I have been doing Facebook fitness challenge groups. I’m in my second month. The idea is that you have a group of people who post three things every day:
A post-workout selfie
A picture of a healthy meal they ate that day
Check in at night about how the day went
Then once a week we have to record a video about a non-scale victory.
I didn’t win last time. My partner was apparently not as super competitive as I am. She didn’t do her posts every day. This partner isn’t either. I am sad but having to post every day is helpful for me. I makes me eat at least one healthy meal if I’m accountable for it.
I’ve gotten a subscription to Beach Body on Demand. It gives me access to all kinds of workouts at home. I just finished Liift4 which is a 4 day a week mixture of weight lifting and high intensity interval training. I liked it. I finished it exactly on time which meant that I didn’t procrastinate any workouts to the next day.
I didn’t lose any weight but my body definitely changed during the 8 weeks of the program. It focuses on upper body weight lifting and my arms are much tighter. I’ve lifted a lot heavier in the past but this was all about consistency. Unfortunately, I come from a long line of peasant stock so I have my family’s flabby underarms covering up some of the muscle. I need to keep working on it so I can get these muscles to show!
In the challenge last month, I lost 3.5 inches overall. 1.5 inches of that was in my waist. My arms and thighs went down a little. The difference is noticeable even though the scale didn’t move.
I just restarted Liift4 at the beginning to keep working on my upper body. I’m not really a fan of the lower body day each week so I think I may mix in other workouts on those days to keep from getting bored. I’m used to lifting super heavy in deadlifts and squats so doing those moves with dumb bells just isn’t challenging my muscles. There are also a lot of hiit moves in those days that my knees have protested. They must be getting old!
Working out at home is working for me though. I have a scheduled time on each day when I know I’m going to be working out. I don’t have to go the gym even though it is close. The equipment I need is always available.
Can you tell what days I was sightseeing on vacation?
Our high was over 20,000 steps and our low was 11,000. That’s 6-9 miles a day. I’m surprised it was that little.
Then I got home and my fitbit died. I feel naked without it. I changed the battery before the trip because it said it was running low and then it drained in less than two weeks. I guess this is an issue with this style so I’ll try to get it fixed.
I did lose 5 pounds on the trip from all the walking. We also didn’t eat much. When I go on vacation with the husband he plans his day around where we are going to eat lunch and dinner. My mother is the kind of person who eats a yogurt for breakfast and then when we next eat at 3 PM says, “Well, I’m full for the rest of the day.”
All the walking did end up making me really stiff though. I had to do some yoga focusing on hip openers about halfway through the trip. I couldn’t even get into the poses I was so unflexible at that point but getting close helped enough that I wasn’t in pain anymore.
Diet update – I’m supposed to be an a gluten-free vegan diet with no soy. That was hard on vacation. I could generally have vegan or gluten-free. Now that I’m home I’m back on the wagon and I’m trying to remember to take my supplements but I’m horrible about that. I didn’t feel horrible before so it hard to tell if I feel better. I haven’t had any reflux at all and no allergy symptoms but those weren’t consistent enough problems to be able to say that the diet change made them go away. My hands don’t hurt as much either.
Sauna – We are looking seriously into getting an infrared sauna at home. Does anyone have any experience with these? The husband has all kinds of pain issues and I just like to be warm.
Even though I had already worked out that morning, we went to the gym and did another 2 miles on the track.
I headed to Orlando this morning and went to three of the Disney parks. That got me some miles.
24,428. 10.54 miles
Just walking around convention centers makes my totals higher than normal without trying.
7234 3.51 miles
The vendor exhibit halls opened. I wandered the aisles and ended up with 10,010 steps. Full disclosure, I paced in my hotel room from bathroom to kitchen a few times to get that last 100 steps to go over 10,000. I want my fitbit to be proud of me.
I also have lists saved of body weight workouts for when I’m traveling. I was pretty stiff and tired so I did one that incorporated mobility and wasn’t too stressful.
I did 10 rounds of:
30 second handstand holds
30 second low squat holds
Before you think I’m tough, know that I can’t do a handstand. I can’t even kick into a handstand against a wall. So what do I do?
