H&C Challenge – Weeks 6 & 7

Week 6 Statistics (Ending 02/16/16)

  • Weight:  ? pounds
  • Body Fat %:  ?%
  • Time Spent Being Active (>= 6 hours): 5 Hours 38 Minutes
    • Miles Run:  13.17 Miles
    • Number of Runs (>=3 runs a week):  3 Runs
  • Days within Calorie Goals per MFP (1390): 6 days
  • Exercise: 
    • Wednesday – Ran 5.05 miles in 50:00; Walked 0.40 miles in 5:50; Hammer Conditioning (30:00); 10 Hammer Abs (12:00); 7-Day Arms/Back Challenge (7DABC) (11:00)
    • Thursday – Chisel Cardio (38:00); 1/2 of Chisel Endurance (16:00); 7DABC (5:00); 10 Ab Chisel (10:00); Ran 3.03 miles in 32:00; Ran 0.34 in 5:00
    • Friday – Hammer Power (38:00)
    • Saturday – Rest- SICK
    • Sunday – Rest – SICK
    • Monday – Total Body Chisel (35:00); 7DABC (7:00), Ran 4.0 miles in 38:19; Walked 0.35 miles in 5:16
    • Tuesday – Rest
  • Notes: 
    • Not a good week – I’m burned out.  More on that later.
  • The Week’s Workouts:

Week 6

Week 7 Statistics (Ending 02/23/16)

  • Weight:  141.8 pounds
  • Body Fat %:  21.4%
  • Time Spent Being Active (>= 6 hours): 6 Hours 27 Minutes
    • Miles Run:  20.27 Miles
    • Number of Runs (>=3 runs a week):  5 Runs
  • Days within Calorie Goals per MFP (1390): 6 days
  • Exercise: 
    • Wednesday – Ran 3.1 miles in 27:46; ISO Strength Chisel (35:00); 10 Ab Hammer (12:00)
    • Thursday – Ran 3.0 miles in 29:45: Walked 0.35 miles in 5:12; ISO Speed Hammer (24:00); 21DFX Yoga (10:00)
    • Friday – Rest
    • Saturday – Ran 5.14 miles in 49:33; Ran 1.01 miles in 10:16
    • Sunday – Ran 3.10 miles in 26:52; Walked 0.56 in 12:00; Hammer Abs (13:00)
    • Monday – Chisel Endurance (36:00); 10 Ab Chisel (12:00)
    • Tuesday – Ran 3.0 miles in 28:13; Ran 1.01 miles in 8:07!; Max Hammer Strength (36:00); 10 Ab Hammer (12:00)
  • Notes: 
    • I am adding a +1 week at the end to make up all of the skipped H&C workouts from my week of burn-out (overlap between weeks 6 and 7)
    • From this Sunday on, I hope to do ab work every single day until 3/8
    • I’ve modified my plan for the next fitness period that I’ll be tracking to be more realistic with my abilities to do both weights and ramp up my running
  • Pictures of the Week:
Bryson and I went for a run today, first one in months! I wasn't sure if he'd still tolerate it, but he loved it! So there we were, pretty far from home and about to turn 3.5 miles and shooting for a total of 5 so I took a little park access road back, thinking it hooked back into the trail. It didn't. We ended up at the end of the road with a creek between us and the trail. Hmmm... Not about to tack on an additional 1+ miles by going back, I decided to all-terrain it across the TINY creek with Bryson in the BOB. I got him across but the front wheel started sinking into the mud, and I was attached to the stroller with the wrist strap and could not get leverage to hop across. I fell into the creek and the stroller turned completely over, with Bryson upside down in the mud! He was unfazed and we got upright again, but we were covered in mud! I grabbed my phone, brushed myself off, laughed with a gal who watched the whole thing, and headed home. 6.15 miles later, I strolled up our sidewalk and... No house key. It fell into the creek. So, we hopped in the car (hubs was in the driveway on his way out) and drove back to that damn access road and retrieved the key and my rape whistle. Three things were confirmed with this experience: 1) I can laugh anything off as long as the sun is shining, 2) I NEVER lose anything and 3) my kid is the most tolerant running buddy EVER!
Bryson and I went for a run together on Saturday, first one in months! I wasn’t sure if he’d still tolerate it, but he loved it! So there we were, pretty far from home and about to turn 3.5 miles and shooting for a total of 5 so I took a little park access road back, thinking it hooked back into the trail. It didn’t. We ended up at the end of the road with a creek between us and the trail. Hmmm… Not about to tack on an additional 1+ miles by going back, I decided to all-terrain it across the TINY creek with Bryson in the BOB. I got him across but the front wheel started sinking into the mud, and I was attached to the stroller with the wrist strap and could not get leverage to hop across. I fell into the creek and the stroller turned completely over, with Bryson upside down in the mud! He was unfazed and we got upright again, but we were covered in mud! I grabbed my phone, brushed myself off, laughed with a gal who watched the whole thing, and headed home. 6.15 miles later, I strolled up our sidewalk and… No house key. It fell into the creek. So, we hopped in the car (hubs was in the driveway on his way out) and drove back to that damn access road and retrieved the key and my rape whistle. Three things were confirmed with this experience: 1) I can laugh anything off as long as the sun is shining, 2) I NEVER lose anything and 3) my kid is the most tolerant running buddy EVER!
I am exhausted behind my own belief, and the kids are in quiet time/napping, and I really just wanted to sit around and think about how tired I am. Yes, pity party over here. But that's not a good use of time so I laced up my runners and hit the pavement. Fastest 5k time of my entire existence! I guess it's time to start really thinking about upping my speed! Sub 27:00 - my goal for years and it wasn't even a race day!
I was exhausted beyond my own belief on Sunday, and the kids were in quiet time/napping, and I really just wanted to sit around and think about how tired I was. Yes, pity party over here. But that’s not a good use of time so I laced up my runners and hit the pavement. Fastest 5k time of my entire existence! Sub 27:00 – my goal for years and it wasn’t even a race day!
  • The Week’s Workouts:

