Sunday, April 17, 2011

Out of Juice

TurboFire Fire 45EZ.
Did I mention the last time i did this that it's not EZ? OMG!

I started to pitter out at about the 25-30 minute mark. So i had to pause it, take a 1 minute breather with a few swigs of my recovery drink and hop back on the horse. I literally couldn't jump anymore lol.

The last sequence of moves i wish i had a video camera taping me lol! I was so off! I couldn't get coordinated to save my life. so i just started hopping around the room like a rabbit laughing with the visual of what i must have looked like. I know i will eventually "get it" but that's twice that i just had no coordination at all with that sequence. Not sure if it's just too confusing or that I'm just too spent by then! lol

It's all good though.

Since it is a nice day for once, I will be doing yard work and then C25K later on.

How to Get Rid of Back Fat

Monkey on your back? Or is it the dreaded back/bra fat?

A lot of women (and men) store their unused energy (fat) in their back. Some hide it well using baggier shirts or even a slimming device designed to keep it all together.

Whatever the case, it's embarrassing to those that have it. The good news is, there is a way to get rid of it!

Exercise and diet! How dare I day the D word! The fact of the matter is, somewhere along the lines of your food intake, you are consuming a lot more carbs than you are expending. The end result is what you see above. 

Some people store it in their hips, butt, lower abdomen, and some store it where it will find a spot to cozy up to!

In order to take control of this situation you will want to add more cardio to your routine. You need to burn the unused calories. Another way to do this is by lifting weights. I'm not talking lifting like Arnold either. The popular fitness myth is that working a certain area of your body, also called "spot reduction", will solve the problem. That couldn't be farther from the truth.

The most important concept to understand for anyone looking to lose fat anywhere on their body or for weight loss is caloric balance.

Simply put, when you consume as many calories as you expend you will not lose back fat weight.
When you consume more calories than you expend, you will gain body fat and weight. Conversely, if you expend more calories than you burn you will lose back fat and weight.

It is important to consider that this caloric deficit must consistently occur over a period of time to make a noticeable difference. Consider each pound of body fat equals 3500 calories (that math doesn't change) and you can easily figure out that you must successfully maintain a 500 calorie caloric deficit daily for a month in order to lose 4 pounds of body fat.

Where do I start?
Cardiovascular exercise should be the base of your exercise routine if getting rid of back fat is the primary goal. Cardiovascular exercise, specifically high intensity interval cardio (HiiT) burns a large amount of calories which is important because it will significantly contribute to attaining a negative caloric balance.

Regardless of whether you have little or a lot of back fat you would like to lose, cardiovascular exercise is an absolute necessity. If you happen to have only a small amount of stubborn back fat, challenging yourself with high intensity exercise is most important.

Weight Training
Full body weight training is another great way to boost your metabolism by maintaining the muscle you have during a fat loss program. It is important to concentrate on full body weight training for a number of reasons. First, concentrating on the "problem muscles" is not going to burn fat which is covering them, but build the muscles below the body fat and possible making the area appear to be even fatter.

A full body weight training program trains the major muscle groups of the body equally so it will efficiently burn the most amount of calories possible. A balanced, full-body weight training program will train all muscle groups effectively but not over-train them. Over-training a muscle group when on a low calorie, fat loss diet can lead to excessive muscle breakdown or as mentioned before could build the isolated muscles under the body fat instead of burning it.

Below are some examples of back exercises that you can add to your over-all weight training.

Pull ups:
3 sets of 10-12 reps if you can do it. Women, I know this is a difficult exercise because we are naturally weaker in that area, but you can use a chair underneath as a tool to help push yourself up. (or you can do a reverse, or negative, pull up.)

