Phase 2, Day 33: Booty (aka Never Miss a Monday)

It’s not that I didn’t want to workout today. It’s moreso that my body is still in vacation mode, and taking a day off, like TRULY taking a day off from life and work and eating right, sounded right up my alley.

Truth be told, that probably would have happened had I not happened to check Autumn’s Instagram while lying in bed this morning. “Never miss a Monday,” she posted. Even though today didn’t feel like a Monday, even though I was still in the holiday zone, I rolled out of bed, ate my pre-workout meal, and got my ass to the gym.

It wasn’t pretty, but I got it done.

Booty. Boo-TAY. An almost hour-long workout this week doing the rep scheme I hate: Three sets of 10 reps, but where you go through the entire workout three times, doing each exercise for 10 reps. I hate it because it takes forever. The workouts don’t change, but that doesn’t make them easy.

Also, I can’t remember if I stressed this last week, but I do have a pro-tip for the Quad-Ped series.

PRO-TIP #44: LIGHTEN UP.

It is very easy to do the quad ped exercises (heel press up on the angle, single-leg hamstring curl, and bear fire hydrant) WRONG. Why? Because if you let your knee drop when you fully extend your leg, you’re taking the movement out of your butt and into your quad.

As Autumn points out with a cast member, if you can’t keep your knee UP during these moves, you might have to lighten up on the resistance loop. That cast member, Jazmyne, is RIPPED. Seriously, she started 80 Day Obsession already shredded, yet somehow managed to carve her abs and triceps out even more over the course of the program. And, her ass is #buttgoals.

But despite her pre-conditioning, she struggled with the quad ped series because of her tight hip flexors. As a result, she eventually ended up not using a band at ALL for the heel press up on the angle and single-leg hamstring curl because she could not do either without keeping her knee up. What was most important was her form, and given how her body was wired, she could not keep perfect form and work the muscle that needed to be worked: Her glutes.

I am sharing this because if you are anything like me, you will be frustrated with the quad ped series. I alternate between wanting to challenge myself with a heavier resistance loop, and watching my form. My problem is that my back tends to arch, which means I feel it more in my lower back than in my butt. Case in point:

Heel Press Up on Angle
WAYYYY too much lower back action here.

You can see I put on a blue loop for this exercise. After I snapped this photo, for the next round, I swapped out the blue for the green and managed to tuck my tailbone and lose the arch.

My point being that this week will press some buttons. The rep scheme will feel wrong, you might not increase the weight as much as you like, and all of it tends to come to a head in a cloud of frustration that makes it hard to be motivated to workout. Honestly, the only thing that got me through today was Autumn’s mantra, which I HAPPENED to stumble across: “Never Miss a Monday.” That was the only thing that kept me going.

I knew that after the celebratory, holiday weekend I enjoyed in San Diego, I was in need of a good workout to get keyed back in to the 80 Day Obsession plan. AND, I knew that if I worked out, I would be more likely to get back on the timed nutrition trian.

For the most part, my morning workout set me on the path of eating right….Except for the fact that dinner at my Aunt’s house was moved to tonight. AND WHO CAN SAY NO TO HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY PIE. IT’S JUST RUDE.

However, I only had one slice. And I swapped out my hamburger bun for some bibb lettuce and only had one helping of everything, even though I desperately wanted a second half ear of corn. I’m typing this now feeling full, but not obscenely so – a marked change from what I usually experience most nights after family dinner. So, I suppose I will take it as a win and use the rest of the week to get back on the straight and narrow. But I am NOT going to punish myself and use my less-than-perfect day as an excuse to throw the rest of the meal plans out for the week and eat garbage instead. No. I’ll just eat better tomorrow than I did today. Progress not perfection. That’s all I can do.

At the very least, I got my Monday workout in. I pushed play and have now set the tone for the rest of the week. And that tone says I WILL work out according to schedule.

All because I didn’t miss a Monday.

