Mixing it up

While the Insanity program was good in that I could do it from home, I fell into a bit of a slump afterward because I wasn’t used to going to the gym. Insanity was just something I fit in – both timewise and in the corner of my hotel room – instead of something I had to make time to do. After finishing Insanity (well, kind of), I thought I deserved a little break. However, that “little break” ended up lasting for over a month where I was barely working out. Oops! The funny thing is, because I was paying a lot more attention to my diet, I ended up actually holding steady as far as weight – and actually even losing a pound.

The upshot of all this: while working at my very casual dress client in Virginia, I can wear capris this week! It’s the first time all summer I’ve been able to fit into pants/capris – I’ve been using the free nature of skirts to give myself a pass on the fact that my butt and thighs have been getting a bit large, but now I’m starting to turn that around. Short shorts in my closet that I haven’t worn in a year, look out!

Now, I’m sure all of you are wondering how I’ve gotten here. Honestly, as I said before, it’s really been about watching my diet a lot more closely. As anathema to the theme of this blog as it may be, I’ve been cutting back on the boozing – still drinking the same number of nights a week, but I’m trying to stay away from my beloved beer and drink only wine or vodka/seltzer. Beer has instead become a once a week/special occasion drink (or at least, I try to make it that way). Also drinking-related, I’ve gotten really good at exercising my willpower and not getting anything to eat at the end of the night. I promise myself that when I get home, I can make myself anything I want to eat… and then when I get home, I remind myself how exhausted I am and that passing out and going to sleep is calorie-free :) It sounds very harsh and like I’m depriving myself, but in the past few weeks, every morning I’ve woken up after drinking, I’ve been so proud of myself for how responsible I was the night before by not gorging myself. It feels great!

On the workout front, I’ve been doing things very differently than in the past – and the general theme is that I’m really mixing things up. Instead of getting hooked on the elliptical or a specific weight routine, I’m trying to make every workout different than what I’ve done in the last few days. This week, I hit the elliptical on Monday (and combined that with some free weight lifting to work my arms), the stairstepper on Tuesday (combined with free weights targeting my lower body), and the treadmill this morning (not sure yet what I’ll be in the mood for tonight). I think my body is really responding well to the varied routine, and I’m also enjoying it a lot more to play it by ear. The trick for me is just to make sure that whatever I’m doing is at the gym – so I still have the routine of going to the gym; it’s just what I do there that’s different.

The one area where I’ve been totally steady and predictable? Well, it goes to wanting to maintain my Insanity strength while also combating the “weekend warrior” routine of sitting still for a long period of time and then doing an intense workout at the end of the day/week. I’ve started just dropping to the ground whenever possible (usually just at home, not at work, but I’ve been known to hit the floor in a conference room as soon as everyone steps out) and cranking out a set of 10 pushups. Once I complete a set, I log it on a counter widget on my phone, and my goal is to do at least 10 sets a day. 100 pushups a day! Me! Who would’ve thunk it?

The beauty of this plan is that breaking the pushups into sets of 10 means that I don’t get tired/sweaty, so I can spread them throughout the day. Plus, each set only takes me 17 seconds (I had my mom time me this weekend when I was home), which means the entire 100 pushups take me less than 3 minutes. I often even just throw it in while I’m getting ready in the morning, and then I’m all set and start my day feeling great. 3 minutes a day! That’s all it takes for a really compound exercise that works your entire upper body and abs. I love it! :)

I’m trying to expand this principle to other compound exercises as well (I’ve successfully also added 50 reps a day of tricep dips to my day), but the more exercises you have to do, the more daunting it is and the less likely you’ll do it. Still, I think adding something like deep lunges or squats could really help to work my lower body.

What are your favorite compound exercises?

Comments

  1. Did you say that before you did Insanity you couldn’t do pushups? I can’t do them either (on my feet) and would love to even be able to do 10! Good job!

  2. Totally agree with you about loving pushups! Last summer I made a pact to do pushups every other day. Even though they were the only arm exercise I did regularly, my arms looked fabulous all summer! I can only imagine the results you’d get doing so many every day.

  3. Favourite compound exercise? Burpees! Like you said about pushups, if you do them in sets of 10 throughout the day, you don’t get sweaty but you still reap the benefits.

    I actually did a 100 Day Challenge with a bunch of friends in 2009 (http://100burpees.blogspot.com/) and we had fun tracking where we did our burpees. We definitely got some funny looks when we dropped and did 10 in the bar!

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