Monday, 11 November 2013

Days 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 - Still on track!

All is still going to plan and I have managed to keep up with the routine, I have just struggled to find time to update my blog over the past few days!

I am also getting back into my healthy eating habits and really enjoying cooking with lots of fresh, organic and healthy vegetables :-)

Tomorrow I am scheduled to do the Pure Cardio workout, the toughest of them all and I am looking forward to it!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Day 21 - Early morning "Pure Cardio"!

I got up early again this morning and completed today's workout: Pure Cardio. This is probably the toughest workout for me with the Plyometric one coming in at a close second. However this morning I felt great and really did push myself to my limits. I am starting to really get used to the movements which I think is helping me with my form. I still have to stop and rest and the 'drills' are still very challenging; my arm strength, although better than when I started, its still my weakest area so I do find myself having to adapt the push-up type drill exercises...but I am getting better. 

The biggest area of focus for me now is my food intake and nutrition. I have started to use again to track what I am eating and drinking and I have started to cook myself some 'clean and lean' meals using mostly vegetables (from my Riverford Organic Food veg box that I get delivered each week). I am getting back into the nutritional routine that I was doing earlier in the year, when I lost quite a bit of weight. I hope to combine the benefits I got earlier in the year from healthy eating with my workout challenge so that when I have finished this challenge in December I will be in the best shape of my life! 

I have also sorted out my workout schedule so that I can catch up on the now two additional rest days that I have taken this week. So I am still scheduled to finish this superb challenge on the 18th December (41 days to go)!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Day 20 - Back into the workout saddle...

So this morning I got back into my early morning routine and did the Plyometric Cardio Circuits workout. It was tough (but it always is) but it felt good to be back working out. I just hope that I haven't lost too much fitness having had three rest days! Its my intention to catch up on the three lost days over the coming few weeks (e.g. I am not taking my scheduled rest day tomorrow) and then hopefully I can still finish the challenge on the 18th December. If I can't catch up fully then I will just add the remaining days to the end - either way I will finish the challenge just before Christmas!

42 days to go... (+ or - a couple of days!)

Monday, 4 November 2013

Day 17, 18 and 19 - Rest days

Due to being away for a few days this week (and hence having three enforced rest days) I feel ready to get back into my morning workout routine. Plyometric Cardio Circuits tomorrow :-)

Friday, 1 November 2013

Day 16 - Early morning Plyometric Cardio Circuits!

As we are going away for a few days, I got up early this morning and did my workout. Tough Plyometric Cardio Circuits! Even though I got up early I felt really ready for my workout this morning. Just great! Going to miss not doing anything tomorrow morning but looking forward to a few days away. I am hoping we can get some swimming in too whilst we are away. Then it will be catch up time when we get back! Still really enjoying this challenge :-)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Day 15 - Rest day

Rest day today and I really needed it as I felt quite tired and sluggish today, its probably because I did 7 days in a row instead of the 6...anyway I feel rested now and I'm raring to go tomorrow morning with my Plyometric Cardio Circuit :-)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Day 14 - It should have been a rest day but...

...I have had a change of plan! as we are going away for a couple of days this weekend I decided that it would be best to switch things around so that my rest days were at the weekend - 1) because it means that I don't have to struggle in a hotel room trying to find the space to do my workouts and 2) so that it doesn't interfere with my husband and daughters weekend too! So instead of resting this morning I was up bright and early again (this time with a little more ease!) and I did my second fit test. I must admit I was a little apprehensive as I wasn't sure that my fitness had improved enough to get better results this time around, however I was pleasantly surprised. I did better in ALL of the exercises, some better than others but all the same I am so pleased to see this progress and it has spurred me on to give even more in the weeks ahead :-)

In addition to the fit test I also took my measurements and as I thought no change at all really, other than I have lost an inch off of my waist (again progress! Yay!) and the scales, well...they gave the same reading as last time I got on them, so I am still 3lbs heavier than when I started the challenge but thankfully no more heavier than that! I have subsequently read in the nutritional guide that you shouldn't view progress in terms of the scales so I am trusting in this and that this is normal and what I should expect!  after all I must be doing something good if my fit test results are better and I have lost an inch off of my waist!!! 

My daughter also took some more photos, and although I haven't analysed them thoroughly, from an initial glance, it looks like my muscle tone in some places is a little better (especially around my core)! and although I am shy to share all the photos I am happy to share this one as I think it shows the most improvement made in the last two weeks! 

