There's a poster my parents have always had up in their basement (both at Old Home and in their current place) which says, "The way to get anywhere is to start from where you are." (Or, words to that effect.) It might sound trite, but I believe those are truly words to live by, especially when it comes to tackling a daunting task like overhauling one's eating habits and improving one's fitness level.
I've been thinking that much like our new eating plan, which I suspect has been effective largely because it is a structured program that gives clear guidelines on how to achieve a specific goal (losing weight), my workout plan could use a bit of a shake-up. I have been lax in my gym time over the past few weeks, and while I'm trying (and succeeding, for the most part) to be more active overall by walking more and sitting less (etc.), lack of cardio does not a more fit person make. Plus, the lovely Lindsay has been totally inspiring me with a ton of great exercise resources, goal-setting tools, and encouraging updates about her own progress getting in shape. All that inspiration has to result in something, right?
So today, when my workout buddy came over for our usual Monday afternoon gym session, I brought my tablet down and we let Jillian Michaels kick our butts with her "30 Day Shred" workout. 20 minutes and one "level one" workout later I couldn't walk properly on my jello-legs, but I comfort myself with the knowledge that my friend was also exhausted afterwards, and she is much fitter than I am! (I hope I can remember that when I'm unable to roll out of bed tomorrow and have to limp along to work on my trembly legs and burning thighs. It WILL be worth it!!!)
Things I Learned from Today's Workout:
1. I need to wear tighter clothes for this particular program, as my pants kept falling down. (Way to make me feel even MORE self-conscious while doing jumping jacks!)
2. You can call it "jumping jacks," "jump rope," "butt kicks" or whatever else you want - it is ALL THE SAME and pretty much made me want to die by the end of the workout. I'm on to you, Ms. Michaels...
3. Any form of jumping is SERIOUS BUSINESS, people. Serious cardio business - no messing around, here!
4. Arm weights that seemed dinky at the beginning of the workout can suddenly become much heavier by the end. (Actually, I already knew this. It's just that now I know it, know it, if you know what I mean.)
5. I need at least two sets of arm weights to get a really good arm workout in, because for some of the exercises I couldn't even handle my measly 2.5 pounders by the final few reps, but for others (I'm looking at you, butterfly press) I could have at least doubled what I was lifting.
6. Dynamic stretching (ie. stretching through movement) is the best way to warm up your muscles, while static stretching (ie. the typical "holding a position" stretches most of us are familiar with) should be left for the cool-down period.
7. The correct way to perform a quad stretch is with the opposite hand grasping the foot. (I've been doing this wrong for so long, no wonder I used to find this stretch kind of painful!!)
8. 20 minutes is shorter than you think - I wanted to quit around what I thought was the halfway mark, but it turned out that we were less than 5 minutes away from being completely finished! Mind you, that was quite possibly the longest 5 minutes of my life... o.O
9. This workout will not, in fact, kill me. No one is more shocked than I am! ;)
My plan is to do this 20 minute workout at least 5 times a week for the next two weeks (ie. until my trip to Florida!)* and then see where things stand when I get back from the conference I'm attending. Tomorrow I would love to keep up my momentum, but I'm working an 8 hour shift (on my feet the whole time, I might add) and then have to scoot off to a guitar lesson uptown, so there's no way I will have the energy for a workout. But Wednesday, it will happen!!
*I have an exciting announcement about this later! But that's all for now... I know, I'm such a tease! ;)