Showing posts with label weekly wrap. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weekly wrap. Show all posts

Monday, August 27, 2018

Cape Cod Summer 2018 - Week 1

I don't know why, but working out at the Cape just feels more fun. It could be the cool temperatures, the outdoor workouts, or maybe because I had extra training partners jumping in.

At the start of our first week at the Cape we had to endure a couple of rainy days, but after that the weather was amazing. I kept up with my FASTer Way To Fat Loss VIP workouts and didn't go too off track with my nutrition (affiliate).

Here's what last week's workouts looked like:

Interval Training:
On Monday we had to wait out some rain before we could dive into a 4 circuit HIIT workout, but it was worth it. Since we were doing at home workouts, we changed up the planned sprints on Tuesday and did a Tabata workout. Cooler morning temperatures definitely make these workouts feel a little easier. If I could bottle up this weather to take back to Hong Kong, I would in a heart beat!

Tuesday afternoon we rode bikes along the Shining Sea Bikeway.

Strength Training:
The VIP of strength training on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday was my collection of resistance bands (Fit Simplify bands on Amazon). It took some ingenuity (mostly from mrC), but I was able to do the workouts without feeling like I was missing effectiveness. All of the workouts included a build-up format ---> take 3 exercises and do 1 rep each, then 2 reps each, then 3 reps each...until reaching the max number which was 7. Whoa! This method really tired out my muscles.

Saturday evening we had all three kids (plus one BF) with us and went for a sunset paddle on the West Falmouth Harbor. It was sooooo beautiful. Amy from Peace Love SUP showed us all the best spots in the harbor and took amazing photos for us. We love booking group paddles with her.

Active Rest:
I did some Feel Good Flow porch yoga from Yoga with Adriene on Friday while everyone slept in. Our neighborhood is so quiet and peaceful. I took a full rest day on Sunday but enjoyed an evening walk to the beach.

Sunday morning we took our first seal watching boat cruise out of Harwich Port to Monomoy Island. It was the perfect day to be on the water and the seals were so cute. We found a large harem sitting on a sand bar and when the captain turned off the engine we could hear them singing.

In the mornings, I spent time studying for my FASTer Way To Fat Loss coach certification. I am super excited to finish and coach my own groups ---> if you would like to join the waitlist for my first group go here)!

I'm so happy that we have another full week of Cape Cod fun coming up.

Until then, I'm linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Weekly Wrap | Heading into Vacay & Big News

Somehow, I managed to stay on track this week even though we traveled from Hong Kong to the east coast on Thursday. Our flight didn't arrive until almost 1am Friday and by the time we got to the hotel, I was wide awake. After getting about 2.5 hours of sleep, we hit the ground running to start our annual Cape Cod family vacay.

Interval Training:
Monday's 20 minute sprint drills workout in the park was a doozy! Even though I replaced the sprints with mountain climbers, the combo of cardio and strength moves literally worked the whole body. Tuesday I did the usual 20 seconds sprint: 40 seconds rest x20 on the elliptical.

Strength Training:
Last week we were doing tempo sets. In case you don't already know, tempo sets are when you alternate between very slow reps and fast reps during the same set. For example 2 reps with a 5 count followed by 2 reps with a 1 count. This was my first time doing strength this way but it came pretty easily since it's the format used in Bodypump classes, although someone else is doing the counting for you.

Active Rest Days:
I skipped the juice day fast because we were traveling and did my normal two low calorie rest days. Friday was a full on recovery day of running errands and letting my body adjust to the 12 hour time change. Sunday I got in a couple of walks around the neighborhood and to the beach.

Obviously I'm really looking forward to our two weeks with the kids, on the Cape, at the beach. I know some people take a break from workouts and training while on vacation, but I look forward to my workouts. They make me feel good and strong. So, while I will show myself grace, I plan to continue with my workout schedule and follow the FASTer Way nutritional guide.

