatient Headache Program at Montefiore Headache Center in Bronx, NY, taking 300 milligrams per day has proven to be effective in reducing head pain. The downside: It can be expensive.


***For full story, grab a copy of TOTAL FITNESS October issue.