My Intention is to live a healthy, active lifestyle.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

I Hate Squats!

I really hate squats. I'm not sure why. They're supposed to be really good for you. So, if I hate squats so much, why did I sign up for this Holiday Squat-a-Thon???

Thursday, November 22, 2012

21-Day Challenge Wrap Up

Yesterday was the last day of the challenge. I exercised 18 out of 21 days. Not bad. One of the three days it was a conscious choice. The other two days I was just plain lazy. My area of opportunity continues to be lack of sleep. I really need to work on my sleep schedule. I’m even thinking about doing this again and challenging myself to go to bed at a certain time. I may sign up again on December 1. We’ll see. What did I learn? I learned that 45 minutes isn’t as long as I thought. In fact, most of my workouts were at least an hour long. Yesterday I also noticed that I am beginning to feel changes in my body. I'm usually wiped out. I felt more energetic after my workout yesterday. I do think this has more to do with my food plan rather than the exercise. I have to keep in mind how much these two work in conjunction. This is good because now my focus is on tweaking my food plan. I still need to have a conversation with my OA sponsor but I need to have a clear plan in mind. I’ve been reading and researching. My plan is to have it in place by December 1.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Foam Roller

Doing some research on lifting today and started reading about the importance of warm up and recovery. Apparently using a foam roller is a good way to do this. I purchased a foam roller a couple of years ago but don't use it on a regular basis. I think it's time to pull it out. Going to use it before and after the gym today.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Workout A

So I tried workout A yesterday.  It is not as easy as it looks on paper.  Going from two sets to three was challenging even though I'm doing fewer reps.  Yesterday I also decided to do my cardio after lifting.  Not sure if it's going to make a difference but I wasn't able to doing another five or ten minute cool down.  Going to have to work on that. 

The best part of my workout was chillin' in the sauna.  I've done this for the last few workouts.  It's a nice time to sit and meditate.  I think others are catching on because there were two other women in there.  I was surprised.  I'm usually in there alone. 

I also noticed that the gym is starting to get a bit crowded. Considering the size of the gym, I thought there would be no way I'd ever have to wait for a machine. Now that it's getting cold, I'm sure this is driving more people indoors.  The classes were even crowded.

Speaking of classes, I purchased some padded shorts so I can start taking spin classes.  Going to check them out today to see how they feel. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Workout Routine

Okay, here’s my workout routine for the next two weeks.  I borrowed it from A Workout Routine

Workout A

1.    Squats
3 sets of 8-10 reps.
2 minutes rest between sets.

2.    Bench Press
3 sets of 8-10 reps.
2 minutes rest between sets.

3.    Rows
3 sets of 8-10 reps.
2 minutes rest between sets.

4.    Triceps Press Downs
1 set of 10-12 reps.

5.    Calf Raises
1-2 sets of 10-12 reps.
1 minute rest between sets.

Workout B

1.    Deadlifts
3 sets of 8-10 reps.
2 minutes rest between sets.

2.    Pull-Ups (or Lat Pull-Downs)
3 sets of 8-10 reps.
2 minutes rest between sets.

3.    Overhead Shoulder Press
3 sets of 8-10 reps.
2 minutes rest between sets.

4.    Biceps Curls
1 set of 10-12 reps.

5.    Abs
1-2 sets of 10-12 reps.
1 minute rest between sets.


Basically, I’m going to be doing three full-body workouts a week.  I’m also going to start taking spinning and/or aqua fit on the remaining days.  I want to make sure I'm working out at least five days a week.  This program also recommends one full rest day.  This will probably be on Tuesdays because that’s my busiest day.  
More than my workout routine I know my food plan is crucial.  So for the next four weeks I will be alternating between the above workouts.  For example, Week 1 – ABA, Week 2 – BAB, Week 3 -- ABA, Week 4 – BAB.   After weight training, I will do 30 minutes interval training on the Elliptical or Bike.  Let’s do this!

