Phase 1, Day 17: Cardio Core (aka My Fave)

There’s no getting around it. This is my favorite cardio workout.

I’ve done 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, Master’s Hammer and Chisel, P903x, and a host of my own made-up HIIT workouts. I cannot say that I looked forward to a single cardio workout in any of those routines. Cardio day was something to get through; a slog to endure; a necessary evil to survive.

But with 80 Day Obsession Cardio Core, I actually woke up this morning LOOKING FORWARD to my cardio workout. Who the F ever wakes up and says, “you know, I can’t wait to do some squat jumps!”

But that was me this morning.

NEXT WEEK, watch this space, because I will be taking a deep personal turn and explain why Cardio Core will always hold a special place in my heart.

For now, suffice it to say that I enjoy Cardio Core for three reasons: 1) The routine keeps me interested; 2) There’s a lot of ab work; and 3) Just when you think you can’t keep going, the HIIT interval ends.

Take, for example, round 2 in Cardio Core. You spend the first 30 seconds doing heel jump ropes, then 30 seconds doing pepper step; then 30 seconds doing heel jump ropes; 30 more seconds of pepper step; last 30 seconds of heel jump ropes; last 30 seconds of pepper step. In the beginning, the heel jump ropes aren’t too bad – they’re a good breather, and the more you focus on getting your heels out to the side and in front of you, the better you can also work your abs. But those pepper steps…they sound cute but can’t be attractive. Everything jiggles. Everything burns. It’s the strangest feeling to be forcing your feet to move so fast that at a certain point you wonder if they’re even moving at all. Regardless, in both exercises, you get to the point where you KNOW you can’t go a single second more…and the exercise stops. BOOM it’s over and you’re on to the what’s next: An ab exercise that allows you to catch your breath.

Cardio Core is intimidating the first time you do it because it has “cardio” in the title and you don’t know what to expect. But after that first time, you KNOW what’s to come. And like I’ve blogged before, you start to focus on whether or not you can do one more rep instead of the pain.

Also, in case you’re wondering whether you can get a good workout only doing 30 second HIIT (high intensity interval training) intervals, YES. YES YOU CAN. Here’s me immediately following the workout:

Troll Hair Don't Care
That was a Doozy

I know this is an extreme close-up of all things unattractive. But I post it to show the workout WORKS. Plus, I’m pretty damn proud of that sweat. I’m proud I dragged my ass out of bed this morning, went to the gym, and made the decision to press play on a workout that has “cardio” in its title.

I’m proud of how low I got in these jump squats:

Jump Squats
No idea I could get that low!

And I’m proud of following my timed nutrition meal plan to a T, including consuming my delicious post-workout shake (aka breakfast):

Breakfast!
Breakfast of Champions.

My point is, you might be reading this and thinking, “Well F you, Katie. Of course it’s easy for you. You’ve done this all before.”

And to a certain extent, that’s true. Except that at one point, I was right where you were. I was on Day 17 and dreading the workout and wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into, that I had 63 more days of this thing. I wasn’t excited to work out. I wasn’t sure I was seeing results. I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep going.

The peeps in Beachbody preach about finding your “why”: Why are you doing this? Why did you sign up for the program and push play in the first place?

In the beginning, my “why” was simply that I wanted to lose weight and tone up and look good. And that was a great goal for me to START 80 Day Obsession. But it would not have been enough to keep me going. It would not have sustained me throughout the entire 80 days. And I can tell you that if your “why” is currently similar to mine, that was a great reason to start 80 Day Obsession, but you’re going to need to dig deeper to find why you will FINISH the program.

On Day 23 of my first round, I found my “why.” It was forced upon me, and was completely unexpected. Yet when it happened, I had a choice: I could either keep doing 80 Day Obsession because I “had” to, or I could keep doing 80 Day Obsession because I CHOSE to.

I chose to continue and finish 80 Day Obsession on Day 23 of my first round. It was the best decision I could have made, and I can’t wait to tell you more in my blog next week.

