The Most Humbling Workout

Posted: October 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I did something crazy this morning. No…make that insane.

Just did Insanity for the first time. That was the hardest workout I think I have done in my life.
Tina Reale

Sometimes I like to exaggerate things. Play things up a little bit to entertain myself. Well, I did not exaggerate a single word in that tweet.

I have actually had the Insanity program in my hands for a few months, but always felt too intimidated to give the workouts a shot. I knew I wanted to try them, but always got too scared when push came to shove.

I don’t know what hit me this morning, but I popped the DVD in and picked the Pure Cardio workout. 40 minutes didn’t sound too bad. It didn’t have any crazy words like Max or Circuit in there, which I knew could mean trouble. That 40 minutes was no joke!


I was dripping sweat by the end of the warm-up. Not a good sign. When Shaun T paused to stretch a bit after the warm-up to prepare for the madness to come, I laughed. It was one of those laugh or cry moments.

The next 20-25 minutes owned me. Drill after drill after drill after drill. Burpees. High knees. Push-ups. Tuck jumps. And too many things I don’t even remember the names of because all I could hear was my own heavy breathing.

#huffpuff #iwanttodie

At the end, I parked my booty on the floor and stared at the screen in disbelief. Then Peter came downstairs and his eyes lit up at me trying unsuccessfully to catch  my breath and wipe sweat out of my eyes simultaneously.


He gets pleasure from my pain. He even sits and laughs with a big goofy grin as I go through the torture of ice baths after my long runs. Evil. Devil <—Peter

I didn’t care though. My huffing and puffing turned into the biggest smile. I felt accomplished. I put aside fear and went for something I knew would challenge me. I didn’t half-ass the workout, because I knew I would only get out of it what I put into it.

I put a lot into it. It hurt. I thought I would hurl out my heart at some points. I had to pause and catch my breath a few times. But I pushed the limits. And I can’t wait to do it again next week. Yea. Next week. I loved it, but I’m not insane enough to do that madness every day! Winking smile

  • What is the hardest workout you have ever done? Or what is the last way you challenged yourself (fitness wise or otherwise)?

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63 Comments to “The Most Humbling Workout”
  1. Kara says:

    I tried the Insanity workout and I agree, it’s tough! It’s almost as hard as the cardio Kickboxing classes I used to teach back in college and grad school. Almost 🙂

  2. I’m doing the 60 day challenge now…it is so difficult! But so worth it. Glad you hopped on the train!

  3. I still always revert to high school field hockey practices when we were forced to do track workouts. I don’t think any workout will make me hate my life more than I did on those days.

    Sidenote – I love how appropriate your little emoticons are in all your posts, especially M’s this morning. 🙂

  4. Amy Lauren says:

    I did a CrossFit workout once called “Cindy”. It was my 2nd time at CrossFit. It was 20 minutes AMRAP of pull ups, push ups, and squats. I got a lot of rounds in, but I don’t remember how many. I think 14-15.

    We had some “beginners” do 10 minutes AMRAP who didn’t show back up at CrossFit ever again. I was sore for 4 days but I was back at it, hehe.

    I’ve never done insanity but I did a class at the gym once that was styled like it and it was a pretty tough class.

    • Tina says:

      I so badly want to try Crossfit! I bet it would kick my butt too.

      • Amy Lauren says:

        I loved it, and my company paid for 8 classes of it for us, but I couldn’t keep going because of the price ($75/month). If I could afford it, I would do it. It really works well for people who are parents too, bc the workouts get you in shape but tend to be very short. It’s definitely not like some people who spend 2 hours at the gym at a time. The 20 minute CrossFit workouts can be harder than a long run.

  5. I might have to give that Insanity thing a try…sounds fun! I think when I workout w/my Houston Trainer – it’s the hardest ever -every time. Things hurt that I don’t even know existed…I always push harder when someone is yelling at me 🙂 GREAT JOB GIRL
    xoxo from Trinidad

  6. That sounds awesome!

    I think the most difficult workout I’ve done was 1) my first day at basketball practice in high school. I was so not prepared for how hard it would be and I was sore for days! 2) Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 challenge. Level 3 killed me with all the plyometrics. Intense!

  7. Yep, I made it through one week of Insanity. I would love to try it again, but I get so bored doing the DVDs. It really is a puddle of sweat on the floor killer.

  8. I’d love to do an Insanity workout, preferably with some of my girlfriends! A few laughs never hurt a workout.

  9. Jeannie says:

    Yes, I find Insanity to be the toughest workout I have ever done. I’ve never completed the program because, like you, I can’t do it everyday. I do like throwing it in the mix here and there though for a really sweat inducing workout!

    • Tina says:

      I couldn’t imagine doing that day after day! Kudos to those who can but I need the variety and a break from such beatings.

  10. I bet you feel so accomplished now though! Good job! I would love to buy Insanity…looks like a fun way to change things up every now and then.

