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TOPIC: Calf pain from insanity?

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March 19, 2011 12:08 PM
So i have done some of the insanity workouts and was wondering does anyone have so much pain in their calfs the next day that they can barely walk? I couldn't even stand without feeling pain. It was like I had charlie horses all night while i was sleeping and now cant even move them because of it. I can do only about 1 insanity workout a week because this happens everytime. Just wondering if anyone had the same problem. Thanks!!!
March 19, 2011 12:12 PM
What are the insanity workouts? Are they scaled for intensity and/or weight?
March 19, 2011 12:14 PM
I've been doing a ton of cardio (mainly running) since I started MFP. I started experiencing some calf pain and worked through it. Each time I ran it started getting worse though, so I gave myself two days off. It doesn't hurt now and I'm trying to go easier on it. Listen to your body though. If it's hurting that badly, you are probably overworking it. You might want to try to cut back on the intensity of the workout and gradually build back up to it. You definitely don't want to tear the muscle though. Ouch!
March 19, 2011 12:15 PM
I was definitely getting sore. I just made sure I was stretching really well after the DVD was over and kept working out. It got better after some time (but it's also taken me seven weeks to get through the scheduled week 4). I just did other workouts on the days I didn't feel like doing Insanity.

I don't know if it helped or not, but I also started to do the workouts without shoes. That's just a personal preference thing from when I was a dancer. I just don't like shoes on my feet and feel like I have better control without them.

In the short run, advil will cut down the inflammation and perhaps a heating pad to keep the circulation going. And perhaps drinking enough water-- which I'm sure you're already doing.

It's definitely not an easy series, but if you keep at it, the soreness should start to abate with good stretching.
March 19, 2011 12:17 PM
Yes I did. Especially from the later part of the first video when you are on the floor "running" and doing the ski things. It's a lot of work for the calf.
March 19, 2011 12:21 PM
I can imagine you could get calf pain. In the warm-up section the butt kicks really work the calves as do many other exercises. Insanity is not for beginners, but I have no idea of your fitness level. What can help is adding some calf specific stretches after your Insanity workout, as he does not include specific ones. Also, do some calf specific strengthening exercises like standing with the ball of your foot on a step of the stairs while holding the banister with your hand. Lift up your body up using your calf muscle, then lower below the level of the step, repeat for 8-10 repetitions and then do the other leg. Rest a minute and repeat that cycle 2 more times each side. If you can't do that with one leg, use both. Finally, what you eat after an Insanity workout may help as well. A high protein with some carbs shake can help if taken within an hour or so of working out giving your body what it needs to heal and feed the muscles it has worked.
March 19, 2011 12:23 PM
I just ended my second week of Insanity & I'm having the same pain! Yesterday I could barely walk down the stairs. I know there are stretches in the video, but I'm going to make sure to stretch before and afterward -- hopefully that will help. I'll probably take some Advil or Tylenol before I do the workout to maybe prevent some inflammation.
March 19, 2011 12:36 PM
If you're doing enough damage to not recover for an entire week then stop!
A little soreness would be acceptable but if you are only able to do the workout once a week because of it then you are not doing any good to your muscles!
March 19, 2011 1:23 PM
I was sore the first week, then after recovery day and my rest day, I was good, haven't had the problem sense. BUT... that said, I work out barefoot, so it was more expected. You may need new shoes. I also run on top of my insanity workouts, but didn't that first week. I'm in week 4 before recovery and looking forward to the "recovery" week.
March 19, 2011 1:32 PM
I get that kind of pain from other workouts that I do in cardio, but there are 2 really good things to handle it. You should get some Calcium vitamins and Magnesium and take them every day. The other thing you can get from health food stores is called Calm, it is powdered magnesium which is a natural muscle relaxer They have a few flavors and you can drink it like tea. If you take this at night before bed you should sleep better and your legs should be so much better in the morning.
These are just vitamins so it is perfectly safe. Some soreness is normal but the extreme pain you are feeling sounds like too much, I would get started on these vitamins and then increase the exercise at a comfortable level when the pain starts going away.
Hope you try it, I know it will help.
March 19, 2011 9:08 PM

I don't know if it helped or not, but I also started to do the workouts without shoes. That's just a personal preference thing from when I was a dancer. I just don't like shoes on my feet and feel like I have better control without them.

I know what you mean about wearing shoes. i danced for 6 years and have always hated wearing shoes....especially to workout cause sneakers are so containing.
March 19, 2011 9:09 PM
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. ill have to try some of them
March 19, 2011 9:12 PM
They are high intensity workouts....lots of cardio. you can find the dvd pack online. pretty expensive tho.
March 19, 2011 9:13 PM
I just ordered Insanity today. Maybe I'll check back here and share my experience. One thing I can suggest is ordering P90X recovery formula. It seems to work really well.
September 25, 2013 7:03 PM
I started Insanity Monday, it's now Wednesday and I'm mid-workout looking online to make sure it's normal to have that. I actually think it's lack of water. So, drink up! I always get this kind of pain in my calves while asleep that wakes me up in agony and it's usually lack of water so I'm going to try drinking more water and doing some extra stretches. I could NOT walk down the stairs today without crying out how much it hurt!! I can barely get through this exercise and I just started! It hurts so so much, but I'm taking a water break and getting back into it...
September 25, 2013 11:46 PM
I just started Month 2 of Insanity a few days ago and gone through calf pain as well around about the 3rd week. I really think the stretches in the DVDs are not enough and since starting Insanity I've had muscle pains from the hip flexors to the chest to the calfs. For now I think it's best to try and find better stretches online or do yoga alongside. I do Insanity and then a little bit of yoga later on in the day and I feel like it helps me :).

Anyway you are doing great so far! Hang in there and dig deeper!
September 26, 2013 12:05 AM
I haven't done insanity, but have experienced this pain in the past when dancing and doing some aerobics.

First thing I would suggest (and I don't know what you are like with this), but only wear flat shoes when starting a high intensity program. High heels tend to shorten the achilles tendon and shorten the calf muscle, which is no good when you are aiming for longer and leaner muscles. If you are 'recovering' from your workout in heels, when you take them off the strain on your calves will be at least twice as bad.

Next would be to walk it off. Although it may be agony for the first 5 minutes or so, you will find after about 20 minutes a large part of the tightness has gone out of your calves. Even better, if you have access to a pool walk in that. It will be much less impact on your already stressed joints.

Definitely keep up your water intake, but make sure you are keeping up your potassium and electrolytes too. If you are just drinking water to recover without replacing minerals, you will wash many of the minerals out of your system that your muscles need to recover quicker. Try sports drinks (like gatorade, etc) while you are exercising, and eat a banana or other high potassium food straight after your workout or even before as workout fuel.

Make sure you are eating enough. MFP does seem to focus quite heavily on eating at a deficit (which is important for weight loss) but make sure to eat back at least 1/4 of your high intensity exercise calories to ensure you are giving your body the fuel it needs.

I hope this helps


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