Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Peak Fit Challenge - End of Week 2

To those of you following along, here are my thoughts after the end of Week 2 of the PeakFit Challenge.  It hasn't been a perfect week, but I've made some good progress.  Click here to watch clips of the workouts on the PeakFit Challenge website.

Fellow PeakFit Challengers, share your thoughts, too!

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May 25, 2011 - Week 2, Day 1  (2.1)
Today’s Workout:
Pure Strength I
Weekly Weight: 160.8

I was thrilled with my almost 3-pound weight loss this week.  I’ll be happy with 1-2 pounds a week, and know that it was probably my body’s reaction to the change in diet (no grains) and big jump in workout effort that brought about the drop.  I’m on to the next phase in the program, and grains have been added back into the daily menu.

Today’s workout was Pure Strength I, which I also did on Day 3 (Friday) of last week.  I wore my new workout clothes, which were super-comfortable and somehow made it more fun!  I continued to use the stretchy band that I used last time, but I did incorporate the PFC bands for a couple of moves.  At this point it’s virtually impossible for me to use them with bent-over rows or chest flies, but we’ll get there.  I did feel stronger today—the 10 pound weights were still challenging but not as taxing as last week.  I’m already starting to see come changes in my deltoids, which is very exciting.  I'm 49 minutes* closer to going sleeveless!

Confession:  In the evening I had some difficult moments with my tantrum-filled younger son, and I must admit I succumbed to the stress and dove head first into the carbs.  Nothing “bad” mind you—but it is possible to eat an inappropriate amount of red potatoes and Weight Watchers snacks.  I’m glad “Pure Cardio” is on the calendar for tomorrow.  We pick up and start again.

Day 2.2
Today’s Workout
Pure Cardio

What a difference a week makes.  Pure Cardio was the workout a week ago today, and as you can read in my previous post, it was a killer.  The workout was still a great one today, but my experience was so different.  I took fewer breaks, and didn’t need to pause the video at all the Basecamp segments.  A few modifications were still done (jumping jacks are my nemesis at this point), but I challenged myself and did ski jumps and some other high-impact moves that I’d skipped before.  It might have been the extra carbs in my system from last night’s indiscretions, but it really felt like my higher fitness level gave more energy to finish strong in the end.  Feels great! 

Later that evening:  Tempted again to overeat with my elder son giving me trouble, fussing over a video game, crying over putting away his clothes.  I decided to not allow his whining and crying sabotage my goals.  I didn’t want to wake up in the morning with regret.  I had a healthy salad and thankfully was able to make good choices this time.

Day 2.3
Today’s Workout:
Cardio Strength I

Woke up hungry, tired, and disappointed that my weight was up this morning. I’m going to assume it’s because of added muscle, the residual effects of my Wednesday night indiscretions and the general re-introduction of grains into my menu. 

When workout time came, I really didn’t feel up to it.  There wasn’t the element of fear as before; I was just tired and felt more inclined to take a nap than to break a sweat.  Fortunately, I put on another of my 3 new workout togs and geared up anyway.  And sweat I did!  As with yesterday’s workout, I saw improvement this time around.  I didn’t have to modify or take breaks as much, even completing all of the dreaded jumping jacks! I even did the ski jump/lunges during a Climb, noting that our arm action actually helps propel me into the air.  My Mountain Climbers were more like Mole Hill Climbers, and by the time we got toward the end, sweat was dripping off my nose. I was never gladder to do a curtsey dip!  But my energy was great after I got going, and by the end of 58 minutes I was tired but felt great.  Once again, I feel stronger, and more determined to stay on track and not let life’s stresses foul up the work done so far.

Day 2.4
Today’s Workouts:
Core Dynamics and Dynamic Flexibility

It was one of those days when I honestly felt down and just wanted to take a nap.  My sweet husband took the kids out of the house (one wailing all the way) so that I could have time to myself.  So, no excuses.  I think I did about the same as last time with Core Dynamics, and there were times in Dynamic Flexibility when I felt like I actually didn’t do as well as before.  But I gave it my best shot and got through it.  I still want to take a nap, but I feel better physically—a bit stronger and nicely stretched out.

2.5 - Rest Day 

As much as possible, I’m going to always take my rest day on Sundays.  This is slightly different than the workout calendar, but I will still do all the other workout days in order. Today was pretty low-key—after church I wrote a book review and watched a good portion of the 2005 edition of Pride and Prejudice, which is just divine.

