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

As previously blogged, Lake Chelan is my happy place.

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

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

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

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

You would think.

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

IMG_0563
Note the blue sky and utter lack of shade.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which means this is the current color of my legs:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Phase 3, Day 66: Total Body Core (aka The One with Real Talk From Autumn Calabrese)

Full Disclosure: Last night’s post was so lackluster that I completely forgot this blog was a daily thing until just now.

But, better late than never, right?!

Also full disclosure: Yesterday’s post sucked because I replaced almost all of yesterday’s yellow containers with beer. And then apparently didn’t eat very much. See, here was yesterday’s view:

IMG_0550

It was a day at the ballpark courtesy of my boyfriend’s employer. Which means there was LOTS of free stuff. As in free food and free booze.

I love free things, especially at places like ball games where you have to trade your first born child for a Coors Light. Which is why, while I could have chosen to stick to the straight and narrow yesterday and drink only water….I didn’t really want to.

So, I compromised. I ate hot dogs without buns, brought my own veggies (cucumbers and carrots), and snacked lightly on the popcorn and peanuts. I also tried to do a 1:1 ratio with beer to water: One beer was followed immediately by a bottle of water.

The end result was that I had to pee several times throughout the game. And I somehow didn’t eat very much.

Which means that by about 7 pm last night, I was ready to pass out and STARVING. My boyfriend, god of my life, made me a chicken veggie bowl, reminded me to blog, then tucked me in to bed. It was a great day, but not conducive to blogging.

Today, however, very much is.

The scenery changed once again. Today I am in my happy place: Chelan. Here was my gym for today’s workout:

IMG_0555

I am proud of this set-up. Perhaps more than any other photo, this one speaks to how much my mindset has changed thanks to 80 Day Obsession.

I cannot tell you how often I packed workout clothes for our trips to Lake Chelan…and then never used them. I’d get here and succumb to the heat and the lake. I’d get a few drinks in me at night then want to sleep in past the opportune morning workout time. The Lake ennui would kick in and obliterate any intention to work out, no matter the streak I was riding when I first pulled into the parking lot.

Today, however, I couldn’t wait to work out. I planned my day and my meals around it. I packed the right clothes.

Part of my excited stemmed from wanting to use my latest workout toy:

Adjustable Weights
Now I literally have a gym in my fingertips and can work out in my car!

These bad boys are amazing, especially in a workout like Total Body Core, where for three sets of 10 reps, doing each series at a time, I was constantly having to change weights. Done and done. Super convenient.

But part of my excitement wasn’t really even just excitement, but just the drive to workout.

That’s still not explaining it right.

You know how you have to wear pants in public? That’s the best I can describe it. I HAD to workout. Just as it isn’t an option to go pants-less in public and remain a law-abiding citizen, it was not an option for me to skip today’s workout just because I was in a different locale.

I am pleased to report I am brainwashed to the point of WANTING to work out. It’s a joy and a challenge to push my body and see what it can do today. It’s also kinda fun to sweat all over the floor and not worry about anybody slipping in it.

PLUS, you do NOT want to miss today’s workout: Autumn gets real about her body and its substantial…augmentations.

As is quite obvious for those of you following along at home, Autumn has had work done: A boob job. I can only imagine she got really into bodybuilding and succumbed to the pressure to look more feminine while also maintaining an insanely low body fat. (Sadly, also reinforcing a body image the rest of us chase that is not totally obtainable without going under the knife, but that’s a topic for another day.)

Today, Autumn admits to having had work done. She talks about how it impacts her ability to perform push-ups; she makes a remark along the lines that she was young when she chose to have the augmentation.

Say what you want about the choice to have this particular surgery, but hot damn Autumn are you my new best friend for your honesty.

There’s a reason this program is inspiring millions of followers and a cult-like devotion: Over 80 days, you really do get to know Autumn and her cast. Sure, there are days where you want to shove them all off a cliff; but then there are others where their stories and groans are all that get you through those modified 1/2 Turkish pushup whatevers, and afterwards all you want to do is invite them all over for a drink to marvel at how you all survived. I mean, what other personal trainer is gonna talk about her own breast augmentation while filming a live workout for repeat use by a fitness conglomerate? That takes balls.

So make sure you press play today. You won’t regret it.

