POST PARTUM FITNESS - INSANITY MAX 30 REVIEW
For most of my life, I have hated how my body looks. I have about zero body confidence, and it doesn't matter what I look like, I will be able to point out to you at least 5 parts that I absolutely despise.
Seriously, I thought I needed to lose more weight when I was a size 6 with a six pack from doing 6 1-2 hour crossfit workouts, plus running for miles every week. It doesn't matter what anyone says to me, or compliments me on how I look, I never really believe them… I also find compliments really awkward/ embarrassing!
That said, despite my love for food, wine, and a super sweet tooth, I'd been in decent shape for the last 8 years, hovering around an athletic size 8-10. I eat healthy most of the time, and let myself indulge a little when I fee like it. I don't deny myself a drink in the evenings or weekends if I want it, and I will let myself have the odd sweet treat (keeping mindful that the rest of the day I will restrict calories to allow for it!)
When I got pregnant, one of my biggest issues with the idea of gaining weight, and how much my body was going to change. And that wasn't helped with the fact, that when you are pregnant (and a new mum), you will never receive more looks or comments on your shape and body!
I felt real pressure to keep going to the gym (which I did until 32 weeks) and not gain too much weight, but I also refused to let myself spiral into an obsession with how many pounds were creeping on the scales, so I didn't weigh myself once throughout my whole pregnancy.
I was actually really lucky with the initial baby weight loss… I don't know if it was from being quite poorly, but I was back in my normal jeans within a week. I had some toning to do, but I didn't look that much different to before getting pregnant. Fast forward a few months, and as I settled in to mum life; a few too many coffee (and cake) mornings, takeaways, too few gym sessions, plus a rather over indulgent Christmas and Easter, and I looked bloody awful.
I had really let myself go, and put so much weight on that I just felt disgusting. I knew I had to do something, but I was really struggling to get to the gym with little time for myself, and a husband that works long hours, 6 days a week, so I decided to give insanity a go.
I knew one of my friends had had great results with the original insanity workout, and she recommended a shorter workout - Insanity Max 30. I bought the dvds from Amazon and set a date to begin the six day a week workout.
A few people have asked how I've managed to find time to workout with Frank… I've had to MAKE it. It was hard. I mostly tried to workout through his nap time, or if that wasn't possible, I would try and do it as we were playing, making it as interesting and as funny as possible to keep him entertained! Now I'm back at work, I set my alarm for 5.45am every day to get in a session before having a super quick shower and getting Frank up at 7 to get ready for nursery etc.
Along with following the workout, I changed what I had been eating. No more over indulging and eating cake on a daily basis, or drinking wine every evening… I started food tracking using myfitness pal, giving myself an allowance of 1790 calories a day on average. This is quite easy to stick to for me, I refuse to diet, I love my food too much, but by counting calories I can make sure I am eating a balanced, healthy, nutrituous diet whilst still enjoying the odd treat.
Insanity Max 30 does come with a meal plan which looked great if you want to follow it, but it wouldn't have worked in our household.
I had a goal in mind - I wanted to lose 9lb before my holiday to Italy in June (which got me to less than pre baby weight) and then I was going to start it again after holiday to see if I could drop another half a stone to get me to my ideal weight. I'm half way through round two (although I'm not going to lie, I haven’t been quite so comitted so far due to birthdays/ celebrations/ returning to work etc!)… but the results I got before holiday were amazing, it was bloody hard work but my god it was worth it. I actually wore a bikini by the pool for the first time in as long as I can remember!
So - what actually IS Insanity Max:30?
Contrary to popular belief, Max 30 is NOT a short version of the original Insanity workout.
It is created by the same person (Shaun T) but has new concepts of training, and new moves meaning it is something else entirely (I know this because I have also done the original insanity workouts a couple of years ago!) Unlike Insanity, these workouts don't use interval training, but introduce the concept of "maxing out". You work as hard as you can, for as long as you can, whilst keeping your form perfect. I have done a LOT of workouts in my time, using lots of different methods… Insanity Max 30 is hands down the hardest training I have EVER done, but it has also given me the best results in the shortest time.
Your training is divided into two months of workouts, each day the basic workout lasts 30 minutes (apart from your recovery workout on a Saturday which is 20) and you then have the option to go that bit further with an ab workout which is an additioanl 10 minutes 4 days a week. The goal of each day is to go as hard as posible, and then when you just can't go anymore, you pause, write your time down, gather yourself, and go again. Each day you will move closer to the 30 minute mark.
Here is how the official Beachbody site describes the workout -
At first, you might only make it through 3 minutes (and believe me, even that will be an accomplishment). That means 3:00 is your MAX OUT time. Next time you do the workout, try to push that time just 30 seconds longer. If you can make 30 seconds of progress every day for 60 days, at the end of 60 days, you will make it all the way to MAX 30. And when that happens—trust me…you’re going to feel—and look—like a freakin’ fitness god.
The good -
It is only 30 - 40 mins, 6 days a week. (30 mins for 5 days if you chose just to do the base workout) for me, this is manageable - I can MAKE time to do 40 mins a day.
The moves are different, and interesting. You won’t just lose weight and look differently, your functional fitness will increase - you will be stronger, leaner, and you will be cardiovascularly fitter.
You don't need any equipment at all, just enough room in your home to do a burpee!