2 23 spread

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H&C Challenge – Week 5

Week 5 Statistics (Ending 02/09/16)

  • Weight:  144 pounds
  • Body Fat %:  21.8%
  • Time Spent Being Active (>= 6 hours): 4 Hours 57 Minutes
    • Miles Run:  10.85 Miles
    • Number of Runs (>=3 runs a week):  3 Runs
  • Days within Calorie Goals per MFP (1390): 5 days
  • Exercise: 
    • Wednesday – Chisel Balance (40:00); Ran 3.3 miles in 32:26; Walked 0.20 miles in 3:00
    • Thursday – PiYo Sweat (37:00)
    • Friday – Ran 3.5 miles in 35:14; Walked 0.65 miles in 10:00; ISO Speed Hammer (23:00); 10 Ab Hammer (11:00)
    • Saturday – 10 Ab Hammer (11:00); 10 Ab Chisel (10:00)
    • Sunday – REST
    • Monday – Ran 3.0 miles in 29:17; Walked 0.2 miles in 3:00; Total Body Hammer (42:00); 10 Ab Hammer (11:00)
    • Tuesday – REST (again)
  • Notes: 
    • Getting more serious about nutrition this week
    • I am changing where I take my close-up front and side photos – the closet has better lighting to see abdominal muscles, something I never thought would be important to me (because I never had them!)
    • Life got in the way this week.  As I’m writing this, I’ve already run 5.45 miles and done 2 H&C workouts for Wednesday, so I’m back at it.
  • Progress Photos:
This is how I'll take front and side photos to show close-up progress - consider this my mid-program progress photo!
This is how I’ll take front and side photos to show close-up progress – consider this my mid-program progress photo from week 4!  Left image is without flexed abs, right image is with flexed abs
  • The Week’s Workouts:

 Week 5 Progress

Keeping it Real

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in a few fitness groups on FB. A while back, someone posted a video of a very fit mom explaining her loose skin, or “pooch,” from having her kids. I totally have the same thing, so I took a peak. She was answering a gal’s question about what you can do to make it go away. The answer is…

Nothing.  Well… except plastic surgery.  So… NOTHING!  😉

Two days ago, in another FB fitness group with thousands of members, a gal posted a picture of herself standing upright with flexed abs, and then a photo of her tummy when she bends over to show her child-bearing “pooch.” She posted it because she’s gotten lots of attention for her transformation and hard work, and she wanted all of the ladies out there to see that she has a “pooch” that will be with her forever unless she has surgery to remove it, which she has no interest in doing.

