Phase 1, Day 9: Booty (aka Here We Go Again)

Mid-way through today’s workout I was ready for it to be over.

Not because it was hard or because I thought I might die or because my legs hurt so bad I wanted to stop.

No, I was ready for it to be over because today’s workout just felt LONG. Where you get done with the first round of exercises and realize you STILL have two more rounds to go.

Booty this week is the exact same exercises from last week, but instead of doing 2 sets of 15 reps, you do all exercises for 10 reps, then go through and do them all again, then go through and do them all again. 3 sets of 10 reps. And with this set-up, it feels like it takes FOREVER.

This will probably be a recurring theme throughout this week: The workouts feel slightly tedious.

So, let’s talk about something that is probably a bit more relevant: Those damn resistance loops.

I guarantee that if you went through today’s workout, you were hating the loops. You might also have been wondering if you were getting a good workout, or if you were doing it right because you weren’t really feeling it where Autumn said you should. My first time through, I struggled to know if I was getting the most out of the loops, because I wasn’t sure if it was hard enough. Was I getting the most out of the workout?

Here’s the deal. If you are doing the exercises with the loops and you aren’t feeling it, you either don’t have the loop placed correctly on your leg, or you need to increase the resistance loop. If you have the loop too high up your thighs, it offers no resistance so everything feels real easy. You want the loop placed about two inches above your knees, but you’re going to have to experiment with what position works best for you. The problem with that, of course, is that even though today’s workout feels like it takes FOREVER, Autumn actually moves you pretty quickly from one exercise to another, so it’s hard to find the time to adjust your loops. But do it. Hit pause, and adjust. Even if it means you have to spend the rest of the workout dealing with a big PAUSE sign on the TV (my morning), it will be worth it to get the loops placed properly.

How do you know if you should increase the loop resistance? Well, if you’re using a yellow and aren’t feeling anything, bump up to a green. If you’re using a green and aren’t feeling it, bump up to a blue. And if you’re already on blue, double-loop it and add a yellow.

Yes, to those of you joining us for the first time, double-looping is a thing, and it does work. But don’t go crazy with it. Especially, don’t go for a double blue loop right out of the gate. Trust me, that shit is hard, and unless your glutes are super ripped, you won’t be able to do double blues while maintaining the right form.


IF you are between loops – that is, if a blue feels too light, but you’re not sure whether you’re ready to try double-looping, then really focus on engaging the muscle that should be working. For example, there is an exercise called “clam,” where you lie on your side with your knees stacked on top of one another at a 90 degree angle, loops around your thighs, and you then proceed to open and close your knees like a clam (terrible description, but bear with me). The exercise works a VERY tiny muscle. For me to work that muscle, I have to really slow down and focus not only on that tiny muscle, but also on keeping my core tight so I don’t rock back. If my core is loose, I rock back which causes another part of my butt to engage, thereby ensuring I don’t work the right muscle. So even though I fall behind, I have to go slow to make sure I work what I am supposed to be working. Replace that extra resistance loop with careful focus, and you can make the workout work for you.

Here’s me doing my favorite exercise of the day:

Side Lunge, Double-Looped
Side lunge, double-looped. I had to pause halfway through because the loops started to go too far up my thighs

This was my fave exercise because it was the LAST exercise. Thank God.

So that’s me bitching about Booty Day. Trust me, Booty day gets a LOT more interesting, and moves WAY quicker after this week. This was a workout you just have to slog through.

Before turning in for the night, I want to touch briefly on the nutrition plan. IF you are reading this and wondering if it’s weird that you’re still hungry all the time, the answer is YES, IT IS. If, after a full 10 days, you are barely making it to the two-hour mark between meals before your stomach starts growling loud enough for others to hear, you need to bump up meal plans.

At this point last time, I was eating in Meal Plan B, and hating life. My energy was low, I was crabby when I came home, and I was having a really, REALLY hard time resisting temptation. I was managing it only because I would come straight home, brush my teeth, and put my retainers in…at 6:30 pm to keep from eating anything else later in the night.

It took me awhile to cotton on to the fact that I needed to bump up to Meal Plan C – I didn’t figure that out and actually do it until mid-way through Phase 2. And I will tell you that a big reason I started this blog is because I wanted to know if anyone else was feeling like me, and the Google machine wasn’t helping.

