This post will be updated for days 1 – 7 of this challenge.
Woohoo! The new challenge has begun! I am very excited. Well, typically I don’t like starting a challenge without having a good look at the schedule first, and I probably wouldn’t have started this challenge if I’d known ahead of time that some days had 45min worth of workouts, but I already committed.
The new teams feature is surprisingly motivating. I mean, I figured it would be, but I’m surprised by just how motivated I am to get up and work out and do this challenge. No joke – if I hadn’t already agreed to complete this challenge as part of my team, I probably wouldn’t have bothered, or at least would have skipped today.
I didn’t sleep well last night, so I’m attributing 100% of my progress today to the new team challenge feature. I don’t want to let my team down!
You may notice that the title of this post still says “Week 1” instead of “Day 1”. I did consider adding a new post for every day I exercise, but I feel like that would be more appropriate for periods where I’m not exercising regularly. Since I’m doing this as a team, I’m optimistic that I’ll stick to my daily workouts, so adding a new post every week will still be best for now.
As before, I’ll be aiming to do 5 days on, 2 days off (exercising during the week and resting at the weekend). Jacky and I are both celebrating our birthdays soon so there’s a chance my workout schedule will be thrown off a little, but I’ll do my best. We shall see.
3/21 – Day 1: Completed 11:43.
Videos completed: 5min Warm Up, 20min Full Body, Abs in 2 Weeks, 12min Daily Stretch.
Okay that full body video absolutely flew by! Truth be told, after completing Chloe’s 2022 Weight Loss Challenge, I wanted to do her 2021 WLC because it had just been so much fun! Unfortunately, I only had 2 weeks between challenges so chose to do Caroline Girvan’s Beginner EPIC a couple of times, since I wouldn’t have enough time to complete the 2021 WLC.
After a week of EPIC, I’d started to love feeling stronger and the weighted video. Chloe also announced that the new challenge release had been delayed by a week and I’d been taking extra rest days during the second round of EPIC… so everything worked out perfectly. I completed Beginner EPIC a couple of times and had extra rest days before starting this challenge, and I went from not really wanting to do a weighted challenge to being hella excited to do a weighted challenge!
Today I busted out my 8lb dumbbells for the exercises Chloe said to use a heavier set of dumbbells. I even used them for some moves where she was using lighter weights. I didn’t use weights for most of the plank moves though, but that’s to be expected – I still need to increase core strength first. I focused on engaging the right muscles and felt so strong!
On the flip side, my lower back was acting up again so I had to take longer breaks to stretch and massage it out, but it did force me to focus on using the right muscles so that I wouldn’t put pressure on my lower back. My right wrist started to hurt so I wasn’t able to do some of the plank moves properly, but I held plank instead and boy was my plank form on point for the entire duration!
Despite having wrist pain, the few knee pushups I managed to do also looked to be the best form I’ve ever seen myself do. I am actually, genuinely amazed. My form actually looked perfect. I was also able to do the plank with leg raises with the best form I’ve seen myself do to date. Not perfect, but pretty darn close – and I was able to continue for the entire duration.
I worked so hard that I had to take some extra breaks in general just to breathe, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing at all. According to my Apple Watch, my HR hit 172bpm and averaged 152bpm for this video, which, dang that’s impressive for me. For the abs video, I was able to do all the moves for once! Very proud of myself. Today was a great workout day.
I ended the session with a new cool down video. I was originally going to do MadFit’s 5min cooldown as per usual, but I saw this one come up in the search results and figured it’s only 12min, why not? Haha I don’t know why 12min just sounds a lot more doable than 15min, but boy am I glad I did this one.
It was the perfect cooldown routine for today. I really appreciate stretching out my neck, shoulders and chest, and I loved the multiple lower back stretches. It was genuinely exactly what I needed, especially since I didn’t end on a longer stretch for last week’s workout.
I’ll probably ache a bit tomorrow, but for today, amazing.
3/22 – Day 2: Completed 11:14.
Videos completed: 5min Warm Up, Toned Abs, 11min Arms & Upper Body (x2), 5min Stretch & Cooldown.
Okay! Wow, I am definitely seeing improvement in my core strength. The fact that I was able to do all the moves in the whole video is a testament to that. I can see that my form has improved as well, but most of all I really felt it in my core today, so that means there are at least some muscles there for me to tense haha.