  11. fitbamabelle says:

    Hmmm, you definitely peaked my curiosity. Going to have to give it a try! Congrats on completing it!!

  12. I’m soo glad u reviewed this I have been dieing to try it but wanted to know what other people thought about it! I must get ny hands on s copy!

  13. I want to try Insanity, but Im scared.
    I’ve laughed at workouts before too. Just recently actually when Jillian Michaels wanted me to do one legged squats. 🙂

  14. I LOVE the Insanity workouts! They kick my a** and I absolutely love it! I’m kind of a sicko like that though!

  15. Khushboo says:

    This workout sounds killer! I love your outlook towards hard workouts! Despite feeling like i am going to hurl after a few interval runs, I relish the feeling of satisfaction. Love testing my limits (not so much during though ;))!

  16. Laura says:

    i want to do this!!!!!!

  17. Cheryl says:

    I’ve always seen Insanity and was intrigued. I would love to find a toned down version.
    The hardest workout I have ever done was hands down the first rowing workout in college. My coach didn’t make cuts but wanted to weed out the people who would not give it their all so he made the first week insane. I can remember not wanting to go to the bathroom since it hurt SO badly to sit down.

  18. Lisa says:

    I love that you’re doing insanity! I was actually really surprised when i got into reading fitness blogs that i hadn’t people use insanity. I do not work out, i am not a fitness guru, i don’t have a regular routine. I did insanity in the Spring for a month and half and LOVED it. I love yelling at Shaun T and his sidekick Tania on the screen. I also had a love/hate relationship with the warmup and then realizing the work out hadn’t even started yet. haha.. I keep telling myself i’m going to start it again… but i’m not sure i’m ready to face him again yet. 🙂 Good Luck!!

  19. Mellissa says:

    I need to try this workout! Nothing like a good butt kicking.

  20. Jess says:

    LOVE when a workout leaves you that humbled!! Running often has that effect on me – or barre work!!! KILLER every single time. It’s often the mental side that kills me more than the physical, with those humbling workouts.

  21. I played water polo into college, and I was so proud that one of the all-around athletes at my high school decided to come out for the team (he did basketball, track, and volleyball, I believe). After his first day, he panted, “That’s the hardest practice I’ve ever been to!” Yay for never being able to stand! (we practiced in deep water, and weren’t allowed to touch the wall…for 3 hours)

  22. I’ve always wanted to try his workouts. I guess my last big challenging workout was my PDR run last weekend of 13.4 miles.

  23. Pure cardio for long times always kills me…haha 🙂

  24. Lisa says:

    The first time I did Crossfit about 6 months ago at my old trainer’s new gym I kind of scoffed at it. I thought “It’s only going to be 1 hour long, I’ll probably have to go to the gym afterward to get in a workout”. Um yeah….by the end of that 1 hour crossfit I was dripping in sweat and as the day went on I got more and more sore. I could barely WALK the next day! I was sore for a week!

    • Tina says:

      I really, really, really want to try CrossFit one day. I keep looking for a deal through Groupon because I’m too cheap to pay full price. I know I’ve seen them before but it was when I was pregnant.

      • Lisa says:

        You should do it. It’s such a great workout. When I used to see my personal trainer for sessions it was basically a Crossfit workout. I was usually sore for about a week after!

  25. Marla-Deen says:

    So glad it was a tough one! I’ve been wanting to try it – I have P90X and revert to it at times for something new. I love a good sweat! Now I know I need to invest!

  26. I’ve heard reviews just like yours about Insanity. People love to hate it. I’m so curious about it but am too cheap to make the purchase!

  27. Kat says:

    I’ve been so eager to try insanity! It is my plan for body after baby 🙂

  28. Rachel says:

    WOO congrats on completing it though! i’d LOVE to try insanity! my friend and i used to do the abs from P90X and that was always super intense. we used to have to do crazy conditioning for cheering and i’ve never been in as good shape as i was then. i mean, we started every practice with 500 abs and handstand push ups, and squats with girls sitting on our shoulders! by the end of the night when we had to tumble we were all dying- and then we conditioned after too! but man… i was in the best shape of my life.

  29. One of the hardest classes I took was called the Tonique Method. It’s a 2 hour class with every single variation of the lunge and squat that you can think of! The workout is available on DVDs and those are just as hard!
    I am curious about Insanity. Thanks for your review!

  30. that’s how i felt the first time i did turbo fire. i thought i was going to pass out. it was nuts!!!

  31. I really liked this post. You look radiant and triumphant in your post workout photo 🙂

    This post also highlighted the fact that I really haven’t been pushing myself in my workouts. I really love to get SWEATY and leave the workout feeling euphoric and triumphant, even if exhausted. Maybe some workout videos are in order?

