Thursday, November 17, 2011

Don't Give Up.

Good Morning from San Francisco International Airport!

I am using the term "morning" loosely (It's actually only 12:41 AM- still night some might say?) but Kett and I are en route the the East coast to hang with friends, do a meet and greet with his mom, and watch me perform in a fancy pants experimental film fest. ( is the website! My piece will be performed this Friday at 9:15PM if you wanna check out my sweet ripped bod in a contemporary art context). We have a six thirty AM flight so we are getting all buck wild and pulling an all nighter in the liminal capsule of SFO. I've abolished my "no soda" decree of just a few days ago in order to guzzle a Coke Zero (gross, I know-my insides will punch me soon, I'm sure.) and I am using the glory that is the revelry of remaining just immature enough to willingly go without sleep to fuel an Insanity post. Huzzah.

This morning, after our second fit test and two weeks of me really following the calendar I confidently declared : "Hey Kettner, I think those rest days really work!" His response? : "Duh!"

My fit test results this time around have shown vast improvements from my first stab at Insanity. I only stayed the same in one category, and went slightly down in another but mostly, I kinda killed it. I felt ready, confidant, excited, and all around good for most of the moves and amazed myself with exponential improvement on most exercises. Globe jumps can still kick rocks, for all I care, but I am much more capable of at least holding good form while mired in pain than I was when I started this round.

A few things:

1) Having a buddy to do Insanity with is really motivating. I did about half of my first round minus Kett, and while I still think I improved in that time, having Kettner there with me makes it lots more rigorous and also just fun. Because of the sweet OCD I have it drives me fucking nuts to be off beat during moves like switch kicks, and so I push to meet his pace, which is honestly much faster then I would go on my own. After pushing harder than I thought possible it is much easier to accept the recovery workouts and days off. Other bonuses: We can laugh at the cute things Shaun T. says ("Act like you're holding potato chips when you do this move!") an lastly, having the dude I love most get all sweaty and grunty next to me is never a bad time.

2) Adding Cardio Abs after Pure Cardio in the second week actually felt a lot more jarring then I would have imagined. Mid Cardio Abs warm up I threw up a little in my mouth- a new phenomenon! I think that really getting my form right and pushing the moves hard is of course an improvement, but depletes me much more quickly then when I would take lots of rests during sets due to inabilities. Consequently, Insanity gets harder as I get stronger. I think this will eventually taper off, but as it stands now- WOOF. What an ass kicker.

3) Fuck a recovery work out so hard. I find those slow lunges to be completely awful- perhaps even worse then the level two drills-to ski abs- to in&out abs set that all Insanity-ers seem to dread. Why do these suck so much? Someone please explain why I burst into tears halfway through every single time....

Fit test Results! First week one, then week two.

Switch kicks: 89/94
Power jacks: 49/54
Power knees: 90/94
Power jumps: 32/35
Globe jumps: 8/8
Suicide jumps: 20/21
Push up jacks: 23/20
Low plank obliques: 59/69

Ok, Kettnerd here, so I'm back with more insanity. It's been a couple of weeks since me and Lacy jumped back into the program right with the first fit test. It's been mostly really really good. I hit some stumbling blocks after only a few days though when grad school/freelance illustration just refused to give me any breathing room. Such a bummer , but really what i've found is having the better part of an hour every day where I push and physically exhaust myself really helps to prevent me from emotionally exhausting myself dealing with other pressure and stuff. It's just like I don't really have the energy to freak out. And some of that excess stress can get channeled into suicide jumps or doing moving push ups until my arms cave. so, like I said I did miss a couple, but I just hopped right back in like I didn't miss a step, it hurt, but my body is once again getting into the groove of the exercises. There isn't an awkward pause so i'm able to just, as Shaun would say, be "in it", and when that happens it really does feel great.
So we had our second fit test together, and I think we were both happy with the results. (I haven't checked Lacy's post yet, we are sitting beside each other in a mostly empty airline terminal, maybe we'll dazzle the delta airlines boarding staff with some early morning mummy kicks, who knows?) Anyways yeah I was happy, my numbers mostly jumped a little, except Power Knees, which dipped.
Week 1/Week3
Switch Kicks: 120/121
Power Jacks: 46/53
Power Knees: 85/75
Power Jumps: 54/57
Globe Jumps: 9/10
Suicide Jumps: 20/21
Push Up Jacks: 36/38
Low Plank O's: 61/69

I've found it helpful to track progress even in the midst of regular workouts, especially with bigger moves like power jumps and globe jumps, I try and keep count and I've noticed how I'm able to do more even in the sets, of course I am also sometimes reduced to a puddle, or some moves will suffer after I really push in others. Classically in the Plyo workout, I will really try to bust my ass with power jumps and squat kicks, and by the time it gets to hit the floor I just don't have the strength in my legs to go fast. So yeah, Insanity is doing it's job, but I would say that more than showing the lil jump in numbers the biggest difference I feel is needing less recovery time when it's all said and done, so encouragement to those who try out insanity and give up in the first week, you should hang in, it's amazing how strong you feel when you realize that you can push yourself and your cardio will just naturally get so much better that you can recover what you need even after just 30-45 seconds. Dig deep.