So, don’t miss a Monday. For most of you, it’s not too late. But, if you’re really struggling, hit me up. I might be able to help. Or, check out the usual link for ways the Beachbody shenanigans could help you.

After all, even if you miss a Monday, it doesn’t mean you have to miss the next.

 

Phase 2, Day 32: Cardio Flow (aka Not My Favorite)

I have nothing to write about today’s workout. You do six reps of each move. It’s a slog.

But you can finish this workout because you’ve done four reps of each move before, so how hard is it to add another two reps?

With that out of the way, rather than recap my pathetic attempts at donkey/mules, I’d prefer to talk about something you probably have a lot of questions about: Refeed Day.

This next week, on Wednesday, Day 35, you will have your first Refeed Day. What, pray tell, is a Refeed Day? It’s when Autumn allows you to eat “Dirty Yellows” at different intervals throughout the day.

What is a “dirty yellow”? There’s a list included with the 80 Day Obsession program, and those dirty yellows consist of carbohydrates that contain more sugar than what we are usually allowed. For example, the dirty yellow could be fix-approved brownies, fix-approved donut holes, white bread, etc. The idea is that you are replenishing the glycogen in your system because it will have been at a deficit for the past few weeks; when you body gets that extra sugar/glycogen, it should translate to you feeling stronger and having a better workout and perhaps giving your metabolism an extra boost. When a cast member asked Autumn if he should do the refeed days because he only wanted to “maintain” and not lean out, Autumn’s response was yes, that he should participate in the refeed days so he could see how it would affect his body.

I didn’t like Refeed Days, and I struggled with them the entire program. My Achilles Heel was the spoon.

To explain: Autumn has a fix-approved recipe for flourless chocolate brownies which are AMAZING, and she and bro Bobby also came up with these delicious fix-approved donut holes. After over a month of no baked goods, the Sunday before my first Refeed Day in Round 1, I decided to treat myself and make BOTH the brownies and the donut holes. I did it on Sunday because I knew I wouldn’t have time to bake during the week, so I figured I might as well get it all done at once.

The problem with baking these treats at home is that inevitably, I HAVE to lick the spoon. You know, when you’re dumping the batter into the cake pan and/or into muffin tins and you may “accidentally” leave a little more than a spoonful stuck to the sides of the bowl so you have an excuse to clean up the mess with a good spatula and then your finger? Then, after the rigorous bowl-cleaning, after you pull everything out of the oven, well you HAVE to taste-test your goods! Otherwise, what if you get to the glorious Refeed Day and the first shot of chocolate you’ve enjoyed in over 30 days tastes like ass because it turns out you forgot to rinse the strainer before using it to drain the chickpeas for the brownies which means the brownies have taken on the taste of the artichoke hearts which were in the strainer before the chickpeas.

My point is that I would usually end up having TWO Refeed Days during Refeed Week: One on Sunday when I would invariably succumb to my own baking, and then on the actual Refeed Day when I was SUPPOSED to enjoy my own baking. As a result, I felt terrible during Refeed week. My system had a hard time adjusting to the added sugar and it really felt like I took a step back both in terms of my nutrition and my appearance. I never got the hang of finding the balance with Refeed Days.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Katie, instead of trying to avoid the temptation of your home kitchen, just buy your Dirty Yellows at the store and call it a day.”

So, I tried that. For one Refeed Day, I decided to treat myself to a delicious donut from Top Pot as two of my Dirty Yellows (yes you get two at once for one of your meals).

I literally blacked out and ate three donuts before I knew what was happening.

The leash on my self-control is tenuous at best. I keep trying to find a way around it being all or nothing, but to date, all or nothing seems to be the only course of action that actually WORKS for me. When I try to improvise with a Samoa donut from Top Pot, my mind seems to take that as a signal for a free-for-all and suddenly it’s all I can do to not eat my body weight in processed fat and sugar.

