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