Archive | June 2014

Year 2 Week 1: Workout round up

sheep dog

round up!

There are two problems with this weekly round up idea…

the first and most important is that i get a picture in my head of sheepdogs running around chasing my workouts and trying to organise them into a sensible order!

The second problem, is the sheepdogs are not real which means I have to use my often faulty memory to remember what i have done a whole week ago!!
(this is just a temporary logistical issue mind you…this week I will keep a note in my diary ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

So, as it was the beginning of year two and I was on something on an enthusiasm high from ending year one, I threw myself into it all with renewed zeal.

not that I think i had lost any zeal…but now I have more ๐Ÿ˜€

yes it is :-)

yes it is ๐Ÿ™‚ click on it for my review ๐Ÿ™‚

Monday
Lunchtime: 2.9km walk
PM: Insanity “fit test”
(this is not actually counted as a workout in the insanity program but believe me it is hard work and last for 30 mins!)

Tuesday
AM: Personal training Session (inc my deadlifts)
Lunchtime: 2.13km walk
PM: Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Wednesday
AM: Insanity CardioPower and Resistance
Lunchtime: 3.08km walk
PM: Dancing ๐Ÿ™‚

Thursday
PM: Insanity Cardio Recovery

Friday
Lunchtime: 2.67km ย Walk
PM: Insanity Pure Cardio

IMG_4186[1]

not the best run in the world..but it was something…

Saturday
AM: Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit
PM Run 5.9km

Sunday:
AM: Pilates
(it was the official planned Insanity rest day)

After a week with so many high intensity work outs, if felt pretty odd to stop and do the slower paced Pilates on Sunday!

In fact it felt so odd that I actually got changed ready to go for another run on Sunday evening, until I talked some sense into myself!

I am getting much better at this self awareness thing…I knew really that I needed a break from the intensity that is insanity on Sunday, and that running would not set me up well for next week!

Week 1 Complete ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Jump Around…

 

…Jump around, jump up, jump up and get down!

jump_around_poster-p228422818286693051tdcp_400Because we haven’t had a 90s music reference for such a long time…

hours at least…

anyway…Jump around seemed like the obvious reference for my initial thoughts on Insanity…

Either that or Insane in the Brain

they are similar and I seem to be getting distracted..

I have been doing Insanity for the whole year now and I thought it was about time to tell you about it.

OK…not the whole whole year…

the whole new 365 project year…so in fact 6 days ๐Ÿ˜‰

(sorry…I feel like it is a strangely warm new year!)

Ok…I’ll start that again…

I have now completed the first week of Insanity and I thought I would let you know my initial thoughts on it, in case you were thinking of trying it.

I’ll give you a few clues:

I did the fit-test which elicited this:

fit test

 

Then on the first proper workout day I did “Plyometric Cardio Circuit” which gave rise to these:

IMG_4173[1]

 

insan1

 

Which is quite an extreme reaction!

Since then I have don the Cardio Power and Resistance workout and the Cardio Recovery workouts. So far, it is as hard as they say it is! I have heard it said (by the imfomercials) that it is the hardest workout put on DVD, and so far I can well believe it.

It is challenging, there is a lot of jumping, especially in the plyometric section (I believe plyometrics is also known as jump training) and it keeps getting faster and he keeps pushing you! There are a lot of power moves and not a lot of rest. Finishing it will be a challenge, but an awesome one!

Of course it is hard, of course it is a challenge…that is the point, the thing it is hard to assess from the infomercials and websites, is that it would seem to be a well thought out and well written program.

it is aptly named ๐Ÿ˜€

Continually throughout the workout, Shaun T explains the importance of good form. He stresses the importance of the stretches and the warm up. He encourages you to push harder and go faster, but only to the point where you can maintain proper form! He is constantly reminding people (us at home and people in the videos) not to sacrifice form for speed. On a few occasions he stops people in the videos and makes them slow down to get better form, while explaining why so you know if you are making the same mistakes.