Even though I would end up having two Refeed Days, I had greater success making my dirty yellows at home: After I taste-tested a few and confirmed they weren’t terrible, I would portion out what I needed for Wednesday and then take the rest over to my Aunt’s house for Sunday dinner. That way, I didn’t have extra lying around the house. Even better, while I consistently over-ate the dirty yellows when making them, at least, by following fix-approved recipes, I could ensure I wasn’t putting the worst crap possible in my body; it was just crap.

I share this post because I want you to know that Refeed Days are difficult; they feel fun at first, but for me, they were a pain in the ass. If you find something that works for you, great. But if you are like me and know this day is going to present a problem for you, here’s a few tips to help get you through the day:

#1: Have a Plan.

You need to know on Sunday what your Dirty Yellows are going to be. Are you going to buy them at the store? Treat yourself to an extra piece of white bread at lunch? Make fix-approved brownies at home? Just like with every other aspect of the timed nutrition, you need to plan this out. You need to know what you are going to eat to refeed yourself BEFORE dawn breaks on Refeed Day. If you don’t have a plan, that is a recipe for disaster, as the only thing that will fill the gap are terrible processed foods that are easy to grab and terrible for your overall results.

#2: Use the Fixate Recipes.

If you’re not like me and don’t have a problem with licking the spoon, then absolutely make a fix-approved dirty yellows from the comfort of your own home. There is no better way to guarantee that you are then putting into your body exactly what is recommended because you know what is in the food you are consuming. After all, you made it!

#3: Get the Extras Out of Your House.

If you are taking 80 Day Obsession seriously, then one of the first things you would have done before starting the program is cleared all the junk food and crap food out of your house.

With Refeed Day, however, it can feel like you suddenly have free rein to buy that crap food and put it back in your house. Don’t fall into this trap. First, don’t buy the food. BUT, if you do end up buying the food, then immediately portion out what you need and get rid of the rest.

I always did this with the fix-approved dirty yellows I would make on Sunday: I would set aside what I needed for Wednesday and package up the rest for family dinner. HOWEVER, there was one day where family dinner was cancelled, and so there was nowhere to take the leftovers on Sunday. Uh Oh.

Somehow, the brownies I did NOT need to eat ended up disappearing Sunday night. I kept seeing them and nibbling at them for “just a taste” and before I knew it they were gone. Not my proudest moment, but at least I know now I simply can’t have it in the house. Weirdly enough, there is a difference between portioning out brownies and setting them aside for a certain day, versus leaving the brownies in the pan for the week; the former causes me to stick to and follow the meal plan; the latter destroys any self-control I have and inevitably leads to a free-for-all.

#4: Don’t Be Afraid to Change It Up.

What I mean by this is that everyone is different, and everyone will react differently to Refeed Day. You’re going to have to pay attention to your body to figure out how to get the most out of this day. I felt like shit after most Refeed Days because I used all my Dirty Yellows as an excuse to have processed sugar.

There was one Refeed Day where I didn’t have time to make anything or buy anything, so I ended up having extra slices of Ezekiel’s bread and extra helpings of sweet potato. Surprise surprise, that Refeed Day, I felt the BEST I did all program. Unfortunately, that day came at the very end, so I have yet to see if it can be repeated. That I will find out this week.

I’m still learning this stuff, just like you. I’m still doing trial and error. You will too. Don’t let the learning part be used as an excuse to stray from the program; don’t lean more towards the “error” than the trial because it’s easier to throw in the towel than fix what’s broken.

Above all, if you have questions while going through this, ASK. It doesn’t have to be me, but feel free to drop me an email or a comment. I guarantee you won’t be the first one to wonder if you’re doing Refeed Day right or if there are ways you could be doing it better.

As always, feel free to click on the link to learn more about Beachbody stuff.

Tomorrow’s my day off from the blog, so good luck getting ready for Refeed Day, and again, let me know if you have any questions!

 

Phase 2 Day 31: AAA (aka You’re Going to Have to Struggle)

This is an earlier post than normal because I am out of my routine for the next few days.

