Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Insanity Workout.

*First of all - THANK YOU for all of the kind comments and wonderful support after the DNS 5k. It was greatly appreciated - especially to Julia. Just awesome!*

I was at the gym the other day.

(Yes, its okay to laugh).

No really, I was at the gym the other day. And today - just in case you were curious. But that's beside the point. In an effort to move from Ironman + Endurance + Long + Slower (compared to Short Course Fast) to Short Course Power + Speed + Strength + FAST, Jen has given me a new strength training routine.

I LOVE it!

And yes, I'm sore. Absolutely, my legs, arms, abs, butt and everything in between hurts today. And I'm pretty sure if I coughed, it would get ugly.

But the truth of the matter, is that Jen's workout was GREAT, it kicked my rear, and I'm excited to see my strength and power evolve. Between the plethora of squats, jumps, BOSU ball work, core, and strength machines involved - I put myself wholeheartedly into my training session.

That being said....

If you ever want to feel like a weak, pathetic slug - complete your training next to someone doing a workout called 'Insanity'.

Somewhere in the middle of my BOSU V-sit and Leg lifts, a Marine walked into the aerobics gym (rarely used because it holds medicine balls, Swedish Balls, free weights, mats, chords, and NO machines. It is hardly ever populated with others; which is why I love working in there. Hey - when you're as uncoordinated as I am, balancing precariously on the Swedish Ball with curious onlookers is a recipe for disaster. Trust me; I'm speaking from experience.) I can only assume he was a Marine because 1) I was working out on Camp Pendleton 2) He had extremely short hair 3) His green shirt proclaimed 'Marine!'.

Yes, I can be a Master when it comes to the Powers of Observation.

With a quick glance my way and the briefest of nods, he set his i-phone, towel, water bottle, and plastic bag next to the floor to ceiling mirrors and...put on a...headband?


I felt like saying, "Excuse me...? Do you mind of I interrupt my V-sit to stare? I think what you're wearing went out of fashion sometime in the 1980s. Although it is popular with Aerobics Instructors throughout the world..."

But I was a good girl, and I didn't.

But I still though it odd; this very hard-core and nearly bald (for all practical purposes) Marine - openly wearing a white, fuzzy headband.

I shook my head and went back to my V-sit.

And that's when it happened.

He pressed a button on his i-phone, and started moving very quickly. Not 'human' fast - but think 'Superman' fast. His cadence must have been in excess of 150 steps per minute, but he was also doing really weird things with his arms.

It was very difficult, actually - to focus on holding my V-Sit while Rambo next to me did his thing.

I peeked in the mirror, careful to not be too obvious, and watched him work. Before too long he was gasping for air, lifting his knees higher and higher while his arms moved first in circles, then from side to side. I tried to get an idea of how long he would spend doing one type of exercise, but he was moving so quickly from one to another - I soon lost count.

His arms became a blur, while his feet seemed to dance to a mad pattern that held no rhyme or reason. The panting grew to an alarming pitch, and I felt the need to look away. It was embarrassing, actually. He could have provided the sound effects for a sleazy porn flick - not that I know anything about that. I'm just assuming, you see?

Every 10 or 15 seconds he would quickly change to another pattern of exercise and work feverishly away...until the next change.

Up, down, left, right, jumps, skips, back on the ground, high knees, more jumps, higher jumps, groans, funny arm movements... he did it all, and at a superhuman pace!

And with a straight face, to boot. Actually, the guy looked like he was in agony. Sounded like it too.

My V-Sit, which had initially felt so hard core and challenging (hey! I got my legs off the ground and I'm supporting my own weight! Yea! AND I didn't roll over or laugh - we have a winner here!), suddenly felt like small potatoes compared to my energized neighbor.

I swear, the guy was wearing a battery pack; there's no other explanation.

After 15 or 20 minutes he stopped.

I was actually alarmed - morbidly curious about his heart rate. I didn't think it would be possible to sustain life much longer with that type of energy.

Sweat had pooled on the ground below him, and the mirror near his station was covered in droplets of the stuff. His white headband now had a saturated glow, and his rasping, ragged breath didn't decrease with the halt in performance. I was just about to comment when I noticed him taking his pulse and staring pointedly at the clock.

It was crazy...absolutely nuts. Certifiable, in fact. Which is why the name of the workout - which I learned to my great amusement later - fit perfectly.

I let him do is thing -

Until I could take it no longer. I had to open my big fat mouth.