For now, if you’re struggling, think about your why: WHY are you doing this? WHY did you press play in the first place? WHY did you want to do 80 Day Obsession? WHY did you do the first 18 days?

I hope your answers lead you somewhere good. Message me if you want to share. And check out my Instagram (@fitluddy) if you want to see more sweaty selfies. Usual link to the usual Beachbody stuff.

Yours in sweat and unicorns,

Katie

 

Phase 1, Day 3: Cardio Core (aka “I’m Not Going to Kill You”)

IF YOU ARE SCARED, READ ME.

I remember the night before Day 3, Cardio Core, when I was doing 80 Day Obsession for the first time. For whatever reason, I was nervous. Out of all the workouts during the week, Cardio Core was the one that had me wondering if I would be able to finish the workout. Or, really, wondering if I would be able to finish the workout without puking up my guts.

I think it’s because of the name: “Cardio Core” sounds like something you will barely survive, whereas “Cardo Flow” brings to mind some sort of fast-paced yoga.

I remember I even had butterflies before I hit play for the first time.

But, I did it. And I finished the workout. Barely.

And while the workout was hard, I didn’t die. As Autumn reminds us halfway through: “I’m not going to kill you!”

Here’s the dealio. Cardio Core is made up of, I believe (I can’t remember for sure – it’s been a long day) 5 rounds. Each round consists of 3 one-minute sets. Each one-minute set is comprised of 30 seconds of some sort of jumping plyometric that mimics a jump rope, followed immediately by 30 seconds of a high intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise. You do the three sets without any rest. Then after your third set, you go immediately into an ab exercise of 10 reps that use the sliders. The sliders look like this:

Strength Slides and Booties

After you get through the 5 rounds, you immediately go through and do all the ab exercises in a row, 10 reps for each exercise.

If you are still reading this and I haven’t scared you away yet, great! Because here’s the best part:

The first time doing Cardio Core, Autumn gives you, on average, 30 seconds to rest.

This does not mean the workout is easy. Far from it. But what this does mean is that the exercise is absolutely DO-ABLE. Again, they got the pacing on this exercise just right, because just when you think you can’t carry on, you get 30 seconds to catch your breath.

My first time, I needed every bit of those 30 seconds. And even then, it wasn’t until I was on Week 4 of Phase 1 that I was able to make it all the way through the workout without hitting pause. What killed me most were not necessarily the HIIT intervals or the jumping, but rather, the ab exercises.

See, with the jumping and HIIT, you can modify if you get super tired. You can either step it out or slow down. But with the ab exercises, you either keep up or get left behind. And it took me 4 weeks to not…I won’t say keep up (because that took another month), but at least, not get left behind.

ALSO, PRO TIP #A: IF YOU HAVE A SENSITIVE STOMACH, THIS IS THE ONE DAY WHERE YOU MIGHT CONSIDER LIGHTENING UP YOUR PRE-WORKOUT MEAL.

I was reminded of this in the middle of doing jumping cross-overs today. Because there is so much up and down in this workout, all the contents of your stomach get shaken like a milkshake. Or a salt shaker. Or a tail feather. You get the picture. The end result is that if you haven’t allowed yourself enough time to digest, or if you ate a super heavy pre-workout meal, there is a good chance you’re going to be making very good friends with your semi-digested foods. So, if you are worried about eating too much, or wondering whether your foods will stay down, this is the one day of the week where I absolutely recommend swapping out the pre-workout meal for the lighter Meal Option 1 (for those of you on the timed nutrition plan, you know what I’m talking about).  Once you know you can make it through with a happy tum-tum, make the switch back. But again, until you know how your body will react, if you are worried about it, proceed cautiously to give yourself every chance to succeed.

I have no good way to segue from stomach issues to the food plan in general, but here goes.

I started this blog because I thought it might be helpful to those Obsessors who come after me who have questions and aren’t sure where to look. One question I heard today that I thought a lot about as I went through 80 Day Obsession the first time, was whether the timed nutrition program is sustainable.