See, I am currently in San Diego, celebrating the wedding of a dear friend. In the past, I would have used being away from home as an excuse to not workout, and to eat myself into oblivion while claiming to conduct a “cultural experiment.” That is, “Do tacos taste better in the Gaslamp Quarter or at Point Loma? Better try them all to make sure!”

This time, however, vacation feels different. Don’t get me wrong: I’m enjoying myself and not holding my diet to a Nazi standard when it comes to nutrition, but I’m also driven to find ways to comply with the 80 Day Obsession as much as possible. And miss a workout? NO fucking way.

Which means I was up at 8 this morning to eat and then workout in the hotel gym. Not the perfect set-up, and I had to alternate between the fitness room and the hallway outside in order to use my sliders on the tile floor, but I got it done. Which is saying something, considering today’s workout. It’s not easy, and it’s not like one you have ever done.

The basic set-up of AAA stays the same: You contract for three count, then release for one. Here’s what you can expect:

Series 1

Shoulders – Bilateral press; alternating unilateral press.

Delts – Lateral raise; “Y”.

Abs – Lat Side Bend; Standing Weighted Knee Driver.

Butt – Loop Standing Donkey; Forearm Plan Jumping Jacks.

Series 2

Chest – Chest Press; Fly.

Triceps – Kickback in plank; tricep push-up.

Abs – corkscrew; teaser.

Butt – 1st Position Bridge; Single-Leg Bridge w/Loop.

Series 3

Back – Pullovers; renegade row.

Biceps – Curls; Turned out Curl.

Abs – Loop Scissor Twist; V Leg Raises.

Butt – Narrow Bridge Clam; Straight Leg Circles.

I know i know, that list means nothing to you. Here’s how to decipher it. For the first move listed for each muscle group, in Week 1 of Phase 2, you do 15 reps in the usual AAA pattern: Contract for three count, release for 1 count. Immediately after the 15 reps, you go straight into the second-listed exercise for 15 reps at normal tempo. HOWEVER, you only do the second exercise in the FIRST set of 15. When you circle back through to do all the exercises for a second set, you drop that second exercise, which causes the last half of the workout to move a lot quicker than the first.

Even so, the quickened pace doesn’t stop this workout from being a beast. It’s a struggle. My notes for the corkscrew and teasers read simply: “SO HARD.” Why? Because you will have just done kickback in plank. Your new least fave exercise. Here’s a photo:

Kickbacks in Plank
F-ing hate this one.

You can tell from looking at the photo that this workout is a struggle. That said, it’s not so much that the moves are hard. They are. But it’s moreso that these challenging moves are stacked one on top of the other, so it’s hard for your muscles to catch a break. You go from barely making it through one exercise to struggling through the next.

And that, friends, is the key word for the day: Struggle. Even on my second time through 80 Day Obsession, this workout was a struggle for me. I almost started crying during the corkscrews. I had to go down in weight in the middle of bicep curls. I started with a lower weight in the first shoulder round. Today was one of those days when I felt nowhere near as strong as I did yesterday. Probably because my schedule is off. I had to hit pause a few times as I worked to pull the loops up over my thighs. Oh, and a loop snapped on me.

Goodbye, Loop
At least it snapped when I was pulling it on, and not mid-pull.

My point is that I had a lot going against me doing this workout, including shit that happened DURING the workout. The old me, especially the one studying for the Bar years ago, would have used these set-backs as an excuse to quit.

But not today, Satan. I don’t know if it’s 80 Day Obsession or age or a combination of the two, but today I just rolled with the punches and got it done. Some days, that’s all you can do. Don’t let the struggle stop you from finishing. It’s just part of the process. Embrace it and move on.

Now, as for food. Before reading this next section, for those of you doing 80 Day Obsession for the first time, DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO.