The workouts seem to be organised to they don’t work the same thing two days in a row, and cardio recovery was a cross between yoga and core strengthening and stretching. It was still a workout, and not easy, but it really did feel like a recovery after the previous two days hard blast. Pure Cardio, on the other hand was crazy crazy! It was continuous cardio moves, one after another for a minute each with no breaks!

It is almost like someone put some thought into ways to allow people to sustain 6 day a week workouts without burning out ๐Ÿ™‚

Shaun T is incredibly motivating, without being shouty or over the top, he doesn’t pretend it is easy, but makes you feel like he believes you can do it.

Yes I know that he can’t see me and that he has no idea what I am actually doing, but I suppose he knows the points where people are going to start finding it hard and where they are going to need the motivation!

The other thing that impresses me in this video is the importance that is attached to stretching. He says it in every workout, don’t miss the stretch!! and they are good stretches, covering all the major muscle groups, including hip flexors. Which are huge muscles and used a lot in jumping moves but are rarely stretched in any DVD work out, and only about 50% of the time in group workout classes! As someone who has tight hip flexors that have become injured in the past, the simple inclusion of this stretch has really impressed me ๐Ÿ™‚

The is no question that this workout will get you fit, and that done properly, and in conjunction with healthy eating you will see results ๐Ÿ™‚ of some sort. It will break you and make you want to fall on the floor in a heap…but there is a chance that you will get up again a little bit fitter every time ๐Ÿ˜€

In case you haven’t guessed…I love this program!

It is one of those that I am sure never feels easier, as the better you get the harder you work, but I am sure that even after only a week, I am doing slightly better than I was 6 days ago!! we will see at the end of next week when I repeat the fitness test!!

So would I recommend you try this…

yes…

but only if you already have a descent level of workout ability and fitness! If I had tried this this time last year, there would be no hope of me completing it!

It really is as hard as they say, whether I change my body in the same way as the “before and after” photos of people remains to be seen, but I fully expect to be fitter ๐Ÿ˜€

my progress tracker :-)

my progress tracker ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

Winds of Change…

Good afternoon ๐Ÿ™‚ I thought I would write a quick housekeeping postย ย to let you know about my planned blog format changes.

early 90s music reference anyone :-D

early 90s music reference anyone ๐Ÿ˜€

In myย What Nextย post I mentioned that was thinking of changing the type of posts I do on here, I was considering doing a once or twice a week workout round up, instead of daily updates full of “what I did next” details. I have decided that this is the way to go.

I am going to do, probably on a monday, a round up of all my workouts in a week.

This will free me up to tell you more of my thoughts about issues in the health and fitness industry.

I will also tell you of any particularly exciting things that I do, like awesome dancing weekends, new challenges or particularly important steps in my superhero quest…

In fact I may end up posting even more, but hopefully more interesting content ๐Ÿ™‚

Any feedback on this is welcome ๐Ÿ˜€

 

Step one in becoming a superhero…

Super Strength

After reviewing my options for gaining super strength, I cam up with the following options:

1) Radioactive spill

2) Radioactive spider bite

3) Unfortunate lab accident

4) Be born into the slayer line

5) lift up heavy things and put them down again…repeat

I discounted 1-3 as I don’t want to be radioactive an I don’t work in a lab.

The.spell.and.slayers

Goddess Willow…Nifty!

as for number 4, if I was born into the slayer line, after Willow’s nifty bit of magic in the last episode, I would know by now

So that just left me with number 5.

Lift heavy things up and put them down again in multiple different way until super strength is achieved!

That works right?

So in a round about sort of way…what I am leading up to is, I have been practicing my 80kg deadlifts again…and I was actually brave enough to let Matt take my photo while doing it!!

IMG_4166[1]

60kg warm up lift ๐Ÿ˜€

Pre lift :-)

Pre lift ๐Ÿ™‚

80kg :-D yeay!!

80kg ๐Ÿ˜€ yeay!!

look how awesome that is!!

Yes…this post was totally just an excuse to say look at me and my 80kg (176 lb) deadlift!!