P.S.  It looks like I’m putting my 5K training on the back burner for a while.  I think I’m going to scratch the MLK Run and shoot for the Color Run in the spring.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Abs are Made in the Kitchen, not the Gym

So I have been working out with cardio and weights for about two weeks.  I really want to maximize my workouts for results.  I do think the interval cardio training is going to help.  Last night I was doing some reading about lifting for weight loss.  I started coming across all these comments about abs being made in the kitchen, not the gym.  I’ve heard this many times before.  I have a general idea of what it means but decided I’m going to do some further research on it so I can revise my food plan.  I want to have a good idea of what I plan to do because discussing it with my OA sponsor.  I want this to be a lifestyle change, not a diet. 

During the past two weeks, I am aware that I need to focus on core and upper body strength.  I also want to get rid of this belly fat.  I know six pack abs are not realistic.  I’ve had three abdominal surgeries so I know those muscles are pretty shot but I can work on getting rid belly fat.  No excuses!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

21-Day Challenge – Workout #12

21-Day Challenge – Workout #12

Today workout was hard! I decided to do an interval workout on the stationary bike today.  It was challenging! As challenging as it was, I was very surprised I didn’t burn as many calories as I thought I would.  I definitely got a good cardio workout.  I’m going to give it a shot on the Elliptical tomorrow.  I also did an upper body workout on weights.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

21-Day Challenge – Workout #12

21-Day Challenge – Workout #11 

Yesterday was my best workout ever.  It was a lower body workout.  My goal was to burn 500 calories.  I burned 447.  I joined this weightlifting for women’s forum on and a few of the ladies were talking about NewRules of Lifting for Women.  I looked at a few reviews.  I don’t think I’m ready for that.  Others recommended a few weightlifting sites.  I checked out a few.  One of the things I learned last night while reading through some of these sites is that I could make more use of my cardio sessions.  I also think I’m going to find a specific program to follow during the month of December.  I may try a different eating plan too.  However, I would have to discuss that with my OA sponsor. 

Right now I’ve been doing 30-minute sessions on the treadmill, Elliptical, or bike and recently started doing a 15-minute cooldown.  Last night I came across the following Interval Cardio Training plan for lifters.  Unfortunately, I do not remember the site to give proper credit (I tried to find it but couldn’t).  Anyhow, I’m going to try this for the remaining week:

Interval Elliptical or Bike

Mins 1 – 2 – Level 1 (Easy effort)

Mins 3 – 5 – Level 2 (Moderate effort)

Mins 6 – 9 – Level 3 (Difficult effort)

Mins 10 – 11 – Level 2

Mins 12 – 15 – Level 3

Mins 16 – 17 – Level 2

Mins 18 – 21 – Level 3

Mins 22 – 24 – Level 2

Mins 25 – 26 – Level  1 

I’ll probably go to 30 mins on Level 1.  We’ll see how I feel.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

21-Day Challenge: Workout #9

21-Day Challenge:  Workout #9

Yep.  Although it was day 10, it was workout number 9 for me.  I just felt too yucky on Friday to workout.  I think I did about 10 minutes of stretching and called it a day.  Anyhow, this workout was fine.  My body is sore but not too sore.  I do know I’m giving my muscles are a good workout.  Today was cardio and upper body:

Cycling – 30 minutes

Lat Pulldown – 55 lbs., 15 reps, 2x

Seated Row Machine – 30 lbs., 15 reps, 2x

Ab Machine – 50 lbs., 15 reps, 2x

Overhead Press – 35 lbs., 15 reps, 2x

Chest Machine (I don’t know the correct name) – 20 lbs., 15 reps, 2x

Pullover  Machine – 20 lbs., 15 reps, 2x

Cycling – 15 mins.

I’m feeling really tired.  I need to focus on getting some more rest.
I am also thinking about getting a Fitbook to help me plan and track my workout.  I think there are pros and cons.  The pros are that I am more likely to record my workouts because I can take the notebook with me.  The cons are that I would be less likely to update my blog about my progress.  I have a hard enough time as it is updating my blog.  It does some like a great tool.  I'm sure I could find something comparable online, for free.  Well see....


