Are You Ready for the Insanity Workout Program?

The Insanity workout program is a fitness routine by Shaun T. It’s tough, but they promise results in 60 days if you stick with the program. They get into nutrition and provide a calendar for your workouts. Perhaps best of all, you don’t need any special equipment… although knee braces and braces for your other joints may not be a bad idea at all. And even if you’re overweight, you might be ready for the Insanity workout program.

How Do You Know?

You’re ready for the Insanity workout routine when you’re ready to commit to a serious physical challenge. As with any other change in your fitness routine, talk to your doctor first and be sure you don’t have any health issues which keep you from doing the routine. But if you’re healthy enough, a big part of your success will be determined by how committed you are to finishing this program.

If you’re generally out of shape, you may or may not be able to finish the exercises, especially at first. It’s up to you to decide if you want to keep pushing yourself to where you can do the whole thing each day. Don’t buy this if you aren’t ready for that push. The routine won’t do you any good if you don’t keep it up. Lots of people say this isn’t for beginners, but others say it depends on how willing you are to keep it up. Just remember that you can pause the DVD for a break when you need one. You can even keep repeating the early days each day until you get it, if you like.

What Are the Risks?

This is a serious, high impact exercise routine. Some people find it to be too hard on their back, knees or other joints. You can injure yourself doing this workout. I’m not a doctor, but I don’t think this is a good workout for people who already have joint issues.

I will state this very clearly, again. If you have joint issues, this really isn’t for you. It’s high impact, and any joints giving you trouble already may have more trouble after this routine. Pick something appropriate to what your body can handle. There are lower impact ways to get fit.

Proper form is important to avoiding injuries with most exercises. Really pay attention to how to do each one, and take the time to get it right, even if it slows down your routine. You can speed up as you figure out the form. They say “form over speed” and that is excellent advice.

Is the Insanity Workout Program Worth the Price?

This program is on the high side for exercise routines, but many people get good results. Just look at the reviews on Amazon if you want to see what real people think. Even some of the one star reviews admit that it’s a good workout problem – many of those reviews come from people who got injured while doing the workouts, a risk I’ve already mentioned. Even so, they’re far outnumbered by better reviews.

It comes down to you. Are you ready for a serious physical challenge? Are you going to stick with it? If you aren’t ready, don’t buy this workout. But if it looks good to you, go for it.

FitDesk Exercise Bike Review

One thing most of us would love to have is a way to exercise while either being productive or playing on the computer. Your typical computer setup can’t help but encourage a sedentary lifestyle, as you sit down to work or play at your computer. The FitDesk exercise bike can help change that.

One of the great things about the FitDesk is that it doesn’t take a lot of space. That’s a generally good thing for any exercise equipment. It’s smaller than most exercise bikes, and you can buy a seat extender if you’re too tall for the basic setup.

Many reviewers say the setup for the laptop stand is good, but could be better. It comes with elastic straps to hold the computer in place, which some reviewers say don’t feel as though they’re sturdy enough. Still, they work.

The setup may not be perfect for all laptops. One user noted a need to put a hard surface under their laptop rather than the foam it otherwise sits on, so that the fans could work properly at cooling the laptop. That’s a pretty simple thing to fix, but important to be aware of.

The price is really great. I won’t quote it, as prices change, but it’s more affordable than many other pieces of exercise equipment.

As with any exercise/computer setup, it will take some time to get used to using your computer while pedaling your FitDesk, even slowly. It’s a different position than you’re used to, and the motion of your body makes a difference.

One thing you should not expect from your FitDesk is a heavy duty workout. That’s not what it’s for. If you want a heavy duty workout, you probably aren’t going to attach your laptop to it, as it’s too hard to use a computer when you’re really working out. Serious working out is better done when watching a movie or doing something else which doesn’t involve using your computer much if at all. It’s just too hard to control things when you’re really moving.

Is a Treadmill Desk the Answer to Your Fitness Needs?

One of the biggest problems many people have with getting fit is finding time for it. It’s not easy to fit into some lifestyles. You have to make the choice to make time for it. A treadmill desk may be a help.

It’s not for everyone. Some people find it impossible to use a laptop on a treadmill desk even when they’re walking really slowly. This is very much a personal preference. But if you can get things going, you can get some low level walking done while you do other work on your laptop. You do need to walk slowly when you use a treadmill desk – otherwise your arms and hands will be moving too much to get anything done. I’ve seen people say that a half mile to a mile and a half per hour is a good range.