PS - I recently shared the big news on IG that I was accepted into the FASTer Way To Fat Loss® Coaching Certification program. Getting involved in the fitness community is something that I've dreamed about doing since leaving my teaching position and moving to China for my husband's job in 2015. I just didn't know where or how to start. The opportunity to become a FASTer Way coach has answered those questions.

As I make my way through the certification process, I wanted to share where my own journey began. You can read about my first round of the program here. If you have any questions or are interested in being added to the wait list for my first round, please message me at

Do you stick to your workouts during vacation?

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Weekly Wrap | New month, new week, new workouts, new goals.

New month, new week, new workouts, new goals.

This month I am back in the FASTer Way To Fat Loss®️ VIP program. While I like that I can 100% recycle my old workouts, I also like to shake things up. The VIP program offers FWTFL veterans new workouts every week, continued online group support and monthly health and fitness topics to expand my overall wellness.

Here's a wrap up of my week:

Interval Training
Monday's workout got a late start because I had a morning appointment. So between going to the gym in the afternoon and a seriously intense HIIT workout, I got my butt kicked. I posted my sweatiest #sweatyselfie on Instagram as #proof. On Tuesday it was sprints on the elliptical. These always get my legs burning.

Strength Training:
The workouts this week followed a format similar to drop sets: 2 short sets with heavy weight and 1 longer set with 50% weight. My muscles really liked this format and I know this because every workout left some part of my body feeling like jelly. Wednesday it was my shoulders, Thursday it was my biceps and Saturday it was my quads.

Active Rest:
I kept with my usual yoga session on Friday and did Side Body Flow from Yoga with Adriene. This really helped me stretch out my whole upper body after two good strength training workouts on Wednesday and Thursday. I was hoping for the usual SUP session on Sunday, but passing typhoons brought very rainy and unstable weather. Instead I took a power-walk to try to beat the rain and did some stretching afterwards.

NSV (non-scale victory):
Muscles. I am starting to SEE my muscles, especially in my left leg which is also the bad knee. My cranky knee has not made improving strength in that leg easy, so I am thrilled to finally start seeing some changes. It has been a slow process but I'm excited to know that the work is paying off. My goal is to keep working and make even more muscles pop!

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Weekly Wrap | As Many Reps As Possible

AMRAP, as many reps as possible. I've seen this fitness term tossed around my social media for years and always felt a little intimidated by that kind of workout.

When AMRAP showed up in all of my strength training workouts last week, I figured it was finally time for me to give it a try. And, you know what? It wasn't bad at all. My body and my mind were clearly ready for a new challenge.

This got me thinking. Timing is everything.

Last week things just seemed to be falling into place. The timing was right for a lot of things in my life and it felt really good.
  • I took on those timed AMRAP workouts like a champ 
  • my FASTer Way To Fat Loss VIP group monthly topic is MINDSET. We're talking about the power of positive thinking and how to avoid the self-sabotage trap (I do this A LOT)
  • I took a step toward learning something new (not quite ready to share what it is yet, but it is definitely something I have wanted to do for awhile and now is the right time for me)
It was a good week all around. Here's a look at my workouts for the week:

Interval Training
I loved the workout space for Monday's HIIT workout! "Up by 10" is a tough one ---> I may have cheated on the in & outs and the plank pushups, but I still got in plenty of the total 550 reps! Tuesday's sprint workout seemed tame in comparison, but I still felt a good burn.

Strength Training
Like I said, first time doing AMRAP workouts. I don't know what I thought was so intimidating in the past, but I liked this type of workout. I was surprised to see how many or how few reps I could do in the timed portions. I also tried my new weight lifting gloves...I like the fit, but I'm on the fence on how I feel about wearing them.

Active Rest Days
For my Friday yoga session, I did Yoga with Adriene's Stretch and Soothe. We had perfect weather for our Sunday SUP session. I am so grateful that I've learned to embrace my active rest days. I used to think that I needed to work out EVERY day hard. I didn't realize that I was actually hurting my body. Making progress means taking rest days and giving your body time to recover.