"What WAS that? Are you okay? Really - that doesn't seem normal!" I blurted out just as he caught me starting.

"The workout is called 'Insanity'. I'm about 1/3 done, but I don't know if I can do any more," he admitted.

I just stared.


Wasn't that, like, Susan Powers back in the '80s? I KNEW that headband was there for a reason...

But no matter. I went on to complete my strength workout while he continued on his road to Insanity...

When I left the aerobics room a few minutes later, he was at it again - frenzied breathing and high tempo-steps and all.

But in the end, I had to hand it to him. There he was - doing HIS workout, pushing himself to new limits. He was active, he was in shape, and though his breathing resembled something out of an x-rated movie, he was putting himself out there and staying fit and healthy.

Isn't that what we all do? Yes, my breathing is ragged at times, and yes - some people think that what I do (with Ironman or even running in sub zero temperatures) is nuts. But it keeps me happy, healthy, and at the end of the day - it keeps me, me.

So I'll stick with the swim-bike-run, while this guy goes Insane. As long as we can meet in the middle and respect each others workouts, then the fitness world will be a better place. Because at least we're out there, pursuing our dreams and enriching our lives.

However insane the task may be.


Kim said...

is that a crossfit workout? i think it might be. ridiculous! holy smokes!

by the way im still a bit nervous to try jen's strength routine, i don't want to be sore in my other workouts! (jen if you're reading this... um right, i haven't done the strength routine yet)

Anonymous said...

Frighteningly, it may have been Shaun T's "Insanity" workout.

Can't say for sure...

But as a trainer, I'm always on the side of the person working the hardest toward their individual goals- even when it looks odd.

Shan said...

Yep, sounds like Beachbody's Insanity workout - done by the same people that do P90X. That stuff rocks!!

Jennifer Harrison said...

GOOD work , Marit - yes..POWERFUL and fast in 2010D! :)

KIM: Of course I Read Marit's blog! Get your butt going! LOL

San said...

ROFL on the description. You do know how to write. Love your blog.

I just saw a youtube vid on this workout. The name fits. And thumbs up for this marine.

Molly said...

LOL!!! That must have been quite a sight!!! :)

Kim said...

That sounds very interesting. You need to bring a camera and secretly video this guy! Just kidding..he deserves to do his craziness in peace I guess. I have to call you.. needing a pep talk for sure.. hope you had a wonderful Holiday. Can't wait to catch up!

jennabul said...

Thank you for asking what the heck he was doing, now I know to stay away from it if anyway ever asks me to do such a workout with them (all though the name alone would probably be plenty)....That was an awesome post. Go Marine Semper Fi.

Mike Russell said...

I will stick with my tri workouts too. I have to admit to wearing a headband once or twice during a run. He has nowhere for his sweat to go if he is bald.

I'm just saying.

Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete said...

Haha, I was totally thinking the same thing as Kim, "Could that be a crossfit workout?" I like to refer to it as a cult over here. But, different stroke for different folks! I could run for hours, but make be do Insanity, and I would go insane within the first 10 minutes!

I probably would have said something too!! haha

Mer! said...

Laughing because the other day, at the gym as well, I saw this guy all decked out in "Under Armour" everything--and he was like skipping or hopping or dancing on the treadmill BACKWARDS, nearly tripping, but like he was doing it to music--and like dragging his toes but then hopping...SO ODD.....

Love that you asked him!! Hehe!!

Maria said...

you think he was insane, i think my brother (football player) is insane, my parents think we're both insane, everybody is insane!

ADC said...

You should have taken photos :))

Lisa T said...

My massage office at the Y is right in the gym. Sometimes I'm giving a massage and I can hear someone outside the door who, as you put it, could provide sound effects for a "sleazy porn flick." Maybe it's your insane guy. I'll have to look for the green shirt.

runningyankee said...

great post marit :)

KayVee said...

Maybe I'm dating myself, but between the headband and fast feet, it totally brought to mind the movie, "Flashdance." Sounds like the dude just needed legwarmers.

Anonymous said...


Cy said...

I've been reading a lot oabout this Insanity workout-I'm thinking about it-60 days of boot camp.

PS-Hope you start feeling better soon!

A. Lanine Pro said...

I would agree that food is the key of losing weight but also good excercise too. I mean take only good food you still be able to lose weight but have excercise will make it quicker and more effective.

Anonymous said...

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