  32. Danielle says:

    I have a coworker who has been using Insanity for a few months now and she looks amazing. She went from wanting to lose a few pounds to incredibly toned. I have every intention of trying it….some day. LOL

  33. Tina, your self command never ceases to amaze me. I struggle constantly with forcing myself to exercise at all, let alone to this intensity. For a while, it required a personal trainer, then even that got to be too much on my plate. And you have kids! I maintain hope that continually reading about your amazingness will keep inspiring me to get off my butt and do a fraction of what you do, both regarding fitness and the responsibilities of life.

    • Tina says:

      Aw, Katy! Thanks! And I always think of how great it feels to push the limits and challenge myself in new ways. It really is motivating. 😉

  34. oh i have the insanity dvd’s too. they’re sooooo hard! brad and i tried to do the whole 60 day program – i think we made it 9 days. gah. it’s tough!!

  35. I would love to try Insanity some day…once I’m back up to an appropriate fitness level. The hardest DVD workout I’ve ever done was P90X Plyometrics…that was a tough one, but so so worth the pain!

  36. Oh I love a really good new and challenging workout! Insanity sounds crazy (in a good way!) 🙂

    I tried a Body Attack class once and I really pushed myself…it felt great!

    And once I had a personal trainer when I was 19 for just a few sessions…and let’s just say I really understood what real “heavy” strength training was like after that! It was painful! But I learned a lot!

  37. I did Level 1 of Jillian’s 30 Day Shred today…Karlyn was crawling under and on top of me and I couldn’t stop laughing! Um, it definitely made it harder! ha ha.

    I’m scared of Insanity now!

  38. I’ve heard insanity is well…..insane! Way to take it head on!! I did a 10 mile run this weekend after having to take 2 weeks off with an upset ankle and I really had to push myself to finish. I felt amazing when it was over! 🙂

  39. […] I feel good that this week has gone relatively smoothly so far. Nothing too insane. Well, besides this morning’s workout. Ha! I still don’t know how I survived it. <— There’s that exaggeration we talked […]

  40. katie says:

    hi tina, i’ve been following your blog for a long time, but am always too shy to comment! ^^ but i had to leave one for this post… BRAVO to you for trying Insanity!! i’ve been doing Insanity for almost a year now when the fitness instructor at my gym introduced it. i don’t like fitness videos, but Shaun T just cracks me up! i think doing it everyday is tough too (just doing the same workout everyday is boring!) so I only do it 2x a week as “cardio”, but that alone makes a big difference in my overall fitness & strength level. insanity really helps “revive” my body after sitting at my desk all day at work. =P keep it up! i’m sure the warm-ups will be peanuts for you in no time! =)

  41. Ohhh… I have wanted to try Insanity for so long! I love P90X. Probably my hardest workouts have been with a trainer or a boot camp style. I get super competitive when I around other people and kick my own butt.

  42. Hahaha, yeah Shaun T knows how to kick some ass.

    I did Insanity a few months ago and my abs got insane. So it’s worth it!

  43. glad you enjoyed Insanity!!! 🙂 I do it everyday and it’s still always a challenge! Because each day you can try to take less and lesss breaks. I love having my Shakeology right after too! Seriously, beachbody stuff is simply amazing, that’s why i became a beachbody coach!!

  44. Lorri Randle says:

    I love to use the Insanity DVDs to help my speed work for running when I can’t get outside. They’ve helped a TON for shaving my run time. Throw in some Insanity or P90X for Cross Training days and its a killer routine.
    You know though, Insanity isn’t even his hardest program? He came out with Insanity: Asylum just last year. That one is even better! It adds an agility ladder and weights and has more variety. Its a 30 day program too…

    Oh and he touched my butt. I was doing a live workout with him. He was yelling at me to get it down but hey, it was the highlight of my trip!

  45. Brittany says:

    I heard insanity was crazy! I tried one video and it was pretty hard if I say so myself. Congrats on finishing it though. Love the feeling after a super hard workout 😀

  46. jobo says:

    Oh man, that sounds TOUGH! I think drills and high intensity workouts like that ALWAYS kick my ass and they DO scare me too!

  47. Meghan says:

    I did a month of Insanity and was amazed! My hubby did it too. I was sad when I stopped because my knee couldn’t handle all the jumping. Maybe post baby I will add it back into my running and just modify.

  48. Oh YAY! Well done you! That absolutekly ROCKS! 🙂 I’m going to challenge myself now and do the P90X yoga DVD tomorrow – I anticipate it will be really tough, but you’ve inspired me to push my limits! <3 CONGRATULATIONS on being bad-ass! 😀 xyx

  49. Hearing that from you makes me want to try Insanity.

    My hardest so far has been a boot camp, spin class last night was second (2nd one).

  50. […] another note, I spontaneously ordered Insanity after seeing this review on Faith, Fitness, Fun the other day… So.Excited. for it to ship.  I am hoping this is the […]

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