Have you ever felt like something was perfect timing?

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Weekly Wrap - Never Never Never Give Up

It's that time in the summer when things really start to heat up around here. It makes it hard to want to do anything, (except hang out in the water) especially workouts. I know that there are no shortcuts to results and that if I want to stay fit (and get fitter), I have to push on. Fortunately there were signs that reminded me to never give up and by the end of the week, I was feeling really good! Here's my Weekly Wrap with Holly and Wendy.

Use my affiliate link to learn more about the FWTFL program here.

Interval Training:
Monday's outdoor Tabata workout was a tough one and my body was not a happy camper afterwards. I think I was suffering from a little dehydration stomach cramping. Tuesday I used the motivation from my new Lorna Jane tank to bounce back and had an awesome treadmill hill repeat workout. PS - I shared some treadmill workouts for non-runners here.

Strength Training:
This week's workouts on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday were all pyramid sets: when you start out light and gradually increase the weight while decreasing the reps. I really liked this method. Each rep felt more effective because I wasn't trying to power through with heavier weights. I am beginning to really feel my muscles working in my upper body. I still have a lot of work to do in my legs, but two separate compliments this week reminded me that the work pays off.

Active Rest Days:
On Friday I took a sunrise walk along the beach, but Sunday! Sunday mrC was back from a trip and we took the SUP boards out for an amazing paddle. I love when we sit down and just float, talk and take in the views of where we live. It was a great way to wrap up the week!

Do you use your workout gear as motivation?

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Never Miss a Workout - Weekly Wrap

It was one of those weeks when daily life commitments clashed with the workout schedule. With a little pre-planning, I was able to rearrange my workouts. I'm pretty excited to be able to say that for the past five weeks of following my carb cycling program, I have never missed a workout.

Interval Training 
On Monday I did a new elliptical sprint workout. I still used a 1:2 ratio, but did 30 seconds sprint to 1 minute recovery instead of 20:40 like I had been doing. That extra 10 seconds of work definitely maxed out my muscles. After 10 sprints, I did a 15 minute cool down on the elliptical and then a plank circuit. Tuesday's HIIT in the park turned out to be my favorite ---> because it almost beat me but I pushed through and finished 7 rounds of 7 reps of 7 different exercises.

(PS - did you see my interval training post?)

Strength Training
I had to move some of my training days around this week, but I still got everything done. Thursday I needed to do my workout at home, but the leg day home version was just as tough even though most of it was bodyweight exercises. Drop sets on Wednesday and Sunday were fun. Each week feels like I'm getting better at using the right weights and I like that I can push myself to go heavy for one set then drop to lighter for the remaining sets. Using heavier weights is hurting my hands though, so I'm thinking about getting a pair of training gloves ---> something like these from Nike on Amazon, but I don't know if they're what I need or not.

Active Rest Days
Friday and Saturday I did Yoga with Adriene videos - Go With The Flow and Total Body Yoga. The change of workout days worked in my favor as my legs were really sore from Thursday's leg day. Two days of yoga felt good.

Do you wear training gloves?

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

A Week of Supersets and Aha! Moments

After a busy holiday week, last week went the other direction and things were mostly quiet on the home front. Not that I feel like doing much when the weather is either hot or rainy with a large side of humidity to go with both. I did get out and enjoy my brand new Oofos one afternoon when the sun was out (affiliate).

I also enjoyed my workouts this week. One thing I love about carb cycling (and I probably sound like a broken record) is the variety in the workouts. Even the strength training workouts vary day to day and week to week.

By the way - if you are interested, you can learn more about the Faster Way to Fat Loss® carb cycling program I did here (affiliate). The next round starts July 16!!

Interval Workouts:
I did elliptical sprints on Monday, which I bumped up to 25 this week. I think it might be time to increase the interval and recovery times instead of number to complete. I just haven't been feeling the same intensity as I used to. On Tuesday I grabbed an old yoga mat and headed to the park for another HIIT workout. Full-body workouts are always intense and this one was no different. My low intensity sustained state cool down walk literally cooled me off when it started raining.