It was also in a slightly more subtle way, it was a way to say, look how much I have progressed, that I can look at photos of myself and see the good ๐Ÿ™‚

I know I have still a way to go, but I can see that in that picture I look strong ๐Ÿ˜€

The only comments I had were…aren’t my hands tiny and look how good my form is ๐Ÿ˜€

 

What Next?

Where do I go from here? How do I follow such an awesome 365 project?

cat hobo

I appreciate this is not the most obvious “what next” image…but I liked it…

What is the logical next step?

Year of pizza and cake?

that has a certain appeal but may be a little self defeating…

Before I could really decide what come next I had to consider whether I was where I wanted to be.

I have achieved my goals I set (and more)ย over this last year and I am immensely proud of what I have achieved.

But am I where I ultimately want to be?

The honest answer to this is no.

I am fit, so much fitter than this time last year, and so much healthier (physically and mentally) but I am not done yet.

I have still got a way to go before I can do all the things I want to do without my size/weight/fitness holding me back.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not feel held back in the same way as I did last year, I am not self conscious in the same way either, but I am also aware of certain facts.

I am still at the size that I have to prove my fitness to people.

I am still technically obese
OK I am aware that the height weight charts that tell me this are mostly made up and crazy. After all according to that chart I still have to lose 4.5 stone (63lbs) until I am at the correct weight for my height

No…shhh! Don’t worry!

I am not trying to lose that much weight!!

that would be pure craziness!

I am not actually trying to lose weight as such. I am still focused on health and fitness as much as I was last year, with added caveat that I would like to lose some fat.

Reducing my body fat% is definitely going to be beneficial, it will allow me to be fitter, healthier, and dance better ๐Ÿ™‚

(yes…it is still all about the dancing!)

So with all that in mind, I am going to commit here and now to another year of ย exercise and healthy choices!

Effectively turning this into a 730 day project!

I am still not on a quest to get “skinny”!

I am still not on “a diet” in the commonly accepted sense of the word!
(I am on a diet in the purely scientific sense of the word…because all diet means is the things you eat…and I do eat…obviously)

I am on a quest to become even fitter and healthier, to be able to dance longer and in multiple kits if necessary, and to feel comfortable with myselfย as a personal trainer ๐Ÿ˜€

avengers-gif_o_145258

I’d like to be an avenger…apart from the Hulk…I don’t want to be the Hulk…the muscles are ok..I just don’t want to be green!

Or to put it another way entirely…I am going to continue my quest to become a superhero!

Thor, maybe or Buffy…

๐Ÿ˜€

So to recap…it is business as usual around here and will remain so for the next year at least ๐Ÿ˜€

and by then, perhaps I will be confident enough that I won’t slip back into old habits that I can do without a 365 project ๐Ÿ˜€

This year is going to be slightly different, I am hoping to become more focused. I want to put more emphasis on lifting and more emphasis on setting short term goals which will build on my fitness and strength.

The first major step in my superhero quest (and my next scary new thing for June) is Insanity!

IMG_4051[1]

This is craziness…

The work out!

Not the mental state…

although some might say that they are one and the same!

This is a 60 day workout plan, and as such will form the first 2 months challenges for this new year!

In addition to that, I will still be dancing, and doing PT sessions and I would very much like to add more strength training sessions in the freeweights room.

I think I have waffled on enough now, to basically say everything will remain the same!

I hope you will carry on following me and I hope to go on to greater things this year ๐Ÿ˜€

Just as a heads up, I am toying with the idea of condensing my exercise posts into 2 / 3 per week and adding in other relevant health and fitness thoughts posts. Let me know what you think…

๐Ÿ˜€

Reflections…

365 days have passed since I rather rashly declared to the world that I would do some form of exercise or activity every day for the next year, and the time has come to reflect on everything that has happened during that process…

reflections

I took this a while ago…it seemed appropriate ๐Ÿ˜€

ok…not everything…I am not going through the whole year day by day…that would be pure craziness…

It’d also take me another year…and I have new and exciting things to do in the coming year!