I started, because I was really stiff, with my hands on the floor and my knees on the edge of the bed. That opens the shoulders and still requires some strength. After I limbered up, I moved to standing with my back to a wall, putting my hands on the floor, and walking my feet up the wall. I took them about halfway up the wall.
10,048 steps – Yes, I did pace for the last 600 steps.
It is freezing here this week so walks with Freckles have been postponed. She is most unhappy with me.
Lat pull downs and sit ups – 20 of each. Being lazy. Need to focus on workouts.
Did 2 miles at the gym and then put myself over 10,000 steps going to the cafeteria of the hospital from the ER and back. It is a long way. I’ve spent enough time with my husband in the ER and hospitalized there that I was craving some of the food. They have a good cafeteria. Just an ER visit this time.
Crazy busy Saturday at work. I walk more in 4 hours on a Saturday than 7 hours during the week.
Walked 2 miles at the gym. Did three sets of 5 back squats with full range of motion. Weights were 65 lbs, 80 lbs, and 65 lbs for the sets.
Shoveling the driveway gets the step count up in the morning. I had a mile in before the car was out of the driveway.
Warm up based on sun salutations. I start with inhaling and sweeping arms overhead and then exhaling to prayer hands. I do this about 10-15 times until I feel heat starting to build in my body and my back warming up. Then I move on to arms overhead and then exhale to forward bend. I repeat that until my hamstrings start to stretch. Then I add in the rest of the sun salutation and whatever other yoga poses I need to get limbered up before lifting. I don’t hold anything for a long time in a warm up. I just move pose to pose.
I did 21 reps then 15 reps then 9 reps of:
Goblet squats – I held a 25 lb dumb bell in front of my chest with both hands and squatted. On the last round with 9 reps I held each one in the full low squat position for about 10 seconds to work on flexibility.
Box jumps – I can’t jump off both feet at once. I was a total crossfit failure at this. I can (after way too much work) jump up on the bottom step of my stairs from a flat start. That’s embarrassing but quite an accomplishment.
Lat pull downs – someday I’m going to build up to be able to do a pull up. Then I can die. I might die of the shock.
I like to walk to loosen up the legs after squat work. I also hold gentle low squats and stretch quads and hamstrings.
My goal for this week was to go for a 2.5 mile walk every day. I did that and sometimes managed to go for more. My hip is feeling good most of the time so I think I can get back into some normal workout routines soon.
I’ve also been doing the #sizedoesntmatter yoga challenge on Instagram. Here are a few of the photos.
I went to the gym and planned on doing some walking. I was still nursing the hip injury but it felt better when I was walking. So, I did around 2 miles of fast walking. It felt fine until I stopped. Then it was unhappy and was even madder the next day.
Took Freckles for a hike on a new trail. It was about 1.5 miles. We took it slow. I’m trying to let my hip heal this time but I’m impatient.
I also started doing the #sizedoesntmatter yoga challenge on Instagram. Every day there is a new pose to photograph yourself in. My main challenge isn’t the pose but the idea of posting pictures of myself. I hate pictures of myself. I’m @dvmheather on Instagram if you want to follow along or join the challenge.
I’m challenging myself this week to do the workout from HIITMamas every day. I woke up this morning to thunder and lightning and rain. Most of the workouts have some running in them so I figured I’d have to make something up but this one was all inside.
100 lunges (50 each leg)
100 push ups
100 sit ups
This kicked my butt. I got through 50 push ups (on my knees for doing this many) and my arms were giving out. I switched to sit ups and did 50 then alternated back and forth between push ups and sit ups until I finished. Squats are no problem for me once the sit ups were over. I did it in 29 minutes.
18 minutes of:
15 box jumps
12 push presses with 20 lbs
9 knees to elbows
I did 8 rounds and 5 extra box jumps. I’ve never been able to do box jumps. I can’t jump off of both feet at the same time. I decided to practice today on an itty bitty box jump. I used a step. I was able to jump off both feet most of the time.
