Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Peak Fit Challenge - End of Week 6

Wow-- Six weeks down.  I can't believe I'm 3/4 of the way through the Peak Fit Challenge program.  I feel great and can't believe some of the things I'm performing in these workouts.  It hasn't been easy, but it's so worth it!

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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Week 6, Day 1  (6.1)
Today’s Workout:
Pure Strength II
Weekly Weight: 158.6

The perseverance from weeks past has finally shown up on my scale!  I am so thrilled to report that I have finally broken through that strange wall that was in front of me, and my weight has gone down.  At 158.6, I am now lighter than I have been in about 2 years.  In 2009 I was dealing with a very difficult family situation, and I ended up putting on 50 pounds due to the side effects of anti-depressant medication and apathy toward my personal wellness.  Through a change in (and now eradication of) my medication, God’s hand in my life through the First Place 4 Health program and the Peak Fit Challenge, I’ve made some huge progress.  According to most medical charts, at 5’7” and 158 pounds, I’m finally back at a healthy weight!  And not only that, but I feel stronger and fitter than I did two years ago.  I am so grateful.   On the BMI Chart my middle-healthy weight (right now I'm on the upper end of the range) is about 138 1/2, so I'd still like to lose some more, but at this point I'm just grateful to be where I am.

Today’s workout went well.  I took fewer breaks and used my 12-pound weights for all of the heavy sections, even those tough curtsey dips where we release the weights and pick them up again!  Whew!  I still needed to stick with my 6 pound weights for the light sections, but I was able to incorporate my 8 pound weights a couple of times.  The range of motion is getting better with the PFC band, and I’m even starting to see some movement in the “break the band” portion! So, overall a great workout and a good start to Week 6!

Day 6.2
Today’s Workouts:
Core Dynamics & Pure Cardio

Last week on this date I had the option to do Core Dynamics in addition to the cardio workout, but I chose not to.  In order to up the ante this week, I’m going to do both.  I got Core Dynamics out of the way first, so I wouldn’t be tempted to skip it later.  It went pretty well—I’m still pitiful in a lot of ways, but I’m seeing improvement.  I didn’t hook the band to my shoulder as much as I used to, my form is getting better overall and I’m finally getting some range of motion out of my bands.  I still have a long way to go in core and upper body strength, but I know this video is one of the tools that can get me to where I need to be.  Interestingly enough, as I type this, the muscles on my left shoulder blade are twitching…

Pure Cardio went pretty well, although I think my lunch was a little too big.  I went into the workout with a really bright outlook, but I faded fast as the food in my gullet was weighing me down a bit. I still got in a good workout, but I think tomorrow I’m going to take it easy on my pre-workout meal.  I stayed within my calorie level today, but next time I’m going to spread things out a bit more.  I still really love this workout, though. I always wear my purple to match Michelle and I can hear the music in my head before we even get started!

Day 6.3
Today’s Workout:
Cardio Strength II

While dressing this morning my husband caught a glimpse of my midriff and exclaimed, “Wow—look at your abs! You look great, honey!”  This was very encouraging to me, especially after enduring the discomfort of yesterday’s Core Dynamics.  I won’t ever have a true six-pack due to the damaged skin around the lower abs, but I’m going to do my best with the rest of it!

Today’s workout was interesting—I’d had another rough evening and morning with my elder son and felt very demoralized as a parent.  To be honest, I really didn’t want to work out at all.  But I’m staying committed to this and I know how the endorphin-producing routines can really help us feel better.  So I charged ahead and tried to psyche myself up.

Michelle has encouraged me to “let it all out” during my workouts, releasing the tension that builds up in our lives.  We might not be able to have temper tantrums like our children do when they’re upset, but we can let loose a bit as we’re exerting ourselves in the Peak Fit Challenge.  I took her advice to heart, but I think I took it a bit too far in releasing my frustration, because about 41 minutes into it I broke down crying into my towel.  Today’s workout went well, I lost plenty of sweat and pushed myself as usual, but I felt physically and emotionally spent when I was done.  Not sure if I’m going to repeat that again.  It makes for a drained mom and wife…

Day 6.4
Today’s Workouts:
Pure Strength I and Dynamic Flexibility

After another rough morning as a parent, I wasn’t in the mood to work out, but I was in the mood to feel better.  And I knew exercise would help with this.  I haven’t done Pure Strength I in 3½ weeks, so I was looking forward to doing something different today.

