Workout # 1 Lower Body

Grab your weights (cans…whatever) – heavier weights if you can.

 

Exercise 1

2 sets of 15-20 reps 

Goblet Squats – use one weight (whichever weighs the most!)

Hold the weight near your collarbone with both hands; when you squat make sure you stick your butt out while keeping your back straight. For this squat, your elbows should (if you can) touch the inside of your knees.

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Exercise 2

2 sets of 15-20 reps  (each side!)

Weighted Lunges – a reasonable weight (approx 4 kilos in each hand if possible)

Keeping your weight evenly balanced take one step forward with your right leg; bend your knee to the floor (or as low as possible) keeping the weights down by your side. Return to your original position and then repeat with your left leg – this is ONE rep.

lunge

 

Exercise 3

Hold for 30 seconds – 3 reps

Wall Squat – you can do this exercise with or without a fitball if you like.

Leaning against the wall have your feet out in front of you about a shoulder-width apart; squat down until your body is parallel to the floor – hold for thirty seconds before standing back up. Do not put your hands on your thighs – that’s CHEATING!

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For an extra challenge do the wall squats using a fit-ball AND a weight in each hand

Wall-Squat-with-a-Stability-Ball

 

Exercise 4

2 sets of 20 reps

Hamstring Curl with Fitball – obviously you will need a fitball and a towel (or a mat)

Laying on the floor place the balls of your feet only on the fitball; raise your hips up off the floor and draw the ball in towards your butt before pushing it back out – that’s one rep.

SwissBallHamstringCurl

Exercise 5

2 sets of 20 reps – each side!

Side Leg Raise – with Fitball

On your side, roll until your right hip and the smaller curve of your ribs is on the fitball; steady yourself with one hand on the floor and the other on your hip. Keeping your right leg steady on the floor lift your left leg straight up as high as you can in the air and then lower it back down. Keep the movement smooth and slow.

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Exercise 6

2 sets of 15 reps – each side

Single Leg Glute Bridge – Laying on the floor with your legs bent up; lift one leg up and then raise your hips up off the floor: do this fifteen times before swapping legs and repeating. This is one set.

single leg glute bridge

 

Exercise 7

2 sets of 15 reps – each side

Back Extension – Brace your feet against a wall and roll forward on the fit-ball until your  body weight is mostly on your pelvis – let the top half of your body curl over the fitball in a resting position with your hands behind your head. Lift the top half of your body up as high as you can – that is one rep.

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Make sure you STRETCH or your legs will be useless tomorrow!

 

Workout #1 – Upper Body

So the light handweights will come in handy if you have them…if not…raid your pantry/kitchen cupboards for some larger cans…failing that, 2 x Pump water bottles (make sure they’re full!)

Hint: don’t leave a HUGE gap between each set for each exercise…you need to push on, there’s no point letting your muscles completely recover!

Exercise 1

2 sets of 12-15 reps

Upright Row [use two fairly heavy cans or water bottles – one in each hand]

Bring both arms up at the same time!!! Concentrate on ensuring your weaker side is coming up at the same time and speed as your dominant side!

Homevariation-UprightRow

Exercise 2

2 sets of 12-15 reps

Shoulder Press [ still using your light hand weights/cans/waterbottles]

Keep in mind that correct technique is very important; if your neck starts getting sore, make sure your chin is tucked in!! I also find it easier if I step my right leg back a little…keep your knees soft!

Don’t forget to make sure the weak side is doing an equal amount of work!

shoulder-press

Or if you’re really excited, swap them for Squatting Shoulder Press…

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Exercise 3

2 Sets of 12-15 reps

Bicep Curls [cans or handweights]

The same as all of the others: both hands raised simultaneously – although if you like…you can do one arm at a time, but then you have to do 15 on EACH ARM for ONE set.

Dumbbell-Bicep-Curls

 

Exercise 4

2 Sets of 12-15 reps

Mac Raises [Warning……Ouchie!]

Tip: Make sure you keep your arms level. The arm that is out in front should be level with your shoulders – the other arm should be at 90 degrees but still level with your shoulder.

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Make sure to alternate arms or you will find they may fall off…..for the second set, ensure you start on the opposite arm!

 

Exercise 5

2 Sets of 12-15 reps

Tricep Curl

You will only need one weight/can/bottle for this exercise; you can do this exercise sitting down with your legs crossed in front of you or standing up. Hold the weight in both hands and hold it straight out over your head, keeping your elbows close to your ears, bend your arms and curl the weight behind your head.

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Exercise 6

2 Sets of 12-15 reps

Bent Over Row

Back to both weights again, bending from your hips (think how far you stick your butt out for a squat…but without the bending) hold your arms straight down in front of you; raise both arms at the same time and pull your shoulder blades together as far as you can!

