Fit2B Advancing: Week 5

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WEEK 5 GOAL: Three Studio Workouts + One Daily Double + One Wellness Day

 

Studio Workout One: Functional Workout I

This workout is another good opportunity to incorporate weights, though this time I opted to use my lighter set. I had a bit too many reverse lunches for me though. While it definitely got my muscles working, it left me feeling strong enough to help my husband shovel our driveway for an hour later the same day.

 
Studio Workout Two: Warm-up for 5 minutes then Gentle Blend

Warm-up: Totally Transverse II

Gentle Blend

I feel like you can never go wrong with warming up with one of the Foundational Five. On the other hand, I know this is meant to be a gentle workout, but wow did I feel it the next day. Gentle Blend is always very challenging to my glutes and is a killer side leg series. But it is also a good way to start doing slightly longer workouts.

 
Studio Workout Three: Warm-up for 5 minutes then TummySafe Kickboxing

Warm-up: Mula Bandha

Tummysafe Kickboxing
It has been a while. Tummysafe Kickboxing used to be one of my favorite workouts. But this time it really kicked my butt. (Ok, it may still be a favorite but I don’t remember it making me sweat so much.) I chose something without heavy upper body work for today since I have a strained muscle in my neck and upper back. I was able to get the full cardio I needed without aggravating my sore muscles.
My one year old now recognizes the opening Fit2B music and immediately comes over to check out the workouts. He began squealing with delight when the dog and cat made their appearance. So this workout was a hit with both participants and bystanders.

 
Wellness Day: Simply Stretching before or after a 15-30 minute walk/jog. 

Simply Stretching

Walking Workout

I used the walking workout in lieu of an actual walk given the late snow that hit our region. I did it with my light (3 lb weights) and it definitely provided a nice cardio and some good weight work.

I’ll admit that I tend to skip stretching days. I always plan to include at least one each week, but that often ends up being the day I miss. (Realistically, 4-5 workouts a week is usually what I can manage, at least until I start consistently getting up at 6 again. Ugh.) But I was very glad for the reminder to stretch. While it is a bit longer than I usually prefer for a stretching only workout, I found it very helpful in working my typical tight spots.

 
Daily Double: Totally Transverse and Love Handles Lost

Totally Transverse is a great reminder of how I should be engaging my transverse and maintaining my alignment throughout the day. Love Handles Lost This is not a hard workout, perse, but I find it to be effective. I was able to properly engage, but I didn’t feel I was overtaxed. After feeling unexpectedly challenged by Gentle Blend, this felt very satisfying.

I had to really prioritize exercise this week, in addition to trying to get my healthy eating back on track. It’s amazing how easy it is to let things go and it can be so difficult to work my way back again. But it matters so much to be that I be strong and healthy enough to take care of my family and live the life I aspire to. Here comes Week 6, almost done and ready to move on and up to something more challenging, but only if I feel ready.

 

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Fit2B Advancing: Week 4

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I feel like I’ve been falling off the wagon lately. March is birthday month in our family so I’ve been eating A LOT of cake and other sweets. I also spent a week caring for two sick kids and a sick husband with the stomach flu. I had a couple of rough weeks. Taking care of two children and a husband with the stomach bug has meant I haven’t gotten much sleep. My diet has also suffered. It feels like my process after months of work has gotten eaten up in two weeks of poor diet and a week of lack of exercise. Hopefully as I get consistent again, I will see a quick return of my progress.

 

WEEK 4 GOAL: Three Studio Workouts + One Wellness Day

Studio Workout One: Warm-up for 5-10 minutes then do Pilates & Yoga Loaded I

Classic Flow A

Pilates & Yoga Loaded

I used Classic Flow A as my warm up and I really enjoyed it in that capacity. It fits right in with Beth’s gentle style of fitness. You could use this as a gentle warm up in the morning or and easy transition before bed. I opted for my lighter set of 3 lb weights for Pilates and Yoga Loaded since I hadn’t done it in a while. It was enough. It required so much concentration to keep my core really engaged, but I was able to do it.

