End of A Fitness Instructing Chapter…

After a nearly ten year long chapter in my book of life, the time has come to say “see ya later” to teaching fitness classes.  I taught my very last class this morning at the Council Bluffs YMCA and I absolutely cannot think of a better gym to close out my fitness instructing tenure.  These people all showed up in my fave color of BLACK, with smiles on their faces, ready to get their butts handed to them as I dished out a mashup of all my FAVE moves.

Even the slackers killed it. ❤

 

I know for most, this isn’t much of a thing.  But this thing is HUGE for me and I am not sure I am emotionally QUITE ready for this chapter to end, however, professionally and personally it’s time.

With a career shift (I am still in higher education but have switched institutions and programming size), comes great opportunity, and I am eager to spend my time really digging deep into strengthening programs that cater to our under-served student population and bridging the gap between secondary and post-secondary education across the Metro area.

Some really exciting stuff, guys!

But, with that, comes sacrifice!

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My fitness instructing career began clear back in 2002 in my hometown fitness facility and after a brief hiatus in between my move to the City, I held positions with 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, IWCC, and the Omaha Metro YMCA, specifically with the Council Bluffs branch.

I LOVE(D) it.

Teaching fitness classes in the city opened up the door to my stint as a national fitness trainer as a Master Trainer for BBLive, which provided an incredible opportunity to meet fitness minded folks from all across the U.S. and within my territory of Iowa and Nebraska.   (You can read more of my Master Trainer life here and here).

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I still to this day talk to Sarah (second from right) at minimum once per week.  The friendship built through MT’ing was a gift in and of itself.

And the HUNDREDS of people I had the great privilege of training over the course of two years was such an incredible journey.

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To close this chapter is pretty sentimental.  But, to close it with the YMCA folks who have been with me for nearly FIVE YEARS at the same time, same day, is something I will cherish to the end.

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The CB-YMCA is where the Slacker Corner was formed:

 

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And where I earned the OFFICIAL rights to be the Supervisor of them all:

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It’s where I learned time and time again that age is just a number and mental strength always perseveres.

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It’s where I got to know members on a deeper level and held the honor of celebrating their milestones and achievements in their health and wellness journey (here’s looking at YOU Randy in your incredible journey to doing a BURPEE in class with us)

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The folks at CB-YMCA learned to live with me through all my costume themed classes and endless photo opportunities:

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The CB-YMCA is where we celebrated members, turned family, and fought with them battles never before imagined:

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We celebrated BIRTHDAY’s and HOMECOMINGS in a BIG way:

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They chastised me with signs, questionable words under their breath and always with splashes of humor:

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And celebrated with me my LOVE of all things BLACK:

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We grew together as a family as we left the old for the new:

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And banded together to overcome not only the end of the workouts, but life’s ever waving highs and lows.

Class was more than class. It was (and will continue to be) a time of togetherness, camaraderie and love.

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In my reflection over the last several years, I see grit, tenacity, passion, exhaustion, fear, triumph and happiness.  I gave it my all and I sure hope every class, every trainee, every one-timer and every regular truly felt the love I had in teaching and took away something from their experiences.

Putting that mic on brings out a side of me that is a rarity.  Taking the microphone off for the very last time this morning has left a void, but I know, in my heart of hearts, I WILL be back again one day in front of the class.  Let’s just call it a cliff hanger with a sequel to be determined.  And I am sticking around on the sub list so I can get my “fix” on the occasion… 😉

Until then, I am going to continue my participation at a gym I attend as a participant (here’s looking at you, Edge Body Bootcamp) that challenges me physically and mentally every single day.  It’s my personal happy place.  Fitness is a LARGE part of who I am and what makes me happy.  It is not something I will ever let go.  I live for the challenge it places on me. It’s my own personal competition and I am my own opponent.  I friggin’ LIVE for it.

So, on that note…

Here is a CHEERS to my run in fitness instructing.  It’s been fun!

Until next time…

Can I Really Handle Insanity?

I think it’s safe to say the majority of people have heard of the Insanity workout thanks to the popular DVD program that hit America by storm a few years ago.  Luckily for those folks who enjoy working out with a group of people, rather than by themselves at home, Insanity Live was formed and became available in group exercise classes.   Insanity is one of the most challenging workouts I have offered in my fitness career, but in return, the most rewarding.

Insanity Logo

 

So, what is INSANITY?

