Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Peak Fit Challenge - End of Week 7

Seven out of eight weeks of the Peak Fit Challenge are completed! Wow.  And this was one of the best weeks yet.  I gained strength and stamina, and I feel great!  Read on for plenty of details!

Click here to watch video excerpts on the PeakFit Challenge website.

Fellow PeakFit Challengers, share your thoughts, too!

Get your body in peak condition in just 8 weeks with the PeakFit Challenge™, the revolutionary exercise and nutrition program that will help you burn more calories so you can get that lean, ripped, head-turning body you've been dreaming about!

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June 29, 2011  Week 7, Day 1  (7.1)
Today’s Workout:
Pure Strength II
Weekly Weight: 159.6

Well, I wasn't exactly happy with my weight this morning.  For the past 7 days I stayed on track with my eating and gave it my all during exercise. I guess I can only blame it on my monthly water retention and frequent muscle building, because I know that I've made progress physically.  I'm just going to have to stay on track and hope for results in the future.  This has served me well in the past several weeks, so I’m just going to stay the course.  I was tempted several times today to over-indulge, thinking that it didn’t matter anyway, that I wasn’t losing weight regardless of my efforts this last week.  Of course this isn’t true—it does matter.  Imagine where I’d be if I had not been eating well!  I could have gained even more, and it wouldn’t have been water retention, but a gain in fat.  No thank you.

Today’s workout went pretty well.  I used the 8 pound weights for my light ones about half of the time, and I only rarely had to go to my knees for pushup work.  My triceps are still pretty weak.  But my arms are trembling ever so slightly as I type this, so I know something must have been accomplished today!

Day 7.2
Today’s Workouts:
Pure Cardio and Core Dynamics

I just love Pure Cardio and was really looking forward to today’s workout.  I took the boys to their Vacation Bible School class and came home to do the longer of today’s two workouts.  It was enjoyable as usual, but I had an interesting frustration—my workout top has gotten loose enough that my straps kept falling off my shoulders!  This has been developing over the last couple of weeks as I’ve been shrinking, but this morning it was downright ridiculous!  About 20 minutes into the workout, during one of my water breaks I went into my room and changed.  When I purchased my new workout togs several weeks ago, I bought them all in size Large as well as Medium, in the hopes that I would one day need the smaller size.  The day has come, at least in the torso area!  I put the new Medium top on, and while it’s a tad snug around my tummy, it felt great and wasn’t in danger of falling off at any point.  So exciting!

The workout itself went very well.  I took about half the water breaks, every 10 minutes instead of every 5.  My energy level was great, and I kept up with the cast just fine.  I still don’t care for the “party shuffle” near the end of the workout, but everything else was fabulous, and I love every minute of it.  This is one video I’m going to miss doing when the Challenge is over and I’m on to new things. 

The end of the Peak Fit Challenge is also coinciding with the end of 5 years of living in south Florida.  We’ll be moving to Savannah in mid-August, and we are beginning to say our goodbyes in small ways.  Along with the twinges of sadness that I have over leaving Vero Beach, I also have mixed feelings over nearing the end of the PFC.  I’m sure I’ll return to it someday, but in 12 days I’ll be ready to be on to new material for a while.  And while I’m doing other things, I’m going to miss this.  So many goodbyes are going on these days—sigh!

Later in the day I did Core Dynamics, which is still not my best routine.  I see improvement every time I do it, but it’s miniscule for sure.  I did slightly better with the PFC band, the concave roll-overs and I used the 8lb weight instead of my 6lb this time.  Every bit of improvement adds up, I guess!

Day 7.3
Today’s Workout:
The Anywhere Anytime Workout

When I looked at the schedule today, it said I could do Cardio Strength II and/or the Anywhere, Anytime Workout.  The thought crossed my mind—do they really mean “and/or”, or just “or”?  Surely people don’t do both of these types of workouts in one day!   Just to be sure, I wrote Michelle and asked her to clarify.  She confirmed that in this case, it is indeed an “or” choice, that no one does both of these workouts.  It’s okay to pair Dynamic Flexibility with a second workout, but on a day like this, just choose one workout.

Feeling reassured, I chose to do the second option, as I was short on time before I needed to go pick up the kids.  I gave it my all once again, seeing small improvements along the way.  I was pretty spent by the end, as I was barely able to complete the final Peak section with the tuck-jumps-to-plank. But overall it was a great workout. Drenched in sweat, I showered off and showed up at my sons’ Vacation Bible School looking like a drowned rat, albeit a clean and freshly dressed one!