This question resonated with me because I had so much success with the timed nutrition program the first time around. My body responds really well to eating before and after workouts, and then eating three meals spaced out 2-3 hours apart after my workout block. And, as is perhaps expected, I (and my body) do very well eating relatively clean. That is, non-processed carbs, lean proteins, and lots of veggies and fruits. One reason 80 Day Obsession works for me is because I respond very well to that structure: Tell me what to eat and when and I am a happy clam.

But where I get into trouble is when I step outside my comfort zone into 3 problem areas: 1) Eating out, 2) Home Baked goods, and 3) Alcohol.

My problem with eating out is portion control: I know the combination of foods I should be eating; the problem is that most restaurants serve double or even triple the portion size I should be consuming. Plus, I was raised to clean my plate. This all combines for disastrous meals out, where I know what I should be eating and how much, but by the end of the meal I’m usually licking my plate and trying real hard to not order dessert.

Which is why, last night, when my boyfriend suggested we eat out to celebrate our last night of freedom before he returned to work today, I resisted. I didn’t want to leave my containers and the dinner I knew I had carefully portioned out and waiting for me in the fridge. But then I realized this was the perfect opportunity to see if the timed nutrition program WAS sustainable, and I wasn’t going to get any better at this eating out thing unless I actually practiced.

So, we went out. We walked down the street to Mexican food. My choice.

The good news about my choice is that I had gone to the same restaurant in Phase 2 with my parents and bf, and knew the steak fajitas fit perfectly into my red and green containers. I knew this because I brought said containers with me to the restaurant and to my boyfriend’s undying horror, then proceeded to separate the meat from the veg into their plastic counterparts. LIke I said, they fit perfectly.

The bad news is that the Mexican food, as per usual, came with a limitless supply of hot tortilla chips and salsa. WHO CAN RESIST HOT TORTILLA CHIPS AND SALSA?!?!?

Still, I took it as a challenge. Could I do this eating out thing AND 80 Day Obsession at the same time?

When we sat down, I allowed myself 10 chips. That was it. 10. (I chose that number because I had it in my head that you get 10 tortilla chips on refeed day, so that seemed a safe number to go with. More on refeed day in a later post!) I guzzled down my soda water with lime so that I wouldn’t notice it wasn’t a margarita (that didn’t work at all, but you gotta do what you gotta do).

And then our food arrived. And I had somehow only consumed 6 chips. Victory!

I didn’t have to worry about portioning out the dinner, because I knew it would fit. I did have to avoid the sour cream and guacamole, as delicious as they were, because it wasn’t time to have those macros in my diet. But you can bet I ladled on the salsa and enjoyed every bite of my fix-approved Mexican dinner out.

When we finished, I felt something I hadn’t felt in a long time, if ever, after leaving a Mexican restaurant: Not gross. Seriously, normally I leave having eaten my weight in tortilla chips and beans and rice. The end result is not pleasant for me in that moment, or anyone within a 10 foot radius a half hour later.

Even better, I had my first answer about the sustainability of the program in the face of one of my weaknesses: I can adapt the damn thing to eating out, but it does take practice and careful planning. And, let’s be honest, will power and avoidance.

Those last two strengths will be discussed further when I dive into addressing my other two weaknesses of home baked goods and alcohol. But I think that’s enough for tonight.

I hope, if you have made it to the end of this post, you finish it knowing you can do Cardio Core. But if you still have questions or doubts, ask me. Or per the norm, check out the link below for further details on the program.

Love and unicorns,

Katie

https://mysite.coach.teambeachbody.com?coachId=1603264&locale=en_US

80 Day Obsession – T-3 Days!

Welcome!

If you are reading this, you must be VERY curious about Beachbody’s latest program, “80 Day Obsession,” because I know this blog is way down the list when it comes to sites on the subject. Still, I’m glad you’re here! My name is Katie and you can learn more about me under the “About” tab. I am an independent Beachbody Coach – I became a Coach halfway through the 80 Day Obsession program because I was so inspired by my results and how I was feeling that I knew I had to let others know this program could work for them.