Seated Rows:
3 sets of 8-12 reps.
This exercise can be done with a machine found at the gym or with a band at home. If using a band, wrap it around a doorknob, table leg, your feet or other sturdy object. Hold the handles. Lift your elbows up to just about shoulder height with your palms facing the floor. Keep the shoulders down and away from the ears. Squeeze the shoulder blades together and draw your elbows straight back. Keep your hands and forearms parallel to the ground; do not bend the wrists or lift the hands. Then slowly bring the elbows back forward. 

Bent Over Rows
3 Sets of 8-12 res on each side.

The bent over row is an effective exercise to target the upper back, where back fat usually is found. Place your left knee up on a bench or chair to support the back. Hold a weight in your right hand. Tighten your abdominal muscles and squeeze the shoulder blades together as you lift the weight up. Lift your right hand about waist high. Do not twist the body as you lift. Then slowly lower the weight.

Back Hyper-extension
3 sets of 8-12 reps
 The back hyper extension exercise will tone your overall back. It can be done on a special bench in a gym or while on a ball. If using a ball, place it on the floor. Place your hip bones against the ball. (A common mistake is to lie on your stomach; this does not target the muscles correctly.) Clasp your hands behind your head. Tighten the muscles of the back and buttocks and lift up off the ball so you are arching your back. Then lower back down onto the ball.

*If you have back pain, just arch as much as you can without hurting your back. As the muscles strengthen, you will be able to lift up higher. Do three sets of eight to twelve repetitions.

Proper Diet (balancing your carbs and eating the proper amount of calories)
Cardio Exercise
Weight Training Exercise

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Playing Catch-up

I'm soooo sorry! I haven't blogged my progress since day 1, I am horrible! Rest assured, I have been very busy with training and business stuff.

Here's the update:
Rest Day on the TurboFire Schedule, was going to do a C25K run, but the temps were in the 40's. Too cold.

TurboFire Tone 30 Class.. OMG.. bands are no joke. No run today due to rain, and lots of it.

TurboFire Fire 45EZ (nothing EZ about that!!!!) & Stretch 10
Great workout, i was drenched. There were a couple of times when my body just pittered out, but I pushed through it. Stretch 10 is like the cherry on top.. sweet!

TurboFire Core 20 and C25K run. 
Core 20 = no joke. Different from the usual floor abs exercises and you will feel it the next day for sure!
C25K run was great. ran 1.11 miles in 14:23. not bad! I definitely like the Nike+ GPS app for my iPhone. It's fun and affective! and if you sync it to Facebook, when you start your run it posts to your profile and every time a person likes your post or comments on it you get your own cheering squad cheering you on! I was laughing so hard at one point! lol because i didn't know why that was happening! Made the run fun though, that's for sure!

TurboFire Stretch 40
No C25K run due to cold temps and rain

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Couch to 5K - Day 1

Had a great day 2!

Yesterday was Day 1 of the Couch to 5k. I downloaded the Nike+GPS app for my iPhone prior to my run so i can map out a course in my neighborhood. That APP ROCKS!!! It made my run that much more enjoyable!

I was amazed at my running ability too. I am not a runner, at all, but i tackled it and i felt great afterward! Then cooled down to TurboFire Stretch 40 (Day 2 on the TF schedule). Perfect end-of-run stretch as I'm not at all sore today. I feel great!

The C25K training is 3 days per week. It's going to rain today and tomorrow, but looks like it is going to be nice from Thursday on. 

Day is a rest day on the TurboFire schedule so i am going to be starting my 5x5 method weight training. I will be putting my plan together today.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Finally, on my way

My game plan changed. I'm now doing the TurboFire prep schedule instead of the Chalean/TurboFire hybrid.

After reviewing the program, it was simply to easy, and it focused more on Chalean than TurboFire. I need TurboFire to increase my cardio endurance since the Spartan is now less than 2 months away.

Last night i started TurboFire, the day 1 schedule is Fire 30 and stretch 10. It wasn't easy, but i didn't feel light-headed and want to pass out either. There were a couple of times that i had to bring my intensity down just a tad, but it was short-lived and i hopped right back on the train with them.