I also followed a suggestion in the comments and did the knees to elbows on the floor instead of hanging.
Accepting a challenge is like mocking the gods. I started getting a cold on Tuesday but went on with my life. I never get sick. Friday was the day that the cold combined with hormones laid me flat out. Trying to breathe was my workout.
Saturday and Sunday
There are no HIITMamas workouts on weekends so I went for a 2.5 mile walk each day. To add to the fun somehow I hurt my hip on Saturday’s walk. I don’t know how. I didn’t fall down or anything. After I came home from the walk, my left hip hurts and tightens up whenever I sit for a while.
This workout is a quick one. I didn’t time it but it was less than 5 minutes. Do 21 reps then 15 reps then 9 reps of:
cleans – bar hip to shoulders. I used 45 lbs.
Because it was so short I was going to go for another walk but decided with the way my luck is going I’d either get struck by a falling tree or abducted by aliens.
It was a slow week for me. I’m not sure what happened.
3 rounds of:
15 push ups
15 sit ups
15 hip extensions
5 rounds of:
12 deadlifts – floor to hips
9 hang cleans – hip to shoulder
5 push presses – shoulder to overhead
This was a HIITMama’s workout and they said to do it with 20 lbs but I decided to do it with just a 45 lb bar. I think it is actually easier than trying to use 10 lb dumb bells on the deadlifts and cleans. I did it in 8:01.
To break out of my slump I’ve decided to challenge myself to do the daily HIITMama workout every day for the next week. If I don’t have the equipment to do something, I’ll have to make something up.
This is a HIIT Mamas workout. It was run 400 meters and then rest 90 seconds. Repeat for a total of 8 times or 2 miles.
I did this with speed walking. I started out taking it pretty easy. I wasn’t sprinting. I figured that the first mile took 11-12 minutes once you take out the rests. The second mile was about 10-11 minutes because I did some hard sprint reps in there.
I feel like 90 seconds was a little long to wait. If I was going to do this again I might have some weights available and do some arm lifts during the rest.
I was in Nashville for the weekend at a Quilts of Valor conference so it was pretty sedentary. I did get a workout in at the hotel fitness center. They had a few dumb bells so I did 3 rounds of:
I adapted a Hiitmamas workout to what I had at home.
20 Front squats, 40 lbs
30 Box jump, 18 inch box (I did step ups onto the second step on my stairs)
40 Kettlebell swings, 20 lbs (I did dumb bell swings)
50 Wall ball shots, 10 pound ball (Thrusters with 10 lbs)
I worked at a 5 K race that a friend was organizing. That means I got a shirt with absolutely no running!
I warmed up with 15 minutes of walking on the track at the gym. I did some easy racewalking which I figured was at about a 13 minute mile pace. Then I did some laps at a 10 minute mile pace. The laps are short distances on this track. To end the warm up I did 10 step ups onto a step every lap for 3 laps.
I did 3 sets of:
5 Bulgarian split squats on each leg while holding 12.5 lbs in each hand
15 walking lunges
5 back squats with 70 lbs
That was enough to get my legs wobbly.
I did some slow walking for a cool down and then did 10 kettle bells swings with 30 lbs and 10 with 35.
I need to stop doing leg work on Sundays. Mondays are my longest, busiest days at work and I get up and down off the floor all day long. I guess it helps me stay limber when my legs are sore though.
I spent the rest of the week mostly doing some swimming. I did some sets of hard fast backstroke. That makes my brain go all fuzzy. Sometimes I realize that I’m just floating in the middle of the pool and have forgotten to swim. Good thing it is back stroke or I’d probably drown because I’d forget to come up for air.
We started a diet challenge at work yesterday. We tried it last year and we all failed miserably. We put in $5 and weigh ourselves. We have 1 month to lose 4% of our body weight. That’s 1-2 lbs a week for most people. Anyone who does it splits the pot. Taking the pot that no one won last time and going out for a super fatty lunch as a group is wrong and should not happen again! Shame on us.