However, as much as I enjoyed my journey through 80 Day Obsession, and the physical and mental changes the program brings, I found I had a LOT of questions as I was navigating each week. I would Google my questions to see if anyone else had the same questions as me, but to my surprise, all of the 80 Day Obsession blogs consisted either of a SINGLE post of an excited coach who was admitted to the test group in August 2017, or of a SINGLE post of an excited coach who was promoting the program prior to its release in January 2018. I saw nothing about workout clothes or eating plans or foods or refeed days or the like. Nobody was blogging as they simultaneously conquered each workout.

So, with Round 2 of 80 Day Obsession set to start on April 23rd, I decided to fill the void with this blog.

First and foremost, I am NOT a nutritionist, nor am I a personal trainer or a doctor. And, obviously, as with any workout program, results vary. However, I can tell you what worked for me and didn’t work for me.

Secondly, I know I can’t be alone with these questions. Nor am I alone with the fact that during the first round of 80 Day Obsession, life didn’t really want to cooperate with me. It was not an easy ride, and if I had given up when a loved one landed in the hospital, everyone would have understood. Except me.

I was ready for a change and I wanted to see what my body could do.

If I am describing you right now, then I seriously urge you to consider starting 80 Day Obsession.

If you are reluctant, or if you worry about your fitness level, here’s what I can share about my own experience and fitness level when I started.

In 2017, I started and completed Beachbody’s Hammer and Chisel. I LOVED it, and I found myself hooked on both Beachbody on Demand and Shakeology. After Hammer and Chisel, I did 21 Day Fix, then 21 Day Fix Extreme. Then I did 21 Day Fix Extreme again.

And then I did nothing.

The workouts I described took me up to about September 2017, and after Labor Day, I literally did not work out again until I did a week of A Little Obsessed the week before 80 Day Obsession started on January 15, 2018.

Yes. I was DYING during the week of A Little Obsessed. It was terrible. I had no idea how I was going to get through the next 80 days given how out of shape I was. But at that  point, I had already received by 80 Day Obsession Challenge Pack in the mail, and I had already planned out my first week of meals. So I decided to go for it.

Best decision I ever made.

Again, I am not a personal trainer or a nutritionist, but if you are wondering if 80 Day Obsession is for you given your current fitness level, consider the following: If you have been working out regularly in the weeks leading up to this point in time, then 80 Day Obsession could be a good fit. If you have been exercising sporadically up ’til now, and don’t get winded walking upstairs, again, 80 Day Obsession could be a good fit. If you haven’t worked out in months, or even years, and you don’t have an underlying foundation in fitness (i.e. a history in playing serious sports, or of exercising regularly), think hard about whether 80 Day Obsession is right for you at this time. Maybe consult with your doctor. Or, try one of Beachbody’s other programs to test your fitness, such as 21 Day Fix. If you know you can make it through a week of 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix Extreme without going into cardiac arrest, then you can do 80 Day Obsession.

If, after the above, you doubt your physical condition but know that you HAVE to at least TRY 80 Day Obsession, then follow the modifier. That’s the great thing about these workouts – every single one has a modifier demonstrating what you can do if the move is too hard or the weight too heavy. You can adapt each workout to the level you are at right now, and as you get stronger and your fitness improves, you can step it up.

I realize this post is light on 80 Day Obsession details – don’t worry, I have at least 80 days to fill in the gaps. But for right now, if you found this page, congratulations – you are curious about putting your health and fitness first. If you decide to start 80 Day Obsession and you stick with it, you won’t regret it.

And, of course, if you have any questions, feel free to message me, or click on the link below to learn more about the programs mentioned above.

You are on the precipice of a change in lifestyle and mindset. I’m so excited for you to see what’s on the other side.

https://mysite.coach.teambeachbody.com?coachId=1603264&locale=en_US