1107-bent-over-row

 

 

Well done!! You made it!!

WorkOut #1 – Warm Up!

I’m doing this as a favour for the lovely Elle, but hey, if someone else finds it helpful…awesome!

You will need: a fitball, light hand weights (or some fairly heavy cans or waterbottles), a skipping rope if possible, a towel and some water…to drink!

warm_up_by_vaguelywonderful-d51ht0z

 

Exercise 1

Skipping  x 400 reps – that’s right count each skip until you reach 400 – try not to stop unless you absolutely have to – and if you must set yourself a goal (I’ll reach 100 before I stop etc)

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Alternative:

If you don’t have a skipping rope then do the same thing with jumping jacks.

jumping-jacks

Exercise 2

2 pushups [pushups either on knees or toes]

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     followed immediately by

2 plank ups [set yourself up in a plank, knees or toes, elbows on the floor and then slowly raise yourself up on to your hands – alternate which hand you push up on first]

plankup

 

Continue this combination for an entire minute and then stop

 

Exercise 3

Exercise 2

2 squats – make sure you are getting a good range for your squats…stick that butt out!

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2 squat jumps [start down in a squat, push up to a jump and land back in the squat position]

Marta Jump Squat 2

 

Continue this combination for an entire minute and then stop [2 x 2 x 60 seconds]

 

Exercise 4

Lunges – alternating legs for an entire minute.

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A Successful Failure?

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Well…this sucks! I know that I’m not supposed to get hung up on numbers…my head knows this, it is drummed into my head all the time, but I have to tell you…seeing the numbers on the scales stay the same or, (God forbid) go up for whatever the reason, is depressing!

As soon as I started the 12wbt I got straight back into an AMAZING exercise routine; there is absolutely no doubt about it, I am fitter and stronger now than I’ve ever been. What makes me feel like this whole venture has been a failure are the numbers on the scales; as soon as I put weights back into my exercise routine (as per 12wbt – twice a week) I put on 1 kilo; I managed to keep my cool after I did my measurements and saw that they had all gone down after four weeks of keeping it going. However…I haven’t done my final measurements yet (that’s next week) but my week eight measurements didn’t show the improvement I’d hoped for, not only that, but my weight went up again by another kilo. 

My clothes don’t seem to be affected by the horrible two kilos that have crept on, in fact they are a little looser around the hips and most excitingly (for me anyway) is the definition and toning I can see in my arms and the tops of my legs. I’m (cautiously) hopeful that when I do my final measurements next week I’ll see that the two kilos (of muscle, or so everyone keeps telling me) has been worth it because I’m changing my body shape.

So scale-wise I feel like a bit of a failure, but fitness wise, I’m definitely a success!

P.S Those are not my feet 😛

Why Lie?

 

liar

There isn’t really any point in lying when it comes to getting fit and losing weight, I mean…who exactly are you hurting or fooling by lying about what you eat or the exercise that you do? Nobody but yourself.

So I’ll admit it; I’ve ‘cheated’ and eaten shitty food during the 5 weeks of the 12wbt challenge. Of course I have! Is my free meal on a Saturday as dictated by the nutrition plan? Nope! I eat my ‘treat’ meal on a Tuesday…so there! Is my treat meal reasonable? Well it’s usually Hungry Jacks…so nope!

Have I missed a day or two of exercise during the 5 weeks? You betcha! Have I strictly monitored the calories I’ve burnt off during my training sessions? Nope.

What I HAVE done is followed the nutrition plan when I can afford it; when I haven’t been able to (and unfortunately that happens more than I’d like) I simply make sure I eat within the calorie count for the day.

I have gotten back into an awesome exercise routine at the gym which looks something like this:

Monday: Netball OR a cardio class at the gym

Tuesday: Body Pump at 6 freakin’ 15 in the morning!

Wednesday: Netball OR Body Step

Thursday: Body Pump in the evening

Friday: Body Balance

Saturday: Body Combat

Sunday: REST!

I haven’t lost weight, but the centimetres are slowly coming off; ironically two cms came off my chest which I used to lament about staying huge…now that they’re smaller (Thanks Doc for that btw!) they’re getting smaller again! I can see definition appearing in my arms and I’m definitely fitter and stronger.

So to those naysayers on the 12wbt website who say that the reason people don’t lose weight is because they’re not following the nutrition and exercise plans TO THE LETTER, I say be honest with yourself. Let others be honest. If you can follow that plan and never deviate one iota from it, then that’s awesome.