I have also noticed that one of the gals in the Hammer and Chisel videos has the same thing as well as stretch marks on her tummy. I really appreciate that the program creators picked someone like her to represent us moms. A lot of the times, these exercise videos only include seriously hard-bodied people and I love that the BB team sees the value in including normal people in their videos. If you’ve seen a 21 Day Fix video, you know what I’m talking about.

So… I’m keeping it real as well! I’ve posted a photo of the spot that plagues me the most, but here is my “pooch,” the saggy, loose skin that shows the world that I am a mom, and a mom who’s proud of what created her “pooch!”

Look at that loose skin when I lean over... I hate it, but I can live with it!
Look at that loose skin when I lean over… I hate it, but I can live with it!

 

Multiple Workouts Per Day – Really?

In one of the FB fitness groups I’m a part of, a gal asked this:  “I always see lots of you doing multiple workouts… is this what I should be doing?!?!”  I responded with, “No, you should do what you feel like doing! The only reason I’m doing 2 a day is because hammer and chisel is all about strength, and isn’t a big calorie burner. With the way I eat, I eat very healthy but do have some treats, I need to burn calories too! I’m not using the food containers to sort my food. If you are using them, and following the calendar, then you don’t need to burn extra! That’s my opinion, anyway.”

And then I thought about it, because I think about this a lot.

I am not a person who can half-ass anything that I commit myself to.  When I read fitness forums and a minimum of “30 minutes of cardio exercise a day, 5 days a week” is suggested, I think they really mean it.  I don’t think they mean “30 minutes including warm-up and cool-down stretching.”  They mean 30 minutes of your heart really pumping.  Because of this, I feel like 40-45 minutes of “exercise,” including warm-up and cool-down, is the proper minimum per day, 5 days a week, because that gives me 5 minutes to warm up, 5 minutes to cool down, and 5 minutes of bonus cardio.  And let’s remember, that suggestion is for CARDIO exercise, not strength training.  Unless you’re really pushing hard during strength and ab training, you should be doing cardio on top of that.  Strength training is great for your muscles, cardio exercise is great for… your heart!  There is a difference!

Because of this, I will never just do a fitness program that promises that you only have to workout 30 minutes a day (like 21DF, Insanity Max 30, T25, etc.).  I know that may sound ridiculous, but I just can’t do it.  I could do it while supplementing the program with other workouts, but honestly, 30 minutes just isn’t long enough for me to get dressed for it, turn on the TV, and commit.  If I’m committing, I’m committing to 40+ minutes at a time minimum, and I like to roll that workout right into a TurboFire HIIT or INSANITY workout to get at least an hour of fitness in a day.  It’s just how I am.

When I started getting into shape in 2006, I signed up for an extreme 10-week resistance bands and kickboxing program.  I took it very seriously, and in those 10 weeks, I learned how to work my body and diet to my benefit.  Each class lasted exactly 45 minutes, and the warm-ups were intense (pretty much a TurboFire finale-type set of exercises) and the stretching at the end was done in the last 2 minutes of class.  We were working our hearts for 40 minutes on kickboxing days, so that is what I got used to.  This worked for my body and eating style and I lost lots of weight.  I repeated the same program after having kids and had even better results.  Because of that, I just really can’t workout for less than 45 minutes a day (real working out, not including warm-ups and cool-downs) and I prefer at least an hour spread between 2 workouts if I’m doing strength training.  If I can do 45 minutes, why not do 60, right?