Look, it’s natural in the first week to feel a bit crabby and tired and to crave foods you normally eat – that’s your body adjusting. But if those symptoms persist, there’s something else going on. Such as: You need to eat more food. For me, I was working full-time then doing night classes. That made for a long day with me not getting home until after 8 pm. Yet I was barely able to push my last meal to 5:30 pm because I would get so hungry by 4:30 pm I couldn’t focus for the last hour at work.

When I bumped up from Meal Plan B to C, I was able to make it comfortably to 6:30 pm before eating my last meal. More importantly, I had more energy and was a LOT more pleasant to be around.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: You need to eat to fuel your body. Don’t think that just because you bump up a meal plan, you will bulk up or gain weight. If you’re eating clean and working out, you won’t. If you doubt me, know this: Autumn Calabrese, the diminutive sprite with the killer abs who created 80 Day Obsession and probably barely weighs 100 pounds soaking wet, eats out of Meal Plan C.

Just like working with the resistance loops, you will have to experiment with the meal plan in terms of what works for you. BUT, don’t take that as free license to experiment with substituting a whole cake for one yellow. Save that shit for refeed day.

You’ll see what I mean.

For now, I will leave you with the usual link to Beachbody, and this picture of the mouth-watering steak I enjoyed tonight, courtesy of the boyfriend. See how well you can eat in 80 Day Obsession?!

BEEF: It's what's for dinner...
…when the boyfriend cooks


Phase 1, Day 8: Total Body Core. Again. (aka There is Nothing Pretty About This)

You know when you do an exercise that feels AMAZING so you think you MUST look good while doing it? That is, you feel so strong, that surely that strength carries over into a picture of you performing the exercise such that the photo exudes confidence and can-do and charisma.

Yeah, not so much.

At least, not so much with any exercise in Total Body Core. Case in point below:

Boat Pose with Loop.
Yep, that’s me. Looking like it’s a Monday morning at the gym.

That’s me in boat pose with resistance loop. In my head, my legs were far out in front of me, my back was nearly touching the floor, and my head was in line with my spine.

As you can see, none of those things are actually true.

And really, that’s what Week 2 is all about: You feel stronger than you did in Week 1, but also nothing really looks good this week. That is, you’ll be a little bit sore, a little bit tired, and starting to wonder if 72 more days of this shit is worth it.

To that I answer YES, it is.

And, also, this is the worst week in any Phase. Week 2, that is. The reason being you do all the exercises in a row for 10 reps; then go back through and do them all for 10 reps again; then go back through and do them all for 10 reps again for the 3rd and final time. I hate this rep scheme because it feels like it takes FOREVER. There’s none of the WHAM BAM THANK YOU MA’AM that comes with doing 3 sets of 10 for a group of exercises, then moving on to the next. Instead, you have to struggle through an exercise (cough, renegade rows, cough), then know you have to go all the way through the ENTIRE workout before coming back to it. Time goes real slow in this one.

All I can say is: STICK WITH IT. It does get better, I promise.

Wondering how to make it get better, faster? Now’s the time for one of my trademark pro tips!

Pro Tip #14: STRETCH. Stretch in the morning when you get up, at night when you go to bed, and drop into a runner’s lunge for a few seconds at work, just to keep it all loose.

If you are anything like me, you are sore right now. Even though I’ve already gone through this whole 80 Day Obsession thing, it still gets me, mostly because I have bumped up my weights, and I decided to try and play soccer even though I don’t run on a regular basis. I then proceed to sit at a desk at work for 8 hours a day before heading home to stare at the computer screen for another hour while I blog (YOU’RE WELCOME).

If I don’t stretch, my hip flexors get so tight that it starts to pull on my hamstrings, which in turn makes it more likely I’ll pull a muscle just walking (been there, done that). So I always spend an extra 12 minutes stretching after my workout in the morning. Then, at night, before I go to bed, I do the same 12-minute routine.

Recently, I’ve added just dropping into a random runner’s lunge stretch at work for 10 seconds at a time, just to try and keep things extra loose. Because I have been sitting WAY too much for comfort.

If you’re wondering what stretch I’m talking about, here it is:

That’s not me. But you get the idea.

I try to do that stretch a few times at work throughout the day, holding for 8-10 seconds at a time. If I don’t, I can’t squat or lunge as low, and chances are good I’ll pull something.

I’m trying to think what else you might want to know about this workout, but really, I think all you’ll want to know is that YES IT DOES END. And, YES YOU CAN DO IT. But it’s not a pretty “hey look at me” sort of workout day.