I found this site called Hiit Mamas. She posts a high intensity interval training workout most every day. I subscribed in Bloglovin’ so I see it on my reader every morning. I’ve been adapting the workouts to fit what equipment I have at home and my interests. For example, today’s workout was:
3 rounds for time of:
Run 300 meters
20 Wall ball shots
Speed walk 400 meters – because I have a landmark outside for that distance
20 thrusters – dumbells or bar to shoulders and then squat, stand up and press the bar overhead, return to bar at shoulders
10 push ups
400 meter walk
50 sit ups
800 meter walk
30 sit ups
1 mile walk
20 sit ups
I started out the walks working on technique again. By the end of the 400 I was convinced that I was just uncoordinated and would never get the hang of race walking. But early in the 1 mile I sort of fell into it. Now, I’m not sure that I have proper form but I figure I’m never planning on entering a judged race walking event so as long as it works for me who cares. I’m not sure how fast I was going but it felt about the same as jogging. Admittedly that’s not very fast for me but it is a little faster than normal walking. The gait feels like you are just about to break into a run if you move just the tiniest bit faster.
I started with a warm up of easy walking on the track at the gym. Every few laps I’d do 15 step ups onto a machine by the track. Then I did 3 sets of 15 leg extensions.
3 sets of:
15 leg curls
15 plie squats while holding a 15 lb kettle bell. That needed to be a heavier weight
3 sets of:
10 deadlifts with just 100 lbs
15 walking lunges
I kept this workout short because I knew I’d be coming back to the gym to swim that night with the husband.
I had a bit of a mental breakthrough on this day. When I was doing the deadlifts I was facing a mirror head on. I was wearing clothes that actually fit well instead of being a bit baggy like I tend to wear. It occurred to me that I actually look tough. Usually I go with “fat” as my adjective of choice so “tough” was an improvement. I stepped on the fancy scale that also measures body fat percentage. If this scale is anywhere to the evaluation I had about a year ago then yes, I’ve gained 15 lbs but 8 lbs of that is muscle.
I’ve been having some hand problems so I spend part of Friday at the doctor and then on Saturday morning I had to get a special splint made for my right hand. The therapist asked if I had any hobbies that hand pain might affect. I answered, “Weightlifting and quilting.” They laughed. But then she was feeling my forearm and mentioned that I was really muscular. I was so excited. It was hard to play it cool and not be like, “Really??? You like my muscles??”
Brief walk for a warm up
3 sets of:
15 hammer curls with 12.5 lbs
10 dips on the machine
3 sets of:
15 bicep curls
15 tricep extensions
This was frustrating. By this point I was having a hard time hanging onto the dumb bells with my right hand so I had to lower the weight to 10 lbs in that hand.
3 sets of:
15 concentration curls
15 tricep kickbacks
I finished with 3 sets of 15 tricep pulldowns. Then I walked for another 20 minutes. After that we went swimming. I was getting was too blissed out in the pool. I was just taking it easy and sometimes realized I was just floating and not swimming. I got out and went to the therapy pool and floated and meditated until the husband was done.
I spent most of the week doing some light swimming and nursing my ankle back to health. I did work on seeing what my max weight was for the overhead press one day. I did 80 lbs on a push press. I know I’m stronger on a split jerk where you jump a bit to get more momentum to get the bar overhead but I wasn’t up for jumping on my leg yet.
I went out and got new new shoes. I have new running shoes and they are straight from the Devil’s workshop. They feel fine for the first mile or so and then they rub on the bottom of my left heel. The last straw for them was the 5 mile walk where I had strategically placed band-aids over the heel rub and so they rubbed the top of both my feet. Of course, they were super expensive. Money wasted. Ugh.
I decided to try race walking technique for the first time. I set a timer in my garage and decided to go out for a mile. My mental dialogue went something like, “Ok, heel strike and knee straight. Roll the foot….. Ok, I think this might be right. It probably isn’t right. I’ll just go half a mile. Ow, ow. New muscles working. Oh my god, I’m going to have to work up to this. Why am I panting? Right, turn around here and do a 1/4 mile. That’s good for a first time.”