Today’s Workout:
Cardio Strength I
(L-R) Colson, Neighbor, Matthew & Jonathan

Woke up this morning congested, with a sore throat, headache, depressed energy and spirits.  All of my guys were home for the Memorial Day holiday, and I did not feel like working out.  For better or for worse, my dear husband took the kids out on the porch to continue a Monopoly game (the Wake Forest University version) so that I could have the den to myself, which makes up most of the living space in my tiny house, and the only place I can really work out.  I wondered if they could keep it going for an hour, but soon a neighborhood boy joined them, and they went on long after I finished!  After the video was over, I went out to the porch, dripping with sweat to give my husband a kiss and thank him for being so supportive.

As far as the workout went, I never was as completely energized as I was last time, but I did see improvement.  During the first round of most of the moves I was able to move up in weights, going up to 12 pounds for my heavy weights and 6 pounds for the light weights.  I did all of the Jumping Jacks with no trouble, and I saw a microscopic amount of improvement on my Mountain Climbers. By the end of the workout, I felt so good, re-energized and so pleased at what I’d accomplished, I didn’t care what the scale would read by the end of the week. While I do want to lose weight, this program is providing me other measures of success and accomplishment.

Day 2.7
Today’s Workout:
  Anywhere, Anytime No Excuse Workout

I had to get up before dawn to take my husband to work, so while the sore throat was still there, by the time my workout rolled around, I’d had a good breakfast and had been up for a while.  So while I wasn’t raring to go, the energy level was a bit better than yesterday.

Today was the Anywhere Anytime No Excuse Workout, and I chose one of my new Danskin outfits to wear, matching several of the cast members in a bright teal color.  It was nice to do a new routine after a couple of weeks of repeats. This one was shorter, only about 41 minutes, but Michelle packed plenty into that time period.  It was a nice challenge—it challenged me and it was very sweat-inducing.  I did have to modify some moves in order to keep up, but that just gives room for improvement.  Today is going to be a busy one, and this workout has left me feeling great and energized, not beat up and worn down.  All I need to do is get cleaned up and head on out the door and enjoy the rest of my day.  

While my Wednesday night indiscretions didn't make for a perfect week and probably contributed to a higher number on the scale, I still took strides toward a higher fitness level.  Jumping Jacks are no longer my nemesis (that dubious honor now belongs to Mountain Climbers), and I'm starting to see better definition in my upper arms.  It's exciting to think about what's to come in future weeks of the PeakFit Challenge!

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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. Hi, Laura! I found you through the PFC FB group, and in reading your posts from the last few weeks, it sounds like we have a few things in common. My name is also Laura, I'm in my mid-30s, I'm 5'7", I've lost a significant amount of weight, and I'm using the PFC to fine-tune my fitness level. I'm trying to not obsess about pounds (I'm up from my lowest weight, from 137 to 145-ish now), but I think this is actually a healthier weight for me (although I dislike that some of my pants are a bit snug now!). I'm not following the PFC diet, but I'm using the DVDs and loving them!

    I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only PFC groupie who finds the Peak Challenge bands tough! Especially on Core Dynamics, where Michelle recommends pulling the band over your head during the side planks? Uh-uh. I'm a long way from that.

    Also, like you, I'm completely in love with Dynamic Flexibility, and I try to do it at least twice a week, especially as an extended cool-down from one of the tougher workouts.

    My biggest non-scale victory since starting the program: Earlier this week, I was able to pull myself into the bed of our full-size pickup truck from the ground, without using the tire or tailgate; I just lifted my leg over the side and pulled myself the rest of the way in!

    I will do my best to follow along with you! I look forward to hearing your progress! Good luck!

  2. Laura:

    You know what else is funny? My middle name is Michelle, kind of like your username lauramich. And you have a cat on your Twitter profile pic. Tee-hee!

    Thanks for your thoughts-- love it! I'm also 5'7", and my short-term weight goal is to get just above where you are now-- 148. Long-term goal would be 137, but I'm trying not to obsess, either. Honestly, it's been great to see some muscle definition coming out in my upper arms, even though I wish the scale number was lower.

    Yeah, that side bend in Core Dynamics with the band? Forget about it! It's going to be a while before I do that one.

    Nice job on getting into the pickup! It's great how the new strength translates into real-world activities. I'm probably moving to Savannah this summer, and the new biceps will certainly come in handy for that.

    I think my favorite non-scale victory so far is being able to keep up with some of the high-impact moves in the workouts, like the jumping jacks and ski-lunge-jumps. Mountain Climbers are still killing me, as are anything involving a plank. But we'll get there!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!




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