You know that kind of sick where you can’t even move? That’s the kind of sick I’ve been for the last few weeks. Luckily, it was not Covid-19 but it really through me off any semblance of a schedule or plan I may have had in every part of my life!
I knew if I wanted to get better, I was going to have to respect what my body was telling me so I didn’t work out and I slept a lot. When I wasn’t sleeping I was resting. I even called in sick to work one day, which I never do! I also took about 2 1/2 weeks off of any kind of exercise. No yoga, no walks, and definitely no lifting!
When I was ready to go back, I took it easy on myself. I did a few days of restorative yoga, then a little bit more energetic yoga, and finally fit in a 20 minute strength workout yesterday. I think by next week, I’ll be back on my normal schedule, which I’m very excited about! You really have to respect what your body tells you when you’re sick or injured, otherwise you’ll end up just making your rest period all the more longer. You aren’t going to gain a bunch of weight and you’re not going to lose a tremendous amount of your fitness level if you allow your body to rest and heal.
While I was resting, I got a new cookbook with lots of macro-balanced recipes and I’ve already started testing them. Stay tuned for the results, including the protein brownies that are in the oven right now!
I was in the middle of an Apple Fitness workout the other day (review coming soon) and I realized my focus kept returning to the countdown timer that showed how much longer I had left in the workout and it was really distracting.
That got me thinking. Why was I so focused on how much time I had left instead of celebrating everything I had done? I could say it went deeper than just the workout. I stopped my workout and changed the way you see metrics on Apple Fitness so it now shows the time elapsed, not the time remaining. This little change has allowed me to be more present in my workouts, especially yoga.
It’s true for life too. Do you think as you get older that you are running out of time to accomplish that bucket list while forgetting all the things you’ve already checked off? So let’s start counting up instead of down.
To experience Camp Gladiator yourself, I have 2 referral codes for four weeks free. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the code!
Initially when I heard about Camp Gladiator from a friend, it was pre-pandemic and they were going to a public park in town and doing what I thought was a boot camp that had you running around like crazy. It wasn’t until I met a trainer, Lauren, who eventually become my trainer, that I really grew to understand and like it!
CG is a four-week fitness program led by Certified Personal Trainers, where every workout is different. Each “Camp” is a 60 minute, full-body workout incorporating both cardio and strength exercises. While they still have outdoor workouts (which are following Covid safety rules), I still prefer the virtual workouts.
The great thing about virtual workouts is that you can literally hope on a workout at any time of day. There are multiple workouts with trainers across the country starting every 15 minutes and they are done via the Zoom platform. I haven’t done an in person workout so I can speak to have but if you like group workouts and the camaraderie that goes along with it, you will probably like Camp Galdiator. You trainer will have set days and times but you aren’t restricted to your personal trainer. The convenience of having a live class when it’s convenient for you is not something I’ve seen in other virtual fitness firms.
What to expect? CG is based on a 4 week camp broken down by weeks: Endurance, Strength & Agility, Interval and Peak Week. It all ends with community week and then begins again. It’s a combination of strength and cardio. Each class is live so that means each workout is different. These workouts will make you sweat. My typical calorie burn for the hour is somewhere between 400-600 calories depending on my input and the workout itself.
You have a trainer who learns your fitness goals and helps you plan to meet them. Lauren sends text messages on what to expect and touches base for accountability. Lauren always offered multiple modifications on the exercises as well so it may be a tough workout, but it’s really meant for all levels of fitness.
Part of the fun is earning points for checking that you can use on equipment and other gear or clothes. They also run discounts on gear so I was finally able to get 20 pound weights for a really good price. The cost of the program is very reasonable and they run specials frequently. You can also get a referral code from a current camper or coach for more savings.
I love walking. Enjoying the outdoors, walking the dogs, window shopping. Walking is also very accessible. There’s a reason why there are so many fitness trackers that encourage 10,000 steps per day. It also doesn’t involve many accessories. If you have a comfortable pair of shoes, you are good to go.