I was so uncoordinated. I have no idea if I was doing it right or not. It didn’t feel like I was going fast at all but I was breathing hard. The timer said 2:46. That’s a sub-12 minute per mile pace. Interesting.
Then I did my real workout.
10 lat pull downs with 60 lbs on the bar
100 meter walking lunges
50 bench dips – I did these in 5 sets of 10 with a few seconds rest in between.
100 meter walking lunges
10 lat pull downs
I am SO SORE from the walking lunges. I did them up and down my driveway so there was a slight uphill and downhill to them too. I concentrated and went slow so I got full range of motion. I must have done that right because everything hurts.
I swam laps. I never count. I lose track too quickly. It is around 20 laps because that’s what the husband does and I swim for as long as he does.
Still crippled from lunges. More swimming. I did one length backstroke and one length breaststroke for about 20 laps.
I did a 5 mile race with my father and his running buddy. It was a spur of the moment thing but I did better than I expected. I wrote up a whole race report about it here – Findley Lake.
There were super walkers there. One guy did it at an 8 mile an hour pace. That’s way faster than I can run. That’s faster than my father runs. So of course I’ve been researching race walking technique to learn how to beat him. I don’t have to get to 8 mph. Over a long course 10 mph would do it. Don’t judge me until you read the race report and see the kind of loving and supportive relationship we have. We are just a bit competitive. Actually, when I left his house on Saturday he all but ordered me to train for a race that is happening the next time I’m up to visit them. Practicing would just be being obedient to my father, right?
Here’s a video of a woman’s one mile walking race. The winner did it in 6:39. I don’t know many people who could run it in that. I think a 10 minute mile might eventually be possible for me.
I’ve watched videos and read a book while lying in bed on Sunday. Why while lying in bed, you ask? Because after successfully and fairly quickly walking 5 miles on Saturday morning, I went to a movie. I fell off a step in the movie theater and sprained my ankle because I am the absolute embodiment of grace. Last time I did this I was immediately set upon by muscular guys who took off my shoe and massaged my ankle. This time my sister-in-law stood over me and yelled, “OhMyGodOhMyGodOhMyGod” while trying to help in such a way that impeded me getting up. I guess that’s the difference between getting hurt in gym versus getting hurt out in public.
We went swimming for a little bit. I was pretty stiff after Saturday and wanted to see if I could limber up some. I did some slow laps. Breast stroke was easier on my leg than back stroke.
I did practice the race walking stride in the pool with my good foot. You land on the heel with your knee straight and then roll from our heel to your toe. I can’t wait to be able to walk again to really practice it.
I’m planning on going to the gym tonight and working upper body. I’m thinking curls, presses, pull ups, and dips. I can do those one foot. After that we’ll try the swimming again. My ankle is feeling pretty good so I think I may be able to do more tonight.
I’ve been lazy this week. I’ve only done one weight lifting workout.
Warm up – 1/4 mile walk, 1/2 mile run, 1/4 mile walk
Workout #1 – 3 rounds
8 reverse curls
10 tricep kickbacks
8 bicep curls
I used 12.5 lb weights for the curls and kickbacks. Since I was at the gym I used their assisted dip machine. It offsets your weight so you aren’t lifting your whole body weight for dips or pull ups. I set it so I was lifting 100 lbs on the dips. I was pretty proud of being able to do 30 of those with good range of motion.
5 cleans every minute on the minute for 8 minutes
The clean is the lift that goes from the floor to under your chin. I was doing hang cleans so I started with the bar at my thighs. I did 75 lbs. I think I did 75 lbs. The bar I was using wasn’t labelled. It felt like a 35 lb bar but the reps were easier than I expected so I started second guessing myself and thinking that maybe it was a light bar. Why do we do that instead of thinking that we’ve gotten stronger? I had the husband look at the bar and he thought it felt like 35 lbs too. I think I need to take a day and go and figure out what my max is on that lift now. I know I was stuck at 95 for a long time.
One of the cardio workouts I was supposed to do this week was a 40 minute bike ride. I don’t have a bike so I’ve been trying to walk about 30 minutes every day instead.