It is a total-body conditioning program based on the principles of MAX Interval Training.  The  workout itself is based off blocks.   Each block consists of four moves, each move is performed for 30 seconds creating a 2 minute solid workout, followed by 30 seconds of rest.   Each block is repeated for a total of 3 times with the very last round followed by a 60 second power move.  To break it down it looks like this:

Block 1

  • Move 1 – 30 seconds
  • Move 2 – 30 seconds
  • Move 3 – 30 seconds
  • Move 4 – 30 seconds
  • Rest – 30 seconds
  • Repeat 2 times with the third round ending in a 60 second power move.

 

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Insanity at 24 Hour Fitness – Omaha

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How intense is it, really?

With MAX interval training workouts, intensity is critical and every interval must be performed with 100% effort.

Now, this is where I throw in my disclaimer.

100% effort.  This is 100% YOUR workout, so when I say 100% effort, it is YOURS to define.   It is not defined by the person standing next to you.  Not the instructor.  Not the person across the room from you.  You choose your level of exertion.  You choose your level of modification.

I give you the options, you choose the option that challenges you.

We are all at different levels of physical ability and fitness.   All I want to see is you working at YOUR 100%.  If I feel you aren’t going at your 100% I will move towards you and encourage you to keep pushing… 10 seconds left… now how many reps can you give me before that 5 seconds is up… ONE MORE REP!!!

 { Fist bump.  You did it. }

As long as you are working to your potential and pushing yourself just a little harder each time, then we are golden.  You are doing your job and I am doing mine.

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Can I handle it… honestly?

The BIGGEST misconception is that you have to be super fit to take an Insanity class.  No, my friends.  You don’t have to be!   Insanity allows for beginners and athletes to workout together thanks to advanced moves and accompanying modifications.  No matter what level you choose, INSANITY is suitable for ALL fitness levels.  Like I mentioned before, the key is to work to your personal maximum capacity.   You will reap the same benefits as the person next to you no matter what level you choose.

100% is 100%   

Do what YOU can do and improve as you go.

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Benefits of INSANITY:

  • Calorie & fat burning up to 16-24 hours post workout (EPOC – which I will explain another day)
  • Building lean, toned muscle
  • Healthy, happy heart ❤
  • Improved VO2 Max
  • Rocking metabolism
  • Results
  • Endorphins – the good stuff
  • New friends – because a bond is formed when anyone works out this hard together.

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INSANITY is one of the top-selling fitness programs of all time. With nearly 2 million DVDs sold there has NEVER been a better time to get involved in INSANITY LIVE.

Join me:

Council Bluffs, IA YMCA

  • Tuesday | 5:30 – 6:00am
  • Tuesday | 4:45-5:15pm
  • Thursday | 5:30-6:00am
  • Thursday | 5:20-6:10pm

 

24 Hour Fitness – Cass Street – Omaha, NE

  • Saturday | 8:15am-8:50am
    • followed by 30 minutes of Abs and Toning class (also instructed by me)

 

IWCC – Staff and Employees Only

  • Wednesday – 4:45-5:35pm

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Unable to Join My Classes?

Join me virtually!  I will help hold you accountable, give you motivation and provide the support you need!   Let’s chat about Insanity or Insanity Max:30.  (<- LIVE links)

 

Email: jordan.pirtle@yahoo.com

Facebook: Jordan Pirtle

 

Cheers!

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I Did It!! 2015 Beachbody Master Trainer Ambassador

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I had a dream.

I had a dream that I wanted to turn into a reality.

For an entire year I sat on this dream when finally 4 months ago I made the commitment to follow through.  My recent post about fear (here) and my Facebook posts have been directed towards this goal.

I was scared. 

Scared of failure. 

Scared of rejection.

It isn’t easy putting yourself out there for others to critique you.  That is HARD.

And down right humbling.

This dream that I speak of was to become a Beachbody Master Trainer.  Master Trainers are some of the hardest working folks in the fitness industry.   These individuals are hand picked to lead, inspire and train others in the fitness world.  Train the Trainer is the simplest way to explain what a Master Trainer does.

I kept sight of my goal and my dream.  It was there in the front of my mind 24 hours a day, even when that dream started to dim because the fear was taking over.

I was mentally prepared, physically prepared and the only thing holding me back was self-doubt and the fear of the word no.

I am not one for being the center of attention unless I am in my element..  Most situations that put me on the spot make me incredibly nervous.  Speaking up in a large team meeting makes me cringe but I don’t think twice when speaking in front of 50 counselors and administrators about my job.  Teaching fitness classes in front of a classroom full of students makes me feel alive!

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It’s all about being in my element.