Oh, and what did I say about a mummy kick?
strange rituals? savage cruelty?? Shaun T, what have you gotten us into?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I bet you thought Insanity Punx blog was gone for good, huh? WELL SURPRISE! This shit is about to be unearthed. What better day for a resurrection then Halloween?

A little background: Kettner has completed the entire sixty day Insanity cycle twice and I (Lacy!) have completed it once. We both have fallen out of the groove of consistently joining our friend Shaun T. to get insane and so we decided to get back to basics and start the program over together, this time followed by the Insanity follow up program, Asylum. This means that we are committing to 90 days of prioritizing the set calendars, returning to shorter more basic month one workouts at first, the familiarity of MAX month next, and then a whole new journey with embarking on Asylum. We are collectively both stoked and scared, and ready for whatevs. Truth is, we both spend a lot of time wearing berets & striped shirts, getting sensitive, and feeling feelings in our respective MFA programs and we need a venue to jock out. Additionally, if Kettner starts to lose that ab definition our relationship might quickly crescendo and turn into a thing of the past. Incentive! (Just kidding, just kidding!)

I want to talk a little about my experience going through Insanity the first time through. I come from a background of fairly excessive and compulsive cardiovascular exercise and have had a pretty long journey of trying to figure out what an appropriate and nourishing amount of exercise might look like and how I can implement that into my life. I had ellipticized, spin cycled, and ran myself to death and the result was a thin, weak, and completely non muscular body. I had tons of cardiovascular strength, was excellent at recovering quickly from intense sprints, but couldn’t do a push up to save my life. I was totally depleted from all the cardio and really wanted to work strength building into my fitness priority list more and calorie burning into it less. Fact of the matter is, I needed to fundamentally change my attitude toward exercise and seeing my friends get both ripped and stoked via Insanity inspired me to do the same.

It took huge leaps of faith for me to accept the first months shorter stints of exercise as being adequate. I had become so used to exercising hard for one hour every day, without ever doing any more or any less, and when I saw that month one’s work outs were closer to thirty or forty minutes a part of my brain quickly put them into the “not enough” category. Each morning as I finished my routine I had to talk myself out of that malarkey and just put trust in Shaun T.’s modes of operation. Look at Tania’s ripped bod! You think she got those crazy quads from a “not enough” exercise program? I think not.

After careful and calculated brain recalibration I engaged with Insanity with tenacity. Like I said, when I started I couldn’t do one single push up. When I first power jumped I thought I had been sprung straight into the realms of hell. Switch kicks were a slow and gentle back and forth rocking that were accompanied by deep groans of pain that may as well have come from the geriatric. For all my exercising, I was decidedly unstrong. I found myself getting extremely frustrated, simply because I wasn't even strong enough to do half the moves in Insanity. The already-shorter-than-my-usual month one Insanity work outs were tough for me mostly because I couldn't even DO most of them. The only Insanity work out I really liked was the cardio circuit, and that's because I was used to such workouts. I felt like a champ for that one, but a complete wiener on all the others.

Despite my deep annoyance I persisted, and I got stronger. When push ups started to become easier my mind was fucking blown. My legs have always been pretty ripped due to some good genes and being a bike commuter but when my baby arms started to look a little less baby like and a tiny shadow of an abdominal muscle appeared I nearly wept with glee. Watching myself become strong was weird as hell, especially when I was used to exercise needlessly wrecking me without results aside from maintaining a number on a scale.

I made some mistakes my first time around with Insanity. I never ever took days off (as the calendar suggests doing each Sunday) and I didn't take the recovery week between month one and month two. Bad form! MAX month made my body stronger then its ever been in my entire life but this time around I'm going to do it the straight up Shaun T. way (breaks and all) and trust that my body can get even more buff with the help of giving my muscles a chance to take a weekly breather. My ultimate goal is to be able to bench press Kettner while casually doing leg lifts and eating a sandwich. We'll see what we can do.