It goes beyond this though.  It’s about calories for me.  I am a very healthy eater, but I don’t believe in denying myself the things I want just because I shouldn’t have them (note that this statement does not apply to alcohol – I really don’t drink much alcohol at all no matter how many calories I burn in a day because it’s just not worth it to me).   I earn the things I want to eat by working out.  I’ve written in a prior post that I don’t “diet,” and that my target NET calories per day is 1300-1350.  What this means is that after exercise, I want to have a net calorie count of 1300-1350 calories each and every day.  So if I burn 500 calories today, and I am targeting a net of 1300 calories, then I will consume 1800 calories today (1800 gross calories – 500 burned calories = 1300 net calories left to fuel the body).  It’s basic math, and it works for me because I log everything in myfitnesspal down to the half oreo.  😉

People ask, “how many calories do you burn a day?”  My husband would tell you I burn 1,000, but he’d be wrong  😉  I do not like to burn less than 300 calories a day, and I target 500 calories a day.  If I can finish the day at 500 calories burned, I’m a happy gal.  I’m happy because I worked my ass off, and because I got to eat some really good food that day to balance out to my net goal of 1300-1350 calories.  300-500 burned calories a day is a great target for me.  People insist that I can eat anything I want, but they’re so entirely wrong.  I MUST stay within my net calorie goal for the day, or the scale will punish me.  It’s amazing how quickly my body can turn against me after a couple of days of poor choices.

At the end of the day, I’m just a competitive person who knows what she’s capable of.  If I could run 4.11 miles two days ago, why not do at least that today?  If I burned 450 calories today, then I should be able to burn 450 or more tomorrow.  Of course there are days that I drop my mileage or calorie burn, but in general, this is how I think.  That is how I got myself to an average daily exercise time of 60 minutes, 7 days a week.  I just kept pushing harder and harder because I knew I could.

So when someone asks, “should I be doing multiple workouts per day?” my gut answer is, ‘well, yeah, of course!’ because that’s what I do.  But that’s not realistic for most people, and I know that.  I have a lot of time to workout as a stay-at-home-mom because if the kids are asleep or at school, I’m working out.  It’s just what I do.  It’s my hobby, it’s not work for me.  I don’t watch TV, I don’t read during the day (I really should be reading during the day), the house is always kept up because we’re both pretty obsessive about that – so what else is there to do that’s as fun as working out?  Couple that with my intimate knowledge with what, exactly, my body needs to get to where I want it to be, and I end up with a crazy amount of hours committed to exercise each week.

Now… please don’t ask me if I take rest days.  😉

 

 

H&C Challenge – Week 4 – Half Way Done!

Week 4 Statistics (Ending 02/02/16) – Half Way Done!

  • Weight:  143 pounds (down 1.6 pounds from start)
  • Body Fat %:  21.5% (down 1.1% from start)
  • Time Spent Being Active (>= 6 hours): 7 Hours 47 Minutes
    • Miles Run:  12.02 Miles
    • Number of Runs (>=3 runs a week):  3 Runs
  • Days within Calorie Goals per MFP (1390): 5 days
  • Exercise: 
    • Wednesday – Rest day; Chisel Cardio (only 8 minutes before interruption); 10 Ab Hammer (12:00); 10 Ab Chisel (11:00)
    • Thursday – Ran 3.8 miles in 38:02; Walked 0.20 miles in 3:00; Chisel Cardio (37:00)
    • Friday – ISO Speed Hammer (23:00); TurboFire 40 (43:00); 10 Ab Hammer (14:00)
    • Saturday – Ran 4.11 miles in 36:10; Walked 0.3 miles in 6:24; 10 Hammer Abs (12:00)
    • Sunday – Hammer Power (38:00); 10 Hammer Abs (12:00)
    • Monday – Ran 4.1 miles in 38:34; Walked 0.38 miles in 8:00; Total Body Chisel (35:00); 10 Chisel Abs (10:00)
    • Tuesday – Hammer Power (38:00); PiYo Sweat (31:00); 10 Hammer Abs (11:00)
  • Notes: 
    • I’m realizing that I just really need to be running in addition to these workouts – running whips me into shape faster than anything
    • Holy smokes, I got to run outside on Saturday and it was fantastic! I ran super fast (for me) in my new shoes!
    • Kept weight at 142.6-143.0 all weekend!
    • Finishing at 143.0 pounds and 21.5% body fat means that I am carrying 30.75 pounds of fat right now
      • I started at 144.6 pounds and 22.6% body fat which equates to 32.68 pounds of fat
      • I’ve only lost 1.6 pounds, but I’ve lost 1.94 pounds of fat, so a good conversion is going on and that makes me happy!
  • Progress Photos (Week 0; Week 4 – all with flexed abs):