Also, I think I know what workout program I’m doing next. Stay tuned and keep reading my next few posts to find out where my head’s at!

Link to some possible options here. Stay cool mes amigos!

Phase 3, Day 63: AAA (aka The Countdown Begins…To The End)

Reality Check: There are only THREE WEEKS left in 80 Day Obsession.

Let that sink in for a moment.

You have only 17 more workouts to get through before you finish the program. For every workout you do this week, you will only have to do it two more times.

At this point in my first 80 Day Obsession journey, I knew immediately I wanted to do it all again. I couldn’t imagine my life without the structure and discipline and challenging workouts.

Now, however, I am looking forward to taking a break. I want a break from the 1/2 Turkish Get-Up with Push-Up Hell. I don’t want to go to the damn zoo every week with Cardio Flow. (Seriously, if the workouts still came on DVDs, I would be burning the Cardio Flow DVD in a backyard bonfire to celebrate.)

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy today’s workout. I absolutely did. I think AAA in Phase 3 is not only my favorite AAA workout of the program, but also my favorite workout in Phase 3 period (though Leg Day runs a close second). Today, you do the three series, consisting of three exercises each, one series at at time for 3 sets of 10 reps each. The pace is quick but manageable. The moves burn in all the right place, and it’s easy to go up in weights if you need to. You even get to spend one entire series on the floor (though that certainly doesn’t mean it’s easy). All in all, AAA is a great way to start the week.

But after I finish these 80 days, I want to do something different. I need to mix it up so that I can come back to this program refreshed and not dreading an entire phase full of renegade rows with a twist.

So, in these final weeks, I’m not only counting down to the end, but I’m also counting down to my next workout program. I have to. What I love about 80 Day Obsession is that it flipped a switch in me so that my day is not complete WITHOUT A WORKOUT; I’m focused on eating right and in the correct portions and at the optimum times of the day. But to keep that momentum going, I have to have a plan. I’m gonna have to literally plan out the rest of my year with workout programs. If I don’t, it’s too easy for a week-long break to turn into “crap I haven’t worked out since August.” That is exactly what happened to me last year, and I ended up doughy around the middle by New Year’s as a result.

I don’t want to yo-yo this time. I want to be consistent. I want to keep building the booty gains I’ve been seeing in 80 Day Obsession. Exhibit A:

Bridge Lateral Press
What goes up goes down into the booty.

I want to continue to shred out and reveal the abs that are finally starting to peek through after a lifetime of hibernation:

PROGRESS
Work is showing in all the right places!

And while I know that 80 Day Obsession gets me results, I know that mentally I will need a break from it all when it’s done. Which is absolutely fine.

But I don’t know what that means for this blog or continuing to share my journey. I started this thing 60+ days ago because I was so impressed with what 80 Day Obsession did for me mentally and physically. I still am. The program saved me. It gave me structure when I needed it most; it allowed me to find a shred of victory when it felt like I was sleeping in the jaws of defeat. 80 Day Obsession gave me the feeling of control when everything was careening off the tracks. I know that when I am lacking that control in the future, be it in my personal life or my own health and fitness regime or whatever, I can turn to 80 Day Obsession and pick up the tools I need to right the ship.

I wanted to share that excitement with others, and provide something of a roadmap for those who will come after me. Plus, I was a newly minted Beachbody coach, and this seemed a good way to put myself out there and perhaps attract others who might need exactly what 80 Day Obsession has to offer.

The problem, I have learned, is that while I have no problem with coaching, I’m terrible at selling. Just awful. It’s not that I have a problem talking about 80 Day Obsession – I don’t. Or that I can’t answer questions about the nutrition – I can. It’s moreso that hawking this product feels like it cheapens what the program did for me. I don’t want to sell this program to make a commission or build my genealogical chart (no real idea what that is, btw); I want to sell it to someone like me who is at a point in their life when they need it.

I’m rambling, I know. And I know there are other coaches out there who would say there is an obligation to reach as many people as I can with this product to try and change lives for the better. I just haven’t figured out what works for me. This blog was fun, but I’m pretty sure no one reads it. It will likely just live on infamy, forgotten in the dusty corners of the internet with the millions of failed blogs that have come before it.

I’m okay with that. If even one person out there has gotten something useful out of any of these posts, mission accomplished.

