Tag Archives: Burpee

Put Your Muscles Where Your Mouth Is

Yesterday my six week CrossFit challenge came to a close. It was a bittersweet day because, although we were happy to have made it all the way through the course, we were sad about our weekly meetings coming to an end. Much as I suspected, I am not the only one who enjoyed working with the same group of ladies each time I went to class.

The six weeks went by quickly and, as I looked around the gym while we were doing our last WOD (Workout of the Day) together, I was surprised and impressed by how far we had all come in such a short amount of time. Everybody looked stronger, we knew the names of the movements we were supposed to be doing (a big improvement for sure; at many times during the six weeks I felt sorry for our instructors- it must have felt like herding cats trying to get us all going the right direction!), and, most impressive of all, nobody was complaining. Having a group of women, who two months ago would not have described themselves as particularly fit or at all CrossFit savvy, working together on a hot, Hawaiian Saturday afternoon and not hearing any complaints about the aches, pains, and sweat is a big accomplishment!

Our final WOD; do you hear the Eye of the Tiger theme from ‘Rocky’ playing?

Our final workout was a team workout, so, while we didn’t do all of the movements on our own, we did all do the 2 burpees every minute on the minute, and that counts for something, right? As a team, we managed to get through almost three rounds (we had just goblet squats and burpees left to power through, c’est la vie) and, I’m ashamed to admit, that when I first looked at the whiteboard and saw the 20 minute cap, I was concerned we wouldn’t make it through one entire round. Essentially what I am trying to tell you is that this group of ladies and I are a bunch of badass mofos and, when there are tacos at stake, we don’t play around.

Our final WOD was followed by a Taco Tuesday (on Saturday) themed fiesta, and it was well-deserved. No matter where we started from, we all worked hard to make ourselves just a little bit better each time we stepped into the gym. Using the guidance provided through the daily emails, we each tried to find a way to eat more healthfully, and, even from day to day, I could see physical improvement in all of us. There were ladies who couldn’t run the entire 400 m warm-up run on day one, and, by the time we were up to running a mile, Coach Gil said it was the first time he had ever had all participants in the New You group finish in under thirteen minutes. Progress! The first time I tried to do an overhead squat holding just the light PVC practice bar, my shoulders and hips were so stiff I almost fell over, and now I can do them, tentatively, with 25 lbs of total weight. Tentative progress, but progress all the same!

Kettlebell swings. To demonstrate how much I’ve learned, I knew to ask if we were supposed to be doing American or Russian style swings.

I’m excited to see how CrossFit will influence my running (yeah, I signed up to continue. That’s how it is with me, I guess; I sign up for things like this thinking it will be a fun, one-off experiment and I’ll have a funny story to tell about that time I trained for a marathon or that time I did several weeks of CrossFit, but then I really enjoy what I’m doing and see changes in myself that I really like and I’m hooked.) In the short-term, the workouts have made me very tired, but I think that is to be expected as my body adjusts to being challenged in a new way (challenged, tortured, po-tay-to, po-tah-to). I think CrossFit will be good at countering the stiffness that running, just by the nature of the fact that your body is always moving the same way, inherently creates. This must be why so many runners I know also like to compete in triathlons because the swimming and the biking force you to do something a little different, but I’m afraid of sharks and I don’t like to put my face in public pools because they are gross, so triathlons seem to be out for me. Also I think that people would laugh at my cruiser if I tried to ride it in a race. So, CrossFit it is, for now.

I think, in the long run, it will help my running. With a stronger core and more balanced strength, I predict that my endurance will increase and I will maybe even become a little faster. Time will tell. I don’t know if I will see these kinds of results in the upcoming Hapalua half-marathon (ummmm…..it’s next Sunday! One week!) because I am so flippin’ tired, but, I am going to take it a bit easier this week to allow my muscles some rest. Of course, it’s also time to start eating some extra carbohydrates- music to my ears; bring on the pasta! Last year I ran this race in about 2:05, and this year I hope to run it in under 2:00. After my fantastic marathon, I thought that this was a pretty achievable goal, but I’m starting to have doubts. I will be happy to knock any time off of last year’s race, and ultimately hope that I don’t add time, but if I’ve learned anything from having trained for two marathons and, now, three half-marathons, it’s that every day is different, and you’ve got to run the best you can in the moment. Here’s hoping my newly-found CrossFit muscles feel revived and ready to help power me on after a week of rest!

CrossFit: it’ll put hair on your lip!

