Monday, April 30, 2012

New to U Cross Training Challenge - April

Ah once again, it's the last day of the month and I'm just getting my Cross Training Challenge post up!  Again, better late than never, right?

This month I didn't try anything knew except the new Jillian Michael's "Body Revolution" program that I wrote a little bit about last time:

oh, and it even comes with a book mark...
This is EXACTLY what has been missing from my exercise regime...a Jillian Michael's bookmark...
now I'm sure to take my fitness to a new level....
So this workout comes with 15 discs and is broken up into three "phases" (or they could say 3 months since it's a 90 day workout).  Each phase has 4 strength workouts and a cardio disk as well.  The recommended workout week looks like this:
Day 1 -Workout 1
Day 2 - Workout 2
Day 3 - Cardio
Day 4 - Workout 1
Day 5 - Workout 2
Day 6 - Cardio
Day 7 - Rest
Repeat this for the 2nd week and then move up to DVD's 3 and 4 for the next two weeks and that completes "phase 1".

So this is what I have done so far.  I started on Wednesday, the 25th:

Day 1 - Workout 1
Day 2 - Workout 2
Day 3 - run 4 miles
Day 4 - rest
Day 5 - run 7 miles
Day 6 - Workout 1

So, I've already failed to do the plan as written, but I think that's ok.  I plan to run instead of doing the cardio DVD's anyway.  My goal is to do the strength workouts 4x week as perscribed and run 3x a week for the cardio portion.  After I do my Workout #2 again tomorrow I will have completed the first week.

My impressions of the first two DVD's is that they are pretty easy, but I think that's ok - these are intro DVD's to build the basics for the harder stuff down the road.  She gives great modifications for most of the moves, and you definitely can make things harder by adding jumps and/or heavier weights to the exercises.  Unlike her other DVD's she has a whole classroom full of people working out with her.  They are all very pretty and have great bodies which means, as she says, they are "inspirational" for us to see. 

The workout format is also a little different than her "30 Day Shred" or the "Ripped in 30" series in that she does 4 circuits in each which are repeated twice, but there is only one minute of cardio in the middle of each circuit - so it really is mostly strength based instead of concentrating much on cardio and abs as well.

Here is the breakdown of Workout 1 - which targets "front of body" muscles - chest, shoulders, arms, quads and core - just to give you an idea...

Quick warmup with marching/arm circles/hip and knee swivels

First Circuit (repeated 2x):
Push Ups (on knees, but can be made harder by going military style)
Plank Hold (leg raises to make more difficult)
Chest Fly on ground
1 minute cardio - this wierd running thing she calls towel runs where you pretend to run around an object in the middle of the floor?
2nd Circuit (repeated 2x)
Sumo Squats (add jump or weights for difficulty)
Triceps Kickbacks with weights
Standing Abduction Right & Left Side (keep leg out to make more difficult)
Cardio - Speed bag. This one is dumb.
3rd Circuit (repeat 2x)
Chair Squats with arm raises with weights
Overhead tricep raises with weights
Warrior Pose on right & left side (can add weights to increase difficulty)
Cardio - marching in place
4th Circuit (repeated 2x)
Balanced leg extension right side
Bicycle crunches
Balanced leg extension - left side
Lateral Shoulder raises with weights
Cardio – step out squats both sides.
Short stretching section

Workout 2 DVD - targets "back of the body" - back, biceps, glutes, hamstrings, and core.

Quick warmup with skaters/body hugs and toe taps (cross over)

First Circuit (repeated 2x):
Arm/leg extensions
Pelvic Thrusts right side (harder with leg straight up)
Pelvic Thrusts left side
1 minute cardio - side to side knee thrusts 
2nd Circuit (repeated 2x)
Lunge with torso rotations - right (weights for difficulty)
Rows with weights
Lunge with torso rotations - left Side (weights for difficulty)
Biceps - dragging weights up the sides of the body
Cardio - kickbacks each side
3rd Circuit (repeat 2x)
Dead lift with bicep curl with weights
Donkey kicks right side
Donkey kicks left
Cardio - knee hikes each side
4th Circuit (repeated 2x)
Rows with cable around feet
"Good Mornings" with weights
Hammer curls with weights
Step ups (weights to add difficulty)
Cardio – Squat with upper cuts

