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 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 59: Legs (aka The One Where You Get Low To Go High)

I had a meeting last week with a girl who went to college with me. In fact, we played basketball together in college (and in high school!). She hadn’t seen me in awhile, and as we waited for our clients to arrive, she asked me what I was doing.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“THIS,” she said, gesturing to my body. “What are you doing to get THIS?? You’re skinnier than you ever were in college but I swear you somehow have a bigger butt!”

That was a pretty good note to hit prior to our meeting.

Since then, my butt has been front and center. I catch myself staring at it in the window as I walk by, showing it off to my boyfriend when he gets home, and choosing outfits that specifically accentuate its newfound shape.

That said, I did not feel so good about my butt the first time through 80 Day Obsession. I wasn’t seeing the gains Autumn did with her cast, and I couldn’t figure out why they were so excited about an asset that didn’t seem to want to grow for me.

I have a few hypotheses about why I might have struggled to make booty gains.

First, I suspect I wasn’t eating enough in Phases 1 and 2 to put on muscle. That time around, I was eating in Meal Plan B and miserable all the time. I don’t think I was getting enough protein to make a difference. I started this round of 80 Day Obsession in Meal Plan C, and believe it has made a huge difference in my mood and for my body.

Secondly, I don’t think I was strong enough to lift the weights I needed to MAKE substantial booty gains. I am currently lunging with about double the weight that I did during my first round of 80 Day Obsession: 25 pound dumbbells instead of 12.5s. But if I had gone to lift 25 pound dumbbells the first time thru, I likely would have hurt myself. As it is, on the forward slide lunge in today’s workout, I could feel my core and back engaging to keep everything tight; that sort of connectedness was lacking in round 1, when I was still building muscle and strength. It took 80 days to get strong enough to lift the weights I needed to add more muscle.

Lastly, I don’t think I was strong enough to hold the form necessary to make the booty gains. This is essentially the same point as number 2 above, but still worth making to point out that in order to make progress, you not only have to lift the right weight, but you also have to do it with the right form.

Case in point, check out my goblet squat form:

Goblet Squat
This one makes me sweat and want a drink.

I have NEVER gotten so low in a squat, or been able to keep my back so straight. I certainly wasn’t going that low the last time I hit Day 59 in 80 Day Obsession. And, I don’t think I could have squatted with that form last time either.

It’s all a process, and you have to adjust to what your body is capable of handling at the moment so you can make the most gains. In the exercise above, I’m only using a 25 pound dumbbell. Autumn, in the video, is using a 35 pounder. I thought about going up, but when I straightened up in the first set of 10 (that’s the set-up for this week, btw, all exercises in a row for 10 reps, then repeat for two more rounds – it’s 3 sets of 10 reps total), I was able to get an extra good clench in my butt that really worked the muscle and my inner thighs. Everything was engaged, even with the lighter weight. So I stuck with the 25s but focused on form and keeping that engagement.

If you have been sticking to the timed nutrition and working out, your body will be changing. You will be losing inches or pounds or dress sizes; but you may still be frustrated that your booty isn’t growing as fast as you would like, or that your abs still have that layer of fat that obscures the 6-pack peeking through underneath. Don’t get upset and quit. Use that frustration to motivate yourself to finish 80 Day Obsession strong, and plan NOW to do another round. If you are really into the program, you are going to want to keep it going to ensure your lifestyle change continues.

I did. I did 80 Day Obsession again because I wanted to keep eating right and continue to have a reason to work out. I did not expect to see my booty grow like it has – I thought I just wasn’t that girl who could.

Turns out, I am. And you can be too. Just stick with it.

If you’re not seeing the results you want, or are curious about the program, message me. Or check out the usual link. Why put off being your best self if you have the tools to do it today?

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 56: Booty (aka What the F is Autumn Wearing)

Some workouts get overshadowed by Autumn’s workout gear.

Usually it’s because the cut of a particular sports bra shows off her incredible…assets.