It’s a grit your teeth, suck it in to keep your core tight, make all sorts of animalistic grunting noises kind of workout day. So just own it and go with it. Because soon those grunts will be coming from one strong animal.

Yeah, it’s definitely Monday.

Link HERE to learn more at Beachbody.


Phase 1, Day 7: Roll & Release (aka Meet Your New Best Friend)

Roll and Release: Roll around on a foam roller for 15 minutes and give yourself the massage you never knew you could.

The new best friend reference, btw, is not to the “workout” (fear not, it’s not a workout), but rather to the foam roller. If you don’t have one, get one. Seriously, it’s life-changing. You know when you come home from those long days hunched over your computer at work and you have those unreachable knots bunched up under your shoulder blade? Spend a few minutes on the foam roller and you can roll that shit into oblivion. It gives your body the release you never thought you could get without being on a massage table.

I have, incidentally, walked out into the living room to find that my boyfriend has fallen asleep atop the foam roller. It’s that good.

But more importantly than making it to Day 7 and foam rolling the shit out of your body, you have finished Week 1 of 80 Day Obsession! Feel good about this accomplishment! And, remember this when the going gets tough in the rest of Phase 1:


There are going to be days up ahead where you are going to be tired. You won’t have slept the night before or you’ll be drained from work or you and your boyfriend will be going through some shit, and everything will ball up and make that workout you have to do seem insurmountable. You have to handle life AND those renegade rows with a twist and a GD resistance loop?

But here’s the deal. Even if you’re doubting whether you can handle the rest of the shit life will throw at you, KNOW you can handle the workout. You are not going to see ANYTHING new in Phase 1 from this point forward. The only thing that changes is the amount of times you do the exercise. Which means all you have to focus on doing is completing one rep at a time of an exercise you KNOW you CAN complete. You’ve done it before. You can push it to make it happen again.

I’ve hinted at it in other posts, but towards the end of Phase 1, I had some shit go down that made me doubt not only whether I could finish 80 Day Obsession, but make it through the day. The only thing that got me through the workout (Cardio Core) was knowing that I had done the workout before. It wasn’t rocket science. I wasn’t learning a foreign language. All I was doing was something I KNEW I could do. So I kept jumping and kept moving because I knew that’s what had worked for me in the past and that it would get me through this tough spot. And it did.

So yeah, when you think you can’t push through, remember you can because you JUST DID. Take a page out of Nike’s book and JUST DO IT.

With the exercise portion out of the way, let’s switch briefly to nutrition. Here’s my meal plan for the week:

Round 2 - Week 2
Menu for Week 2

This week, it will be a lot less assembling and prep for me on the weeknights, because with the exception of the skewers, I portion everything out into a separate container immediately after making it. As a result, here’s what a full day of food looks like for me, absent my shake, banana, and pre-workout meal:

Week 2 foods
Nomz Peanut Butter

Some day, I will learn better photog skillz with the iPhone. But that day is not today.

And, today is not the day when I conquer eating Home Baked Goods at my aunt’s house. I talked about this last night, how I struggle with sticking to my timed nutrition plan when I head to my aunt’s house for Sunday dinner.

Tonight, strangely enough, perhaps as a result of that blog, or as a result of eating at just the right time (hour and 15 minutes) prior to heading to her place, I felt really good about surviving the evening unscathed. I felt strong and wasn’t getting the urge to pig out like I normally do.

And in fact, I portioned stuff out on to my plate in acceptable sizes: Chicken Marabella – enough to fit one red; white rice – a little less than a yellow; green salad with vinaigrette beforehand – enough to fit a green; a small slice of home baked bread to round out the rest of the yellow. I savored it and ate it all and actually felt pretty good.

And then I saw my cousin going back to seconds, and it was like a tether snapped on my self control. Suddenly, the need to EAT ALL THE FOODZ was back and I was all in for more chicken and rice and bread. Then came dessert and I was all about that plum cake with ice cream. Two slices AND two scoops please! Fucking delicious.

So, my timed nutrition plan tanked for Sunday night. Again. But this time around, I’m trying to give myself a bit more grace. See, I know I didn’t stick to the plan. But at the same time, because I had two meals left in the day to eat, I kinda figure that from a caloric standpoint, I got roughly the same amount of calories as I should, just not at the right time. And as for the plum cake…well shit happens. And next time I should really only do one slice.

I’m including this not so that you think you have free license to eat anything and everything. If you do that, 80 Day Obsession won’t work for you.

