I interrupt my Seattle posts to bring you… a new workout challenge. Haha. The last time I did a home workout was in August. Goodness, has it been a month and a half already? Per my final thoughts for the Get Abs Challenge, my body needed a break from doing both wushu and home workouts.
The HIIT was too much for me to handle, and I am very glad that I took time off from home workouts to allow my body to rest in between intense wushu classes. I was working towards my yellow belt (which I’ve now obtained) but it was just getting harder to keep up my stamina when my body wasn’t getting sufficient recovery time.
However, I must be recovered by now because all of last week I felt like I wanted to do more workouts than I was doing. Now that I’m on my yellow belt I am learning staff, which is nearly impossible to practice at home so my exercise has less than halved.
This morning I found a bit of time and just really wanted to do a workout… so I went for it.
I’m still going to be doing my wushu classes 2-3x/week and I’ll listen to my body to see if I have the energy to do these workouts the rest of the time. This challenge is complementary to my wushu since my form requires so much leg strength so, while I’m not sure how quickly I’ll be able to progress through it, I’ll aim to complete it before December!
(That’s my code for: don’t expect this post to be updated frequently lolol sorryyy.) Anyways, on with the post!
10/3 – Day 1: Completed 12:32.
Videos completed: 5min Warm Up, Grow A Round Booty, Lower Body Cooldown.
Equipment used: 8lb dumbbells, 10lb dumbbells, light resistance band, medium resistance band.
Today was an amazingly encouraging start. The three videos took me ~66min to complete in total, with the main workout taking around 47min to complete after having sufficient rest time between each set. Here’s what I ended up using for each move, and the amount of rest I took between each set:
Curtsy + Reverse Lunge: 8lb dumbbells (all sets); 90-120s rest.
Squat + Deadlift: 8lb dumbbells (sets 1-2), 10lb dumbbells (set 3); 90-120s rest.
Glute Bridges: light resistance band & 10lb dumbbell (all sets); 30s rest.
Donkey Kickback Hold: light resistance band (all sets); 90-120s rest.
Seated Band Abduction: medium resistance band (all sets); 60-90s rest.
Do you know what we’re not seeing in this list? “5lb.” That’s right, no 5lb dumbbells!! Wushu has forced me to gain some lower body strength and I think this just goes to show that it has made a huge difference. I was struggling with the final few reps for the curtsy + reverse lunges, which is exactly what I was hoping for.
For the squat + deadlifts, I wasn’t struggling at all after 10 reps so picked up heavier dumbbells for the final set and that was the perfect weight for me. Squatting is basically horse stance, and my legs are forced to burn every time I have a wushu class, so it makes sense I’m okay with heavier weights now.
For the glute bridges, the weights I used were perfect, but I totally forgot to give myself a longer rest. I just saw the timer going down from 30s and didn’t realise it wasn’t a compound set. It still worked out perfectly for me though because my legs were shaking and feeling it for the last few reps while the first few were still relatively painless, but next time I’ll definitely give myself a good 60-90s.
For donkey kickback holds, my legs were shaking at the end of each set. It was a s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e. But I was also going slowly, counting 1… 2 (hold at the top)… 3… 4 for each rep. Finally, for seated band abductions, I did not really feel it, even at the end of each set, hence I started dropping the rest time. Next time maybe I’ll try a heavy resistance band for the first time!
For the first workout of this challenge, I really enjoyed it. Mostly because I felt so encouraged that I was able to do it with significantly heavier weights than I was doing before, but also I really enjoyed the exercises and the flow of the exercises for this workout. I was so pumped at the end that I even did 4 pushups to celebrate haha.
10/8 – Day 2: Completed 13:13.
Videos completed: 5min Warm Up, Abs And Butt, Lower Body Cooldown.
I haven’t had a Saturday morning this insane for a while. I have been feeling exhausted since Thursday from working late & waking early, to the extent I felt sick at wushu class and had to come home early. Hubs and I agreed that I should skip wushu today so that I could get enough rest.
I ended up waking early this morning anyway but still chose to skip wushu in order to not over-exert myself. We were meeting up with friends for lunch, after which they were due to come to visit our place, so I needed to not be completely shattered by then.
I wanted to exercise, so Day 2 of this challenge was perfect. It was short enough to not tire me out, but also difficult enough to give me a decent workout. By now nobody should be surprised that I am no good at ab workouts and there are some exercises that I’m truly over, so I made adjustments to the movements as I saw fit.
That said, I feel like I did exceptionally well for this one! My form was pretty decent for those leg lifts:
I wasn’t able to do the full duration so did the last few reps in a high plank.
I did straight leg reverse crunches instead of plank with hip dips.
I did knee pushups instead of up & down planks.
I focused on my breathing and tightening my core, and boy did I feel the burn lol.
I only changed the final glutes workout from flutters to additional frog pumps and glute bridges. My cat had come in while I was doing the initial set of frog pumps and decided to cause some chaos haha.
