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October Challenge Recap!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Well hello there, Friends! October has been wild. Nonetheless, I was basically able to stick with my challenge plan. Here were some set backs:

My aching left hip, knee, shin, and foot. So, not as much jump rope as I'd planned.

Inability to find archived episodes of the kickboxing program on the newly re-designed So I subbed with some other shows.

My broken computer = decreased ability to find interesting new exercises, less blogging, and no videos.

I started my new job (which is overall a really big YAY! but the change in routine needed a little adjustment time).


Though I didn't jump rope too much I did make up some fun routines involving double unders and criss crosses. :)

I can now run two miles straight! This is huge! Progress was made before it gets too cold for this asthmatic wheezer!

I realized I do enjoy straight strength training. Whowouldathunk.

Having a "wildcard" day is really helpful in not getting too bored.

And most importantly, I'm more of a "big picture" person. I experimented a little with not tracking exercise and food and now I know it's okay to do that. Ate a little too much today? Fine. Had an extra rest day? No worries. Don't feel like doing Yoga today? Running sounds more fun anyway.

So while I doubt I'll do any sort of challenge with a schedule like that again, it was a learning experience. :)

Happy November!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

7MINFIT 5/7/2012 1:32PM

  Like what you are doing. Truly an inspiration to me and I'm sure others. I am still exercising at a little less strenuous level, but improving. I found a program that I follow now.

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7MINFIT 5/7/2012 1:32PM

  Like what you are doing. Truly an inspiration to me and I'm sure others. I am still exercising at a little less strenuous level, but improving. I found a program that I follow now.

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VW_STEPH 11/7/2011 2:36PM

    Sounds like an interesting learning curve, and a new sucessful attitude to take on. Don't panic, smile and carry on or find an alternative!

I'm glad for the new job being a YAY! :D x

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JOANNA202 11/2/2011 7:28AM

    Glad to see your October challenge was a positive experience too. It sounds like you don't need detailed structure anyway if you're able to step away from the trackers for a while. I'm frighteningly dependent on them (or addicted?) but I know what you mean about adapting exercise to your mood. It's all exercise anyway, and definitely best to do something that feels enjoyable instead of sticking to a plan you're bored of for the sake it.

Here's to more success in November!

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"1 2 3 4 Get Your Woman on the Floor" Workout

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hello, Spark Friends! I hope you're all well! My regular computer has been on the fritz for a while, and finally bit it earlier this week. As such, I'm updating from a machine on which I'm unfamiliar how to create videos.

First, an update on my self-made October challenge. First week went off without a hitch! I got in all of the runs, kickboxing, high intensity aerobics, circuit training, jump rope, yoga, and dog walk sessions in. The second week has been pretty good except I nixed the jump rope today in favor of resting my hips, shins, and toes. Hopefully I'll be back in tip top condition by Monday.

Now, on to yesterday's workout! It was a good one for the abs, with every other interval being a plank position exercise. No dedicated cardio intervals at all, yet I still managed to gasp for air by the end. LOL

36 rounds of 40 seconds exercise, 10 seconds rest

One Leg Dive Bomber (alternating) 6 5 5 5
Shrimp Squat (left) 4 5 5 5
Plank Side Leg Raises (alternating) 13 14 11 14
Shrimp Squat (right) 5 5 4 5
Elbow to Palm Planks 6 7 7 7
One Leg Wall Sit (left)
Reptile Push Ups 8 9 8 8
One Leg Wall Sit (right)
Diagonal Knee Tucks 20 14 17 20

One Legged Dive Bomber: Beginning in pike position with one leg off the floor and knee bent, start to do a push up. As you lower your nose more towards the floor, push your elbows outward. Pretend you are sliding your head under an imaginary bar. Arch your back and bring your head up until you are facing the ceiling. Now reverse the movement, sliding back under the imaginary bar and ending again in pike position. This is one rep. Change legs for each rep. For extra super awesome cool points, keep your leg straight and behind you instead of bent.

Shrimp Squat: What can I say? I just love shrimp squats! Start in standing position with left foot planted on the floor, right knee bent with right foot behind you held with your right hand. Keep your left arm straight out in front of you for balance. Now lower yourself as far as you can go, keeping your weight on the left heel. Come back up to complete one rep.

Plank Position Side Leg Raises: In plank position, keep your right leg straight and swing it outward, trying to bring it perpendicular to your body. Return it to plank position to complete one rep. Swing your left leg outward and back to complete a second rep. I was really inflexible with this move, so I hope you do better!

