Farrell’s eXtreme vs. Beachbody’s Insanity

Yesterday was a big first step for me…I made a commitment to my current self, my future self, and all of you out there to make some lasting changes for the better.

How is it going so far? Yesterday was definitely a success…but I know it will get harder to stay motivated as the novelty wears off.  After doing some reflecting, I decided to amend one of my goals.  I had initially thought that doing the Insanity Challenge from Beachbody would be the best choice for me, but the more I thought about it the more I worried about whether it was the right choice for my personal fitness.  I’ve had experiences with both programs in the past, and here is my personal opinion on them.

My thoughts on Farrell’s eXtreme vs. Beachbody’s Insanity


Farrells:A 10-week fitness program that is locally owned and operated.  It features 6 days a week of classes, 3 days of cardio and 3 days of resistance training using resistance bands.  The cardio is mostly kickboxing, and requires a bag, gloves, and hand wraps (which are all provided for you). One instructor leads the class, which rotates depending on their schedule.  Although some of the class is regulated, the quality of the class really depends on the instructor.  I’ve had some really awesome classes, hard classes, easy classes, and boring ones.  There are usually a couple other instructors in the class that walk around and help monitor students’ form.

Insanity: A 60-day DVD program that you use 6 days a week.  I’ve only ever gotten through the first 30 days, and those DVDs range from a 35 minutes to an hour.  It is super high-intensity, with lots of jumping.  There is no equipment, using body weight exercises for resistance.  The infamous Shaun T presides as instructor, and he leads a group of crazy-fit young people through the exercises.  Since it’s Shaun-T every time, you know it’s going to be a hard workout that will leave you dripping…seriously, the first couple DVDs I’m so sore I can barely walk.


Farrells: They have 45-minute classes scheduled all day, from 4 am – 6:30 pm. My workday begins at 9, which makes the 7 am class perfect for my schedule.  If for some reason I miss the 7 am class, I can go to any of the other classes. I can also attend any other Farrells location.

Insanity: Since it’s an independent DVD course, I can do the class whenever it fits into my schedule and without leaving my house.  If I ever travel, I can just take it with me. There’s also an app on my phone that lets me track which workout I need to do next.


Farrells: When I did my first 10 weeks of Farrells, I was into a party girl phase.  I would go out drinking, eat a bunch of late night food, and then try to work everything off the next day.  By the end of the 10 weeks, I had only lost one pound.  However, I had gained 3% muscle.  I felt pretty good about myself, and looking back am surprised that I didn’t gain any weight from all of the other bad habits in my life.

Insanity: Insanity seriously works.  When I finished up the first 30 days of Insanity is the closest I’ve ever come to a 6-pack.  That being said, it’s hard.  It’s hard both emotionally  and physically. I could never finish the second set of 30 days because the DVDs jumped from 45 minutes to an hour and 20 minutes, and I just couldn’t make myself do it. When I was doing Insanity I was also doing a more healthy diet and not binge drinking as much.


Farrells: The initial 10 week program was $399 (plus tax) but since I’ve already done the 10 weeks I am considered a FIT member.  This means that I have a monthly fee of $74.

Insanity: I bought my copy so long ago, I have no idea how much it costs now.  But since I already have it, essentially for me it is free.

For both programs (and really all exercise programs), you get out what you put into it.  Even though Farrells isn’t as challenging as Insanity, I think I will push myself more if there are other people around. While I have been relatively fit before (just eating all the wrong things), currently I am  probably the most out of shape I have ever been.  Farrells gradual increase in intensity would be a good place for me to start right now, instead of jumping full steam into Insanity and injuring myself or not being able to walk for a month.  I also plan to continue walking/jogging at my Anytime Fitness, just because it’s something I enjoy (while watching Netflix, naturally) and will help me create more of a calorie deficit.

What about you guys? Has anyone had any success stories with either of the programs?


Why am I here?

When I really sit down and look at what I want from life, I keep coming back to the same thing: I want to be happy.  But so many people want to “be happy”.  What does that look like for me? When I picture a happy Jenessa, I picture someone who travels, spends time with friends and family, and enjoys life.  So why am I not doing more of those things? What’s stopping me?

I realized that ultimately, I am what is stopping me.

I have two goals for 2016: downsize my body and downsize my life.

The first goal, downsize my body, is something that I have always wanted to be. However, it always seems to be put on the back burner.  After this next party, after the next dinner out, I’ll always have tomorrow…you know, the usual excuses people make when they are trying to lose weight. I am going to try my hardest to overcome these excuses.  One of the ways I chose to do that was by participating in a weight-loss challenge hosted by the local YMCA.  The winner (person who loses the most percentage of body weight) wins $5,000.  Now THAT’S a lotta money!!! If $5,000 can’t motivate me, I can’t imagine a whole lot else that will.  I have until April 5th to lose the most weight I can, and these are the rules I am going to set for myself:

  1. No more booze
  2. No fried food
  3.  Complete the first 30 days of Insanity
  4. 30 extra minutes of walking/jogging per day
  5. Log my food into the MyFitness app

I’m also going to try to incorporate more fruit and veggies into my diet, take the stairs instead of the elevator, blah blah blah.  I might even experiment with things like a 21 Day Fix or Skinny Tea.  But those 5 are going to be my hard and fast, no exception rules.  I think the first one – no more booze – is going to be the hardest for me to follow.  I LOVE me some wine and craft beers, and so does my fiancé.  I’ve also been known to do a little bit of partying (!). But recently all of these articles have been popping up about the effects of alcohol on the body, and how just taking a month off from alcohol can decrease your liver fat by 25%. That’s something to sit up and take notice of.

My second goal, downsize my life, is something my fiancé and I are going to be working on together.  We are getting rid of most of our possessions and moving into a Tiny House! We’re working with a local builder and contractor to get a custom-built, 24 X 8 foot Tiny House.  This means going through all of our possessions and only keeping things that we absolutely need or the things that bring us joy.  We’ve started this process already, and to be honest it is wonderful.  I got rid of a giant mound of clothes and it was so cleansing!

So that is why I am here.  I am here to document my progress on these 2 goals, both to help give me accountability and hopefully help inspire others.