Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Shred Day 9: It's All About Lifting

It was gym day around here today.

My stepmom dropped me off at the fitness center for my feast day workout. After my 10 minute warm up on the treadmill, it was all about the lifting.

I had one goal in mind...GO HARD. My 30 Day Shred coach told us "FEAST day is most effective when you go HARD for the workout."

Today's weights workout was broken into sections: shoulders, chest, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Since I was all about embracing the weights, I challenged myself to grab the next higher weighted dumbbell than I'm used to.

10 pounds for military press

My dad helped me prepare for the workout, so I knew how to do all of the exercises. The upper body workout looked like this:

    • ○  Arm circles for warm up (small, medium, large for 60 seconds each)
    • ○  Military Press: 3 sets of 12­-15 reps 
    • ○  10 to 1s with 5,8, or 10 lb weights
    • ○  Dumbbell front raise or weight plate front raise: 2 sets of 8­-10 reps to failure
    • ○  Bent over lateral raise: 2 sets of 8-­10 reps to failure
    • ○  Face pulls with cable cross: 2 sets of 8­-10 reps to failure
  • ●  CHEST:
    • ○  Dumbbell press: 12­-15 reps with lighter weight for warm up, then two working sets (higher weight) with 8­-10 reps to failure
    • ○  Dumbbell Flies: 12­-15 reps with lighter weight for warm up, then two working sets (higher weight) with 8­-10 reps to failure 
I felt pretty confident doing the upper body portion. My weights ranged from 8-15 pounds and I went for the maximum reps. I loved that although the fitness center is small (considering the size of the community), it does offer a wide range of dumbbells and hand weights.

12 pounds for chest press

My experience on leg machines goes back one whole week (if you don't count ACL rehab 25+ years ago!). Again I did my homework and received a helping hand on the equipment from a couple gentlemen doing their own workouts.

  • ●  QUADS
    • ○  Leg extensions with low weight: 2 sets of 12­-15 reps
    • ○  Squats with Smith Machine or Regular Barbell Squats: 2 sets of 10 reps
    • ○  Goblet Squats with dummbell or kettlebell: 2 sets of 8­-10 reps to failure
    • ○  Leg extensions: 2 sets of 8­-10 reps to failure
    • ○  Leg curl with low weight: 2 sets of 12­-15 reps
    • ○  Dumbbell Romainian Deadlift (bend slightly at the knee, keep back straight, bend
      through the hips, feel it pull through the hamstrings. 2 sets of 12­-15 reps
    • ○  Plie Squats with dumbbell or kettlebell: 2 sets of 12­-15 reps
      ○  Leg curl: 2 sets of 8­-10 reps to failure
  • ● GLUTES:
    • ○  Leg press: 2 sets of 8­-10 reps
    • ○  Use the machine for calf raises in between sets. Straighten your legs and push up with your toes to stimulate your calves. At least 2 sets of 10. 
After two gym workouts, I'm growing to like some of the machines: leg extension, leg curl, and standing calf machine. I still don't know how to use the Smith Machine though (and it looks scary).

My cool down was to walk back to the house. Even though it was all sun and I forgot my shades, it felt good to move my legs after all the lifting.

What I Ate on Feast Day:

Breakfast: polenta with honey, scrambled eggs with ham, coffee

Snack: grapes ---> I'm so loving these red grapes and could eat a whole bag (but that would be rude!)

Lunch: leftover eggs and polenta

Dinner: gluten free pizza

Dessert: gluten free brownie

Do you prep for your workouts?
DO you have a favorite grape? I used to love white, but lately I'm loving the red.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Shred day 8: 5 Reasons to Embrace Your Elliptical

I'm happy to report that my knee felt fine after yesterday's run. Nowadays, you just never know so I took my cautious-self to the fitness center for my low carb day low impact sprints.

The fitness center is less than a mile away from my dad and stepmom's house, so I walked there and counted it as my warm up. I enjoyed every step.

I was thinking that being out of China for such a long time would mean having to reacclimatize to the tropical weather. A few days in Florida and it's not such a big deal anymore. The humidity here will keep me ready for the humidity there.

At the fitness center (which is kind of small), I quickly jumped on an elliptical. The workout ---> 25 sprints using 20:20 sprint/recovery interval. I worried about my Gymboss timer beeping and annoying all the retirees there working out the whole time. I couldn't wait to be finished and not because my legs were burning.

I read a comment recently that said (paraphrased), I had to do my run on the elliptical today and I never feel like I get a good workout. This made me sad mostly because I used to feel the same way. The elliptical is a great piece of equipment, so today I'm sharing why I have embraced it.

1. Low impact workout. Obviously this is a must for me and anyone else dealing with an injury, but even healthy athletes need to give their joints a break once in a while. The elliptical is a great cross-training option.

2. Great for indoor sprints. Ever try to do timed sprints on a treadmill? It's challenging and hard to get the full interval. Sprinting on an elliptical is nearly the same as sprinting outside: you decide the start and stop. (Reasons to sprint ---> click here)

3. Have a killer workout. If you want to glide aimlessly you can, but if you are hoping to feel the burn, all you have to do is increase the resistance and increase your speed. Trust me, your legs will feel it.

4. Twofer workout. Get two workouts simultaneously. I don't use the handles, but grab them for a great upper body workout while working your lower body at the same time.

5. Excellent aerobic workout. Ellipticals offer the same cardio workout as the treadmill. You can burn roughly the same amount of calories, but with considerably less perceived effort.

I followed up my sprint workout with a 30 minute cool down walk. I walked the trail again before walking back to the house. For fun I made a hyper-lapse video of part of the trail because it is really pretty.

We ran some errands today. I stocked up on some of my favorites at Ulta and even came away with some free stuff and then grabbed some goodies at the grocery.