So for Halloween tomorrow, I will be doing the Plyometric Cardio Circuit - bring it on! :-)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Day 13 - Pure Cardio

I really struggled to get up early again today but forced myself as I knew that this morning was the only opportunity that I would get today to do a workout. I am struggling to sleep at the moment, I just think I have too much on my mind and I am therefore struggling to switch off when I go to bed. I'm hoping going to bed earlier and doing some relaxation/breathing exercises and some meditation prior to sleeping will help!

Anyway, as soon as I pressed play on the DVD and Shaun T started talking to me, I felt motivated and full of energy. Today's workout: Pure Cardio is really tough (I should stop saying this really as all of them are EXTREMELY tough apart from the 'Cardio Recovery' one!)...but I felt great this morning, I still had to take the occasional break but I am definitely getting stronger.

Tomorrow is my rest day and I am looking forward to it, although I may go to the gym and do a swim or go for a walk just to get some gentle exercise - nothing too strenuous. Also tomorrow I will take my measurements again, jump on the scales and also take some more photos to update my records. Then on Thursday its my second fit test! I don't think my measurements will have changed much or maybe not at all but I do think that I will see progress  in my fit test (fingers crossed!). At the beginning of the week I was slightly concerned about my weight going up by 3lbs so I am also hoping that the scales will be kinder when I weigh myself tomorrow!

...and only 49 days left...

Monday, 28 October 2013

Day 12 - Cardio Power & Resistance...and a few principles!

What a great workout this morning. Day 12, which was a full-on Cardio Power & Resistance session. It was tough getting up again today but once I did, I felt great. I pushed myself further this morning and I feel I am now starting to see signs of better strength, flexibility and I can definitely last longer before having to break. 

I still sometimes find it hard to get my co-ordination right on the movements but I am also getting better at this. I feel I am at least able to carry out the whole workout now with only the occasional few seconds break...its all stepping stones in the right direction!

Today I have also started taking a whey protein drink after my workout to aid in recovery and maintenance of lean muscle. Although after taking this I couldn't face any breakfast as the protein drink is really quite filling.

In addition to this, today I have decided I am going to go back to recording all of my food intake in MyFitnessPal. I did this a few months back and it really helped me to track how many calories I was consuming and also enabled me to lose weight - for me its all about getting into a routine and taking control of my diet.  I am determined to get the most out of this challenge and it feels like now is the right time to make this additional step on the nutrition front. 

To help me focus fully as the weeks progress I have also come up with a handful of principles that I intend to follow and that will hopefully ensure that I do really get the best out of the next couple of months. My core principles are as follows:

1. I am not going to drink any alcohol (except on special occasions, e.g. I have my Birthday in November so I will allow myself a glass of wine or two then!)

2. I am going to aim to do most of my workouts in the morning (early, before the 'real' day begins). However, I appreciate that on some odd days here and there (e.g. when I have got to take my mum to the airport in a couple of weeks time at 4am - that I may have to do the workout in the evening!)

3. I am going to track all of my food intake and calories consumed throughout the remainder of my challenge in MyFitnessPal - aiming to not exceed 1200 calories a day

4. I am going to aim to eat smaller portions in all of my meals and try to eat more often (5/6 times a day)

5. I am going to eat healthy, nutritious food that will fuel my body properly for the workouts that I am doing

6. I am going to aim to drink lots more water (at least 10 cups a day)

7. I am going to spend 5/10 minutes every night before I go to sleep relaxing and/or meditating

That's it for now - I may add to these as the weeks progress!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Day 11 - Cardio Recovery

I really struggled to get myself going this morning but thankfully I managed it in the end! and I am so pleased I did as I did a really good 'Cardio Recovery' session - this routine is a lot easier than the other ones as its more like pilates and yoga and there's lots of stretching and slow movements. I really needed this 'recovery' day today as I am feeling quite tired. I think its a combination of the hard workouts this week so far and a busy life in general...but I'm sticking at it and still feeling very positive about the whole challenge!

Think I will need an early night tonight as its Cardio Power & Resistance tomorrow! :-)

...and have you seen the countdown, only 51 more days to go!...

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Day 10 - Plyometric Cardio Circuit

I gave myself a little lie in this morning, so I did my workout at 8am instead of my normal 5:30/6am. All the workouts are tough but this one and the Pure Cardio one are the two hardest ones for me. However, this morning I felt good, it was still extremely hard and I had to take rest breaks but I felt I could dig deeper this morning, much deeper than I have been able to do on this workout before! Really pleased to have reached day 10. Only 50 days (well 53!) to go! Feeling good :-)

Friday, 25 October 2013

Day 9 - Pure Cardio!

