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.



Insanity at 24 Hour Fitness – Omaha


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.



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.




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.



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


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)



Facebook: Jordan Pirtle





Tranformations Take Time – My Two Years

Transformations take on many different shapes and sizes.

  • Physical Transformation
  • Emotional Transformation
  • Psychological Transformation
  • Social Transformation

Two and a half years ago I set out on a physical transformation.   Little did I know that the process would also take me on an emotional and psychological journey as well.

I had never been a ‘fit’ girl.  Growing up, no one would have called me athletic either.   I am not competitive or aggressive in the manner that is required in sports.  I was active, but not overly active.  I was interested in fitness, but never followed through. I became NETA certified and taught aerobics and weight training at my hometown gym in my early twenties, but let it go around the age of 24.

I went through a major life change at 25 that put me in a new city, newly single, no job and away from the only lifestyle I had known.   There was nothing wrong with my “old life”.  In fact, most people would have found it comforting and right on track with a normal life progression.  I was surrounded by good people, family, a nice country home and the start of a good career.

But for me, I needed change.

I was longing for something different outside of my small hometown.   And so, at 25 I set out for the new.   My “new life” provided a few challenges, but it was also the best decision I had ever made for myself.   My new life gave me new freedoms, a new career, a new degree path, new focus, new friends, old friends,  late nights and a lot of parties.

 Life. Was. Good.  

And I was eating it all up.




I was comfortable.  I met my now-husband after moving to the city and we grew our circle of friends together.   We lived the rock star lifestyle, if you will.  He worked weekends at a bar.  I frequented the bar with my girlfriends.   We ate bad food, drank far too much and lived it up.


Clint loved me regardless of my size, weight and always came back with “you are beautiful” when I would stand in front of my mirror trying on multiple outfits, never happy with what I saw.

I had become so unhappy with how I looked and felt. 

December of 2011 I decided I had enough.   I was tired of hating the way my clothes felt.  I was tired of hiding in the corner when we went out because I hated the way I looked.  I was tired.

January 2012 New Years Resolution –  Kick my exercise habits in gear.

Knowing my lack of follow-through on anything fitness related, I knew I needed something with structure.   I researched quite a few home videos before ordering TurboFire.   I chose Turbo for its fun rhythms, kickboxing undertones and the structured 8 count.   The cheerleader and music teacher in me knew I’d fall in love with this program.   Once I fell in love, I knew I could stick with it.


I’ll be honest.  The first few weeks were rough.   Finding the TIME was difficult.  Finding the ambition after a long work day was torture.

But, I did it.

I made my ‘basement workouts’ a part of my daily life.



Once I got the fitness part down, tackling the nutrition came next.   And this was and still is the hardest part for me.   I began to incorporate more protein, limit the carb intake to my early meals, limit the sugar and add in more vegetables.   I also started to incorporate Shakeology in my diet, just like I was told to via TurboFire.

See, sometimes I DO follow orders!  😉

 I have to disclose that I did NOT use this as an entire meal replacement nor did I drink it daily.  Sometimes shakes gross me out!   I used my shakes as either a meal 2 or 4.   Why?   Because of the nutrition content.   Never once did I replace a lunch or dinner.  That game just isn’t for me.

So, what about my Turbo results?  

Down an overall 8 inches and 13 pounds.

I was on a ROLL!

I felt good, I was looking better, my confidence was building, I enjoyed shopping a little more, much to the dismay of my wallet.

And I was LOVING working out.  It had become my addiction.

No, better yet…


Fast forward to January 2013.   I set a goal to run my first half-marathon.

I kept it a secret from everyone for a long time.


Fear of Failure

I won’t get in the story of my training, as you can read it here.  What did happen is I followed through, I conquered, I cried, I laughed, I LIVED!

photo 3


So, what about this two year transformation?

Physical:  Down an overall 13 inches and 20 pounds.

Psychological: A changed mindset.  I COULD do things I never thought I could before.

Physical, Psychological, Emotional and Personal:  I became a Nationally Certified Fitness Instructor through AFAA and also became certified in TurboFire and Insanity formats.


photo 1


Who knew in two short years I would gain the confidence to stand in front of a class again and TEACH?   My physical transformation took on a whole new life.

Transformations Take Time

1 year it took me to get hooked on fitness.

1 year it took me to lose and maintain a 13 pound loss.