 

Studio Workout Two: Do Chair Pilates as a warm-up then do Backside Burner II

It has been a long time since I did either of these workouts. While both were effective and I enjoyed the gentle movement of them, I can’t say that either was a stand out. But then again, variety is always good, and I’m very grateful for the wide variety provided by Fit2B.

 

Studio Workout Three: Warm-up for 5-10 minutes then do Rockin’ Yoga & Pilates

Warrior Workout

Rockin’ Yoga & Pilates

Warrior Workout made a great warm up and eased me into Rockin Yoga and Pilates. I always forget how intense this is. I had to really concentrate on engaging my core, but I felt strong. The side leg series always kicks my butt (both literally and figuratively). I am still adjusting to longer workouts. Sometimes it seems to take forever to get through. Hopefully I’ll adjust and be able to focus more without being distracted by all the other things I “should” be doing.

 

Wellness Day: Checkout Defining Deltoids & Do 20-30 minutes of cardio! 

Defining Deltoids

Basic Step II

It’s been a while since I did this workout. About halfway through I was thinking how well I was doing with the choreography and then the second half I kept getting lost. Even if it feels too complicated, just keep moving. It’s okay if you are stepping at the wrong time on the wrong foot. If you just keep your heart rate up, it will be an excellent cardio workout for you.

I was worried about Defining Deltoids, since I’ve only done it once before. This is a great workout. It only uses dumbbells for maybe half of it and Beth doesn’t do tons of reps, so I was able to manage to use my heavier 6 lb weights with proper form for the whole workout, which really surprised me. I love the important stretching of the upper back and shoulders at the beginning. I’ve done many of them before in the shoulder workout, but something about Beth’s cuing caused me to get a different stretch this time, which was great. I definitely have some tension in my upper back since I started listing heavier weights, so I was grateful for an opportunity to work on that area specifically.

Combined with Basic Step II, which is primarily a leg workout, this was a perfect combination. Yes, it was nearly an hour. I rarely have an hour to spare anymore. But I remember now why an hour is a great length for me.

 

BONUS: Do your best to do at least one (maybe two) 30-minute medium-intensity cardio sessions.

 

Weight Lifting 101

I have been looking forward to trying this new workout. I’ll be honest, I find weight lifting tedious. Give me some intense cardio in a fun routine like Kickboxing or Aerobics; or a Couch to 5K program. But I also wanted the benefits that come from lifting weights. So I’ve been making sure to incorporate routines with weights several times a week. I like that Beth uses several different levels of weights. I also appreciates the use of dumbbells in deadlifts instead of barbells. This makes it much more accessible to those of us who won’t be purchasing new equipment any time soon. (That being said, I really wanted to run out and get some heavier dumbbells after realizing what I could do).

 

Tabata

I love the concept of Tabata, especially the way Beth does it. I like that she tries to keep the exercises from being too tedious. This particular one isn’t as intense as Tabata Kick and Squat, but it is a good solid workout that hits several major muscle groups while still being light to medium cardio.

 

The workouts are definitely getting harder and after the week I just had, it’s tempting to give up. But I know it’s better to just get back on the horse. So I’m throwing myself into Week 5. Let’s see how it goes.

 

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Fit2B Advancing: Week 3

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This week I decided to slightly increase my weight levels. I didn’t always do this wisely. Sometimes I still battle the old tendency that if it doesn’t hurt, it’s not difficult enough. (I know this goes completely against Beth’s philosophy of gentle fitness, I’m still working on it).

WEEK 3 GOAL: Three Studio Workouts + 1 Daily Double

Studio Workout One: Warm-up for 5-10 minutes then do Balanced

Warm-up: Fingers and Toes

Balanced

I had originally planned to do this workout with 3 lb weights since it had been a while. Instead I decided to try the 6 lb. I was able to keep my core engaged, but my muscles were definitely fatigued afterwards, perhaps too much. I like that the focus is on balance as well as weight, not just straight weight lifting. Fingers and Toes was also a great way to warm up since my hands do actually get a little sore as I adjust to lifting heavier weights.