No don’t ask me what…I don’t know yet…

Ok, I do know some things but I will come to those later (in my what next? post)

Firstly my year…

I had one aim:
To get fit enough to dance in a mask
To become sufficiently fit and healthy that I could dance as many dances as necessary without having to have breaks and without looking like I was only just keeping up!

I had one method by which I was going to do this:
I pledged to do at least 30 mins of exercise / activity every single day for the next 365 days. I decided to blog about it to keep myself accountable, and so that I would have a record of the year at the end!

Did I achieve what I set out to do…

In short yes I did, I exercised every day as stated, and I definitely became fit enough to dance in a maskย .

Where weight loss wasn’t my primary focus, I was hoping for it as a side effect, after all it was pretty apparent that I wasn’t going to achieve my goal without becoming lighter…

To that end I have lost a grand total of:
2 stone 9.3 lbs
(equivalent to: 37.3 lbs or 19.9 kg)

I have to say that this was not achieved through exercise alone, about 2 weeks into my challenge, it became obvious to me that I wasn’t going to see the positive change I wanted without sorting out my eating habits! I needed to do this to really see a healthier fitter me!

So a faced the fact that I was still comfort eating like crazy, and that I had a huge sugar dependency, and I cut it all out! It sounds easy put like that, but it wasn’t easy at first…however, the longer I ate healthy for, the less I wanted to eat badly.

no dietThe most important thing about this overhaul was the fact that I was not on a diet, and I am not on a diet now. I track what I eat and keep an eye on the calories and macros, but only in a vague way to make sure I am paying attention. I deny myself nothing (within reason) I just make sure that I am making conscious eating choices. I make healthy choices 80 (ish)% of the time, and if I want a chocolate or a biscuit, I just have to make sure I know why I want it.

Gone are the days of eating because I am sad or cross or in the car.

Most ofย the time I cook real food from scratch and avoid processed sugar. simple as that! More or less… there is a lot of stuff about artificial sweeteners and insulin spikes and such too but I will tell you all about that another day, if you want to know…

So…in a year of exercise and eating healthily, I have lost weight and got fitter…to be honest these are the expected results and I would have been cross if I hadn’t!

What I wasn’t bargaining for was the unexpected outcomes and things I have learned this year:

You're all Brilliant!

You’re all Brilliant!

1) I wasn’t expecting anyone to follow my blog…let alone people who would provide me with such amazing advice and support that I now consider them to be friends albeit ones who are separated from me by oceans (at most) and half the country (at least) I honestly think that these people have made my year considerably easier!! Thank you!!ย (Nancy!! Helen!! Fi!!)
Not to mention of course all the support I have had from the people who know me in real life too ๐Ÿ˜€ (Mark, Rachel, Dan….EVERYONE!!)

2) I wasn’t expecting to become a qualified level 2 gym instructor and half way to becoming a personal trainer! I have become so invested in this lifestyle that I want to make it a permanent part of me and help others do the same ๐Ÿ™‚

3) I have learned that I can face my fears and try new things (and old newly scary things) and the world doesn’t explode!
I have gone climbing despite being terrified after breaking my leg
Iย have gone to gymnastics for the first time in 25 years
I have tried Zumba (although I wish I hadn’t)
I have tried Sh’bam (despite not being able to take the name seriously)
I have found a kickboxing class after not having one for 4 years
I have done 4816 (or so) squats in one month
I have learned to hula hoop

this list goes on!!

4) I have learned to run but decided I will never be a runner. I have run on and off for a year, I have improved beyond everything that I thought I ever would, but I have discovered (decided) along way that I have not got the physiology to be a long distance runner. I have not got the right endurance type muscle fibres. I can (and have) improve, but long distance running is never going to be my thing. I am happy with that too. I am happy with the running I do and I find it helpful. But in general, I am built for picking up heavy things!

