Tag Archives: cardio

Nothing Ventured, Nothing “Lost”: Week 3

16 Dec

motivation, fitness

21 days down,  9 days to  go!!

I am 3/4 of the way through, and I have to say this has been the most successful week yet.  I have started seeing changes in the way my body looks, and most importantly, I feel great!

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Ventured

Here’s how my week went:

Monday

* Cardio: 2 minute warm up on treadmill; 10 min. at 5.5 mph, alternating 2 minute intervals at an incline of 5 every 2 minutes

Tuesday

* Cardio: 10 minutes on elliptical, setting on fat burn

* Strength training: back & shoulders

  • Lat pull down; 3 sets at 50 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Seated Row; 3 sets at 50 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Lat Press; 3 sets at 30 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Delt Raises; 3 sets at 20 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Shoulder Press; 1 set at 20 lbs.,  12 reps each, 2 sets at 30 lbs., 10 reps ea
  • Rear Delt Pull; 3 sets at 20 lbs., 12 reps each

Wednesday

* 15 minute cardio yoga workout.  I have been reading a little about yoga lately, and how it can greatly improve overall strength.  I googled a cardio yoga workout on youtube, and it was quite effective in getting my heart rate up, and making my muscles really burn.  You can check out the video I found here.  I was a little skeptical when she started talking about an inner fire and my golden flame.  Yes, you read that correctly.  But if you can get past that, the workout is pretty good.

Friday

* Cardio: 10 minutes on elliptical, setting on fat burn

* Strength training: Legs

  • Leg extensions (quads); 1 set at 50 lbs., 2 sets at 55 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Seated hamstring curls; 1 set at 55 lbs., 2 sets at 60 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Leg press; 1 set at 90 lbs., 2 sets at 100 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Calf raises; 3 sets at 35 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Lunges; 3 sets holding 8 lb. weight in each hand, 12 reps each

Sunday

* Cardio: 2 minute warm up on treadmill; 10 min. at 5.5 mph, alternating 2 minute intervals at an incline of 5 every 2 minutes

* Strength training: arms & chest

  • Bicep curls; 1 set at 15 lbs., 10 reps; 2 sets at 20 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Tricep curls; 2 sets at 20 lbs., 12 reps each, 1 set at 25 lbs., 12 reps
  • Chest Press; 3 sets at 40 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Chest fly; 1 set at 30 lbs., 2 sets at 40 lbs, 12 reps each

I missed my workouts on Thursday and Saturday due to extenuating circumstances.  Hey, life happens, but the important thing is that I got right back in the game and kept going, and the results were very encouraging.

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Lost

Guess who lost 2 pounds this week.  This girl!!  To be more precise I gained 0.31  lbs. of muscle, and lost 1.5 lbs. of pure fat!!  That’s a total of 2 lbs. in 3 weeks!  I lost 1/2″ from my hips, 1/4″ from my waist, and 1″ from my bust.  My total weight went from 139.4 to 137.4.

I think it is important to note at this point that I am not dieting.  I try to eat healthy, and I incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables into my meals, but I don’t deprive myself.  I try to avoid foods that are bad for me, but I don’t try to restrict myself to a certain number of calories per day.

This week I indulged in fresh sushi with miso soup and a nutella and banana filled crepe for dessert.  My hubby cooked up a delicious panini recipe using eggplant, roasted red peppers in adobo sauce, and feta cheese on rosemary bread served with tossed fresh greens.  I also enjoyed a huge serving of a roasted veggie stuffed crepe with ricotta, and a yummy cream sauce. (Also courtesy of Tyler)  We also had chips and salsa with fish tacos, black beans, and grilled veggies for lunch yesterday!!

Obviously we are not deprived.  I try to have at least one or two servings of greens per day, and most times I get a lot in my morning smoothie.  I snack on trail mix and fruit throughout the day, and I never feel like I am starving.  If you make it a point to eat fresh and healthy it easily becomes second nature to reach for an apple instead of that Snicker’s bar.  Incorporate exercise and soon it becomes a lifestyle, and that’s when you keep the weight off, and put yourself in a position to live a long, healthy, and happy life.

