Working on my Fitness

Getting On Track In 2014

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The calendar year has only just begun for me. January 2014 was an extension of a terrible 2013 in my household. After being diagnosed with heart disease in late 2012, my father deteriorated all through 2013, including multiple hospitalizations. Knowing there was no cure, and that his particular type of heart disease would eventually take his life, our family banded together and took care of him. We were all caregivers, so his remaining time was as comfortable as possible. We accomplished that and my father has gone home to be with The Lord.

I spent a lot of quality time with my Dad that I wouldn’t trade for anything. But, in the process, my commitment to fitness fell by the wayside; especially from August on. I usually fight hard to avoid the late summer/fall slump, but it got me this year, and that’s perfectly fine.

So, I am now officially starting my 2014. And what better way than with a new fitness program that I haven’t fully committed to before? I dabbled with T25 a couple of times and it looks like a good challenge. I’m also intrigued by P90X3. (It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Beachbody programs, even though I’m no longer a coach.)

In the next couple of days I will decide which program to dive into and purchase. (Feel free to chime in with any suggestions/recommendations.)

I’m also going get more back on track with my nutrition. Staying up to make sure my Dad was ok around the clock (I had the graveyard shift) or spending extended hours in a hospital visiting, doesn’t tend to help with eating right. So I’m going to slowly overhaul what I put in my body, starting with more water! Gonna down a glass/bottle first thing when I wake up and keep myself hydrated throughout the day. I’ve been drinking tons of Mt. Dew in recent months. And while I’ll still allow myself to drink it, I don’t want to consume the quantities I have been! It’s my favorite pop!

So here’s to a much better year!

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Why I Haven’t Pulled The Trigger On GymPact


GymPact is a wonderfully thought out mobile app that pays you for following through with your scheduled workouts. On the flipside, it will also charge you an amount you pre-determine, for any missed workouts. Talk about accountability, right?!

Say you commit, via the app, to doing 3 workouts a week. You can get credit for that by going to a gym (and checking in via GPS), syncing your account to RunKeeper, or even doing at home workouts (provided you wear an arm band). You must workout for at least 30 minutes in order for your activity to count. If you fail to work out, it’ll cost you a minimum of $5. If you meet your weekly goal, you’ll probably net $2/week. It varies from week to week, based on how many people miss their workouts and what they wager as a penalty. Make sense?

I’ve recommended the app/service to several people already, but have yet to sign up myself. Money is always a great motivator, and that’s the app’s premise, but when technology like this is involved — as well as my hard earned dollars — I’m not so quick to jump in.

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Smoothly Transitioning Into Les Mills Pump

Les Mills Pump

A few days ago, I noted that I was going to start Les Mills Pump since I had just finished ChaLEAN Extreme. While both are strength/weight-lifting programs, they have very different approaches.

ChaLEAN Extreme focuses on a small number of reps, but with heavy weights. By contrast, Les Mills Pump uses lighter weights, and a ton of reps, using different counts. I’ve blogged before that my body seems to respond a little better to the high-rep programs, but both make we feel strong.

Five days into another round of Les Mills Pump, I can already feel the difference! For example, I was doing squats before (they’re a staple), but the switch in approach (using the barbell, and varied rep counts), really works the muscle in a different way. I can feel other muscles being worked down there, too! The same goes for some other exercises. I’m sore all over again!

But that’s what the body needs. Once it gets used to something, you need to shake things up! I like that I can switch to something else in my collection and start to feel immediate change. It’s also kicked my metabolism up another gear! I’ll take it!

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Finished ChaLEAN Extreme; Ready For Another Round of Les Mills Pump!

Les Mills Pump

I’ve made a strong effort to not have an end of summer fitness slump. In years past, I’ve seriously slacked off when the calendar turned to August. But since my first post on that issue, it’s not been a problem! And again, my key, is committing to a long program, with the workouts planned out for me. I tend to stick with those a lot more consistently than I do on an a la carte workout plan.