Strength Training:
This week all of the strength workouts featured supersets ---> A superset is performed when two exercises are performed in a row without stopping. The exercises can work opposing muscles or similar muscle groups. Because there is no stopping between exercises each rep is more effective and more calories are burned than with a typical workout. Supersets are also good for boosting metabolism because your heart rate is up and your body works harder to recover.

I loved doing a week of supersets! It reminded me of how we did the exercises in Bodypump class with the break coming between tracks. It feels like you are pushing each muscle group to the max and then you move on to the next superset. 

It was also fun to have some exercises on the plan that were new to me or different from the usual, like face pulls. I had actually never done them before. They're tough!

Active Rest Days: 
Friday morning instead of yoga, I volunteered in the soup kitchen of a homeless shelter. Chopping, washing, rinsing, and serving sounds easy enough, but my arms and back muscles were tired after only two hours. Sunday I did Balancing Flow - a 30 minute Yoga with Adriene vinyasa video and then squeezed in a nice 2 mile walk with mrC. There is a strong monsoon warning and the winds are sooo nice, but too strong for us to get out on our SUP boards this weekend (affiliate).

I had a couple of aha! moments this week ---> non scale victories that gave me little boost in confidence.

1. During my leg day workout (which had a circuit warmup, 5 supersets, PLUS a treadmill hill repeat workout) I realized that two weeks ago I couldn't lift that weight or do that many reps and what seemed hard is now a warmup.

2. After seeing a number on the scale that discouraged me, I put on a pair of shorts that I hadn't worn because they were uncomfortably snug and they felt great.

Do you use supersets in your training?
What was your last aha! moment?

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!

Monday, July 2, 2018

4th of July Week: Holidays and Working Out

Let me start this post by saying (because I haven't blogged since last week's Weekly Wrap), Happy Independence Day America!!

I think we would all agree that staying on track with fitness and food choices can be extra challenging during a holiday. My week was busy. I allowed myself some grace and that took the pressure off. In the end, I enjoyed myself and my choices didn't throw my nutrition off by much.

The key to my success is everything in moderation. I don't try to be perfect, just the best that I can while enjoying life. Plus, it's bloody hot in Hong Kong and a strawberry daiquiri is quite cooling ;)

Monday & Tuesday:  I stuck to HIIT workouts. I always do my workouts fasted, but Monday's elliptical sprints kicked my butt! On Tuesday I took my Tabata workout to the park. It was hot, humid and the total body session was tough! I like the way a tough workout feels when it's over though. I guess that's why I keep doing them.

Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday: Strength training days. This week's arm workout included 10 to 1s. This looks like an innocent workout, but it's haaarrrd. My arms felt like they would fall off and I was only using 3 pounds by the end. Leg Day took place in my old fitness center in Shenzhen. It was fun and a little weird to be back in my old workout space.

We celebrated the 4th of July twice this week. On Wednesday we went to a friend's cookout. It was fun showing off our patriotism. I was so excited to have a cheeseburger off the grill. We don't have one here and we miss it a lot.

On Thursday we attended the Celebration of the US Consulate General's 175th year in Hong Kong as guests of the US Consulate through my work with the American Women's Association Hong Kong Hosts program. It was probably one of the fanciest and highest security parties I will ever attend. US Consul General Kurt Tong was obviously there, but so was Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR Carrie Lam (she's the top political official in HK). It was an impressive event.

Friday & Sunday:  I did my normal active rest day yoga which I am really enjoying again. Then on Sunday the weather stayed dry long enough for a morning paddle. It was picture perfect right until we were literally pulling the boards out of the water. Then it rained.

As I mentioned earlier, we went to our old neighborhood in China to have dinner with friends on Friday and see what has changed (because things are always changing in China!).

So after a fun filled, super busy week I still managed to get in every workout and not go too crazy with my eating and drinking.

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Staying On Track

This post has affiliate links.