Nothing Ventured Nothing “Lost”: Week 1

4 Dec

8 days down, 23 days to go!!

I set a resolution for next year to maintain at least 10 minutes of cardio 5 days a week in an effort to maintain consistency in activity.  A week ago I began an experiment to see what type of results I could achieve with no less, but no more than 10 minutes of cardio exercise everyday for 30 days.  I wanted to prove how much being consistent plays a role in weight loss, and to establish a routine that would make it easier for me to stick to my New Year’s resolution.  I promised to “weigh in” each week so here are my results from the first week.

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Ventured

Normally I prefer to workout first thing in the morning.  I like to get it out of the way, and I love how energized it makes me feel.  Besides, I’m usually so exhausted by the end of the day that the last thing I want to do is work out.  I started the week out like this with good intentions, but Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I just felt like sleeping in so I made up my own 10 minute cardio routine that I did as soon as I got home from work.

My week looked something like this:

Monday

* 2 minute warm up on treadmill, 10 minutes at 5 mph, no incline

Tuesday

* The same treadmill workout as Monday

* Light strength training: arms & chest

  •  Hammer curls; 3 sets of with 10 lbs. weights, 12 reps each
  • Chest press; 3 sets at 40 lbs., 12 reps each

Wednesday

* See previous cardio workouts

* Strength training: shoulders & back

  • Lat pull down; 3 sets at 40 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Seated Row; 3 sets at 40 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Delt Raises; 3 sets at 10 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Shoulder Press; 3 sets at 10 lbs., 12 reps each

Thursday

I made up my own 10 minute cardio routine that required no equipment.

  • Jumping jacks, high knee jog in place, side squats with hop sequence, scissor skier, and jump rope

I alternated between each exercise performing each for 30 second intervals until I had completed a full 10 minutes.  I then finished with a quick 5 minute ab routine.  I really like this 8 minute ab workout.  It’s robotic so I mute the sound, blast my Britney, and just watch the routine.

Friday and Saturday I repeated my Thursday routine, and after weigh in this morning I was motivated to push myself a bit harder when it comes to strength training.

Sunday

* Cardio: Elliptical level 8, 5 minutes forward, 5 minutes backward.

* Strength training: Legs

  • Leg extensions (quads); 3 sets at 50 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Seated hamstring curls; 2 sets at 50 lbs., 1 set at 55 lbs., 15 reps each
  • Leg press; 1 set at 70 lbs., 2 sets at 90 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Calf raises; 2 sets at 35 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Squats; 3 sets holding one 8 lb. weight in front of me, 12 reps each
  • Lunges; 2 sets holding 8 lb. weight in each hand, 12 reps each

* 8 minute ab routine incorporating weights and swiss ball

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Lost

When I stepped on the scale yesterday morning I was a little disappointed to see that I had actually gained a pound.  I am well aware that it is common to gain some weight when you initially start a new exercise program.  There are several reasons why this may happen ranging from caloric intake and types of food you are eating to water retention related to glycogen storage and even sleep patterns.  I even found some great articles that explain in simple terms why this happens.  You can read about them here, here, here, & here. But it’s still a little discouraging when you’re seeking instant gratification.

However, instead of letting it hold me back, I chose to let it motivate me.  I am going to keep going, and I have resigned myself to practicing a little patience.  I decided to incorporate a little more strength training and tweak my diet a little. I tend to eat fairly healthy.  We are pescatarian so we get a variety of tons of veggies and fruits, and for the most part we cook most meals at home.  But if I’m honest there was that piece of pecan pie and chocolate chip cookie at work. (Damn you holidays!!).  And the animal style grilled cheese with fries from     In-N-Out didn’t help either. 😉

In one week my overall weight went from 138.6 lbs to 139.8 lbs.  My overall body fat percentage went from 28.9% to 29.5% and my muscle mass went from 36.1% to 35.8%.  All of my body measurements remained the same.  I am proud that I stuck to working out every single day, and I feel great.  I have my workout routine for the next 7 days prepared, and I am going to try to make better food choices so here’s to hoping for more positive results next week!!

