Thursday, April 21, 2016

Exercise Prosperity: P90X and INSANITY Workout Schedule

Hello! Today I'm sharing how I've combined the P90X and INSANITY workout programs. This is my fifth post in my Exercise Prosperity series. (As I've said previously, no one has asked me to write this, nor am I being compensated in any way for my words—I simply love sharing what makes me happy and healthy!)

Last year, after I finished trying out my new Insanity videos, I was ready to combine them with P90X. I sat down on my exercise mat and spread out my P90X and Insanity DVDs. Previously, I put them in their own separate cases because I didn't like the cardboard flip DVD cases they came in—they seemed to scratch them. I used a big box of blank/empty DVD cases that I bought at Sam's Club years ago. I wrote the DVD titles on large note cards as cutely/nicely as I could and slid them in the front of the cases.

After thinking deeply about each P90X and Insanity video, I decided what category they fell into, and alternated the two programs' videos. I spent about 45 minutes arranging and rearranging my videos according to which body areas each video focused on. I really wanted my body to be exercised well, but not the same areas on subsequent days. I knew my tired body parts would need a rest the next day and wanted to focus on other areas that weren't sore. After I was satisfied with my arrangement, I wrote down my workout schedule on notebook paper and put the videos on our bookshelf next to the TV.

I went through my initial P90X/Insanity schedule twice. My third time through, I decided to take notes on how I felt after doing each video because I felt there were some tweaks in my combinations that needed to be made—and I was right! After my third session, I spent another 25 minutes on my happy exercise mat rearranging my DVDs and felt really good about my changes. Yet after my fourth run-through, I realized there was one more modification that needed to be made to my schedule. Thus, I'm very happy to say that I'm finally satisfied with that fourth arrangement, and I'm on my third time through it! :)

By the by, I've combined the P90X and Insanity videos differently than any of the other hybrid schedules out there. From what I quickly researched online, no one else has combined P90X and Insanity like this before—I'm such an innovator! Ha ha. Sorry if it seems like I'm bragging because I'm not. I'm just thrilled that I've worked hard enough and long enough to have something significant to contribute to our fitness world! :)

When I first began using P90X and Insanity together, I was still only doing the videos three times per week. Yet one night when I was on Instagram (October 23rd, 2015), I saw a post by one of my favorite exercise gurus, Michael Vazquez. He said,
"If you have any questions about fitness I love to open a q&a right now and help answer any!! Ask away don't be shy. πŸ‘ŠπŸΎπŸ’₯ #PerformixDriven"
I enthusiastically typed to Mr. Vazquez, "How many days per week of exercising do you recommend? Do you alternate strength and cardio or do both every day? Also, even though I exercise consistently, my "mommy tummy" seems to want to stay put no matter what exercises I try. It has definitely diminished (yay!), but I'd love to get it more toned—what do you recommend?"

I honestly didn't expect a response from such a famous Instagrammer, but here's what Mr. Vazquez replied,
"@enthusiasticfantastic no less than 4 days a week. I personally do it all in one day of training I'll start with lifting/strength training and end it with explosive circuits or body weight training. Everyone is different. This works for me."
Yeah, I was beside myself that a man with 337,000 Instagram followers actually replied to me! :) But again, that's what makes me continue following him on Instagram. Yes, he makes his living and supports his family off of his Instagram sponsors—so his followers matter in that regard, but I truly believe he does what he does for the sheer love of it and because he genuinely wants to help others become their best selves.

I replied back, "Thank you so much for your advice @michaelcvazquez! I've been exercising three days per week, so I'm going to commit to four days and work it into my schedule! #hereigo! :)"

Yes, after that Instagram encounter, I was absolutely committed to exercising four days per week—there was no going back. I even used the cute little purple sneaker icon for each of my exercising calendar items on my smart phone so I wouldn't forget or let something else get in my way! :)

I did a great job of exercising to my P90X/Insanity lineup for four days per week, for about two months. Yet in late December, 2015, I decided I wanted to do even better and committed to exercising five days per week! You see, I wanted to be completely physically prepared for my ward's (church) Young Women winter camp—where I learned how to snowboard!!! Let me tell you, that was a tough schedule bump up.

I did really great at the beginning of my new effort, but then I struggled for a couple of weeks to keep up my five-days-per-week streak because I felt like I simply didn't have enough time to do everything that needed to be done. Oh, how I wished for just three more hours per day! But after really and fully internalizing that working out five days per week is absolutely what I want and need in my life, my quest became easier and it hasn't been an issue since. Yay!