I'm back to my early morning routine! Somehow it suits me better to get my workout completed before the 'real' day has begun. Thankfully too my stomach problems from yesterday seem to have completely there was nothing to hamper me this morning and I did a really good workout. It was extremely tough (EXTREMELY TOUGH!) this morning but I know I am pushing myself even harder this week. I am also feeling more confident in the stretching and I am seeing progress as I am able to stretch further than I could on day one. There is still a lot of room for improvement but the main thing is I am seeing progress. I am also still struggling with the push-up drills but I am at least attempting them and when it gets too much I am adapting them so that I have bent knees (the main thing is I keep going!). I'm sure I will get there and eventually I will be able to complete the workout in full but at least I can do a handful of press-ups in one go now instead of just one and then collapsing in a heap! :-)

Tomorrow its the Plyometric Cardio Circuit...bring it on!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Day 8 - Cardio Power & Resistance...(the start of week 2!)

As usual I got up early, at 5:45am this morning and started my routine, however I had to stop after a couple of minutes as I had terrible stomach ache. I tried a few times to resume the workout but the ache wouldn't go (it wasn't muscular or a strain but like aches you get when you have an upset tummy)... I decided to leave it but with the hope of carrying out the workout later on in the day when hopefully my stomach would be feeling better.

I am pleased to report as the day progressed I started to feel better and I felt completely back to normal by the time I got home from work at 4:45pm. So before I did anything else, I got changed and completed today's workout: Cardio Power & Resistance - wow, really, really, really hard work! I did have to take the occasional break but I got through it and I am so pleased as I was slightly worried this morning that I would have to miss the session. So, day 1 of week 2 now successfully completed!

Looking forward to tomorrow's early morning session of Pure Cardio!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Day 7 – Rest day and week 1 round up

I have had a great first week doing the Insanity workout. Six consecutive days of full-on high intensity exercise – just great!

This morning when the alarm went off it felt strange not getting myself sorted for another 40 minutes of tough exercising but I must admit I am quite grateful for the rest today. I think my body is getting used to the new movements and I certainly don’t ache as much now as I did after days 1 and 2….but I think it will do me good to rest today to recharge my batteries and if nothing else having a day off will probably inspire me to push myself even harder when I am back at it tomorrow morning!

The only strange thing is that I seem to have put weight on (I know…I wasn’t going to get on the scales until day 15 and my second fit test but I just couldn’t resist seeing if there had been any change) – well to my surprise I am now 3lbs heavier than I was when I started! I am not panicking just yet as I don’t feel heavier, if anything I am starting to feel more toned and lean, so maybe this is something to expect whilst my body settles into the workout properly?? muscle weighing heavier than fat and all that?? Anyway, it has spurred me on in terms of being even stricter with my diet from now on!

Tomorrow I am doing the Cardio Power & Resistance workout - so I am looking forward to that. This was tough when I did it last Saturday so this is definitely a good one to start off my second week! 

The following shows my schedule for the whole of the first month.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Day 6 - Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Today I did my final workout for week 1 and it was the Plyometric Cardio Circuit routine. This was the same routine that I did last Friday (Day 2) and although it was still an extremely hard session I felt that I managed to complete more than I did when I did it on Day 2. I still had to take some rest breaks but not as many and I think that my form is definitely getting better and my core is getting stronger. I am still having trouble with the press-up based drills but today I did at least manage a few more than last time. So progress is evident and this is all that matters to me. Generally I feel that this week has given me the foundation I need to carry on with the full programme. I am really enjoying it and already feel that my body is starting to tone up. I am excited thinking about what I will be like when the programme is finished given how much better I feel after just week 1!

I am also pleased to report that the ache/pain in my left inner thigh seems to have gone and wasn't an issue at all in my workout this morning. I am getting better at the stretches although I am still a long way off being as flexible as I need to be, so more work is needed here!

In addition to this, next week I also need to focus more on my nutrition. I have a fairly healthy diet but there is definitely still room for improvement!

...think I will invest in some cross trainers too in preparation for week 2 as my old running shoes are OK but I really think I could do with something more supportive...