Stayin’ Alive

 

View from the gym. Makes it easier to play through the pain when you’re looking at this.

Yes! More than halfway through my CrossFit ‘experiment’ and I’m still standing.

I’m really enjoying the class and am learning quite a bit about CrossFit. Mostly I’m learning that it really IS as hard as it looks and that I really like working out with only ladies. There is something so liberating about showing up at the gym and knowing that nobody is going to be impatiently waiting for me to relinquish the barbell or be silently judging the (lack of) weight I’m lifting; these ladies, like me, have nothing to prove. I’ve heard the same sentiment expressed by others in our group; we’d all like to continue with the ‘ole XFit (is that a thing? like Xtina?), but we’d like to continue with just ladies. Can it be ladies night every night, please?

This CrossFit program has us meeting three or four days a week for an hour long estrogen-fueled sweat sesh. Most days, we start with a short run to warm-up (ahem, I ran my fastest mile on Saturday, 7:35, no big deal [brushes off shoulders]) which everybody but me seems to dread, but I like it because it’s the only part of the class where I feel like I know what I’m doing. Then, we move on to going over the day’s class goal which is usually learning some new movement, like a clean or toes to bar, etc., and we finish the day with a Workout of the Day (WOD for short, CrossFit is so hip that even the workouts get nicknames) that focuses on whatever the day’s skill was. It’s a pretty simple format.

We’re learning the correct form for lots of types of lifts and movements; they all look pretty straightforward when I watch the coaches demonstrate, but, man, I’ve never felt so uncoordinated as when I’m trying to follow their lead. It’s kind of like dancing, which I’m also not very good at, but I don’t let my lack of natural talent stop me from enjoying myself. So far we’ve learned how to jerk, snatch, clean, squat, toes to bar, pull-up, and burpee. Soooooo….many…..burpeeeeesssss.

We burpee if we show up to class late. We burpee if someone misses class. We burpee if we forget someone’s name. We burpee if we row under or over our rowing goal. We burpee if we’re bored. We burpee if we’re tired. We burpee if we’re hungry. Essentially, we burpee for the heck of it. It seems that, much like my parents’ telling me to “go play outside” whenever I started to annoy them as a child, the coaches instruct us to burpee as a diversion technique. I will admit it is pretty effective and they say that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but I’m not sure if “they” ever did a burpee.

I’m not supposed to eat this.

Part of this program focuses on our diet. We are supposed to be eliminating processed sugar (even maple syrup,  which, since I’m from VT, is essentially a food group) and eating more protein and healthy fats. While I haven’t cut out sugar completely, I have almost done so (as an aside, tea without honey is hardly worth drinking), and I am surprised by the difference I see and feel. Swapping sugars for more protein and healthy fats has made me less inclined to snack throughout the day, and I feel like I have more energy in general. I’ll admit that, as a vegetarian, I’ve found it nearly impossible to completely forgo bread and I’m probably eating more starchy grains, like rice, than I’m supposed to be eating, but, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to maintain her sanity

The first week of the program, I cut sugar out completely, and, after a mini-meltdown when Don asked if I wanted to grab lunch at our favorite restaurant, which serves mainly sandwiches, decided that it wasn’t going to be possible for me to both completely eliminate sugar and maintain my status as a functioning member of society. By the end of the week, tired of hard boiled eggs and avocados, I found myself spinning around the kitchen like a whirling dervish trying to find an afternoon snack, cursing my vegetarianism as I imagined my classmates eating grilled chicken. I was probably one paleo recipe away from spending my afternoons crying into a bag of marshmallows; at Don’s recommendation, I began to allow myself the simple luxury of bread and feel much better now.

So far, this has been a great experience, and I’d like to continue pursuing my dreams of CrossFit competency after the New You program ends. I get a good vibe from the other gym goers and the coaching staff is friendly, knowledgeable and chill. My personal favorite is a gal named Coach Tiff because her whole “thang” is essentially my life goal. She seems really happy to be at the gym, even if she is spending much of her time helping a bunch of sweaty newbies adjust their form, and she is so fit that she looks like how I imagine look when I’m dreaming. That level of fitness takes a lot of dedication, and I admire that. I’m sure, since I’m doing this program and all, that I’ll look like Coach Tiff in a few weeks; thats how this fitness thing works, right?

Ouchie.

Its baaaaack!

Cue the JAWS theme because yesterday I revisited my old friend the ‘Tough Mudder’ workout, and this workout is a blood-thirsty monster. I mean it.