I am kind of disappointed that the day 2 schedule is just stretch 40. I might sub it for another fire 30 and use stretch 40 as my rest-day workout (tomorrow)

I will also be starting my C25K training today. My plan, once I finish with my business work, is to drive around the neighborhood to mark out 1 mile. 

I am also going to incorporate weight training 3 days per week, with the hubby, using the 5x5 method. Being that the spartan is less than 2 months away, i need a proven system to build strength, and the 5x5 will do that for me in the minimal amount of time i have to work with.

Diet is going to be a crucial part of the equation. With all of the cardio/running and weight training I'm going to need a large amount of calories. The biggest obstacle i have, personally with the diets, is variety. I get tired of eating the same things over and over, chicken is great, but i can only handle so much of it!! I can eat endless salads forever, but they do not provide enough calories and protein to sustain me to my next snack or meal.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I want to preface before i get into the thick of it by saying that weaning from an anti-depressant is serious business, and you really have to take care of yourself and listen to your body.

I say this because yesterday was a particularly hard day (day #3 of the wean). Bad headaches, tired is barely a word to describe the lethargic feeling, no appetite, and that is to mention just a few.

I had to skip the workout yesterday, and had planned on working out today, but I'm keeping it at a yard-work only work-out, as my anxiety levels are a bit high, and my symptoms today are worse than yesterday.

I AM afraid of a repeat of Monday, I will not deny it. IT was scary. I am however, grateful for the experience because if one of my boot campers experiences light headed-ness i know what to do while waiting for an ambulance to come. I always say "everything happens for a reason", and whether that is the reason, or it's something that has to do with my physical state, it happened and it happened for a reason. I don't look at it as a set-back, I look at it as a learning experience.

While i was scheduling out my to-do list last night i decided that i am going to forgo the full Insanity jump in and continue with my Chalean weight training and after a week i will switch to the Chalean/TurboFire hybrid. That will allow me to have the weight training i need (and want) as well as bring up my cardio levels.

When I started P90X, i didn't just buy the program and jump in. I knew my body was not physically able to do it. What i did do, is purchased 10 minute trainer then worked up to turbo jam, then Chalean Extreme, THEN i did P90X. And because of that gradual increase, i was able to kick major doopah with P90X! I never felt like a failure or discouraged, and i didn't have any physical side effects, other than soreness, which is what i love because it tells me I'm getting somewhere.

Thinking ahead to the Spartan coming up in June, my decision to register was to give my own brother a push, and to also use this to gauge my own physical capabilities for the Tough Mudder in November. That being the case, I'm clearly not ready for Insanity. I need to take the same "marathon vs. sprint" approach and work my way up.

Game Plan: Chalean/TurboFire Hybrid and Couch to 5k training. Couch to 5k training is a 30 day plan, so even if i start in May i will be OK. In the meantime I'm going to do the hybrid to get started.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Making of a plan

Last night I did some thinking about what had happened yesterday.

Yes, it's been eating at me, I'm human and a problem solver so it's naturally going to be a mind burden until i resolve it.

My one main weakness (besides cardio endurance) is hip flexor strength. I've been fighting this battle for a few years now. I noticed yesterday, while doing the fit test, that when I have to jump up to slap my knees or any similar movement, it's very difficult and my body finds the need to lift up one leg up at a time.

My goal this morning is to put a training schedule together to increase the strength in that area and in my core as well as Insanity. I'm not giving up on this program, I'm just going to have to take it slower than i would other programs. Typically, like with Chalean Extreme, TurboFire and P90X i would follow the trainer or the advanced person in the back. I found out the hard way yesterday, that with Insanity i will have to follow the modifier (if any) or take it really easy and work my way up through the course of the 60 days. 

My other weakness is nutrition. I eat healthy, don't get me wrong, but it's eating enough to power through weight training and intense cardio training that is going to be a test for me.

I've already come to the conclusion that cardio training will have to be done later in the day, so I will do my weight training in the morning. I will keep you updated on what happens!