However, like most people, if they’re willing to admit it, we don’t WANT to say “well I’m never going to eat a Whopper with Cheese again!” or “I’m sorry (insert friend’s name here) I can’t come out shopping or to coffee with you because I need to get my exercise in…”

If you do say that…I think (for most people at least) that means…perhaps…YOU’RE LYING!

What I don’t understand are the people (and I know a couple who aren’t doing this program) who claim to be only eating “healthy, good food” and “exercising every day for 2-3 hours” and then complain because they haven’t lost ANY weight at all or gotten any fitter or seen any noticeable results…I’m going to call “Bullshit!”

I’m not going to lie about my eating or my exercise because there isn’t any point. I’m fitter and stronger than ever before, so do I think I’ve wasted my money on this 12wbt challenge? Hell no! Will I keep going with the exercise program Michelle Bridges has set up? Hell yes! Will I EVER 100% completely follow that nutrition plan…NOT A CHANCE! But I will do my best, within reason. Honesty wins.

And I think I’ve rambled enough.

Always look on the bright side of life…

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Second week of the 12wbt challenge is done; the numbers on my scale have stayed the same which is quite disheartening, but there have been a few bright glimmers of hope so far:

1. I took 17 seconds of my time for the 1km run

2. Except for sleeping through my alarm this morning, I have followed the exercise plan

3. I got up at 5.30 in the morning to go to the gym three times during the week because I knew I had parent/teacher interviews and wouldn’t want to go after them

4. The fitness I’ve lost over the last four months is quickly coming back; I’m not as puffed on the netball court and while my muscles strength (particularly in my arms) still isn’t what it was, I can feel it returning.

5. Even though the numbers have stayed the same, my clothes are already fitting differently, and I feel much better about my body as it is.

6. Now that my oh so lovely and bloaty time of the month is finally over…hopefully the numbers will change.

 

Things I still need to work on include:

1. Giving in to my emotional eating issues (eating Hungry Jacks for tea…c’mon…will it really make me feel better?)

2. Recognising when I’m feeling bored and or emotional before I end up with snacks in front of me and finding another outlet instead of food.

3. Not becoming too despondent when the numbers on the scales don’t change at all or as much as I want them to and instead focusing on the above positive list.

 

Now I just need to continue making sure my positive list gets longer and the “things to work on” gets shorter, or includes different things.

Oops but Yay?!

keep-calm-jfdi

It’s almost the end of the first week of the 12 WBT (see my last post) and it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. For a start, I couldn’t afford to do the shopping as I’d already done a fortnightly shop before I actually joined up for the challenge and as a result, I had to continue with my normal eating habits. My normal eating habits are not too bad usually, but I do have a bit of a predisposition for eating fatty or salty foods (usually both at the same time) if I’m feeling at all upset or angry. I stepped up my exercise routine to basically what it used to be; I weighed in a couple of weeks ago at 68.4 and then suddenly bam, those numbers came back up for no apparent reason; judging by the responses on the 12wbt website I automatically thought those numbers would jump their way back down…of course I forgot to factor in that most of the people who lost 1-2 kilos in literally 3 days weighed over 100kgs.

So when I weighed in on Wednesday…(two days early for me because their weigh ins all have to be on the same day) to input my stats on the website, I was incredibly disheartened to see that I’d lost a meagre 100grams. 100 freakin’ grams!

By the way…does anyone else find that if they do a weight/cardio session in the evening…then the next morning they weigh quite a bit more? What is THAT about? Hellooooo…exercise equals less weight right? Right?

So today…being the incredibly balanced and logical person that I am, when I got to leave work to do some training and development, did I get a healthy lunch? Perhaps a Subway 6 grams of fat or less…or a wrap…or even a sushi roll? No, of course not! That would be a sane thing to do.

Instead I find myself pulling in to a Hungry Jacks of all places and trying to placate the nagging voice reminding me of my 100gram loss with the platitude that I was getting the ‘healthiest’ thing on the menu [ Grilled Chicken Burger – 374 calories and 18.5 grams of fat] and getting a bottle of water….

Yup…that’s awesome…because then at the P.D they also had scotch finger biscuits…I may have eaten 3.

I then had a single scone with jam and cream along with a skinny cappuccino when I caught up with a friend later on that night. Consider my daily calorie allowance completely blown out of the water.

That would be the oops!

The Yay part is a little bit of a personal break-through; I find it extremely easy to give myself a reason to not go to the gym, my muscles are sore…it’s too late…I’m too busy etc. Let me tell you…my muscles are KILLING me. I played netball on Monday and did a Body Pump class on Tuesday; after that pump class…my entire body is still sore.