When we lived in a building downtown, I walked everywhere. I estimate I could walk upwards of 5 miles or more each day. I walked the dogs around Lake Eola each morning, walked my daughter to her preschool, then walked across downtown to my office building. There were several months where I was walking to her school for lunch. We walked to the grocery store on the other side of the lake, we walked to dinner, we walked to the park and playground. We walked everywhere! That was definitely the least I have weighed since I hit my 40s.
Once we moved to the suburbs, I would still walk my daughter to school but the 7 block walk fell to 1 block. The daily 1 mile dog walk around the lake was 1/2 a mile around the neighborhood (and sometimes not even that since we could just let them out in the backyard). I had to drive to the grocery store and to my office. My daily movement dropped drastically, even with other exercise programs!
I still prefer to walk over driving when I can. When I am visiting my client law firms downtown, I often park and walk from building to building. I’ve even worn through the bottom of my shoes! I love vacations to places like New York City or Las Vegas that encourage a lot of walking. I also love to spend the day at Disney with friends, walking a ton!
There are also many health benefits to walking, aside from the obvious weight loss. The Mayo Clinic says that walking can lower your blood pressure and your blood glucose levels, can lower your stress levels, can improve your memory and cognitive functions. Walking can be part of your self-care routine as well.
This is also a very pandemic-friendly exercise and can be done by just walking out the door. So try and add this great exercise into your routine!
My last post detailed my annual tradition of setting goals versus resolutions. Part of this process is reviewing past goals. As I started this ritual, I realized I couldn’t do this year like I had in the past.
I decided to take this year month by month. I think especially since the status of the world seems to change so much week to week, this will make things more realistic.
I’m excited for 2021. In January, I’ll be sharing all the stuff I’m doing, including Dry January, my first Diet Bet, my 21 Day Ultimate Reset and how I’m doing with my new workout program.
A time honored tradition as each year closes is to make New Year’s resolutions, usually containing things like “lose weight” or “make more money” but do they really do anything to help us improve our lives?
I don’t make resolutions but I do a review of the year and set goals for myself for the new year. How is that different? Resolutions are so much about pass/fail. Goals also include an action plan and progress towards obtaining those goals are a success!
In 1996 (I know, that’s crazy) I started a Dream Book. In it, I wrote out my values and then set goals for each year. Now, have I been perfect for the last 25 years? No, but I do review past years and craft my goals for the upcoming year. There were a few years I skipped (hey, it’s been 25 years!) I think about things I want to accomplish personally, family wise, professionally, and physically. I also started the book with a list of “life goals” which I still work towards.
Reviewing last year was interesting as so many goals were impacted by the pandemic. However, others goals appeared that I wasn’t expecting! I review goals periodically throughout the year and make changes as necessary.
I’m excited to set this year’s goals. I’m turning 50 (I know, I can hardly believe it myself) and I think this year will be an amazing year! What are some goals you have for 2021?
Working my way through the Beachbody on Demand catalog, I wanted to mix up my usual workout selection. I felt like I had hit a plateau with what I had been doing and I needed something to give myself a kickstart. I decided to do Joel Freeman‘s boxing workout 10 Rounds. 10 rounds is a six week program consisting of five days a week, three days of boxing and agility and two days of weight lifting.
The workouts range from 30 to 40 minutes but don’t include a cool down or stretching at the end. (There are videos included in the program that you can watch afterwards for a cool down but I just cooled down and stretched on my own.) The boxing and agility were the longer ones and clocked in at about 40 minutes. One day of lower body and one day of upper body weightlifting usually was around 28 minutes, so a very quick workout. The way Joel structures the program is that you can work out any five days of the week and rest the other two of your choosing but just to do the workouts in the order specified. Another cool thing about this program is that it was done in real time and the cast went to a different city every week so it was really interesting to see where they would be.
When I first started this program, I felt pretty clumsy and uncoordinated, and this is coming from someone who used to routinely have to follow choreography for dance teams and cheerleading. After the first couple of agility workouts, I did get used to it more and then the soreness the following day really made me realize how hard you were working out! I loved the lifting workouts because they weren’t multiple sets that were very repetitive. It was a really fun way to get that workout in and I’ve actually incorporated those lifting workout into other weeks where I’m doing something different.