P.S. I have worked out that my 60 days (well its actually 63!) finishes on Wednesday 18th December, so this is great as it means that I will have my new healthy, fit and lean body in time for Christmas :-)

Week 1's schedule so far (my tick list!):
Thursday (17/10/13): Fit Test 1 - COMPLETE
Friday (18/10/13): Plyometric Cardio Circuit - COMPLETE
Saturday (19/10/13): Cardio Power & Resistance -COMPLETE
Sunday (20/10/13): Cardio Recovery - COMPLETE
Monday (21/10/13): Pure Cardio - COMPLETE
Tuesday (22/10/13): Plyometric Cardio Circuit - COMPLETE
Wednesday (23/10/13): Rest day 

Monday, 21 October 2013

Day 5 - Pure Cardio

Wow, what a great start to the week - an early morning 'Insanity - Pure Cardio' session!

I am also starting to find getting up earlier is easier than it was when I started this programme last week. Getting a fantastic exercise session completed whilst others are still asleep does feel good. It makes me feel that I have really achieved something before the true day has started and I am therefore ahead of the game! 

Today's session was hard, I had to take quite a few breaks and the pace seemed to be amazingly fast at points but I stuck at it and finished it feeling like I had done an OK job. I did have a concern that whilst stretching I had perhaps pulled the muscle in my left inner thigh as it was aching and a little painful, however as I continued with the drills the pain subsided and I am now just left with a minor ache, so not too concerned as I have aches all over! - this I knew would be the case this week and probably next week whilst my body adapts to the new moves that it is being asked to do. I will however be keeping an eye on this 'twinge' as I don't want anything to stop me from completing this 60 day programme. 

Tomorrow is my final day of the first week and it will be another 'Plyometric Cardio Circuit' session. 

Week 1's schedule so far (my tick list!):
Thursday (17/10/13): Fit Test 1 - COMPLETE
Friday (18/10/13): Plyometric Cardio Circuit - COMPLETE
Saturday (19/10/13): Cardio Power & Resistance -COMPLETE
Sunday (20/10/13): Cardio Recovery - COMPLETE
Monday (21/10/13): Pure Cardio - COMPLETE
Tuesday (22/10/13): Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Wednesday (23/10/13): Rest day 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Day 4 - Cardio Recovry

Another session completed for the week (and as I write this its still only 8:10am!), loving these early morning routines and feeling really good with my progress so far. Today's session was a recovery session, so no cardio at all just stretching and's session was more like a pilates or yoga class and was great! I really need these sorts of sessions mixed up with the cardio to improve my flexibility. One thing I noticed today is that my balance really isn't very good. I am better balancing on my left leg than my right - hopefully as my core strengthens my balance will improve too.

Back to a high intensity session tomorrow - bring it on! :-)

Week 1's schedule so far (my tick list!):
Thursday (17/10/13): Fit Test 1 - COMPLETE
Friday (18/10/13): Plyometric Cardio Circuit - COMPLETE
Saturday (19/10/13): Cardio Power & Resistance -COMPLETE
Sunday (20/10/13): Cardio Recovery - COMPLETE
Monday (21/10/13): Pure Cardio
Tuesday (22/10/13): Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Wednesday (23/10/13): Rest day 

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Day 3 - Cardio Power and Resistance

Day three completed by 7:45am this morning and it most certain is the hardest day yet...possibly a combination of aches and my lack of sleep! However having said that I still really enjoyed it and managed to keep up most of the time and certainly raised my heart beat sufficiently to have gained some fitness benefits! I am finding that my lack of coordination does mean I get behind from the start as I am constantly trying to understand the movements. However, in general this element is getting better and I managed more than one press up in one of the exercises today so that really is progress! Still enjoying it and really looking forward to tomorrow's session. I am still determined to get the most out of this 60 day challenge!

Week 1's schedule so far (my tick list!):
Thursday (17/10/13): Fit Test 1 - COMPLETE
Friday (18/10/13): Plyometric Cardio Circuit - COMPLETE
Saturday (19/10/13): Cardio Power & Resistance - COMPLETE
Sunday (20/10/13): Cardio Recovery
Monday (21/10/13): Pure Cardio
Tuesday (22/10/13): Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Wednesday (23/10/13): Rest day 

Friday, 18 October 2013

Day 2 - Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Another day completed! and today it was the Plyometric Cardio Circuit...

I completed this session early this morning again (6:15am)- I am trying to get into a early morning routine for these sessions as I think on most days this will be the best time for me to be able to complete them. I am just hoping that the more I start to get up early the easier it will be

...doing exercise at this time in the morning certainly sets me up better for the day ahead.

