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 76: Cardio Flow (aka The One Day At the Zoo You Might Enjoy)

This is the Cardio Flow workout you’ve been waiting for: The one you might enjoy.

Finally, FINALLY, Autumn takes away the stupid build-ups.

Instead, from the very beginning you go straight through the workout, four reps of 10 moves, all in a row. To refresh your memory, that means four reps each of:

  1. Inchworms;
  2. Spider push-ups;
  3. Diamond jumps;
  4. Flamingoes;
  5. Ducks;
  6. Gorillas;
  7. Step-throughs;
  8. Bears;
  9. Crabs; and
  10. Mule-to-Frogs.

I hate the build-up so I much prefer this set-up. Plus, Autumn keeps it interesting by challenging you – and her cast – to do as many rounds of all 10 exercises as possible.

*** SPOILER ALERT ***

You will do 10 rounds.

BUT, I will add that if you are feeling ambitious, it IS impossible to beat Autumn and the gang and squeeze out an extra round. I know because I got a wild hair to do that today. So I did. Eleven rounds, finished at the exact same time as Autumn and everyone else. Here is my face after:

Cardio Flow DONE.
I can’t smile my face hurts from Diamond Jumps.

It occurs to me that there are very few photos of me smiling after finishing a workout. Even though I feel great and love the endorphin rush, I’m pretty sure I look like I want to pass out in every post-workout photo.

I’m aware of this, I really am. And today I tried to change it up and smile.

I won’t post the photos. I looked like I was being tortured. All grimaces and teeth.

This too is another clue that I need a break because my first time through 80 Day Obsession, I was smiling HARD after finishing each and every workout in Peak Week because it meant the damn thing was FINALLY checked off the list. Hell, you’d think I’d muster up a grin today at having f-ing Cardio Flow out of the way.

Yet the best I can manage is a look of dazed bewilderment.

I know it’s time to switch things up when I’m not finding joy in the little things. ESPECIALLY in not having to do Cardio Flow again. I hate that workout. Seriously. I know I should be super positive and tell you to follow the plan to a T, but I swear to God if I do 80 Day Obsession again I’m gonna swap the damn thing out for a different cardio workout. I don’t like dreading a workout, yet Cardio Flow was this program’s dentist appointment: You know you have to do it because it’s good for you but you hate every second of it and spend the rest of the day sore and vowing to never to it again.

I guess the take-away is it’s okay to hate the workout (and your dentist) so long as you keep going back for more. Interesting side note: My dentist is my godfather. Yet I still hate going in for check-ups.

Sigh.

Sometimes you just have to appreciate the ends and not the means.

In the meantime, good luck with today’s workout. I hope you enjoy checking this one off your list. Should feel real good!

Link to more Beachbody stuff. Feel free to message me with your thoughts on the zoo or writing requests.

Yours in worms and diamonds,

Katie

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which is why I pulled a Double Day today.

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

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

She wasn’t kidding.

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

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

But I digress.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Regardless, I got the workout DONE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours in Doubles and Triples,

FitLuddy.