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 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 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.

Phase 2, Day 48: Legs (aka The One Where You Should Listen to Autumn)

Leg Day is a conundrum for me. There is no good area of my gym where I can go directly from weights to sliders without either running across the weight area to the tiled floor, or dragging all my weights into the mirrored exercise room to make the most of the hardwood. Either way, I’m dodging glares from the gym front desk as I use my sliders amongst the racks of protein powders and sports bras for sale, or transporting three to four sets of weights to a part of the gym they are (apparently) not supposed to go.

Which is probably why I chose to disregard Autumn’s advice today and lifted exactly what I did last week.

This week, the rep scheme is two sets of 15 reps, where you do each weighted exercise for 15 reps, then 15 reps on the sliders, then the weighted exercise again, then 15 sliders, then BAM you’re off to the next exercise. As I’ve blogged before, this workout goes quick, and today was no different.

But to help hustle my sweat sesh along, I got lazy: I opted to work out in the empty studio normally reserved for ZUMBA and Bodyweight Pump and other fun shit.  Which means I had to haul my weights in from across the gym for use. That is why I chose to lug only one set of weights: A pair of 25 pound dumbbells, which is what I lifted last week.

The very first thing Autumn will say to you today is you should NOT be lifting what you did last week; it should be at least a slightly lighter weight.

I disregarded her advice because I didn’t want to drag in another set of weights. And I thought I could handle the 25s.

I did, and I survived, but only because I put in a herculean effort to protecting my back. My body did NOT appreciate my jerry-rigged goblet squat, where I held the 25 pounders at shoulder height while squatting low. My legs were willing, but my back was about ready to give out.

Which means I spent most of the workout focused on keeping my abs tight, my butt tucked under me, and my back straight…..instead of putting the focus where it really mattered: On my legs. Had I been a little less lazy and a little more attentive, I would have brought in an extra set of weights to make the most out of the workout. As it is, I did get a lot out of the workout, just not what I was supposed to.

It is easy at this point to think that after 47 days, especially on your second time through 80 Day Obsession, that you know better than Autumn. After all, you’ve been doing the workouts and eating the food and seeing how both affect your body. Surely it doesn’t matter that you don’t decrease the weight like Autumn says, or have that extra piece of cake as a dirty yellow on Refeed Day.

Wrong on both counts. And as per usual, I learned both the hard way. Today, the weights reminded me to heed Autumn’s advice to ensure I’m lifting safely while still making progress.

As for the food, I’ve been weighing myself on a daily basis as I dip my toe into the nutrition regime that is 2B Mindset. I’m not a huge fan of the scale because it’s not really a part of my goals at the moment, but the tale it tells is illuminating.

You know how I suffer at my Aunt’s family dinners on Sunday because I can’t stop after just one helping or one scoop of ice cream? That translates into a four-pound swing on the scale. I’m at my lowest Saturday morning; by Sunday morning, after a leisurely night out where I stop paying attention to my portions, I’ve put on two pounds; by Monday morning, after Sunday dinner, I’ve put on another two pounds.

Granted, by the time Wednesday hits, I’m back to my usual weight. But still. Imagine the progress I’d be making if my body wasn’t constantly having to shed that excess. What would happen if I was more consistent and following the program 100% of the time, instead of the 95% I’m currently managing? Is that 5% truly worth it?

I don’t know. It tastes real good in the moment. But I usually feel so guilty after that it wipes away any lingering enjoyment. And then I spend the next 24 hours having a little psychosis where I imagine I can feel that Maggie Moon sasquatch ice cream expanding into a flabby tire around my stomach.

I guess the best advice I can offer is to listen to Autumn, but know your own weaknesses. For me, that means there’s no reason I should be lazy in the gym; there’s no excuse for not hauling over two to three sets of weights for use in the studio, even if it means death glares from wrathful trainers with mermaid hair. It maybe also means that if I can’t control myself with a treat, then perhaps I shouldn’t be eating the treat at all, or only enjoying a treat which can be enjoyed safely, in small portions, where there is no hope of seconds.

Above all, trust the process. It IS a process. The beauty is you don’t just do it once and then judge yourself based on that one performance. Instead, you get to do it over and over again and try and make progress with every rep.

Just make sure you’re using the right weight.

Usual stuff at the usual link. Ciao!

 

Phase 2, Day 42: Legs (aka Even Leg Day Can’t Out-Train a Bad Diet)

I love me this Leg Day.