At the very least, this is the most consistently I have ever blogged. EVER. Just like 80 Day Obsession, I’ve stuck with it. That’s just another example of how 80 Day Obsession can change you for the better if you stick with it and work the program.

So even though we have 17 days left to go, if you’re reading this, thank you. I hope you’ve gotten something out of this. And if you didn’t but are wondering if other Beachbody products might be more your jam, check out the usual link.

 

Phase 3, Day 60: Total Body Core (aka The One Where You Realize You’ve Gotten a Lot Better at Tricep Push-Ups)

I work out at a gym.

I don’t know if I’ve told y’all that before, but I do. I realize this is somewhat unusual for a person who is following a Beachbody program, as part of Beachbody’s selling point is you can do the workout from the comfort of your own home. I can’t. I live on the third floor of an apartment building and there just isn’t enough space in our living room to do side lunges/back lunges, and I don’t want to give myself an excuse to not complete a workout because I keep banging my shin on the coffee table (been there, done that). Plus, I know my downstairs neighbors really don’t appreciate the early morning jumping required in a number of the workouts.

So, gym it is. In the weight-lifting area, I collect my weights, grab a mat, and push play. I navigate people jumping rope and idiots who block the weight rack. I go back and forth between the rubber mat of the weight area to the tiled floor of the merchandise area, and ignore the gawkers who spot me on my sliders doing tricep push-up pull-ins in front of the shelves of protein powder:

Tricep push-ups on Sliders
Don’t mind me as I sweat amongst the merchandise.

I share this because today’s Total Body Core workout will pretty much require you to have ALL the weights. Again. I commandeered everything from the 12.5 pound dumbbells, all the way up to the 20s. Yes, I was THAT bitch. And I don’t care.

Today’s workout will leave you with sweat rolling down your ankles and a burn in your shoulders that won’t quit. It’s three sets of 10 reps, where you go through all exercises in a row for 10 reps, then repeat for another 2 rounds. It’s not my favorite set-up, but it gets the job done.

I will say, however, that the 10 reps really gives you the opportunity to measure your strength. That tricep push-up form above? Last week, I could barely do the 15 reps on my toes, and had to drop to my knees for the last few. But this week, I did all 10 on my toes. My back arched perhaps a bit too much, but I still managed to get a lot lower than I could in Phase 1. Even better, my push-up form in the 1/2 Turkish get-up from hell felt stronger, though I cursed Autumn’s name throughout the move.

My goal for next week is to continue this push-up triumph and try the slide-out push-ups on my toes as opposed to on my knees. I’ll keep you posted.

With my push-up notes out of the way, let’s turn to the two pro tips for today’s workout.

PRO TIP #101: If your loops are rolling on V Crunch to Scissor Crunch, you gotta double or triple loop.

I got new loops in the mail yesterday and eagerly put them to use in tonight’s workout. For the first time in awhile, I was able to double-loop with two blues. But to my dismay, I couldn’t get more than 2-3 reps done of V Crunch to Scissor Crunch without the damn things rolling up my thighs. I powered through only by constantly taking a moment to adjust the loops during my crunch up (an extra burn, so not unwelcome). So, in round 2, I added a green loop.

I found that the three loops would slide up my thighs a bit, but weren’t rolling, so they were easier to adjust. Don’t underestimate how much stronger your abs and legs are for this workout. Adjust accordingly.

PRO TIP #67: Clench your butt during Weighted Windmills.

This is one exercise where I’m never sure if I’m doing it right because I don’t do it in front of a mirror (next week, I think I will). On some reps I’ll feel a good contraction in my obliques, but in others I get nothing and I worry I’m kicking my hips out in the typewriter motion Autumn describes and warns against. Tonight, however, Autumn gave a good tip that instantly helped me lock my hips into place and focus in on my abs: Clench your butt. As you are sliding the weight down your leg, clench your butt muscles. This will keep your hips from sliding out, thereby ensuring it’s your obliques doing the work.

The instant I contracted my butt muscles, I finally felt the exercise in all the right places.

So, them’s my tips for the night.

Tomorrow I tackle Cardio Core before my soccer game, and I’m looking forward to getting a good sweat going before taking the field. Now if we could just get this weather to cooperate….

Check out the usual link if you need more loops, and feel free to email me with any questions. Almost done with Week 2 of Phase 3! Only 20 more workouts to go!

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 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!