Sunday, August 25, 2013

Insanity Certification Recap!

When you teach a lot of fitness classes, it's sometimes easy to fall into that feeling of "Woe is me, I never get sore." So when I do feel sore, I'm filled with this twisted happiness, like, "OH MY GOD my muscles are sore today!?! I need to call my mom, post an FB status, and shout it out loud to the world!"

It's sick really.

Well it has happened again. Today I woke up achy all over from yesterday's Insanity Certification.

Our cert materials

As far as certs go, it was extremely painless (fitness instructors out there know that fitness certs can be long and boring!). Teresa Sorenson was our presenter and she's not only a dollface, but also an incredibly talented presenter and speaker (and that's coming from a public speaking lecturer)! She made the day fly by and I picked up a few new cuing phrases. Like "DIG DEEPER!" :)

Teresa and I

It was also interesting, and refreshing, to be taking the cert with instructors and non-instructors. Some were BeachBody coaches who were looking to get certified so that they could lead "fit camps" in their homes. It created a diverse mix of experience in the workshop. Sometimes with all fitness instructors, it can get a little diva up in the hizzy *SNAPS*

Overall, the atmosphere was supportive, team-oriented and motivational!

So what is Insanity?

Have you seen the 1am-5am informercials?

Yeah, it's insane! Balls-to-the-wall intensity, energy and sweat. That's the only way I can think of to describe it. It is by far the hardest group fitness format I've ever tried.

Created by Sean T, the program is based on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) in the purest sense. The moves are simple and repetitive. No counting beats and no tricky choreography--just 2 minutes of work, 30 seconds of rest, repeat 9 times and finish with 8 minutes of abs.

Some of my fitness friends may be wondering, "Isn't it similar to R.I.P.P.E.D.?"

Yes. Very similar, but also VERY different. I'm not gonna lie, I love RIPPED--it's a total body conditioning class with great music and choreo. But Insanity is harder. There I said it. Insanity is more like a sports training class--like the kind of training you did after school for high school basketball or track. And it's less complicated. You only need your body weight.

Another difference is that Insanity could be too high intensity for certain populations (injured, prior injuries, elderly, etc.). Insanity is a fitness challenge. You will succeed if you put in the work. You can modify every move, but the goal is to get your heart rate 85-90% of your max. You WILL be breathless in Insanity.

But it's worth it! As I said, I'm sore in places that I haven't been sore in a while--my arms, back, calves. This program has the potential to change physiques!

Here's a video where you can see some highlights from an Instructor's Master Class:

I would love to teach this format. My ONLY gripe with this format (from an instructor stand point) is that it is yet ANOTHER $30/month fee type structure. You pay $30 a month to stay certified and they send you choreo every other month. I already pay $30/month for Zumba, RIPPED, and TurboKick. So essentially, I work one week for free every month.

I know this pay-by-the-month is the industry trend, but DAMMIT fitness industry, I'm not making any money teaching your formats! It might be time to re-evaluate my strengths and priorities, but I'll save that for another post.

And anyways...who goes into teaching for the money? :)

Super cute Insanity clothes!

Be on the lookout for Insanity and give it a try! You will most definitely see results if you stick with it!

Q: Have you ever tried the Insanity DVDs? Would you try an Insanity group fitness class?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Spartan Recap and Tips for A First Time Mud/Obstacle Course Race

Spartan Race 2013...CHECK.

Me and the hubs pre-race. Don't we look happy to receive some torture?

We survived. With minimal injury! YAY!

One thing I will say about this year's race in Marseilles, IL--it was really. really. really. hard. Harder than last year in my opinion!

Mud pit. Trying to figure out how the hell to get up this slippery hill.

I will forever fondly refer to this year's course as "Hill Hell." It was 8 miles of up, down, up, down, up, down hills. Luckily, there was a nice breeze, so it wasn't as hot as it could have been!

At the home stretch!

We didn't finish in the time goal that we set, but we finished. And didn't die!

Mud/Obstacle course races are not meant to be easy, and frankly, they kind of suck. Definitely not for germaphobes or people who haven't worked out in a while. We all got some weird bacterial "nature rash" from the water following the yeah...germaphobes beware. Also, you do have to train for one of these races. However, the sense of accomplishment when you cross that finish line defies logic. It's like, "Hecks yeah! My body just did WHAT!? I am indestructible!"

And then you collapse from fatigue. But it's so worth it :)

Me, Wes, and my friend Anna post-race

I think the reason people continue to do these types of races is to set goals and push their body's "comfort zone."

It took me a long time to come to accept my body and it's surprising to see the awesome things it continues to accomplish.

Do you want to try out a mud/obstacle course race? Of course you do! And I have some tips to help make your first race less painful...

Laura's Advice:

-Week before, drink lots of water! TANK UP!

-Day before, eat a carb-rich dinner (pasta, rice, bread).

-Day of, eat some protein with breakfast (eggs works well). I imagine that somewhere around mile 5, you are going to wish you had some energy reserves.

-During the race, just focus on completing the race. Some people are intense about finishing in a certain time, but if you just focus on getting through the obstacles you will enjoy yourself much more.

-Try every obstacle--even if you don't think you can do it. You might surprise yourself with what you can do! My husband ran this last race with me and he was pleasantly surprised to find that he was better at climbing the ropes than he thought he was going to be. If in doubt, or if you think you will be injured--don't do the obstacle.

-Day of the race: bring two towels, an extra change of clothes and a large trash bag for your muddy clothes/shoes. Some people even bring some body wash/shampoo to rinse any mud off.

-Be on the lookout for the cameras and pose! Makes for some really fun/funny pics! There is always a camera by the fire jump.

Here's the side view of this same picture...looks more derp than BA :)

It wasn't that crazy/intense/scary. Swear.

-Shoes: running shoes are best and grip really well. Make sure that you use shoes that you wouldn't mind getting dirty forever. Sometimes the mud just doesn't come out! Flat-bottom or walking shoes are terrible for courses. Tie shoes on TIGHT. I've seen some "lost shoes" stuck in the mud!

-Training: lots of upper body and cross training leading up to the race. These type of races demand a variety of skills and strengths. I didn't do anything different before this race--just taught Zumba, Strong (strength class), RIPPED (interval class), and Kickboxing. It helps to train your body in a lot of different ways--and not just through running or weight lifting alone.

Here's some links to more advice. #1 tip I have is to just jump in and have fun! You never know what to expect from an obstacle/mud race!

Find a mud race in your area:
Mud Run Guide

Q: Have you run an obstacle race before? What was your experience like? Any advice to add?