Many of us with busy lives struggle to get to the gym and so look to workouts to do at home to either squeeze in those extra sessions or to ensure we have some form of exercise to keep us fit, healthy and reduce stress. There is a long history of home workout plans, and to be honest a vast majority of these were designed as marketing tools to promote celebrities, the workouts were generally moderately difficult and were more about money than fitness, using cardiovascular activities and low intensity body weight type activities.
Why is the insanity workout different?
Insanity has changed the game in this regard as it has removed itself from the classic home work out video, it is designed to be tough, exhausting and get your lungs burning using HIIT type principles and explosive dynamic movements, such as jumping squats, lunges and burpees as the main stay of its short to medium length duration, high intensity workouts. It does combine these with some other sessions based around stretching, mobility and core work, but the growing popularity of this program is due to the fact people who have a history of exercise find these challenging so feel they are getting real benefit, not just going through the motions. There are suggested dieting strategies employed as part of the program depending on your goal, these are fairly basic but a good starting point for the inexperienced. One thing it does not really touch upon is the use of supplementation; they suggest the use of protein shakes as a snack or a meal replacement for certain meals but do not cover many other supplements that may be of benefit for this type of training. It is a common misconception that supplements should be used for those only training seriously in the gym and lifting weights, they have a place as part of the recovery process, performance and maintaining health regardless of the exercise or sport you do.
Performance, Recovery, Health
Here we will focus around three main areas you can supplement to get the most of your insanity workouts, performance, recovery and health. Starting with recovery the first thing you’ll need is extra protein, which is suggested in the form of Whey shakes on the program, these are ideal after these workouts as they are easy to digest and absorb quickly allowing a plentiful supply of amino acids for your muscles to recover. This combined with a little bit of fast digesting carbohydrate from sources such as vitargo or highly branch chain cyclic dextrin will help restock glycogen stores quickly and also help transport other nutrients into the muscle bolstering recovery. If you feel you are still struggling to recover than branch chain amino acids, hydrolysed whey, or hydrolysed casein (Peptopro) provide you with an easy to drink source of amino acids to be taken whilst exercising, these may also help improve performance by buffering lactate allowing you to maintain higher intensities. Performance can be enhanced through the addition of a decent pre-workout, with a stimulatory effect and containing things like nitric oxide boosters which increase blood flow and nutrient delivery, beta-alanine which helps maintain muscle contraction efficiency and creatine which provides energy for high intensity, short duration, interval type activities. Creatine may also be supplemented separately to ensure muscle saturation, the dosing of this will depend on the type of creatine you use, some require a loading phase whilst others do not. Vitargo and cyclic dextrin can also be used pre-workout to elevate blood sugars giving you a little extra boost of energy. For those looking to avoid excessive amounts of high GI carbs, or carbs altogether the addition of MCT’s (medium Chain Triglycerides) , found in coconut oils can give you a boost of energy and has many other health benefits including healthy hair and skin and promotes fat loss and healthy cardiovascular function. Supplementation for health may not seem essential if you are eating a healthy and well balanced diet, however nutrient demands are increased and immune function lowered by intense exercise so a good multivitamin should cover your bases here. Another important factor to consider with Insanity is they type of exercise and the surface it is performed on. The exercises are explosive and high impact involving jumping and rapid movements which load the knees and back and this would be performed on the hard surfaces of your flooring at home or in the garage so joint protection is massively important. The addition of a good quality fish oil or omega 3 supplement helps provide essential nutrients to protect joints but also have many other health benefits including reducing inflammation and muscle soreness and creating a healthy cardiovascular system. At CSN we understand the difficulty at getting to the gym, so Insanity fits the bill to get some of the amazing health benefits in a home workout, whilst pushing you to progress your cardiovascular function and develop a moderate amount of muscle tissue. [Tweet ""Insanity fits the bill to get some of the amazing health benefits in a home workout""] It is also great for those looking to put in extra training sessions in the day outside of normal gym work and will certainly increase calorie deficit and aid in fat loss for those looking to lose weight when combined with appropriate nutrition. The wide variety of workouts also keeps it interesting which means you are more likely to stay focused and keep with the program. Insanity is taxing on the joints and cardiovascular system so, as with all exercise programs, please be careful if you have previous injuries or health conditions and seek appropriate medical advice before taking part. If you have any questions about supplementation, for insanity, sports or other training programs please give drop us a message, as always at CSN we are here to help and what you to get the best possible results whatever your goal might be. Thanks for reading, Peace, Weights and Protein Shakes. Paul Rimmer (BSc, MSc) [wpsr_socialbts]