You know it’s a good routine when you fear the “Core” in the title more than the “Cardio.”
The format of Cardio Core in Phase 2 is the exact same as it was in Phase 1: 30 seconds of some sort of jump rope move followed by 30 seconds of some sort of high intensity interval training (“HIIT”) move; do for three rounds for a total of three minutes, then hit the ground for 10 reps of an ab exercise.
In Phase 1, I feared the standing mountain climbers because they always threatened to disturb my pre-workout meal. Between the reaching of the arms and the high knees, my breakfast was practically begging to come up.
In Phase 2, however, it’s the ab exercises that get you. If you don’t have to hit pause at least once during one of the ab routines the first time you do this workout, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough.
Why the difference?
Phase 1 abs consisted of simple linear movements: In and out for knee tucks; right knee to left elbow counted as one rep.
Phase 2, however, combines what feels like a bunch of different movements into what only counts as one rep. For example, you do knee tucks into a standing squat with an arm lift. The move takes focus, balance, and some serious core strength. AND it somehow manages to work your legs even though they need a serious break from the HIIT.
Or, you do a double leg pike followed by a single leg pike for a total of 12 reps. Here’s my pike form:
(Side Note: Super proud of my pike form. Every time I do those things, I never feel like I get my ass high enough in the air to even come close to Autumn’s flexibility. However, this picture says otherwise. It definitely wasn’t like that when I first started, so I’m proud to see how far I’ve come.)
My point being, by the time you get to the LAST ab move, which requires loops, you can barely get the damn things on over your legs. You’re all sweaty so that you can’t good grip on the rubber when you pull the loops up over your thighs, and your arms are shaking too hard to pull them up on the first try. It’s a disaster. It takes all your energy just to get the damn things on, and then you’re expected to sit back in a sort of boat pose as you lift and open your legs then lift and close your legs…10 times. Here’s what that particular mode of torture looks like:
If I am focusing on the ab exercises instead of the cardio, it’s for a good reason. There is something demoralizing about making it through 3 minutes of sweat-inducing cardio…only to have to hit pause during the ab series, which is supposed to be your “rest.” I am including this detail to let you know that this is normal. It will be normal for you to barely be able to finish the ab portion(s) of the workout. It will be normal for you to have to push pause in the middle of single-leg/double-leg pike. It will be normal for you to have to hit pause to allow you time to get the loops on your legs in the last exercise, even though Autumn and co. will seem to breeze through such an endeavor with ease. It will be normal for you to want to quit because it will feel like you need a rest you don’t get, and you will doubt whether you can finish.
Hit pause all you want. Take a moment to catch your breath and drink some water.
But don’t quit.
Because as hard as these ab exercises are, know that it is their very level of difficulty which guarantees results.
You signed up for this program probably because you were lured by the promise of a sculpted booty and shredded abs. The great thing about Cardio Core in Phase 2 is you can actually FEEL the ab exercises shredding out your abs. After all, the moves are so difficult, how could they not?
When it hurts and you doubt and you can’t breathe and your arms are shaking, embrace the pain. This is what you signed up for and this is how you know the program is working; that it’s doing its job. If you WEREN’T feeling this way, you should wonder if 80 Day Obsession is everything it’s cracked up to be and whether it’s getting the job done.
There will be no wonder in Phases 2 and 3. The shit gets hard, but it is absolutely worth it. Just don’t give in when the going gets tough. Dig in and push through.
If you still have doubts after reading this post, message me. Or check out the usual link.
Just finish the workout. Finish the workout and aim to push pause one less time next week. Baby steps, friends. You got this.