Friday, 24 August 2012


Sadly had to give INSANITY a break due to degeneration of the lateral compartment and patellofemoral compartment of my left knee.  Click on the link to read more about this

Even though I am having a break from INSANITY I've now gone back to hitting the weights, doing mainly upper body.  I'm not doing anything to impact on my lower body except doing kettlebell swings which incorporates everything and doesn't bother my knee and getting out on my bike.

I have also been to see a physio who has given me some quad exercises, primarily working my VMO muscle.  Next appointment going to look at strengthening my glutes.  So even though I'm a little down hearted I'm by no means out!

Till next time

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

INSANITY - Day11, 12 & 13

Day 11 – Cardio Recovery

This was difficult, more than usual and that’s because this morning saw myself and my client Martin out on our bikes, covered around 12 miles in the pouring rain! 

Didn’t really fancy any more exercise, but would have felt guilty not doing my Insanity DVD so had a quick shower, bite to eat and got it over with!  This is still my least favourite DVD, squats and lunges with pulses are not what I would call recovery, although we are jumping around less, so that’s got to count for something!

Day 12 – Cardio Power & Resistance

Okay so out of all them, this one I’m getting to like a little more (never thought I’d say that!).  Quite like the shoulder workout, and of course triceps, otherwise known as ‘bingo wings’, I think they are actually starting to tone up a little!  And log jumping, and vertical jumps are very challenging, but you still want to give it your all!

Oh God Pure Cardio tomorrow!

Day 13 – Pure Cardio

I’m renaming this one PURE HELL, enough said!!

Day 14 Rest day hoorah!!  Then re take ‘fit test’ to see how much we’ve improved.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

INSANITY - Day 8, 9 & 10 updates

Okay Week 2 – Day 8 - Cardio Power & Resistance

Felt a bit sluggish after day of rest but on the 2nd repeat of the warm up its feeling oh so more familiar, the sweat is pouring off me already!
Have to admit am now omitting the stretches after the warm up.  I prefer to do a dynamic warm up (which is what we do on the DVD’s) to lubricate joints, aid range of movement and prepare us physically and emotionally.  I believe stretching before the bulk of the workout signals to our bodies that we are about to finish so we leave stretching right to the end.  We then take a 30 second water break then go straight into the workout sessions.  Our stretches are held for longer (around 60 to 90 seconds); we add more stretches for the lower back and abs (cat, cow and cobra) and also calves.

At the end felt invigorated, actually achieved a little more and needed to use the ‘pause’ button less J looking forward to Pure Cardio tomorrow........NOT!!

Day 9 - Pure Cardio

Nope this is not getting any easier!  It may be shorter, around 30 minutes but it is more intense.  Its things like level 2 drills which was the 4 push ups and 8 seconds of mountain climbers, jump in, jump up and repeat which still feel difficult.  And keeping in time with Shaun and the guys is also not easy (I know it will be in the end, one hopes!).  I’m often still doing my mountain climber bit while they’re restarting their push ups! 
But gotta keep going, believe in yourself, dig deep, you can do this!!

Day 10 - Plyometric Cardio Circuit

This also felt a bit of a struggle today, but that may be because I had a lovely Aromatherapy massage this morning.  I was in total relaxed mode an hour later; surprisingly muscles didn’t feel too achy.  I reckon that’s because I’ve not had a typical hard free weights session (like I would normally) since starting Insanity.  I feel pretty good all told, don’t seem to be suffering from any back ache, or little niggly aches and pains, and my cough is on the way out.

By the end of the DVD feel invigorated and happy, and its Recovery (well I use that in the loose terminology of the word) day tomorrow. 
Could easily relax for the rest of the evening, but sadly got to muster up some energy to go and teach Circuits :)

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Inspiration time............

It's not just the Olympics that is inspiring us at the moment, was sent this, its an inspirational and heart warming story of a disabled Gulf War veteran, wanted to share with you all.

Amanda x

Hormones and fat burning

So we don't get carried away with the Insanity blogs, let's talk about something different.  But something very important to us all; hormones and fat burning.  Lets discuss the role of hormones such as 'leptin' and 'ghrelin' and their role in fat burning.

So what are they?  Let's look at ghrelin first.  It is a hormone that is produced in the stomach lining and its main role is to increase appetite.  If you've experienced them little tummy gurgles in the pit of your stomach, then that's ghrelin telling you your peckish.  It's known as our 'hunger hormone', it stimulates our brain to say our body is hungry and we need to be fed.  Levels of ghrelin are higher before we eat then decrease after we have been fed. 

The other important hormone and ghrelin's counterpart is 'leptin', this is produced in our fat cells.  Its primary role is to tell us when we are satisfied and have had enough to eat. 

