Fitness17th February 2014

Post 40 - Can I get fitter than ever before

Finding difficulty in wearing my favourite clothes, I decided on a tough fitness programme, but early signs are wonderful

by Sarah Lawrence

When you reach your 40s, unless you are an active sportsperson, you know that your best days are behind you when it comes to fitness and conditioning. If you haven’t done any exercise for a while, even remotely energetic activities can often result in an ache here and a niggling pain there.

​But, are those best days really behind you? Fed up of hitting a slippery slope towards breathlessness, and still feeling 18 at heart, I decided to find out by throwing myself into the Beachbody Insanity fitness programme. Advertised as ‘The hardest workout ever put on DVD’, you would think such words would put me off and have me running scared. Not a bit of it. I knew I was throwing myself into the deep end, but things had got desperate, I was struggling to get into my favourite clothes and I needed something that would inspire me through near instant results.

Beachbody’s Insanity is a 60-day total body conditioning programme delivered in a series of DVDs that I can do in the privacy of my home. The added benefit is that the subtitling on the DVDs is perfect! It comes with all of the usual health warnings but it was the promise to, ‘get you into the best shape of your life’, that appealed to me. At 40 something – was that still possible? I am trying to find out.

It is £100 to buy the Insanity pack, but for that you get all the DVDs you need to turn flab into muscle. You also get a couple of additional DVDs that introduce you to other types of fitness training as well as information on food and good diet. There is also on-line support by signing up to the Beachbody programme.

I started the programme 3 weeks ago, so I am still in the early stages of the 60-day programme. Starting with a fitness test it was good to get a benchmark from which I could improve. The fitness test itself is tough mind, doing exercise routines that I have never come across before. The important thing is not to judge yourself. I couldn’t do one exercise at all, I just didn't have the strength or technique, but this is just a starting point.

The DVDs come with a training calendar and I committed to working to the instructions given, starting the fitness regime the following day with the Plyometric Cardio Circuit. Starting the DVD, this first session is programmed to be about 40 minutes long. Each video begins with a warm up that feel like a damned good work out to me! The next stage is a stretch routine and it was good to feel my heart rate come back down whilst doing this.

The cardio circuit session was about 20 minutes long, but it was tough, but I took things at my own pace and completed what I could, so probably less than 50% of what the people on the DVD were able to do. I don't feel bad about that, I still worked myself really hard, my muscles were aching from a good workout, and as the instructor explains, it is really important to keep yourself within certain training limits. I also wanted to finish the full 40 minutes, so had to pace myself.

The final part of the session is a warm down stretch routine. At the end I was tired, but I also felt exhilaration at having done it. Day one of 60 was complete and it felt really good. I have followed the programme since for the last 3 weeks, with the first session of the third week being the fitness test again. This confirmed what I had been feeling. In only two weeks, I could feel that my body was tightening up and I was already starting to lose weight. In the fitness test I was able to do 25% more than I had on Day 1. This programme was working and I could see and feel the change in my body in those 2 weeks. Three weeks in, the improvements are continuing and I feel totally energised by the changes that are taking place.

At the start it felt like hard work to convince myself that this programme is for me, but after three weeks and with the improvements I have seen already, I cant wait to do my session each day. It is really tough, but the DVD support in front of me helps me to get through each session. Having started at doing less than 50% of the exercises I am already up to about 60% and every day I feel able to do more.

I can’t wait to get to the 60 day mark because I know I will be fitter than I have been in my life, will have lost over a stone of fat, and will have a much more toned body. This programme works for me and if you like a challenge, it will probably work for you too.

Article by Sarah Lawrence

posted in Deaf Sport / Fitness

17th February 2014