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!

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 70: Cardio Flow (aka Thank God This is the Last One. Kinda)

Today’s Cardio Flow followed last week’s set-up where I opted for music instead of the workout video, hoping for extra inspiration.

It worked. Kinda. I wasn’t excited to do the workout, but I got it done. I also managed to keep track of the count, which is always a win. Plus, since I was working out outside, I didn’t care that sweat got all over. Which it did:

IMG_0670

PRO TIP #64: If you get sore knees, don’t do Cardio Flow on concrete.

I never remember how sore the concrete leaves my joints until I sit for awhile after having done Cardio Flow earlier in the day and then go to stand up; my knees literally CRRRREAK from the effort and feel as though it’s bone on bone. The next day, when I go to squat in the warm up (Y to T – WHY DO I DO THIS?!), my knees are still screaming at me, and it takes a solid first round with weights to chase the stiffness away.

To avoid moving like an old lady the day after Cardio Flow, make sure you’re doing the workout either on a rubber floor, or wood, or grass, or carpet. Something, anything, that is more forgiving than concrete. Your body will thank you.

Another body part that did not thank me today is my hands. In addition to giving me sore knees, it also seems as though the repeated inch worms on concrete gave me blisters on my palms. I shit you not. It’s all I can do to not pick at the dead skin instead of writing this blog.

For those of you who are dreading that final round of Cardio Flow during peak week, I’m gonna go ahead and let you know what to expect.

*** SPOILER ALERT ***

Next week, you don’t have to build the exercises one on top of the other. Thank god. Instead, you start out doing all 10 exercises in a row from the very start. Then, as Autumn puts it, you just “go for broke” and see how many rounds you can complete in 30 minutes. I think it evens out to about 10 or 12 rounds.

I much prefer this set-up because it cuts down on the worms, which I find get boring after awhile. You just GO right from the start and push yourself. It’s a good close to a workout I will probably be swapping out in the future for a different cardio routine when I tackle 80 Day Obsession again.

Not much to write about this time because I didn’t stick with the video. But I closed out Day 70.

Hope you are seeing great results and looking forward to slaying leg day tomorrow!

Usual link to the usual stuff.

Phase 3, Day 67: Cardio Core (aka WEAR SUNSCREEN)

As previously blogged, Lake Chelan is my happy place.

It is also the place of some truly epic, terrible sunburns.

When I was in 8th grade, I decided to disregard my mother’s advice to a) avoid the sun, and b) WEAR SUNSCREEN, and instead laid out for three hours wearing nothing but…baby oil.

I’m cringing as I write this. As I do, the scars on my chest from my blistering sunburn tingle just a bit to remind me of my stupidity.

You would think that with that disaster under my belt, I would have learned my lesson.

You would think.

I worked out today at about 10 am. Here was my set-up:

IMG_0563
Note the blue sky and utter lack of shade.

My philosophy is that if I am working out in the sun before 11 am or after 4:30 pm, the only part of my body I really need to ensure has sunscreen is my face and perhaps the top of my shoulders.

Rarely, if ever, do I pay attention to my legs. My thinking is that they spend most of the time under me and therefore don’t get too much sun exposure.

Today’s workout was Cardio Core. It’s the same workout you did last week and the week before that. It’s 30 seconds of some sort of jumping exercise, followed by 30 seconds of a high intensity interval training (“HIIT”) move; repeat for a total of 3 rounds (i.e. 3 minutes total), then do an ab exercise.

Here’s some of the HIIT moves: Saddle jumps, where your legs are in sumo squat position and you jump; burpee popcorn (or whatever it’s called), where you do a half burpee and then pop up into a squat; and step-throughs, your good ol’ friend from Cardio Flow.

Think about your leg position for all of these moves; instead of your legs churning the ground directly beneath you, somewhat sheltered from the sun by the shade of your upper body, your legs are instead either out to the side of you or out straight behind you.

Now think through the ab exercises: Every one of them has your legs stretched out either in front of you or behind you.

My point is, there’s a lot more leg exposure in these workouts than you realize. Which in turn means there’s more sun exposure.

Which means this is the current color of my legs:

Sun Burn
The fingerprint is to demonstrate the redness. Whoops.

I am a grown ass woman who has suffered some horrific sunburns, and yet I STILL allow shit like this to happen. WTF is wrong with me?? I KNOW I can’t go out into the sun unprotected and yet I STILL do it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure this is the very definition of insanity.

If I sound perplexed it’s because this is not the only area in my life where I struggle to learn from my past mistakes; the other, most obviously, is staying consistent with workout out and eating right. Inevitably, I hit a wall or something happens and I go three or four months without breaking a sweat which enjoying every crumb and cookie along the way. For example, last year I felt GREAT after completing Hammer and Chisel, then multiple rounds of 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme. Then I started Tony Horton’s P90X3 (or whatever it’s called where you work out in 30 minutes and do a shit ton of pushups and pullups) the same week as Labor Day when my boyfriend and I went to visit some good friends in Bend, Oregon, for beer, wine, fried food, and giggles. After the weekend, the only thing consistent for the next few months, until I started 80 Day Obsession on January 15, 2018, was the beer, wine, fried food, and giggles.

So it worries me when I have an incident like today. What guarantee do I have that I won’t fall off on the wagon in the future? All I had to do today was WEAR SUNSCREEN, something that I know is for my own good. But I still didn’t.

How do I know that as good as I feel right now, working out and eating right, I won’t have a weekend down the road that completely throws off my game and sets me back a week? A month? A YEAR? (YES, after studying for (and passing!) the Bar, I didn’t work out for two years. I don’t know what happened. I don’t have an explanation. I think the Bar simply broke something inside of me and it took that long to heal.)