Shaun T and his fit tribe are really good at motivating you to keep going and push yourself harder (you only have to look at some of their abs to give you a needed kick up the butt!)
It has a modifier track. This isn't included with Insanity and it was really important for me. I was returning to fitness, and I suffer horrific problems with my knees so I have to be really careful. I'll be completely honest and say, even as I go through for the second time, I STILL do a lot of the modifier options for things like plyo moves as my knees just won't take the impact from constant jumping.
It's challenging, it kept me wanting to better my time every workout so I found myself working harder and harder in competition in myself.
It works. It is bloody hard but it works, and you will start to notice a difference pretty much straight away.
The bad -
Did I mention it's really hard???
If you do have any joint injuries (particularly your knees and ankles), you need to be really careful. Max:30 is a really high impact workout and involves a lot of plyometrics, not good if your body can't take the impact. The good news is, there are modifier options for pretty much every move, the bad news is - some of these are still quite high impact. Beachbody recommend you see a doctor before starting the training - I would be inclined to agree.
If you cannot self motivate, and you are always making excuses to not work out, don't bother even starting it. Even with the modifiers, Max:30 will be THE hardest thing you have ever done. You will sweat like you have never sweat before, it will literally be pouring from your every pore. And you will ache….. Boy will you ache.
For the best results, you need to watch your food intake. There is a nutrition guide included with the package which I would imagine gives you crazy good results, but it was a bit too restrictive for me. Instead I just ate a healthy, balanced diet, calorie counting for a while to get myself on track. As long as you eat well, you will see results.
If you are looking to bulk up, this workout isn't for you. You don't work with weights, so you won't particularly build mass, however you will tone and improve muscle definition.
Just in case you didn't get the message already - it's HARD.
I'm not going to go into massive detail of each individual workout as we would be here forever. Basically, the workout is broken up into 2 months, and then a 5 day plan for each week in that month. Month one is easier (NB - EASIER DOES NOT MEAN EASY!)
Shaun T says it is the hardest workout he has ever taught…. And that is saying something! There were some days when I was feeling a bit off colour, overtired, or I pushed myself too hard that I genuinely felt sick/ dizzy and had to take a few moments to gather myself.
Month one alternates cardio and tabata style strength workouts, you will build your strength and endurance so you can handle the increased intensity of month 2.
Month two is where you are really going to work, the intervals are longer, the moves are harder, and this is where I really saw a difference.
This is the breakdown taken directly from Beachbody -
Month 1 -
Cardio Challenge - 30 minutes of the hardest cardio sequences you've ever tried. Welcome to Insanity Max:30
Tabata Power - Your strength training starts here with traditional tabata style "20 seconds on, 10 seconds off" workout structure. Your muscles will beg for mercy.
Sweat Intervals - Just in case you didn't think Cardio Challenge was hard enough, you'll have 30 minutes of screaming, sweating, calorie-scorching madness.
Tabata Strength - Shaun T takes it up a notch in this no rest, tabata-style strength workout.
Friday Fight: Round 1 - It's a battle between your mind telling you to push to a new max and your body saying "Are you serious?" and this is just round 1
Month 2 -
MAX OUT Cardio - This may be the craziest cardio workout you ever tried. Just wait till you get to the first power move
MAX OUT Power - The intervals are longer in this "45 seconds on, 15 seconds off" tabata-style plyometric power madness
MAX OUT Sweat - The more minutes you make it through, the more you sweat and the more calories you burn
MAX OUT Strength - Your arms, shoulders, chest, and core will be toast after this upper-body-focused "45 seconds on, 15 seconds off" tabata-style routine.
Friday Fight: Round 2 - The new "hardest workout ever." Every move is a minute in this final fight between your body and your mind. Who's going to win?
Extra workouts include Pulse and Ab Attack:10 and can be used anytime throughout the program.
For best results, make time to incorporate the extra workouts. Abs is only 10 minutes after your main workout, and pulse is only 20 mins as a recovery workout which I did on a Saturday.
The bit you've been waiting for (these are from my first complete 60 days, I've now lost a little bit more since re-starting the programme)
Over the 60 days, I managed to lose my 9lb. Not only that, but I lost a massive 5 inches off my waist, and the inches had also dropped back off from my arms/ legs/ hips etc.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still wobbling in places I've never wobbled before, and I still have some work to do, but I am slimmer than when I got pregnant, I'm back in my size 8-10 clothes, and my energy levels have shot through the roof! I've also been sleeping better, which is absolutely fantastic for me as I went through a really awful stage of mum-somnia.
Where to buy
I bought it from Amazon - you can try, but you won't find this anywhere for cheap/ free… it is a closely guarded secret, and so it should be!
It's not cheap, so the purchase is a commitment in itself in my eyes - no one wants to just chuck 90 quid down the drain.
Is it worth the money? For me - absolutely 100% yes. £90 is the same as a couple of months gym membership for me, so a 60 day plan pays itself back in cancelled gym fees.
If you are looking for an easy way to lose weight, Max:30 isn't for you. For me, it was the perfect way to get back to fitness. I am as strong and lean as I was before I got pregnant, and much fitter.
Now I'm getting a handle of our new routine with work etc, I'm really going to kick it up a gear and focus on more toning before I go away with the girls at the end of this month.
So there you have it… sorry if I've bored you but I hope it's been useful! Would love to hear from you about your postpartum body experience and if you have given insanity max 30 a go!