Today, however, it’s because she’s wearing these hideous pink wallpaper print workout pants. Seriously, if pink wallpaper and an Italian gangster had a baby, it would be these pants. They look like plastic. They look hot and uncomfortable and are incredibly shiny, so you can’t help but stare.

Perhaps Autumn wore the pants as a distraction to keep you from focusing on the fact you won’t be able to feel your butt after this workout.

Here’s what you have in store for you: Three series of three exercises each. In Week 1, you do all the exercises in a row for 15 reps each, then go back through and do them all in a row again.

SERIES 1: Side squat hop hold, kneeling lateral crawl to half surrender, single-leg hamstring slide.

SERIES 2: Single-leg runner’s jump w/weight, single-leg hinge, slider reverse pulse lunge.

SERIES 3: Narrow squat rock, front lunge side lunge, side lunge to curtsy.

FAVE MOVE: Single-leg hinge (a nice little break from what comes before and after).

LEAST FAVE MOVE: Front lunge side lunge (THEY TAKE FOREVER).

The first exercise in each series is some sort of jumping move, though in series three, the narrow squat rock has you only going up on to your toes instead of leaving the ground. I would say the second exercise in each series is the worst, but the single-leg hinge really isn’t that bad. The third move is on sliders, and they hurt like hell but are done pretty quick.

The two moves you will be dreading this workout are the kneeling lateral crawl to half surrender and front lunge/side lunge.

PRO TIP: When doing the kneeling lateral crawl to half surrender, use a mat and make sure you’re stepping ON to the mat, not forward.

Previously, I never did this move successfully without the loops rolling all the way up my thighs after the second rep. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong, until today, when I noticed I was stepping too far forward when I stood up in a half surrender. That is, if you watch Autumn, you’ll notice she starts kneeling on a mat, and when she stands up, her feet end up directly under her still ON the mat. Whereas when I was attempting the move, I was stepping OFF the mat, and the forward movement would cause the loops to roll. When I focused on keeping my feet under me, my loops halted their crawl up my legs and my frustration ceased. Learn from my mistakes and get the technique right the first time through.

That said, no amount of technique can save you from the burning drudgery that is front lunge/side lunge. The move is exactly what it sounds like. Front lunge:

Front Lunge
Lighting is terrible but my form is good!

Then side lunge:

Side Lunge
Light still sucks. #sorrynotsorry

The issue with this exercise is ONE rep is front lunge, then side lunge. That’s ONE. And you do 15 reps in Week 1. Which means each leg essentially does 30 lunges; in Round 1 alone, you have to plow through 60 lunges total. It takes FOREVER.

But at least you have Autumn’s pants to look at, and can be thankful you didn’t make that fashion choice.

That’s all I got. I have to go figure out a new meal plan now BECAUSE I CAN’T HAVE EGGS.

Get some sleep! Link to the usual stuff.

Phase 3, Day 54: Total Body Core (aka Be Your Own Detective)

SPOILER ALERT: This post has next to nothing to do with today’s workout. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. In fact, let’s just get the description out of the way so we can move on to the fun stuff.

Total Body Core in Phase 3 means a workout that flows relatively nicely until you get to the third series when it slows to a crawl. There’s five series, each dedicated to a different muscle group, and three exercises within each series. It’s a mix of weights and loops and sliders. Here’s how it breaks down:

SERIES 1 – Shoulders: Surrender to shoulder press, quad ped crawl, burpee sliders.

SERIES 2 – Back: Bent over Row tap back, squat tabletop row, saw on sliders.

SERIES 3 – Chest: Modified 1/2 Turkish Push-Up, side reach push-up, V crunch to scissor crunch.

SERIES 4 – Biceps: Runner’s lunge curl, static sumo hammer curl, slider crawl outs.

SERIES 5 – Triceps: Tricep push-up w/knee tuck, squat hold kickbacks, weighted windmills.

FAVE EXERCISE: Surrender to shoulder press (don’t ask me why).

LEAST FAVE: Modified 1/2 Turkish push-up (IT’S THE DEVIL).

