Strength Streak Challenge Update

Today is day 5 of my holiday fitness streak.  Motivation is still high and if it ever does reach a low point, I will think of my disappointing lipid profile results (discussed in this post, Am I Skinny Fat) to bring me back to the major reason why I wanted to establish the habit of maintaining a strength workout.  Fortunately, it’s been easy to keep a consistent schedule because 1) I have the support of my family and 2) our neighborhood YMCA has an excellent childwatch program that my kids enjoy.  They play while I workout, a WIN-WIN situation.

Here’s a quick run-down of what I’ve accomplished so far:

Day 1: Thanksgiving Day.  I was up early, kids and husband were still asleep and at the gym by 7AM.  Our YMCA was actually open to the public, even nonmembers, so I expected to see a little bit of a crowd.  Surprisingly enough, the gym was empty, except for the group classes (I think a core-conditioning class and a spin class).  I guess everyone else was too busy cooking turkey!IMG_7382[1]

Thanksgiving day was a full-body strength workout with exercises adapted from Todd Durkin’s “The Impact Body Plan” book.  I started with a foam-roller (myofascial release for my back, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quads) then followed it with a dynamic warm-up (inchworm with pushups, bodyweight squats, hip swings, lunge and rotate, reverse lunges, and side lunges).  The main workout consisted of 3 sets of 5 multi-jointed exercises using mostly heavy weights: 1) Barbell deadlift 2) Dumbbell clean and press 3) Renegade Row 4) Dumbbell step-up 5) Sumo squat to front raise with weighted plate.   Finished with core exercises on the TRX.

Day 2: Black Friday.  It’s becoming a tradition for my family to head to our neighborhood Target and check out their black friday deals. No crowds so it’s hassle-free and the kids got ideas for what they can write in their wish lists.  It so happens the YMCA is only a 2-minute drive from Target, so I suggested for us to go to the Y afterwards.  Since I was still recovering from my Thanksgiving workout, it was an easy and quick 30 minutes focusing on hip mobility and core strength- all bodyweight exercises

Day 3: Saturday 11/28.  After a month off from running, I decided I was ready to hit the road again for a morning long run (almost 7mi, although I planned for 6).  I met up with the running group I usually run with and my best friend who is also my best running buddy was able to finally join us after taking a break post-pregnancy!  How excited was I to see her.  Well, it was the first time I ran in cold weather – 40s in San Diego is considered chilly! It took awhile to warm up and even by the end of the run, I was still comfortable wearing a long sleeve shirt with a vest and long tights.  I was very grateful to be running again without any issues with my ankle  On my way home, I detoured to the YMCA for a 15 minute core and hip mobility workout.

Day 4: Sunday 11/29.  Usually a day of rest, but not during my holiday streak!  My hubby was okay with me heading to the gym.  And one of my girls was willing to go to childwatch, so off we went to the Y where I completed 2000m on the rowing machine followed by a series of push-ups and pull-ups.  Indoor rowing is a tough and rewarding full-body workout that can be done in less than 15 minutes.  When I do a 2k erg, I always try to beat my previous times – the fastest I’ve done was a 10:55 which was a year ago.  Currently, I’m averaging 11:20-11:30.

Day 5: Oh Manic Monday 11/30.  My 5 yr old is back to school after a week break and we were in a frenzy this morning.  After I dropped her off, I was ready to de-stress at the gym with an hour barbell workout (deadlifts, rows, presses, squats) and push-ups/pull-ups.  My day has been non-stop since I stepped out of the gym and honestly, I am one exhausted mama. Finally some quiet time after dinner and a chance to sit down.  I will make it a point to be in bed early enough so that tomorrow I will be fully recharged to go forth with my strength challenge.

It’s not too late to start a holiday fitness streak.  Tomorrow is the perfect day to start – the first day of December!  Join me in this challenge and experience the power of a strong body.