The new video just absolutely flew by. I used 5lb dumbbells throughout and it felt amazing. I struggled for sure, but pushing through is the only thing that will allow me to get stronger. There were some exercises where I felt like I hadn’t gone to failure so I just kept pushing a little more.
My right wrist was still hurting today, so I put the majority of my energy into my left side for planks etc. This worked out perfectly because my left side is my weaker side anyway, and definitely needed an extra push. My HR hit 157bpm at its peak – this is encouraging as I believe it is an indicator to how hard I actually pushed myself, rather than how hard I mentally think I pushed myself.
I still had to be careful of my lower back pain with the wood choppers, but I believe that just caused me to focus on using the right muscles than simply compensating. Speaking of which… I really had to pause and adjust for the arms video. When I started doing the exercises in a way that did not strain my lower back, I felt it. Oh boy did I feel it. It felt incredible, actually.
It’s not ideal that I have an injury, but I do appreciate that it’s causing me to be much more careful about my form. I basically had to close my eyes to keep focus the entire time and go suuuper slowly, ensuring ample time under tension and that I was engaging the right muscles. I am so happy with how I did today.
Originally I optimistically picked out 8lb dumbbells, but I ended up sticking to the 5lb dumbbells and really feeling it on my left side and core. My right side didn’t really feel it much but that just means my left side is finally catching up. It worked out perfectly and I am thrilled. My HR hit 167bpm, averaging 135bpm and that is plenty enough for me. I know I worked hard today and I felt super energised afterwards.
Last night, soreness set into my arms like nobody’s business and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do the workout today. But I then went and had a protein milkshake that was basically like 200kcal and 30g of protein (protein powder + soy milk) and the soreness quickly vanished. Just goes to show what a difference enough protein in your diet makes!
3/23 – Day 3: Completed 11:05.
Videos completed: 5min Warm Up, Round Booty, 5min Cooldown.
Oh man, today’s workout was so. fun. I completed it and wanted more. It is a momentous occasion when I complete a 20min workout feeling like it flew by, and desiring more at the end, especially when I hadn’t slept well the night before! l didn’t start with the best deadlift form since I was still trying to be careful of my lower back, but it got better quite quickly thereafter.
Today I started with my 8lb dumbbells and also took out my 5lb dumbbells in case I needed to switch down, but it looks like I have become significantly stronger because I didn’t really feel 8lbs brought me to proper failure for any of the exercises in the first 2 sets, apart from the squat pulses. I even had to do 2x deadlifts on the same side before I felt like it was enough, so maybe I can move on to 10lbs next week!
Even after I grabbed my light resistance band for the second set, it still didn’t cause proper failure apart from the final squat pulses, and even then I kept pulsing until after the timer had ended to finish the second set of 10 pulses. But gosh did I feel that second set haha.
In set 3, light resistance bands no longer challenged me at all for the hip abductions, so for the first time in forever, I busted out my medium resistance bands and re-did the exercise. I stuck with the medium band for the subsequent glute bridge exercises but switched back to light in between for the leg raises and rainbows. Light bands are still plenty challenging enough for me for those, but for the first time ever I could actually see my glute muscles tightening as I lifted my legs, and my form was on point.
I would be thrilled if I can progress to using medium bands exclusively by the end of this challenge, so I guess that’s a goal I can set for myself and we’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, my goodness am I pleased about levelling up to medium bands at all! My max HR was 166bpm and I averaged about 137bpm, which is right around the range that I’m looking for for a good workout.
I ended today with MadFit’s newer cool down as I feel like that one has more leg stretches, and also added in a few glute stretches of my own to finish up, and that was that! Since the past couple of days have been quite intense I was considering taking the rest day tomorrow, but today was a much shorter workout so I’m pretty sure I can keep going. We’ll see! Maybe see you tomorrow. If not, see you in the day after.
3/24 – Day 5: Completed 13:52.
Videos completed: 5min Warm Up, Full Body, Toned Abs, 5min Cooldown.
For today’s workout, I thought I was doing well during the workout – I was engaging the right muscles, pushing myself etc. – but looking back at today’s footage, I think my form was quite weak for many of the exercises.
I switched between my 5lb and 8lb dumbbells today and I was so pleased that I was able to use the heavier dumbbells for all the exercises Chloe said to use a heavier dumbbell, and even some where she didn’t require the use of heavier dumbbells.