Especially this week’s set-up: Three sets of 10. But one exercise at a time. And there’s really only five weighted exercises. Which means you do the first weighted exercise, reverse lunges, then go straight into the sliders; then back to another 10 reps of reverse lunges, followed by the sliders; then the last set of 10 reps of reverse lunges, ending with, you guessed it, SLIDERS.

The workout feels a little long because you have to do most of the exercises one leg at a time. But then you realize that you’re already on the third exercise out of five and the whole thing feels like it flew by.

I realize I’ve perhaps been a bit lax lately with my pro tips, which was the whole point of starting this blog: Putting out on the net what I faced the first time around in 80 Day Obsession in the hope it might answer some of the questions you might have as you tackle the same. So, let’s get started.

PRO TIP #15: PUSH YOURSELF WITH THE WEIGHT.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: This Leg Day lends itself to testing how much you can lift. Do it. Test yourself. Try at least one set with a heavier weight than you have ever done – within reason, of course. And as always, listen to your body. If your lower back is already screaming as you goblet squat a 15 pound weight, then don’t push it. Focus on form and get that core stronger before you up the weight. But, know that the harder you lift the better the results. Plus, how satisfying is it to KNOW you’re actually getting stronger? I find it immensely satisfying to be walking down the street and feel STRONG; like, I could arm-wrestle a would-be mugger strong. Or at least run away fast. Probably the latter. But still. It’s the thought that counts.

So the above will be my only pro tip about working out. The rest will be about food and sticking to the timed nutrition plan. Because I was reminded today that no matter how hard you lift on Leg Day, you can’t out-train a bad diet.

I was reminded of this because of who I see at the gym.

Oftentimes, I am the sole girl in the weight section. And because this is now my second round of 80 Day Obsession, I’ve been in that weight section for the past 80+ days. Which means I’ve pretty much seen the same people over and over, often doing the same thing for the past 80 days.

And the people that I see, the workouts that I see them doing…they are no joke. From push-ups with claps to leg lifts with weights to pull-ups. I’m not the only one with a good sweat going by the end of a workout.

Yet of those devoted gym bunnies, NONE have demonstrated any notable change in physique. One or two of them might have toned up a little, but given how much they’re all working out, you’d think they’d be ripped and ready to strut some stuff on the bodybuilding stage. It makes no sense given the workouts they’re killing, where every muscle is worked and the abs are taking the brunt of the focus. WHY DON’T THEY ALL HAVE SIX PACKS?

Because you can’t out-train a bad diet. When I see the same people in the gym looking the same despite their effort, I have to wonder what they’re eating: Are they eating enough? Are they eating too much? Are they getting enough protein? What does a typical meal plan look like?

Based on what I’m seeing, I have to think none of them are getting the diet part RIGHT, otherwise they’d all be cracking open beers on their wash-board abs.

Which is why I love this 80 Day Obsession thing: It comes with a meal plan to follow that will work if you follow it.

But HOW do you follow it, especially on those days when cravings are bad? What if you slip up?

I’ve not just slipped up but royally fucked up, and had some strong cravings to boot. But I’m still here, and I have a few tips to share.

PRO TIP #444: IF YOU’RE CRAVING SWEETS, REACH FOR VEGETABLES.

I have been there and had those uncontrollable cravings; where you just ate a beautifully balanced, nutritious meal, yet your body is crying out for MORE. And not just any old MORE, but CUPCAKES and BROWNIES and ICE CREAM and MACARONS. And WORSE, you can feel this pit yawning open in your stomach, as if the food you just ingested completely missed the mark and went straight into oblivion instead of your bloodstream, leaving you feeling as though you ate NOTHING at all and so MUST EAT ALL THE FOODS NOW.

That is now I felt tonight. I got home from work and felt that pit of hunger starting to crack open.

Now, I’ve tried ignoring it. I’ve tried sticking to my containers and eating what I’m allotted and sticking to my guns.

That never works. Inevitably what happens is the craving gets the best of me and I end up stuffing four maple bars into my mouth.

This time, however, I let myself snack. I actually let myself go to the fridge and have some extra food….baby carrots.

Crucially, that or cherry tomatoes or cucumbers were pretty much the only foods I could snack on (another key: DON’T KEEP JUNK FOOD IN THE HOUSE) in the moment. But I took a handful of baby carrots and crunched away. And when I finished that handful, I helped myself to some cherry tomatoes while I heated up my dinner.

