Last week was a hot, busy mess as we teachers got ready for Monday’s start back to school. Strangely enough, now that it has started, it’s somehow almost calmer with the kids here, probably because I know and understand that routine. The week was filled with meetings, open house, and genuine manual labor, all of which left me uninterested in the exercise grind on more than one day.
MONDAY – SWEAT
I do really enjoy Sweat. This was my 3rd time to do it, and I was able to complete it without all of the pauses I’ve employed previously. That by no means translates to it was easier or I dripped less; it simply means I didn’t feel like dying. 🙂
TUESDAY – DECELERATOR
As I mentioned in Piyo Week 1, I am not sold on either of the Define workouts. I decided to replace them with equivalent routines from P90X3, and I think I’m on the right path in doing so. Decelerator isn’t specifically a lower body workout, which was what I should have been covering in Define Lower, but it was a good full body routine that left me feeling good (aside from my right ankle that pops all the frickin time…).
WEDNESDAY – Open house… no workout.
THURSDAY – I chose to go to the mall and then drink a margarita instead of working out. 🙂
FRIDAY – CORE
I ❤ Core. 🙂 What a superb workout! I’ll admit, not even Ab Ripper X gets me sore anymore. Core hit areas of my core than haven’t been attacked since I can remember. I did modify down to my forearms on many of the plank-centric moves, but by the end of the routine my abs and back were tired, and by Saturday afternoon they were sore. As I’ve said on any number of occasions, I do enjoy being sore as it reminds me I a) did something worthwhile and b) possess muscles.
Let me pause for a moment to talk about core muscles, because I am superbly disappointed in my lack of lower abs. Having worked my butt off for as long as I have, I’m frustrated that my lower abs are generally unseen. Yes, I have read all the articles and studies that say you typically have to have single-digit body fat percentages to see your lower abs, but I’ve also been experimenting with something. This works best in the shower… Get your mind out of the gutter! This is a fitness blog!
When I flex my abs my upper and middle abs instantly compress, and I can see obvious muscle definition. What I don’t see is much movement in my lower abs. Instead, when I flex my slightly rounded lower abdomen for the most part stays put. This is true even before I have food in my system. So I’ve been experiment with what I have to do (i.e. what I have to think about, squeeze, focus on) to engage the muscles between my hip bones, and I have to say that it takes a lot of effort on my part. Being a band director that teaches kids how to use strange muscles, what that tells me is that I’m not utilizing them enough to know how to use or isolate them on command. I have figured out how to flatten them, but it takes thought to access those muscles.
On the chance that I will come off deranged, self-absorbed, and perhaps giving too much information, I’ve made a point to work on flexing those muscles 30 times every time I take a shower assuming that eventually controlling my lower abs will become easier and hopefully translate to more a more effective ab workout when I’m actually capable to engaging the correct muscles.
SATURDAY – INCINERATOR
Incinerator was wonderful! 🙂 🙂 🙂 A burnout routine, it systematically wears out each of your upper body muscle groups one by one. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am 100% positive it was more effective that Define Upper. I commented to my dude how I’ve realized how much I love lifting weights and doing body-weight exercises. It almost pains me to admit that I might truly like it far more than yoga.
SUNDAY – NOTHING
3 days off… That’s okay. Sometimes your life requires something else, and as long as I’m being consistent the rest of the time, an off week isn’t the end of the world! 🙂 I did sit in a pool and sip sangria though! That’s got to count for something, if for nothing else but my sanity!
It is officially summer! 🙂
As a teacher, this is the time that allows me to regain sanity for another school year come August.
As a band director, this is the time of the year that I actually get weekends off. No working Saturdays!!!
Now that I have this said time off, I plan on utilizing it to its full potential. Monday, I had to go to school and do the check out process for the summer. My band hall is being used for summer professional development, so I spent a good bit of time emptying what is usually MY space to be used by an indefinite number of strangers for the next 2 months. It rained… Almost all day. 🙂 Super duper pleasant! I had thought as I drove to school that the temperature was so nice, this might be a great day for a run. But then it rained. So I did my Decelerator instead, cleaned my kitchen, and proceeded to watch 5, yes 5, hours of Orange is the New Black in one sitting. 🙂
Tuesday morning it was 66 degrees when I woke up!!! By 8:30 my running shoes were tied, and I hit the pavement in my neighborhood for an easy mile. I haven’t run in probably 5 months, so I’ll take a 9:28 minute mile! My dude and I took the doglets to the vet and then came back to a joint MMX workout. It never fails to impress me just how much I can sweat during this particular workout.
Today, Wednesday, we utilized this no school(!) day again with a doubles pairing of Pilates in the morning and Eccentric Upper in the afternoon. It was the first time John had done either of these workouts, and he thought they were great! Although he’s been supportive of the results I’m getting with this program, I think he was a little impressed with the design of Pilates and E.U. coming from his far more hardcore background.
In the process of Eccentric Upper I discovered something exciting…
I CAN DO A PULL UP!
Seriously! Like, by myself! No chair! No assistance bands! A full fledged pull up! Just one… But ONE PULL UP!
Okay, so I don’t do P90X3 dressed like this… 🙂 I went back and created proof of my progress well after I showered. And THEN…. I discovered something else!