During the next interval, perform the Shrimp Squat with your right foot planted on the floor, holding your left foot behind you.

Elbow to Palm Plank: Begin in plank position, on the balls of your feet, and on your elbows. (If you begin with your butt up in the air a little, this exercise is easier.) Press forward, roll onto your toes and come onto your palms. Reverse the movement to complete one rep.

One Leg Wall Sit: Lean against a wall, squatting down so your thighs are parallel to the floor so you are in a chair looking position. Now lift your right leg and rest your right ankle on top of your left thigh. Hold this position for the entire interval.

Reptile Push Up: Begin in plank position. As you do a push up, lift your right foot off the floor, and bring your right knee forward, trying to touch it to your right elbow. As you push back up, return your leg to starting position. For the second rep, bring your left knee towards your left elbow.

For the next interval, perform the One Leg Wall Sit on the right leg.

Diagonal Knee Tucks: Beginning in plank position, bring your right knee towards your left elbow, then return to regular plank position. This is one rep. For the second rep, bring your left knee towards your right elbow, and return to plank position.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JADUNN68 10/24/2011 11:07PM

    Those One Legged Dive Bombers are the worse. Keep it up!!!

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JOANNA202 10/16/2011 12:58PM

    Congrats on your October challenge so far. Can you believe it's half way through already?!

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GIANTMICROBE 10/15/2011 8:00AM

    Shrimp squats sound fun!

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VYVIENN 10/15/2011 4:57AM

    Great going on your October challenge!!

Every time I read Shrimp Squat, I get sore... emoticon

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AMUSICALMOM 10/14/2011 7:39PM


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"I'm a Lumberjack (and that's okay)" Workout

Thursday, October 06, 2011

This strength-focussed workout lasts 30 minutes, though feel free to cut it in half! It got a little tedious and repetitive for my liking, but my muscles were definitely fatigued by the end. Set your timer for 36 rounds of 40 seconds exercise, 10 seconds rest:

Complete the circuit SIX times:

Hit the Decks: 13, 12, 12, 10, 10, 10
Plank Slides: 8, 7, 7, 10, 9, 9
Lunge and Tricep Extension: 11, 11, 9, 11, 8, 10
Halo: 11, 12, 12, 10, 11, 11
Hip Thrust: 13, 14, 13, 15, 15, 15
Wood Chopper: 10, 10, 10, 12, 12, 11

Hit the Decks: Stand with a wide stance. Take six quick steps running in place. Squat down, put your hands on the floor, jump your feet back into plank position, then back in. Stand up. This is one rep. Watch Funk Roberts do this here:

Plank Slide: Place a folded towel under your feet and get into plank position. Slide your feet forward, keeping your legs as straight as possible, until you are in a pike position. Slide back out into plank. This is one rep.

Alternatively, you can do plank walk outs. Being in standing position. Keeping legs as straight as possible, bend over and put your hands on the floor. Walk your hands out until you are in plank position. Walk back in and stand up. This is one rep.

Lunge and Tricep Extension: Begin in a split stance and lunge straight down. Hold a weight on either end with both hands, elbows raised above your head and arms bent behind you. As you lift your hips straight up, unbend the arms so that the weight is above your head. Lunge back down, bending the arms. This is one rep.

Perform the Lunge and Tricep Extension with the legs in the opposite position when you repeat the circuit.

Halo: Get into a half squat. Hold a dumbbell with one hand on each end. Keeping hold of it the entire time, rotate your arms so that the dumbbell orbits your head counter-clockwise. Each rotation is one rep. For the next circuit, rotate clockwise. Watch Marianne do this with a kettlebell here:

Hip Thrust: You'll need two pieces of sturdy furniture. You will be laying belly up. Your upper back is supported by one piece of furniture, with arms stretched out to your sides also resting on the furniture. Your left leg is bent and left foot on another piece of furniture. Keeping your right leg bent and free, scoop it down and then up high so your shin is parallel to the ceiling. Watch the video to see the movement, though I did have to compensate since my furniture wasn't high enough. :) For the next circuit, perform the thrust with the right foot stationary and the left leg scooping down and up. Please note that I incorrectly labelled this "single glute raise" in the video. Watch another method here:

Wood Chop: Stand with knees slightly bent, feet in a slightly wide stance. Hold one dumbbell with two hands. Bring it above your right shoulder, almost like a baseball bat. Swing it (but in a controlled manner) across your body diagonally towards the outside of your left calf. Simultaneously, pivot on your right foot so your right leg rotates inwards. Reverse the movement to bring the dumbbell above your right shoulder again. This is one rep. For the next circuit, perform the wood chop on the opposite side, chopping from the left shoulder to the right calf. Here is a good demonstration:

Try it! You might like it! :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VW_STEPH 10/10/2011 2:06PM

    Hey yoooou! :D

I was a Lumberjack tonight! But only a half one. I didn't fancy something really long so i halved this for the 15 mins. Glad i did because i was really tired by the last set!