1.25 years it took me me to run a half-marathon.

1.5 years it took me to gain the confidence and courage to study, test and become AFAA certified to teach group exercise classes

1.5 years it took me to become certified in TurboKick

2 years it took me to lose 20 pounds.

And guess what?

2 months this last summer it took me to add 7 pounds back on.

But, you know what?

That’s ok.  I know where I faltered.  Nutrition.   It’s a tough game to play.   And this Harley chick loves Vodka, Burgers, Fries and Beer.

You know what else?   I have already lost 3 of that 7.

And one more thing…

The scale means NOTHING.

It’s only part of the story.

So, what now?

No, I am still not the media’s definition of physically fit.  I could still stand to drop my body fat %.  I could still gain a lot by adding in weight training consistently.

BUT, physically, I CAN knock out teaching 6 classes a week.  I can still keep up, I can keep the class motivated, I can maintain proper form and crank out those advanced Insanity moves, each and every time.

Psychologically I have my head in the game.  I have a clear focus.  I am determined.  I have goals.

I have one MAJOR goal set to accomplish by December 2014.

Am I going to make it?

Ya, duh!

Am I going to tell you?

Heck NO I’m not.

I still have a fear of failure.  Who doesn’t?

I am still human, I still have flaws, I still make mistakes.

But, I am emotionally there.  Physically there.  Psychologically there.


I can’t be stopped now.


Insanity Certification- What to Expect


The name says it all!



And I am officially Certified.


Me with the adorable Katy Meuer: Beachbody Master Trainer Extraordinaire

The Insanity Class format is the newest certification for Beachbody and is becoming a HOT commodity in gyms all over.   Most people have heard of the Insanity DVD program, but have you taken a LIVE class?

I was lucky enough (or crazy enough) to participate and pass the day long Certification in February!

And I am excited to announce that I will begin offering the classes in April!  Can’t wait!

In the meantime, I wanted to give you a glimpse into what it takes to become:



Visit the Insanity Certification webpage and find a location near you.  The cost is $249 plus tax for the day long certification.   If you are a Beachbody Coach, you save 10%.

The Morning Lecture

Upon arrival you will meet the Master Trainer, sign a waiver and receive the  Course Manual.


After the initial greeting you will be left with around 10-15 minutes of down time while the rest of the group signs in, allowing some time to make quick friends before the morning lecture begins. (I sat down and met, Rona, who happens to live in the Ozarks and knows one of my good college friends, Amanda.  Small world people!! Rona owns her own Fitness Studio).

The morning session lasts around 1.5-2 hours and the Master Trainer will cover:

  • Insanity Certification Overview
  • Insanity Group Exercise Format
  • Interval Training & Exercise Intensity – HIIT, Max Interval Training, Karvonen Method, MHR
  • The Kinetic Chain – Anatomy, Physiology, Biomechanics
  • Insanity Exercise Technique


The Morning Workout

After the lecture the entire group participates in a 50 minute Insanity Class.  It. Was. Awesome!


Note: Bring an extra outfit.  You will sweat like crazy.  Trust me, you don’t want to sit in those clothes for 5 more hours.

Q and A

After the workout the class is given around an hour for a Q and A session.  During this time we also learned about the PRO Team program, which is necessary if you are going to be instructing Insanity classes.  By joining the PRO team you receive a new DVD Round, bimonthly, that includes:

  • New INSANITY moves, modifications, and progressions
  • Cueing sheet to make the routines easy to follow, plus options to adapt to a 30 minute or 50 minute class
  • A new CD jammed with hot new music

As well as access to:

  • Professionally designed INSANITY Certified business cards, posters, emails you can personalize
  • A featured listing in the INSANITY instructor/trainer finder tool to make it easy for clients to find your program and schedule, and contact you directly

I’ve got mine up and ready to go!!!

Insanity Class List


Plan on 30-40 minutes for lunch. It is advised that you bring your lunch since the time is fairly short.  A lot of people studied during break as well as networked.


The Afternoon Lecture

The afternoon consists of more lecture time covering aspects such as:

  • Assessing Students – The Fit Test
  • Class Format
  • Cueing Skills
  • Insanity Instructor Tools

The Afternoon Workout

After lecture, we spent time in small groups, where each person had the opportunity to instruct an entire block.  This allowed time to understand the importance of cueing, how to listen to the music to identify 32 beat counting, identifying the sound effects and how to appropriately transition.

