Insanity: The Asylum – DAY 23 – “Speed & Agility”

I took my own advice from the other day and took an extra day off. My body is just beat. I have minor pulls in several muscles. I have a weird intermittent feeling of coolness in my left hip. My right ankle feels weird.

Shaun T is always saying how your mind has to conquer your body, how even if your body doesn’t want to be there working out, your mind needs to make it work. That’s how you get better.

I buy that, but he also says to stay within your own skill and fitness level.

So, I took the extra day off, and will propel myself forward with my mind, because my body is only about 50% (if that) into it.

Shaun T's AsylumThe extra day helped a lot. I was able to recharge. I did a little Tony Horton stretching, from One-On-One Volume 3, but that’s it.

Even though the day off helped, though, I gotta say, I just don’t like this workout. And that’s not my worn out body talking. It’s really a matter of space.

I only have about a 6-foot-by-6-foot area  of padded floorespace to work out in. That works well for just about everything, but this workout, with that agility ladder, is too challenging logistically.

With a larger area, like they use in the video, I could just leave the ladder where it is and adjust my body to fit the exercise. But with my limited space, I need to move the ladder around too much, and sometimes I just can’t do what needs to be done, so I have to modify.

For the last iteration of this workout, I believe I’ll just skip the ladder altogether, and see how the routine goes without it.

Anyway, I feel pretty good afterward, no worse for the wear. I don’t have comparative numbers for “Speed & Agility”, but I do for my favorite Asylum workout, which I’ll do tomorrow, so I am looking forward to seeing if the numbers reflect how worn out my body feels.

How “in shape” do I really need to be?

Yesterday, Day 21 of The Asylum, was “Back to Core” again. Nothing exciting to report there, except that my lower right back pain is a bit more noticeable than usual today. This is a dull pain that is kinda like a bruise, in that it only hurts when I move a certain way, and it’s more annoying than actually painful. That pain has been there for about 18 months now — I first noticed it about 4 weeks into P90X — so I don’t worry too much about it, hoping someday it’ll just disappear.

Today, on Day 22, I have come to only the second (and last) “Rest” day of The Asylum. This day of rest has me thinking seriously about my relationship with this type of training program. Why do I do it? Will I continue with future volumes of The Asylum? (I assume there will be future volumes, because this one is called “Volume 1”.)

Shaun T's AsylumIt was pretty obvious to me from the first few days of The Asylum that this program is made for people who want to be in top shape. Of course, I would have thought the same thing about Insanity — in fact, I did think it, when Month 2 of that program started — but that program was primarily aerobics with a little bit of strength training. The Asylum, on the other hand, is more about sports skill development, and really — once you are already in Insanity shape — pushing the envelope of what your body can endure.

In all honesty, now that I think about it, this program would not be so difficult if there were more rest days. Pushing, pushing, pushing, every day, resting every three or four or five days — that’s rough for a desk jockey. Even an in-shape desk jockey. But, then, I think that is part of the point of The Asylum.

Whatever. That may be what professional athletes need to do. Keep pushing, even in the face of extreme fatigue. It is not, however, what I need to do.

The other side of the coin is that I had entered The Asylum, hoping that it would help melt away those last 10 pounds of gut fat. That is not happening. I am beginning to wonder if anything short of starvation would make that stuff go away. I’m eating right, exercising like a demon, but still it persists.

Having said all that … hell, yeah, I will continue with future volumes of The Asylum!

I just get too much of a sense of accomplishment from going through these programs. When I completed  P90X, I really felt as if I had done something meaningful for myself. Same with completing  Insanity.

When I complete The Asylum, I don’t think it will be the same feeling. It will be more of a sense of having survived something that few can endure, and being better for it. I mean, I’m in the best shape of my life, so I’m going to keep pushing my body to the limit.

When I complete this program, and after a well-deserved week off — actually, it’ll be about a week and a half of yoga and light aerobics — I’ll get into a hybrid of some sort, and start gearing myself up for P90X2, which should arrive in December. I already have a bit of an idea what P90X2 is about, because I subscribed to the One-On-One Volume 3 series, where Tony Horton tested out the routines that would become P90X2, so I’m pretty stoked to get around to using exercise balls, getting more balancing and core work in, and developing strength and more all-around fitness with Tony.

Yeah. This is all good.

I guess the answer to how “in shape” I need to be, is simply as good a shape as I am willing to push my body through. Not done yet!

Insanity: The Asylum – DAY 20 – “Vertical Plyo”

After today, I’ll be two-thirds of the way through The Asylum. Can I make it through the last 10 days? We’ll see.

Shaun T's AsylumI’m no quitter, but, wow my body is worn out. I have a few minor pains and am feeling less than energetic most of the time. However, I get through the workouts without pain, and seem to have the energy to complete them, i.e. I don’t feel like quitting in the middle.

But then, as I said, I’m no quitter, so I’ll definitely stick it out. But, damn, this is difficult.

(BTW, oddly, to me, a friend of mine I had not seen in a couple months, said to me on Saturday that I seemed much more “chipper” than usual. Perhaps the lack of energy is only my own perception, relative to how I want to feel, but I am actually more energetic?)

