Showing posts with label FWTFL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FWTFL. Show all posts

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Just One of Those Days (TOL #2)

My usual trip to the fitness center for strength training was scrapped when severe storms passed over Hong Kong. I woke up to the sounds of thunder and lightening echoing off the mountains and multiple alerts hitting my phone. I can do rain, but I don't do storms.

So instead of doing the planned gym workout for the day, I did the FASTer Way at-home version. I love that I have options for my workouts so that I can do what works for me any given day. Even with options, it took me a while to get motivated though.

-I was tired from waking up earlier than usual.
-Our small apartment is not exactly an ideal space for workouts.
-The hand weights we have are not really heavy enough for me anymore.
-There may have been multiple episodes of RHONY playing via Slingbox (available on Amazon)

It was just one of those days. We all have them once in awhile and it's totally ok. Eventually, I put on my workout clothes and got out my gear. We don't have much. A couple of 4kg hand weights that we bought in China.

Today's strength focus was back, biceps, abs and finishers at the end. It actually went ok even with my underweight dumbbells. I was expecting to feel underwhelmed, but it wasn't like that at all. Only couple of exercises felt a little futile. Thinking out loud, even if the first part of the workout had been mediocre, the finishers kicked my butt. As usual.

Regular calorie day - the meals

Broke fast at 11:30 - breakfast while catching up on the Bachelorette!

Lunch -

Dinner -

How do you motivate yourself when you don't feel like working out?

I'm joining the Thinking Out Loud linkup with Running with Spoons

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Intense Circuits and Magazine Covers!

Since I didn't pass out while doing a portion of my workout outside yesterday, I thought I would do it again today. I knew it was going to be warm. The weather has been nothing less than intense here lately. However, I was hoping to find some amount of relief from a breeze because I was going to do my workout right outside our building at the windiest spot in Discovery Bay.

Except today there was no breeze. At all. mrC joined me and as soon as we stepped outside, it was like we walked into a sauna. We decided to tough it out. Behind our building is a play area with some benches. It's next to what can best be described as a side street although it's mainly used by golf carts.

The FWTFL workout was basically three parts:

Part 1 - HIIT circuit: four exercises (burpees, jump squats, push-ups and mountain climbers with a twist) broken up by 30 seconds runs repeated 3-5 times. We used the benches to do the exercises and then ran the 30 second runs on the street. It really worked out perfectly ---> minus that whole no breeze thing. We did three rounds and called it.

Part 2 - Ab circuit on steroids: 5 sets of weighted Russian twists, 5 sets of ab bicycles, and 4 sets of leg raises. We went inside for this part because I cannot lay down outside on the dirty ground. I was literally sweating from every body part including my knees! This part was tough and I wondered if I would make it through. I said something to mrC and he replied, "two more sets." And that kept me going.

Part 3 - The cool down: low intensity cardio. We went back outside for a walk. We ended up walking a mile loop. There still wasn't a breeze to speak of, but it felt good to be outside moving slowly. We practically had the streets to ourselves except for the occasional dog walker and one guy whizzing by us on his bike.

All of my workout gear was completely soaked in sweat when we stopped including my cute tropical shorts from GAP. I was less than thrilled that the windiest spot on DB wasn't windy at all. But, just like yesterday, it felt good to finish a tough workout. Tough by design and tough because of the heat.

In other news, the magazine article about the DB Ladies SUP group came out. It's a great article, but I didn't expect to see myself displayed on the cover! It's very weird to walk past this magazine stand at the entrance to our building and see myself.

We made the crazy decision to go out in the afternoon heat to pick up mrC's dry cleaning. A short walk to the plaza had us dripping in sweat and seeking refuge in the grocery. Ironically if you stay inside too long, you'll freeze by air conditioning. We had some time to kill before an unexpected appointment for a quick checkup with the doctor and there was finally a breeze blowing, so we relaxed at the plaza tables.

Low carb day 2 - the meals

Broke fast around 11:00 - I was hungrier today than yesterday.

Lunch - I have to admit, it was hard to resist adding Swiss cheese to my roll-ups.

Dinner - a little leftovers from last night plus a big salad

Do you ever use outdoor public areas for your workouts (besides running)?
What words motivate you to keep going during a tough workout?
Ever been on or in a magazine?

