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!
I always find that I’m somehow shocked by just how busy the end of the school year is. My afternoons and evenings seem crowded with and endless array of small things but things that eat away at my precious “free time”. These last two weeks I’ve found it impossible to blog… or want to… about my quest for a 4 pack 🙂 even thought I’ve done a good job of staying committed.
Monday – I managed to blog about my evening of Eccentric Upper.
Tuesday – Heck, I even managed to blog about Triometrics and my attempts at following the nutrition guide.
…and then the rest of the week kicked in…
Wednesday – I cranked out my yoga and then went on a lovely (needed) date with my dude. Yoga went really well actually… not that it usually doesn’t. I decided before I even started though that I was going to go hardcore. I held each posture as deeply as possible, and my little legs were exhausted by the end of my half hour.
Thursday – Eccentric lower followed by a birthday dinner for one of our band director friends. I have some dumbbells with removable weights that I bought about a billion years ago, and I finally decided to use them. John has used them, but I’ve focused on my 5s and 8s up until now. I made them 15lbs each and used those for the squats and lunges. It definitely made a difference as my butt and hamstrings were nice and sore the next day. I also got my new glasses. Yay for good vision or something, but hooray for new fancy frames!!!
Friday – I really enjoy Incinerator. Since getting better at push ups (read do them the right way), I like the challenge of having a set timeframe to do as many as possible. That being said, I need to either do more reps or suck it up and get the heavier weights because I feel like any workout called “the incinerator” should leave my arms incapable of virtually anything afterward. It’s still great!
Saturday – My only workout was mowing. I did have some delicious tequila based wonderment at Tacos and Tequila for an early Mother’s Day with my parents and dude.
Sunday – John did a round of MMX with me Sunday afternoon. It never fails to amaze me just how much I can sweat during MMX, especially since I’m not a big sweater. Despite hating the sprawls and renaming all of the sprawl moves to “Sprawls Suck #1”, “I hate F’ing Sprawls #2”, and “Sprawls are a g** d*** piece of s*** #3”, I did ALL of the sprawls this go round. 🙂 🙂 🙂
On a completely different note, following the nutrition guide is not easy or convenient. While I know I do a good job of eating well and eating balanced 95% of the time, following a nutrition guide that really expects you to eat WHOLE foods is difficult for the busy bee I am. Admittedly… I didn’t even make it a week before deciding that as long as I watch what I put into my body I don’t need the nutrition guide. It’s probably WILDLY helpful for folks that aren’t sure how to regulate their intake but is far more micromanaging that I feel I need to commit.
Tonight for dinner
- roasted sweet potato spears, no oil, just cinnamon
- roasted okra, 1 drizzle of oil for 20 pieces, salt, pepper, garlic powder
- 1 Quorn “unit” as my dude would say, AKA a Quorn chick’n patty with Stubbs BBQ sauce
This past week has been exceptionally busy. I’m greatly looking forward to the calm that come with the end of today.
MONDAY – ECCENTRIC UPPER
I’m at a point that I really probably need heavier weights. I really need 10lb weights for all the bicep moves, but I’m also a cheapskate. I have these bands that I bought to help with pull ups and chin ups, so I decided to use them this week in place of my 8lb dumbbells. It’s just not the same. You lose the tension at the bottom of all the curls. I may have to break down and get the heavier weights despite my attempt to not spend any more money.
I wasn’t as sore this week from Eccentric Upper. This could be a good thing, but I’m also the kind of person that wants the soreness to know I’ve done something.
TUESDAY – TRIOMETRICS
I had a band director’s meeting after school and didn’t get home until nearly 7:30. Despite wanting nothing to do with a workout, I did Triometrics and was wildly uninterested in it almost the whole time. I thought that as I got into it, I might become a little more motivated, but it’s hard to want to sweat after a 12 hour day. I got through it, and that’s all I can say about Tuesday.
WEDNESDAY – NOTHING…
Between an eye appointment and dinner with our new 3rd band director, I didn’t get home until after 10pm. Working out was not an option.
THURSDAY – ECCENTRIC LOWER
This is another workout that I really need the heavier weights. I’m thinking I’m not pushing hard enough through this particular routine as it doesn’t leave me sore or nearly as tired as some of the others. Again, some of the moves in this are weighted, and I’m past the point of my 8lb weights providing enough resistance. Last summer I was going to the gym and doing weighted squats and lunges with a minimum of 40lbs. I need a better option so that I can achieve similar results.
Thursday night I had CPW rehearsal. After working out, I had sushi with John and then spent the rest of the evening rehearsing.
FRIDAY – INCINERATOR & PILATES
I was feeling a strange wave of energy Friday afternoon, and Incinerator went great. I NEED HEAVIER WEIGHTS… Some of the moves like the Rocket Launcher Rows literally felt like I was doing nothing because my 8lb weights are providing virtually no resistance. That’s a cool realization to have, but that’s $20 more I need to spend… I commented later that I didn’t feel totally exhausted, which unfortunately is the whole point of Incinerator, so I either need to change my speed of reps to get more in, or I’ve got to get more resistance to make that happen.