Today's fit test results:

Switch kicks: 89
Power jacks: 49
Power knees: 90
Power jumps: 32
Globe jumps: 8 (although I am not gonna lie, my form got a little sloppy on these)
Suicide jumps: 20
Push up Jacks: 23 (A true fucking feat! The first time I tried this I did eleven)
Low plank obliques: 59

Ok guys, I guess we're back to basics,

I've gone through the 60 days a couple of times and when I first got to San Francisco, Lacy was JUST starting month 2, after a summer which was very active (though not quite on the insanity calendar) I jumped into max month with her, and pushed through september, It was really fun, however, by the time October rolled around , grad school was getting REAL ( like F'real f'real ) and I was making time for Shaun T less and less. Well this past saturday Lacy and I endeavored to do the MAX interval circuit, and while she powered through, I had to sit out a whole set in the 3rd interval, it was pretty humbling after having done these work outs so much. I hadn't worked out at all in 16 days, and the intense laptop marathon seshes of grad school had robbed me of strength and flexibility.

We HAD been really stoked when we downloaded the ASYLUM workouts, but I now realized there was no way in hell I could jump into that. So, we are back to square one, back to the calendar, INCLUDING fit tests. We recorded our numbers yesterday,and ...woah. So crazy to do a fit test after so long. I don't think my numbers were so bad (not near my all time highs, but decent) the effect of pushing hard through the whole workout though, woof! I was a puddle on the floor.

but here's the numbers

Switch Kicks: 120
Power Jacks: 46
Power Knees: 85
Power Jumps: 54
Globe Jumps: 9
Suicide Jumps: 20
Push Up Jacks: 36
Low Plank Obliques: 61

So after so long apart, Lacy and Me are back with Shaun T's like some kind of

Sunday, April 3, 2011

(in)sanity is a full time job.

Hey insanity punx...just checking in....I worked through the program a second time, and since then I've been doing my best to stay in the MAX month of workouts. It took long enough to get comfortable with these workouts, and I don't want to get to the point where I dread them all over again. The routine of max month is almost more comforting in a weird way than month one, I like having core cardio and balance as a regular part of my weekly schedule. I have been way more lenient with myself about skipping workout days tho...the past couple of weeks I've probably worked out and average of 5 days a week instead of 6. Spring is almost here for real, and I am expecting (or hoping at least) that life gets more fun and i'll have more reasons to escape my tiny sweaty room. But I'm also looking forward to swimming and running being a part of summer life. Last summer I would jog occasionally, and I'm curious to see how it feels going on those runs now that I know that my cardio is so much improved from months of insanity.

There have been a few other philly punks who have jumped on board insanity, I don't know if they are checking this blog or want to post about their workouts, but it is nice that more punks are into getting fit.

Here are the results from my last couple of fit tests. I am really pleased with my results. especially my power jumps, which I have finally been able to get into doing 30-35 for my initial push before I need to recover for a sec. I have actually taken a tiny break and not worked out the past couple of days and then did a fit test today, I was relieved that none of my results dropped, they either held steady or increased a little bit....

switch kicks: 135/135
power jacks 51/55
power knees 90/102
power jumps 60/62
globe jumps 10/11
suicide jumps 21/21
push up jacks 36/41
low plank obliques 71/75

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Insanity is Never Over

Well, technically I would have officially ended the Insanity Workout program last month, and I just wanted to check in with everyone to say that I never got around to finishing it. It's not that my interest was waning or anything like that, it's that my dad got very sick and is now terminally ill, and I was back and forth visiting him and trying to just stay afloat on the day-to-day.

I feel like I need to mention this because not finishing something like this is very unlike me, and I want to say that I would have finished it I hadn't felt so stressed and tired. But we gotta look out for ourselves, right?

It's been a long road and I'll hopefully get back to working out on the reg, but for now that hope is a little far off. Best of luck to everyone else! Keep digging deep!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Serenity now- Insanity later

Hey gang,

Third Week Rising! I'm definitely feeling the change in my body, as well as the associated physical ramifications (one new ab!!!). My newfound speed and core strength are coming in handy in weird, but useful ways- i.e. hauling ass to catch the trolley.

Second fit test went much better. I don't know if I'm more motived or my muscle memory is kicking in, but I improved on everything except the Power Jacks.

Switch Kicks: 80 --> 117
Power Jacks: 50 --> 44
Power Knees: 81 --> 101
Power Jumps: 22 --> 26
Globe Jumps: 5 --> 7
Suicide Jumps: 8 --> 10
Push Up Jacks: 14 --> 21
Low Plank Obliques: 40 --> 55

Unfortunately, my progress is about to be slightly interrupted. Week Four conflicts with me working some 12 hour days and getting home late. I don't think my downstairs neighbor would appreciate me throwing down with some power jumps at 11 PM (tho I certainly don't appreciate her throwing down shitty jazz vocal scales at 2 AM on the reg).