4 weeks front

4 weeks side

4 weeks front flex

4 weeks back

  • The Week’s Workouts:

Week 4 Progress

  • Measurements at 4 Weeks (Half-Way Point):
    • Natural Waist: 27.25 inches (started at 28 inches, so a loss of 0.75 inches)
    • Belly Button: 31.5 inches (started at 32 inches, so a loss of 0.5 inches)
    • Hips:  35.75 inches (started at 35.75 inches – no change)
    • Chest:  33.0 inches (started at 32.5 inches, so a gain of 0.5 inch)
    • Leg (Left):  19 inches (no change)
    • Arm (Left):  11.0 inches (started at 10.75 inches, so a gain of 0.25 inch)
  • Progress to Goals for the 8 Week Challenge:

    • Finish on 03/01/2016 with a body weight loss of 6% or more
      • This is not looking to happen – shedding weight is just not in the cards for me right now
    • I am targeting a loss of 2.0% or more of body fat as reported on my handheld body fat monitor
      • This could still happen if I dial in my eating better – I am down 1.1% half-way through
    • I want to see major changes in my physique since this is a weight training program – I want incredible before and after photos!
      • At the half-way mark, I see some great changes:  Stronger arms, more toned abs, loss of inches, veins becoming visible in my arms and abs, toned legs
    • Complete 6+ hours a week of dedicated exercise
      • Spot on every week if not exceeding!
    • Run 3 times a week at minimum
      • Dropped down in weeks 2 and 3 but picked up again in week 4.  With weather getting better, I may hit this goal
    • Complete the full Hammer and Chisel 8 week program
      • On target – not a single missed workout!
    • Supplement my fitness with at least 2 BOD (bea.chbo.dy on dem.and) workouts a week
      • I’ve done 11 BOD workouts in 4.4 weeks so I’m exceeding this goal
    • Stay within daily net calorie goal of 1390 calories at least 6 days a week
      • Averaging 5 days a week
    • Follow as closely as possible the eating plan per the food containers supplied by H&C
      • Bah – not doing!
    • By the end of the 8 weeks, I want my minimum distance on the treadmill to be 4.0-5.0 miles (need to work up after a long break in running)
      • Already there!

    Starting Statistics on 01/04/2016

    • Weight:  144.6 pounds
    • Body Fat %:  22.6% with the handheld (x with calipers, x% with the Tan.ita scale)
    • BMI:  22.6

I’m a Runner

It has been unseasonably warm the last few days, and I got new running shoes, and we’re getting a blizzard tonight and tomorrow so…. I’ve been running outside! This weather is a gift, and when I am given a special gift, I honor it!

My run on Saturday was amazingly fast for me! I haven’t run outside in MONTHS so I was expecting a 10:00 pace. I ran 4.11 miles in 36:10 for an average pace of 8:47.98. I was, in a word, shocked! People have asked if the work I put into PiYo has helped my speed and I never could tell because treadmill running doesn’t really count when figuring such things. I am now definitely thinking that the stretching from PiYo, and the strength from Hammer & Chisel, is helping my running. I mean, that’s what I’ve been doing since running season ended in November and I’ve gotten faster!

Can I really say I’ve gotten faster?

I wondered that until today, when I went out for a very cold run before the storm comes. I’m sore. My legs ache from that great Saturday run and a tough H&C workout yesterday, so I wasn’t going to push myself. Again, I told myself I’d be happy with a 10:00 pace. I ran another 4.11 miles (because I can’t do less than the last time!) in 38:34 with an average pace of 9:22. And… it felt easy! On a tough, sore, cold day, I would have NEVER expected a pace in the 9’s.

After my run today, I listened to a piece on NPR about an Iowa man who ran around Lake Michigan in 2012. The host was asking what motivates a person to do that. This man was just like me, started his running hobby the exact same way I did. He decided one day to run a race and he hated it. But then, he realized it wasn’t so bad and thought if he could run a 5k, why not a 10k? And if he can finish a 10k, why not a half marathon, etc? As I was listening to him, I thought, “I can see myself running across our state if I had the time” ( he ran across Iowa before running around Lake Michigan). What the?!?! Never would I have imagined I’d be a runner who pushed harder, longer, stronger.

I’m a runner. It’s in me. It’s who I am.