PEAK WEEK, Day 77: Legs from Phase 1 (aka The One That Requires Strength)

Strength is a funny thing.

There’s physical strength: CAN I LIFT THIS CAR OFF THIS BABY.

There’s mental strength: CAN I STAY AWAKE A LITTLE BIT LONGER TO FINISH THIS ASSIGNMENT.

There’s emotional strength: CAN I BE THE BIGGER PERSON AND NOT TAKE OFFENSE AT MY PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE AUNT.

And there’s what I call social strength: CAN I RESIST THE URGE TO FOLLOW THE HERD WHEN EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT.

In my experience, these strengths are all intrinsically tied to one another –if you improve one strength, it usually has the net effect of improving a strength in a different area.

Nowhere have I found this to be more true than in 80 Day Obsession, which is why I love the program so damn much.

To build your physical strength, you necessarily have to build your mental strength (I CAN DO IT! JUST ONE MORE REP!) and your social strength (SORRY I CAN’T GO OUT I HAVE TO GO TO THE GYM). You also have to build some emotional strength (SORRY NOT SORRY FOR HOARDING ALL THE WEIGHTS). Somehow, though you probably didn’t expect it, strength is a package deal with 80 Day Obsession.

You may have started the program to shred out your abs and get a booty. I did. I wanted a six-pack for summer. I kinda have one. Or, at least, it’s the closest I’ve ever been to having one.

I didn’t start 80 Day Obsession because I wanted to become stronger mentally. But I got stronger mentally. It just happened. Probably because as you prove to yourself with each workout that you can do hard things, that carries over to work and family and everything else and you end up reminding yourself, when faced when an otherwise insurmountable task, that you can do hard things.

The same goes for your emotional and social strengths. A million bucks says each have improved during this program (provided, of course, you have actually followed the program).

As a result, you will be ending 80 Day Obsession a different person than when you started. A much stronger person in body and mind and spirit.

I bring all this up because today’s Leg Day is a good reminder of your new and improved strength. The workout is hard: Three sets of 10 reps, where you do the rep scheme a group of exercises at a time.

SERIES 1: Reverse lunges, squats, curtsy lunges.

SERIES 2: Sumo squats, front diagonal lunges, twisting back angle lunge.

SERIES 3: Single-leg good morning, hip hinge, buddha squats.

Because this exercise is from Phase 1, if you recall, the emphasis was on lifting heavy weights. So it is today. But because you will not have lifted truly heavy weights for about four weeks – as Phase 3 was about jumping with a lighter weight – you will struggle today. This is doubly so because Autumn gives minimal rest going from one leg to another within a move; that is, when you finish up the right leg on reverse lunges, you go immediately to your left.

PRO TIP #321: START THE FIRST SET IN SERIES 1 WITH A LIGHTER WEIGHT TO WARM UP.

You will need the warm-up round. When I ended Phase 1 eons ago, I was lifting 25 pound dumbbells for each move. But after the warm-up today, I could feel my body was nowhere near warm enough to start with those 25s. So, I started with 20s. I used the 20s for the first set of reverse lunges, squats, and curtsy lunges. It wasn’t until that second set of reverse lunges that my body felt limber enough to handle the 25s. I knew I was warmed up when my knee banged against the floor on the first lunge, whereas I could barely bend the damn thing in the first set.

More so than my physical strength, however, the workout tested my mental strength. On Day 77, the workout felt long. And I was tired. And I am ready for a break after 77 days.

But here is where that newly developed mental fortitude kicked in. Instead of doubting whether I could finish the move or the workout, I reminded myself I already did – I’d finished it four times before in Phase 1. I could CERTAINLY power through this final round in PEAK WEEK.

To ensure I powered through, I took shorter rest breaks than Autumn and the cast; I knew if I stayed still for too long, I might not get started back up again. Don’t be afraid to start early if this is you. Don’t be afraid to do what you need to do to get the job done, ESPECIALLY in Peak Week.

My mind reminded my body it could do this workout. As a result, I have officially checked off yet another workout in 80 Day Obsession. GOODBYE LEG DAY.

But more importantly, I was reminded, yet again, that I can do hard things.

You can too. Check out the link if you want to get started on your own path to 80 Day Obsession. Or email me with questions or for more details. Whatever you do, I hope you are finding your own way to improve your own strengths and live your best life.

After all, why settle for anything less?

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:

`IMG_0676

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, 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:

IMG_0669

 

Phase 3, Day 60: Total Body Core (aka The One Where You Realize You’ve Gotten a Lot Better at Tricep Push-Ups)

I work out at a gym.