Hit the Decks: 10-10-10
Plank Slides: 8-9-9 (these were nice and interesting! and tough!)
Lunge and Tricep Extension: 12-11-12
Halo: 12-15-14
Hip Thrust: 13-13-13 (Yours are way cool :P)
Wood Chopper: 15-14-14

Thank you for another lovely workout. You never fail in making me sweat and struggle! :) x

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TRUELYMI 10/9/2011 7:58AM

    Hey girly, did this killerthing - ahem, I mean workout - today emoticon
I managed f o u r rounds of it and since I didn't have a single drop of sweat left in my body I had to give up ;) Well, I was in a bit of a hurry also but my arms are WEAK!!!

This was a good one though - thanks a lot
emoticon from Germany ;)

Have great rest of a sunday

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Try My "Clean it Up" Workout

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

My workout today was a mix of exercises I’ve done before and some new ones! Quite enjoyable. Find the video here:

So set your timer and get to it!

Total time: 30 minutes
30 rounds of 45 seconds exercise, 10 seconds rest
Complete the circuit three times:

Pendulum: 80, 51, 67
One Leg Row (left): 14, 12, 12
One Leg Row (right): 17, 14, 11
Swipe: 19, 16, 17
Elbow to Palm Plank: 7, 8, 8
In and Out Squats: 40, 34, 28
Split Goblet Squat (left): 17, 16, 17
Split Goblet Squat (right): 16, 16, 18
Plyo Push Ups: 12, 12, 11
Windshield Wipers: 15, 13, 13

Pendulum: Get into pike position, with feet apart. Raise your right leg and try to get it parallel to the floor. This is the starting position. Now, put your weight onto your arms and bring your right foot to the floor towards you as your left foot jumps out and becomes parallel to the floor. This is one rep. Switch your legs back and forth as fast as possible, but still making the motion big enough so it is intense for you.

One Leg Row: Here’s a move from Womens Health Magazine that made me feel real bad-ass. “[S]tand with your feet hip-width apart, weights at your sides. Bend forward at the hips while lifting your right leg straight behind you until your body forms a T. Your left knee should be slightly bent. Let your arms hang straight down, palms facing each other[…] Squeeze your shoulder blades together and bring your elbows toward the ceiling until they pass your torso.”

For the next interval, keep your right leg on the floor and lift the left leg straight behind you.

Swipe: Here’s a move from Funk Roberts, who is really great to watch on YouTube!

He calls this a “windmill”. From crab position, bring your right hand over your body and by your left side. You feet will remain on the floor for the entire exercise. Use your left hand to push off the floor so you can quickly bring your arms around to your right side and land on your right hand. This is one rep. Push off the right hand and bring your arms around to the left for your second rep.

Elbow to Palm Plank: Begin in plank position, on the balls of your feet, and on your elbows. (If you begin with your butt up in the air a little, this exercise is easier.) Press forward, roll onto your toes and come onto your palms. Reverse the movement to complete one rep. Got the idea here:

but the mechanics of the move are unclear so I guessed what was going on. :)

In and Out Squats: Start in standing position, feet together. Squat down into a half squat. Then, jump your feet apart and lower your hips into another half squat. This is two reps. (Count one rep each time your feet hit the floor.)

Split Goblet Squat: In standing position, keep your left foot planted on the floor. Bend your right knee and rest the top of your right foot on a piece of furniture behind you. Hold a dumbbell with both hands, palms up, by one plate. The rest of the dumbbell will hang below your hands. Keep the dumbbell at chest level, but do not cradle it to your chest. Squat down so your left shin and thigh create a 90 degree angle. Push up through your left heel, unbending your knee. This is one rep.

During the next interval, keep your right leg on the floor and rest the top of your left foot on the furniture behind you.

Plyo Push Ups: In plank position, perform a push up. Raise yourself explosively so that your hands come up off the floor. Try to land softly on your hands.

