Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Peak Fit Challange - End of Week 1

To those of you following along, here are my thoughts through the rest of Week 1 of the PeakFit Challenge.  It's been a great week, and I'm highly pleased with the results.  Click on the embedded links to watch preview clips of some of the workouts on Facebook.

Fellow PeakFit Challengers, share your thoughts, too!

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Day 2
Today’s Workout: Pure Cardio

Wow.  What a workout!  52 minutes* of no-nonsense calorie burning!  This one was really a challenge.  Pure Cardio is going to have to be one of those workout DVDs that I’ll just have to continue mastering over time.  The moves came one really fast and hard, so it’ll take some practice getting the steps down.  About 20 minutes into it I would always pause the video at each Basecamp level in order to get a bit of water and to wipe my brow.  There was tons of high impact material, most of which I was able to get myself to do.  Michelle led us through lots of moves I’ve never done before.  It was hard to keep up sometimes, but I did my best.  I only had to modify moves just a few times. I really had to push myself at the end, using aggression to get through it (loved the hammer move).  I wish the stretching had been longer and slower, but overall a great workout!

Food:  I'm starting to miss the grains, which are not on the menu this week.  Making my meals from scratch with new ingredients (kale!!) is taking up more time than I’d like, but this food is super healthy.

Day 3
Today’s Workout: Pure Strength 1

Today we took a break from the cardio to build strength and boost our metabolism by increasing muscle mass.  Pure Strength 1 is a challenging, 49 minute routine.  It features PFC’s exclusive Challenge Band.  It is super tough for me to stretch—I’m more weak than I thought!  It’s easy to see why this program is great for both women and men.  The guys in the cast are in great shape and seem to be well-challenged by the band.  I ended up putting it away and pulling out the thinner strength training band from one of Michelle’s Shape workout DVDs instead.  I also had to modify the planks.  But I did challenge myself by taking Michelle’s recommendation on where to start with the free weights.  My starter “light” weight is 5lbs and my “heavy” weight is 10lbs.  In the past I’ve rarely used my 10lb weights, so this was a big challenge for me.  So while I used a different band and modified the plank moves, I was really tired at the end.  Not beat up, needing a nap, but appropriately taxed and looking forward to my post-workout strawberry-banana protein smoothie.  Side note: Loved the Michael Jackson-inspired soundtrack in the later moments of the video!

Day 4
Today’s Workout: Disney's Hollywood Studios - Star Wars Weekend

I decided to make my “rest” day today a few days early.  But even though I didn’t do a PFC workout, I stayed plenty active.  We went to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for 9 hours, and by the end of the day my pedometer read 16,000 steps.  I’m usually happy with 10,000, so this was great!

With all the tempting food at Disney, I decided to make the effort to stay on track with my PFC food plan.  The night before I cooked and packaged everything up for the day.  I must say, the food on this plan is great, but the preparation aspect of it can sometimes be a bit daunting.  But today it was totally worth it.  Upon entering the park, the security guard checking my bag took one look at all my healthy eats (blueberries, strawberries, carrots, etc.) and said to me with a twinkle in her eye, “I’m sorry ma’am.  You can’t take this into the park.  You’re going to have to leave it here.  I need that.”  With all the unhealthy tourists she sees every day, I think she was shocked at what was in my pack!

Not only did I save money by bringing my own meals, but I probably felt better than if I had a mess of greasy food in my belly.  Between the great menu and the exercise, I came home and actually lost weight today!

Day 5
Today’s Workouts:  Core Dynamics and Dynamic Flexibility

Today was tricky.  It’s Sunday, so I don’t have a lot of free time alone to work out in my tiny home.  Fortunately, my kids had a longer than usual choir practice, so I was able to drop them off and come home for a workout.  I did Core Dynamics first.  The fact that it’s only 21 minutes is not a reason to think that you’re going to get off easy.  Once again, my weaker strength led me to modify a few things, like doing some moves on my knees and using another Dozois stretchy band instead of the PFC one.  While there isn’t any official cardio, I did break a bit of a sweat with this one.  We had your standard planks and full-body situps (ankle grabbers), but there were also some new moves that I’ve never seen before.  This one is short, but it packs a punch!

After the kids’ choir practice, evening services and dinner, I put the kids to bed and did Dynamic Flexibility.  Oh my goodness.  I absolutely love this one.  After a doing PFC this week and walking around Disney all day yesterday, this stretching routine was wonderful!  I was able to use the PFC bands this time, much to my delight.  This is one of the very few times in my life when I actually wished the video was longer!  After 28 minutes, I felt so incredible.  We’d done just a bit of strength training with the yoga/pilates type moves, my muscles were stretched and I felt good all over.  Pop this one in on a day when you’re feeling a bit tight and/or stressed out after a long week.  This was a perfect routine to do on my Sunday.

Day 6
Today’s Workout: Cardio Strength I

I have to be honest, as I went into this one, I was a bit nervous. While I had a good night’s sleep, I didn’t feel overly energetic this morning. I decided to pace myself and just to the best that I could.  Throughout the 58-minute workout I gave it my best effort, but I still modified moves in order to make it through to the end.  Jumping jacks became low-jacks, pushups were on my knees, and I followed cast member Debbie to do the modifications.  About 38 minutes into the workout I was really slowing down fast.  I had been taking breaks at each Basecamp, but I began taking a few more within some Ascent periods to catch my breath and drink lots of water.  During one move I had to reduce my heavy weight from 10lbs to 8lbs, because I simply couldn’t lift it above my head otherwise.  At the end I was drenched in sweat and pretty tired, but I didn’t feel beat up and ready for a nap.  It’s 20 minutes later as I write this and drink my post-workout smoothie, and I think after a good shower I’m actually going to be good to go for today.   Cardio Strength I was really tough, but I made it through and challenged myself at my own level.

Day 7
Today’s WorkoutCardio Interval Burn

Of the workouts I’ve done so far, Cardio Interval Burn is the longest, at 64 minutes.  Once again, I found myself extremely nervous about it, doubting my abilities to make it through.  The daily efforts I’ve been making have been starting to wear me down, and while I feel great, a part of me wasn’t sure how I’d do today.

Once again, I did better than I thought I would.  I did pace myself and make modifications, but I actually took fewer breaks today than I did yesterday.  Many calories were torched and I was plenty sweaty at the end, but I made it through!  I was so excited, proud and grateful for the achievement.  I even got a little misty-eyed in amazement. Thanks be to God for the health and ability to even try this.

I’ve been wearing some ratty old things that are too big for me, and after this workout I felt so good, so confident that I’d have long-term success in the program that I went straight out and bought myself some proper, decent workout clothes.  I bought lots of purple and black Danskin items, both in my current size and in one size smaller.  I kept my receipt just in case, but I have faith that I’m going to need those smaller sizes one day soon!

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

*All posted times are drawn from the moment the warm up movement begins until
the end of the cool down, not including any introductions or end credits.


  1. Replies
    1. Glenn: I wasn't really ready to post any pics at the beginning of Week 1. But I have since posted a recent update at the end of Week 8, following my appearance on Michelle's website last year. I posted a pic there, and Michelle has a few more on her site. My pics are nothing fancy, but I'm proud of how far I've come.




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