Some individuals had a hard time following the beat of the music and identifying the 8 count/32 count phrasing. This comes naturally to me as I grew up playing instruments and singing (let alone studying music in college).  This is another instance where I am grateful for my music ability.  For others, it just takes time to listen to the cues and understand how to ‘feel’ the beats.

If you have trouble finding and following the beat in music and understanding phrasing, don’t worry.  There are plenty of sound effects in the music that will assist you.  I encourage you to spend time with the music, listening and studying.  It will become second nature to you in no time.

Afternoon Break Fun

During our last break before the written exam, Katy had us perform power jumps and X Jumps for a group photo opportunity.


The Written Exam

To close out the day you take a written exam.  I believe it consisted of 50 questions (my memory fails me on the exact number).  The test includes all components of each lecture in addition to questions relating to the practical portions.  You must pass with an 80%.

After you are finished with the test, you are free to go!

I walked away that day with a few great workouts under my belt, a new friend in Rona, a fire within me to master all the Advanced levels and a great course manual plus two Insanity Rounds (I received Round 5 at the beginning of the day after I signed my waiver and scored Round 1 after I signed up for the PRO Team online during lunch.  Thanks, Katy!).


It takes 3-4 weeks to receive the results of the test, of which you will receive via email.  I was stoked when I got my certificate!


I highly encourage taking this certification if you have ambitions of offering this class!  I have a feeling it is going to be a huge hit!

Now I have four more weeks to make sure I am prepared for this INSANITY!


If interested, here is a video showing an Insanity Certification by the amazing Christine Dwyer.

Friday Faves

Who else is pumped for FRIDAY?!?!

If you have been following along with my posts, this week has been a little nutso.  However, the sun is shining, my brother is healing, and I have a day of pampering… spa, lunch with a friend, hair cut and color, an afternoon with two of my bff’s and an evening dinner with 10 Biker B!tches.

Friday, you have never looked so yummy.

Friday Sexy

Friday Faves

1) Eat By Date

For anyone that knows me well enough also knows I am a FREAK when it comes to food sitting out.

And prepared food that has been in the fridge for more than a day?  Forget about it.

However, with my busy weeks, I wanted to do food prep on Sunday’s so I can just grab and go (like I already mentioned).  In order for me to come to terms with eating a piece of chicken on Wednesday that was cooked on Sunday, I needed to call in the reinforcements.

Ladies and Gents, let me introduce you to this little gem of a website:

Eat by date

Those internet fairies are MY new heroes.

I should probably mention that I take their suggested eat-by dates, and subtract a day.

I know….. Give me a break.  I still need some control over this, people!  😉


2) Scheduling Blog Posts

Say what?

First, there is this heavenly word called DRAFT.  I can start drafting a post and save until later.

Second, there is this cool calendar that I can set to publish a post at certain dates and times and like magic, it happens!

I am using this tool a little more lately in order to manage my time wisely.  This also requires me to be a little more proactive in preparing blog posts.  The ones I can start drafting early (like stories and recipes) I get started and edit as I go along, that way I am not trying to do it all at once.  As a person who runs a tight schedule, this little feature is a big fave of mine.


scheduling blogs


And time management awesomeness.


3) My Beachbody Peeps

I was supposed to attend Insanity Certification last Saturday in Lenexa, KS with the GREAT Sara Easley, but had to cancel my trip due to my brothers illness.  All I had to do was text Sara briefly what was going on and she immediately called Beachbody headquarters (they own Insanity), told them my deal, and within 3 days I had a full refund.  What an awesome company!  What an even cooler trainer and coach to take care of me from afar.   Sara was first my TurboKick Trainer and has since become someone I would call a friend with all our  communication that has happened since I met her in September.  THANK YOU, Girl!


PS.  I am slated to now attend Insanity Certification on Saturday, February 1st with Danielle Katz!  She is a regular in Insanity videos.  Oh boy!  I am ready for an ass kickin’.


4) HSI Professional Flat Iron

This baby just showed up on my doorstep yesterday.  Made my hair smooth as silk.  YAY for new beauty products.  Now I can keep a flat iron at home and keep one in my gym bag at all times.  Score for efficiency!



Wherever you are, and whatever you do, make today a great one!