I’m including this tidbit so you know the struggle is real. This is my second time through and I’m STILL trying to figure out how to get the most out of this program. Yeah, I had a bad night. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up, or that I’m throwing the rest of the meal plan for the week to the wind. It just means that I will have to figure out something new for Sunday dinner next week. I’m not going to let that one failure ruin the rest of the week. And really, I’m not sure I would call it a failure, because it was good food surrounded by good people. So sorry, not sorry.

When you screw up – because you will – go easy on yourself. Try and figure out why the screw-up happened, then try and address the issue so it doesn’t happen again in the future. Or so it doesn’t happen so bad. But don’t stop. Don’t give up. What you’ll get out this program AND life is too good to let one set-back dictate how the rest of everything should go.

For me, I’m hoping that the 2B Mindset program will help with my self-control on these Sunday night dinners. I need that extra little boost to make it through. I need to figure out a way to enjoy myself without over-eating or going back for seconds or thirds or fourths. Because I don’t need those extra helpings. I’m eating enough during the day and getting plenty of good fuel. So something else is going on. I’m hopeful 2B Mindset can help get to the root of it.

Somehow, I managed to type over 1200 words on a rest day. TL;DR. I know I know.

Get some sleep and get ready for Week 2, starting tomorrow! And if you want to know more about 2B Mindset, check out the link below for more info.

Phase 1, Day 5: Legs (aka Do As I Say Not As I Do)

So, I’m an idiot.

I am very good at giving advice but not necessarily at taking it.

Here is the build-up: It is almost the end of Week 1; your body is going to be sore; you are going to be mentally exhausted; these workouts, on top of everything else you have going on in your life, are going to make it feel as though your cup runneth over.

Here is my advice: Listen to your body. Don’t try and kill yourself with super heavy weights because you think you should. Check in with your muscles and joints and see how everything is feeling, and only bump up weights if you are feeling strong. See how you are feeling afterwards. Stretch extra. Maybe schedule a massage. Take an epsom salt bath. All in all, pay attention to how you are feeling and don’t push it. This is a 13 week program. Don’t blow your load in Week 1.


The only saving grace is that by the time you are on one of those co-ed teams in your mid-30s, one of your teammates is a massage therapist and can get you in for an appointment first thing Sunday morning. Thank God.

But in all seriousness, leg day comes at the end of a long week. But the good news is the workout flies by. It’s three rounds of three exercises, and in Week 1 you will go all the way through all the workouts for 15 reps each, then go back through and repeat. Compared to the other workouts, this one is quick.

Pro Tip: When doing lunges, focus on engaging your core, in addition to your legs. You’d be surprised how focusing on keeping the core tight can help engage your lower body.

As always, also make sure you track your weights, because you will see substantial gains in your legs as this program goes on. But for this first week, again, don’t go for the super heavy weights until the second round. Rather, go all the way through using a weight you know won’t kill you. If, by the time you get to the 15 rep, you feel as though you could do another few reps, then bump the weight up for the next round. But if you are dying, maybe keep it the same or bump it down.

That’s me for the night. I already rolled out the hammie on a baseball and foam roller and did extra stretching and took an epsom salt bath with a hint of baking soda. I am hoping a good night’s sleep will have me ready for Cardio Flow tomorrow, which I know will loosen everything up. But first, I have to actually make it to bed….

Beachbody details in the link below. Epsom salt bath not included.


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


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.


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,


Phase 1, Day 2: Booty (aka the Silent Killer)

Confession: I am a workout snob.

It’s not my fault. It’s how I was raised. Or rather, it was how I spent my formative high school and college years.

Let me explain.

I played college basketball. Not well, mind you. But I was on a Division I women’s basketball team, which means my four years in college were spent participating in all things basketball-related, whether they were mandatory or “voluntary.” A typical day in pre-season looked like this:

  • Wake up;
  • Go to class;
  • “Voluntary” weights for an hour and a half;
  • Go back to class;
  • Conditioning (not a silent killer; just a flat-out killer);
  • Open gym;
  • Study.

Somewhere in there, I ate. Terrible food. And lots of it. All told, I spent approximately 4-5 hours a day working out. Which gave me free license, I thought to put whatever food I wanted into my body, because food was food was food. And food was fuel. Ergo, confetti cake was the perfect food to eat after a marathon gym session because it was…food.

