PEAK WEEK, Day 79: Cardio Core from Phase 2 (aka The One Where You’ll Have Nothing Left in the Tank)

This is the face of Day 79 of 80 Day Obsession:

Epsom Salt
Gimme all the epsom salt baths.

It’s not pretty. (Also, side note, apparently you can drink epsom salt? I thought it was only ever used for baths and melting snow on driveways. Or wait. That’s rock salt. Still. Who wants to drink epsom salt?)

I wish I could tell you I was motivated to kill this Cardio Core workout. I wish I could tell you my legs were fresh and my head was in the right place and I used every jump to get a little bit higher and every push-up to get a little bit lower.

Guys. I just can’t. It was a miracle I finished the damn thing.

I am feeling Day 79. For the first time in a long while, my legs were cinder blocks. They STILL haven’t recovered from this week’s Leg Day. What saved me today was the fact that the Cardio Core workout is from Phase 2, which, while challenging, is also entirely do-able, even in my weakened state.

Don’t get me wrong. I completed the workout. I did every jump rope move and every HIIT exercise and every gut-crunching core routine. I did it because I knew I could.

Did I require maybe an extra second or two to start jumping so I could wipe the sweat from my eyes? Absolutely. But I still started. And I still finished.

Truth be told, the workout left me tired, but succeeded in loosening up my sore hammies – I sat for too long today.

But then I went and played soccer.

Bad idea.

I played terribly. If I had nothing in the tank for Cardio Core, by the time I got to the soccer field, the fuel gauge had broken and I was heading towards a  tree because the brakes no longer worked. I am lucky I didn’t hurt myself. My limbs were at that super bendy/Gumby-like stage where you can tell an injury is just waiting to happen if you over-extend your leg or kick the ball at an awkward angle. I’d go into a run for the ball and reach for that next great to turn the run into a sprint, and….nothing. The motor didn’t even gutter once in an attempt to shift up. It just kept tumbling along, doing 15 on the freeway.

Afterwards, I called my boyfriend and left a rambling voicemail that warned him I would likely be on the kitchen floor when he got home, still wearing my soccer clothes, with multiple tupperwares of cold food scattered on the linoleum around me because I was too tired to stand up and heat my food and eat it with a spoon at the table like a civilized human being.

As it was, I immediately started the water running for a bath when I got home, knowing the threat of wasting water by falling asleep on the kitchen floor would keep me from falling asleep on the kitchen floor.

It worked.

My point is, I’m tired and I’m relieved it’s Day 79. I’m already looking forward to tomorrow’s workout so I can be DONE. I am ready to put this second round of 80 Day Obsession in the books and take a week off to do yoga and not worry about when I should be eating that lone blue container.

But my relief to be finished should not be confused with any sort of disappointment in the program or my results. Really, I know my tank is empty because I’ve done a shitty job the past few weeks getting to bed at a reasonable hour, and it’s catching up with me. This second round of 80 Day Obsession has still done its job. I actually have a booty and abs and if I work up the courage, maybe I’ll post a progress photo tomorrow to prove it. I am in the best shape of my LIFE, and my confidence is through the roof. I feel so good about me and what I can accomplish and what I HAVE accomplished. It’s not easy. It never is and it never will be.

Life is never gonna roll over and play perfect with your goals. Oh, you want to start an 80 day workout program? Great, we’ll just keep all crises on the back burner until Day 81. There will always be some weeks where you work 60 hours and another where you’re sick and a time where your better half lands in the hospital. Life won’t take a break just because you’re trying to be your best self. If anything, it might even double-down with the challenges and really force you to PROVE you want this despite all the obstacles thrown in your way.

I am aware of the Negative Nancy tone of my last few posts. I could have exchanged those vibes for some saccharine sweet chill, but that would have been neither fair nor authentic. It would be unfair to you, dear Reader, to think I am not affected by the daily highs and lows of life and the effect that rollercoaster can have on your mindset. But even while on that rollercoaster, I still pushed play. I still got my workout in and I still stuck to the timed nutrition. I may not have been smiling the whole time, but I did it.

