Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fitness Challenge: Days 15 - 21

Day 15: Program Day - %?$% Push-ups…
So its right around the 2 week mark and I'm beginning to see some real improvement! I can get through full reps (15) and sets (3) of each of my exercises, and I am even starting to really focus on doing them PROPERLY, not just doing them! What a great feeling.
I lied. I still cant do a the double stop push up. I HATE so-called ‘girl push ups’ but have decided to do them for a week and see if I can work on getting a real push up or two under my belt.

Day 16: Interval Training DayYet another reason to love coffee
Another lazy day in France. I read online caffeine may help improve stamina during a work out. So naturally, this morning I had two delicious espressos at a café in town (to go with my two croissants) and took off for my run. I'm not sure if it was the coffee, a culmination of the runs Ive been doing, or purely mental, but my cardio has improved drastically!
My interval run: 1 minute sprint (about 85%) alternated with a 2 minute jog (60%) for 20 minutes. Not bad!

Lesson Learned? Improve your workouts by having a caffeinated drink before your workout- coffee and green tea both work!

Day 17-18: Program Day and Interval Training - Keep on keepin on!
I love that first day working out goes from being a chore to something you enjoy! Such a fantastic feeling! This is what staying in shape is all about: Looking forward to running around outside!

Day 19: Rest Day
My family is going to the town of St. Emilion to do the tourist thing and pick up some bottles of wine for our wine blind taste test.

Day 20: Interval Training DayI should call this post-hangover day
Today should have been a program day, but I am a runner at heart, so when I feel crappy the best thing I can do is run. Running is also a MAGIC hangover cure! Why?

I have this theory: You can have an amazing workout the day after a night out drinking. How is this possible you say? All the alcohol you consumed turns to sugar while you sleep, which gives you tons of extra energy to use up when you're working out!

**Please note, I have no idea if this theory is medically valid… but I'm more likely to go running while Im hungover if I believe it is!
I went for a great run and came back to lie by the pool guilt-free for the rest of the day.

Lesson learned? If you find something that motivates you to work out, exploit it to its fullest!

Day 21: Program Day – How to do a push-up!
Today I had an epiphany about the program. It's great while you're travelling or if you don’t have a lot of props, but after 3 weeks I am beginning to get a little bored of it. I can feel myself starting to crave the bosu ball, free weights, and a bit of a harder workout in general.
On the upside, today I was able to get through 8 REAL push ups! Heres some tips on how to do a proper pushup:
  • Proper form is key! – arms shoulder width apart, keep your eyes straight at the ground (don’t look down to your feet or tilt your head to look up)
  • Don’t arch your back – this is a problem a lot of girls have, myself included. Keep your pelvis tilted flat. If you have pain in your lower back, its probably because its over extended. Try shifting your pelvis, tighten your abs, and keep that back flat.
  • The wider apart your feet, the easier its going to be!
  • Use your arms! – this seems intuitive, but I think this was the major problem I came across. Rather than using my arms, shoulders, and back to lower my body, I was trying to lower my body WITHOUT using those muscles. (Try and figure out how that one works, no wonder I failed)
I also noticed that as my push ups improved, I found the bird dog exercise  has become significantly easier as well.  Push ups employ multiple different muscles, including your abs (which are essential for the balancing you do when executing the bird dog exercise).  I'm happy to see my commitment to learning how to do a push up has helped me with the other exercises!

Lesson Learned: Don't get discouraged if you can't do an exercise right off the bat. See if there is an easier version of that exercise and start there.

No comments:

Post a Comment