Tackling Shaun Week (and inner demons)

For the past seven days, I’ve embarked on and accomplished a seven-day fitness event: #ShaunWeek. If you’ve hung around my blog or social channels (especially Facebook) for a while, you know that I started my Beachbody journey with a Shaun T fitness program – CIZE.

While I love CIZE, I also knew that – especially recently – I was hitting a bit of a fitness rut. I mean, I’ve done CIZE nearly every month for almost two years. It was getting easy to just “mark” the moves and routines, and even though I was sweating and getting in exercise, I knew I wasn’t actually improving my skills. I wasn’t getting stronger, and I wasn’t feeling challenged.

Luckily, it was around the time that I was trying to decide on a different program that #ShaunWeek was announced. The subtitle of the program is “Insane Focus,” a nod to Shaun T’s two most popular programs – Insanity (and Insanity: The Asylum, and Insanity Max:30) and Focus T25.

I was thrilled — this was the challenge I was looking for, and it also pushed me to consider what program I’d need to tackle in order to feel prepared to take on #ShaunWeek. I decided on Insanity Max:30. Holy heck. In just one month, I saw incredible progress. My skills improved, I got stronger, and I definitely was feeling challenged! I finished Month 1 of the Max:30 calendar just in time to start #ShaunWeek.

During the “Launch Week” event, a new routine was released each day. The programs will stay up on Beachbody on Demand, and Shaun T has created a full month-long calendar to continue.

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You’ll notice week one and week four are the “Shaun Week” program schedule; the two weeks in the middle are a hybrid of the “Insane Focus” workouts mixed in the Vytas’ 3-Week Yoga Retreat, T25, and Max:30.

A few things:

  • I tend to shy away from HIIT workouts and/or workouts involving a lot of weights (#ShaunWeek included both)
  • I follow the modifier a lot. This is partially due to old injuries (knees, especially), partially due to my current skill level, and partially due to the fact that I get scared.
  • I have NEVER worked out seven days in a row with no “rest day” before.
  • I have NEVER been so physically and mentally challenged.

This program was exactly what I needed right now. It showed me that I can do hard things, that I can rise to challenges in front of me, and that change is a good thing. Not only do I feel incredibly strong and powerful having tackled and accomplished the past seven days, I am more ready than ever to finish up Month 2 of Insanity Max:30, head to New Orleans for our coaches Summit, and then come back and finish the last 8 weeks of summer with the #ShaunWeek hybrid calendar + a condensed Hybrid Max:30 calendar. That’ll take me to September, and then… we’ll see. I know there are new programs coming out, and there are also recent programs I haven’t gotten a chance to try yet, so we’ll see.

Here’s a quick review of what each workout was like and how I felt each day.

DAY ONE: INSANE BASICS

I wore my brand new Her Universe Wonder Woman tank top for the special occasion of kicking off #ShaunWeek. Insane Basics was a great primer to the week. It was challenging but not overwhelming. I sweat a great deal, but didn’t feel like anything was unreachable. When I needed to, I modified, and I felt okay with that every time.

This was also the first day I started using the full Beachbody Performance line to support my efforts. Energize before the workout, Hydrate during, Recover after, and Recharge at night (with Shakeology too, of course).

DAY TWO: PURE CARDIO 2

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I don’t really remember this workout, but I remember that I cried. And I didn’t cry because the workout was too hard (I mean, it was hard), but I cried because Shaun T is an incredibly inspiring man. He knows how to break down your walls and speak right to your heart, which is such a talent AND a blessing. My heart was on FIRE after completing this workout!

DAY THREE: INSANE WEIGHTS

One of the things about Insanity is your body is your machine/tool. Well, this goes to the next level by including weights. I started with 12 lb, but couldn’t keep my form, so I dropped to 8s.

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This was after, when I went outside to “find my life” as Shaun T would say. My arms were shaking. It was hard to hold the camera up, but the lens flare would make JJ Abrams proud.

DAY FOUR: 25 Abs

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Holy core work, Batman. When I finished this, I sent a message to my friends asking them to not make me laugh because I didn’t think my abs could take it. I love ab workouts that aren’t just planks and crunches (though, like, there were a lot of planks and crunches).

DAY FIVE: Ripsanity

I was sobbing by the end of this workout. I couldn’t handle 12s or 8s and dropped to 5s quickly in an attempt to keep my form. I used the chair A LOT. When there were five minutes left and he said we were switching to a full out cardio blast (the Insanity warm up) to end the routine, I found myself sobbing. I was sobbing because it was hard. Because it had been a long week. Because I didn’t believe I could do it. Because I did.

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The honest-to-God tears during, and the blissful “I can conquer the world” moment outside after.

DAY SIX: Speed 4.0

Speed 1.0 is in T-25 Alpha and is my favorite routine. I haven’t tried 2.0 (Beta) or 3.0 (Gamma), but I knew the concept – repeated movements, to a beat, focusing on speed and agility (and a little stretching/active recovery).

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One of the great things about #ShaunWeek is the fact that there’s a modifier that uses a chair in case you need an alternative to going all the way to the floor. I usually used the middle step on my step stool, which is about the same height as my dining room chairs. But by Day 6 in Speed 4.0, when I needed to modify, I was going to the bottom step. It still removed a bit of pressure as opposed to going all the way to the floor, but was more challenging than “regular chair height.”

DAY SEVEN: Dig Deep

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And there is was – one week, seven workouts. No rest days. No excuses. The final workout was a “greatest hits” of everything that came before. 14 full body moves, each executed for one full minute each. At the end, I cried again.

I was floored at what I accomplished. Of course, I forgot to take any measurements, so I’m not even sure what the physical data from the week looks like. But let me tell you how it feels. 

It feels like I’m stronger than I gave myself credit for being.

It feels like I can tackle any challenge, as long as I make the decision to go for it.

It feels like I’m changing, inside and out, into a person I am proud to be.

It feels like I’m ready for whatever’s next.

And you know what? It doesn’t just feel like that — it is like that.

*****

Want to try #ShaunWeek, or any other Beachbody on Demand programs? I can get you a two week trial, or we can get you signed up and ready for my next challenge group! 

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