And I guarantee you I will be smiling tomorrow. How can I not? Not only will I have finished 80 Day Obsession for the second time, but I will have also accomplished my goal of live-blogging my journey. Given every other blog I have ever started usually flamed out after the first month, I’m pleasantly surprised at my consistency. YOU’RE WELCOME!

But seriously, the fact that I did stick with the blog says more about 80 Day Obsession and how it can change your mindset – and your life – if you let it. If you follow the program and put in the work and just put one foot in front of the other to keep going, you’ll end the program a different, stronger person than when you started.

So tonight, enjoy that Epsom salt bath. And know that even though your tank might be empty, your cup still runneth over.

Check out the link for more workout inspo, or email me with questions.

ONE. MORE. DAY. LET’S DO THIS.

 

PEAK WEEK, Day 78: Total Body Core from Phase 3 (aka The One You Just Did)

The only saving grace for today’s workout is the rep scheme: Two sets of 15 reps, where you do ALL the exercises in a row, then go back through and do them all again. This doesn’t make the workout feel shorter, but it at least makes it feel more do-able.

The other saving grace is today is the LAST time you will do the 1/2 modified Turkish get-up to a push-up move from hell. Put that on your list of things to celebrate on Day 80 (after your workout, of course).

I would lay out today’s moves, but you know them from having just completed Phase 3. There’s not a lot to add other than you’ll probably be a bit more tired, a bit more sore. For whatever reason, my shoulders were knotted in balls of tightness, and it wasn’t until I rolled them out on the foam roller AFTER the workout that it felt like anything got broken up. Which means I did not increase on the surrender to press up move weight-wise, but I DID increase my weight on the 1/2 modified Turkish hell move. THAT one I am proud of, if only because it was the hardest one to finish.

Truth be told, I’m finding this program a whole lot harder to finish this time around. Or rather, I’m simply not as motivated. I know this has a great deal to do with not getting enough sleep: It’s summer and it’s hot and it’s hard to get to bed early when it’s light out until 10 pm. As a result, I get to bed late and then spend the day cranky and tired and I’m probably retaining water and weight more than I normally would. Even though I was on an emotional rollercoaster my first time through 80 Day Obsession, I did a much better job of sticking to my schedule. I had to. It was my anchor, my sanity – the three things I could control at that point were what I ate, when I worked out, and what time I got to bed.

Funny, then, that when I have control back over the other aspects in my life, it is the motivation to workout that slips.

Which is why the below photo is so well-timed.

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Eight years and a lifetime apart.

Eight years ago to the day, I was traveling through Jordan. In the middle of the Wadi Rum, against the jaw-dropping background of red sand and granite, I attempted…some sort of athletic move. It has to be something like a donkey kick. I remember not being able to do it, as evidenced by the photo. But I wasn’t really bothered because I was there for the scenery, not a demonstration of my athletic prowess.

A few weeks ago, I attempted the same move on a grassy knoll at a park in my neighborhood. The result is on the right.

Eight years and 20 pounds separate those two photos. I wouldn’t change my 20s for a thing, but when I look back at the person I was almost a decade ago, I wish I knew some of what I know now about strength and patience and being consistent. I wish there had been an 80 Day Obsession for me to do prior to starting law school, or when I emerged three years later after being beaten down by the Bar. I can’t help but wonder how that might have shaped me.

All I know is I’m not going back. I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m stronger than ever. I’m wearing clothes I never dreamed would ever fit me. But more importantly, I’m ready to take on the next phase in my professional life and my personal life. 80 Day Obsession certainly can’t give me a paycheck, but it can remind me that I can do hard things.

After all, if I killed those 1/2 modified turkish get-ups with a heavier weight than last week, what can’t I do?

As always, check out the usual link for Beachbody stuff. And, as always, feel free to email me for with questions or more tips and musings.

Almost there!

PEAK WEEK, Day 75: AAA from Phase 1 (aka The One Where You Can Feel Yourself Shredding Out)

I came up with multiple aka’s for this program during the course of the workout:

  • The One Where You Can’t Stop Grabbing Your Ass In Public;
  • The One Where You Want to Run To the Nearest Mirror to Check Out Your Abs;
  • The One Where You Might Faceplant Because Your Arms Give Out.