PRO TIP #62: If you are tall, consider using the larger 12″ loops for the runner’s lunge curl.

Otherwise, you’ll spend the entire exercise wondering if you’re gonna snap the loop in half and take out an eye.

The Turkish push-up move is the worst. Even though it’ll go down to 10 reps next week (down from 2 sets of 15 reps this week), it still takes forever to get through. Any momentum you build from conquering the surrender to chest press is completely obliterated by this move. Just make sure you drink your Energize before the workout and come prepared.

SO, with the “work” stuff out of the way, let’s talk about being your own detective.

If you are on this 80 Day Obsession journey, you have probably become pretty familiar with the celebrity trainer running the workouts, Autumn Calabrese. Autumn talks a lot about her own personal struggles, fitness and otherwise, and one of those struggles was dealing with an undiagnosed food allergy over the past few years. Despite repeated visits to the doctor, no one could figure out what was wrong with her even though Autumn kept insisting something wasn’t right with her body. It finally took a visit to her naturopath/M.D., who ran a barrage of blood tests, to figure out that Autumn is allergic to eggs AND has some sort of mutation where she can’t properly absorb Vitamin D. The end result, as Autumn will tell you in one of her post-80 Day Obsession videos, is that when she was filming the 80 Day Obsession workouts, she was still dealing with the fallout of these health issues. The long-time gut inflammation that resulted from her food allergy was not quite resolved and so she felt that she never got quite as shredded during 80 Day Obsession as she thought she would.

However, the only reason Autumn was able to figure out what was wrong with her is because she was her own advocate; she was her own detective. Even though her doctor would tell her she was healthy, Autumn kept chasing leads: “Yeah, but I don’t feel right, and after I do X I’m more sore than normal.” It took persistence and finding the right doctor to run the right tests to solve the problem. But more importantly, it took Autumn being in touch with her body to know something needed to be solved in the first place.

As you go through this 80 Day Obsession journey, you are going to connect with your body more than any other time in your life. You can’t help it. Between the focused workouts and the concentrated nutrition plan, you will see the cause and effect of exercise and healthy eating. And, as a result, it may shed some light on some undiagnosed health issues; issues that you once took for granted as normal, but when they consistently occur despite eating a clean diet and in the face of regular exercise, tells you that something might be wrong with your body.

That was me. For the amount of work and healthy eating I put into 80 Day Obsession the first time around, I didn’t think my end results were as good as they could be. Even going through this second time, ESPECIALLY going through this second time, I realized that some of the stuff my body experienced on a day-to-day basis was not natural, even though it had been happening for years.

So, I made an appointment with my GP: All blood work came back normal.

I made an appointment with a naturopath: Adrenal cortisol tests came back normal.

I made a second appointment with my naturopathy to test for more food sensitivities.

And BOOM! There it was: I am severely sensitive to EGGS. I’m not allergic, but I have a severe gut reaction in the 2-48 hour span after eating eggs. Which explains why I have been having issues throughout 80 Day Obsession and the last few years because I’M EATING 2 HARD BOILED EGGS EVERY MORNING FOR BREAKFAST AND EGGS ARE IN EVERYTHING.

If not for 80 Day Obsession, I would have never discovered this sensitivity. I would have just continued to think my explosive situation was normal.

But something about 80 Day Obsession inspires you to want to live your best self. And that includes playing detective when it comes to your body and your health. As a result, I now have to figure out a different source of protein for my pre-workout meal. BUT, even better, I now have the PERFECT excuse to not eat my body weight in baked goods: It’ll make me sick! Kinda. Let’s just say I’ll be seeing the effects for the next day. And it’s not pretty. And now I know why!

So, play detective. Because your health is worth it. And if you’re not getting the most out of 80 Day Obsession as you think you should, you might have some underlying issue that’s holding you back.

Any thoughts or questions? Shoot me a message. Or check out the usual link for Beachbody stuff.

Happy sleuthing, gumshoe!

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.

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Rest up! Tomorrow’s gonna be a doozy.