This is the first time I have numbers to compare, so that’s also a motivator. Let’s see how I did.

  1. Long Jumps – LAST TIME: 7 and 7; TODAY: 8 and 7
  2. Split Squat Back Flys – ? ; ? (forgot to count both times)
  3. Back Fly Tuck Jumps – 28; 26
  4. Low Stance Jacks – ?; 39
  5. Single-Leg Jumprope – 100% (forgot to count, but kept going the full time); 64 and 65
  6. Resistance Tuck Jumps – 28; 28
  7. Plyo Resistance Pushups – ? ; 15
  8. Resistance X Jumps – 18; 20
  9. Mountain Climber Switch Kicks – 38; 53
  10. Low Squat Jumprope – 90; 107
  11. Rotational Agility Jump Squats – ?; 14
  12. Decoy Split Jumps – 12 and 12; 11 and 12
  13. Agility Scissor Jump with Pushups – 40 and 20 (100%); 40 and 28
  14. Double Jumps – 90; 74
  15. Single-Leg Power Jumps- 18 and 18; 19 and 17
  16. Lateral Jumps – 15; 15

Some were higher, some were lower. I had more rest between exercises last time, because I was taking time to write down the actual exercise, so that could account for some of the lower numbers this time.

Looks like the exercises in the middle, 8 through 10, were all up, and the rest were pretty close to even, except for 14, Double Jumps, which were down almost 20%. Counting problem? Could be.

Well, maybe the numbers are not so important after all. Looking forward to comparing again the next time around.

Tomorrow is “Back to Core” again, and then an actual “Rest Day” before five grueling days for the stretch run.

I can do this!

Insanity: The Asylum – DAY 19 – “Game Day” + “Overtime”

Yesterday was Day 18, “Relief”, of The Asylum, so nothing really to report there.

But today was something new. Sorta.

Shaun T's AsylumI’ve done the “Game Day” workout before back on Day 11. It’s almost an hour of non-stop cardio. It’s hard. But today Shaun T added “Overtime” to that. I didn’t know what to expect, except for more pain.

You know what? Not that bad! I mean, it was bad, but not as bad as I thought it would be.

“Game Day” was more enjoyable today than the first time through, probably because I knew the moves a bit better. The time really seemed to fly by.

So, what is “Overtime”? It’s simply an additional 12 minutes or so of … impossible … moves.

I think that’s why it wasn’t so bad, because the moves are impossible, following on the heels of “Game Day”, so I only did about half of the reps. But it was very cool to be so worn out and then continue the workout. Talk about a feeling of accomplishment. Wow! I can’t believe I made it through.

“Vertical Plyo” is tomorrow. Got to love these weekend workouts.

Insanity: The Asylum – DAY 17 – “Strength”

Wow, Day 17 of The Asylum, “Strength”.

Shaun T's AsylumI am still on sub-50g carbs, focusing on 50% Protein, 40% Fat, 10% Carbs. Still feeling really good. I did not at all feel lacking in energy during “Strength” today.

And, just as I did yesterday, I managed to write down my reps, so I can compare later. Yeah!

I also wrote down the weights used:

  • Warmup: 12.5-pound dumbbell
  • Progressive Dumbbell Rotations: 15-pound dumbells
  • Back Exercises: 12.5-pound dumbbells for Hip Flys, 15-pound dumbbells for Row-Pushups
  • Chest Exercises: 20-pound dumbbells

Here are my reps:


  • Progressive Dumbbell Rotations
    • Level 1: 8
    • Level 2: 8
    • Level 3: 7 (that’s one more than last time)
  • Shoulder Presses – 24 for each level
  • Rotating Jump Squats
    • Simple Jump Squat: 19
    • Curl Jump Squat: 11
    • Curl-and-Press Jump Squat: 7


  • Hip Fly: 12 for each level
  • Jumping Pullup: 32
  • Fly-to-Pushup: 10+10 (starting at 2+2, then 4+4, then 6+6, and so on)
  • Alternating Low-Plank-to-Plank-Fly: 6


  • Chest Press with Head Up and Legs In-Out: 27
  • Alternating Chest Press with Head Up and Alternating Leg In-Out: 14/14
  • Chest Press with Head Up and Legs Up: 31


  • Frog Jump with Single-Leg Plank Kickback: 6

Now I have some numbers to compare. I’ll be putting this info into spreadsheets to print out for easy access and recording.

In case you are not sold on tracking your progress, I’ll let you know why I do it. I mean, sure, there is the pre-test and the post-test, but I like to go beyond that. (In fact, don’t tell Shaun T, but I didn’t even bother with the pre-test for The Asylum. I would rather track progress through the individual workouts.) I want to see how I am doing in each move. When my reps in those Cardio Dumbbell Rotations go up, that gives me a feeling of accomplishment. I cannot wait until next time through this routine to see if I can get to 8 reps in level 3!

Tomorrow is another day of “Relief”. I’m all about that, especially because the day after that is “Game Day + Overtime” — I am shuddering at the thought of that….