Today I'm linking up with PattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run! 

Monday, July 31, 2017

There's Just Something About Mondays

Sprint ladder and Tabata. I have to admit I was looking forward to my FASTer Way to Fat Loss® workout when I read the schedule for today. The last two weeks I had to miss my low carb speed burst workouts for one reason or another. There's just something about starting the week with a good, tough workout.

After Skyping with my dad and stepmom, I headed to the fitness center. mrC had some errands, but he walked me there. I jumped on a treadmill for the first part of the workout: sprint ladder

I was going to do this outside on the promenade, but thought it would be too hot. It wasn't so bad on the treadmill. It probably would have been harder outside, but it felt good to sprint. After the last sprint, I continued an easy run for about 10 minutes more. I was surprised at the end to only see a total of 1.56 miles, but I did walk the rest between sprints. It gives me a goal for next time to try to run the rest breaks. 

I looked around the fitness center for a place to do my Tabata workout and came up empty. It's really my only complaint about the place. I wish they had a separate room for floor exercises or yoga. I headed outside thinking I would try to find a space or go back to our tiny Hong Kong apartment and do it. I texted mrC to let him know that I was attempting to do this part outside and if it was too hot, I would go home. I found a great little area just around the corner from the fitness club front door that looked promising.

Ironically, I ended up doing the whole Tabata workout outside. The bench was a perfect spot. I could put my bag and water there while the Interval app on my phone guided me through the exercises.

At the end I was so sweaty that my hair looked like I had just stepped out of the shower and I had my typical very red face. I wish I had braved the warm weather and done my sprints outside, but now I know that I can. Other than that, I was feeling pretty awesome about today's workout.

I was going to walk back to the apartment (which means up a very big hill), but the bus came just as I was walking by the bus stop. I figured it was meant to be and took the bus. After a shower, I spent the rest of the morning working on my Hong Kong Host duties and then watched Big Brother.

PS - I re-read my workout schedule and the sprint ladder had been removed from today's workout! 

Low carb day - the meals

Broke fast about 12:30

Dinner -

Snack -

Do you look forward to your Monday workout?
Where would you workout: small indoor space or warm outdoor space?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

5 Days Later - from the Cape

Hello from Cape Cod!

OOTD: hat (here), swim coverup (Athleta), flip-flops (here)

We left Hong Kong at 2:30 PM on Thursday and made it to Hartford late, late, late Thursday night/Friday morning - 1 AM EST. After getting about three hours sleep at the hotel, we picked up our rental car, loaded up our Cape house supplies, had dinner with the in-laws and then hit the road. We crossed the Bourne Bridge traffic and hassle free around 9:30 PM Friday night.

In my last blog post, I shared my low carb days workouts and meals ---> which were awesome, by the way. Here's a brief wrap of how week 5 came to an end.

The workouts 

Wednesday - at home workout because I spent the morning getting my hair colored and highlighted.

Thursday - at home workout because I had to finish packing before we left for the airport.

Friday - My workout consisted of digging through our storage unit and loading up the car with our Cape Cod supplies, including my brand new Ninja blender (Amazon link).

Saturday - the girls arrived at the Cape House bright and early, so we spent most of the day just catching up and soaking up their presence. We walked to the beach for a quick dip before dinner.

Sunday - took another easy day to recover from travel which included another trip to the beach.

The meals

Wednesday - I honestly can't remember what I ate.

Thursday (On the airplane) - I packed a GF PB&J sandwich, banana, grapes, and some chips for my dinner and then had the scrambled eggs meal for breakfast.

Friday - we grabbed a burger from a local restaurant for lunch and joined mrC's family for some GF pizza before starting our road trip.

Saturday - our bodies were still playing catch-up to our time zone hopping, but I managed some turkey and Swiss roll ups with PB&J apple cinnamon rice cakes for lunch. For dinner we fired up the grill ---> chicken breast, shrimp skewers and burgers with green beans.

The kids introduced us to a new game 😳

Sunday - (breakfast) scrambled eggs with ham and 2 PB&J rice cakes, (lunch) turkey and Swiss rollups, watermelon, and a vanilla Vega protein (great price on Amazon) smoothie, and (dinner) grilled cheeseburger, baked beans, and corn on the cob.