40 bear complexes
I used just a 45 lb bar. Start with the bar on the ground. Lift it to your chin while squatting. Stand up and press it overhead. Bring it down behind your head to rest on your shoulders. Squat. Stand up and press it overhead. Put the bar back down on the ground. Now repeat 39 more times.
As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes:
12x Man-makers – While holding dumb bells squat and place them on the ground. Do a pushup. Lift one dumb bell to your shoulder and then the other. Stand up and press them overhead.
¼ Mile sprint
10 Triceps dips
10 Tuck jumps
I did this for 13 minutes but my wrist started to really bother me on the manmakers so I stopped and adding in a 1.5 mile walk to finish.
At the listed time intervals you will stop and complete each assignment.
@ 5min- 5 push ups, 5 Air squats, 5 V-ups
@ 10min- 10 Lunges, 10 Pikes, 10 Calf raises
@ 15min- 15 Sit-ups, 15 Shoulder taps in push-up position, 15sec drink of water
@ 20min- 20sec wall sit, 20 Leg swings each leg, 20sec low squat hold
I don’t do cardio machines. But, I figured I could do this because it was all broken up. I didn’t plan on being the entertainment for people on the other cardio machines. Every few minutes they’d stare at me as I got off the elliptical and did something odd before getting back on.
Workout #1- 4 rounds
10 Bent over rows
8 Seated shoulder press (dumbbells)
10 Pec flies – I used 15 lb weights for all these
Workout #2- I realize how much you will most likely hate me after this one, but
humor me with 4 rounds of this anyways. 🙂
:30sec Handstand hold against wall (use wall climb techniques to get up as high as possible)
20 Lunges holding 25lb+ weight plate overhead
Ok, I fell apart on that one. I only did it twice because my shoulders were dying and I was falling out of the handstandish-thing I was doing.
30-20-10-5 of Back squats
***Work your way up in weight increasing the most after the set of 20. Rest
well between sets!
I went to the gym to do this. I used the Smith machine which I love. It pretty much holds the bar for you. The bar is attached to two posts. It slides up and down those posts. My fear in doing squats is that I’m going to fall backwards when I get low. You can’t do that with this machine so I can squat really low. Now I am super sore because I get more range of motion than I’m used to. Also, the bar on this machine is padded. Best invention ever. I’ve had lots of bruises from the bar especially on front squats.
Workout #2- Complete 5 rounds of the following.
– 8x each side Single arm snatch using kettlebell or dumbbell – That is taking the weight from the floor to overhead in one movement. I did 15 lbs.
– 10x Bent over row
– 8x Pike push ups
Workout #2: 5 sets/rounds
– 8x Overhead tricep extension – 10 lbs
– 10x Bicep curls (slow) – 15 lbs
– 8x Dips
Core: 3 rounds
– 12x Windshield wipers (lay on your back with your legs straight up and together. Arms should be out to side and palms on the ground. Using your abs and arms for support, twist your legs from side to side letting them come close but not touch the floor)
– 12x Leg lifts (same position, just straight up and down)
– 20x Butterfly sit-ups
Workout #1: Swim 3 laps of each stroke.
Back stroke, legs only (use kick board)
Breast stroke, legs only (use kick board)
Back stroke w/o kick board
Breast stroke w/o kick board
Workout #2: 3 rounds
:60sec Tread water
10 Dips using the side of the pool (in water) – I did 20 because I remembered this wrong.
20 Flutter kicks holding the side of the pool
FOR TIME–Aim for 20min or less!
1/2 mile run
50 Jump ropes – So of course I couldn’t find my good jump rope and I had to pretend
40 Air squats
30 Walking lunges
10 Kettlebell figure 8’s – I used a 15 lb weight and passed it around and between my legs in a figure eight.
I did it in 11:15. This is the kind of workout that I didn’t mind at all doing by myself but would have dreaded doing as a group. I can run a half mile with no problem if I just let myself be slow. I would have been miserable if I had been trying to keep up with a group of very speedy people.