Since nobody remembers this workout (so much has happened since then), here’s what you have to look forward to:

Three series of four exercises each.

Series 1: Upright Row, Bent Over Fly, Frog Sliders, Glute Bridge with Loop.

Series 2: Push-Up, Skull Crushers, Weighted Ab Sit-Up, Quad Ped Heel Press.

Series 3: Bent Over Row, Hammer Curl, Knee Tucks, Fire Hydrant.

The lift scheme is two sets of 15 reps, where you take it all a series at a time; that is, you do all exercises in a row for 15 reps each, then go back and repeat before moving on to the next series. As a result, the workout moves along nice, though still clocks in at 53 minutes.

Also as a result, you will get some booty pump and dead arms. I am having to take breaks as I type this to shake my arms out at my side to get the blood flowing. My biceps/triceps/shoulders literally start spasming if I keep my fingers on the keyboard for too long. It’s too much work for those tired muscles.

It’s not that these exercises are hard. They are. But the intensity is different. You’ll sweat, but nowhere near as much as you did in the Phase 3 AAA workout. You will also notice that there are almost no compound movements. For example, if you recall the last time we did skull crushers, we did them while up in a glute bridge and with loops around our thighs. You would think that without the loops and glute bridge, the move is therefore a lot easier.

My shaking arms stay otherwise.

Without the extra moves, you can focus in on one particular muscle group – triceps for the skull crushers – and try and lift a little heavier. Surprisingly, the static focus acts as a shock to the system. You get a good burn going; so good, in fact, that afterwards you’ll want to run to a mirror to see if your tricep muscle is popping because they are going to feel extra defined.

Same goes for your abs on the slider moves.

But the true test of strength, the real measure of how far you’ve come, is push-ups. I guarantee you that is why Autumn chose this workout. You might not be able to find your Phase 1 tracker sheets to see what you lifted at the end of that Phase; and, even if you find your tracker sheets, your weights today might differ from your weights back then. But when you do that first push-up, you’ll feel the difference.

Autumn will be calling out cues, and you’ll find you can follow along. Don’t let your back arch; head in a straight line; lift your butt and pelvis a bit more. Instead of dreading these normal push-ups, you’ll relish them. If you’ve made it this far in the program, this move, more than any other, will be the true testament to your progress. You’ll surprise yourself with how strong you feel, especially in the first few. You can actually LOWER yourself with some control and come up with some power. And you can do this for multiple reps! Sure, it gets a bit sloppy at the end, but remember when you FIRST did these push-ups? you were on your knees! Check out how far you’ve come. You might even feel good enough to go back and take a few photos to share:

Push-Up
Amazing how such a simple move can tell such an important story.

Aside from the push-ups, you will be afraid that your arms are going to give out during the quad ped moves and the fire hydrants and the knee tucks and the frog sliders. Don’t think this is just you. You are not alone. And it does not mean you are weak. It just means your body isn’t used to the workout and it’s a good wake-up call. Which is the whole point of PEAK WEEK, to shock your body off any plateau it might have reached.

It will also have you grabbing your ass a lot because of the focus on your glutes.

Again, when was the last time you did an exercise on your hands and knees, using the loops? Maybe Phase 2. Which is why when you do it during Peak Week, your ass can tell. It feels EXTRA big after all those reps, and I guarantee your hands will be wandering back to check and see how many sizes it grew during the exercise.

Regardless of the Booty gains made during this workout, it’s Day 75, and if you’re like me, you’re going to be happy to say goodbye to this workout. It’s nice to FINALLY have one in the books for good…until next time.

Get some sleep for Cardio Flow tomorrow. It’ll be fun for once, I swear.

Link to the Beachbody goods here. Message me with any thoughts or tips or hopes or dreams.

xo

Phase 3, Day 74: Booty (WELCOME TO THE END OF PHASE 3!)

Today is a bit anticlimactic. If you are like me my first time through 80 Day Obsession, you go into today thinking you’re at the end of Phase 3 and thus the end of the program.

But then you click open Beachbody on Demand, find the workout…and note that today is only Day 74.

What the F are you going to do for the next six days?

Peak Week. That’s what.

