Friday, January 9, 2015

Insanity Max:30 Review: Max Out Strength

I am four workouts into month two of Max:30, and I have to tell you that my body is definitely feeling the impact of a string of new challenging workouts. The forth workout on the calendar for month two is Max Out Strength. As the Max Out Guide says, "Max strength and max fat burn are what you'll get from this "45 seconds on, 15 seconds off" Tabata routine. Your arms, shoulders, chest, and core will be toast after this upper-body-focused strength workout."

This workout is the analog of Tabata Strength from month one, a workout that we waited two weeks before introducing. That meant that during week one of month one of Max:30, we got to do the same strength-based workout on Tuesday and Thursday of the first week. No such luck in month two where it's five days with five different workouts.


Max Out Strength pairs nicely with Max Out Power though. The Power workout focuses more on the lower body, while Max Out Strength is all about the arms. With all the push-ups and plank work in this workout, you chest and shoulders get a beating. My upper body was already sore from the rest of the new moves that I did this week, including the plyo push-up section from Max Out Power, and this led to an ugly session, the first time through Max Out Strength.

Below is the moves list for Max Out Strength. This is another Tabata-style workout with 45 second on, 15 seconds off intervals. In general, the rounds were approximately six minutes in length, though they kind of varied a bit. We went right from the warm-up into round one without a water break.

Warm-up:
High Knee Pull: Standing, lift one knee and pull it to the chest. Alternate left and right.
Jog It Out
Med Ball Twist: Jack the feet and bring hands (together) up and over the head in an arc to the left and right.
Mummy Kicks: Have your arms out straight in front of you and switch them side to side above and below the other. While doing this, do low kicks with your feet.
Lateral Lunge Kick - R: Lunge to right side by stepping out your right leg and then bending to sink into the right hip. The left leg is straight to the side. Return to standing by powering off your right leg. Then do a front kick with your right leg.
Slap Back Jack: As you jack your feet, take your arms, which are in down straight in front of you and bring them behind, slapping your hands behind your glutes and returning them to the front.
Lateral Lunge Kick - L: Lunge to left side by stepping out your left leg and then bending to sink into the left hip. The right leg is straight to the side. Return to standing by powering off your left leg. Then do a front kick with your left leg.
Heisman: With legs wide, run shifting your body weight left and right without twisting the torso.
High Knee Abs: Jog with high knees. Have arms in "on guard" position and twist the torso so arms are meeting knees.

Round 1
:
Split Plyo Lunge > Jog It Out:  Start in a lunge position, jump the front leg to the back and the back leg to the front to switch the lunge. Jump back and forth changing your lunging leg each time.
Plié Plyo Squat > Jog It Out: In a plié position, jack the feet in, so that you are in a narrow squat, and then back out into plié. Remain low as you hop in and out.
2 Hop Squats - 2 Lunges > Jog It Out: In squat position, do two hops, then turn to the right and into a lunge position, do two hops. Turn back to the left and do two hop squats. Now turn to the left so you are lunging on the opposite leg as last time and do two hops. Go back into the squat.
Hop Squat - Lunge > Jog It Out: This move is the same as the 2 Hop Squats - 2 Lunges except for you do 1 hop and 1 lunge.
Squat Thrust - Lunge > Jog It Out: Squat down, when you stand up do so and thrust your hips forward. Then turn and do a lunge. Alternate between the squat and the lunges side to side.
Squat Thrust > Jog It Out: Squat down, when you stand up do so and thrust your hips forward.

Round 2:
Push-up Jack Tap > Child's Pose: start in plank position. Jack your feet out and in. As you jack your feet out, take one hand and tap it to your opposite shoulder. Jack your feet in and return your hand to the floor. When you jack your feet out again, tap the other hand to the other shoulder. Continue jacking your feet out and in and tapping right then left hands to the opposite shoulders.
Push-up Jack > Child's Pose: Do push-ups, as you go down, you jack the feet out and then return them in when you push-up.
Plank Jack - Push-up > Child's Pose: In plank, jack the feet out and in. Then do a push-up. Repeat.
Plank Walk - Push-up > Child's Pose: In plank, walk your arm and leg to the right to do a plank walk. Do a push-up. Repeat alternating side to side with the plank walk.
Knee Push-up > Child's Pose: Do push-ups with your knees down instead of in full plank.
8-Count Knee Push-up > Child's Pose: Do push-ups with your knees down instead of in full plank. For each push-up, lower down for 8 counts and then push-up for 8 counts.

Round 3:
Floor Switch Kicks > C-Sit Hold: Start with a reverse tabletop position. Your feet are on the floor, legs bent, and your upper body is supported by your arms under you, like you are going to do tricep dips. In this position, alternate kicking your legs up in the air left and right as fast as you can.
Tricep Reach Kick > C-Sit Hold: In the same position as for Floor Switch Kicks, lift one leg and the opposite arm. Touch hand to foot. Leg should be extended straight. Alternate side to side.
Tricep Knee Taps > C-Sit Hold: This is the same as the Tricep Reach Kick except you lift your leg bent instead of straight. Your hand should touch your bent knee.
Tuck Extension > C-Sit Hold: From tuck position where you're in c-sit with the legs off the floor and hands on knees like during a tuck jump, open up legs and arms lying back completely on the floor. Stretch the arms overhead and the legs out in front. Arms and legs are four inches from the floor. Pop back up into tuck jump position. Repeat move over and over.
Floor Tuck Jumps > C-Sit Hold: Sitting in c-sit position, engage your abs and lift your feet off the ground with bent knees. Tap hands to knees as if doing a seated tuck jump.
Speed Knee Abs > C-Sit Hold: Start lying down on your back. Bicycle your legs back and forth. Touch your hands to the knee that is bent towards you, twisting slightly to engage your abs.


Round 4:
Tricep Push-up Jack > Child's Pose: Do tricep push-ups where you elbows go back, scrapping against your sides instead of outward. As you go down, you jack the feet out and then return them in when you push-up.
Dive Push-up > Child's Pose: This is done with arms like they would be for a tricep push-up. When you start in plank, move so you are slightly back on your feet. As you go down into the push-up position, lean forward so you are moving forward and back as you move down and up.
Lat Push-up - Alt > Child's Pose: Starting in plank, move your right arm to the right side. Do a push-up where you engage that right lat and have the right arm stay close to the body. After you push-up, walk your hands back into a center plank. Now move to the left side and repeat the move on the left. Alternate side to side.
Knee Push-up Pulse > Child's Pose: In plank on your knees, lower down into a push-up position. Maintain that position pulsing up and down slightly.
8-Count Knee > Child's Pose: Do push-ups with your knees down instead of in full plank. For each push-up, lower down for 8 counts and then push-up for 8 counts.
Low Plank Hold: Start in full plank and lower down until your chest is hovering just above the floor and elbows are going back. On cue, alternate between doing this on your knees and in pull plank.


Bottom line: This workout is hard. I Maxed Out early into the upper body intensive round at 12:32 and had to do some modifications the first time through, meaning that I did quite a few of the sections of push-ups on my knees. I am glad that this workout really challenged me. I think that getting a few rest days for the upper body, chest and shoulders especially, combined with going through this workout a second time will definitely result in better performance. In addition to tracking my Max Out time, and hoping to improve it, I also plan to track how far I can go before modifying. This was something that I did with the Tabata Strength workout, and it was great to see how I not only was able to make it all the way through the workout by the end of the month but also about to make it through without switching to modified push-ups (on the knees).

I am looking forward to the next time through this workout. It killed me the first time around. Now I can't wait to have another try at Max Out Strength!

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