Question to fellow Insanity Punx- if I miss AN ENTIRE WEEK, would it be appropriate to begin the following week where I left off at Week Four? I want to make sure I have enough momentum to carry me through Week 5 and then into the Max Interval series.

To compensate not having a chance to squeeze it in, I'm gonna start week one of a supplemental plan- "onehundredpushups." One area where Insanity notably lacks is in the arm stuff, and this program purports to eventually allow you to do 100 consecutive pushups (the wording on the site is a little funny, but allegedly it's a six-week program). Here's the link if anyone is interested-

It's not very time-consuming and should wield some results, in theory. Perfect, low impact supplement that won't bother any poorly-crooning flatmates.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fit test #2/Falling hard

Fellow insanity punx,

I hate to say it, but I fell pretty hard off the insanity train this week. Saturday morning after my fit test I left for a camping trip, and after the serenity of a one-day break it just felt too sweet to sleep in instead of waking up early to get insane. I missed three days total and started back today. Here's hoping I didn't lose too much momentum this week.

Here are the results of fit test #2.



Does anyone have advice about eating before the workout? I haven't been able to get into a good routine yet. It seems like if I eat before I work out, I feel nauseous, but if I don't, I don't have as much energy. What works for you guys?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Just remember...

insanity is not sexist!

round 2.....FIGHT!

Hey Insanity Punx!

Back again for an update.... I just did my first month 2 fit test/max interval circuit....and everyone who's done it before , knows that it's a shitty shitty day.

Lemme backtrack since I haven't posted here in a bit...

So this fall I went through 3/4 of insanity, and then the holidays hit and things kinda fell apart. Too much other stuff to do, too little time, yadda yadda...anyways after new years I tried to get back on the schedule. It was a little bit bumpy though...I did the first couple weeks, and then I had house guests from outta town, and It seemed kinda rude to tell them to piss off while I went home to jump around like an idiot for an, I was off the schedule for a week, and then to make up for it, I repeated week 2 before doing my second fit the end of the first month, I went outta town and couldnt really do the recovery workout whilst couchsurfing in boston.....So when today's workout rolled around it especially hurt due to a weeks worth of inactivity and my fit test results totally reflect's my results for my 3 fit tests so far..

SWITCH KICKS: 120, 133, 135
POWER JACKS: 46, 50, 49
POWER KNEES: 82, 90, 84
POWER JUMPS: 32, 40, 34
GLOBE JUMPS: 9, 11, 7
SUICIDE JUMPS: 19, 20, 20
PUSH UP JACKS: 30, 34, 32
LOW PLANKS: 62, 75, 64

So yeah, for the most part things dipped down to just above my week 1 results. For whatever reason, I REALLY could not bring it for the globe jumps today.

The return to the max interval circuit was also brutal. By the 3rd circuit I needed to take extra break time. I was feeling kinda pukey, so I really didn't want to dig TOO much deeper cause I mighta hit oil and spewed all over my bedroom floor....gross...

stoked that there are new bloggers on here.....
is anyone else getting stoked to try "ASSYLUM" ???

Friday, February 4, 2011

"I have to be really honest right now..."

"... I'm actually really nervous for this workout." So sayeth Shaun T in Pure Cardio, succinctly echoing my sentiments. Day Five of Insanity was absolutely the most insane thus far.

After seeing some of Philadelphia's finest turn into sick, ripped beach-body machines, I decided to join in on the insanity last Monday (last poor pun, f'real). I keep weird hours for work and school, so I have to go it alone in my journey. Thankfully, Shaun T and his merry band of revelers (including the vivacious fitness goddess Tanya- dare I speak her name) are around to keep me company whenever I get the urge to dig deep!! For anyone who wants to start, but can't find any partners or- like me- keeps inhumane hours, don't be afraid to go solitary! In addition to being a physical workout, it's a great exercise in self-motivation. Altho only on Day Five, I've found myself having more energy, getting better sleep, and waking up easier. But I also smell really bad because I don't shower. I'll def edit out that last line before submitting this entry.

The original Fit Test was rough going for me. Aside from riding my bike up hills and wading my way impatiently through a sea of humanity on foot, my physical limitations have not been pushed in a few years. A further caveat in relation to me being out of shape is that I have a problem with blood pooling in my legs with excessive activity. The only thing I've found that helps is working out on a consistent basis. Therefore, having not done so for some time, my legs went a little dead on Day One. I'm fully expecting my next set of results to be an improvement.