After a bit of fitness leisure time following the Hibiscus Half Marathon (which went totally fine, by the way, I ended up being only about 30 seconds slower than the Hapalua in April) that involved a little travel to the Northeast for a wedding and a lot of beer-drinking and s’mores-eating, I was feeling like I needed to kick things into high gear fitness-wise.

While I was visiting the Shire Vermont, I managed to sneak in a couple of short but lovely runs in the cool New England air, but after a couple of weeks of indulging and several long plane rides, I was feeling a little sluggish and out of shape. Begrudgingly, I accepted the fact that only a hardcore workout would shake things up for me.

In case you have forgotten (and how could you? This workout visits me in my nightmares!) The ‘Tough Mudder” workout consists of doing a variety of painful things an insufferable amount of times over and over again. No, seriously, that is about all you need to know about this workout.

I first became acquainted with this bad boy a couple of years ago when I was participating in a fitness Boot Camp, and it is a point of pride for me that I can actually do it. Well, could actually do it; since I’m a little weak and flabby at the moment, I modified yesterday’s workout so that I could live through it.

I shortened the workout to 8 rounds and split them in half to make this one workout into two shorter workouts. Which exercises did I forgo, you ask? The triceps pushups because, lets be real here, one kind of pushup in a day is one kind too many, and the dips because there is never anywhere convenient to do dips near the cardio equipment. I also swapped the running for ellipticizing since I was planning on going running today.

So, my workout started with 10 squat jumps, then as each round continued I added 10 pushups, 10 burpees, and 10 mountain climbers. Then I swapped to round 2 and started with 10 split jumps, adding flutter kicks, twists, and tuck jumps with each round. By the time I was finished, sweat was dripping into my eyes and I was in full-blown tomato face mode. I slept quite well last night.

Tonight I went for a slow three mile run. My butt and quads complained the entire time and I ran my slowest three miles since the marathon, but I expected that after yesterday. My next goal is to complete the entire workout from start to finish again!

Last night, I remembered the grueling Tough Mudder workout that I loved to hate from last summer, and I realized that it would be a great way to maximize my workouts in a hotel gym that lacks both space and equipment. Burpees and push-ups and squat jumps, oh my! When I woke up this morning, I wasn’t feeling my best, so I compromised by tackling just half of the prescribed workout, and that was enough to get my heart pumping and sweat streaming into my eyes. I think Jack was doing an impression of me after my workout in the video above.

I was a little grumpy about the fact that just half of the workout- when I’ve done the ENTIRE thing before- was a challenge today, but I was pleased that the running parts were not as tiring as they were last summer and I was running at a faster pace than I had 10 months ago. Looks like all that running for my 10k paid off!

Falling Off the Wagon… and Remembering to Get Back On!

It is much easier to train yourself NOT to stay on top of your fitness goals than it is to train yourself to keep those fitness goals in mind and drag your sorry carcass to the gym/on a run/anywhere that doesn’t involve wearing pajamas and sitting on the couch reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book.

I know this to be true because I recently did an experiment that involved me not going to the gym or doing anything all that physically active for about two weeks, and then yesterday I made myself get up early and accompany Don to the gym. The results of my experiment prove that it is very easy (and also quite fun!) to snuggle up in bed and make excuses as to why one shouldn’t get up and slip into one’s sneakers, and also that the more times one lies in bed, turns off the alarm and makes excuses, the harder it gets to resist the allure of inactivity.

I hadn’t intended to be quite so inactive for quite such a long time; I was a little bit the victim of circumstances and also a little bit the victim of my own poor planning. After my victorious 10k run (If you haven’t read the post about me finishing my 10k run and making my time goal, please read that one too because it makes me look a WHOLE LOT less lazy than this post does!) and the weekend of celebratory beers and concert, I boarded a plane headed for the US to visit friends and family whom I had not seen in a couple of years…

And then a big storm blew in and my flight got delayed and I was stuck in the Frankfurt airport for a day…

And then I, again, got stuck in the Newark airport for another day when a flight was cancelled, and when I finally made it to my parent’s house in Vermont, exercise was the furthest thing from my mind. The closest things to my mind? A shower and a nap!

I managed to fit in two short, uninspired runs during the week I visited the Northeast- one where snow pelted me in the eyes as I ran, another where the wind blew so ferociously that I turned a corner and was blown to a standstill despite the frantic pumping of my arms and legs- but mostly I sat around and stuffed my face while catching up with my dear family and beloved friends.* As my trip came to a close, I was anxious to return to Germany because- newsflash- we are moving, and while I was loafing around, sampling the best macaroni & cheeses Vermont has to offer, Don sent word that our things needed to be packed post-haste because they were being shipped about a week after my return.

