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.

 

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 64: Cardio Flow (aka Screw the Video, Pump Up the Music)

PRO TIP #12: When fighting the drudgery that is Cardio Flow, swap the workout video for some great music and hit play.

I don’t know why it took me 144 days to figure this one out. By now, you know that Cardio Flow is my least favorite workout, especially in Phase 3. It seems to take forever and it’s boring. I also have a tendency to zone out and lose count, which is a pain in the ass.

But here’s the thing: We’re in the 11th week of this shit; you know the workout. You know that it’s four reps of each move and you have to build one on top of the other until you get to the frogs-to-mules, when you do everything altogether for another eight rounds. Even if you have trouble counting, like I sometimes do, you don’t need the video to tell you how to do the workout. You just have to keep track of the reps and the rounds.

So today I swapped Autumn and her workout cast for some workout tunes on Pandora…and life instantly got better. Whereas last week I hit a literal wall, this week I was pushing myself to finish a round before a song finished. While I still had to take a mini-break after four rounds of all the exercises, that’s way better than what I did last week, when I was requiring a break every two rounds.

All in all, I felt stronger. More importantly, I wasn’t bored. And, I was motivated to not only finish the workout, but kill the workout.

I’m proud to say I did. Check out this form:

Mule to Frog
Maybe the best Mule to Frog I’ve ever done, and I got it on tape!

I even got some hang time.

As you can see, if last week was the perfect storm for almost failing, this week was the perfect recipe for success: Blue skies, great tunes, and soft grass that didn’t leave me with blisters.

Your take-away: There are ways to spice up 80 Day Obsession, even when you’ve done everything more than once.

Pretty sure I can’t say much more given the above. That pic alone is worth a thousand words.

Enjoy the Fourth of July, and good luck managing the beer and BBQs while sticking to the timed nutrition! I’m heading to a Mariners game where my boyfriend’s employer has rented out Edgar’s Cantina and guaranteed each attendee two drink tickets. I’m still deciding how to structure my eating, and am coming close to settling on making two yellows tomorrow…two beers. Though I’m waiting to make it a game time decision as I’m not really looking to drink at the moment. Not like I’m avoiding it, but I just don’t need to do it to have a good time, and I feel pretty damn good when I don’t.

So tomorrow will be a good example of working the 80 Day Obsession meal plan into real life. Really, if I can avoid the excess sugar and garlic fries, it’ll be a win. I’ll keep you posted.

Link to the usual goods. Happy 4th!

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 62: Booty (aka The One Where You Don’t Stop Sweating)

There is a condition called hyperhidrosis. It’s street name is excessive sweating.

I know this because I just looked it up to see if I have a problem. Today was one of those days where I finished my workout in a pool of sweat and it wouldn’t stop pouring down my face. I was in a rush to get out of the gym, and for once, I had to change and shower before doing so. I could not, repeat, COULD NOT, take off my leggings; rather, I had to SHUCK them off me with a wet, squelching noise, like one does a wet suit, because they were completely soaked. To top it off, I was able to wring an actual stream of sweat from a different article of clothing.

Now, don’t get me wrong, today’s Booty workout will trigger all the sweat and all the burns. It’s three sets of 10 reps, where you do all the exercises in a row for 10 reps each, then repeat for another 2 rounds.

But I swear I wasn’t sweating this much last week. It’s like we hit summer and a dam broke within my internal controls so that the only way for me to self-cool is to drown in my own sweat.

Which means I spent the majority of the day feeling super dehydrated.

It’s hard to describe. I was drinking a lot of water, but even as I was inhaling fluids, it felt like it simply wasn’t…sticking. Like it was just passing through without being absorbed by my deflated cells. As a result, I was tired, extra sore, and a bit crabby.

I was also STARVING.

All in all, I’m not sure how pleasant I was to be around today. That was not helpful for the trip my boyfriend and I took to Ikea.

But, I turned it around tonight at dinner, when I had a beer. And then a juicy burger with cheese and bacon all wrapped up in lettuce. And thoroughly enjoyed the onion rings served with my boyfriend’s burger.

The fact that it was the beer that well and truly brought me back to life tells me that my body didn’t need water today so much as it did salt and electrolytes. So I made sure I got that and then some.

I share this because that meal was not really fix-approved for 80 Day Obsession. What I should have done was mixed myself up a shake and eaten some sweet potatoes. That would have been the extra clean, extra healthy option.

And I would have resented every moment of it.

Sometimes you just need a big burger and beer to get the nutrients you need. And sometimes it’s not about replacing the nutrients, but simply about ENJOYING a meal out with your SO without worrying about the meal plan.

My body needed tonight. I needed tonight. Which means that instead of kicking myself for going overboard and hating this slightly overly full feeling, I’m not bothered. It was the right meal for me in the moment, and it was the first cheat meal all week.

I savored every moment but now am already looking forward to a good breakfast tomorrow morning of greek yogurt and fruit and some cacao nibs.