Day 7.4
Today’s Workouts:
Pure Strength I and Dynamic Flexibility

Son Matthew, Pre-Haircut
Unlike yesterday, I had plenty of time and chose to do both workouts on the schedule, as DF can be paired with other workouts on the same day.  My husband took my elder son Matthew to check out an antique airplane and then to get a haircut.  Younger son Colson, who became bored during a previous visit with the same plane, stayed home and had the extreme joy (hardly!) of watching me work out.

Pure Strength I went well today.  I used the 8 and 12 pound weights throughout, and most of my pauses were to just get situated with the PFC band.  The lying chest fly with the 12 pounds was extremely difficult, as was the standing bicep curls with the PFC band.  However, the lat pull down with the band went so well, I was able to choke up on it just a bit for the first time. Progress!

I’ve decided that I have a love-hate relationship with Dynamic Flexibility.  For the majority of the 29 minutes I’m not exactly having “fun”, but that isn’t the point, is it?  I find that my body doesn’t naturally want to perform these moves, and it can be a struggle sometimes.  However, by the end of the routine I feel really great, and I’m always glad that I took the little extra effort to get it done.  I’m grateful I had the time to do it today. 

Day 7.5
Rest Day

Today is a rest day, but not without its challenges.  I’m battling the urge to abandon my healthy eating and not behave myself.  My stomach isn’t grumbling—I have a psychological need to overindulge.  Fortunately, I have a very understanding husband who is enabling me to avoid temptation right now.  My church is having an Independence Day pot luck/celebration, and I feel like an alcoholic who needs to avoid the bar today.  Sometimes I navigate through potluck events with no problem, but right now I’m feeling really weak. If I attended,  I’d either stumble nutritionally or would be miserable wanting to do so. 

So this morning I made up a healthy edamame/pasta/chicken salad to contribute, and hubby let me stay home from the event after our church service this morning.  I arrived home to see the very last point of Wimbledon on television and have been enjoying the quiet house ever since.  The guys are having fun with the burgers, hot dogs and inflatable playhouses at the celebration, so everyone’s happy.  I know I can’t always be a recluse and avoid all social situations with nutritional pot holes, but I needed to today and am grateful for the oasis.

Day 7.6
Today’s Workout:
Cardio Strength I

Today is the 4th of July, and I was unsure how I was going to work in my exercise today with everyone home for the holiday.  Fortunately, my hubby had to take the boys out on errand running about an hour after lunch—perfect!  I got the A/C cranking, got my water and towel ready, and got right to it.

For some reason, for the last day or so my left knee has been feeling weird.  There isn’t a lot of pain, but when I turn my upper body while my feet stay planted, there is some kind of tendon or ligament around the knee that feels funky.  I don’t know if there’s some inner band that has been strained from the workouts, but today I was very cognizant of that part of my body.  Anytime Michelle had us doing any quick twisting or turning, I didn’t necessarily slack off in my efforts, but I took care to watch the knee.  To quote the great Petra Kolber, we should always “unload that weight” when working out and doing quick movements on carpet.  As much as I like having the extra padding of the carpet, it can still be dangerous.

I gave it my all again today, using the 8 and 12 pound weights again.  Those amounts are still pretty challenging for me—who knows when I’ll be ready to move up a level.  I kept up with the class pretty well, although my tuck ski jumps in one of the Peak sections are still pretty pitiful.  But I stayed on my toes for all pushup-related moves and was able to complete everything, including no problems with the knee.  As I’m writing this, my husband just called to say he’s on his way home.  Perfect! 

Day 7.7
Today’s Workout:
Cardio Interval Burn

Anticipating a cardio-heavy workout, I had a hearty breakfast of oatmeal with walnuts, whole wheat toast with sugar-free spread and 3 egg whites.  An hour later I felt fueled up, and I noticed that the kids were happy outside playing.  As I’m sure they’ll be inside later today avoiding the heat, I decided to go ahead and get the workout done, instead of waiting for the afternoon.

This was by far the best execution of Cardio Interval Burn to date.  It was tough, sweat-inducing and challenging, but my energy level was great and I kept up just fine.  There was one moment when I could feel the flexibility gained from Dynamic Flexibility kick in when we had to swing our bent knee around in front of us.  The weakest moment came during the tuck-jumps with the knees open.  Anything tuck-jump related with me is still pretty pitiful!

At one point, my younger son came in, sat on the couch and watched for a little while.  I explained to him what the decreasing numbers were on the screen, so every time I finished a segment and the number went down, he’d cheer me on.  “Yay Mommy!  You’re down to level 7! Level 6 is next!”  It was so cute.

As I write this, it’s now 1:20pm, my hair is still wet and I’m pretty hungry.  I torched some serious calories in that workout—breakfast is GONE!  I’m going to go make up my favorite lunch of salmon on whole wheat, get a shower and enjoy the rest of my day.  Feeling great!

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Check back next week for the next installment of my PeakFit Challenge experience!


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