Deadlifts-15) related to that…I have learned to pick up heavy things! I have a current maximum deadlift of 80kg (176 lbs) and this makes me very happy! I had to run the gauntlet of funny looks at first when I was the short overweight girl in the freeweights area…but I don’t get these any more ๐Ÿ˜€

6) I think the biggest unexpected change has been in my outlook. I have turned form a person who was very unhappy with myself, into someone who can now smile in photographs. I have turned into someone who is (mostly) un-self -consciousness and not ashamed of the way they look. I see the progress now instead of the flaws (most of the time).
Before this year, I was not unhappy with a lot of aspects of my life, but I was not happy with myself, I could see my self-destruction but for some reason not stop it!
I have found myself this year, the me I lost somewhere under a pile of sugar and comfort eating.
I have turned back into the person my Mum would be proud of!

my feet didnt even reach the ground!

“if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely” Roald Dahl

I don’t normally so quotes…they can get a little cheesy…but that one seemed particularly appropriate ๐Ÿ˜€ and Roald Dahl is cool!

I’ll leave you with all that for now! There may be more if I remember other things I have learned…

 

 

Day 365 (and 366…technically): On the First Day I Danced…

and on the last day I danced ๐Ÿ˜€

and danced and danced!

I decided I would do a new thing (new thing for June number 6) and actually video these days and tell you what was going on rather than trying to remember it afterwards ๐Ÿ˜€

I will do a round up of the year and a what comes next post later, but for now here is a record of days 365 and 366 (I decided to do both as 366 was back at the Weald and Downland museum, same place as day 2!)

please excuse the shaky camership and the times when I ran out of things to say…


We performed the Green Man story both days over the weekend, and I danced all of the story dances on both occasions ๐Ÿ˜€

that is 5 dances, in a row with minimal breaks ๐Ÿ˜€

In addition to that, I danced 4 or soย dances in the other 2 sets on both days…bringing the total for the weekend up to about 26 dances ๐Ÿ˜€

and last week (as I mentioned…I did 27 dances and a procession over the weekend)

contrast that to this time last year when I did 14 dances over the course of the weekend!! ๐Ÿ˜€

here is some proof in the form of Thor’s Hammer:


It is a strange feeling to have finished, it is a little anti climactic. I find myself, although allowed to take a complete rest day, unwilling to and IO find that I don’t want to go for a day with no activity, it feels like a part of me now ๐Ÿ˜€

One thing I do know is the project was a success…

I can now declare myself….Fit Enough to Dance in a Mask!!

IMG_4110[1]

 

and although you have seen these before, I thought it was appropriate to add them to this post too…

Then..

Then..

Now :-D

Now ๐Ÿ˜€

Day 365 (and 366) Complete ๐Ÿ˜€

Day 364: Runner?

Or possibly a jogging experiment…

After a lengthy conversation with Nancy from “My Years of Sweat” about her dislike of running and the definition of running vs jogging and the relative paces of each, I decided to go for a run on Friday night, but felt slightly paranoid while I was doing it.

Was I running?

Was I jogging?

Did it matter?

Was I wasting my time?

I came to the following conclusions:

blade runner

yes… well… not that sort of runner certainly!

Jogging is a type of running so yes I was running (albeit very slowly and in intervals) although I don’t really care if some people deem it jogging ๐Ÿ™‚

The paces that are set down in places like gyms for jogging verses running are arbitrary and change according to the person involved and their ability.

Basically if both feet are off the ground at the same time, and you are not moving with a rolling heel – toe motion (I have been reading about barefoot running…this last bit came from there) then you are running.

Despite all this, I don’t really call myself a runner. I sometimes run, but I am not a runner, I thought I might be becoming one at one point but I am not.

I like the running I do, I have improved and hopefully will continue to do so, but I am not dedicated enough to focus on running enough to be a runner per se!

Lastly, I am not wasting my time doing it, I raise my heart rate and breathing rate much more in the run intervals, and in doing so I improve my CV endurance, I have short walk intervals where my body learns to recover quickly. All these things help with the dancing…and logical or not, I feel like I am fitter when I dance, if I incorporate some runs into my schedule.