But before we get into planning for Peak Week, let’s talk about today’s workout: Booty. Two sets of 15 reps, where you take it all a series at a time.

As per usual, the workout flows real nicely until you get to the third series with its front-lunge-side-lunge mayhem. Then it takes another half hour and the sweat starts to pour and you begin to wonder why the hell you’re doing all this in the first place.

And that, my friends, is how I know I’m close to burnout. Not the good kind of muscle burnout that tells you you’re burning some major calories. No, I’m talking about mental burnout that then leads to you not working out for the rest of the year (been there, done that).

My first time through 80 Day Obsession, I was tired, sure. But I was also so excited with my results and how I was feeling. I was proud of how many sizes I dropped and the shape of my arms. I loved how confident the program left me feeling as I started each day after completing a tough workout. I couldn’t wait to share my success with others, because I knew if the program was working this well for me, it could do the same for you.

As I close out Phase 3 of this second round of 80 Day Obsession, I’m still proud of what I’ve accomplished. I love how I feel and how my legs look, and this is the most comfortable I have ever been in a bikini. But the workouts, at this point, do feel a bit like a slog. Case in point, today was the kinda day where this happened:

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Totally dropped my weight on the pen because I was too tired to set it down properly.

More than anything this time around, fatigue is my enemy. I know a lot of it has to do with long summer nights and not being as religious about my sleep schedule as I was in the winter months. It’s hard to be when it’s light out until 10 pm. Which means that I have not been as mentally sharp as I was at this point in the program my first time ’round.

I know what this means: I need a break. Not a break from working out, but a break from the strict regime that is 80 Day Obsession.

But I want to keep my results. Which means I might just bite the bullet and go for Beachbody’s new program, LIIFT4. From what I hear, the workouts are only 30-40 minutes long and you only work out four days a week – a welcome relief from the marathon sessions we’ve been putting in with 80 Day Obsession. Plus, the eating plan apparently comes with a built-in cheat day, which might help me tame my weekend weakness for sweets.

Or, I might do 21 Day Refresh, though I’m not entirely sure what it is. Yoga?

All I know is I need a change and I need something a bit easier than 80 Day Obsession.

I am musing about all this outloud, dear Reader, because I have learned that if I don’t have a plan in place when one workout program ends, it might be another six months before I jump back on the exercise band wagon. I’d like to think I’m more disciplined now, but why take that risk?

Plus, if I know what lies ahead of me, that will make it a bit easier to give Peak Week my all because I will know it is truly THE END of 80 Day Obsession…until next time.

Now. Peak Week.

I will be honest: Like Refeed Day, Peak Week didn’t really do anything for me. I am pretty sure I did it correctly. But instead of feeling super shredded, I felt overly full most of the time because of the added meal. I was also crabby and missed my fruit.

If I have one pro tip for you to conquer Peak Week, it would be to simply copy the meal plan Autumn provides. That takes out the guesswork and you won’t have to wonder if you’re doing it right. I wish I had done that because I otherwise spent the week wondering if I chose the right foods or was doing it right.

Also, for those of you who received your 80 Day Obsession Challenge Pack in the mail and then immediately misplaced your workout calendar, you do the deplete meal plan for two days in a row – Monday and Tuesday – and then do a normal day for Wednesday; then do a deplete day for Thursday and Friday, followed by a normal day on Saturday. I guess the idea is that when you take your final pic Saturday night/Sunday morning, you should be super leaned out.

Again, that didn’t work for me, but if you follow Autumn’s plan to a T, you’ll probably have more luck.

If you have any questions about the process or my own experience, feel free to hit me up. Or check out the usual Beachbody link.

Above all, I hope you are excited for the LAST week in 80 Day Obsession! YOU ARE SO CLOSE! ALMOST THERE! Whatever you do, do NOT give up now. Why would you give up 10 feet before the finish line? It is literally within reach. You already did 74 days. What’s another six?

Phase 3, Days 72 & 73: Total Body Core and Cardio Core, respectively (aka I pull a Double Day)

The morning after my last post, I awoke nauseous. My stomach churned, my mouth watered, and I seriously considered kicking my boyfriend awake to demand he drag a trash can to my bedside in case I threw up.