I played netball again on Wednesday and managed to keep running even through screaming muscles; so tonight, after my coffee with my lovely gal pal, it would have been way too easy to say it was too late to work out and my leg muscles were yelling at me everytime I took a step (and still are) but as I got back in my car, the bright pink bag containing my gym clothes was quietly mocking me, reminding me what I’d eaten during the day and that I’d promised to JFDI.

Fast forward 5 minutes and I’m in the gym, changed into my gear and smashing 17 seconds of my time of a 1 km run. My muscles stopped screaming after the first minute or so and I found myself running along on the treadmill with a smile on my face.

Oops, I screwed up my eating, but I’ve done my shopping now and pre packaged tomorrow’s lunch as well as the snacks, and Yay I got my ass to the gym everyday so far this week even though I’m tired and sore.

Body Balance tomorrow or perhaps a Yoga video if I finish at work too late for my class. Either way…my fitness routine is awesome again and my eating will soon join the awesome parade.

JFDI right? Right.

12 WBT – A Challenge

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So my sister was raving about Michelle Bridges’ 12 Week Body Transformation: I sussed out the website and I signed up. Here’s my problem….

hate starting new things! I am quite comfortable in my little niche thankyou! I freak out whenever I start something, or try something I’ve never tried before. I eat the same foods, do the same exercise routines, go to the same places etc. The idea of finding a new hairdresser makes me uncomfortable and heaven forbid I go to a new chiropractor or optometrist or find a gym closer to home…

Imagine my reaction when I realise that as part of the 12wbt I need to

1) Eat a whole bunch of foods I’ve never eaten before…or eaten together…

2) Do a different exercise routine (you mean that walking to the local deli isn’t counted? WTF?)

3) Follow a shopping list and exercise routine.

 

Cue anxiety: now my sister has been amazing so far and calmed my stupid issues about running outside (what if someone I know sees me?) and giving me positive reinforcement about my times on the fitness test.

This challenge will hopefully do a number of things for me:

1) Get me over this plateau and closer to my end goal which is now 62-64 kilos.

2) Get me back into exercising again – have you seen The Biggest Loser? Have you seen Michelle Bridges lose her mind at people who are slack? I don’t care that I won’t see her in person…I’ll do whatever she tells me to do!

3) Make me more aware about the quantity and quality of the food I put into my body (Elle’s Last Post)

4) Help me to embrace new challenges without the needless anxiety about change!

I’ll keep you updated with how I’m going! [If you want to join the challenge as well…click the image at the top!]

 

 

 

Plateaus are the pits!

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One of the most annoying weight loss cliches in the world is that (supposedly) comforting adage that plateaus are “only temporary” and you just have to “be patient”; another one is that if you hit a plateau it’s because you’ve strayed from your plan, your body has reached the weight you’re truly supposed to be at or that you need to step up your exercise.

If I’m truly honest..I have been quite the slacker and procrastinator when it comes to hitting the gym ever since I got back from Bali (January). Actually, slacker isn’t even a strong enough word for what I’ve become. To compensate for the laziness in the exercise department I’ve been eating less calories instead.

I still play netball twice a week, but compared to the amount of exercise I was doing before, it is nothing! I can also feel that I’ve lost a lot of fitness which is quite depressing…

But I’ve managed to distract myself from my main point yet again; plateaus SUCK!

My plateau is a tiny bit bumpy – I hovered around 72kgs for months before I managed to get down to 70; I was stuck at that weight for a few more months and then all of a sudden I lost a miniscule 600 odd grams and then BAM I was magically in the 60s for the first time in over 10 years! So it was 69.4 kgs…but that didn’t matter; since then I’ve managed to get down to 68.4 even without the extra exercising and I’ve managed to grind to a halt here.

Danii…just do more exercise again I hear you cry! Well, sure…easy enough to say, but I have a bit of an issue with getting a tad bit obsessive about things and to be honest I’ve quite enjoyed not being completely obsessed with the amount of calories I’ve burned or the burn in my muscles and how long it lasts OR how long my workout lasted for.

So while I plan to get back to the gym at least a couple of times this week [one of my netball teams has a week off because we made the finals – yay – and the other has a bye] to replace the two games I would normally play, I don’t want to go back to the girl who was more interested in the gym than having a skinny cappucino with her friends.

And exercising doesn’t always conquer a plateau; so while my plateau problem may very well be solved by simply hitting the gym again, I wanted to counter the annoying, condescending websites and people who tell you to just wait patiently to get past a plateau.

I get it. That annoying..irritating…depressing…COMPLETELY INFURIATING feeling when the DAMN NUMBERS ON THE SCALES stay the same week after week, after week, after week….

You get the picture.

Anyway…I get it. I appreciate your pain.

I’m just gonna go hit the gym.

And plateau some more…