10 Week Workout – Week 1 Recap

So this week was a bit of a false start on my epic woman-with-a-plan 10 week workout. This was my first full week of summer semester classes and much like the workout it’s only a 10 week semester so there’s an equal amount of work shoved in to two less weeks. No excuses, I just underestimated the amount of time I would be spending on my studies.

However, I did get a couple of workouts in this week and despite the huge number of reps, I did not struggle as much as I expected to. I decided for at least the first few weeks to break the total number of reps into two sets if I was working with numbers over 20 just to make it a little easier and make it into a HIIT type of workout since it allows me to keep moving. I hope by the end of 10 weeks that I’ll be able to do both the pushups and russian twists without having to modify.

So I’m going to go into this week with more realistic expectations, and try to get at minimum 5 out of 7 days worth of workout under my belt this week. I recruited a friend from work to do it with me, so hopefully that will help this week be a more successful start than last week was for me.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and an even better week!

Some of my Favorite Podcasts

Happy Thursday everyone! I wanted to share some of my favorite health & fitness podcasts. I do a lot of driving with a 40 minute commute each way, and try to do some walking every day, and while I love music, I love learning even more. Here are the podcasts I plug into the most often…

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The Jillian Michaels Podcast

Jillian is like my fitness psychiatrist, I don’t agree with everything she says, but she’s got the why behind weight gain and obesity down to a science. I can’t agree that weight loss is simple math and if you take in fewer calories than you burn that you’ll get the body you want. However, I love the banter between her and her producer and she gives some advice that blow my mind sometimes. If you need some real talk in your life, or are looking for something to inspire you to start your journey or take the next step, give Jillian a listen.

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The Everyday Paleo Podcast

 I’ve been eating paleo for almost a year now, and Jason and Sarah have really helped me to shape my plan. They break it down in a way you can understand, and never get too technical, and always sound like they’re having a good time. Thanks to these guys I’ve started eating more protein and fat throughout the day, and have started to ween myself off my morning smoothies. These are the guys to ask if you have questions about making it over the cravings hump or burning fat. I have Jason’s newest book “The Paleo Coach” and I can’t wait to dig in and help dial my eating in.

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The Paleo Solution Podcast

Robb Wolf hosts The Paleo Solution, and if you’re interested in the biochemistry of what you eat, this is a great podcast. I have an educational background in the sciences, but I think even those with a very basic understanding of how the body works could follow most of the episodes. Most of their training tips are more male-centric, but if I ever had a question about what I needed to do to dial in a specific effect (reduce psoriasis flare ups, set a new PR, or paleo pregnancy questions) I would ask these guys.

Those are my top three, what are you guys listening to on the road or treadmill? I always love new recommendations.

I am a Woman With a Plan

And there’s nothing more dangerous than that! For a while I had the benefit of small group personal training at my gym, but like so many others, it just isn’t in my budget anymore. That was about two months ago that I decided to leave the program and my strength training has fallen by the wayside ever since, but I finally found a plan that instantly got me excited.

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I found this workout plan while happily browsing through Pinterest (you can follow me here) and instantly it struck a chord in me. I love body weight movements, and I think following this plan for 10 weeks will help me get down perfect form while gaining a lot of strength. And that same day I found this…

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I have a bit of an obsession with planks. They’re something I’ve never been great at, but I always feel so powerful when I can extend my hold time. My best during group training was 2 minutes, and I would just about do cartwheels if I could hold a 5 minute plank. I have a feeling it will take me longer than 30 days to get there, but I’m going to replace the plank sets in the 10 week workout with those in the plank challenge until I make that 5 minute mark.

I know I don’t have many followers yet, but I encourage anyone who stumbles across this and wants an accountability buddy, just leave a comment and we’ll rock the next 10 weeks out together! I’ll be using #10WeekWorkout on twitter if you’d like to follow my adventure in pain! 🙂

Overcoming Setbacks

After much frustration and many false starts I have come to accept that almost any time I start a new fitness routine or get on a really solid roll with my diet, I either get injured or sick. I recognize that I’m the architect of my own destruction most of the time because I tend to jump in too fast andtry to do too much, but I do think that things like injury and illness are a natural part of any journey, and how we respond to those events can make all the difference.