Switch Kicks: 80
Power Jacks: 50
Power Knees: 81
Power Jumps: 22
Globe Jumps: 5
Suicide Jumps: 8
Push Up Jacks: 14
Low Plank Obliques: 40

Looking at the numbers, it's pretty clear that I started tanking with the Power Jumps. The Globe Jumps were also really frustrating, altho half of that had to do with not giving myself enough space. Space is another thing to take into account for those thinking about hopping (Power Jumping?) aboard the fit train.

In terms of eating, I've fallen into a routine of cereal and a banana pre-work out, and then oatmeal with flaxseed and brown rice protein in post. It's been working out pretty well thus far, and I find my thirst and appetite (for destruction) to be far more ravenous than usual. Otherwise, I'm eating generally the same stuff.

Stay posi, erry1!!! And when all else fails, ask yrself... WWSTD?? He'd jack it out.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Insane in the membrane!

Hey everyone! This is the first post of NC insanity punx. We've got about seven folks getting insane at the moment. Today Dana and I finished day four of insanity, and I'm already starting to feel a lot better. The first three days were killer! My goal with insanity is to get more strength and endurance so I can hike longer, bike longer, and of course, be prepped for the revolution.

Here are our before photos:

Here are our stats for our first fit test:

Switch Kicks: 72
Power Jacks: 45
Power Knees: 82
Power Jumps: 26
Globe Jumps: 7
Suicide Jumps: 16
Push Up Jacks: 12
Low Plank Obliques: 71

Switch Kicks: 106
Power Jacks: 45
Power Knees: 63
Power Jumps: 30
Globe Jumps: 7
Suicide Jumps: 15
Push Up Jacks: 20
Low Plank Obliques: 50

Anyone have good advice on eating before and after the workout? I've been doing a light breakfast like fruit and soy yogurt or brown rice bread with cashew butter before the workout, and a green smoothie with fruit and spirulina as a recovery drink. And most importantly, drinking a TON of water all day.

Any words of wisdom are totally appreciated! You all are doing/have done an awesome job, and I'm stoked to finally be starting the insanity myself!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Week 6

I'm dripping sweat as I'm typing this. I just finished my third Fit Test + my first Max Interval Circuit. Oh lordy. I was really, really sloppy during the max interval circuit because I was so winded from the fit test and the warm up! I pushed through though and actually finished. I might have died and come back to life at some point in between- who the hell knows! 

Here are my fit test results: 
Switch Kicks: 118
Power Jacks: 52 
Power Knees: 84
Power Jumps: 36
Globe Jumps: 12
Suicide Jumps: 20
Push Up Jacks: 19
Low Plank Obliques: 80 

I've improved on each exercise, but went down on Power Knees :(. I did 84 this time, and 89 the time before. What gives! 

So yeah, I agree with Krista- because the circuits are now an hour long, I found it hard to stay focused and motivated. Good thing Shaun has such a soothing voice. Also sometimes it's just a matter of focusing on the moment and letting yourself get into the rhythm of the moves. What helps me is to literally turn my brain off and pretend to be a robot. 

Also, I don't know what it is, but sometimes I feel really, really nauseated after the warm ups. I'm not a puker and don't have a weak stomach. It's not that I've been eating anything crazy beforehand either. It's weird that I feel like I'm going to vomit in the first few seconds of the stretch that follows the warm ups. ANyone else feel this way? 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Brooklyn: Day 40, Pushing Through

I hit a bump in the old Insanity road after getting sick at the start of the New Year. I developed an upper respiratory tract infection and a sinus infection which left me feeling chronically fatigued. I worked up to the 3rd fit test and then took a well-needed week-long break before starting the Max workouts.

As far as my fit test goes, I made a graph of my progress, because I'm kind of a nerd about these sorts of things:

I didn't really want to take the break considering that I was about to start the super-intense second month, and I do feel like it's made the Max workouts tougher on me than they're supposed to be. Oh well, I need to make sure I'm healthy first before I get Insane!

The new workouts in the second month are creative, and I'm curious about how many little weird exercises are still yet to come. My only problem with the Max workouts is that they're longer, which just kind of makes them boring. Most of them are about an hour long, and after about 30 minutes, it's hard for me to pay my full attention and really care about it any longer. I think it's partly because I do the workouts alone, so if anyone in Brooklyn wants to pair up (or any Philly people want to take the Chinatown bus up!) let me know!