Did I have alcohol last night? Yup. Did I have some pizza? Oh yeah. Did I follow it all up with ice cream? Hell yeah. Did I feel guilty afterwards? Nope. Because I made sure to go a glass of water for every drink, I got my veggies in prior to having the pizza, and it was a nice walk to the ice cream place. I’m on vacation. I’d regret not living it up at least a little if I went home without sampling the local goods. But I didn’t go crazy. And today, I made a point to walk to Ralph’s to stock up on some hard-boiled eggs, mini peppers, and nanners, all so I can have some healthy snacks on hand later if/when I can’t find this particular combination of containers.

But EVEN BETTER, on my way to Ralph’s, I happened upon the BEST place for a superfood bowl: SD Discount Nutrition. I got the PowerMax Bowl post-workout, and I didn’t know what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t this deliciousness:

IMG_0382I wasn’t even looking for it, and it was the perfect post-workout fuel, and it was all plant-based and low in sugar.

My point being, because I went out of my way to make an effort to eat at least semi-healthy, I ended up with this slice of heaven without even meaning to. It was like finding $10 in your pocket when you’re going to do laundry. Completely unexpected but absolutely welcome.

I include these details so that you know 80 Day Obsession IS sustainable, even in the face of life and all its pleasures. Still doubt? Well, the wedding is today, which means tomorrow’s post will be a true testament as to how to manage a semblance of the nutrition plan in the face of champagne, bite-sized appetizers, and wedding cake. I will let you know how it goes!

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.

Phase 2, Day 29: Total Body Core (aka Thank God for Energize)

When I was in high school, a girl on my Varsity basketball team decided to amp herself up before a big game by drinking three Red Bulls. In a row. Without eating.

I can’t remember whether or not we won the game, but I remember the girl spent the next hour with heart palpitations so bad my coach had to be talked out of calling an ambulance. She was over-caffeinated to the point of uselessness and ended up not setting foot on the court, all thanks to an energy drink. Or three.

Combine that history with my body’s own…unique…reaction to stimulants, and I’m not a big fan. Depending on the type of caffeine, I tend to get jittery and my intestines go into overdrive. It’s not a pretty or comfortable experience.

You can imagine, then, my hesitation to try Energize, the energy powder in Beachbody’s Performance line. When you sign up for a challenge pack to do 80 Day Obsession, you can sign up to be sent Energize and Recover. As I had never tried either when I signed up, I figured why the hell not. Both arrived in the mail…and then I promptly forgot about them until about this point in the program my first time through.

At this time the last time ’round, my boyfriend had been in the hospital for a week, and I was prepping for trial at work while attending class at night Monday through Thursday. I was short on sleep and energy and it was becoming next to impossible to drag myself out of bed for my morning workouts.

I don’t know how I remembered it, but before Total Body Core in Week 1 of Phase 2, I decided to try Energize. I mixed a scoop into 8 ounces of water, shook it up, and drank it in the car on my way to the gym. Pretty sure the only thing that got me through the workout was that little scoop of powder.

Energize, I found, gave me the energy of a Red Bull but without the mental and physical jitters. It felt “clean,” like a good, clean “high.” I didn’t have heart palpitations, my intestines didn’t overact, and I didn’t get the caffeine sweats. Even better, I was able to power through the workout even though I could barely get out of bed.

Since then, I’ll drink Energize on the days when I know I’m low on sleep, and the workout is longer than 45 minutes. It’s like an ace in the back pocket which I can use at any time to pull one over on the House. Is part of its magic the placebo effect? Probably. Do I care? Nope. It tastes good and helps me get the job done. And when it comes to Total Body Core in Phase 2, I’ll take all the help I can get.

Here’s what you have in store for you: Five Series of exercises that each target a specific muscle group. Within each series are three exercises:

Series 1, Shoulders: Squat, Row, Twist, Row (yes that is all one move); Kneeling Lunge Clean & Press; Quad Ped Opposite Arm Knee Crunch.

