Round 8/9: Insanity? Are You Crazy?


Recognize this gym?

Recognize this gym?

As I entered into my final week of Tai Cheng, I started considering what to do for the remainder of the year, exercise-wise. For the past several weeks, I’ve proven to myself that my tennis elbow arm is able to handle push ups and dumbbell presses without pain. But, even though my healing continues, I’m still not willing and able to do pull ups, curls and lawnmowers. This being the “meat and potatoes” of P90X & X2, I was left to ponder whether a 60 day round of Insanity would make sense.

The duration is perfect. Sixty days fits nicely into the remainder of the year. Insanity also seems doable with my elbow in it’s 90% state. The only pause is that my fourth round ended badly with an overuse knee injury. And even though I play tennis and hike a fair amount, three rounds of a P90X/Insanity Hybrid no doubt contributed to the injury.

Yet, here I am now about a year and a half since my last Insanity routine, having worked my legs and knees extensively with P90X2 and Tai Cheng. I am entirely without any knee or leg ailments. And while the Tai Cheng has been beneficial, I need something to get my heart rate up.

So three days ago, after my Tai Cheng routine, I popped in the Plyometric Cardio Circuit DVD and hit “play.” I didn’t make any formal announcements as to my intentions prior to doing this because, frankly, I wasn’t committed to the idea and wasn’t sure how I would do, now older and not having done a cardio workout for at least six months.  Well, the first thing I noticed is that my imaginary nemesis Tania, was still there, and doesn’t appear to have aged at all. And she is still as happy as ever to have the opportunity to jump up and down at Shaun T’s every instruction. Me? Now older and wiser, I took it a bit slower, knowing that the worst is always yet to come in Insanity workouts, but also to focus on form and knee positioning.

Both of the workouts for the first two days went reasonably well and gave me confidence that I can do a standalone Insanity round. But when I awoke this morning for Day 3, I found my legs–everywhere–where tightening. So it was good that it was a Cardio Recovery day and also that I am still working through the Tai Cheng Neural Reboot sequence with all the stretching and foam rolling.  It’s clear to me that that will need to remain a necessary component if I am to avoid injury.

Cardio Recovery. Those slow squats and the pulses and the HOLDS. I had forgotten the difficulty of these. And I baled out on a couple of occasions, seeking relief. I lacked the mental fortitude to hold through some of those positions for the time requested. But so what? I did it.

I’ve also pretty much learned the Tai Cheng sequences without prompting. Mission nearly accomplished.

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