Smoothie in a red solo cup!

Beverages - We may have consumed some extra calories, but how can anyone resist a homemade strawberry daiquiri made by the kids?

Tomorrow is the start of the final week of FASTer Way to Fat Loss®. I'm hoping to be on top of my workouts and nutrition while we are vacationing. It will be hard, but I think I will have some extra support from the girls.

I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly for the Weekly Wrap!

Where are you spending your 4th of July?
Ever played Cards Against Humanity?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Five Friday Favorites

The countdown to our annual family vacation in the USA is picking up speed! The good news is that we are less than one week from our departure. The bad news is that getting things organized is distracting me a little from blogging.

To make up for a couple missed FWTFL posts, I'm breaking it down into Friday Favorites:

1) Running - I'm loving the fact that I can now add running as an official option for my strength training warm up. It's a short little run, but I can do it without intervals. I've seriously come to appreciate all the small running moments because last year I thought my running days were o-ver. So, these little runs are super exciting for me right now!

2) Supersets - Strength training days are all about these lately and I love it (I talked about them in this post). My workout feels like it takes half the time, but my muscles feel like I was working out for hours! I'm also loving that the weight I'm using on the leg extension machine is not bothering my knee. Crossing my fingers that my quad muscle is getting stronger in that leg to help my knee even more.

3) 24-Hour Fast - The goal of a one day fast is to make it at least 18 hours, but 24 hours if you can. I started my fast at 6PM on Tuesday, after I enjoyed my last meal of the day, and made it to 22 hours. I broke my fast a little after 4PM on Thursday with a snack while I was making my favorite buffalo chicken quinoa dinner. This was my longest and best fasting day so far. If you haven't tried intermittent fasting, here is a great video from Yuri Elkaim, the author of The All-Day Fat Burning Diet:

And if you've been wanting to sign up for the FASTer Way To Fat Loss program, use my link to join and start carb cycling with me! 

4) National Smoothie Day - I did not have a smoothie on Wednesday (June 21) because I was out of spinach and Greek yogurt. I did make an acai bowl today for a belated National Smoothie Day celebration. I happened to find acai super green pre-made packs at our local Just Green shop, so I whipped up a bowl for me and a bowl for mrC. Today's toppings were granola, almond butter and goji berries. I'm still working out how to get the consistency just right, but this was my best one so far.

5) MY new dress - As in designed by me! I took a dress design that I like to a tailor in Shenzhen to have a new dress made. I picked out the fabric and told her what I liked. She did all the work and I'm thrilled with the final result. This dress is all about comfort, which is 100% me.

Other OOTD details sunglasses (here), shoes (here) and purse (here)

What are you loving this week?

I'm linking up with Lacey and Meranda and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0!

And also with Nicole for the Fit & Fashionable Friday link-up

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Treadmill Tuesday - Sprint Workout

Running sprints on the treadmill is not my first choice, but sometimes ya gotta do, what ya gotta do. So I laced up my Wave Sky and headed to the fitness center determined not to let the continued rainy weather stop my planned workout.

Week 4 low carb day 2 - the FWTFL workout 

Warm up - It was raining and we wanted to get to the fitness center before the morning rush, so we took the bus. Instead, I walked on the treadmill for 5 minutes.

Speed bursts - Today I chose to do the interval sprints even though I was going to have to do them on the treadmill (my fear of slipping and hurting my knee still keeps me from running outside in the rain). The workout was 20 seconds run, 40 seconds recover. Repeat 16 times. 

This was my first attempt at sprints on the treadmill since my partial meniscectomy, so I had to play around with the speed a little. I knew my recovery could be around 8km/hr because that is my current easy run speed and I was hoping to run instead of walk through the recovery. I bumped my speed up to 10 - 10.3 range on the sprints and it felt good. I might have been able to go faster, but I like to test how my knee will respond to new things slowly. I completed all 16 sprints this way and am thrilled that my knee handled the treadmill sprints. 