Studio Workout Two: Warm-up for 5-10 minutes then do Ultimate Upper Body

Warm-up: Basic Aerobics III

Ultimate Upper Body

I was feeling particularly tired this day, so it was hard to get through Ultimate Upper Body. I alternated 3 ad 6 lb weights. But I definitely was feeling it in my arms. Perhaps more than I should, because I felt a little weak and shaky afterwards. In the past I would have seen that as a sign of a good workout, but I’ve learned from Beth that we don’t need to destroy our bodies to make them stronger. So I want to feel the work without ended up in pain.

Studio Workout Three: Warm-up for 3-5 minutes then do Tabata Ball Workout

Warm-up: Mula Bandha

Tabata Ball Workout

I haven’t done Tabata Ball workout in at least a year or two. I used a 6 lb dumbbell rather than a weighted ball. (I’m still hoping to get a 8 lb one like this). Most of the workout went fine with that. But the squats were a little awkward. I couldn’t find a way to easily balance the dumbbell between my knees. Wow, did my calves hurt. You wouldn’t think that would be the worst part, but it was. Two days later and I was still feeling it.

Daily Double: Warm-up for at least 5 minutes then do Insane Upper Body & Totally Transverse II

Warm-up: Shoulder Stretches

Insane Upper Body

Totally Transverse

I used Shoulder Stretches as my warm up before Totally Transverse II and Insane Upper Body. As I’ve started to include 6 lb weights in part of Insane Upper Body the workout is beginning to earn it’s name for me. I’ve given myself permission to switch to 3 lb weights or complete fewer repetitions but between making sure my core is engaged, breathing properly and focusing on proper form, this is a doozy. I always feel a tad shaky afterwards. I won’t start advancing to a heavier weight until I can do the whole workout with the 6 lb weights without feeling my muscles get all twitchy.

BONUS: Try to accomplish some medium-intensity cardiovascular training for 30 minutes on two additional days.

Basic Aerobics IV & Basic Step

My 1 year old is adorable when I do step aerobics. He grabs the lid to his Duplo and stands on it like it’s a step. I like the basic concept of step aerobics because of the high cardio value as well as the need for coordination. I like challenging my brain and increasing the level of impact. Basic Aerobics IV was a nice add on because it increases intensity with the use of weights. Don’t go too heavy if this is your first time.  Light weights go a long way.

Kelly’s Total Body Workout

After using weights so much this week, it was nice to do a full body workout, including a killer arm routine, but without any necessary equipment. I am always continually mystified each time I do this workout that I am able to get such a great effect in my upper body without the use of weights. But of course the biggest selling point for me is the full body nature of this workout and in less than 30 minutes. (It’s also pretty easy to do in a small space).

This was a rough week with my kids being sick, but I still wanted to make exercise a priority. Sometimes I meant the kids literally being under my feet. But at least I’m setting a good example for them. It’s especially cute when they decide to join me. Occasionally, my five year old even asks for his own workouts to do. Even if you have an off week, don’t give up. If you have to repeat the week, or take two weeks to get through all the workouts, that’s OK too. Better to go at your own pace than to give up.

Week 4

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Fit2B Advancing: Week 1

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I will say upfront that it has not been easy to prioritize exercise lately. Sometimes I miss a day. Sometimes I have to split a workout over multiple sessions on multiple days. I prefer to workout without my kids, but more often than not, I have them literally underfoot while trying to exercise. Because I can’t afford to wait for a better time. I’m not willing to delay until things get easier. I want to start working toward my healthier, stronger body now. So I do, even if it means it’s not ideal or convenient.

Week 1

Studio Workout One: Go for a 5-10 minute walk then do “Pilates in Pajamas”

Walking Workout
Since the weather wouldn’t cooperate, I substituted the walking workout for a walk outside. While this workout is longer than the prescribed 5-10 minutes, you don’t have to do all of it. Or, if life is crazy, you can do like I did, and do them on different days.

Pilates in Pajamas
This is an old favorite and really a joy to start with. It is gentle, and has a steady pace without being too easy. I found that I didn’t break a sweat, but definitely felt my muscles working.