It was another good week of carb cycling. mrC and I have been faithfully following the eating schedule and matching workouts from FASTer Way to Fat Loss®. Already we are seeing changes and feeling better. And we are having fun!

Monday and Tuesday were low carb days. I did one sprint swimming workout and one HIIT workout at home. My swimming sprints (25 meter freestyle sprint, 25 meter breaststroke recovery x10) were good. I was able to push myself on the sprints because I was the first one in the only lap lane. My HIIT workout was ok, but I didn't push myself as hard as I could have --> cue goal for next time.

Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday I did strength training. I have to admit that I am really enjoying using weights again. I've been going to the fitness center for these workouts because I need the variety of weights equipment and I'm trying to go heavy on leg day. It's still a learning process to figure what is too light versus too heavy. At the end of each session I add in a plank workout and on Thursday I swam 300 meters.

Friday and Sunday were active recovery. I did some yoga both days because my body needs that extra stretch session, but we also took our inflatable SUP boards out on Sunday. It was really windy so I got more of a workout than I anticipated, but it was still fun being on the boards.

We lost faith in the scale at the fitness center after getting vastly different readings one week apart. Instead, we decided to purchase a smart scale for home use and found this Mifit for a reasonable price. This smart scale shows more than just our weight. We now also know our body score which includes assessment of body fat, BMI, muscle, water, bone mass and more.

In terms of personal results, I focus mostly on how I feel in my clothes, but I am also a data junkie and like seeing the numbers confirm my progress. It also gives me another challenge to increase my muscle over fat percentage.

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Weekly Wrap: Pulling Out the Carb Cycling Playbook

After doing the two week video workout challenge, I realized that I was still missing a couple of important parts: good nutrition and strength training.

So, I have pulled out my carb cycling playbook from FASTer Way to Fat Loss® and been matching my workouts to how I'm eating, tracking my macros and adding strength workouts. (you can see my daily carb cycling activities in my Instagram story if you're interested in what an average day looks like)

Here's a look at how my first week following the plan again went:

Monday - low carb day + speed bursts workout

I did some morning stretches to complete the two week workout plan. Later, mrC and I walked to the pool (just over .50 mile). I came up with my own swim sprint workout: 5 minutes WU, 25 meters freestyle sprint x 25 meters breaststroke recover x 10, 10 minute pool walking CD.

Tuesday - low carb day + speed bursts workout

For the first time in forever, I took my workout to the fitness center. I did sprints on the elliptical: 20:40 seconds work:rest x 20 plus 15 minute cool down. Then I cooled off in the pool.

Wednesday - regular calorie day + strength training

I was back in the fitness center for my strength training because I only have two choices of hand weights at home. Walking ten minutes to the fitness club was the warm-up. I did my favorite dirty dozen arm workout (and coached mrC through it -> he did great) two times and then I did a couple of sets of adductors and abductors. Wrapped things up with a good stretch session.

Thursday - regular calorie day + strength training

Another strength day at the fitness center. Used the 10 minute walk there as the warm-up again and then jumped right into the dirty dozen leg workout. Half way through I realized that the workout is probably better as an at-home workout, so I'll be switching things up next week. Threw in some plank work at the end and swam 250 meters as my cool down.

Friday - low calorie day + active rest day

Happy to say that I will be using these days for yoga along with other acceptable rest day activities (SUP, swimming, walking). I did two Yoga with Adriene videos ---> one for opening hips and heart and another detox flow.

Saturday - regular calorie day + strength training

I did not lose my motivation even though my workout buddy had a trip. I did Leg Day at the fitness center with a roundtrip 1.5 (ish) mile walk there and back. This workout had a perfect combo of weights, machines, and body weight moves. I also added core work at the end.

Sunday - low calorie day + active rest day

I found myself looking forward to starting my day with some yoga. I really enjoy the Yoga with Adriene videos and there are so many to chose from. I like that I can pick one that fits my mood or needs, but my favorite is flow.

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!