Originally I was planning to have three more posts – days 10-12, 13-15, 16-18. However, day 13 is a rest day, so I’ve decided to split the remaining days into two posts instead, each with 4 days’ workouts in them. So this will be the penultimate post for this challenge!
I’m kind of amazed that I’m even 50% through. I’m already starting to feel unmotivated, but thanks to my teammate I do actually still want to get it all completed. I was even thinking of just taking an extra rest day today since I worked out yesterday (and my glutes are sore!!), but after discussing with my teammate, she encouraged me to get it done today.
We both know that I’m going to get disqualified this week, but she said why not do one final day before I get disqualified tomorrow for falling more than 5 days behind? Tomorrow is another wushu day so I won’t be doing the challenge, but at least we’ll have done 10 days together. Couldn’t really say no to that!
I hope I’ll still be able to finish up the challenge after I get disqualified. I want it on my profile page lol.
Today I just wanted to get it over and done with. I wasn’t really in the mood to do any HIIT, but it actually worked out pretty well. I started with doing the movements fairly slowly as a warm up. Then, for the 180 squats, I did one of my wushu moves that required jumping 180 degrees into a horse stance haha. It was perfect.
I’m starting to get very comfortable with weaving in wushu practice moves with the workout exercises haha. It just makes the workout a lot more enjoyable for me as well as getting a good workout in for me, and honestly makes the workout pass so much faster.
I was very much feeling the lunging exercises in my glutes because, sore from yesterday. But what did I then choose to do? Why, I went ahead and got out my 8lb dumbbell for the final set of the second HIIT video, of course. Lol.
I used the second HIIT video to practise single legged squats, and practised pushups with my burpees. My knee pushup form is now 9/10, I’d say! Even my regular pushup form I’d give 8/10 at this point. I am actually very impressed with myself :o
I did not want to do the ab workout on the floor, so I substituted probably half of the workout with standing ab alternatives, and did planking exercises on an incline at my coffee table. Overall, 8/10 difficulty, and, despite not wanting to do the workout at the start, I’d say 8.7/10 enjoyability thanks to all the changes I made!
I took an extra rest day on Wednesday because, well, I was just having a day. It’s been a rough week, mentally, which may or may not have also played a major part in my recent drama binge. Wushu has been really helping with my mental health lately. I’ve loved being able to learn a new skill and get exercise whilst doing it.
However, I wasn’t able to learn more of my form in Tuesday’s class, which was disappointing and affected me more than it should have. Anyways, yesterday’s wushu class was really fun. I learned a lot and I’m actually close to finishing my form! And probably the extra prayer time that I had helped the most.
I felt a lot more motivated today so was finally able to get day 11 done.
My body was hurting and aching from wushu though, so I absolutely needed a proper warm up and a longer cooldown stretch today. I chose Natacha’s 10min stretch video to warm up. I remembered I really liked it as a warm up a couple of years ago.
At the time, it would get my heart rate up to a max of around 140bpm and average about 110bpm, which is perfect for a warm up. Natacha said in the video that we could use it as a cooldown but I thought that would never happen because I was usually starting to sweat a bit by the end of it haha.
Today, however, my heart rate only went up to 120bpm, and was on avg only 94bpm. I wasn’t really stretching differently, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I’ve improved a lot! My heart rate was down to 77bpm by the end of it, so it would have actually worked better as a cooldown after all lol.
For the workout itself, I once again made some amendments to better suit me. That meant going a little easier where I needed it (leg raises only instead of contralateral) and going harder when I wanted to (pushups instead of side planks).
Form wasn’t the best today – I feel like my head is sticking up too much now, so I need to be careful to keep it neutral and in line with my back. I also pushed myself to work decently hard today, so needed longer rests. 5-10 seconds was thoroughly insufficient when I was getting close to failure for some of the exercises.
I was able to practice my form after since today’s workout was fairly short, and that was ideal for me.
Now when I say “loosely followed” for the abs workout, I literally mean so-loose-I’m-practically-unfollowed. I really, really didn’t want to do my workout today. I didn’t want to do HIIT, I didn’t want to do my ab workout. I’m coming off a 2-day rest weekend and that’s probably why.
Saturday we woke up relatively on time, but due to laziness (and me wanting to do my nails) ended up not working out, and then we went out to eat. By the time we got home, it was already late afternoon and we were both nursing food comas.
On Sunday, neither of us felt well, and after Church we ended up watching the latest episode of Alchemy of Souls. My mind was so blown that I had to immediately write about it, then we rested and went out to honour some dinner plans we’d previously made.
Man, I had the desire to workout over the weekend but didn’t. So, today, I just didn’t want to exercise. This happens every time after I don’t exercise for 2 days or more. Coupled with all the copious amounts of food I consumed over the weekend (seriously not joking when I say copious), it’s no surprise whatsoever that I wasn’t feeling it.