I don’t know if I’ve told y’all that before, but I do. I realize this is somewhat unusual for a person who is following a Beachbody program, as part of Beachbody’s selling point is you can do the workout from the comfort of your own home. I can’t. I live on the third floor of an apartment building and there just isn’t enough space in our living room to do side lunges/back lunges, and I don’t want to give myself an excuse to not complete a workout because I keep banging my shin on the coffee table (been there, done that). Plus, I know my downstairs neighbors really don’t appreciate the early morning jumping required in a number of the workouts.

So, gym it is. In the weight-lifting area, I collect my weights, grab a mat, and push play. I navigate people jumping rope and idiots who block the weight rack. I go back and forth between the rubber mat of the weight area to the tiled floor of the merchandise area, and ignore the gawkers who spot me on my sliders doing tricep push-up pull-ins in front of the shelves of protein powder:

Tricep push-ups on Sliders
Don’t mind me as I sweat amongst the merchandise.

I share this because today’s Total Body Core workout will pretty much require you to have ALL the weights. Again. I commandeered everything from the 12.5 pound dumbbells, all the way up to the 20s. Yes, I was THAT bitch. And I don’t care.

Today’s workout will leave you with sweat rolling down your ankles and a burn in your shoulders that won’t quit. It’s three sets of 10 reps, where you go through all exercises in a row for 10 reps, then repeat for another 2 rounds. It’s not my favorite set-up, but it gets the job done.

I will say, however, that the 10 reps really gives you the opportunity to measure your strength. That tricep push-up form above? Last week, I could barely do the 15 reps on my toes, and had to drop to my knees for the last few. But this week, I did all 10 on my toes. My back arched perhaps a bit too much, but I still managed to get a lot lower than I could in Phase 1. Even better, my push-up form in the 1/2 Turkish get-up from hell felt stronger, though I cursed Autumn’s name throughout the move.

My goal for next week is to continue this push-up triumph and try the slide-out push-ups on my toes as opposed to on my knees. I’ll keep you posted.

With my push-up notes out of the way, let’s turn to the two pro tips for today’s workout.

PRO TIP #101: If your loops are rolling on V Crunch to Scissor Crunch, you gotta double or triple loop.

I got new loops in the mail yesterday and eagerly put them to use in tonight’s workout. For the first time in awhile, I was able to double-loop with two blues. But to my dismay, I couldn’t get more than 2-3 reps done of V Crunch to Scissor Crunch without the damn things rolling up my thighs. I powered through only by constantly taking a moment to adjust the loops during my crunch up (an extra burn, so not unwelcome). So, in round 2, I added a green loop.

I found that the three loops would slide up my thighs a bit, but weren’t rolling, so they were easier to adjust. Don’t underestimate how much stronger your abs and legs are for this workout. Adjust accordingly.

PRO TIP #67: Clench your butt during Weighted Windmills.

This is one exercise where I’m never sure if I’m doing it right because I don’t do it in front of a mirror (next week, I think I will). On some reps I’ll feel a good contraction in my obliques, but in others I get nothing and I worry I’m kicking my hips out in the typewriter motion Autumn describes and warns against. Tonight, however, Autumn gave a good tip that instantly helped me lock my hips into place and focus in on my abs: Clench your butt. As you are sliding the weight down your leg, clench your butt muscles. This will keep your hips from sliding out, thereby ensuring it’s your obliques doing the work.

The instant I contracted my butt muscles, I finally felt the exercise in all the right places.

So, them’s my tips for the night.

Tomorrow I tackle Cardio Core before my soccer game, and I’m looking forward to getting a good sweat going before taking the field. Now if we could just get this weather to cooperate….

Check out the usual link if you need more loops, and feel free to email me with any questions. Almost done with Week 2 of Phase 3! Only 20 more workouts to go!

Phase 2, Day 57: AAA (aka The One That Putzes Along Nicely)

Last week I ran through the different exercises found in AAA in Phase 3 of 80 Day Obsession.

I admit, with the lifting scheme shifting to three sets of 10 reps this week, where you do all the exercises in a row for 10 reps each, three times, I worried that the workout would stretch on FOREVER.

Surprisingly, that was not the case. Out of all the workouts we’ve done thus far in 80 Day Obsession, this one feels the most carefully planned. That is, the workouts transition nicely from one to the other. Have loops around your legs for side lunge, the last move in the first series? No sweat – keep those loops on for bridge pull over, the first move in series two.

