Fit2B Advancing: Week 6

advancingpath

WEEK 6: Three Daily Double Workouts + Bonus

Daily Double One: Warm-up then do Yoga 4 Runners and Jump Change

Warm-up: Core Wakeup

Yoga 4 Runners

Jump Change
Core Wakeup was a great warm up. I want to continue to find ways to integrate proper core engagement throughout my day, and this is a good one to help do that. Jump Change is isn’t usually one of my favorites. It definitely gets the heart rate up and the higher impact aspect is supposed to be quite good for bone density. But it doesn’t have the flow of Beth’s other workouts. I also had to do a good bit of modifying since I seem to have this uncloseable core, despite all of my hard work. But I did my best to engage and do the alternatives offered and suggested. Yoga for Runners was a favorite of mine from back when I used to actually run. But it was still a good cool down and stretch. It’s definitely worth adding to your routine.

 
Daily Double Two: Weighted Warriors and Kelly’s Core Cardio

I loved revisiting Kelly’s Core Cardio and it was a perfect way to warm up for Weighted Warriors. I chose to use my lighter three lb weights since I knew I had lost some momentum during our weeks of illness. I probably could have gone a little heavier, but I decided to focus more on proper form and alignment. A great workout emphasizes just a handful of yoga movements but adding weights to increase the difficulty.

 
Daily Double Three: Warm-up then Wall Workout with Beth and Hold It!

Warm-up: Vertical Core

Wall Workout with Beth

Hold it!
Vertical Core provided a good, stationary warm up. I like these office routine workouts because they show how you can integrate healthy core movement. This is only the second time I’ve done the Wall workout with Beth. I definitely had to do some careful modifications, and you can be sure I didn’t end up upside down at all. It’s not quite as comprehensive as Kelly Dean’s Wall Workout, but it’s still some good movement in a short period of time. I’m not sure I’d ever do it by itself but it’s good paired with something else.

Usually I don’t like Hold It. The entire workout is focused on sustained movement. It is in this workout that I learn something important about myself, that I would rather do something hard and fast than slow and sustained. Because it somehow feels better to get sweaty and even hurt a little because it feels like a “real” workout. But in Hold It my arms were screaming from properly holding the various warrior poses. I was forced to focus on my breath, alignment and core. It is deceptively simple, because to do it properly requires a great deal of work.

 

Bonus
21 Tone Up

I love this workout. It has earned the rank of one I will come back to time and again; like all the Basic Aerobics routines and Kelly Dean’s Total Body Workout. It isn’t too long and while I appreciate the benefits of longer workouts, sometimes if I don’t have an hour it can be easy to just give up and skip it. But this packs a punch, without overdoing it and makes it easy to fit things into my workout. While it is fine as is, you can also add weights if you feel the need to bump it up a notch. Since I was having a tired day and working out in the evening which is not my preferred time, I did it mostly without.
Step & Pivot around the World

This was a new one that I have been dying to try. But since it was ranked as challenging I wanted to wait until I was in better shape. It didn’t disappoint. I chose the simpler modification of several motions and I’m fairly sure I was on the wrong foot the majority of the time, but this was a blast. Step aerobics may seems like a cliché from the late 20th century but it has a lot to recommend itself. If you’ve tried Basic Step and Basic Step II, and you are looking to try some more complicated choreography, give this one a try. It got my heart rate thumping without making me feel short of breath.
And just like that, 6 weeks is up and I’m ready to move on from Fit2B Advancing. I’m excited to come back in a week or two and tell you about the 6 X 6 Pathway. It debuted while I was postpartum, so I haven’t been able to try it yet. I’m excited to continue my fitness growth with Fit2B. Three plus years, and I still haven’t run out of ways to use this amazing program. I will always be grateful to Beth Learn, and the rest of her team for the positive impact they have had on me.

If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, I encourage you to give Fit2B a try. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

 

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to get 30% off of your annual membership. Check it out here.

home-page-final-cta1

This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

Fit2B Advancing: Week 3

advancingpath

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

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to get 30% off of your annual membership. Check it out here.

home-page-final-cta1

This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

Fit2B Advancing: Week 1

advancingpath

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

home-page-final-cta1

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to get 30% off of your annual membership. Check it out here.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

Fit2B Minimal: Week 2.5 – The Chair and Coughing Edition

Join Fit2b.us

 

I was supposed to be introducing you to Week 3 of my series Fit2B Minimal. Instead I turned my ankle stepping of the bottom landing of my stairs and spent most of the week with my feet up hoping to recover well enough to dance the following Sunday in the performance at my church that I had been choreographing, teaching and practicing for the last three to four months. (The good news is that it worked, and I was able to perform but I’m continuing to try and take it easy).

So for the last week I’ve been focusing on my Daily Minimum, which fortunately were both chair workouts. I’ve also had a cough for three weeks that I can’t seem to shake. So instead of Week 3, I present my Week 2.5. Daily Minimum reviews plus some links to important info on how to protect your core when you have a cold.

 

Daily Core: Basic Transverse and Mula Bandha

I don’t often come back to this simple workout, but it really is a great way to return to my roots. I did fast forward through some of Beth’s opening pep talk (wonderful as it is) because I have done this many times before. But if you are new to it, it’s worth the extra couple of minutes. She says some very encouraging things about learning to love our bodies and honor the journey they have taken us on.

 

Daily Stretch: Neck Routine

This routine has been absolutely essential for the last week. It has helped relieve the tension from too much time spent in front of the computer and lots of time spent with my feet up while I heal my ankle. I love trying to incorporate the stretches (favorites like Stop and Drop and Prayer on the Side) into my day at other times, especially when I notice tension in my neck or I know I’m under stress.
Regarding the nasty cough I can’t seem to get rid of, as cold and flu season have arrived here in the North East, I refer you to Beth Learn’s posts

Protecting Your Abs When You’re Coughing & Sneezing

“Stressors can make you stronger, or they can weaken you further. It depends on how you face them, prepare for them, and recover from them.”

7 Cues for Protecting Your Core When You’re Fighting A Cold

“The list I’m about to give you reflects my notes on cues {because I’m a body nerd like that} that I tested on myself when I was in the thick of a head cold after a hard round of jumping on a trampoline. The specific situation we’re discussing here is how we deal with coughing, sneezing, and blowing our noses when our PF and TA are already a bit tired.”

Also, if you are out of commission for a bit, like I was with my ankle, check out the Sit and Get Fit pathway which features workouts which can be done seated or on the floor. Hopefully I’ll be back next week with my full review of the workouts from Week 3. Until the, take care of yourselves.

 

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to get 30% off of your annual membership. Check it out here.

Join Fit2b.us

Fit2B Quick: Week 4

Join Fit2b.us

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.

Join Fit2b.us

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

 

 

Fit2B Quick Week 1

Join Fit2b.us

This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

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.

Join Fit2b.us

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

Join Fit2b.us

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.