Our body tries to keep a state of equal balance, otherwise known as 'homeostasis'.  But there will be times when this balance may be upset.  For instance people that suffer with the rare genetic disorder Prader-Willi Syndrome have very high levels of ghrelin.  So they are constantly hungry and never really know when they have eaten enough, they are quite literally eating themselves to death.  As ghrelin is produced in the stomach, scientists are working on a ghrelin 'blocker' that could potentially help reduce their appetite and initiate the feelings of satiety and fullness. 

Conversely, where we can be resistant to insulin, we could also be leptin resistant.  Overweight people make a lot of leptin, but sometimes too much of this hormone is causing a sort of traffic jam halting the signal 'to stop eating' to be taken to the brain. 

If you are obese or overweight, the good news is, that if you lose weight you become more responsive to leptin. 

Should you have any fears about hormonal unbalances or metabolism issues I would suggest a talk with your doctor or a Endocrinologist (who specialises in the endocrine system). For more on the subject of leptin, click on this link

Take care for now,
All the best

INSANITY - Day 5 & 6 updates

Day 5 - Cardio Recovery & Max Recovery

Now you've got recovery in the title which makes you think its gonna be a pleasure to do - how wrong I was! Especially with tight sore muscles from the previous day. While its true your not bounding round like a mad thing, you still are working pretty hard, I still got a sweat on!

We started with a lot of breathing work (which was nice), then went into some deeper stretches including some yoga warrior poses and downward facing dogs and some straight arm planks with some pulses done with one leg off the floor. There was also a lot of low, slow and controlled squats and lunges, again with some pulses (which are not easy when your legs are burning!)

Their are two parts to this section. I have to be honest and say I only did the first part which was about 30 minutes. My hubby who did it later on, actually did them both. He said the 2nd part was very similar with a couple of additional exercises thrown in. But before you criticise me let me tell you that I'd already done a couple of hours on my bike with a client in the morning, and personal trained 2 clients later in the day and one of them I worked out with. In fact I used 12 of the Insanity moves which we completed as some 'duo circuits', well done Sharon:)

Hope to do day 6 tomorrow before work in the afternoon, update then :)

Correction to the aboveday 5 Cardio Recovery and Max Recovery, you only do the first part, Max Recovery comes later in month 2. My hubby did them both, ha, more fool him!

Day 6 is the Plyometric Cardio Circuit from Day 2 which surprisingly didn't feel too bad, perhaps because you knew what was coming!

Day 7 is rest, I was thinking of taking myself off to the gym, but changed my mind as its a lovely day gonna get some rays instead!  Start again on Sunday with Cardio Power & Resistance, can't wait!?!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

INSANITY - Day 3 & 4 updates

Okay Day 3 - Cardio Power & Resistance

This felt oh so much harder probably due to it being done at around 7pm after many hours sat in front of the computer catching up on emails and admin.  Better off getting it done in the morning when I'm a bit fresher.

So the warm was a tad different, the jumping jacks was more of a power jack so your stance was a little bit wider and you went a little bit lower.  There was an additional log jump, jumping from side to side over a pretend log (hence the name) and a vertical jump with arms overhead.  I think we did that two more times faster.  Then we brought in some kicks in front of each leg with a squat, then some 'pike push ups', your in a 'v' position with your bum up in the air, legs are straight and your on your toes.  Hands slightly turned in, action is your bending and straightening your arms, lots of work for your triceps and shoulders.

We also had power jumps, kicks, pike push ups which was repeated.  On the last repeat we added tricep dips in a crab position, then did a one legged version of the dips (bloody hard work by this stage) then like we hadn't done enough for tri's and shoulders did a 'tricep ball push ups' which was in a ball position, so crouched forward then dipped by bending and straightening the arms!

Break then last bit of hell! Which included sprints on the spot with a jump, so when Shaun yelled jump, we jumped!  Also had the lovely globe jumps (from the fit test), moving push ups and mountain climbers (press up position).  This was repeated with an additional 8 low wide stance squat hops and 8 press ups! COOL DOWN and collapse!

Day 4- Pure Cardio

I have one word to say about Pure Cardio day, f-----g hard! Okay that's two words, but you get the jist!  Especially after day 3, it went something like this;

Warm up, pretty standard, jog, jumping jacks, Heisman, Heisman 123 (travelling), butt kicks, high knees, and mummy kicks.  All repeated 3 times, progressively faster then stretches. 
Workout; Suicide drills into switch kicks into wide footy drills (with variations) into sprints on the spot, repeat the last two exercises.  Stance jacks (narrow to wide squat, touching the floor in between each one), into 'pedals' (sprints on the spot with a dynamic jumping lunge in between) into power jacks.  Water Break.  Level 2 drills into 4 push ups, then 8 seconds of mountain climbers (knees to chest, still in push up position) stand up and repeat the push ups and mountain climbers for a total of 3 times!!  Water Break.  Frog Squat jumps (wide squat jumped forward and back, touching the floor in between each one) into power knees (from the fit test) both sides into rope climbers into lateral ski jumps into Scissor runs (fast switches of feet, scissor arms) into Burpees into last exercise, which was the Push up jacks (from the fit test).  STRETCH and DIE!!  THE HARDEST ONE YET FOR ME!