Trying a 15 pound dumbbell for Camel Bicep Curl? Sweet! Stick with it for weighted twisting roll down.

Back to double or triple loops for marching bridge? Keep those babies on as you transition into bridge bilateral press.

There’s transitions, but none of the rushed scurrying around Autumn sometimes infuses into the workout, usually when she realizes she needs to cram 65 minutes of work into a 55 minute timeframe. I wasn’t running from the weight area to the tile floor in a rush to throw down my sliders and join for the first rep of abs. Speed walking, yes. But not the sprint I usually have to use to start on time.

All in all, this workout putzes along nicely. It gets the job done and you don’t feel as though you’ve been in the gym for an overly long period of time.

Also, SPOILER ALERT, don’t be surprised when Autumn throws in some weights for the last set of curtsy lunge pulses. She does. Just savor the burn and know that it’s building a full, round booty. Here’s me mid-burn:

Curtsy lunge pulses with weight.
I’m not a mouth breather unless I’m working out, I swear.

With the logistics out of the way, I have a pro tip to avoid a pet peeve of mine.

PRO TIP #2: DON’T LIFT IN FRONT OF THE WEIGHT RACK. YOU’RE BLOCKING THE WEIGHTS YOU ANNOYING DOUCHE.

For whatever reason, I have only ever seen men engage in this terrible weight room etiquette. Me, I hoard weights, yes. But if you were to approach me and ask to work in, I’d have no problem with that request.

BUT WHEN YOU STAND DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE WEIGHT RACK DOING YOUR DAMN LATERAL SHOULDER RAISES, YOU AND YOUR F-ING WING SPAN ARE MONOPOLIZING ALL THE WEIGHTS.

Again, this habit seems to be limited to MEN. I don’t know why. The thinking must be something like: I’m just gonna bang out a few reps and won’t be long so everyone can wait and admire my biceps as I sweat all over the free weights. Or maybe: THIS IS THE PERFECT PLACE TO STAND WHY IS NO ONE ELSE HERE?!

I imagine it has to be a mixture of the two. Regardless, don’t be that human diaper. Be mindful of others in the gym and make sure you are lifting far enough away from the weight rack so that if someone else wants to pick up or return a set of dumbbells, they can do so.

Also, PRO TIP #4: FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY PLEASE GO EASY ON THE COLOGNE.

Seriously. This one should go without saying, but apparently needs repeating.

You can tell I’m low on sleep because it was all I could do tonight to not chew out the greaser with the slicked back hair who decided to do the majority of his weights in front of the weight rack while wearing an entire bottle of AX body spray. YES I WILL GLARE DAGGERS AT YOU AND THROW THE WEIGHTS DOWN FOR EMPHASIS.

I think I need some sleep.

So on that note, I hope you got your Week 2 off to a wicked start and your work week off to a jumping Monday. It’s summer and it’s Phase 3! Enjoy how far you’ve come and focus on making these last few weeks really count!

Link to the usual Beachbody goodies here.

 

Phase 3, Day 53: Legs (aka STILL SWEATING)

I don’t remember sweating this much my first time through Phase 3 of 80 Day Obsession.

Maybe it’s because the outside temperature barely got above freezing during that time period. Maybe it’s because I was wearing leggings which absorbed all the sweat so I didn’t notice. Either way, I’m hot and noticing now.

The dam continues to break on Day 53 as we get into Leg Day. Lots going on, and lots of tips, so let’s get crackin’.

This time, there are four series in Leg Day, comprised of three exercises each. In each series, the first exercise is done with weights on the sliders; the second exercise is some form of jumping with weights; and the third exercise is done “only” with weights. Here’s how it breaks down:

SERIES 1: Side-to-side squat, alt. weighted squat jump, figure 4 squat.

SERIES 2: Slider side lunge, half skater lunge jump, low rocking side lunge.

SERIES 3: Slide front diagonal lunge, split squat jump, Buddha squat.

SERIES 4: Sumo double slide in, sumo cross jump, goblet sumo squat.

FAVORITE MOVE: Figure 4 squat.

LEAST FAVORITE MOVE: Sumo cross jump.

Some of these moves are familiar, or you can figure out what they are from the title. Side-to-side squat, for example, is done with toes on the sliders and a single weight at your chest. Keeping your toes pointed straight ahead, you drop into a squat, then slide your left foot out to just past the width of your shoulders; while staying in the squat, you slide your right foot together to your left; then slide your right foot out to just past the width of your shoulders, stay in your squat, and slide your left foot together to your right. 16 reps in Week 1 of Phase 3.