Series 2, Chest: Chest Press to Half Turkish Get Up; Spider Man Push-ups; Frog Sliders.

Series 3, Back: “T” to Single-Leg Hip Hinge; Lat Pull Over w/Leg Raise; Weighted Plan Hip Drop.

Series 4, Biceps: Low Twisting Lunge Hammer Curl; Press Out to Curl; Weighted Standing Torso Rotation.

Series 5, Triceps: Crab Position Tricep Dip to Sit Through; Alternating Skull Crushers with Bicycle Legs; French Twist.

You can tell how hard this workout is by the fact that you can only get all exercises for ONE of the series on a single line. While each exercise purports to work a single muscle, the fact of the matter is that the exercise will work your whole body. Case in point: Kneeling Lunge Clean & Press. You start in a kneeling lunge with the weight held in one hand which is twisted OVER your kneeling leg. You then clean the weight up to shoulder height, stand up, then press the weight over your head. Come back down, lower weight back in a twist over the kneeling leg. Repeat. In Week 1, 15 reps, two sets.

Yes, it’s a lot. But even that move is nothing compared to the Half Turkish Get Ups. This picture says it all:

Half Turkish Get-ups: Before and After
WHAT JUST HAPPENED

You will hate Half Turkish Get Ups because they take FOREVER. It’s a move you can’t do quickly, and you have to do 15 reps on each side. Twice.

The good news is that I believe in Week 2, Autumn recognizes that this exercise lasts for an eternity and changes it so that you will only do 10 reps TOTAL, as opposed to 10 reps for EACH arm. Thank God.

All in all, prepare to sweat and swear. Total Body Core is a killer in this Phase. Did I take my Energize today before working out? Hell yes. Was I still cursing Autumn’s name as I struggled with low twisting lunge hammer curl? Yes. Just look at the damn things:

Low Twisting Lunge with Hammer Curl
The move is no better than its name. It’s a mouthful and a handful.

Nothing about this move is pleasant. Did I get the workout done? Yep. And you will too. Just don’t quit.

Whelp, that’s all for now. I’m off to SoCal tomorrow for a wedding which means I need to pack and get some beauty sleep. Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, I should add that the reason I was so tired this morning is because I’ve been doing the “deplete week” meal plan for Monday through Wednesday in an effort to look extra shredded at the wedding I will be attending on Friday. Will it work? No idea. I’ll let you know. But please, until you get through 80 Day Obsession, do as I say, not as I do. As today’s workout shows you, you need all the fuel you can get.

Phase 2, Day 28: Cardio Core (aka the Cardio with the Sliders AND the Loops)

You know it’s a good routine when you fear the “Core” in the title more than the “Cardio.”

Let’s discuss.

The format of Cardio Core in Phase 2 is the exact same as it was in Phase 1: 30 seconds of some sort of jump rope move followed by 30 seconds of some sort of high intensity interval training (“HIIT”) move; do for three rounds for a total of three minutes, then hit the ground for 10 reps of an ab exercise.

In Phase 1, I feared the standing mountain climbers because they always threatened to disturb my pre-workout meal. Between the reaching of the arms and the high knees, my breakfast was practically begging to come up.

In Phase 2, however, it’s the ab exercises that get you. If you don’t have to hit pause at least once during one of the ab routines the first time you do this workout, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough.

Why the difference?

Phase 1 abs consisted of simple linear movements: In and out for knee tucks; right knee to left elbow counted as one rep.

Phase 2, however, combines what feels like a bunch of different movements into what only counts as one rep. For example, you do knee tucks into a standing squat with an arm lift. The move takes focus, balance, and some serious core strength. AND it somehow manages to work your legs even though they need a serious break from the HIIT.

Or, you do a double leg pike followed by a single leg pike for a total of 12 reps. Here’s my pike form:

Double Leg Pike Into Single Leg Pike
Proud of that form!

