Monday, June 14, 2010

Fitness Challenge: Days 6-14

Day 6: Program Day - Slow and Steady...
I've gotten pretty quick at making my way through the exercises: I do 3 of them in about 10 minutes. While its nice to be able to get through these things quickly, its actually much harder (and you get better results) to do them slowly. And I don't mean power through the moves and take a 5 minute water break!

Tips to help you get more out of your workout:
  • Take your time executing each move
  • Keep your form in mind - if something new feels too easy, you may not be doing it right!
  • Think about the muscle you are supposed to be working
  • Pause at the extension
  • Keep your abs tight, ALWAYS!
  • Breathe, breathe, breathe! (I find this also helps you to slow down)
Once I slowed down a bit, I started to feel the burn after far fewer reps. Even after slowing myself down significantly, I was still able to get my workout done in under 30 minutes.

Lesson learned? Slow and steady gets the tight butt!

Days 7-12: Excuses, Excuses...
Rest days. That's a nice way of saying exams and packing up my apartment got the best of me. In my defense, days 9 and 10 were spent on a plane and in a jet-lagged haze. On the upside, I'll be in France for the next 10 days!

Day 13: Program Day - Stay Motivated!

My 4-day sabbatical did a serious number on my mental game. All momentum was lost. I was pretty upset with myself for going so long without running or doing the program, especially since I had made such an explicit commitment to following through with it. That disappointment really translated into not wanting to work out at all. I did it though, and afterwards I felt great! The program has definitely gotten easier, and that feeling of disappointment is long gone.
I am able to get through a minimum of 12 reps of each exercise, except for the double stop push up. Can't complete one double stop push up. And by "one" I'm not referring to "one set."No no, I can't do a single, proper push up.

Lesson Learned? Don’t let a long time between exercising discourage you, and especially don't let it stop you from getting out there. As soon as you get it done, you get to bask in a wonderful feeling of righteousness. And eat a croissant - or two - without TOO much guilt...

Day 14: Interval Training Day - The Importance of Great Running Tunes
Today I went for a 30-minute run along the Dorgodne River. (To read about my French travels, check out: ). It was a muggy, languid kind of day, and in order to leave the pool side I knew I needed a little extra help.

I purchased an app called ITGO- Interval Training Go (here for a review). I love this thing. You can choose how long you want to run, your warm up time, and how long you want your intervals to be. You pick songs (chosen directly from your ipod list) you want for your slow and fast intervals. The app tells you when to switch between intervals by automatically changing from your fast paced song to your slow paced ones (and vice versa) once your chosen interval time is up. In case that isn't clear enough, a guy also yells, "SLOW!" or "FAST!" at the beginning of your interval, which always makes me giggle a bit.

I'm a big believer in having fast paced tunes to get me moving during a run, and studies have shown music can actually increase workout performance. This app fit exactly what I was looking for. My day 14 run was dramatically better because of this little gadget.

Lesson Learned? Listen to music to get your butt moving, harder and longer! Remember to choose songs whose pace matches your desired running speed. Think fast, heavy beats like techno or heavy metal.

**What do you listen to when you run? I'm always looking for new music and I'd love for you to share some of your best running tunes!

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