I’ve know about this move for quite a while, but I have neglected to mention it because I thought we had more time. I was (quite obviously) wrong, and you can imagine my distress when all of my returning flights were again cancelled or delayed and it took me an extra three days to get home. You can also probably imagine Don’s distress as most of the responsibilities of packing then fell on his shoulders, and to make matters worse, this isn’t a simple around-the-corner-next-town-over move. Uh-uh, we are moving to eff-ing HAWAII. We are super sad to be leaving Germany (and at the start of Fest season, no less!) but we are also excited to be going to the land of pineapples and sunshine! When I finally arrived home, I had only two days to make sure our stuff was in order. After it was picked up and en route to our new tropical digs,  I could have gone to the gym because its not like I even have a couch to sit on, but…..well….I just took the weekend off for no good reason other than it was easier than not taking the weekend off.

When I finally did drag myself to the gym yesterday, I made sure not to overdo things (although an injury would be a pretty good excuse to not go to the gym…). I did a few circuits of burpees, sit-ups, and box jumps, and followed that with some time on the stationary bike. Today, since Don and I are now sharing a car and he needed to use it to go to work, I didn’t go to the gym and instead opted for a slow 3-mile run in the beautiful Bavarian sunshine.

Yesterday, as I was cursing myself for the last few weeks of laziness and regretting every homemade cookie I ate while I was at my parents’ house; I came to the realization that, although I often dread it, I never regret exercise. I regret many of the things that I love (the aforementioned homemade cookies eaten by the fistful, for example), but exercise- in any form- is never something that I end up wishing I hadn’t done. No matter how little or how much of it I do, I always feel better for having done it. That alone is encouragement enough to convince me not to make an excuse tomorrow and to instead get myself to the gym.

*If you’re like me, you are probably interested in WHAT I was stuffing my face with: Homemade bread, homemade cookies (my parents are turning into quite the bakers), vegetarian sushi, pizza, Vermont craft beers, pad thai, macaroni & cheese (from the Parkside Kitchen in Richmond and again from Twigg’s Gastropub in St. Albans), mexican food, vegetable soup, cheddar soup, garlic bread, maple peanut brittle, and many other things, but those were the highlights! God, I love food.

 

Quick & Dirty

Today was a rainy, dreary day, perfect for being glued to the couch, and I managed to resist the temptation to remain pajama-clad from breakfast to bedtime, but just barely. After my ride this morning, I wanted nothing more than to drive straight home and curl up with my dog and cat and a good book. I managed to talk myself into going to the gym as planned by doing one of the short but sweaty workouts from the Boot Camp.

Sweatpants!
Sweatpants!

This workout is perfect for when you’re pressed for time or when you’d just rather be anywhere but at the gym, and I thought I’d share it with you.

The Quick & Dirty:

For one minute each: Jump Rope, Push-ups, Jog in place, Side Shuffle, Burpees, Wall Sit, Plank Walks, Squat, Mountain Climbers, Plank Jacks, Plank.

Then: Sprint 30 seconds, Jog 30 seconds (4x)

Finally: Sit Backs (2s 10), Russian Twists (2s 10), In and Outs (15), Walking Plank 30 seconds, Reverse Crunch (2s 10)

From start to finish, this took me an hour to complete. While it isn’t super strenuous, it is enough to work up a sweat and get your heart pumping. Not only did I get to check ‘go to the gym’ off of my list, but I also got to spend much of my day in sweatpants; I believe this is called a win-win situation. Keep this workout in your repertoire for those days when you’d just rather not but really think you should. That’s all for now; I have a dog who has been waiting all day for a break in the rain to go on his walk, and since it has slowed to a drizzle, we are going to seize the moment!

Making it Work

 

I didn’t get to finish the Boot Camp.

A couple of weeks ago (halfway into the Boot Camp), my friend from work dislocated her ankle (OUCH! Watch out for those high heels, gals!) and I was asked to work full-time while she recovered. Since there are only three of us who work in the library, it came down to either making a selfish decision for my own benefit (saying “no” and maintaining all of my glorious free time), or making a decision that would benefit the libraries as a whole, my other coworker and myself. I generally prefer to make choices that are for the greater good, so I traded in my Boot Camp, Spin classes, and Monday morning ride for the chance to make a little more money and the sanity of my friends at the library.