Monday, April 4, 2011


Today marked day 1 of Insanity (not the mental condition silly, the workout program with Shaun T!).

Day 1 is the Fit Test. There are 8 moves that you do and count and log on your fit test sheet.

Out of 8 I made it to #4 (Power Jumps) for a total of 17, and that is as far as I made it before I literally passed out.

Now I'm not saying this to scare you or to have a pity party. I'm just sharing with you my experience with the program.

There were/are many factors that i am considering as the culprit, and being a trainer i should know better. However, I am human, and humans make mistakes too especially when gauging their own physical capabilities.

#1 The fact that I ate too close to workout. Though, it wasn't solid food, it was a smoothie, i still think the blood was directed to digestion, because my brain wasn't getting it.

#2. The change in workout time. I'm a night person. i love working out at night more-so in the AM because I have more energy and I'm more motivated, my body was still half asleep when i started.

#3. I started another meds ween 2 days ago, and that in-and-of-itself taxes the brain and body like you wouldn't believe... not to mention the headaches!

Those are the main 3 that keep coming to mind. I was making extra sure i was breathing properly, and not OVER exerting myself. After-all it is just a fit test meant to gauge progress, not performance. This is training for my Spartan and Tough Mudder races, I'm not trying to win the Miss America Pageant.

While my hubby was trying to help me come back from the blackness (thankfully, he was home AND EMT certified), I couldn't help but be thrusted back to 2 incidents in my life where this same thing happened, and the result.

The first time was at the gym. I used to frequent Gold's Gym in my mid 20's for morning workouts on my way to work. Loved that place so much, loved the environment, the feeling, the energy. Then one morning i was doing lunges with weights.. Now you have to remember, in my mid 20's i was in peak shape, my body fat was nearly non-existent, and i was shredded and ripped, working out was my drug of choice and i worked it hard, and it showed. That fateful morning, while doing lunges, i passed out. Went down like an over-loaded barbell. I was brought to, checked by medics and i refused to be sent to the hospital, cleaned up and headed to work.

I never went back.

I was so embarrassed at what had happened that i couldn't show my face in that gym ever again. In fact, that pretty much ended my gym time all-together for quite a while.

The second incident didn't even involve the gym, or training. I was accompanying my boyfriend at the time on a business trip to South Carolina. We were on day 2, had eaten breakfast together and he went off to his meeting and I to the pool. It was a hot day, but nothing i wasn't used to, nice breeze, kids playing and splashing around, i had a great book what could be better? 

That's what i thought too.. then i didn't feel to good.. I started feeling 'funny', so i calmly packed up my stuff and headed to my room on the 7th floor at the end of the hallway. Before i was even able to hit the elevator button in the lobby the blackness started. 'Stay calm' i kept saying to myself. I made it to the 7th floor, and just like a horror movie when the hallway seems to lengthen for miles, i started making that trek to my room. Cleaning ladies where staring at me as i was nearly crawling to my room (i know, i know.. why not help me right?). Once inside, i got sick, I'll spare you the details, and passed out on the bed.

When he came back from his meeting, (6 hours later), I was still passed out on the bed. He woke me up. Scary to think that i could have died, and my last visual was the cleaning lady staring at me while i was trying to get to safety lol.

When events like these happen, they change your life, well they changed mine anyway.
I never felt comfortable in a gym environment ever again; i was always afraid that it would happen again. People staring at me when i work out also makes me feel very uncomfortable because it brings me back to what i saw when i opened my eyes when the medics brought me to. I know the saying 'When you get smacked down, just jump back on the horse', but for me that horse just kept bucking me off. So i found working out at home to be a better substitute, even though i didn't have the equipment that the gym had. 

Then, in my mid 30's Beachbody and P90X came into my life and the rest is history. I don't need a gym now! Though, it does not help the blacking out situation. So I'm going to have to monitor that and keep you abreast of what happens.
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