Choosing a Treadmill Desk

The first thing you need to consider with a treadmill desk is your treadmill, or the treadmill you’re planning to buy. The desk has to be compatible. You can of course make your own desk if you like, but there are some great models out there. The TrekDesk Treadmill Desk looks great, and has a lot of room for all the things you need for work. It also looks generally good in the reviews. It’s on the lower side of the price range for treadmill desks, so it may not be as sturdy as some, but it does have adjustable height, an important feature for comfort while you walk and work.

On the somewhat higher end is the LifeSpan Treadmill Desk. This one is more compact but also quite adjustable. The great part is that it comes with a treadmill, very nice for those who are looking for both the treadmill and the desk at once.

You can also go very simple and cheap and get the SurfShelf Treadmill Desk. This is a little shelf that attaches the the console of your treadmill, and can support your laptop. Simple, cheap, and generally effective. It includes a velcro strap so your laptop won’t fall off, very important if you value your computer. The one problem is that it may block some of the controls or readouts on your treadmill. This may or may not bother you.

A treadmill desk isn’t going to replace a more strenuous workout routine, but it’s a simple way to increase the amount of physical activity in your day. Get it set up right and give yourself some time to get used to it, and you might find that this is the right solution for you.

Shopping for Total Gym Exercise Equipment

My husband and I decided that this year we wouldn’t buy separate gifts for each other for Christmas. Instead, we’d get some fitness equipment for our home. We went back and forth for weeks on what kind of equipment we wanted. He thought treadmill first, I wanted an elliptical. Next we both seriously considered a rowing machine, but we’ve finally settled on a Total Gym.

Total Gym exercise equipment has a good reputation as a quality machine, and that’s obviously important if you’re going to spend any money on gym equipment for your home. Prices have a nice range, so you don’t have to spend a fortune if you don’t want to, yet you’ll still get a quality product. One thing to note on all Total Gym exercise equipment is that while you can fold it up and put it away, it’s fairly heavy.

Today I’d like to review a few of the Total Gym exercise equipment options, and what interests me about each.

Total Gym 1100

The Total Gym 1100 is a budget friendly model. You’ll have to check on your own for current pricing – I don’t like to share product pricing in my reviews when it can change so easily. Still, I will note that Amazon has one of the best prices I’ve seen, plus they’re a company I trust.

The Total Gym 1100 measures 99.5 by 43.75 by 16 inches, and can be folded and put away. If you have the space, I don’t recommend putting your exercise equipment away too often, as it’s easier to use if it’s just out there, ready to go, but many of us have good reasons to put exercise equipment away, such as a small living space or young children who won’t always leave it alone. Do what works for you and focus on keeping up your motivation no matter where you keep your exercise equipment.

Like other Total Gyms, this model allows you to do about 60 exercises, and comes with leg pulleys so you can work out your lower body, not just your upper body. The reviews on Amazon are quite promising, so low price or no, this looks like a highly acceptable machine whether you’re trying to build your home gym on a budget or just want to make sure that you aren’t overspending on something you won’t actually use.

Total Gym XLS Trainer

The Total Gym XLS Trainer is a step up from the 1100. It has a new pulley system, better padding on the glide board, plus extra features such as a Pilates kit. It also supports up to 400 pounds, although some reviewers on Amazon dispute it’s suitability for that range. It includes over 80 exercises, 5 workout DVDs, an exercise wall chart, training deck and nutritional program/meal planning guide. Overall, it looks like a great piece of exercise equipment for a very reasonable price.

Total Gym 1800 Club Home Gym

If you don’t want to take the jump in price to the XLS Trainer, the Total Gym 1800 Club is a pretty good choice. It has a larger glide board than the 1100, and includes ab boards, a Pilates bar and a mat to protect your floor. You also get one DVD with two workouts. This model has a maximum user weight of 275 pounds, which from what I’ve seen is a pretty common range for lower priced home gym equipment.

If you’re noticing that there aren’t big differences apparent in different models and price ranges, you’re right. The differences are often in the quality of the frame and glide board, and in the accessories you get.

There are other Total Gym models to consider, but these are the ones we looked at. Take a look at what each one offers you as you consider your own needs. It’s likely to be a good purchase.