What I Ate today:

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon, pb&j rice cake, coffee

Lunch: salad, veggie burger, celery, hummus, diet dew

Snack: turkey breast

Dinner: leftover grilled chicken breast, broccoli, diet dew

Dessert: This ice cream (if I had some, haha). Low calorie, low carb, low sugar, and high protein, 

Elliptical fan or foe?
Have you tried Halo Top Ice Cream yet? What did you think?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Shred Day 7: Interval Running and Lessons from a Marathon

You know it's a good day when...

Like my shoes

My workout for today called for run intervals ladder style: 1 minute run, 1 minute walk, 2 minute run, 2 minute walk...up to 6 minutes. Since my knee is still questionable, I kept it at a simple 20:30 run:walk interval.

I did a 5 minute walking warm-up. At 7:30 in the morning in Florida it was only 73 degrees, but sunny and humid. Even though I wasn't going very far, I still took water in my Simple Hydration bottle. ---> ask me how you can get a discount!

My route took me to the trail. The last time I was here I ran the whole 5K loop with mrC, but today I just ran a short loop in and out. I loved running on the soft surface.

When I got back to the house, I had run 26 intervals for a total of 2 miles! The last time I ran 2 miles was back in February and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to run anymore. I was so happy with my run today, all I could do is smile. It's nothing like I used to do, but I told mrC that I would be thrilled if my knee let me run a 5K once in a while.

After showering, I watched the Olympic Men's Marathon and wow! It was a great day for the USA. Galen Rupp earned a Bronze Medal, Jarod Ward finished in 6th place, and Meb Keflezighi pushed through stomach issues to cross the line 33rd. 

Lesson 1: you don't have to be the most experienced runner to do well. Rupp ran only his second marathon today.

Lesson 2: If you want to stay in it, you have to dig deep. Jarod Ward dropped off the lead pack and with the gap widening he tapped into his reserve tank and started picking off runners to fight his way back.

Lesson 3: If you fall, get back up and do it with class ;) I love how Meb turned his fall at the finish into a flourish of good humor.

Regular calorie eats from today:

Breakfast: scrambled eggs with ham, fruit, GF toast, and coffee

Lunch: turkey breast, grapes, diet dew (but I only ate the grapes!)
Immediately after taking this photo, my dad told me we were going out for Mexican (yay!!) and then I snuck a handful of rice snacks.

Dinner: chicken quesadilla, chips and queso, water

What got you smiling today?
Did you watch the marathon?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Shred Day 6: 25% Fewer Calories and Two Words

It's been such a great rest day that I don't want to spoil it with a bunch of superfluous words. So today's post is inspired by low calorie day: 25 percent fewer calories and two words per picture.

Florida room

Wish list

Best dog

Fast Kate

My eats:

Breakfast ingredients

Lunch smoothie

Summer grilling

Brownie fix

Good carbs

My macros

Until tomorrow...

Friday, August 19, 2016

Shred Day 4 & 5: Fast Day Diversions and An Upper Body Workout

I spent my entire fast day on Thursday traveling from Montreal to Orlando to visit my dad and stepmom. Traveling can be a good distraction from fasting (at least I was hoping it would be).

Usually when I travel my weakness is snacking on lots of not so great food. At the airport I tried to keep myself away from the food by browsing the duty free loop. I really liked these Ray-Bans.

Before I even got to my gate I started getting messages that my flight was delayed. Delayed flights = massage chair time. Another great distraction from fasting.

My first flight ended up being so delayed that I missed my connection in Chicago creating a very long layover and late arrival in Florida. Seriously delayed flight and a missed connection = adult beverage. 

After waiting over three hours for my rebooked flight, airport chaos led to another hour delay. Too many planes, not enough space or push-back crews. 

I finally arrived in Orlando close to midnight. After sleeping in today and catching up with my dad and stepmom, I finally got in an afternoon workout. 

I was too low energy to go to the fitness center, so I used my dad's at home resistance training system (affiliate link) and I was impressed with how many exercises I could do. One of these might end up in my suitcase when we head back to China.

Today's workout:
  • ●  BACK
    • ○  Compound row: 2 sets of 8­-10 reps
    • ○  Superman on the mats to failure
  • ●  BICEPS
    • ○  Dumbbell curls: 2 sets of 8-­10 reps
    • ○  Straight bar curls: 2 sets of 8­-10 reps
    • ○  Hammer curls: 2 sets of 8-­10 reps
  • ●  TRICEPS
    • ○  Overhead dumbbell extension: 2 sets of 8-­10 reps
    • ○  Dumbbell tricep kick­back: 2 sets of 8­-10 reps
    • ○  Cable push down with rope: 2 sets of 8-­10 reps
    • ○  Dips: 2 sets of 15
I was able to use the bands to do all of the exercise motions in the workout. A couple of them were repetitive, but I could feel my muscles burning and that's all that matters. 

My dad took me to get a guest pass for the fitness center, so I will be able to go there to do my sprints next week.

What I ate (fast and regular calorie days):

Broke my fast...with the above adult beverage, a chicken quesadilla (forgot picture) and airplane pretzels. Surprisingly, I was good on calories and not far off my macros.

Breakfast: scrambled eggs and ham, pb&j toast, coffee
I enjoyed making this meal for my dad and stepmom after keeping them out so late the night before.

Lunch: turkey breast and ranch rice snacks, mt. dew

Dinner: gluten free italian sausage pasta, salad, mt. dew
My stepmom baked this for us (it's one of my favorites).

After dinner we watched a movie. I do not recommend 10 Cloverfield Lane. It's scary and then the twist in the ending is terrible.

Have you ever missed a connection?
Ever used bands to do an arm workout?
Last movie you watched?