I’ll handle Sunday dinner when we get there. Knowing now that I can’t eat eggs without having a reaction has been helping with avoiding those foods which trigger my lack of self-control. If I want to replace those baked goods with the meat sweats, that’s fine with me.

After all, my doctor said I could stand to eat a bit more bacon.

No pics today because I was in a rush to leave the gym, and I actually couldn’t get my phone to work because my fingers were too sweaty immediately following my workout. So check out the usual link if you want a visual, and hit me up if you’re searching for inspo.

Phase 3, Day 61: Cardio Core (aka Screw the Workout, Let’s Talk About Self Care)

Here’s what you need to know about today’s workout: It’s just like last week’s.

Boom.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about self care.

SELF CARE: noun; the act of caring for one’s self. Dictionary of the FitLuddy.

Sounds easy, right? Usually, self care boils down to the simple maxim of DON’T DIE during the day. You know, look both ways before you cross the street; don’t lick the wet paint; don’t pet the rabid bear. Things like that.

But in 80 Day Obsession, “self care” takes on a whole new meaning. After 61 days of HARD workouts, what are you doing to make sure your body can make it to the end?

Have you gotten a massage? Taken an epsom salt bath? Treated yourself to something nice?

If you aren’t taking the time to care for yourself, then you’re not getting the most out of this program.

Case in point: I did Cardio Core tonight then went to soccer. I scored! But I was also sore as f*ck when I got home. Even though we are in the middle of PROJECT GUT OUR RENTAL, I drew myself a bath, ladled in the epsom salt and baking soda, and soaked for 12 minutes. I’m busy and our apartment is in shambles, but I knew if I didn’t make time for this soak, I would be of no use tomorrow. With that said, this next pro tip draws on my OWN experience (I am NOT a doctor, so take it with a grain of [epsom] salt).

PRO TIP #456: To get the most out of an epsom salt bath, pour at least 1.5-2 cups of that shit in, followed by at least a 1/2 cup of baking soda, then soak for no more than 12-15 minutes; ideally, closer to 12.

My understanding is that you can actually soak too long, at which point, all the toxins that have been drawn out into the water by the epsom salt actually start to be reabsorbed by your body if you linger in the dirty water. So get the F out and move on to the next area of self care: MASSAGE.

PRO TIP #457: GET A MASSAGE.

Gentle reader. If you have gone this far through 80 Day Obsession without getting a massage, you are not truly living life. Seriously. I know how you feel. Your muscles are in knots; some days you can barely move; and if you don’t stretch in the morning, your hammies feel at least a half foot shorter than they did the night before.

Do yourself a favor and get a massage. Work that shit out. Get loosened up. It will help. Just make sure you don’t do the massage BEFORE the workout. Massage should be done AFTER, when you have nothing left to do for the day but maybe eat a good meal, watch some baseball or a movie, and drink a shit ton of water.

PRO TIP #458: If you get a massage, you need to be drinking at least 125% of your water intake immediately after.

Massage will loosen everything up, and in so doing, flood you bloodstream with a shit ton of crap that’s been released from your muscles. You need to flush your system. Drinking more water than normal will ensure you do. After a massage, your water bottle should be glued to your hand. Pound that shit and ask for seconds.

PRO TIP #459: KNOW YOUR LIMITS.

For once, I’m not talking to the 25-year old me who didn’t know that more than 2 Long Island Ice Teas were never a good idea.

No, I’m talking about knowing yourself and your body well enough at this point to know WHAT you have to do, WHEN. For me, this meant getting food at the pub after our soccer game tonight instead of waiting until I got home.

To explain: After our victory, a few of us went out for celebratory drinks at a local pub. I didn’t plan for this, but I figured that with all the sweating I did (it’s humid AF at the moment), a beer was exactly what I needed, and would take the place of the yellow I needed to consume before day’s end. But then I was left with the dilemma: Do I wait to eat until I get home so I can mix up a shake with spinach and Shakeology, or do I find something somewhat fix-approved on the menu to make sure I don’t crash?

I sat down in the pub and my stomach answered the question for me: FOOD. NOW.

Sure, I could have pushed it and waited an hour until I got home. But I would have been miserable and not enjoyed my time with my teammates. After the Cardio Core and the 90 minute soccer game, my body was close to shutting down; I was at my limit.

So I ordered a steak salad, picked out the largest chunks of the blue cheese, and enjoyed myself.

Sometimes, it’s just not worth being perfect if it means you’ll turn into a monster. I came home and had the energy to take a bath, shower, stretch, and now blog for you wonderful people. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Self care will help you make it through all 80 days when your body might otherwise quit. And taking care of yourself isn’t selfish. If anything, it’s a huge benefit to those around you. After all, if you’re not taking the steps necessary to be your best self, then you’re robbing others of the ability to benefit from you being your best self.

Take the time and make the self care count. It will pay dividends, I promise.

If you want more info about programs that might help with self care, such as a plethora of yoga options, check out the usual link.

Otherwise, get some sleep and prep for the million lunges we’ll be doing for Booty day tomorrow.

 

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!