New Year’s Resolutions

22 Oct

Okay, okay I know what you’re thinking….It’s not even Halloween!  How can you be thinking of New Year’s Resolutions?  Well, I say to you, you can never plan too far ahead for anything:).

I recently had a discussion with Tyler about all the things in my life I have always wanted to accomplish, but never really thought were possible; become fluent in spanish, learn to cook like Giada De Laurentiis, play the piano and the list goes on and on.  I decided these things weren’t impossible, they just require the initiative and discipline to follow through.

I got really excited as we were talking, and decided I would set goals for myself 3 at a time.  I promptly voiced that my first three goals would be to learn Spanish, play the piano, and train for a sprint triathlon.  Tyler just looked at me and shook his head.

What? I could totally do it.

He nicely suggested I not take on so much at one time because I might get burned out more easily and give up.  I hate when he’s right.  Then I remembered a blog post I read by A Beautiful Mess.  I was inspired.  I decided to be more specific in my goals, but instead of giving myself until 2013 to accomplish them, I would turn them into resolutions for the year.  I wanted goals that would have a positive impact on my life and would stimulate my brain.

So here are my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Learn Spanish.  Becoming fluent in Spanish would be an amazing accomplishment for me.  When I worked a contract in Austin, TX, a lot of my patients spoke Spanish as there first language.  It was then that I started seriously thinking about learning to speak it.  Although we had translators, I think it would have been so much more therapeutic if I would have been able to communicate with them on a more personal level.  Spanish is such a beautiful language, and I think being bilingual  opens up so many doors in that you are able to understand a different culture in a whole new way.
  2. Read 1 Biography every 3 months.  I love, love, love to read.  But I have noticed rarely do I read anything other than fiction novels.  Unless you count Redbook or Women’s Health magazines. I don’t.  There is just something about taking a break from the everyday, and getting lost in another world.  But its time to expand my library.  People are fascinating, and I always love to hear stories of perseverance & rising above it all, or just how someone handles what life throws their way.  I thought that reading trues stories about notable celebrities, historical figures, or successful moguls might inspire me.  At the very least I think broadening my library will introduce me to new writing styles which could prove to be very influential.
  3. Do at least 10 minutes of cardio exercise 5 days a week.   This may actually be more difficult than learning Spanish.  Just kidding.  I actually like being active.  However, I would not call myself a “gym person.”  On average I probably work out 2-3 times per week, and some of that is in the gym on the treadmill or elliptical and doing strength training exercises.  But a lot of it is done by just getting outdoors and having fun, which I prefer.  I love hiking, biking, surfing, playing (at) tennis, swimming, etc.  However, I don’t see the types of results when it comes to weight loss that I would like.

Part of this is probably my diet, but a lot of it has to do with consistency.  I will be really diligent about going to the gym for a few weeks, and then life happens and before I know it it’s been a month since I’ve been.  My overall goal is to be as healthy as I can be.  I figure if I do that everything else will fall into place.

I hear all the time you should try to do at least 10 minutes of activity everyday.  So that is what my goal is, to strive for consistency.  Sure there will be days when I do more than 10 minutes of cardio, but for 5 days of the week there won’t be any less than that.  Wish me luck!

So why, you ask, am I planning these resolutions so far in advance.  Well, for someone who likes to gather as much information as I possibly can, this gives me plenty of time to formulate a plan.  I find that I am more successful with the follow through if I have an outline or strategy in place.  A little neurotic I know, but it works for me!!

I have two months to research the types of biographies that would be most interesting to me, and the best way to go about learning Spanish whether it be Rosetta Stone or taking a class.  It also gives me time to work out an exercise routine that works for me.  Although, I may have to start working on this resolution a little earlier with the season of eating upon us.  

I like the idea of blogging about my progress because it helps hold me accountable. Hope you enjoy my journey, and as always any suggestions for good books to read, resources to learn from or just healthy encouragement are welcome!