Results wise, it was pretty shocking! While my overall weight didn’t change anything dramatically the amount of inches that my body changed was crazy! My biceps are actually bigger and more defined and my legs are smaller, leaner and definitely stronger. Overall, I enjoyed this program because I got very good results in a short period of time and it’s just added on to my goals of being stronger and leaner.
You can access this program in the Beachbody on Demand workout catalog. Joel also incorporates this program into some of his hybrid calendars that you can get from following him on Instagram. I will probably do the hybrid of this and Liift 4 sometime in the spring.
Losing weight is always a tricky thing. Our bodies change as we age, exercise, gain and lose weight. One person’s 150 is another person’s 130. It may also be difficult to choose a “goal weight” because you may not have weighed that amount in a decade or more so how do you know if that is an appropriate weight for your current self.
So how can you tell if you are being successful on your journey to slim down? I have several non-scale ways of monitoring my progress.
1. Am I getting stronger or is my endurance changing? The thing I like about doing the same workout programs is I can really gage my progress. If I started out doing 10 pound goblet squats and I’m now doing the same exercise with 30 pounds, I am definitely stronger. If you can make it through a tough cardio workout without pausing, that’s a great sign too. If you are a running, adding distance or dropping your minutes per mile shows progress. These are great non-scale victories.
2. Are you clothes fitting differently? This is a great gage for me. I even have a pair of mint green jeans I am looking forward to fitting into! When I can wear those comfortably again, I know I will have hit my goal! Other clothes begin to get baggy and maybe need to be given away. Be realistic though. If you have been working out a lot, your clothes may fit differently and some may never fit the same as they did before. That’s not a bad thing! Athletic women know the pain of finding pants that can fit right!
3. Do you feel better? If you have more energy, are sleeping better and are less bloated, that is great progress. Honestly, I would rather take all of those than a random number on a scale.
What are some of your non scale methods of tracking progress?
I wasn’t going to review another Autumn Calabrese workout this soon but I just finished 21 Day Fix Extreme and I had to get my thoughts down while they were fresh. This was a really tough program for me but it was also a fun challenge to see how hard I could push myself and what I could accomplish!
I did 21 Day Fix (Real Time) and 21 Day Fix Extreme (Real Time) back to back so I really did a 42 Day program. 21 Day Fix Extreme is similar to 21 Day Fix in that it progresses in difficulty each week but is also very different in difficulty and complexity. It is definitely an advanced program. For example, most moves are compound (squat to shoulder press) and your plyo and cardio moves are done with weights. There are a lot of 30 second holds and plyo jumps. By week 3, your burpees are really two shuffle steps with a weight, the burpee and then a plyo jump with the weight! I have see this program advertised for fitness competitors to follow to prepare for competition.
As a note, I have never done the original 21 Day Fix Extreme, which I believe is 7 workouts that you repeat for 3 weeks. It is available on the BOD library but I like the Real Time programs as they offer a unique workout each day and they have the weekly progression.
I loved and hated this workout all in one. It pushed me but it also caused pain and soreness like I haven’t felt in a while. There were many workouts where I was checking the clock to see how much longer I had to do it! The Pilates with the workout band was so awkward and difficult, I really didn’t enjoy it at all. On the flip side, I loved the upper body workout, which is usually not my favorite, and the yoga pushed me and stretched me like no other! I finally nailed crow pose!
Bottom line, I really got results. Doing these two programs back to back shaved 10 inches off my body and I am fitting into clothes that have been in the back of my closet for a while. I am sure I will do this program again but it won’t be in the near future!
As I write this, I just finished my first workout in two days. I planned to take Sunday as a rest day but when Monday came around, I listened to my body and knew I needed an extra one.
Rest days are important. They help heal your body from the strain you put it through during your workouts. Sometimes you also need the mental break from working out. Whatever the reason, no one ever lost all their fitness or weight loss from taking a rest day here and there. Could I have forced myself into my gym yesterday? Probably, but that extra day of rest allowed me to tackle the workout today with heavier weights and more energy.
Even an active rest day can be beneficial. Taking a walk or a bike ride, doing yoga or swimming in the pool; these are all great active rest days that allow you to physically and mentally take a break. You can even stretch or foam roll!