When I got out of bed I could feel some aches, which shows that I did work hard during the fit test yesterday. The aches were not painful but just enough to be encouraging that what I did yesterday has done something (in a positive way!), and thankfully it wasn't bad enough to impede today's session. I am just hoping that I can keep on top of the 'aches' as the week progresses as I am sure that they will get worse this week whilst my body and muscles adapt to new exercises and movements.

Today's session was again hard (really hard at times) but I assumed as much, I have a feeling that all the sessions will be the same and for me that's good as I like to be challenged and this is certainly doing that. Even the warm up had me sweating buckets and I had to open the windows half way through to get some air into the room!

The session itself was very fast paced (40 minutes in total, including a 5 minute warm up and a 5 minute warm down and some great stretching). It took me a few minutes to get used to the exercises and especially to get coordinated but after a few minutes I had got the hang of it and I was fully in the swing of the programme. The exercises that I have the most trouble with are those that require me to do press ups, I literally cannot do a press up, well I can manage one but that's it!, so I know that this is a weak area for me and something for me to work on. 

Anyway, still feeling very motivated and really enjoying it...looking forward to tomorrow's Cardio Power & Resistance session!

Week 1's schedule so far (my tick list!):

Thursday (17/10/13): Fit Test 1 - COMPLETE
Friday (18/10/13): Plyometric Cardio Circuit - COMPLETE
Saturday (19/10/13): Cardio Power & Resistance
Sunday (20/10/13): Cardio Recovery
Monday (21/10/13): Pure Cardio
Tuesday (22/10/13): Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Wednesday (23/10/13): Rest day 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Day 1 - Preparing and the Fit Test!

Today I started on a new exercise journey. It’s a journey that I am viewing with both excitement and apprehension in the same measures. I have read up on the programme, read various other blogs on the subject and have a friend in America who often posts about it on Facebook. The programme is apparently the best-selling home workout programme in America! Its described as ‘not for the faint hearted’ but for those ‘that will put extreme effort in to every session to get the results that they desire’. I therefore think that the programme, which is called ‘Insanity’ is appropriately named! 

The programme is a 60 day intensive workout where you work on various exercises using only your own body weight (no other equipment required) and you commit to doing the scheduled routines 6 days a week. At the start of the programme (Day 1) you have to undertake a ‘Fit Test’ and then retake this test every two weeks to see what progress you are making. The main theme running through the introductory materials that I have read/viewed is that if you work hard (to your max) and put the effort in doing more than you possibly thought you could then you will be guaranteed to see results within 60 days….so with this in mind, and all the other research I have done, my appetite has been whetted enough to take this challenge on! I am someone who likes intensive training, I get a buzz from it so I am hoping that my personality will suit the programme; time will tell!

Last night I got myself prepared, I made a note of my starting weight and measurements and then took my ‘before photos’ – I hasten to add these photos will never be seen by anyone else other me, however they have given me even more determination to get myself in shape and get really, really fit again. 

So, today is day one, so I got up at 6:30am this morning, and embarked on the first session: The Fit Test!

The fit test comprises of a series of exercises (8 in total), and you are given 1 minute to do each exercise and during these time your aim is to do as many as you can. Making sure that you are always aware of form and stopping and restarting as many times as you need to. When the minute is up you jot down how many you did and then its on to the next one....

Anyway, I was OK this morning – I would be lying if I said it was easy, it was far from easy and I certainly had to dig deep on occasions to keep going. I did stop every now and then but that is OK and at least now I have a starting point on which to work from. The results of my first fit test are as follows: 

Total completed in 1 minute
Switch kicks
Power jacks
Power knees
Power jumps
Globe jumps
Suicide jumps
Push-up jacks
Low plank oblique

I consider myself relatively ‘cardio’ fit with the other exercise I do each week (namely running, walking and cardio work in the gym) but for me today this was a completely new way of exercising and it was incredibly hard and I know that it is going to be a challenge to complete the full 60 days but I am going to give it all I have.

Here are my sessions for the whole of week one:

Thursday (17/10/13): Fit Test 1 - COMPLETE
Friday (18/10/13): Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Saturday (19/10/13): Cardio Power & Resistance
Sunday (20/10/13): Cardio Recovery
Monday (21/10/13): Pure Cardio
Tuesday (22/10/13): Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Wednesday 23/10/13): Rest day 

Looking forward to Week 1, Session 2 tomorrow: Plyometric Cardio Circuits!