Some moves are unfamiliar, but not in a bad way. My fave, the figure 4 squat, for example, is new, but a welcome change. Here’s what it looks like:

Figure 4 Squat
How long can you go.

I like this exercise because of the stretch you will get in the leg that is crossed over your supporting leg. I will add that it is normal to wonder if you are getting low enough to make the exercise count. So long as you can feel the burn in your supporting leg by the 10th rep, then yes, you are getting low enough. If you’re not getting that burn, consider loading up with a bit more weight. BUT, before you do, consider the all important pro tip below.

PRO TIP #79: START LIGHT, ESPECIALLY ON THE JUMPS.

This is a tricky one to follow because you have just spent the first two Phases building up your weight. Shouldn’t you be lunging with at least what you handled in Leg Day at the end of Phase 2?

In a word, NO. Phase 3 is all about shredding out, and as Autumn explains, you need slightly lighter weights to do that. This is especially true on all the jumping moves, as the focus should be on getting lower and jumping higher, not necessarily on using the heaviest weight possible.

Still, it’s hard to resist the urge to test yourself. As always, listen to your body and go from there.

BUT, PLEASE, heed this next pro tip above all else.

PRO TIP #92: START WITH A LIGHT WEIGHT ON THE LOW ROCKING SIDE LUNGE.

If you scoff at my advice to start light with the weight, please at least follow it for this ONE exercise. The reason being is that low rocking side lunge puts a slow burn on your lower back if you’re not careful, and if your weight is too heavy, you could hurt yourself just from standing up.

Here’s what low rocking side lunge looks like:

low rocking side lunge
look up!

From that position, you then rock back to the middle, then out over the other leg. You NEVER come up from that low hinge, which means your lower back is engaged whether you like it or not.

For me, I didn’t realize how hard my body was working to protect my lower back until I realized I was working my ABS; that is, by rep 11, my abs were tired from being held tight to protect my lower back. Had I been lifting anything heavier than 15s, I probably would have hurt myself. As it is, I don’t plan to increase the weight for this exercise to anything more than 20 pound dumbbells, and even that might be pushing it.

To give you an idea of what my weights looked like, I pretty much stuck with 15 pound dumbbells for ALL exercises, which the exception of the sumo double slide in (I did 20 pounds instead), and goblet sumo squat (22.5 pounds). This was probably a bit too heavy for the jumps, but I was able to complete them all with good form so I think I started at about the right place.

PRO TIP #56: BRING A TOWEL.

This one is self-explanatory. Don’t be THAT GIRL who doesn’t clean up after herself at the gym. At least my shirt caught most of my mess!

img_0502-e1529551002324.jpg
Gray is not a good color for me right now.

Which leads into my last pro tip.

PRO TIP #80: IF YOU ARE SWEATING MORE, YOU NEED TO BE UPPING YOUR WATER INTAKE.

Last night, I blogged about the insane amount of sweat I generated doing Cardio Flow. After that workout, I downed two 24 ounce water bottles, three cups of herbal tea, and another 16 oz cup of water. This was on TOP of the water I’d already consumed during the day before my workout.

Even with this excess water intake, I woke up down more than pound and a half. I would be ecstatic but for the fact I know that “weight loss” was really just water loss, and that despite my best efforts, my body still needs to replenish fluids. I know this because of the…color, and….timing…of certain…..bodily functions throughout the day.

And, after the performance my sweat glands put in this morning at the gym, I am again pounding water and tea to make sure I stay hydrated.

Again, if you are sweating a good deal more than normal in Phase 3, you need to make sure you are drinking more water. Your body (and its functions) will thank you.

Well, that’s me for the night. Hope you found this helpful and that you’re loving Phase 3. I have a love-hate relationship with it. I love how much stronger I feel, but I hate some of the moves. BUT, I have to add that I do love how quickly the exercises seem to go. So far, the workouts in Phase 3 seem to be the best laid out in that they flow nicely from one to another so you don’t spend the whole time thinking you have another set to complete.

Of course, I say that now. Tomorrow, we have stupid modified 1/2 Turkish push-up, so I’m sure I’ll change my tune. Watch the video in advance for a sneak peek of what I’m talking about.

Or, message or email me for further deets. The usual goods found at the usual link.

Rest up! Tomorrow’s gonna be a doozy.