The treadmill has the option to create your own interval workout, but the minimum time is 1 minute. I thought it was going to be hard to manually change the speed, but since I use my interval app I get a 5 second voice countdown alert and that made it much easier. **People have asked which app I use. It's this one on iTunes. I'm happy to share because it took me awhile to find one that was easy to set up and let me run without looking at a timer. I use bluetooth to connect to my Jabra wireless earbuds (which are $30 off on Amazon), but the app also connects to my Apple Watch which alerts me by vibrating**

Ab circuit - A round of ab bicycles, crunches and leg lifts with some planking tossed in at the end.

Cool down - It wasn't raining, so we were able to enjoy the walk back to the apartment.

mrC has been doing the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® Men's Program. Our workouts are not the same, but similar enough that we can go to the fitness center together. It definitely makes carb cycling easier to have him doing it with me and I love that he has gender specific workouts. During past rounds of carb cycling, he just modified the workouts with more weight. He had major success results, but I think this time it will be even better.

Low carb day 2 - the meals

Broke fast at 11:30 - 3 scrambled eggs with ham and one PB&J rice cake

Lunch - 3 turkey roll ups, green beans and some peanuts

Dinner - leftover cheesy chicken and veggie rice

Snack - protein bar

 Do you run sprints on the treadmill?

Friday, June 16, 2017

You Can Do Speed Bursts at Bodystep

Today I made up the low carb day I missed on Tuesday. I've said this before, but I really love how easy it is to make carb cycling work for you. If you need to, you can switch up days because of work, appointments, parties, or whatever. It's no problem.

(If you are interested in joining the FASTer Way To Fat Loss program, here's a link to join and start carb cycling with me! Click here).

Week 3 Low Carb Day - the workout

The FWTFL workout for the day was a choice of Speed bursts followed by an ab circuit. My favorite Bodystep instructor is back from Australia after an extended (almost 2 months) leave, so I had to go back to class.

There are 12 workout tracks in a typical class which means there is a lot, I mean a lot, going on. The whole class is high intensity intervals: cardio followed by strength and ends with a powerful core workout. Here are some of the things I remember doing today, but not necessarily in the right order (after the warm up).

Warm up - step moves mostly on the floor
Warm up part 2 - step moves on the step
Cardio peak - basic stepping with glute leg lifts, burpees, lunges, knee repeaters
Mixed strength - lunges, squats, glute leg lifts with weight plate
Speed track - skaters, speed step, plyo jumps and burpees ---> I thought I would be sick!
Another Cardio peak - I honestly can't remember what we did ;)
Core - oblique focus: side crunch with weight, bent leg side drops, and plank twist with weight

After a couple of weeks of missing cardio classes and a couple of months since my last time at Bodystep, this was a tough class. Good, but tough. It felt awesome to see how many calories I torched.

mrC did his low carb day workout outside at the fitness center and then met me in the North Plaza after my class. We probably could have walked home, but the sky looked too unpredictable. We took the bus instead.

OOTD: tank, capris (similar), shoes, bag

Low carb day - the meals

Broke fast at 12:00 - 2.5 scrambled eggs with ham, 3 sausage links, one PB&J rice cake

Lunch - 4 turkey rollups, peanuts and a chocolate protein shake ---> last one, ran out of this protein that I can get on Amazon.

Dinner - leftover chicken and green beans

Has your workout ever caused you to throw up?
I need to buy protein. What's your favorite brand for chocolate shakes?

Today I'm linking up with Nicole for the Fit & Fashionable Friday link-up

Monday, June 12, 2017

Intervals and Body Weight Workouts I Like

Today marks the start of week 3 of carb cycling and I'm feeling great. My biggest NSV (non-scale victory) so far has been adding in runs and upping my weight.

We had one more pleasant morning for an outdoor FASTer Way to Fat Loss® workout before Typhoon Merbok started moving into the Hong Kong region. Today was intervals day.

Week 3 Low Carb Day - the workout

Warm up - we walked to the promenade ---> a perfect spot for an outdoor workout

Speed Bursts - One thing I like about this program is the workout options. Today there were three choices for speed bursts. I've done 7 Up 7 Down. They were tough. Stadium Steps sounded like an awesome challenge, but I'm not sure where I could do them (must look into that). Today, since the first time went so well, it was sprint intervals again. Sprint 100% effort for 20 seconds, rest for 40 seconds. Repeat 14 times (2 more than last time). In the sun and the heat, these are sweat makers. Even with the two extra today, they went pretty fast. Using an interval app that links to my Apple sport watch makes it super easy to do them. So do my new Wave Sky. Seriously loving these shoes so far.