If you remember, my last post focused almost exclusively on all the vomit-worthy occasions scattered throughout the Leg Day workout. Unfortunately, it seems the nausea was not limited to the exercise.

Also, I should back up a step. I was nauseous the entire day of my last post. After doing Leg Day in the morning and fighting back the vomit the entire time, I got home at 6:45 pm after a full day of work and crawled into bed, crashing into a deep sleep. I awoke at 8:45 pm, blogged, made myself eat something, and slept for another 12 hours.

Safe to say my body was fighting something. Probably food poisoning from the meats I dragged across the State.

My point being, I didn’t work out yesterday. And while it caused me some anxiety because it threw off my schedule, I know that I was truly not well because my worry was not deeply rooted. Instead of spiraling me into a deep depression that made me doubt whether I would finish this second round of 80 Day Obsession, the missed workout was merely a gnat to be brushed from the shoulder and forgotten in lieu of getting my health back and getting back on schedule.

Which is why I pulled a Double Day today.

Oh Double Days. Where you cram two workouts into a single day and hope for the best.

In college, these Double Days were notorious. They usually hit right at the beginning of the “official” start to basketball season, and then also at Christmas upon return from our 2-3 day break. My coach liked to use Double Days as a “motivator”; after a particularly gruesome loss to University of Nevada at Reno my freshman year, a game which we should have easily won, my coach promised we would return from Christmas break to Double Days, and warned us to not enjoy ourselves too much over the holiday lest we throw up Christmas ham all over the gym floor.

She wasn’t kidding.

I caught a 5 am flight out of Seattle on December 26th so I could make an 11 am practice in Moraga, California later in the day; after three hours on the court, we took a break, ate, lifted some weights…and came back at 7 pm for another 2 hours.

Surprisingly, my team wasn’t very good in college. Fear is simply not that great a motivator when it comes to collegiate athletics.

But I digress.

The point is, I knew today I had to pull a Double Day. Thankfully, I could not have picked two better workouts: Total Body Core and Cardio Core.

Total Body Core this week consists of two sets of 15 reps, where you do each series at a time for the 2 x 15 rep scheme before moving on to the next series.

I will warn you now: You will hear a lot of complaints from the cast both before and during this workout, and these complaints will mirror your own thoughts: Why are there so many GD pushups? Who made up this Turkish get-up move from hell? How the F can we do 15 reps of tricep push-ups after EVERYTHING ELSE in the workout??

I took comfort in these complaints because they told me I was not alone.

That said, the only way I was able to complete this workout is because I was finally able to take my own advice: LIGHTEN UP.

Seriously. Had I gone for broke and tried do lift the same weights I did last week, the workout probably would have been too hard, and I probably would have quit; ESPECIALLY in light of the fact I knew I was gonna have to fit two workouts into the day.

While part of me was disappointed that I was lifting the same weight I did when I started Phase 3, the larger part of me told that little voice to SHUT UP and do what I needed to do to get the job done. Because I just didn’t have it. I could feel it. Even if I had wanted to increase the weights, I’m not sure I could have. Whether I was still fighting the stomach issues or was affected by not eating as much as I normally do the day before, my energy and strength were not at full power. I was operating at about 80%.

Which worked, but not for an increase in weights. Here’s me praying to a higher power mid-workout:

The Day After Sickness
I needed all the help I could get.

Regardless, I got the workout DONE.

Then I went home, showered, packed my meals for the day, and got myself to work.

I left at 5 pm to return home and pack what I needed for the gym AND my soccer game.

Yes. Today was not only a Double Day; today was really a TRIPLE DAY.

I love Cardio Core because you can push yourself to whatever limit you’re at for the day. My limit today was shorter than normal: I had to take a few moments after jumping to clear the air with some burps, otherwise I was gonna throw up my pre-workout meal (I was still fighting some nausea, apparently). But even with those throat-clearing breaths, I still got a great workout. I just did what I needed to do to finish the workout before I had to leave for soccer.