Windshield Wipers: This one’s from the same source as was the "Swipe" above. Lay on your back, arms straight out to your sides, arms and palms to the floor. Raise your legs, trying to keep them straight, feet towards the ceiling. This is starting position. Keeping legs straight and together if possible, move them so your feet travel counter-clockwise and touch the floor to the left of your butt. This is one rep. Complete a second rep by moving clockwise and touching your feet on the floor to the right of your butt.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VW_STEPH 10/26/2011 1:36PM

    I finally got around to doing this, yay!
Really enjoyed the new moves and loved your examples in your vid - such a great help! I planned to do all 3 rounds but was getting really tired and my form was beginning to suffer so i finished on the 2 rounds. You're a machine lady! :)

Pendulum: 58-46
One leg row L: 16-15 (with 2x5kg dumbells)
One leg row R: 16-15
Swipe: 29-26 (these were fun!)
Elbow to palm plank: 11-13 (another interesting one)
In & out squats: 40-28
Goblet split squat L: 8-7 (used 20kg kb for these, so hard)
Goblet split squat R: 8-7
Plyo pushups: 13-11
Windshield wipers: 15-15

Thank you! Sorry it took me so long to do! x

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PENFOLDROCKS 10/6/2011 7:28AM

    I did this one today - just 2 rounds due to time constraints (I was glad of this come round 2!)
I used my 12kg KB for all the weighty ones - did the rows with 2 hands
My scores:

Pendulum: 89, 92
One leg row L: 17, 19
One leg row R: 21, 20
Swipe: 24, 27
Elbow to palm plank: 15, 16
In & out squats: 58, 58
Goblet split squat L: 17, 18
Goblet split squat R: 18, 17
Plyo pushups: 20, 19
Windshield wipers: 17, 19

Thank you !!

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VW_STEPH 10/5/2011 3:36PM

    Another already woopii! I'm thinking i could use the kettlebell for the goblet squats.
Think i'll be 'clean(ing) it up'! tomorrow! :D x

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Jumping on the band wagon with a self-made October exercise challenge.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

So many of my lovely Spark Friends have made inspirational, personalized challenges for themselves this month. This sounds like such a great idea! So here's my stab at it.

Monday: 20 minute walk with the dog, 40 minute "Kenpo" video
Tuesday: 30 minute walk/jog, 30 minute strength-focussed circuit training
Wednesday: 20 minute walk with the dog, 40 minute "Chiseled" video
Thursday: 30 minute walk/jog, 30 minute strength-focussed circuit training
Friday: 20 minute walk with the dog, 10-20 minute jump rope, Burn Out
Saturday: Wild card!
Sunday: Yoga video

Here are the links to the "Kenpo" and "Chiseled" videos. They are free, though you do have to sign up on the site. Both classes use exercise bands for some of the moves, but I normally just hold two light dumbbells for resistance.

Since I'll get plenty of cardio elsewhere, the circuit training workouts will be strength-focussed. Some will be made up and posted here and at , and some will be from other websites and blogs.

Last time I re-assessed and set new goals, one was to create some jump rope routines. Putting that in the weekly schedule will make me more likely to do them. :) On Fridays, I'll also push myself to the limit with push up, pull up, and sit up "burn out".

Saturdays will bring whatever I fancy that day. Eventually I hope to go contra dancing regularly again.

Yoga will mainly be from

And just for reference, here's my walking buddy when she was just a puppy. (She's grown up now, but definitely still acts like a puppy.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOANNA202 10/3/2011 5:26PM

    Very glad to have you on the bandwagon with me! Clearly your challenge is more hardcore than mine but hopefully we can both it right through to the end. Ready, get set, go!!

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PENFOLDROCKS 10/3/2011 12:06PM

    Nice! I see you're picking up the running - any particular medium term goal in mind? 5k? 10?
Beautiful doggy btw

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VYVIENN 10/3/2011 3:52AM

    You sure find the most interesting exercise videos online! Thanks for sharing all those links, my faves list is getting rather long!!

Love the little puppy face... my boys are almost 9 now, but they still both manage to do the innocent look, especially Max (our Shepweiler).

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VW_STEPH 10/3/2011 3:25AM

    Nice plan! I'd wish you luck - but i don't think you need any ;)
CUTE lil doggie, awwwhh!!! What's her name? x

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FEED_ME_SHOES 10/3/2011 1:55AM

    I just checked out the kenpo video, looks so much better than the p90x kenpo workout. Love the idea of the 'wild card', i think having a free day to choose whatever workout you want keeps the routine fresh and breaks it up a little.

So are you no longer Bodyrocking, just once a week?

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SHEFFIELD09 10/2/2011 7:11PM

    Sounds like a great plan! Enjoy!

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