Bit of a cryptic blog title I agree, but all will make sense I trust you.
At work we have a gym. It is a nice little gym with bike, rower, X-trainer and a pulley weight stack. We also have a TV and on this TV I have gotten into the habit of working out with Shaun T at lunchtimes.
For the uninitiated, Shaun T is a muscle bound motivational guru who makes Mr Motivator look like a bit of a wally (lets be honest, he was a bit of a wally anyway).
If you are a fan of late night television, you may well have seen Shaun T advertising one of his workout series. In his catalogue he has Insanity, T-25, Insanity Max 30 and others.
Again, if you haven’t heard of any of these let me explain. Insanity (my favourite) is 40-60 minutes of interval based workouts with long intervals of exercise combined with short periods of rest. It has at least 10 minutes of stretching in each session and a long warm up (which is tough in its own right) and is a great workout which only uses body weight as resistance. There is a hell of a lot of jumping up and down involved, plenty of press ups and plyometric movements.
I first had a go at Insanity before I ever started this triathlon business and it was very hard indeed. In fact, I didn’t even make it through the warm up the first time round. You work out 6 days a week and it batters your body if you start from almost zero fitness base (which is where I was at the time).
Now I am a lot fitter, I really enjoy these Shaun T lunchtime workouts. Sometimes we do T-25 (25 min workouts) and today we tried the Max 30 for the first time (30 minutes of non stop effort and very tough). I am joined every day by my colleague Sarah (who is some sort of fitness monster) and we have other colleagues who join in occasionally. When I don’t feel like working out at lunchtime I don’t and skip these days. Essentially I pick it up and leave it whenever I want.
People who have done Insanity seem surprised that I am doing it on top of my usual triathlon training, but I must admit I feel good. It is something to do at lunchtime, I enjoy the workouts and there is no doubt it must be good for my overall fitness. I seem to be able to do the workouts without any hint of injury (other than a minor elbow issue today) and can’t really see any reason to stop.
Perhaps in the long run these lunchtimes would have been better spent going for a run, but there is only so much running I want to do (as it does tend to injure me) and I would have thought the cardio workout you get from Shaun T is as good as the same amount of time running.
So is it insane to do Insanity at the same time as Ironman training? The answer to that is almost certainly YES if you plan to do the full 6 day a week Insanity, but as I pick it up and leave it when I like and only train when I am feeling good I can’t see it doing any harm.
Besides, I get to spend lunchtime with this bunch of lookers!