Then I ate my dinner and….nothing. I DID IT! I’m now sitting in a cafe right next to a cupcake shop, and not a nerve in my body is singing for that sugary goodness. Instead, I feel satiated. Satisfied. Even though I ate more than what I was supposed to, it was only vegetables. And it stopped me from heading next door for a red velvet cupcake instead of coming here. So it worked. But only because I’ve trained myself to get used to a different kind of “dessert.” Which brings me to my next tip:

PRO TIP #32: KEEP BOTH HANDS ON THE WHEEL AFTER DINNER.

I can’t take credit for this one. This one is all Ilana Muhlstein, the creator of Beachbody’s nutrition only program, 2B Mindset. The point is that instead of reaching for food after dinner, reach for a cup of tea or a cup of coffee or a glass of sparkling water. Something, ANYthing, but food. Just make sure you have something in your hands that will keep them occupied. Here’s me putting this philosophy into practice:

Both Hands On the Wheel
Don’t Judge Me for my Decaf Latte with Coconut Milk

It works. I have a fish bowl full of herbal teas at home, and each night I try a new one. Or, if I don’t feel like a tea, I’ll knit. Or read. Or do ANYthing that requires me to use my hand. Because if my hands are busy, they won’t be picking up food to stuff in my gullet.

PRO TIP #53: IF YOU’RE HUNGRY, DRINK AT LEAST 8 OZ. OF WATER FIRST; WAIT; IF YOU ARE STILL HUNGRY, THEN EAT SOMETHING.

This is also a tip pulled slightly from 2B Mindset, which emphasizes drinking water before EVERY meal, and drinking at least half your body weight in ounces every day.

My tip is a slight variation of that, and I found it works for me when I start to get hungry in the late afternoon, during that lull between my afternoon snack and dinner.

I start to get hungry, especially when I think about my delicious dinner waiting for me (chicken sausage with peppers and onions and tomatoes and quinoa this week). My stomach starts to grumble. Before it gets to loud, I make myself down half my water bottle…all 12 ounces.

Usually, that does the trick. Sometimes it doesn’t. But at the very least, I’m going to the bathroom to pee in the half hour following, as opposed to eating early. So it accomplishes something.

As Ilana points out in 2B Mindset, sometimes when your body is telling you you’re hungry, you’re actually just dehydrated. So try water first. If that doesn’t cure the craving, then start to think about some food. But it doesn’t hurt to be extra hydrated.

I hope these tips help. And if you want to learn more about 2B Mindset, click on the link to learn more. It’s different from 80 Day Obsession in that there’s no workouts; 2B Mindset focuses SOLELY on nutrition and how to eat for healthy weight loss. It’s not quite compatible with 80 Day Obsession, which has you eating certain foods at certain times of the day; the schedule conflicts with some of the 2B Mindset principles. But at the very least, 2B Mindset has given me a new perspective on how to view and address cravings, and my other achilles heel: Eating out.

I have a few new tools in my arsenal to try out the next time we have family dinner at my aunt’s on Sunday. First true test is coming up this Sunday, so it will be interesting to see how it works.

In the meantime, I hope you found this post somewhat helpful. If you didn’t, message me with questions, or leave a snarky comment. Both are welcome.

Because it at least tells me that SOMEone is reading this damn thing!

 

 

 

 

 

Phase 2, Day 36: Legs (aka Sorry Not Sorry)

Last week I blogged about how this workout GETS THE JOB DONE.

This week, you do the same exercises as last week, but do all exercises in a row for 10 reps, then repeat for another 2 sets for a total of 3 sets. There’s only five exercises with weights, and after each exercise you drop the weight and immediately go to burn out the muscle using the sliders.

To be clear, I was never a huge fan of leg day growing up. Leg day in college as part of the basketball workouts meant putting super heavy weight on my shoulders and attempting to squat it up and down. It meant attempting deadlifts with tires on the end of the bar and trying to avoid blowing out my back. It mean moving those tires on and off the bar as you shifted from lunges to good mornings and back again.

In short, leg day was hell. It was painful, lasted forever, and I never felt like I got that much stronger despite how much sweat I left on the floor behind me.

Thankfully, Leg Day in 80 Day Obsession has little in common with what I went through in college.

I wouldn’t say I’m yet a fan of Leg Day, but I can say that in Phase 2, at least, I look forward to the workouts. I look forward to targeting the muscle group each exercise is designed to work, burning it out, and then moving on. I like that I don’t have to struggle with super heavy weights and manhandle them off the rack and onto my back. I like being able to challenge myself with just these little plastic discs and booties that slide back and forth on the floor.