HIIT circuit - this body weight leg workout was tough after sprints but easy to do outside. Air squats, lunges, step ups and squat jumps. Rest and repeat. I only did one round instead of two because I was so hot and I had to pee.

I love body weight workouts. They are so versatile and there are so many online videos to help make it easier to do them when you can't get to the gym, or a fitness class, or when you are traveling. Here are some of my favorite workouts:

from Fitness Blender

from PopSugar Fitness

from Amanda Miller

Cool down - nice slow walk up the hill to the coolest spot in Discovery Bay.

Working out is definitely a team effort in this family. For both of us, having a workout partner is motivating and certainly more fun!

Low carb day - the meals

Broke fast about 11:00 - 3 scrambled eggs with ham and 3 sausage links with a tsp of maple syrup

Lunch - Almond chocolate protein shake (I use Designer Whey - available on Amazon), 1 can of tuna with tbsp of mayo, and PB&J rice cake

Dinner - beef burger (no bun) and green beans

Snack - peanuts

Then we sat back and waited for the typhoon. When we lived in China, getting information about the weather conditions seemed harder. We received alerts on our phone all day and from the management of our apartment building.

Do you like to run stairs?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Weekend Workouts: Making the Most of Pre-Typhoon Weather

What do you do in Hong Kong when there is a tropical depression, possible typhoon headed your way? You make the most of the sunny weather while you can. Even if it's hot, hot, hot! The forecast for the coming week is all about rain and lots of it, so adding in an outdoor run and some fun on the water was important this weekend

Week 2 - Regular calorie and Low Calorie day - the workouts

Saturday - It was leg day and as a warm up, I ran an easy 1.3 miles to the fitness center. It was warm and sunny, but thankfully the first half of the run is shaded by trees and a tunnel. I love these short little runs and I was extra excited for this one because it was my first run in the Mizuno Wave Sky. I love the feel of new shoes.

The leg workout was no joke! It was 50% on the machines and 50% free weights (or just body weight) and I liked that. I like using the free weights because those exercises utilize more than one muscle group even though you might be focusing on one main muscle. For example, squats are quad dominant, but also draw on hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles. On the other hand, I like the machines so that I can focus on one main muscle group and sometimes with better form. It's a balancing act for me and my testy knee, so a little bit of both works perfectly. Throw in some finishers and my legs were done.

Sunday - I chose to take my iSUP board out for about an hour of low intensity cardio since it was active recovery day. It's hard to believe there is a storm lurking in the South China Sea when you look at the bright blue sky over Discovery Bay and Tai Pak Beach.

this board is still available at a great price on Amazon

It didn't take long to get hot and sweaty, but getting in the water was not an option for me. Not that it is normally. It takes a lot to get me to go into deep water. Today there were a ton of jelly blubbers (aka blue blubber jellyfish) in the shallow waters! I'm pretty sure the sight of them helped keep my heart rate elevated in the fat burning zone. 

Week 2 - Regular calorie and Low Calorie day - the meals

Saturday - Broke fast around 11:00 - 2.5 scrambled eggs with ham, 2 pieces PB&J gluten free toast, orange juice

Lunch - 3 turkey & Swiss roll ups and a protein smoothie with Bob's Red Mill vanilla protein (available on Amazon)

Dinner - mrC's chilaquiles (seriously soooo good) and corn

Snack - watermelon, vanilla yogurt with chocolate sauce

Sunday - Broke fast at 11:00 - 2.5 scrambled eggs with ham, 2 PB&J rice cakes, watermelon

Lunch - 3 turkey & Swiss rollups and watermelon

Snack - peanuts

Dinner - leftover chilaquiles and corn

The big food winner this weekend ---> the watermelon. It was my first of the summer and it was so dang good. When we lived in China, we could hardly ever find seedless watermelon. Eating watermelon with seeds almost takes the fun out of it.

D you squeeze in certain workouts when you know bad weather is coming?
What is your watermelon preference - seeds or seedless?

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