It was a great, quick but painful workout haha. No equipment was needed for this one and I’m glad I didn’t try to add any. Given how drained I was anyway and how I already felt enough of a burn without bands, I felt like it was exactly what I needed from a workout perspective.
Not sure when I’ll have time to do the next workout – Day 3 starts with Bulgarian Split Squats and my glutes are already quivering.
10/13 – Day 3: Completed 19:40.
Videos completed: 5min Warm Up, Hourglass Workout, Lower Body Cooldown.
Equipment used: 8lb dumbbells, 10lb dumbbells, light resistance band, medium resistance band.
“What is this?” I hear you ask. “It’s Thursday, isn’t it a wushu day?” Yes, you would be right. I’ve been way too exhausted lately so I actually haven’t gone to wushu at all so far this week. I almost went today but decided I didn’t have the energy to at the last second.
I felt the need to exercise tho, so doing the next day of this challenge was perfect. I am amazed that I didn’t need to pull out my 5lb dumbbells at all. Despite feeling tired, I am very impressed at how well this workout went! Here’s the equipment I used for each move, and the amount of rest I took between each set:
Bulgarian Split Squats (L + R): 8lb dumbbell (first set), 10lb dumbbell (thereafter), 60-90s rest.
Hip Thrusts: light resistance band, 8lb dumbbell (first set), 10lb dumbbell (thereafter), 60-90s rest.
Banded Walk Squat + Squat with Leg Lift: light resistance band (banded walk squat first set), medium resistance band (thereafter), 30-60s rest.
Angled Kick Back (L + R): light resistance band (all sets), 60-90s rest.
Lateral Lunge: 8lb dumbbell (first set), 10lb dumbbell (thereafter), 60-90s rest.
Bulgarian split squats used to be the bane of my existence, but I actually really enjoyed them today! I used to not be able to do them very well even without weights or barely be able to use a 5lb dumbbell, but today I felt like 8lb wasn’t enough. I only found the last few reps challenging after using the 10lb dumbbell.
Same for hip thrusts – I used to struggle with 5lbs, but today I felt like 8lb wasn’t even enough. I didn’t even struggle much for the final few reps even when I used my 10lb dumbbell, and my form looked fine. I felt fully recovered enough for the next set after 60-90s, so I may need to buy some heavier weights soon!
The banded walk squat & squat with leg lift felt way too easy with a light band and a little more challenging with a medium band. Next time I’ll start with a medium band and try to spend more time under tension, or add a dumbbell as Chloe suggests.
I struggled with the angled kick backs. I’m not sure I was doing it right and I probably should have done it without a band entirely because I was probably trying to compensate with other muscles. My form looks fine on camera, but I just didn’t feel these in my glutes when I was doing the exercise.
I’m not sure if I’ve written about my hatred for lateral lunges in the past, but I really hated them because I couldn’t do them. Somehow, not only was I able to do them today, but I was able to upgrade to a heavier dumbbell. I kept my core decently tight but focused the energy in my glutes.
I was pleasantly surprised when the workout ended because the progress counter was off so I wasn’t quite sure how much I had left. It felt like a fun, breezy workout. My heart rate was at 160bpm at the very end (which is also what it peaked at for the workout) and I’m surprised by how doable it was.
I was worried I’d hate this video because Chloe chose all of my weakest exercises and shoved them into one difficult package, but I ended up feeling fantastic at how much stronger I’d become. The video took less than 40min to complete because I just didn’t need that much rest between sets.
I admit perhaps I was also distracted by a podcast at the same time but don’t you worry, I still felt my glutes working. And maybe listening to a podcast is the best way to get through a challenging workout haha.
10/17 – Day 4: Completed 23:04.
Videos completed: Toned Abs, Toned Arms.
Equipment used: 8lb dumbbells.
I wanted to workout all day but didn’t get off my butt and do it until the evening, so I was fairly half-hearted in completing the workout. However, I did use my 8lb dumbbells (either one or two depending on what the exercise called for) for most of the workout.
I felt a mixture of stronger and weaker for today’s workout. I replaced the usual oblique-focused ab exercises (plank with hip dips for example) for push ups and I definitely feel like my pushups need work. However, I picked up my 8lb dumbbell for the ab exercises from single leg pulses onwards, and boy did I feel those.
The dumbbell forced me to engage my core even more, which helped my form improve too. I also felt stronger when I was able to do the arm workout with the 8lb dumbbell(s), but because I was using a heavier weight I feel like the rest time was insufficient. I feel like this is the feedback I had for this video all the other times I did it too – if I want to push my body to improve, I need sufficient rest time afterwards.
I didn’t bother with a warm up or cooldown today because I just couldn’t be bothered, which I may come to regret tomorrow, but I didn’t want my workout to last even longer when it was already bedtime. I’d planned to do the workout this morning but ended up resting this morning. I’m proud of myself for still doing the workout anyway but will not be making late night workouts a habit, believe me.
Check back next week and hopefully I’ll have updated haha.