I guess the short answer is: I don’t have an answer. As much as I try to prepare for those Doomsday moments, I don’t really know what will happen until they occur.

If I had one piece of advice for myself, it would be this: Don’t focus on making it up the mountain; just focus on putting one foot in front of the other. Focus on the here and now and what you need to do TODAY to overcome your obstacle and get back on track.

For me, I think that will mean simply choosing a workout and DOING it. Even if it’s just yoga or something where I stare at Chalean’s ridiculous thigh-high workout boots (yes that’s a thing, I’m not making it up). If I move my body, the eating right will follow because it is a LOT harder to want to put french fries in your body after a good sweat sesh.

Don’t focus on the war, just the battle.

So I guess tomorrow it means my workout will be happening closer to 9 am IN THE SHADE, and I will be covering myself up with sunscreen AND a towel when I head up-lake on a friend’s boat.

I suppose even an old dog learns new tricks. Or can remember old tricks. Who knows. Just keep learning, damn it.

Check out the usual link for more program info, and above all, PLEASE, WEAR SUNSCREEN.

 

Phase 3, Day 61: Cardio Core (aka Screw the Workout, Let’s Talk About Self Care)

Here’s what you need to know about today’s workout: It’s just like last week’s.

Boom.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about self care.

SELF CARE: noun; the act of caring for one’s self. Dictionary of the FitLuddy.

Sounds easy, right? Usually, self care boils down to the simple maxim of DON’T DIE during the day. You know, look both ways before you cross the street; don’t lick the wet paint; don’t pet the rabid bear. Things like that.

But in 80 Day Obsession, “self care” takes on a whole new meaning. After 61 days of HARD workouts, what are you doing to make sure your body can make it to the end?

Have you gotten a massage? Taken an epsom salt bath? Treated yourself to something nice?

If you aren’t taking the time to care for yourself, then you’re not getting the most out of this program.

Case in point: I did Cardio Core tonight then went to soccer. I scored! But I was also sore as f*ck when I got home. Even though we are in the middle of PROJECT GUT OUR RENTAL, I drew myself a bath, ladled in the epsom salt and baking soda, and soaked for 12 minutes. I’m busy and our apartment is in shambles, but I knew if I didn’t make time for this soak, I would be of no use tomorrow. With that said, this next pro tip draws on my OWN experience (I am NOT a doctor, so take it with a grain of [epsom] salt).

PRO TIP #456: To get the most out of an epsom salt bath, pour at least 1.5-2 cups of that shit in, followed by at least a 1/2 cup of baking soda, then soak for no more than 12-15 minutes; ideally, closer to 12.

My understanding is that you can actually soak too long, at which point, all the toxins that have been drawn out into the water by the epsom salt actually start to be reabsorbed by your body if you linger in the dirty water. So get the F out and move on to the next area of self care: MASSAGE.

PRO TIP #457: GET A MASSAGE.

Gentle reader. If you have gone this far through 80 Day Obsession without getting a massage, you are not truly living life. Seriously. I know how you feel. Your muscles are in knots; some days you can barely move; and if you don’t stretch in the morning, your hammies feel at least a half foot shorter than they did the night before.

Do yourself a favor and get a massage. Work that shit out. Get loosened up. It will help. Just make sure you don’t do the massage BEFORE the workout. Massage should be done AFTER, when you have nothing left to do for the day but maybe eat a good meal, watch some baseball or a movie, and drink a shit ton of water.

PRO TIP #458: If you get a massage, you need to be drinking at least 125% of your water intake immediately after.

Massage will loosen everything up, and in so doing, flood you bloodstream with a shit ton of crap that’s been released from your muscles. You need to flush your system. Drinking more water than normal will ensure you do. After a massage, your water bottle should be glued to your hand. Pound that shit and ask for seconds.

PRO TIP #459: KNOW YOUR LIMITS.

For once, I’m not talking to the 25-year old me who didn’t know that more than 2 Long Island Ice Teas were never a good idea.

No, I’m talking about knowing yourself and your body well enough at this point to know WHAT you have to do, WHEN. For me, this meant getting food at the pub after our soccer game tonight instead of waiting until I got home.

To explain: After our victory, a few of us went out for celebratory drinks at a local pub. I didn’t plan for this, but I figured that with all the sweating I did (it’s humid AF at the moment), a beer was exactly what I needed, and would take the place of the yellow I needed to consume before day’s end. But then I was left with the dilemma: Do I wait to eat until I get home so I can mix up a shake with spinach and Shakeology, or do I find something somewhat fix-approved on the menu to make sure I don’t crash?

I sat down in the pub and my stomach answered the question for me: FOOD. NOW.

Sure, I could have pushed it and waited an hour until I got home. But I would have been miserable and not enjoyed my time with my teammates. After the Cardio Core and the 90 minute soccer game, my body was close to shutting down; I was at my limit.

So I ordered a steak salad, picked out the largest chunks of the blue cheese, and enjoyed myself.

Sometimes, it’s just not worth being perfect if it means you’ll turn into a monster. I came home and had the energy to take a bath, shower, stretch, and now blog for you wonderful people. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Self care will help you make it through all 80 days when your body might otherwise quit. And taking care of yourself isn’t selfish. If anything, it’s a huge benefit to those around you. After all, if you’re not taking the steps necessary to be your best self, then you’re robbing others of the ability to benefit from you being your best self.

Take the time and make the self care count. It will pay dividends, I promise.

If you want more info about programs that might help with self care, such as a plethora of yoga options, check out the usual link.

Otherwise, get some sleep and prep for the million lunges we’ll be doing for Booty day tomorrow.

 

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!