The title of this post is a little misleading, as it hasn’t exactly been one month. But it’s close enough. I took pictures on Thursday, May 3, 2012, and then started my diet and exercise schedule on Sunday, May 6, 2012. Or you could be even more technical and say I started on Monday, May 7, as Sunday is my “cheat” day. On May 6 I did a walk workout, but as far as food was concerned I ate like it was “Dimanche Gras.”
However, it’s been 4 straight weeks of workouts and trying to eat better. I still need to work on the eating better, but I have made clear progress even if the scale hasn’t been so kind.
I haven’t missed a workout, and have felt an increase in stamina and strength. I really need to get some new weights or plates because for many of my exercises I have maxed out the weight on my barbell/dumbbells, and those exercises have become too easy. As I mentioned in my last post, my walks are getting longer in distance, shorter in time, and I’m adding more periods of jogging into the walks. I’m going to shake up my workouts a bit soon, although I’m going to keep the same schedule. I don’t want my body to get into “muscle memory” territory…although it HAS been nice to have finally mastered some of the moves I was doing. Especially the ones involving the stability ball. Yeah, those moves know what they are. I showed you!
Not gonna lie, I’m bummed about the scale not showing my progress too. This coming month I’m going to focus more on diet since I pretty much have the exercise handled. I’m pretty sure my main issue is still not eating enough throughout the day. I also forget to track (oops!) and when I do I discover at the end of the day that I’m missing x-number of calories, so I tend to cram those in as a post-dinner meal. But that also affects my sleep, and that just doesn’t make me feel good. So goal for June: GO BACK TO TRACKING EVERYTHING EVERYDAY TO MAKE SURE I’M EATING RIGHT.
But overall, I’m proud of what I HAVE accomplished. I debated posting these pictures, and finally decided to go for it. I’m not entirely happy with them…it’s not where I expected to be. But the progress is obvious, which keeps me motivated to keep pushing forward. (Pics under the cut to save your eyes and stomachs. XD)
Today was the last day of the 6-week program, and despite some struggles, panting, grunting, groaning, complaining, cursing, and gritting my teeth I got through it!
These programs are designed to help you build up to doing 100 CONSECUTIVE push-ups and 200 CONSECUTIVE crunches and squats. But total today, over 9 sets, I did 245 push-ups, 378 crunches, and 331 squats!
The next step, really, is to take the test and see how many you can do consecutively. Well, I won’t be doing that today…maybe not even tomorrow because I want to let my muscles recover. But probably Sunday, I’m going to see where I stand.
I’m glad it’s over. It feels SO GOOD to have set a goal and succeed in doing it. It’s not the end of my workouts, of course–it’s just the beginning! But I think it really helps to set up a program with a finite amount of time so you have that “light at the end of the tunnel” to look forward to. And trust me, this is the third time I’ve started this program, but only the first time I got through it. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it!
What have I gotten out of it? Well, the most obvious result is my arms. OMG I HAVE TRICEPS! And yes, biceps too, but my triceps are popping like I’ve never seen them before! I never even saw them THIS defined when I rowed crew! Second is my legs. SOLID! Sure, my upper thighs need to lose some padding, but my legs themselves feel AMAZING. My knees don’t appear so knobby anymore with the muscles above and below them. And my core feels stronger too! The results are harder to see, and even difficult to feel with my hands, but I can tell my waist is tighter under the extra padding.
My heart rate monitor also has a “fitness test” in which it monitors your heart rate at a resting state to determine your fitness level. I took it on May 9, and had a result of 35, which was the low-end of “Moderate” for my age. That was a little over 2 weeks ago after I had ALREADY been doing this program for a while. I took it again today, and got a 38, which is in the beginning of the “Good” range. And this was only the first fitness program I’ve done, so it can only get better from here!
I’m also glad this program is over for other reasons: I think my body was finally beginning to adapt, as my heart rate monitor showed that I wasn’t reaching the same peak as I was in Weeks 4 and 5. That’s expected, and now it’s time to switch it up to work my muscles in different ways. I have a new strength-training program planned for the next month, so this is good timing. I think I got all I could out of this program for now.
Also, doing 245 push-ups puts a lot of pressure on the wrists. I would occasionally pause in the middle of a set (especially the final set where I work until exhaustion) to stretch and flex my wrists. I’m going to look into other ways to both strengthen them and correct my form some more for when I do this program again.
But overall, I felt this was a good “Intro to strength training” to get myself on a schedule, do some basic exercises that I could do anywhere (I have done this program in a hotel room on a trip before), and see some progress that keeps me motivated. It was a long 6 weeks, but SO worth it!
Tomorrow will also be the last day of the SparkPeople Boot Camp, so that’s two programs completed at the same time.
If I could give any advice to people considering programs like these, it’s this: You can do it if you put your mind to it. Just give it an honest try!
Yesterday’s report…. Read the rest of this entry