I feel really good about finishing yet another round of ChaLEAN Extreme. So much so that I decided to keep going with a strength training program to start the fall. I really liked Les Mills Pump after I finished it last year, so I’m going back for more! I still haven’t been able to talk myself into doing P90x. Maybe it’ll happen some day, but that day is not today.

On the program’s “walking” days, I’ll run (weather permitting) or do a TurboFire workout. And, of course, I’ll alter my schedule so that I don’t necessarily need to do a workout on the weekends. Because my weekends are for football, and it’ll be extremely hard to get me away from a TV, or parking lot, and get me to push play on any DVD. You gotta know your lifestyle and plan your workouts around it!

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Knocked The Dust Off My ChaLEAN Extreme DVDs

ChaLEAN Extreme

It’s been a couple of years, but I thought it was high time I busted out my ChaLEAN Extreme DVDs. I typically do the program once per year, beginning in late Spring, but last year, I decided to do Les Mills Pump instead. I loved LMP, but missed my annual 3-4 month run with CLX. So, this Spring, I decided to do it again. And man, oh man, how I’ve missed it!

ChaLEAN Extreme, and my workout-by-workout review of the first time I did the program, remains some of the most popular posts on my site (behind the running podcasts).

In the 2+ weeks I’ve been back at it, I can tell I’ve already gotten stronger! My improvement with push-ups is how I typically measure strength in the Burn Phase. I increase the amount of unmodified reps I do with each workout. Score!

But I’m also doing things a little differently. I usually do some type of TurboFire/ChaLEAN Extreme Hybrid, and that’s not change, to a point. For the Burn Phase, I’m adding 20-30 minutes of some TurboFire workout onto the end of my ChaLEAN Extreme strength workout. And in between those days, I’m doing my Couch to 5k running program. In the past I’ve noticed that CLX sometimes bulks my thighs up, and the only way to stop that, is to add more cardio! So, I’m doing a bit of cardio every day.

When I move on to the Push Phase, I’ll switch things up by doing the c25k running plan on the lifting days, and a full TurboFire cardio workout on the non-lifting days. I think I’ll need more intense cardio during that month because there aren’t any compound, cardio-inducing moves in ChaLEAN Extreme during that phase.

I haven’t thought about what I’m going to do during the Lean Phase. I’ll probably go back to doing Couch to 5k on cardio days, and just CLX on designated strength training days. But I’ll cross that bridge when I get there!

I just wanted to post an accountability updated on what I’m up to these days with my fitness routine. It feels really good to be settled into a schedule, and I’ll definitely stick with it!

Hope everyone else’s Spring fitness plans are working out well! If you need any help or suggestions, just let me know!

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Back On Track!

I mentioned the other day, that I was all discombobulated due to a rocky winter. I thought getting back into a fitness routine would really help, so I took that step this Monday. Instead of going back to Les Mills Combat, I decided to do a second round of Les Mills Pump.

I really enjoyed that program the first time around. The music is awesome and I really love all the instructors. So, I figured “why not?!” As was the case with Round 1, I’m not following the program to the T. I’m doing a hybrid with Turbo Fire, because everyone knows that’s my soul mate workout. I just don’t think 30-60 minute walks are sufficient cardio for me. I need more intensity!

So, I got back to work Monday and I feel great! It’s helped me upped my water intake, too. That always helps me feel better. Not that I typically eat poorly (I’m a disciple of the “moderation” school of thought), but I’m sneaking in healthier snacks and more fruits and veggies as well. My old standby “healthy” peanut butter, Better ‘n Peanut Butter, was super old, so I tossed it. I’m now going to grab PB2, which is highly recommended by my fellow Beach Body addicts.

I figure if just a couple of carb free foods are added into my diet, here and there, it will make a difference. I don’t need an overhaul. Shakes, cooking ingredients, cheese, crackers, and milk alternatives are on my list. For example, I used Silk Almond Milk in my Shakeology shakes last year. I’ll probably bring something like that back.

Basically, when I’m in a routine, it’s a trickle down effect on my entire life. I should have forced myself back into this sooner, but life happens! I’m glad I was able to right the ship and break out of my winter rut!

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