This post will be updated for days 8 – 14 of this challenge.
Welp. It’s Tuesday evening. The past couple of days have just been… slightly insane. I was supposed to upload this post yesterday and be updating it daily, but yesterday was an entire ordeal. Everything kind of went wrong after I woke up super late. I just had no energy to wake up during my usual scheduled time and ended up oversleeping by 2hrs.
By the time I finally got a chance to exercise, it was already early afternoon, after which I just needed to eat and then became slammed with work. Today was marginally better but I still woke up an hour later than planned. To be fair, when my alarm went off at 8:30am, I was in pain from a headache. Having that extra hour to sleep it off was crucial.
All this is to say, the first two entires of this post are written today because I just didn’t have time to do it yesterday. And yes, despite being super busy I have not neglected my workouts! It really is amazing how motivating the new teams feature is. I definitely would have just skipped the workouts yesterday if it hadn’t been for teams. 100% recommend trying that out if you are someone who struggles with motivation.
Oh man. This day was rough. I hadn’t slept well and then the entire morning was a stressful mess. I felt exhausted, lethargic and demotivated. It was a complete 180 from last week. Perhaps having 2 days’ break in a row was a bit too much because I lost steam and mentally felt a bit checked out.
I was also feeling a bit disappointed that the legs video was comprised primarily of squats and lunges, which tends to target glutes and quads and I wanted to build muscle in my hamstrings.
That said, I still decided to do the workout as best as I could – I didn’t want to fall behind and let my team down, and ultimately I’m glad I went ahead and did it. I pulled out my 10lb dumbbells for the first time to do the deadlifts in the new legs video and I’m very proud of that!
The videos absolutely flew by again once I was actually doing them, and I’m amazed I had enough mental stamina to actually complete all of them, but I know I didn’t push myself as much as I usually do just because I was already tired.
I did try to correct my form for some of the exercises. While I think I definitely performed some of the exercises better (I finally did 2-step lunges correctly!) there’s always room for more improvement, and overall I don’t feel like I hit any new achievements. Even though I used two 10lb dumbbells for the deadlifts, I feel like my form wasn’t good enough to consider it proper growth.
Ah well. Fitness improvement is never linear. Can’t always go harder and do better every single session. Sometimes, simply showing up and going for it anyway is already something to be proud of. To close, I just did a few short stretches by myself because I had no time or energy to do a full stretching video. As for how I felt after? The emoji on my top is pretty accurate:
I have some motivation back! Today’s arm workout was exactly the “rest” I needed from yesterday’s long session. I also feel that maybe the workout clothing I wore made it harder for me yesterday because sometimes the pants restricted my movement. I’ll be careful of that next time!
Today I tried to just use 8lb dumbbells for most of the first round of the video and felt like it was okay. I definitely struggled but I also wonder if I was compensating more than I was improving my arm strength. I… also did some of the movements incorrectly during the first round because I misunderstood what Chloe was doing.
For example, the lateral raises I did with one arm out in front and the other to the side, since that’s how she often does lateral raises and I wasn’t paying close attention. So smart lol. But also lateral raises with 8lb dumbbells were… um, ow. I absolutely took extra breaks to catch my breath. For the second round, my arms were getting very tired so I went back to 5lb dumbbells for its entirety.
I think overall it was fine. My HR wasn’t super high, but I know there’s been improvement because I was able to do many sets with 8lb dumbbells for exercises I could barely do with 5lbs last week, and a few months ago I could hardly do the moves with 5lbs. I’m pretty excited for tomorrow’s lower body day. Anything that’s not full body tomorrow sounds good to me :p
You may notice that I haven’t been doing my cooldowns this week. I haven’t done proper cooldown videos but I have done a quick stretch by myself after each session. I am sure I’ll be paying for it shortly – my muscles already ache more than usual this week.
Still, the workout was fun! I was partially lacking motivation this morning as well, but overall it’s been a really good morning. I’ve been fairly stressed out because of multiple things we’ve needed to take care of recently (hello tax season, my favourite time of year – not) but as of this morning I’m well on my way to getting everything taken care of.
I started off the workout with my 10lb dumbbell for the deadlifts but I kept feeling like my form wasn’t totally correct as I wasn’t feeling it in the right places. So, as the workout progressed, I just continued to decrease the weights until eventually I wasn’t using any. I’d rather have my form correct with zero weights than use weights and compensate.
I realised that as I did the deadlifts, my arms were taking a lot of the weight off my glutes, meaning that 10lb dumbbell? Yeah, I was probably only feeling about 3lb of it on my legs. My right leg/glute is still stronger than my left so I focused on my form, targeting my left side, using zero weights. I ended up skipping a lot of the lunges in the second video in favour of doing RDLs and single-leg RDLs. It definitely helped.