My college days left me with a two-fold problem: 1) I thought that to get a quality workout, I needed to spend at least 4-5 hours sweating my ass off doing exercises I loathed, and B) I had no idea how to eat properly so that people could actually tell I had spent 4-5 hours sweating my ass off doing exercises I loathed.

Which brings me to today’s workout: Booty. Quickly, some logistics: It was again 2 sets of 15, where you go all the way through all the exercises, then go back through them all again. There were again 5 series:

  1. Glute Bridge;
  2. Quad Ped;
  3. Side Lying;
  4. Standing; and
  5. Moving.

The only equipment needed? Resistance Loops.

Here, friends, is where my workout snobbery kicked in my first time doing this workout: I thought there was no way in hell I could get anything remotely resembling a good workout without either using weights or losing half my body weight in water while jumping. As this workout requires neither of those options, I was prepared to write off Booty as another way to get some new Beachbody sucker to spend more money on over-priced Beachbody products (i.e. those loops).

My face in the photo below should tell you otherwise.

Booty Burn
My face says it all about the booty burn.

This workout is deceptively hard. You spend most of the workout off your feet, so you think, “no sweat, I got this!”

And then you get to the 12th rep and your ass is on fire and your legs are shaking and you have sweat dripping off your face onto the carpet and you’re cursing both Autumn Calabrese and her damn resistance loops from hell and wondering how the fuck you’re supposed to make it through ANOTHER round.

But then, suddenly, you’re done, and for the first time ever your butt feels slightly swollen following a workout. Not like sick swollen, but SWOLE swollen. The good kind.

Booty in Phase 1 with your friend. This workout lures you in and lulls you to sleep with the promise of of doing the majority of the exercises either on your back or on your side or on your hands and knees. There’s no running or jumping or heavy lifting. It’s all concentrated movements that focus on specific muscles. It is the perfect switch-up from the full body intensity that is total body core, and the jump-rope heavy plyometrics that is tomorrow’s workout. It is absolutely do-able, and it’s a good reminder that you don’t need to go crazy on a treadmill or in the gym in order to get a quality workout.

I learned this the first time I did the Booty workout, and I was reminded of it today when I went back to Basics with Day 2 in Phase 1. It was like hanging out with an old college friend after a decade apart and not missing a beat of conversation.

But then that friend pretty much pushes you into a pile of dog shit while walking; because you go to sit down on the toilet and almost fall off because it turns out those muscles aren’t quite up to the task of a controlled lower to the porcelain throne.

Which, frankly, is the mark of an amazing workout. And a super unfunny friend.

One last pearl of wisdom before I close up shop for the night: Two days in, you may be feeling sore and suffering from terrible cravings. You may be wondering if this will get better and if you should continue to do this.

Yes, this will get better. I promise. But it will take work.

Yes, you should continue to do this. It is worth it. But it will be work.

Tomorrow, if you are doubting your resolve or ability, promise yourself that you will at least put on your gym clothes. Promise yourself you will then at least go to the gym or hit play in the living room. Promise yourself to then at least do the warm-up, because you’re going to be sore, and the warm-up will at least loosen you up and make you feel better. Then, if you do that and you do feel better, promise yourself you will at least TRY the first move in Cardio Core, just to see what it’s like.

Just try it. Take small steps to see how you feel. Because I guarantee those small steps will make you feel way better than you anticipated, and before you know it, you will have Day 3 in the bag.

But, until then, be careful going to the bathroom.

Link below for more info on the Beachbody stuff. Oh, and don’t skimp on the resistance loops. They are high quality and absolutely worth the price, and you will probably go through 2 sets of them during a single round of 80 Day Obsession. I know I did.




Phase 1, Day 1: Total Body Core (aka the one with the move I hate)

Day 1 of 80 Day Obsession is in the books. Let’s discuss.

First, some logistics: Day 1 is Total Body Core, a routine that will be repeated every Monday in Phase 1. The workout consists of 5 series, and on Day 1, you have 15 reps for each exercise; you go all the way through all the series, then go back through and do it all again.

Series 1: Shoulders.

Series 2: Back.

Series 3: Chest.

Series 4: Biceps.

Series 5: Triceps.

Equipment: Weights and resistance bands. Autumn used 8-pound and 10-pound dumbbells, and that’s what I used my first time through. Today, however, I am proud to report my weights had bumped up to 12s, 15s, and 22.5s.