I did try to be careful of my lower back, and for the most part my back was fine, but during the second set I went a bit too hard and used the 8lb dumbbells when I probably should have stuck to my 5lb ones. I did the first round with my 8lb ones, and switched back to the 5lb-ers when my back started hurting a little. That said, sumo squats with my 8lb dumbbell felt way too easy! I may need to go up to 10lbs next time!
I took multiple extra breaks to catch my breath after pushing hard, and my HR hit 174bpm today, averaging 155bpm for this video. I’m amazed because that suggests I really did work hard today – fantastic job to my body – but I’m guessing I’m really going to need a break soon. Maybe I should have followed Chloe’s breaks, but too late now. Can’t wait until this weekend haha.
For the abs video, my HR hit 159bpm multiple times and averaged 139bpm. Some of the exercises felt a bit easy even with a dumbbell, but I also had to sit out a couple of other exercises to catch my breath and take extra breaks on top. It was an interesting mix haha.
I was able to do the plank movements today by tensing every other muscle in my body to ensure that none of the pressure went onto my wrists, even if it meant I needed to go extra slowly and use no weights. I’m pretty happy with the workout today and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s booty workout too. Def can do with a bit more booty gain.
One thing I’ve noticed is that none of these exercises really target the hamstrings. My hamstrings are like non-existent. I’d like those to exist if possible, but I’m not sure if this challenge is going to help me build any muscle there. We shall see. I’m already seeing some changes in my body I think.
3/25 – Day 6: Completed 12:39.
Videos completed: 5min Warm Up, Round Booty, 15min Legs & Booty, 12min Daily Stretch.
Man, today was just so. incredibly. fun. Both of the videos actually flew by, and that was including extra rests and me rewinding to repeat some exercises so I could get to failure. In fact, I literally said, “That’s it?” out loud when the Get Fit Booty video ended then kept going myself for a bit longer haha.
It’s getting increasingly obvious that my right side is significantly stronger than my left, so I’ve been focusing hard on trying to get my left side to the same strength, hence I was repeating some of the exercises so that I could push my left side harder. It’s frustrating sometimes because I can literally feel my right side compensating, but I am trying my best.
I always work my left side first, count the number of reps I complete, aiming to complete at least 8 reps, then do the same on the right side, regardless of Chloe’s timer. This meant I often kept going past her timer for the left side, and completed before the timer for my right, but this will at least help to increase strength on my left while keeping some degree balance on my right.
Today I pretty much did everything with my 8lb dumbbells for standing moves and 5lb dumbbells for floor moves plus medium bands. However, there were a few exercises that I felt my right side compensating too much at the higher resistance (side lunges, single leg glute bridges and rainbows) so I dropped my resistance until I could feel the right muscles tensing. I just listened to my body, really.
I needed a lot of longer breaks because going to failure literally requires more rest time in order to continue in good form, so I went at my own pace. It ended up taking me 50min to complete the two videos and I’m not mad at all. I used Chloe’s medium resistance band for the hip abductors today and… felt nothing lol. I pulled it so wide i was worried the band would snap. I may need to progress to heavy next time??
The one legged glute bridges were the hardest for me and really showed how weak my left side was. I could barely lift the 5lb dumbbell with my left side and my right leg was like, “Lalala, done.” Lol. I am very much hoping to improve strength on my left side throughout this workout. The difference between the two are actually visible as my right side looks slimmer and more toned than my left.
Lower back and wrist-wise, I didn’t really feel pain in them at all for most of the workout. Maybe for one exercise I briefly felt mild stress on my right lower back, but it very quickly disappeared with a minor form adjustment. My HR for these videos today hit a max of 172bpm and averaged 150bpm. Woah, I went hard today! I mean, I felt it, but it’s nice to have the numbers to back it up too.
I’m kind of disappointed that I now have 2 rest days in a row haha. I swear the increase in strength is making me feel so motivated to keep going, but I know my body needs the rest. I’ll probably try to go for some walks this weekend, but boy am I looking forward to the 45min workout on Monday LOL.
I know. I went from, “I don’t want to do more than 30min/day” to “GIVE ME THE 45MIN WORKOUT NOW!” in the span of a week. How things change quickly. I am looking forward to her Toned Legs video! Hopefully she has some hamstring-focused exercises in there because goodness knows my hamstrings need some work.
And that is the end of Week 1! So far, loving this challenge. The music is totally hype too. This one is quickly becoming a new favourite. Chloe just brings it every time! And… yes, I will probably take an updated physique photo at the end of it because I can definitely see pretty obvious physical changes.