(Side Note: Super proud of my pike form. Every time I do those things, I never feel like I get my ass high enough in the air to even come close to Autumn’s flexibility. However, this picture says otherwise. It definitely wasn’t like that when I first started, so I’m proud to see how far I’ve come.)

My point being, by the time you get to the LAST ab move, which requires loops, you can barely get the damn things on over your legs. You’re all sweaty so that you can’t good grip on the rubber when you pull the loops up over your thighs, and your arms are shaking too hard to pull them up on the first try. It’s a disaster. It takes all your energy just to get the damn things on, and then you’re expected to sit back in a sort of boat pose as you lift and open your legs then lift and close your legs…10 times. Here’s what that particular mode of torture looks like:

Ferry Ride From Hell
No idea what this is called. I only know the noise I make as I struggle through.

If I am focusing on the ab exercises instead of the cardio, it’s for a good reason. There is something demoralizing about making it through 3 minutes of sweat-inducing cardio…only to have to hit pause during the ab series, which is supposed to be your “rest.” I am including this detail to let you know that this is normal. It will be normal for you to barely be able to finish the ab portion(s) of the workout. It will be normal for you to have to push pause in the middle of single-leg/double-leg pike. It will be normal for you to have to hit pause to allow you time to get the loops on your legs in the last exercise, even though Autumn and co. will seem to breeze through such an endeavor with ease. It will be normal for you to want to quit because it will feel like you need a rest you don’t get, and you will doubt whether you can finish.

Don’t quit.

Hit pause all you want. Take a moment to catch your breath and drink some water.

But don’t quit.

Because as hard as these ab exercises are, know that it is their very level of difficulty which guarantees results.

You signed up for this program probably because you were lured by the promise of a sculpted booty and shredded abs. The great thing about Cardio Core in Phase 2 is you can actually FEEL the ab exercises shredding out your abs. After all, the moves are so difficult, how could they not?

When it hurts and you doubt and you can’t breathe and your arms are shaking, embrace the pain. This is what you signed up for and this is how you know the program is working; that it’s doing its job. If you WEREN’T feeling this way, you should wonder if 80 Day Obsession is everything it’s cracked up to be and whether it’s getting the job done.

There will be no wonder in Phases 2 and 3. The shit gets hard, but it is absolutely worth it. Just don’t give in when the going gets tough. Dig in and push through.

If you still have doubts after reading this post, message me. Or check out the usual link.

Just finish the workout. Finish the workout and aim to push pause one less time next week. Baby steps, friends. You got this.

Phase 2, Day 27: Booty (aka Now the Fun Begins)

At last! A new workout scheme and regime to blog about!

Gone are the days when you could do your Booty workout from the comfort of your own home with nothing but your resistance loops and sweat for comfort. In the Phase 2 Booty workouts, you get to add in weights WITH the loops and you spend nowhere near as much time on the floor. Let’s go through the fun stuff.

Phase 2 has four series with three exercises each. Here’s how they shake out:

Series 1, Standing: Squat to Hinge, Curtsy Lunge Lift, Rotating Back Side Lunge.

Series 2, Quad Ped: Heel Press Up on Angle, Single-leg Hamstring Curl, Bear Fire Hydrant.

Series 3, Weighted: Kettlebell swings, Sumo Hinge, Reverse Lunge.

Series 4, Floor Weighted: Single-Leg Bridge, Press Up & Over, Camels.

In Week 1,  you go through all 12 moves for 15 reps each, then go back through and do it all again for 15 reps each (i.e. it’s 2 sets of 15 reps).

Fave Move: Curtsy Lunge Lift (I’m not crazy – more on why this is my fave after the break).

Least fave move: Bear Fire Hydrant (i.e. MY NEW NEMESIS). Here is what bear fire hydrant looks like:

Bear Fire Hydrant
The move is nowhere near as cute as it sounds

I hate this move because it makes everything burn while I wonder the whole time if I’m going to dislocate my elbow. You hold yourself up in bear, then lift your leg up in fire hydrant. Instead of cute peeing animals coming to mind while doing the move, all I can think about is how I want to rip the head off of one of those animals IF ONLY IT WILL STOP THE BURNING.

