Phase 1, Day 15: Total Body Core (aka No Shame in My Pushup Game)

I love Week 3 workouts in 80 Day Obsession.

Instead of doing ALL the exercises in a row three times, you group the exercises into their muscle groups and do three sets of 10 reps, one muscle group at a time. So, for example, in Series 1, you do 10 reps of squat rotating shoulder press, then 10 reps of lateral bear crawl, then 10 reps of spider loops. Repeat twice more, 10 reps every time.

The end result is you burn out the muscle group before moving on. But, more importantly, because you are focusing on one muscle group at a time, you can also focus on bumping up the weight to lift extra heavy.

Week 3 is where you push yourself to see how much stronger you are, even from the week before. Even if it’s only for one set, for example if you do 2 rounds of squat rotating shoulder press with 12 pound dumbbells, but then bump up to 15s for the last round, that counts as getting stronger. The best part is that if, after the first round in the series, you feel like you could have done more reps, then you bump up for the next round. I love this week because it’s easy to adjust your weights to go as heavy – or as light – as you need to.

Plus, the workout flies by with this rep scheme.

So, to briefly recap: This week it is easy to push yourself, and you can get it done in what feels like record time.

But that said, sometimes the progress you make isn’t measured by how much you’re lifting, but in form, and in how strong you feel doing the exercise. I had two such breakthroughs TODAY on two different exercises.

The first was on those GD renegade rows with a twist.

I have blogged previously about this exercise. It is not my favorite. I literally count down the number of reps (30) I have left in this Phase before I can say goodbye to the damn things (until my next time through). I hate renegade rows with a twist because I don’t feel strong doing them. I wobble. I jiggle. I have moments where I’m afraid my elbow will dislocate.

Which is why today, two reps into the exercise, it took me a moment to realize why this time felt different: I felt steady. Normally, when I swing my leg through for the twist, it’s a half swing/half fall into position. This time, however, I was actually CONTROLLING my leg as it came through and PLACING my foot on the ground – normally the foot lands with a crash and it’s all I can do to keep my balance. Yet with each rep, I realized that I was in control. I was controlling my movements, and for once, my movements were very deliberate. All this, EVEN THOUGH I had bumped up to using the green band.

The steadiness lasted for ALL of the three rounds. And while it got messy towards the end, this was the first time I felt strong doing the exercise; the first time I could say with 100% certainty that I had improved. That was my first major victory, and I celebrated it even though it had nothing to do with lifting heavy.

The second victory was with tricep push-ups, the very last move of the workout.

Autumn urges you to do as many of the tricep push-ups as you can on your toes. I did this in the first round, doing them all on my toes. But my form felt off.  I struggled. I wasn’t able to get very low, and something about my form had me feel as though my back was taking most of the weight instead of my triceps. Not a good feeling. As a result, for the last two rounds, even though I knew I was “capable” of doing all the reps on my feet, I took it down to my knees. I modified the exercise, not because I wasn’t feeling strong, but because I just wasn’t feeling it where I thought I should. My form sucked on my toes, and I didn’t want to push through and do 20 more reps on my toes if it came at the expense of not actually working the muscles I should.

The first tricep push-up I did on my knees felt AMAZING. I got lower than I ever thought I could, and my form felt GOOD. Still, it wasn’t until I took a picture of myself actually performing the exercise that I realized the progress I had made:

Tricep Pushup
No Shame in this Pushup Game!

I have never, ever, EVER in a million years thought I could get my upper arm parallel to my body like that. And my back is straight. And my core is tight. This picture, more than any other I have shared, makes me proud of my progress and tells me how far I have come.

Even though I am technically modifying the exercise, I don’t care. Today, my body needed the modification. And by modifying tricep pushups, I got the most out of it. Instead of being ashamed, I am absolutely elated. DO YOU SEE MY FORM?! That’s why there is no shame in my push-up game. Sure, I could have done these on my toes. But I guarantee I would not now be posting a photo telling you how proud I am of my form.

My point is this: Don’t get caught up in tracking your progress solely by how heavy you’re lifting, or by the numbers on the scale, or the size of your pants. Sometimes the only way to measure your success is impossible to quantify. It’s in how you feel or the way you kept your core tight the entire time or how you kept your back straight. Every single one of those intangible victories is still a victory. It’s just one that only you can see. Which means that when it happens, you MUST make sure you celebrate it. Because no one else will.

So if you are reading this after having had to modify any of the exercises today, I salute you. I salute you for choosing form over substance and recognizing that the modification was what your body needed to get the most out of your workout. I hope you are still proud of the work you put in, and are already looking forward to how you can take another step towards improvement the next time through.

After all, there’s only one more Total Body Core workout with these exercises left in Phase 1. After that, we get a brand new set of exercises to torture us. I mean improve upon.

In case you can’t tell, I truly love this whole 80 Day Obsession thing. I love how it challenges me but is still so do-able. I love that it gives me a timed nutrition plan that fuels me up and makes it easy for me to follow.

But most importantly, I love how what started with an 80 Day Obsession has turned into a lifestyle I intend to last well beyond those 80 days.

As always, any questions, let me know. Or if you’re curious about any of this and want to learn more, email me. I’d love to help you get started on your own journey to live the best you. That is what I feel 80 Day Obsession helped me do: Get started down the path of living and being the best me. It’s a path that takes work to walk every day, but I am so happy I get to walk it.

Let me know if you need help getting started down your own path, or per usual, click the link to learn more about Beachbody stuff.

Yours in modified tricep pushups,



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