I wasn’t happy about it, and I tried to think of ways that I could have my cake and eat it too (If I go to just half the Boot Camp class I won’t have time to shower but I could wear a hat all day and maybe nobody would notice…yeah right), but there just wasn’t a good way to do it. I am fortunate, however, that the Boot Camp class has a Facebook group and the daily workouts have regularly been posted there. Since I have limited time in the mornings to get to the gym before work and after my dog walk, and these workouts are designed for a one-hour timeframe, they have been just the ticket for getting in a productive sweat session in a teeny-tiny amount of time.

These workouts are pretty tough! Actively doing one is a special sort of misery- the sort where your heart rate skyrockets and sweat drips into your eyes- but when I’ve completed one, I feel pretty bad-ass. Doing them on my own, obviously, isn’t the same as doing them in class; I miss the pleasant camaraderie of commiserating with the other gals as we wonder if we will make it through the hour, but I still enjoy the workouts despite my solitary suffering.

Even finishing just half of the Boot Camp, I learned a few things. The most important thing that I’m taking away from the class is that a ‘good’ workout doesn’t have to take all day. Often, whenever I was short on time, I’d let myself off the hook and do something easy like pedal the elliptical for half an hour thinking that with limited time at the gym, there was no way I could do anything productive. But really, it doesn’t have to take take three hours or even two to have a fulfilling workout. In fact, it doesn’t even have to take a full hour; once, last week, I got through one circuit of a two-circuit workout and realized that I was out of time, and, even though I technically only did half of a workout, I still was tired, sweaty and out of breath- my muscles had no idea they hadn’t done a full workout!

What is important to remember about exercise is that some is better than none (unless you are injured, then sit down, for crying out loud!), and an hour of hard core circuit training will give you WAY more bang for your buck than an hour of walking on the treadmill. My new philosophy on these days when I have less than 100 minutes to stretch, exercise and shower is: go big, or go home. There really isn’t a good excuse for not having the time to work out; in about one hour (and I know I probably spend at least an hour each day on Pinterest and Facebook), it is completely possible to get the heart pumping, the lungs puffing, and the sweat flowing. Coincidentally, many of the Neila Rey workouts take about an hour to accomplish if you set your sights on level three, so, go on and take them for a test drive… you know you wanna!

 

 

Simply having a wonderful Christmas time!

Dresden Striezelmarkt at night
Dresden Striezelmarkt at night

I know I’m not alone in this sentiment; I LOVE CHRISTMAS TIME! The lights, the boxes wrapped in shiny paper, the tinsel, the music (played ad nauseam in every store, but a good kind of nausea), the parties, the hot drinks, the cookies and candies… the holidays are the BEST… except that all of the rollicking festive cheer can sometimes hijack our schedules and, even with good intentions, we are sometimes forced to let our workouts slide.

Twice this week I found myself standing in line at the Post Office watching my gym time tick away while I waited to mail packages (TICK, there go the barbell 21s, TOCK, and there go the cable rows). As frustrating as it can be to have to forego planned workouts and improvise, it is still much better than not doing a workout at all especially at this time of year when it seems like the only fruits close at hand are made of marzipan and the only veggies being offered are the garnishes next to the baked brie.

On the days when I was really crunched for time this week, I made sure to do my (stress-relieving!) cardio first, and then fit in whatever weightlifting I had time for after, and on the days when I was ahead of schedule, I made myself do a full-fledged, ball-busting workout.

It's beginning to look a lot like…calories.
It’s beginning to look a lot like…calories.

Sticking to a healthy diet is the hardest at this time of year, especially in Bavaria where everything is bobbing in butter sauce or dusted with powdered sugar. At a dinner event last week, our table was discussing the inevitable weight gain that accompanies a move to Europe (almost thirty pounds in total for me!) and one man, who has lived here for a while,  says he calls it the ‘European Squishy’ which I found quite funny. In effort to avoid returning to my ‘Squishy’ state, I feel like I’m coming out ahead if I pass on a few treats and make it to the gym at least four days a week.