But I still did it. Because #teamwork.
I’m already disqualified but I’m still feeling the push to complete the challenge. My teammate already completed the challenge on Friday and I don’t want to let her down! So I went ahead and used the first few exercises of the HIIT workout to ‘warm up’, taking it nice and slowly while deliberately extending the movement a little further so that I could get a stretch from them too. Then pretty much followed the workout as-is.
In all my time of recording my workouts, I’d never done this, but some time during today’s workout I thought I’d just give it my all, and pretend that I’m recording a workout video for YouTube as if I were the instructor. Not that I’d actually upload the video, but if I pretended that I was going to have an audience following my movements, I’d try my absolute hardest to nail every movement all the time.
I don’t know how I came to this thought or why I hadn’t thought of it sooner, but it made a whole world of difference in my attitude towards the workout. If I got too tired, I did a modified version of the movement still to the best of my ability, for the full duration of the time, trying my absolute best. I’m 100% going to try this again.
My form still wasn’t perfect for everything, but man I have never seen my core looking tighter. But I’m giving it my all now. My heart rate hit over 170bpm multiple times throughout the workout today, where sometimes I won’t even try hard enough for it to hit 160bpm. In fact, it was 160bpm on average for the abs video.
That said, I didn’t want to get my mat out today and wasn’t in the mood for an ab workout at all, so I either amended the movements to be standing or incline plank exercises using my coffee table, or practiced my wushu form. Otherwise, a typical ab workout won’t even get close to that high of a heart rate for me.
I haven’t been posting pics (though I took them) because your girls’ nails were looking bleh and my lips were hella dry. But now I’ve got some lovely Holo Taco and my lips are finally less dry, here’s a post-workout smile. Today was a great workout day!
Day 13 was a rest day, which worked out perfectly since I had wushu class yesterday, but gasp, what’s this? Day 14 actually done on the day I said it’d be done? Goodness me, what is this world coming to?
I jest, but we all know this is a momentous occasion. It’s been a while since I managed to complete the workout when I said I would. That being said, by “very loosely followed” I really mean very, very loosely (in fact, barely) followed.
Why? Because I just didn’t want to do it, that’s why. Lol. My butt has been aching from yesterday’s wushu class and you can tell by the completion time that I’ve been putting off the workout all day. I wake up late feeling groggy and that kind of ruins the entire day for me.
I’ve been trying to get better with productivity by doing some housework/chores in the morning, but aside from that it’s been difficult to focus and concentrate. I think I’m getting to the point where I need a long, long break. But I digress. Once I actually started the workout, it went pretty well, mostly because I mainly practiced wushu lolol.
I started with some warm up stretches during the first few exercises, after which I pretty much only followed Chloe’s movements every now and again. I love the amount of wushu practice I managed to get in today. I really think wushu is a far more effective HIIT workout than any YouTube HIIT.
Yesterday I had my Apple Watch track my wushu workout for the first time. (Well, some of it anyway.) I always knew my heart rate went high during wushu, but oh my gosh I had no idea it hit 182bpm. Usually I’m breathless for a few minutes once it hits 174bpm, which was already an improvement on my previous max of 172bpm.
I’m amazed. This just goes to show that my fitness level is definitely improving as I’m able to do more for longer periods of time, and push myself harder. All that is to say, don’t you think this is more what HIIT is supposed to be like? You go absolutely as hard as you possibly can, then rest for a bit when you can’t go any harder. So if I’m going to do a HIIT workout, why not make it true HIIT?
Some of Chloe’s exercises are ones that I’d need to be able to do well for wushu anyway, so I followed those. Otherwise, I’m glad the workout gave me time to practice my form. My Shifu said I’m almost done learning the form – probably one more lesson will suffice for me to finish learning.
I didn’t feel motivated to practice until I started day 14 and had Chloe’s calming voice on in the background, so I’m very thankful for having the schedule to encourage me to exercise, even if I didn’t actually follow most of the workout properly. And perhaps because I know I’m almost done learning this form, that made me even more motivated to practice my form multiple times instead of just my quick practice at the end of a workout.
I did more of the Booty video though, and I’m thrilled to report I’ve reached a new level of feeling my left glute muscle working! In the past I’ve often felt it in my hamstrings or the middle/bottom of my glute, but today I was able to feel my side glute working. Yay for growing muscles!
Despite hardly following the exercises in the videos, I’m still going to consider day 14 as complete :p I’ll follow day 15 better, I promise. I’m interested in increasing my upper body strength, which day 15’s videos are primarily for. But when it comes to HIIT, a bit of wushu is far more effective and fun, imho.
I’ll probably be doing day 15 on Friday and day 16 on Sunday. Saturday is currently looking super busy. Then if all goes well, the challenge will be complete next week. Check back on Friday for my final post of the Get Abs Challenge!