Studio Workout Two: Do Peaceful Blend

I don’t usually get to do this workout, first because it’s so long and secondly because for a long time it didn’t run properly on the Roku which is where I do the majority of my exercising. It was borderline miraculous that I got through it at all with minimal interruption. It was the first real workout I’ve done in the new house in our family room where the TV has taken up residence. While I absolutely still hate the carpet in here, the very cushy carpet pad makes things quieter and more comfortable than the wood floors in our old house.

I know that I still have a separation and from what I can tell, I haven’t made tons of progress. But I felt strong. I was able to engage my core at the times I needed to and thing didn’t feel floppy. In general my middle feels much less squishy than it has for the past few months.

Daily Double: Do TS Transitions to warm up. Then do Wall Workout with guest instructor, Kelly Dean.

I love both these workouts, though I actually find that pairing them together produces too much redundancy for my taste. Wall Workout with Kelly is one of the most complete upper body, lower body and core workouts in under 10 minutes. Bam! No excuses about not having enough time. Transitions is a nice get yourself moving kind of routine without being too aerobic. I know there is nothing inherently special about it, yet I find myself coming back to it again and again.

BONUS: Accomplish some medium-intensity cardio training for 25 minutes on two additional days.

Half-Round Foam Roller routine
I really enjoyed this routine. It was challenging and interesting. The balance component was especially fun. It reminded me of some aspects of ballet class that I miss. I had to do some modifications since my half foam roller is a shorter one. (I grabbed my son’s My Pal Scout to support my head at the end and it actually worked quiet well).

Get Up and Down
This is similar to Align it Flat but feels much more like a workout while still containing those important alignment cues.

I’m excited to feel like I’m finally making progress in prioritizing my health and fitness. I’m realizing more and more that I need and want to be stronger. Not because I want to look a certain way (though that doesn’t hurt) but because I need that strength to be effective in my life. I so appreciate the Fit2B Studio member forum. I shared some of my discouragement about my unclosed abdominal separation and feeling stuck in my fitness. I got so many encouraging suggestions and Beth Learn herself even chimed in to say that maybe I needed to challenge my core a little bit more while still maintaining proper engagement and alignment rather than just wait until things were fully healed. This is one of the many things I love about the Fit2B online community. Beth and her business partners have built a wonderful support network to help us heal and grow, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

Week 2

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Fit2B Quick: Week 4

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I lost some time last week, between travel and extreme exhaustion I didn’t exercise for almost a whole week, at least with Fit2B.  But when we were visiting friends I took a hike and a very long walk. Don’t let your exercise schedule keep you from living your life.

 

Kelly’s Core Cardio

It has been a while since I’ve done this. I like the hooping motion because it uses a slightly different set of muscles than other typical cardio. It was a little more challenging to maintain my core engagement but I was still able to do it.
Bag A Better back

My first time ever doing this workout. Ironically all I could find to put in my grocery bags was my 3 lb hand weights, but I could totally see myself filling these bags with random kids toys or the shoes that seem to be constantly blocking my front door. This was a surprisingly challenging upper body workout. One of the best parts about it is how easy it is to make the workout harder when you are ready. Just add more stuff to your bags. Like so many of Beth’s workouts, this works well in real life. Grab a few bags, whatever you have to add weights and go.
Body Sculpting II

This is technically labeled a challenging workout. But Beth provides multiple suggestions for modifications and I made sure to use them. Though this is called body sculpting, I think it actually makes a good short cardio routine. (Which is great because I’ve been running out of short cardio).
Bag a Better Booty

This was a really interesting workout. The bags I used had handles that were a little too long, so it was hard for me to get the full workout within my current range of motion, with good alignment. As often happens, my supporting leg got an even stronger workout than the leg that was in motion. Trying to avoid sinking into my supporting hip while still lifting weight with my free leg was definitely challenging. I can see how this workout may help me learn to use good alignment while dancing.
Hipster Chair Moves

This is only the second time I have done this workout. It’s a fun little workout. Not too long. Definitely does some great work on the legs, hips and glutes. (In retrospect perhaps not the best choice the day after Bag A Better Booty, but I did OK).
Mula Bandha

My favorite part of this, even after so many years of doing it, is the tree pose. It really changes the focus a bit and helps me make sure I’m not compensating with other muscles. If it’s been a while since you’ve tried this, it’s worth a revisit.
Restorative Poses

This is so relaxing, especially if there aren’t any kids around. This workout can really be as long as you like, just pause after each stretch and rest in each stretch for a while longer.