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

21-day Challenge - Workout 7

21-day Challenge - Workout 7

My legs and abs are so sore! I’m glad today was an upper body workout day!  Hopefully my lower half will feel better tomorrow.  Today’s workout:

30-min warm up – cycling

Overhead press – 35 lbs., 15 reps, 2x

Seated Row – 30 lbs., 15 reps, 2x

Chest machine (not sure of correct name) – 20 lbs.,  10 reps,  1x.  It was too heavy so my second set was  10 lbs, 15 reps .

Fixed Pulldown – 55 lbs.,  15 reps, 2x

15-min cool down - cycling

21-Day Challenge -- Workout 6

21-Day Challenge – Workout

Tuesdays are a busy day for me.  I had every intention of getting up at 5 am and going to the gym.  Then, the soreness hit me when I jumped out of bed.  Monday’s workout is still with me so I decided to take it easy and do yoga at home.

Doing some reading about DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness.  I know I just have to tough it out, do a little more stretching, I also probably need to do a better cool down so I’m going to add 10 minutes of easy cardio to the end of my workouts.  I also have a foam roller.  I need to start using it!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

5K Training

I have not started training for my second 5K as planned.  I’m starting to have second thoughts about it.  I didn’t start last week before I had a cold AND it was so windy and cold out due to the storm Sandy.  Then, I joined LA Fitness and I’ve been working on building a workout routine.  Truth is…I’m tired.  I still have a stuffy nose along with sneezing.  I cannot afford to get sick.  I just don’t think I have the stamina for running outside in the cold.  I thought about training on the treadmill but I don’t like running on the treadmill – it hurts my knees. 

I was reading my latest issue of Runner’s World and I realize I may need to work on having better gear to run outside.  I still have time to get it together. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

21-Day Challenge: Workout 3

21-Day Challenge:  Workout 3

I didn’t feel like going to the gym today.  I was tired.  I took a quick power nap, grabbed my protein drink, and headed out the door.

Today’s workout:

30 mins – cycle

Abdominal Crunch Machine – 2x – 15 reps – 30 lbs.

Leg Extension – 2x – 15 reps – 35 lbs.

Leg Curls – 2x – 15 reps – 60 lbs.

Glute Machine – 1x – 15 reps – 20 lbs.  – I can’t believe how weak I am in this area! I couldn’t do a  second set!

Hip Abduction – 2x – 15 reps – 80 lbs.

Recovery Meal – 12 oz. Silk Fruit and Protein Mango + 1 scoop 365 Vanilla Whey Protein

I scheduled my one hour complimentary training session for Monday.


Friday, November 2, 2012

21-Day Challenge – Workout 2

21-Day Challenge – Workout 2

I’m still feeling a bit anxious before going into the gym.  As soon as I walked it the sales manager starting singing my name.  I was surprised he remembered my name.  I guess there aren’t many bald, black women who go to that gym.  I’m sure I make quite the impression.  Lol!  I left feeling more at ease.

Today I did 30 minutes on the Elliptical and then decided to focus on my upper body.

Ab Crunch Machine  - 50 lbs., 15 reps, 2x

Seated Row – 35 lbs., 15 reps, 2x

Lat Pulldown – 55 lbs, 15 reps, 2x

Tricep Kickbacks – 10 lbs, 15 reps, 2x

I’m feeling yesterday’s workout in my quads and today’s workout in my arms.  My goal is to add more exercises to my routine for the remainder of this month.  Then, I work on adding an additional set.

Today’s recovery meal – ½ cup of Silk Fruit and Protein Mixed Berry + a scoop of 365 Vanilla Whey Protein mixed with water.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

21-Day Challenge: Workout 1

21-Day Challenge:  Workout 1

So I decided to kick it up a notch and commit to a minimum 45-minute workout for 21 days.  I have to admit I was a bit nervous going into the gym.  It’s huge and everyone looks like they know what they’re doing.  I put on my “fake it until you make it” face and went in: 

30 minutes cycling

Abdominal Curl Machine – 50 lbs., 15 reps – 2x

Leg Curls – 60 lbs., 15 reps – 2x

Leg Extensions – 30 lbs., 15 reps, 2x  

I also took a quick peek at the spin class.  I want to give it a try next week.  I think I can handle it.  I’ll just get a bike in the back of the room. 

My recovery meal – 8 oz. Silk Fruit and Protein Mixed Berry.