Hope to do day 5 tomorrow (if I can move that is) before work in the afternoon, update then :)



Tuesday, 7 August 2012

INSANITY - Day 2 Update

Okay so Day 2 on Sunday 5th August which is the Plyometric Cardio Circuit.  Was a little sore from the previous Fit Test (as well as my worsened cough - aw!). 

The warm up was much longer, I think we repeated the warm up sequence 3 times.  This consisted of; jogging on the spot into jumping jacks into 'Heisman' (knees to chest while bounding from one foot to the other) into travelling Heisman (add a shuffle in the middle, need co-ordination, this was probably my worse one!) into butt kicks into high knees into mummy kicks (quite like this one, keeping your legs straight, kick them out in front while simultaneously scissoring your arms at chest / shoulder height).  You was encouraged to progressively get faster on each repeat!  And you are encouraged and motivated by Shaun T and the guys digging deep and sweating profusely at this time.  If your not half dead you then stretch. 

Then the hard work (or shall I say harder) work starts, the first part consisted of what Shaun called 'Suicide Drills' (which is a an explosive kick out of the feet and a touch of the floor with your hand), into power squats into mountain climbers (not typically what I call a mountain climber, more like rope climbing, standing tall pretend your pulling down on a rope from above while quickly jogging on the spot) into ski jumps (legs together or I did hip width, jump laterally from side to side, think skier).  Had a water break then repeated quicker 2 more times.  On the 3rd attempt we added some switch feet (very fast shuffles) and some lovely footy sprints (take a wide stance, soften knees, bit like a sumo wrestlers stance, then go wild and fast with them feet!) 

Water break then next sequence that consisted of 'Basketball Drills' (actually liked this one best of all, in fact made a client do this on Monday with a 5k medicine ball - well done Emily!).  So basically you dropped down into a low squat position touched the floor then exploded up with arms overhead like you were going to shoot a ball in a hoop.  We then did some bonkers drill that consisted of dropping down and doing 4 press ups then 8 seconds of mountain climbers (press up position and explode each knee in turn towards forearms).  Jump up then repeat this sequence about a million times, before adding ski abs (press up position, now jump both knees towards right forearm, then left forearm, before adding a few squat thrusts (same position, now jump both knees in towards forearms then jump back) and repeat.

Water break, you think its all over but no, one more shorter (but still freaking hard) sequence.  As fast as you can jab punches (strictly speaking they weren't just jabs because they come off your left and we punched with the right also, but I'm just nit picking here!) into cross jacks (bit like a slower jumping jack or half jack) into uppercut punches into 'Attack' (wide squat position and explosively punch out the arms directly in front). 

Thank god - the cool down!!  Our calves were killing us so we added an extra stretch by standing on our bottom stair and pressing so our heels were lower than our toes.

If your thinking that I remembered the moves quite well (my memory is not that good), I watched it from the comfort of my sofa later that evening and made notes.

Day 3 to come, oh joy!!

Sunday, 5 August 2012


So finally started 'Insanity', even though last couple of days been bit under the weather, chesty cough, sore throat and yesterday lost my voice (a blessing some may say!).  But nevertheless we soldiered on! 

Before I begin I must say that yesterdays Olympics for Team GB was absoulutely awesome!  We have some amazing talent, and Jess Ennis is now my heroine!  They truly are inspiring a nation - come on Team GB, keep up the great work!!

Okay now back to me (and my hubby, who is nearly regretting saying he'd do Insanity with me!). 
So the 'Fit Test' that you do initially, then again on Day 15, Day 36, Day 50 and Day 63. 
To say the fit test is a bit tough is a bit of an understatement!  It is really, really tough which consists of a 5 minute warm up then 8 one minute plyometric, bounding type exercises which you record and hope to better the number of reps each time you do the test.  So here are mine and my hubby's Fit Test Results on Saturday 4th August.

Name of Exercise


Switch Kicks

Power Jacks

Power Knees

Power Jumps

Globe Jumps

Suicide Jumps (we call them Burpees)

Push Up Jacks

Low Plank Oblique


As you can see we're fairly matched (although I have the edge on a few things!).  We hope to both me much better as the weeks go by.  We thought we'd also put some measurements and our weight down also and retake on each fit test, these are below. 


   Chest  -  34"
 Chest  -  37"
   Waist  -  28.5"
 Belly  -  33.5"

   Hips (widest part)  -  36"

 Hips (widest part)  -  36"
  Thighs (R) - 21"  (L) - 20.25"
 Thighs (R) - 20"  (L) - 21

  Biceps (flexed) (R) - 11.5
  (L) - 12

 Biceps (flexed)  (R) - 11.5
 (L) - 12

  Weight  -  8 stone 9 lbs
 Weight  -  11 stone 6 lbs

So there we have it, will post again after 'Plyometric Cardio Circuit' to be done later this evening.       Wish us luck!!