At the beginning of April, I started the Couch 2 5K program in preparation for a host of 5k races I plan on running this summer. I’ve never been much of a runner, but the interval system worked really well for me and I busted out 1.78 miles in half an hour, a feat I never thought possible of myself, much less on day one of training. I was so excited to keep going, “I can really do this!”  I thought. And then life intervened.

I got hit with Norovirus, a very aggressive stomach virus, and was down hard for a full week. No solid food, a close relationship with the bathroom, and a whole lot of napping later, I lost 6 lbs of muscle and it took me two weeks to even feel like I could go back to the gym or go rock climbing. The first week I went back, I tried getting on the treadmill, ready to repeat my successes from earlier in the month, and got a rude awakening. I made it a whole 15 minutes in, which includes a 5 minute warm up walk, and felt like I was going to die. My hip flexors went all out of whack, and to avoid injury I stopped right there and went to do some post run yoga, and try to figure out what was happening to me.

I had to accept that my road was going to be a lot longer than originally planned and being discouraged wasn’t going to get me anywhere. I resolved that I would do as many intervals as I could, and try to add at least one more each running day. Finally, on Friday I had worked myself back up to the whole workout, with a quick breather because my cardio endurance is a little slower to catch up than my muscles, and I finally almost match my original success in that first workout.

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It may not look like much, but this is total success in my world

So now that you’ve heard my setback story what is my advice for you? It’s simple, you have to accept that at some point in your fitness life, you are going to get either sick or injured, and it’s going to force you to make adjustments. Here’s a little step by step that works best for me… (Keep in mind that I’m not a doctor, and this should only be applied to simple sickness or strained muscles, always get in touch with a real doctor for serious injuries)

  • Accept your circumstances without judgement. You got sick or pulled a hamstring, it’s okay! Take a moment to think if you were ultimately responsible for this, either by overtraining or not eating in a way that supports your current level of training, don’t beat yourself up over it, just don’t make the same mistake twice!
  • Give yourself time to recover. You need to allow your body fully recover from whatever your setback is before getting back out there full force. I took two weeks off to get nutrients back in my body before I even considered going back into a workout. Take this time to focus in on your diet to get your body back to its best self.
  • Work yourself back up to normal. Chances are, after a break of even a week, you’ve lost some strength or endurance. Try a normal workout, but listen to your body very carefully to figure out where you are, and  create a plan from there. Do you need to try and add more weights or sets each week, or one more interval in each work out?
  • Make a plan and stick with it. This might be a longer journey than expected, don’t try to take shortcuts or you’re just going to wind up back at the beginning after another injury. Celebrate the small victories and you’ll get back up to normal before you know it!

What is the worst injury and longest recovery you’ve ever dealt with? What advice would you have for those dealing with their own set back?

Who is the Little Spoon?

Hello brave new world and May the Fourth be with you!

My name is Alexis, and I’m officially starting my journey to become a little spoon. I started getting healthier in July of 2012, and made some good headway, but the holidays hit and I decided to let myself fall off the wagon and subsequently undid all the hard work I had originally done. Now I’m recommitting to being the healthiest, happiest person I can, and I’m hoping that blogging about it will help keep me accountable.

Here are some of my long term goals…

  • Be able to hold my own in a Crossfit WOD
  • Be able to rock climb at a 5.10 level
  • Run a marathon

Here are my 2013 goals that are helping me get there…

  • See a number on the scale below 200 (currently 222)
  • Climb a 5.7 rated route with ease (currently working on 5.6)
  • Jog a full 5k (current PR is 45.47)

I’m sure just by the nature of blogging you’ll learn more about me as time goes on, but here’s the cliff notes version. I’m a happily married 23 year old who live in the mountains with 3 kitties, a bunny, and a husband. I work full time in accounting, and I go to school part time now that I’ve worked in the real world and realize what I really want to get a degree in. I’m trying to keep a balance in my life between work, school, fitness, and family and I definitely don’t have it all figured out yet.

I hope I eventually get some followers, and when I do I can’t wait to learn more about you guys and hopefully inspire you to make your health a priority.