Call me crazy, but recently, I've even been feeling that I'd like to workout six days per week simply because I feel SO GOOD on the days I exercise! There's a notable difference in my mood and productivity when I exercise vs. when I don't. :)

Last night, I read this article on Medium, "Exercise Habits of Ultra-Successful People," by Andrew Merle. It definitely made me further ponder my exercise six days per week idea—in a positive way. While I can't guarantee that I'll be able to keep up with my "exercise six days per week" goal—because I have three precious children and a wonderful husband who legitimately need me (and all that goes into running a household); plus I have a very time-demanding calling in my church; and I teach piano lessons every week—I'm going to try my darnedest! Even if I slip back to exercising five days per week once in a while, I'll still feel good about my efforts—anything on top of that is just gravy! :)

*Interesting side note: my husband's current Harvard instructor (female) used to play pickup basketball with President Obama when they were both enrolled at Harvard! (See the photo on the exercise article listed above—obviously, it's a different person playing with Obama.) Wow, it really is such a small world! Yes, I refer to that connection as the "Two Degrees of Greg Peterson"—even though he has three university degrees! Ha ha.

The reason I shared all of that is because I know that increasing the amount of days I exercise has made all the difference in my body's continually improving physical capabilities. Not to mention what it's done for the way my clothes fit! Yes, even though my weight hasn't fluctuated more than about two to four pounds this entire time I've been exercising (I still love chocolate!), I absolutely see a difference in my muscle definition and reduced body fat. Remember, muscle weighs more than fat! :) Again, my clothes fit even better now and I love it!

Truly, the best part of exercising that frequently is the fact that my body can basically do any physical challenge I put in its way! *Disclaimer: I don't want my previous sentence to be misleading. I'm not perfect and I'm most definitely not at Michael Vazquez's fitness level. I doubt I'd ever get to that point in my exercising simply because I'm not willing to workout for hours upon hours every day. However, if I were given the option of getting paid thousands of dollars just to workout, I'd probably rethink my stance!

I believe the combination of P90X and Insanity are a match made in exercise heaven! P90X and Insanity are amazing all by themselves for so many reasons (read my previous posts, "Exercise Prosperity: My Review of P90X" and "Exercise Prosperity: My Review of INSANITY), but when you combine them together, the benefits are immeasurable!

Yes, because of my awesome video arrangement and increased workout days, my body is progressing by leaps and bounds every week! I was shocked a few weeks ago to discover that my 12-pound weights are starting to feel light during some P90X exercises. I can't believe I need to buy 15-pound weights because I never thought I'd get to that point! To some people that weight may seem so light, but for me—who started out with eight pounds feeling heavy, it's quite a positive and weighty progression! :)

Without further ado, here is my schedule of P90X and Insanity videos. Of course, anyone can put these DVDs in any order they want, but for me, this is the arrangement I like the very best. I like alternating Tony with Shaun T. every other day; I like alternating strength and cardio every other day. The only problem I had is that Insanity could have used one more video because I end up having two P90X videos two days in a row. (No, I didn't want to include Insanity's "Fit Test" because it's just not as fun for me—and I'm all about fun!) That said, it doesn't bother me because one of the P90X videos is strength, while the next one is cardio—it's all good.
  • Day 1: P90X Plyometrics
  • Day 2: Insanity Cardio Recovery
  • Day 3: P90X Back & Biceps; Ab Ripper X
  • Day 4: Insanity Max Interval Circuit
  • Day 5: P90X Yoga X
  • Day 6: Insanity Cardio Power and Resistance
  • Day 7: P90X Legs & Back; Ab Ripper X
  • Day 8: Insanity Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs
  • Day 9: P90X Chest, Shoulders and Triceps; Ab Ripper X
  • Day 10: P90X Cardio X
  • Day 11: Insanity Max Interval Plyo
  • Day 12: P90X Core Synergistics
  • Day 13: Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit
  • Day 14: P90X Chest & Back; Ab Ripper X
  • Day 15: Insanity Max Cardio Conditioning & Cardio Abs
  • Day 16: P90X Kenpo X
  • Day 17: Insanity Max Recovery
  • Day 18: P90X Shoulders & Arms; Ab Ripper X
  • Day 19: Insanity Core Cardio & Balance
Looking at that list of exercise videos is so exciting to me! First of all, I love that it takes 19 days of exercising to get through my schedule. Also, unlike the rest of the hybrid programs out there, I love having a new video each day I exercise! I really don't like doing the same videos on the same days of the week, for weeks in a row. Yes, I'm all about variety, and my P90X and INSANITY Workout Schedule accomplishes exactly that!

I just love thinking about the endless hard work I've done over the past 21+ months. I can't help but delight in the physical and mental benefits I've received by doing P90X and Insanity together—I could shout my happiness to the world from a megaphone in a hot air balloon! ;) But since I'm not a wizard, feel free to share my Exercise Prosperity posts with anyone you like! I would absolutely love it if my exercise experiences were beneficial to others! :)


P.S. In case you were wondering, the order of the DVDs in my photo go left-to-right, top-to-bottom. Also, the P90X strength videos already have Ab Ripper X on each video, I just didn't have enough room to write it on the note cards. :)

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