After Incinerator, I did the Pilates workout… So fun! 🙂
John and I went to a saxophone concert Friday night.
SATURDAY – MMX
Saturday was solo and ensemble contest day. I was at work by 7:30am and didn’t get home til almost 3.
I joked with John that I need to call this “I hate f’ing sprawls”. I hate them. MMX makes me sweat more than any other workout in the set, but the sprawls are mentally tiresome. It is a lot of fun, though I like that the P90X Kenpo has more kicking. My left hip was CRAZY sore from some move in Pilates…
Saturday night John took me out to Gloria’s where we had our second date as a sort of anniversary celebration. ❤
SUNDAY – MUCH NEEDED REST
My body is tired… Between about the super busy week, not sleeping wonderfully, and still committing to P90X3, I’m worn down. My left hip is super duper sore today. My underbutt is a touch sore from MMX. And I noticed this morning I have a little catch in my right hip… some kick I did yesterday must have irritated a spot that has given me trouble on and off for a few years now. 😦
I say much needed rest… I had a CPW concert this afternoon, and this evening we spent a few hours at friend’s house for a birthday/Spurs celebration. The weekend was gone before it started. I’m ridiculously in need of down time. Hopefully, this much calmer week can give me some time to sit!
I’m proud of myself as I have approached the half way mark! Tomorrow starts week 7 of 12. Week 6 was rough… Honestly, it would have been incredibly easy to let my work schedule dictate no workouts this week, and it was definitely a hard to get mentally ready to burn my last ounce of energy at the end of each day. Heck, this one blog has my whole week… I WILL PERSEVERE!
…and sweat in the process.
I always seem to forget how busy this time of year is with my job. Luckily, in another week the chaos will slow W A Y down. Thank goodness.
The last workout I blogged was my failed attempt at an Eccentric Lower + Pilates double day. Despite the fact that I am ridiculously behind on the blogging turf, I haven’t missed a workout. Instead of compiling all the days into one log blog, I’d like to address the 2 brand new workouts separately.
DAY 33 – Incinerator
My Friday was absolutely bonkers with interviews, a percussion concert, and then dinner with my dude. A workout was just not in my cards. I had to rearrange my days this week but that was okay. I actually NEEDED that day off earlier in the week; I woke up with a very strained tendon in my upper hamstring Friday morning… not pulled but definitely not normal. One of the moves from Eccentric Lower really aggravated the tendon in my underbutt 🙂 but the day of rest that I shifted to Friday allowed it to relax – that and sitting with a tennis ball under that exact spot!
Incinerator is a burn out exercise. Each muscle group is approached from a weighted or body weight move and a max reps move. By the end of the duo, that muscle should be exhausted.
- Renegade Row – Hold plank with a dumbbell under each hand. Alternate which dumbbell you pull up into your arm pit.
- Pull Ups
- Floor Flys – Lying on your back, hold two dumbbells up to the ceiling. Keeping the elbows slightly bent, open your arms until triceps hit the ground
- Push Ups
- Rocket Launcher Row – In a deep lunge with chest over the thigh, pull weights up into arm pits.
- Chin Ups
- “A” Press – Lying on your back, hold two dumbbells together up to ceiling. Bend the elbows until they touch the ground at your side then push them up and back together.
- Military Push Ups
- Monkey Pump – Holding two light weights, elbows bent 90 even with shoulders, bring the weights together in front of you, open them back up, press up to ceiling, return to 90 degrees, then rotate the arms so that the elbows stay in the same place but the weights are now toward the ground. Return to upward position. That is one rep. THIS WAS EXHAUSTING ALL BY ITSELF!!!
- Pike Press – With hands on power stands, get into a tight downward dog and then lower head toward the ground in an almost vertical push up. These are a challenge, and so I love them.
- Pterodactyl Flys – In a deep lunge with chest over thigh, lift straight arms out the side.
- Flipper – AKA Dolphin Push Ups – In a forearm plank, push up into dolphin pose then lower back to forearm plank. I’ve recently discovered that I have really terrible flexibility in the back of my shoulders which makes dolphin a very difficult pose for me to do well. I’ve added some stretches that address the muscles of my shoulder blades to my everyday routine.
- Popeye Hammer Curls – Just plain ole hammer curls
- Kneeler Curls – In a knee down lunge, lean over thigh and curl weights up to shoulders.
- Hail to the Chief – Lying on your back, hold weights straight up to the ceiling with palms facing in. Lower one weight straight down toward ground (and face). Switch arms.
- Skyfers – Sitting on the floor, push up into table then bend elbows while keeping your hips high. Like a reverse push up almost.
- Arm and Hammer – Curl up then hammer down.
- Rocket Launcher Kickbacks – In a deep lunge with torso leaving over thigh, pull elbows up behind you and then straight them back keeping elbows high. This completely wore my triceps out to the point of cramping. 🙂
Incinerator was quite good. Obviously, it’s an arm heavy workout, but I enjoy those. I was still a bit sore from Eccentric Upper from 4 days prior(!), but this was thoroughly enjoyable and did incinerate any energy that was left in my little arms! 🙂