Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ninety Day Challenge - Week 1

Despite a slight set-back involving Reese cups & chocolate & cake (see here), I've had a really good first week.

For my workout program, I chose Chalean Extreme. So far so good. The workouts are very different from strength training programs I've attempted in the past. There are three phases - Burn, Push and Lean. For the first month I am in the Burn phase. It is heavier weights, lifted very slowly with a fail between the 10th - 12th repetition. This means that my weight should be heavy enough for the reps to feel really, really hard by the 10th, and almost impossible by the 12th. If they don't feel hard for me, than my weight is not heavy enough. I've always thought that this method created bulky muscles, but from what I am now discovering, that is not necessarily true. There are three different Burn circuits, and I've done all of them at this point. There are certain exercises on each that I like the best. I can't believe I actually wrote that. But it's true. There are a couple of them that I really like. All of them are pretty hard for me. I'm using between 5 and 10 pounds, depending on the exercise and muscles being worked. But I can already tell that I need to get higher weights. I'm thinking about some of those adjustable dumbbells. The affordable ones only go up in increments of 5 pounds, and I would rather have increments of 2.5, but I'll keep looking at this point. I'm not going over 10 pounds this week, that's for sure.

I haven't watched any of the Push or Lean circuits, so can't tell you what that means, yet.

There are two ab workouts included in the program. Ab Burner is 10 minutes, and Extreme Abs is 16 minutes. Well last weekend after a 5 mile run/walk I thought I'd just pop in the Ab Burner and get some ab work. Ten minutes wasn't that long, I'd just run for over an hour. hahahahahaha. My core was positively trembling about 4 minutes into the workout. When will this be over??!! I thought I had tried every kind of tummy exercise out there. Not so, at all. These were different, intense, and very effective. Of course, for my stomach to have significant changes, I need to keep changing my diet as well as continuing the workouts.

The meal plan is great. I feel like I am eating more often, but much better stuff. I have an alarm set on my phone to remind me to eat a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack. Each meal/snack should have lean protein and I can add a complex carb up through dinner, but no carbs after dinner, and none at all right before bed. I am waking more rested, and it's easier for me to get up early. I think the diet is playing a big part in these changes. I've never, ever been a morning person. Have wanted to be a morning person. All I know now is that it's easier for me to get up early. I really like getting my workouts done first thing, then I don't have to try to fit it in somewhere later. That doesn't always work out so well.

Our Facebook support group is really nice. We post our food/workouts daily. Encourage one another and have weekly goals/homework to keep us focused on WHY we are doing this challenge.

Around day two I took all my "before" photos. I would not let my mister take these, I used the timer on my camera. The booklet that came with the exercise program gave example poses that I should include. I took them all. Then I looked at them, and was nauseated. That was plenty of motivation for why I want to complete this challenge and become a better version of me. I also took all my "before" measurements. I will take photos and measurements again on days 30, 60 and 90. 

This is my latest reality check to keep going:

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