So, why was I letting fear take over my audition?   This is what I was meant for.  This is something I LOVE to do and brings the most joy to my life.  And the timing was perfect.   We were already scheduled to be on vacation in Colorado the SAME weekend Master Trainer Auditions were being held in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  A mere 2.5 hour drive from Copper Mountain where we were staying.

It was like the stars had aligned.   I couldn’t NOT go.  Just couldn’t.

And so, February 28th, I faced that fear and walked out of that audition room feeling more alive, confident, humbled then I’ve ever felt before.

I had officially been accepted into the Beachbody Master Trainer Ambassador program.

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I did it.

I chased a dream.

A BIG dream.

A dream I never imagined possible.

 

I am still on Cloud 9.  I am overwhelmed, thrilled, nervous, eager, grateful and humbled.

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So what now?  What does all of this mean?

Let me break it all down for you from the audition to the training to the actual job.

Audition

The audition process was simple in structure.  All Master Trainer hopefuls gathered in front of the panel of judges.

The judges at my audition were Barbara Brodowsky, Field Director of Certification, California; Katy Meuer, Master Trainer, Colorado; Jessica Booterbaugh, Master Trainer, California; Joie Walsh, Master Trainer and Top Master Trainer in the Company, Massachusetts; Maksim Seredov, Master Trainer, Colorado.

When they called out the participants names we stood in front of the judges and answered a series of questions.  Mostly about ourselves, our interests, our experiences, etc.   Then it was our time to shine!  I chose to teach Insanity. (Round 10 for those fellow Insaniacs following along).  We stood in front of the other master trainer hopefuls and taught them!  Talk about a rush teaching some of the best of the best. 🙂

When I finished, Joie asked me if I had ever considered doing Turbo as well.  OF COURSE, I said and then proceeded to show a quick 8 count move that I remembered from a previous round.  HAHAHA.  It was almost like on American Idol when the hopefuls make a last ditch effort to redeem themselves.   Too funny.   Joie and Barb said that I looked like a natural for Turbo as well and that I fit the persona of a Turbo girl.  Happy, smiling, excited, ponytail flying.   You have NO idea how good that made me feel at that exact moment.   I knew I did ok in my Insanity audition, but I got my ass handed to me thanks to the Colorado altitude.  You guys!  That is NO JOKE!   I can typically slam out a solid minute of burpees with great technique.  There?  I got 4 in and had to demonstrate modifications.  All new respect for athletes who train at that elevation.  Dang, kids.

Which reminds me.  During my actual audition I yelled out during the 2nd 30 second move “Can I get a HELL YA for this altitude”?

It was perfect.  The room lit up with smiles and laughs and we chugged right along into move #3.

After everyone had their chance to audition, we were gathered into a large circle with Barb in the middle.  She congratulated all of us for our hard work and clear dedication.   She made sure to mention that we were one of the best groups she had seen in 2015.

And then the moment of truth.  She called each of our names, told us what we did great and what things needed improved on.  And then it was either a yes, you made it, or no, try again next time.

She got to me.

Jordan – you have the body build of an athlete.  Your moves were good with a few minor adjustments to be made, in-particular, your straight arm jacks.  Arms need to be straight, fists need to be tight.  Over-exaggerate your moves.   As a Master Trainer everything has to be bigger, louder and over-exaggerated.  Oh, and we really think Turbo should be your other area of focus as well.  Congrats, you are in.

I wanted to cry.  I really did.  I held it together but I was dying on the inside.    That was the end of the audition.  Those of us that made it congratulated each other, gave hugs and took a group photo.

Cheers to the 2015 Master Trainer class!

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Jordan, Quen, Jessica, Aimee, Kent, Sarah, Saare

Jessica From New Mexico.  Turbo Girl!  She just shined on stage.  Such energy she has and of course her adorable smile!
Aimee From Colorado.  PiYo girl!  She is a personal trainer, PiYo teacher amongst many other fitness genres.  And this girl is ripped!  Reminds me that I need to get back to the weight room, stat!
Kent  From Utah.  Such great energy, good form, warm smile and welcoming attitude.
Sarah From Wyoming.  Her story is so incredibly inspiring.  Just view her FB profile pic and you will get it.  She cried when she found out she made it in and all I wanted to do was give her a giant hug, but I knew if I did, I would cry too.  She is one inspiring girl. 🙂
Saare From North Carolina.   She’s a PiYo girl and WOW was she just amazing to watch. Her technique, form and energy was just incredible.  AND – she’s 7 weeks pregnant.  They know she has the drive and determination to make this work.  They know that she might be in training a little longer due to her little bundle of joy, BUT, that didn’t stop them from accepting her now into the program.  How incredible is that?  She has big dreams and big plans and I am so excited to watch what she does.
Quen From Arkansas.   He’s an Insaniac through and through. In FACT: he was in the Round 11 Insanity training video.  This guy has SO much energy, he’s incredible.   He made me feel so much more at ease before the audition.  To watch him perform was mesmerizing.   True athlete.
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And, this is me literally 15 minutes after I found out I had made it.
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First phone call:  Clint.  Pure excitement.  Fast conversation.  Stress relief.   He made me feel so good before and after.  ❤