I was amazed at my gains in strength since my last time with this workout!  I used my 12 pound weights throughout for the heavy moves, and my 6 pounders for the light.  However, on the warm-up I was able to use my 8 pound weights for the light.  Wow!  I did about 95% of the pushup/plank work on my toes, and I’m getting better range of motion with the PFC band.  With the increase in the weights it’s still a challenging routine, but I was so excited with my improvement.  I also noticed some sharper angles on my shoulder caps as well.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before!

Dynamic Flexibility wasn’t super-fun for me today, but I like the way I feel now that it’s done.  I decided to do PSI and DF back-to-back, as my husband was away with my younger son on a fun catamaran ride with a friend.  With storms coming in, I knew I’d have limited time alone to get these two routines done.  Jonathan kept emailing me pics of son Colson on the boat as I worked out, and it was so nice to know they were off having a good time while I had time to myself. Being out in the sun and heat isn’t my thing, so this worked out perfectly.  Now that my 77 minutes of the Peak Fit Challenge are over for the day, I’m going to enjoy the rain that has arrived and curl up with a good book!

Day 6.5
Rest Day

Rest day!  Whoo-hoo!  I enjoyed taking it easy today, reading a book and just hanging out.  After church we were to attend a picnic, with food provided for free.  I was grateful that we were given a free meal, but I decided to opt out.  Instead of hamburgers, hot dogs and brownies, I brought my own veggies and fruit.  I missed having the picnic food, but the lack of regret at the end of the day was worth it!

Day 6.6
Today’s Workout:
Cardio Strength I

I woke up to monthly water retention, and I determined in my mind that I would do everything I could to do my best until weigh-in day on Wednesday.  If I have a weight gain for the week, it won’t be because I slacked off on food or exercise in any way.  I really kicked it up another level in the workout today. I eliminated half of my water breaks, only pausing at the end of each 10-minute segment, instead of taking a few more breaks at each Basecamp, which are 5 minutes apart.  The 12lb weights were used for heavy and even I even used the 8lb weights a few times for light.  I’m getting closer to reaching a goal of matching Michelle’s weights—when she teaches class she uses 8 & 12-lb weights, and when she is a class member she uses 10 & 15.  I’m getting close to her teacher-level ones, which is really exciting!  I know those are lighter for her so that she can talk and instruct her class, but it’s still a goal I’d like to contemplate at least!

Day 6.7
Today’s Workout:
The Anywhere Workout

When I awoke, my body awarded me with a headache, fatigue, continued water retention and a cloudy attitude for most of the morning.  My boys were away from the house for 3 hours in the morning, but I could not bring myself to work out.  I honestly wanted to just get back in bed.  I managed to not get horizontal, but I didn’t get the workout done then.

In the afternoon I had a few hours before my husband was to join us, so I knew it was then or never.  My son began whining about leaving our tiny den so that I could exercise.  He’d really worn me out the day before with misbehavior, and it was all I could do to not just burst into tears and skip the workout all together.  I talked to him about how we sometimes have to do things we don’t want to do, simply because it’s the right choice.  He didn’t want to go entertain himself, and I didn’t feel like working out, but it had to be done.  I’m committed to this.

Fortunately, I was able to get through to him and I got the workout done.  I’m a sweaty mess now, but I feel SO much better.  Those endorphins really do help lighten moods.  I’m also pleased with my progress since two weeks ago when I did The Anywhere Workout last.  I was able to do all pushup-related moves on my toes. And while it was a big struggle, I was able to complete a few of the last Peak moves, where we tuck jump and then jump out to plank.

There may be several hours of challenging parenting left today, but at least I accomplished this goal and feel better in general.  It was worth it.

So-- overall, a tough week, but I'm making progress.  Two more weeks to go!

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



  1. Congrats on busting through a plateau - that's always motivating!

    I like the way you "tell it like it is" - we all know how hard it can be to work out when we really don't feel up to it.

  2. RedPanda:

    Thanks so much-- as I get up this morning, my entire core is sore and I wish I didn't have to work out today! But after I get up and moving for a little while, it'll be better. It's all worth it!




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