Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fitness Challenge: Days 1-5

Time to start my Fitness Challenge! (click here to read what this challenge is all about)

Day 1: Program Day
So I tried out the program. It's short and sweet. And by sweet, I mean friggin’ difficult. 6 exercises and I am sweating. Profusely. For 3 of the 6 exercise (Side Bridge, Push-up; and Bird Dog Pushup) I do 3 sets of just 6 reps.
And I thought I was in shape??

Day 2: Interval Training Day
Feeling quite smug with myself for starting a new workout program, I set out on my interval training in the park. By the time I returned home I had been knocked down a peg or two. 20 minute run with only 4 30-second sprints. I was sprinting at about 80% and jogging at about 50%.
Have intervals always been this hard??

Day 3: Program Day
Wrap Around Ankle Touch is gettin' the job done, I can tell. My ass is killing me.

Day 4: Program Day
I almost copped out on the workout today with a medical note reading: glutes too sore to bend down. Then I reminded myself: it's only half an hour! The exercises feel easier today. I'd like to think I'm seeing results already, but I think it's more likely I'm just getting the hang of how to do them properly.
Still can't complete full 15 reps for each exercise. And yes, I know I was supposed to do an interval training day today, but Day 2 scared me into doing the program 2 days in a row.

Day 5: Rest day!
A day early, but my ass-leg (the muscle below your butt and above your hamstring) needs it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Challenge 1: Complete a 4-week Workout Program

The motivation for this challenge presented itself a few months after I stopped my high intensity aerobics class. It presented itself in various forms, but mostly right on my inner thighs. I was still running a few miles 3 or 4 times a week, but I was not seeing even remotely similar results.

With the thought of bikini season frighteningly near, I did some research. An article by Peter Jaret published in the NY Times states,

"... new evidence suggests that a workout with steep peaks and valleys can dramatically improve cardio vascular fitness and raise the body's potential to burn fat."

General consensus: shorter, high intensity work outs burn fat and boost your metabolism much better than longer cardio sessions. Not only that, they are significantly easier on the joints. Better results in shorter time... this sounds like an infomercial.

The Goal: Trim fat, tone up

The Challenge: For 4 weeks, follow a set workout program
I'll be using this program from Women's Health Magazine. I chose this program in the interests of simplicity. 6 moves, no props necessary, in under 30 minutes. Women's Health suggests doing the program every other day. In addition to this program, I'll also be doing running interval training once or twice a week to work out five days a week. That's exercising for under thirty minutes, five days a week, for four weeks. Sounds easy enough, right?

Difficulty Level: It's a relatively short workout, but I am in the middle of exams and in the process of moving out of my apartment. In one week I'll be going to Bordeaux for 10 days. Yes, the land of croissants, cheese, and red red wine. On the upside, my family is pretty active, so hopefully that will help counter-act the croissants.

Overall difficulty level: (A confident) 5/10

Start Date: May 26th
End Date: June 23rd

Not a runner? I have heard AMAZING things about Cardio-Barre, a dance based fitness routine.  I am thinking about picking up Richard Giorla's DVD's... they get great reviews on