Second phone call: Mom.  I cried.   Haha.   Why is it when you call your mom about exciting things you cry?  Or is that just me?  Love you, mom!

Third Phone Call: Kayla.  AHHHH!!!!  Pure excitement.  I think the feeling was mutual because I could hear the excitement in her voice coming right back at me.

Tyree, Nicole, Sara, Grandma, Jessica (<– who didn’t pick up.  tsk, tsk)… they were all called next before I made the executive decision to stop calling and focus on my driving.   I had another 2.5 hours on the road BACK to Copper Mountain, in the dark, in the snow.   I made it back at midnight.

The older boys were still up when I walked in.  I got a big congrats from Kyle and my nephews Connor, Zach and Devin.  Made me feel super special.  Love those crazy kids.
And then my giant hug from the hubs.
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Training
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Now begins the 6-9 month training period.  I will be paired with a mentor during my training period and will be submitting a lot of videos of my form, technique, class teaching style, etc.   I will also attend as many trainings that I can close by to gain additional expertise.   Training will consist of several other elements such as how to conduct a certification, how to set up trainings, marketing, business management, etc.   That entire schedule wont be laid out for me until next week, so right now, my training knowledge is limited.
Once through the training period I will earn my trainer title and then will start offering my own trainings/certifications for Beachbody LIVE formats.   I will be focusing on Insanity and Turbo.  I have a little part of me that hopes to add P90X and maybe PiYo if I can start getting that practice shoved into my schedule.   But for certain, Insanity and Turbo it is!!!
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And for the record, I am the FIRST Nebraska Master Trainer.

How cool is that?!

 

What I have learned from this experience is this:

 

never-doubt-yourself

 

You have to trust yourself.  You have to make a goal and keep pushing towards it.  Do NOT let go of your dreams because of fear and self-doubt.

I am so glad I kept pushing through even though the fear was all but consuming that last month leading to the audition.  I am living proof that if you want something bad enough, and you put in the work and time needed to get it, it CAN be done.

Cheers to the next stage of my fitness career and life.

2015: you are looking mighty fine

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March 2017 Update:

I have officially retired my role as a Master Trainer for Beachbody Live.
For the update, click here.

Workout Wednesday – Stair Work

Last week while traveling I made it a point to hit the gym each day.   Not surprisingly, there were a lot of other people who made the same point and it was often packed.

I took this as an opportunity to do some serious leg work in the stair well.

Don’t think this is for you?   Think again, my friends. 🙂

Go to the nearest football stadium, find the stairwell at your work, use your own stairs at home, etc.   You can always find stairs.

Did you know that Omaha does a Trek Up the Tower event each year?.   Trek Up the Tower is the region’s premier vertical challenge race to the top of the First National Tower in downtown Omaha. Each year, hundreds take the challenge and climb 870 stairs to the top. Event proceeds support WELLCOM’s mission of building a healthier community through workplace wellness and health promotion.

This workout will help get those muscles trained if you are participating!

 

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Pick and choose.    DO a couple flights of sprinting, a couple flights of hop squat, all sprinting, all skip a step….   Dang, man.  You’ve got CHOICES.

My legs were talking when I completed this workout!   44 flights.   Roughly 700ish stairs.

Doesn’t seem like much – but trust me.    It’s enough.

 

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Moving along… I have to tell you I took Champ on a walk with me last night.   One block in and I decided to kick it up to a jog.   2 miles later and I can guarantee I had the fastest 2 mile pace I’ve ever had.

Dude – Champ is the KING of pulling.

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We had to celebrate with a selfie of course!

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And now, on this beautiful Workout Wednesday – I made it to the gym by 5am for a 5 minute elliptical warm-up, followed by a weight lifting circuit of all shoulder work (doing my hair is proving difficult this morning after THAT doozy of a lifting session) and ended with 10 minutes on the stair-master.

Can I get a hell ya?  

Getting it done.

To close – I’ll leave you with some words of wisdom from ol’ Leo.

 

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Cheers!