Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Peak Fit Challenge - End of Week 4

Here we are, the end of Week 4 of the PeakFit Challenge!  I can't believe I'm halfway through already.  While I wish the number on the scale was smaller, I made some big strides in strength and fitness this week.  My clothes are getting looser and people are really taking notice.  Recently I ran into an old friend who hasn't seen me in a while, and she remarked, "Wow! You look amazing!"  That's some great positive fuel to the fire!

Click here to watch clips of the workouts 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 8, 2011 - Week 4, Day 1 (4.1)
Today’s Workout: Pure Strength 1
Weekly Weight: 165.4

Of course yesterday’s transgressions + lots of weight training this week meant my weight was up again this morning.  My clothes are getting looser, so I know some of it is loss of fat and gaining muscle, but it’s still frustrating.  Today I managed to stay on course, taking in less than 1,700 calories with lots of healthy choices.

Today’s workout was a new one!  I’ve never done Pure Strength II, so I was excited.  I purposefully backed off on my weights to be safe this first time around, using 5-pounders most of the time for the light weight and 10-pounders for the heavy.  I had to modify a few moves to keep up, but overall I did really well and enjoyed it!  Once again Michael Jackson-esque music made an appearance near the end—loved it!  The only move I absolutely could not do was a certain stretch on the Peak Fit Band that works the upper body.  Michelle says, “Pretend you’re trying to break the band.”  I doubt I could move it 1 inch in that particular position, much less stretch it to the limit!  So that will be a way to measure my progress for sure.

With the completion of this video, I’ve now done all of the PeakFit workouts.  I must say, they have definitely pushed me to the limit more than once.  But Michelle and her cast have a great spirit and even make the really difficult moves as fun as they can be.  And while I wish the number on the scale was going down, I’m very impressed with the tangible evidence of changes in my muscle tone and my endurance during workouts.  This is an excellent program, and I’m looking forward to the next month of milestones.

Day 4.2
Today’s Workout:
Pure Cardio

First day of summer for the kids—my usual solitary, 10am workout time was not going to happen.  Fortunately, my husband was home in the afternoon and took my two boys away for an hour so that I could work out!  Today’s workout was Pure Cardio, which is definitely one of my favorites in the collection. I was actually excited about doing it and couldn’t wait to get started!

As this was my 4th time doing Pure Cardio, I was more familiar with the moves than ever, and I was able to really focus on putting in a big effort instead of trying to figure out how to keep up.  I really gave it my all, giving 100% throughout the entire 51 minutes.  While in Downward Dog position during the cool-down, I just had to chuckle when the sweat ran up (down?) my face, back into my eyes, stinging them.  The DVD was paused so I could mop up and keep going.  I feel great and am so thankful that my body, joints, muscles, etc. are capable of this.

Day 4.3
Today’s Workout:
Cardio Strength II

Not long before my workout I was telling my boys about how sleepy I was and how I’d prefer a nap over a workout, but that I was going to do the routine anyway.  To keep them out of my hair for an hour, I set them up with a Star Wars video and they were happy as clams.

This was my second run at Cardio Strength II, and while I knew it would be tough, I didn’t have any fear regarding my completion of it.  I knew the trick was to find the right weights for my abilities and to just push myself as best I could.  After getting warmed up, I really gave it my all.  Now that I’ve been at this for over three weeks, I really feel a difference in my fitness level, and I’m able to keep up with the rest of the cast better each time.  I’m doing more pushups on my toes, my planks are getting better, and my Mountain Climbers are almost respectable!

By the time we got to the end and I was in the Downward Dog position, I just had to laugh at the sweat running up (down?) into my eyes again.  I had given it 100% and had the sweat stinging my eyes to prove it.  A wave of gratitude rushed over me as we finished—I was so proud at how well I’d done in such a tough workout routine, and I was extremely thankful that my parts still work well enough to accomplish this.

Day 4.4
Today’s Workouts:
  Core Dynamics & Dynamic Flexibility

I was feeling a bit more energetic and my schedule allowed for it, so I was able to do both Core Dynamics and Dynamic Flexibility this week.  Again, I was glad that CD is only 21 minutes, because it’s still really challenging for me.  I think I did see a few areas of improvement, though.  I’m now using the PeakFit Band exclusively, and I’m getting a larger range of motion with it.  I don’t know if it’s just getting looser from use, but I’m hoping that maybe I’m a tad stronger than I used to be.

Later in the day I did DF, which I enjoyed as usual.  I actually broke a slight sweat this time— not sure why.  But as always, this one is so relaxing and perfect to do after many days of PFC workouts and a busy lifestyle.

Day 4.5
Rest Day

Oh, but yes!  I enjoyed being lazy and not doing much today.  I definitely felt that I’d earned a true Sabbath Day for sure.

Day 4.6
Today's Workout
- Cardio Strength II

again today!  I’m glad I like this one, because it’s been on high rotation lately.  I didn’t have the luxury of an empty house this time, so getting through this was a challenge.  In addition to my occasional water breaks, the DVD got paused quite a bit. There were several times when I’d be going full-tilt in a Climb section and one of my children would come in with a non-urgent issue that just HAD to be attended to at that moment.  A couple of times I ended up fussing at them to just wait a few minutes so that I could finish, which wasn’t fun.  After the workout was over, I sat the boys down and talked to them nicely about the importance of not interrupting me, equating it to the frustration that Olympic runners feel when a “false start” occurs.  There’s something about that abrupt stop that really causes a loss of energy.

I also explained that if I had anything to say about it, I would never work out again.  I don’t naturally enjoy it.  I do it because I have to, and because I want to obey God and be a good steward of this gift He has given me.  I enjoy how I feel afterward and the health it brings me, but it’s always going to be somewhat of a chore.  And having interruptions just makes it that much more difficult. (How I miss those days when I lived in a big house with a separate basement workout room all to myself!)

The workout (aside from the unwanted interruptions) went really well today.  I pushed myself to new levels, using 6 and 12 –pound weights this time.  Some of the bicep curls were killer!  For the over-the-head-after-curtsey-dip move, I really think I’m almost ready for a 7-pound weight, but I don’t think they sell those.  Maybe I’ll strap on some 1-pound ankle weights on my wrists or something next time. 

When it was over, I was positively dripping in sweat.  It looked like all of the water came from my head, though.  My shoulder-length hair looked as if I’d just emerged from the rain or something!  But I felt great, proud that I’d done so well and thankful to God for a healthy, working body.  As I got cleaned up, I sang out loud through the house the chorus of James Brown’s old classic, “I Feel Good”!!

Day 4.7
Today’s Workout:
Anywhere Workout

Today was rough.  I had a hard morning with my elder son, I think I had too few calories at breakfast, and yesterday’s workout was especially taxing.  As a result, my performance in the Anywhere Workout was less than stellar.  I could barely get my body off the ground for jumping jacks, and my adrenaline just never engaged as it usually does after the warm up.  While in general I feel in better shape than two weeks ago when I last did this DVD, I had to pause the video more than usual.  It was also a big mental challenge to push through to the end.  While I did modify some moves, I did get in the best workout I could given the circumstances.  It’s a good thing that this workout is only about 41 minutes, because I don’t know if I could have taken much more.

Despite this sub-par workout, it’s been a good week.  My weight has finally come down a bit, and I’m getting more and more toned as the days go by.  I’m halfway through the 8-week program—it’ll be interesting to see what’s possible in a month or so!

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


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