Short stretching section

That's it!  So far what I like:
  • The workouts are 30 minutes long - love being able to fit it in so easily.
  • Minimal equipment necessary - free weights and an exercise cable band are the only required equipment
  • So far her banter hasn't annoyed me
  • Good modifiers to make things harder - and Jillian repeatedly gives these tips
  • No real odd exercises - squats, weights, etc - pretty basic but effective
  • I like switching off the workouts thru the week and knowing I only have to repeat these for two weeks before getting new workouts.  Good variety = less boredom
  • Who doesn't like a I right?
What I don't like:
  • Not as challenging as I was hoping so far - but I expect that will change as I prgress through the program
  • Stretching section is pretty minimal.
  • Some of the cardio just seems silly - the punching bag move seemed like kind of a filler.
So those are my thoughts so far.  I'm sure as this program progresses I will have a lot more to say.  And I promise that I won't use the remaining 13 disks to complete my "new to me" cross training posts for the next two months!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Updates from a blogger slacker...

Wow - apparently when I fall off the blogging track I fall WAY off! I haven't posted anything since April 2nd...and I honestly don't really know why.  I have been sporadically reading blogs, and commenting even more sporadically - but I miss everything about this awesome community, so I promise to be better! 

Anyway - I have a problem.  I am seriously addicted to workout DVD's (Hi my name is Kathy...).   Recently I've been on a Bob Harper kick, but today in the mail I got this from my favorite lady:

This is a 90 day workout program - 15 DVD's broken out into three phases.  You do one phase each month, and walla you will have a body like Jillian.  haha.  I'm excited to try this.  I've thought about doing P90X in the past, and while I think it is a fabulous workout system, the workouts are very long and I can't see where I could fit in that demanding of a program along with running.  But these Jillian workouts are only a half hour long, so I think it will be more do-able.

With two relays on the horizon (Ragnar NW Passage in July and Hood to Coast in August), I want to make sure I am as strong as possible.  This program gets progressively harder as you move along, so it will be good to start slowly and build as I move through the system.  Day 1 is tomorrow, so I will keep you all posted.

And I have some promising running news!  I ran my longest miles to date on Saturday- 7 miles!

(think I was a little excited?  I look like I'm shouting!)
I ran with these lovely ladies, Michelle and Robin...

Michelle ran 16 and Robin ran her first 20 miler ever!
 ...and my foot held up quite well.  I'm only running 3 times a week right now - and I'm still icing/stretching/rolling my foot on a golf ball/sleeping with the sock to stretch my foot (whew!)...but this seems to be letting me run and recover well from it.  I'm also going to a new physical therapist, who has me doing some new exercises that I think will be beneficial as well.   So we'll see how it goes but I'm optimisic!

So that's my update - hope to catch up with everyone soon - I have a lot of reading to do!

Monday, April 2, 2012


Ah - Spring Break is over!  We had such a wonderful time - we went up to Mt. Hood and had so much fun playing in the snow, playing endless games of hide and seek, Uno and go-fish, going for mini-hikes.  It was the perfect family weekend and a great way to recharge.


Oh, and I did also get a little running time in this week.  On Tuesday I ran my farthest distance in months - a little over 5 miles.  My foot held up well, so I was really happy about that.   Before we left for the mountain, I went for a 4 mile run with one of my friends in the neighborhood.  When I walked out the door the rain was POURING and the wind was blowing sideways.  Seriously torrential downpour - but we got out there and got the run in.  Can't get wetter than wet, right? 

My coat was so soaked afterwards a puddle of water formed
underneath where it was hanging!
I also got a run in up by the cabin we stayed in.  I went just as it got light out, and it was so beautiful...

These pictures don't do it justice, but it was so pretty.  It was so still and quiet, with only the sound of the creek to be heard - such a peaceful run.

Now it's back to the routine - school, work, etc.  I'm so thankful for the last week to refresh and recharge!

Happy April!