I hasten to add, that Nancy never suggested that I was wasting my time, or that I wasn’t a runner… all of these questions were from my own brain! ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_4145[1]

I decided to run without a fixed interval pattern this time. I roughly followed the pattern on the Zombies run app where I walked in the story clips and ran during the songs, but I didn’t follow that religiously…

It wasn’t my best run, I think I was over thinking it…

but I did more or less enjoy myself, and I realised at the end, I hadn’t run for two weeks and therefore I wasn’t too bad ๐Ÿ˜€

I also remembered during this run that I have to keep in mind the real reason I took up running in the first place…

Tardis

yes…just in case this ever comes for me ๐Ÿ˜€

I run in case I ever got picked up by the Tardis to be Doctor WHo’s companion… running is important to that job ๐Ÿ™‚ I wrote about it here:

the Dr Who contingency!

Day 364 complete ๐Ÿ˜€

Day 363: New thing Thursday

Remember back in the olden days (a year ago) when I used to do random things on a Thursday?

Well this Thursday I decided to keep up this longstanding tradition…and do something that definitely counts as June’s 5th new thing!

Academy of Martial Arts no less...

Academy of Martial Arts no less…

I found a Kickboxing class at non other than the village hall in Coolham where Mythago practice is held!!

I have been looking at the adverts for this for about 2 years, since we started dancing at this hall.

I finally went along last night.

Kenagi is a mobile club that holds classes at various different places around the area.

Apparently the Coolham class is not the busiest…there were only 4 people in it including me!

I had mixed feelings about the class, the instructor is a very sarcastic guy, in a way that can com across as mean rather than amusing. He does not seem to be the sort to mince words or take any crap!

dancing

imagine this hall…only with 4 mean looking kickboxers and no morris dancers…

He is also very keen on pointing out what you are doing wrong…which is fine as you are there to learn and need to know the right way. However, there is room for occasional positive reinforcement!

Don’t get me wrong…I don’t expect to be babied, it was just a very different style of teaching to that to which I am accustomed!

It was also a different style of kickboxing.

I have a tendency to dislike things that are different from the way I amused to doing things, and I recognised that I was doing this at one point so actually (for once) managed to ignore my fear of change!

The other thing I did (apart from being rusty) was overthink everything and worry too much about getting it right, which then caused me to get it wrong!

I did enjoy myself however, and I do want to give it more than one weeks chance!!

I would like to go for long enough to make the guy stop calling me the “young lady” and to learn that treating me differently because I am female will just piss me off (which may have been the point)

I would also like to get better…I used to be good at this and I want to be again!

The class consisted of some warm up / conditioning followed by techniques and general hitting of pads, and in my case being told I was getting things wrong…a lot!

I will keep you posted about this…I am determined not to talk myself out if it next week!

Day 363 Complete ๐Ÿ˜€

Day 362: Have I told you about the Green Man?

I probably have, I have certainly told you that Mythago tell the green man story but I don’t think I told you much about the story its self…

green man 1

This is the chap…

(forgive me if I have…)

The green Many in mythology is a representation of the rebirth of the land in the springtime, and seeming death in winter, ย his story is the story of the seasons and the wheel of the year.

there is more info about him Here.

He is also a very common carving and representation around the churches and pubs of the UK, more info here

This coming weekend we are retelling the green man story twice, so Wednesday’s dance practice was half given over to making sure there were enough people who know the dances!

It turns out I am one of them…(I did technically know this as I was in all of them a couple of weeks ago)

the story dances are:
Earth Mother
Summerland
End of the world
Thor’s Hammer
Avebury Ring

so I did all of those…

we also had time to practice other dances, some with walks through so the new members would get a go and these were:

Maiden Castle
Triskele
Star of the County Down
King of the Fairies
Raggle Taggle Gypsy
Fanny Frail

Day 362 Complete ๐Ÿ˜€

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Sunshine, Smiles & Happy Miles

The Performance People

Horsham Personal Training, Sports Therapy and Nutritional Therapy

cogitjoggett

blogging about Janathon and Juneathon running challenges

hayleymorcom.wordpress.com/

simplifying a happy healthy lifestyle

bloominolive

never perfect. always progressing. keep bloomin.

The Warrior Project

Become the modern warrior in what ever you do.