In the old days, if any sort of hiccup arose during Leg Day (SHIT the water fountain isn’t working! There’s a bee! I can’t find the 25 pound plate!) I would immediately use it as an excuse to end the workout early. ANYthing to get out of the gym.

Today, I could have gone down that same road. I could have chosen to use the obstacle presented to defeat me and use it as an excuse to go home.

I didn’t. Let’s discuss.

See, at my gym, the weight area floor is covered in rubber mats. This is great for your joints and the floor (when you drop weights on the latter), but not so great for the sliders which are required in Leg Day. Which means that when sliders are called for, I then have to put down my weights and run across the room to throw my sliders down on the tiles of the merchandise area. In the midst of hangers of clothes and shelves of protein powder, I then proceed to knock out 10 reps on the sliders. Then I have to run back to the weight area and move on to the next exercise with dumbbells.

When the focus is to truly burn out the muscle by keeping it under tension for as long as possible, the time necessary to run over to the merchandise area is not conducive to that goal.

So today, after having to hit pause a million times during the first round, I made the executive decision to move a couple of sets of weights, my mat, my sliders, my tracker sheet, and everything else to a tiled hallway off the entrance to my gym that almost no one uses at 6 in the morning. I mean, the hallway leads to the kids’ playroom which is closed at that hour, so I figured I would be out of everyone’s way.

Wrong. Apparently that hallway is also used by the gym staff to roll tubs of dirty towels in and out of the room with the washing machine. And apparently, 6 am is when they start their first load.

Which means that this morning, when the staffer with the mermaid colored hair went back to throw in that first load of stinky towels, there I was in her way, rocking out some pistol squats on the sliders.

INSERT CRINGEY-FACE EMOJI.

The dirty look she gave me caused me to mouth “I’m sorry!” with a deeply apologetic look on my sweaty face. When she later came out of the room rolling a tub of the day’s clean towels, I moved all my equipment against the wall and cringed.

But I didn’t stop. And to be honest, I wasn’t sorry.

You know you are truly obsessed with getting your workout in, be it 80 Day Obsession or otherwise, when you don’t let mermaids shooting daggers at your back stop you from finishing Leg Day. I could have allowed her obvious disapproval of my workout spot to halt my workout. Maybe I probably should have because I was a fire hazard. But until they tell me I can’t workout in that hallway, or the fire marshall taps me on the shoulder and tells me to move my ass back to the weight area, I’ll continue to do what I need to do to finish my workout for the day.

So yeah. Sorry not sorry.

I hope you are at the point now where you have the same mental fortitude about finishing your own workout(s). Because shit comes up. Rare is the day when we find ourselves WITHOUT a distraction in that half hour to hour-long spot we have allotted ourselves for active alone time. When those distractions rear their ugly heads, I hope your determination cuts it off at the root and you do what you need to do to get the job done.

Like Leg Day.

No pictures today, just a lot of words and a bit of attitude. And of course the usual link to some fun stuff.

 

Phase 2, Day 30: Legs (aka The Quick and the Dead)

I guarantee you have not done a leg workout like this before.

The good news is it flies by. The bad news is it burns like hell.

Five series, where you do x amount of reps of an exercise with weights, then immediately do the same exercise with  no weights on the sliders. Here’s what it looks like in Week one of Phase 2:

Series 1: Reverse Lunges with weights, then reverse slider lunges.

Series 2: Weighted Goblet Squat, then modified pistole on sliders.

Series 3: Single-arm weighted curtsy with weights, then curtsy sliders.

Series 4: Sumo Squat with weights, then sumo heel on sliders.

Series 5: Weighted Warrior 3, then hamstring curls on sliders.

In Week 1 of Phase 2, you do two sets of 15 reps.

I call this session the quick and the dead b/c it goes quick and your legs will be dead. Here’s what some stuff looks like:

IMG_0370

In short, the workout gets the job done.

I don’t have a lot to add. I’m typing this from a different state and am contemplating how tomorrow’s workout will go when I have no fuel on-hand for my pre-workout meal. Two options: 1) Order room service and hope I don’t overeat; or, 2) walk the mile to the grocery store to buy what I need then walk back to a room with no microwave and hope for the best.

I’m sensing room service will win out.

More to come tomorrow. Not a lot on today’s workout because if you finished it, you should be feeling good. Tomorrow’s AAA will keep it interesting.