For the squats when I was using a dumbbell, I tried to make sure I wasn’t lifting the dumbbell with my arms, but instead focusing all the energy on my legs/glutes. Overall it was a great workout and I feel like I achieved what I wanted to today. Both videos passed so quickly and I definitely feel like I got a good workout in. My back and my wrists haven’t been hurting this week so I think we’re in a better place!
While typing out this post I felt the desire to improve on my RDL form further and used a 5lb dumbbell to do single-leg RDLs. I did 3-4 sets of 10-12 and OHHH BOY did I feel them in my glutes and hamstrings. I don’t have high hopes of being able to walk tomorrow, but I am thrilled I was able to feel them exactly where I was supposed to. Good thing tomorrow is only arms and abs!
This entry was written on 4/2. Because it’s been a week :’)
I remember this workout passing by so fast! I used 5lb dumbbells for the most part to ensure I wasn’t accidentally compensating. But I also recall barely feeling challenged. Usually the 20min videos already fly by, so having an entire workout be only 20min almost felt like an active rest day haha. Maybe that was intentional since we only have one rest day scheduled officially this week.
I tried MadFit’s new 5min warm up and don’t think it was nearly as effective at warming me up as her other one. Towards the end of the warm up my HR was still around 87bpm so I started doing some jumping jacks to actually warm myself up. I’ll be sticking with her other warm up for sure.
I also tried her new 5min daily stretch as a cooldown and enjoyed this one a lot. It basically condenses the best of the stretches in her 12min cooldown and offers an excellent full body stretch. One of the downsides to this is that I wasn’t able to stretch out as much as I’d have liked, but it’s also unsurprising given the duration. I’ll be using this as my new post-workout cool down wherever possible moving forward. Now if she’d just do a 10min version, that’d be perfect haha.
Not much else to say, it was fast and fun!
(This entry was actually written on 4/1 lol.) No photo today. It’s been insane. I started with 5lb dumbbells and focused on my form. I can finally really, really feel the energy in my glutes and hamstrings during all forms of deadlift! So happy about that. I can also feel a clear increase in strength on the left side of my body since I was able to feel muscles tensing where muscles previously did not exist.
I can see a clear improvement in my deadlift form but it looks like I’d forgotten to engage my core properly. I also amended a few of the exercises so that I could focus on my legs and glutes (for example, omitting the arm portions of the lunges, instead putting the dumbbell on my leg to better target it).
For some of the exercises like squats, I chose to place the dumbbells on my shoulders and used my hands to balance them, rather than holding the dumbbells with my hands, so that my lower body would bear all the weight. Man it hurt!
As usual, the workout just absolutely flew by. Unfortunately I had a hard stop at 11am so I wasn’t able to go at my own pace and do as many additional reps as I wanted, but it was still a great workout.
I enjoyed the leg & booty workout as well, but dropped my weights entirely as my body was starting to get tired, and I wanted to ensure I was able to keep good form. Don’t you worry – I still absolutely felt those lunges. Ow. I chose to forgo some of the exercises in favour of continuing my RDLs so that I could be fully challenged by them. It worked out very well. Any glute exercise where I’m facing the mat tho? Still needs significant form improvement still.
I wish I had time to do a proper warm up and cooldown but, alas, I simply did not have the time. I warmed up very briefly and then did not cooldown at all. I might end up paying for it tomorrow, but since it’s the last workout day of the week I’ll be doing an extra long cooldown stretch after the workout.
Wooohooooo! It’s the end of the week, FINALLY.
The rest of this entry was written in the early hours of 4/4, because it’s really been a week. Jacky worked out with me after we both had a fairly lazy start to the day. We were both just so tired after a long week, and my body was craving a rest day.
However, the workout was only going to be 25min, and I had been displeased with my form and lack of core engagement, so I actually felt pretty happy to be focusing on core and abs. I can see better core engagement from my video footage – not perfect by any means, but major improvement. And I could also remember the pain in my abs at the time haha.
I still feel my limbs compensating for my core during plank exercises, so I chose to not use any equipment for this workout. That said, I also did try to push a little harder than usual while focusing on my core, so here’s hoping there’ll be some improvement in the coming week.
It was very fun to exercise with my hub hehe. I had to take multiple breaks though because I was pushing myself to my limit, thankfully he was on hand to pause the video and get me water while I lay a panting mess on the floor. That said, we were both absolutely dripping with sweat after.
We finished with a lovely long cooldown stretch courtesy of MadFit – her 12min stretch is my new favourite cooldown and was exactly what my body needed. I didn’t feel any soreness until Jacky mentioned he was sore, then, because he drew attention to it, I tried to find a sore area on my body and realised my quads were feeling the tiiiiiniest bit sore. Lol, I know, the horror.
Overall, I enjoyed this week a lot. I feel like an extra rest day would have helped, but I suppose Thursday could still count more like an active rest day since it was pretty relaxed. I have some stuff happening today (4th) so it’s highly likely that I won’t be able to workout at all, but we shall see! I’ll do my best because I am genuinely loving this challenge, and doing it as part of a team challenge is motivating me more than ever.