I don’t have many notes to add about Cardio Core because the workout remains unchanged from what you faced in Week 1 of Phase 3. All I will say is that even though it was my second workout of the day, I felt strong enough to start the ab exercises even when Autumn was still pulling up her loops or joking with the cast. I was on a deadline, after all – I had to get to my soccer game on time!

So it was after Cardio Core that I proceeded to Perrigo Field to sweat it out for 90 minutes in the dying of the light with my soccer team.

These summer night on the soccer pitch are what I live for. This is why I signed up in the first place. When it’s 80 degrees out with a slight breeze and the sun lights up the sky until 10 o’clock at night. I live for that shit.

Which is all to say, I felt pretty good playing soccer, if only because I made sure I didn’t stop sweating.

PRO TIP #5: IF EVER YOU STOP SWEATING DURING A WORKOUT, IMMEDIATELY DRINK SOME GATORADE AND A SHIT-TON OF WATER.

I knew the instant I stopped sweating I would be on a one-way ticket to Cramp Town. That’s my tell. When, despite the heat, my body stops producing moisture and my shirt dries. I know at that point that I’m in trouble and am probably about to crash.

Tonight, however, I had the foresight to pack a banana and pick up a Gatorade at the gym. While I’m not a fan of sports drinks, by the time the final whistle blew, I was out of both water and my blue Gatorade…and I was still sweating. Mission accomplished.

Afterwards, I treated myself to a victory beer-and-a-half with my teammates at a local pub, got a burger wrapped in lettuce with a side salad, and then drove home to an epsom salt bath which had been thoughtfully drawn by my better half.

Which is all to say, you CAN do Double Days; you can even do Triple Days. But you have to plan for it. You have to eat right and stay hydrated and schedule your activities accordingly.

But assuming you tick all the boxes, you can get back on track even after a sick day.

For more info on the usual Beachbody shenanigans, check out the link. Otherwise, message me with any questions about Double Days or your own sick days, and how to handle them.

Knowing when to take a day off is tough, especially in the midst of a regimented workout like 80 Day Obsession. But knowing you can keep going, even in the face of something that feels like a huge set-back, is just another part of making this 80 day program a lifestyle.

If you ran into your own obstacles following the program, I hope you conquered them. And if you are having issues, hit me up. You’re not alone.

Yours in Doubles and Triples,

FitLuddy.

Phase 3, Day 71: Legs (aka The One Where You Will Think About Throwing Up)

There will be no pictures to commemorate today’s workout.

Today, for whatever reason, I woke up nauseous. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that I am still eating protein I schlepped around the State in a poorly ventilated cooler over the weekend. I can’t know for sure. All I know is that my stomach was roiling when I woke up this morning, and for the first time in awhile, I seriously contemplated not eating my pre-workout meal because I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep it down.

But I powered through and made myself eat, if only to ensure I would have fuel for today’s workout.

Today’s vomit-worthy workout.

Logistics first: The rep scheme changes to two sets of 15 reps, where you do each series at a time. It helps the workout fly by, but also ensures you will be choking down your own vomit, of which there will be a LOT of talk today.

I kid you not, Autumn and the cast make a vomit reference probably every five minutes in this workout. It’s not that the workout is intense. It absolutely is. It’s more so that today the only person who listens to Autumn when choosing weights is Autumn (including me). Which leads naturally to my first pro tip of the day:

PRO TIP #444: GO BACK TO MEDIUM WEIGHTS OR YOU WILL PROBABLY THROW UP.

Despite this pro tip, and despite Autumn extolling the necessity of lifting lighter weights, you are going to come into this workout thinking, “it’s the second to last week! I gotta make it count! I am feeling super strong so I might as well try and lift what I was lifting last week, or something only a little lighter.”

What you don’t realize, however, is that today’s rep scheme is built more like a cardio workout than a weight workout, which means your heart rate gets up real high, real fast. Add to this the fact that you spend a lot of time in positions where you are sort of leaned over, crushing your stomach (be it in a lunge or a squat), and you’ve got the perfect storm for vomit.