Also, don’t think that just because the series have a defined “muscle” they “work” in that series, that the exercises are super boring. The beauty of these exercises is that the muscle listed is really just the primary muscle worked. For example, in addition to your chest being worked in the exercise called “Push-Up Leg Lift with Loop,” yes, you are working your chest. But you’re also working your ass, your core, pretty much your everything. You have to focus on lowering your body, clenching your butt to raise your leg, and keeping your core tight to ensure you don’t get that gruesome dip in your back at the bottom of the push-up.

It is, to quote the Bard, “Hard as fuck.”

BUT, crucially, it is also VERY DO-ABLE.

Herein lies the secret to Beachbody workouts: They are meant to be completed. They are meant to be do-able. Not effortlessly do-able, but do-able nonetheless after you throw in some sweat and tears.

Think about it. If they made their workouts TOO hard, NO ONE would do them. We want to battle in the gym, not succumb to all-out nuclear war.

I bring this up to point out that IF you struggled with Day 1 and wondered if you can complete the next few workouts, the answer is simple: YES YOU CAN. I like to think of these workouts as being manufactured to apply to the lowest common denominator that guarantees the highest rate of success. Just when you think you can’t do one more rep, the exercise is over. Or just when you think you need an extra second to rest, good ol’ Donald in Autumn’s background cast struggles with getting his loop on over his thighs which gives you another breathe to inhale. These programs have been tested to within an inch of their lives to ensure they a) work, and b) are hard, but do-able, to ensure you keep coming back for more.

Which brings me to my next point: Pacing. Going through 80 Day Obsession for the second time, I admire how Autumn got the pacing of the program right. Going through the 5 series for the first-time, Autumn gives you plenty of time to figure out your weights, get into position, and adjust your loops. All of that adds up to having more time to recover, which is much-needed regardless of how many times you’ve gone through the program. Because the fact of the matter is, you need more than a deep breath to recover from my nemesis exercise, One hand Renegade Row Twist with Loop (pic below). I hate that damn exercise. I hate it because even after one round, I feel like I still suck at it.

One Hand Renegade Row Twist with Loop makes me Hulk Smash Angry.

BUT, again, thanks to pacing, I don’t spend the whole workout doing the Exercise Which Shall Not Be Named. Thank God. That would be enough to make me not work out.

Instead, inevitably, after an exercise you loathe, you do an exercise which either isn’t too bad, or one that you feel halfway competent completing. Case in point below:

Chest Fly with Leg Lift

This is a terrible picture, but I post it because I am proud of my form. See how my back is flat along the ground, even though my legs are (kinda) going down? When I started 80 Day Obsession, my core wasn’t strong enough to keep my back on the ground, which means my back would arch up to compensate for my weak abs. Now, I am strong enough to press my back into the ground, even if that means I can’t yet get my legs lowered down very far. It’s progress, and I feel strong. So you’re welcome.

And that brings me to my last point: Strength. This program is not about getting skinny or fitting into a new pair of jeans, or dropping inches or pounds. I mean, that will happen if you stick to it. But inevitably, what this program is about is getting strong. Physically, mentally, emotionally. And what I love about the strength aspect, is there is ALWAYS room for improvement. You never just get to the end and think, “You know, I’m good now, no more strength for me!” No, you just keep going. You keep testing your resolve and building your strength.

But for that to happen, you have to leave room for improvement. You can’t just jump into hiking at altitude without allowing your body to get acclimated (been there, done that, it hurts). When you start this program, especially on Day 1 of ANY phase, cut yourself some slack. You won’t be an expert the first time you do this, and you won’t be lifting as heavy as you eventually will. But that’s the point: Eventually, you will. But first you have to figure out where to start and then improve incrementally from that point forward. It’s all about the Kaizen.

So, after completing Day 1 of 80 Day Obsession, you know you can do it. And you know that every Monday for the next 4 weeks in Phase 1, you will be doing those f-ing renegade rows. And those glorious chest flies. More importantly, you will be working your “Total Body Core,” and if you do it right, you will figure out how to hone in on working your core in each and every exercise (hint: You do that by focusing on keeping your core tight).

For now, it’s past my bedtime, and I gotta get a good night’s sleep before tomorrow’s Booty workout. BUT, the good news is (SPOILER ALERT) tomorrow’s workout is all about the loops and can be done from the comfort of my living room, which means I can get a precious extra half hour of sleep.

As always, hit me up with any questions or comments, or checkout the link below for more Beachbody products.

Keep it up!