If the holidays are hampering your gym schedule, there are some at-home ways to get your workout in. Jumping rope is great cardio, and a jump rope is cheap and easy to store. I spotted this (painful sounding) strength workout posted on the bulletin board at my gym: 10 pushups, 10 jumping jacks, 10 lunges, 9 pushups, 9 jumping jacks, 9 lunges, 8 pushups. 8 jumping jacks, 8 lunges…all the way down to one of each exercise; this is something that can be done anywhere (even at the in-laws’ house if you are on the road for the holidays). Crunches, sit-ups, mountain climbers, squats, burpees, and long jumps (or jumps of any kind) are other things we can do without needing a gym or equipment, and, if your holidays are feeling a little too National Lampoon, going out for an afternoon jog is a fantastic excuse to snag some alone time! So even when you feel like working out is futile in the face of all the holiday goodies, remember that every little bit you do now will help you be healthier no matter what. Something is ALWAYS better than nothing when it comes to your health.

Sometimes, Ignorance is Bliss

I now know what a burpee is.

It is not, as I previously thought, a cutesy way to describe a belch (“Oh, excuse me! I just burpeed!). It is, in fact, a particularly puzzling exercise that can only have been thought up by a Fitness Freak (who am I kidding?  All exercises were thought up by Fitness Freaks!). There are a couple of things that are puzzling about this maneuver; one being who can execute this exercise without worrying their arms are going to give out and, in one instant, years of orthodontic work will be undone as their face smashes into the floor? That was a big concern for me when I attempted to burpee (can burpee be a verb?), but what is most puzzling is how in the world does anyone do a burpee well?

I am not a very coordinated person, and this probably is easier if you are coordinated, but this exercise seems to defy physics. If you do not have the misfortune of knowing what a burpee is,  it is a combination of a pushup and a jump. I know what you are thinking, you are thinking that there is no WAY a pushup and a jump can be combined, and you are thinking this because you are a rational human being who understands the physical limitations of the human body. Unfortunately, someone, maybe as a joke or a dare, decided to fall from a standing position onto their hands, kick out their legs behind them, do a pushup, and pop back up into standing position again. It’s pretty hard to do when you have gravity and your level of tiredness working against you.

Thirty burpees was the assigned amount to do on Day 59, Chest & Shoulders day. I got through ten of the them before I felt I was in serious danger of losing my front teeth, and then I finished the last two sets as plain ‘ole pushups. The best thing about the burpee is that it makes pushups feel comforting and almost easy by comparison. If I had to rank them, burpee would now come in as my least favorite exercise and pushups my second least favorite.

What is my all-time favorite exercise? I’m so glad you asked! The hands-down BEST exercise is a yoga position that I call ‘Starfish out of Water.’ For this exercise, you simply lie flat on your back with your legs and arms flung about you and your chest heaves up and down as you gasp for breath. I composed this exercise myself and I demonstrate it daily (usually when I’ve had enough of the active rests) in hopes that it will catch on as the newest craze.

Week Nine is super-intense, and I am very proud of myself for making it through. I had to step out of my comfort zone quite a bit this week, most notably on the day I could not fit a morning workout in and had to go to the gym after work. This unfortunate circumstance happened on Day 2 of Week Nine which was the looooongest workout of the week and the first workout that required running on the treadmill.

Not only is it difficult to find ANY motivation at 6:30pm when it is dark outside and I should be home eating dinner, but the gym is quite busy at that time. I was overwhelmed when I walked into the fitness center and felt the burst of hot, sweaty air. It seems that 6:30 at night is prime time for the muscle-bound 18-22 year olds to hit the gym. And I mean MUSCLE BOUND- guys with rock-hard C-cups and tendons that looked like Rebar bulging out of their necks. At one point, I had to ask a guy to return my barbell because he snatched it while my back was turned assuming nobody was using it because there wasn’t any weight on it. These dudes were serious about their weightlifting and that helped motivate me quite a bit; maybe I couldn’t add any weight to my barbell, but I gave 100% effort in every single one of my sets and I rocked those active rests. In hindsight, my Monday night workout was the best of the week. The biggest upside to being at the gym with the entire cast of WWF wrestling is that I was the daintiest person on the treadmill. I looked like a graceful little goat prancing along in a sea of bulldogs.

After the high-impact routines featured in Week Nine, I was thankful for my rest day yesterday, and I used my time away from the gym to invest in the coming weeks by treating myself to a pair of new sneakers! Today I began Week 10 and my feet were feeling fantastic in my shoes. Make sure you are rewarding yourself for all of the good work you are doing, whether it be a new pair of workout pants (most likely in a smaller size!), a sweet treat, or even just five minutes of ‘Starfish out of Water’ on the gym floor.

My new sneaks!
Life is good in my new sneaks!