What I learned today is pretty much every move in today’s workout can be vomit-inducing. I didn’t actually throw up, but only because I had to actively tell my body not to. From the stupid squat sideways slider walk things to the goblet squat, it seemed as though EVERY move was about to trigger projectile vomiting. In fact, it seemed like EVERY move was PERFECTLY engineered to trigger projectile vomiting. Like, that was its purpose, to make you lose extra weight in this last week by ensuring you leave the contents of your stomach on the floor of the weight room.

I didn’t throw up today, but to be honest, I wonder if I would now be feeling better if I had let myself. If I had let my system purge whatever is bugging it today, I would probably not be worried about feeling this way in tomorrow’s workout.

At least I already have a strategy planned out for how to deal with any potential upchuck: First, note the locations of the garbage cans positioned throughout the room in case I have to make a run for it. Second, if my route to a vomitorium is somehow blocked, throw up in my towel and then just dump the whole mess in the trash after a leisurely stroll across the room in front of bewildered weight-goers.

All of this said, I do have to add that I had a great workout with the heavier weight. You probably will too, even if you ignore Autumn’s sage advice.

Just know that if you do, don’t be startled if your breakfast tries to make a surprise appearance during sumo cross jumps.

That’s all for now. My stomach is still in turmoil and has been all day. I’m low on sleep so I’m off to see if I can’t chase this thing off with a few Zzzzz’s.

Link to the usual Beachbody stuff.

May your Will today be strong and your stomach stronger.

Phase 3, Day 69: AAA (aka The One Where Autumn is a Hot Mess)

It is a truth universally acknowledged that not every day will be perfect in an 80 day workout program.

So it is with 80 Day Obsession.

But there is a huge difference between being the hot mess yourself, and seeing a celebrity super trainer also struggle with hot-messy-itis just like a normal person.

Today’s workout finds you doing AAA for the last time in Phase 3, and the rep scheme is one that feels like it moves quickly, even though the workout still takes close to an hour (58 minutes). As previously described, there are three series of exercises, four exercises to a series, and this week you’ll do each series for two sets of 15 reps each, before moving on to the next series.

While you will enjoy pushing yourself with the weights with this workout, you will mostly enjoy watching Autumn struggle.

I don’t say that to be cruel. What I mean is that for the past 68 days, Autumn has been with you for every rep in every set. She has done every curl and every lunge, every jump and every squat. You see her sweat and see her have to go down in weights because her forearms can’t handle a heavy pair of dumbbells.  Through it all, amazingly, she talks. She calls out cues and counts and reminds you what you should be doing to lift safely and get the most out of the workout.

In short, she is superwoman.

Which is why on Day 69, it is refreshing to be reminded that she is also human.

Today, she will do the side lunges with only one dumbell instead of two, and have to make the correction for the second set.

She will grab loops and start to put them on when all she needs is a weight for twisting roll downs.

She will continuously grab the wrong weights for the exercise she is doing and have to switch them out right before she starts her countdown to begin.

You would think her messiness would be irritating; after all, she’s supposed to be leading the workout –you look to her for guidance and reassurance that you are moving in the right direction.

Yet it is exactly her hot messiness that is so reassuring. It’s those moments that remind us Autumn Calabrese is human, and if she can do these workouts when even she seems to be a step behind, then by God, the rest of us can as well.

I happened to switch on a teaser program for a new workout regime coming out this summer with a different celebrity super trainer, and as I watched him move around and critique form without lifting a weight himself, I admit that part of me switched off. I didn’t realize how much I liked seeing Autumn work out with us until I watched a different program where a trainer didn’t do the same. I remember that in 21 Day Fix, Autumn always at least started the exercise and did a few reps before moving about the room to correct form. With 80 Day Obsession, however, she starts every exercise with you, and she finishes every exercise with you.

I had no idea how motivating this would be until I tried watching another program.

I suspect it might be hard for me to start a new fitness journey with a different trainer who doesn’t acknowledge that the struggle is real. That is, by joining in herself, it’s almost as though Autumn is telling us is okay to struggle because this shit is HARD; after all, if it’s difficult for her, then it should be difficult for the rest of us!

So yeah. Enjoy today’s workout. Know you are not alone in your struggles or your journey. Know also that the journey is almost done and you have come pretty damn far. Enjoy these last two weeks and make them count!

Now for your moment of zen and the usual link:

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