Phase 2, Day 29: Total Body Core (aka Thank God for Energize)

When I was in high school, a girl on my Varsity basketball team decided to amp herself up before a big game by drinking three Red Bulls. In a row. Without eating.

I can’t remember whether or not we won the game, but I remember the girl spent the next hour with heart palpitations so bad my coach had to be talked out of calling an ambulance. She was over-caffeinated to the point of uselessness and ended up not setting foot on the court, all thanks to an energy drink. Or three.

Combine that history with my body’s own…unique…reaction to stimulants, and I’m not a big fan. Depending on the type of caffeine, I tend to get jittery and my intestines go into overdrive. It’s not a pretty or comfortable experience.

You can imagine, then, my hesitation to try Energize, the energy powder in Beachbody’s Performance line. When you sign up for a challenge pack to do 80 Day Obsession, you can sign up to be sent Energize and Recover. As I had never tried either when I signed up, I figured why the hell not. Both arrived in the mail…and then I promptly forgot about them until about this point in the program my first time through.

At this time the last time ’round, my boyfriend had been in the hospital for a week, and I was prepping for trial at work while attending class at night Monday through Thursday. I was short on sleep and energy and it was becoming next to impossible to drag myself out of bed for my morning workouts.

I don’t know how I remembered it, but before Total Body Core in Week 1 of Phase 2, I decided to try Energize. I mixed a scoop into 8 ounces of water, shook it up, and drank it in the car on my way to the gym. Pretty sure the only thing that got me through the workout was that little scoop of powder.

Energize, I found, gave me the energy of a Red Bull but without the mental and physical jitters. It felt “clean,” like a good, clean “high.” I didn’t have heart palpitations, my intestines didn’t overact, and I didn’t get the caffeine sweats. Even better, I was able to power through the workout even though I could barely get out of bed.

Since then, I’ll drink Energize on the days when I know I’m low on sleep, and the workout is longer than 45 minutes. It’s like an ace in the back pocket which I can use at any time to pull one over on the House. Is part of its magic the placebo effect? Probably. Do I care? Nope. It tastes good and helps me get the job done. And when it comes to Total Body Core in Phase 2, I’ll take all the help I can get.

Here’s what you have in store for you: Five Series of exercises that each target a specific muscle group. Within each series are three exercises:

Series 1, Shoulders: Squat, Row, Twist, Row (yes that is all one move); Kneeling Lunge Clean & Press; Quad Ped Opposite Arm Knee Crunch.

Series 2, Chest: Chest Press to Half Turkish Get Up; Spider Man Push-ups; Frog Sliders.

Series 3, Back: “T” to Single-Leg Hip Hinge; Lat Pull Over w/Leg Raise; Weighted Plan Hip Drop.

Series 4, Biceps: Low Twisting Lunge Hammer Curl; Press Out to Curl; Weighted Standing Torso Rotation.

Series 5, Triceps: Crab Position Tricep Dip to Sit Through; Alternating Skull Crushers with Bicycle Legs; French Twist.

You can tell how hard this workout is by the fact that you can only get all exercises for ONE of the series on a single line. While each exercise purports to work a single muscle, the fact of the matter is that the exercise will work your whole body. Case in point: Kneeling Lunge Clean & Press. You start in a kneeling lunge with the weight held in one hand which is twisted OVER your kneeling leg. You then clean the weight up to shoulder height, stand up, then press the weight over your head. Come back down, lower weight back in a twist over the kneeling leg. Repeat. In Week 1, 15 reps, two sets.

Yes, it’s a lot. But even that move is nothing compared to the Half Turkish Get Ups. This picture says it all:

Half Turkish Get-ups: Before and After
WHAT JUST HAPPENED

You will hate Half Turkish Get Ups because they take FOREVER. It’s a move you can’t do quickly, and you have to do 15 reps on each side. Twice.

The good news is that I believe in Week 2, Autumn recognizes that this exercise lasts for an eternity and changes it so that you will only do 10 reps TOTAL, as opposed to 10 reps for EACH arm. Thank God.

All in all, prepare to sweat and swear. Total Body Core is a killer in this Phase. Did I take my Energize today before working out? Hell yes. Was I still cursing Autumn’s name as I struggled with low twisting lunge hammer curl? Yes. Just look at the damn things:

Low Twisting Lunge with Hammer Curl
The move is no better than its name. It’s a mouthful and a handful.

Nothing about this move is pleasant. Did I get the workout done? Yep. And you will too. Just don’t quit.

Whelp, that’s all for now. I’m off to SoCal tomorrow for a wedding which means I need to pack and get some beauty sleep. Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, I should add that the reason I was so tired this morning is because I’ve been doing the “deplete week” meal plan for Monday through Wednesday in an effort to look extra shredded at the wedding I will be attending on Friday. Will it work? No idea. I’ll let you know. But please, until you get through 80 Day Obsession, do as I say, not as I do. As today’s workout shows you, you need all the fuel you can get.

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