I am back to really struggling with getting up early in the morning, which means that I have a hard time getting my workouts in. I wish I was already as strong as I want to be, running miles again and doing yoga and lifting weights in between. But I’m not there yet. So I have to accept it and do the best I can for now.

 

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio annual membership.

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If you need a little more help; rehab rather than just fitness, check out The Tummy Team.

 

 

Fit2B Quick Week 1

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This first week felt great. I’ve really struggled in recent months to build a consistent exercise habit. It’s hard to fit it in and some days I’d rather not do it at all than fit it around a cranky baby and whining older kids. But I’m plunging forward anyway.
Basic Aerobics II

If you need, short cardio that gets your heart up, this is your first stop.

Big (little) Band Workout

This is amazingly short, but is great. Perfect for on the road because bands travel well. You could literally do this anywhere.

Basic Aerobics III

What can I say about this workout that I haven’t before. When you get sick of Basic Aerobics II, this is your next stop.

Ankles and Upper Body

This is a great example of a short but effective full body workout. Yes, upper and lower body just like it says. I keep coming back to this one again and again.

Warrior Workout

I don’t often do this workout but it’s short and sweet. I love that it has kind of a relaxing pace while still working some muscles. It’s gentle enough to do before bed, but it’s definitely not just a stretching routine.

Bonus:

Neck Routine

I have been putting off doing this workout for far too long. I carry a ton of tension in my neck and shoulders so this is very necessary for me. Never underestimate the power of a good stretching workout.

Basic Transverse and Mula Bandha

This is a deceptively simple workout. It’s perfect when you are sick, tired, recovering or just don’t have much time or energy to devote to exercise.  Because working on and maintaining your core is always worth it.

What I loved about this week’s schedule was how short the workouts were. Yes, there is a trade off in intensity (though not as much as you would think). It also felt good to be consistent. 7 straight days of regular activity feels pretty darn good, even if some days I only do a core workout or short stretching routine.

Sometimes it can be hard to set realistic goals. I tell myself I have to exercise for at least an hour everyday. But that just isn’t sustainable at this phase of my life. But only five days a week for 15-20 minutes, that is a real possibility. Setting goals is important, without them we can flounder and never make progress towards the things that matter to us. (Like being strong and healthy enough to live the life we want). But setting unrealistic goals is failing before we’ve even begun, because we know it’s unsustainable.

So start out slow, set some realistic goals and join me.

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio annual membership.

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If you need a little more help; rehab rather than just fitness, check out The Tummy Team.

Fit2B Quick: Exercise When You’re Short On Time

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We are in a very busy season at our house. Exercise has definitely taken a back seat. I wanted to move forward with reviewing Fit2B Advancing (Again). But as great as those workouts are, I just don’t have the time for long workouts right now. Thus my new schedule, Fit2B Quick. The goal is go get a decent workout most days of the week in a half an hour or less (mostly less). I recognize the benefit of focusing on longer workouts for endurance sake. But right now I’m moving forward under the oft quoted philosophy that something is better than nothing.
2 days cardio

2 days weights or strength

1 day full body, yoga or Pilates (basically almost any workout from Fit2B at the proper length).

Bonus: one day core work & one day stretching or relaxing.
When life is very hectic and I’m under lots of stress, exercise always seems to be the first thing dropped from my schedule. (Ironic, I know since exercise helps me to maintain my stress levels). But I’m trying to battle that tendency. I try to knock out a quick workout in the morning while the kids are eating breakfast. (Ideally before they get up, but that isn’t often the case around here). Another good option is to tackle your workout right after dinner or after the kids go to bed. When something is really important, sometimes the only thing we can do is squeeze it in.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

 

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio annual membership.

Join Fit2b.us

If you need a little more help; rehab rather than just fitness, check out The Tummy Team.