I can do THREE chin ups!!! I gotta say, I’m impressed. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Super, super impressed! There are probably a plethora of more intelligent sounding intensifiers that I could use to describe just how impressed I am with my little chicken arms, but I’m going to go with my standby “super”. 🙂
Progress. It sneaks up on you!
It has been exceptionally hard these last two weeks to find the time to sit down with my laptop for anything not work related. School lets out for the summer this Friday, so I’ll have time for ME again! 🙂
I’ve been good about keeping up with my workouts despite my inability to blog about them. Block 3 seems completely random. I know it’s all about muscle confusion, but I do enjoy the regular schedule of the previous 2 blocks.
- MONDAY – DECELERATOR – I really like this one. I enjoy that it’s a total body workout, plus I want every opportunity to try the crane cracker push ups again. 🙂 BTW… I couldn’t do them this week either! Monday was Memorial Day, and I spent the bulk of my time with John. I didn’t even start this workout until almost 9:00pm which was dumb. I could only truly give about 75% effort.
- TUESDAY – MMX – I did NOT enjoy this workout this week. Perhaps it was the humidity, perhaps it’s the end of school year pressure pushing down on me (sing that last part like Queen), but every sprawl move was torture. I did them all, but I didn’t like it.
- WEDNESDAY – Spring Concert – My band gave their final concert of the year, and there was no exercise save the ridiculous waving of my baton. 🙂
- THURSDAY – I doubled up in a strange way. Thursday should have been Triometrics, but I didn’t want to miss Eccentric Upper so I combine that with Pilates. EU+P=sore biceps&hip flexors
- FRIDAY – MY BIRTHDAY!!! – Friday I turned 32, and my dude did a spectacular job of making me feel very loved. We went out for dinner that night, and I didn’t even consider P90X3.
- SATURDAY – ECCENTRIC LOWER – One of my goals in this program is butt transformation. 🙂 This week I used 15lb dumbbells for the weighted squats and lunges, and boy do I feel it today!
- SUNDAY – I probably should have gone back and down Triometrics today so that in the end I can say I have only skipped yoga that once, but instead I spent 3 hours mowing, weed-eating, mulching, digging, sweating… I feel like I probably burned just as many calories in that 3 hours as I would have doing Triometrics, plus my yard looks livable again!
I have 3 weeks left!!! EXCITING! My weight is actually up a couple of pounds, but I’m going to assume that some of that is muscle mass. I’m proud of the hard work I’ve done, and while my before and after pictures are not going to be crazy huge changes since I wasn’t super out of shape, I can feel the difference in strength, endurance, and confidence in how I look. Heck, I mowed in a bikini top today! 😉
I’m on the final stretch!
Yesterday I was feeling exceptionally good about the gains I’ve made this last chunk of time, and just as my arrogance knew no bounds, I started a new workout(!) with today’s Decelerator. Some of the moves have been used in other P90X3 workouts, so I’ll skip the explanation for older moves.
- Bounding Squats – Very much an agility move. You leap to a corner of an imaginary box, landing on one foot and holding.
- Crane Cracker Push-ups – THESE KICKED MY BUTT. I in no way can do this move. I tried my hardest. Heck, I just spent the last 45 minutes researching videos online of how to do this balance move and trying their advice… Nope! Scarlet, my usually very supportive dachshund, I’m sure was giggling like crazy. I fell on my face the last time. You do a push up then pull your right knee up to your right elbow. Put the weight of your right leg on your bent right elbow, lean forward, and lift your left leg. Nope… Not yet, but it WILL BE DONE!!!
- Good God Squats – With a flat back parallel to the ground, do squats on your tiptoes.
- Elevator Pull-Ups – Just like elevator push ups but on the pull up bar. Think bottom floor, middle floor, top floor, holding as Tony calls out which floor you pull up to.
- 2-Pop Hop – Standing in a low squat, jump up landing on one leg. Slowly lower into a one leg squat for 3 counts then put your other foot on the ground and continue to lower for 3 more counts. Switch sides.
- Crawly Plyo Push-Ups
- Holmsen Screamer Hold – Start in a low lunge. Leap into the air landing on one leg. Slowly lower yourself on one leg back into the lunge.
- Chin Pulls – Do a chin up. While holding your body at the top, raise your knees to your torso. Lower your entire body.
- Joel Jump Freeze
- Starfish Push-Up – Do a push up then roll into a side arm balance with arm and leg raised.
- Duper 2
- Vaulter Pull-Ups
- Elevator Tiptoe Squat – In a wide leg squat, raise up on your toes for the whole move. Much like elevator pull-ups but with wide leg, tiptoe squats…
- Superman/Bow – Superman on your stomach transitioning into Bow pose. Repeat.
- Spinning Plyo Squat Lunges – Hop back and forth from a parallel squat to right leg lunge to squat to left leg lunge to squat to complete 180…. continue this loop for 1 minute.
- Big Brother Burpees – Do a push up. Crunch your right knee to your right elbow. Roll into a right side arm balance. Jump your feet to your hands then leap up into the air. Repeat on the other side, again and again…
This workout was hard! I really enjoyed it though and look forward to improving that dang crane cracker push up move… I WILL get it.
One of these days.
For dinner: sauted asparagus, a fried pastured egg, and a pinch of fresh parmesan.