That said, here’s the one good thing about this move: You can do it. How do I know? Well, in Phase 1, you did bear every week in Cardio Flow. You know you can do those because you did a bazillion (a technical term) of them for the past 4 weeks. And, you know you can do fire hydrants, because you did them every week in AAA, when they sucked way more because you had to slowly bring the leg down for a three count. So what you should be telling yourself when your body starts to shake on the second rep is YOU CAN DO THIS because you have done BOTH moves before for a ton of reps, and now the only thing that has changed is you are doing them together…for half the amount of reps. That should remove any doubt as to your ability to complete the round.

This mindset leads neatly into an explanation for why curtsy lunge lift was my favorite today. Here’s the set-up: You hold the weight in, say, your right hand, at shoulder height; your left leg then reaches back into a curtsy lunge across and behind your right leg; then you straighten up, but instead of bringing your left back to the front, you lift it out to the side like you did with the leg press sides from Phase 1 in Booty.

My first time through 80 Day Obsession, I HATED this move. Hated it with a passion. It felt super awkward and my “lift” was more of a weak kick. To be honest, I expected to feel that weak when I did the move today, and I was prepared to hate every second of the exercise –I knew I could DO it, it’s just that I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it.

I was wrong. To my surprise, my left leg went back and across the right without my right knee wobbling over my foot; when I rose up into the side lift, I felt strong and smooth and balanced; I wasn’t limply kicking my foot out, but rather, actually lifting it up in a controlled move.

I got stronger. And suddenly my nemesis wasn’t even an annoyance. It was a victory. I loaded up the weight on curtsy lunges in Phase 1, and double-looped it for those side lifts. I didn’t know it would help when I brought the two moves together this time around, but it did. Which means I wasn’t just doing the moves, I was KILLING them.

See, when I say that “the fun begins” in Phase 1, what I mean is that THIS is when you start to see progress. This is when you start to see how far you’ve come not only in strength and mindset, but also, if you’ve been following the timed nutrition, in physical results. This is when it all starts to come together. You build on the foundational moves you learned in Phase 1, and you add them together to work even more muscles at the same time, thereby torching even more calories in Phase 2. And while the exercises are harder, you also go into them KNOWING they are absolutely do-able. After all, you’ve done them each on their own. Now you’re just doing the moves together. Think about it: You’re essentially getting the two exercises done in half the time. It’s a twofer!

Because we will be doing so many more compound movements, the workouts get a lot more interesting. You will find some of the exercises use loops and weights, or sliders and weights, or even loops and weights AND sliders! For that reason…

PRO TIP #3: CHECK YOUR LOOPS FOR TEARS AND WEAK POINTS BEFORE STARTING EVERY WORKOUT.

Right around this time is when I ordered new loops while going through 80 Day Obsession the first time. Why? Because I found a tiny tear during a pre-workout inspection. With the amount the loops are used in Phase 2, there’s no way that loop would have made it without snapping on me, especially when doing side lunges with the damn things. (Have you seen how far the loop has to stretch when you use the loops for rotating back side lunge? Part of me wants to wear goggles just in case the loop does decide to snap.) Accept it. Even though the loops are high quality (believe me, I’ve tried others, and they are), the program uses them too much and with too much intensity for the loops to last the entire program. If yours do, great. But be prepared and order a new set so that WHEN your loop snaps, or you notice a tear, you can still go on with your workout for the day.

With that PSA out of the way, I do hope today gave you a taste of what’s to come. The moves speed up, get more complicated, and work a lot more muscles at once. But even with this added level of difficulty, the workouts remain the best of that Beachbody trait: Do-able.

If you have any questions after today, message me. Or, if you want to buy more loops, check out the link. Otherwise, kick some ass and enjoy the ride – it’s gonna be a good one.