Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Supreme 90 Day Check-in and Changes.

After doing about half of the Supreme 90 Day system and trying out all 10 discs, I'm respectfully bowing out... Sort of.

While I've enjoyed the new variety of challenges, there are some specific training goals that I would like to meet which involve going outside of the pre-determined S90Day routines. Those goals include getting back into running and increasing my upper body strength.

Although I was noticing inches lost and biceps starting to bust out of my sleeves, consequently, I also noticed that my overall endurance was, well, pretty shitty. When attempting longer runs (currently 3-4 miles for me since I stopped running regularly a couple of years ago), I just couldn't hack it. I also tried an hour-long Jari Love DVD the other day and quickly noticed how much I struggled to keep up, just 20 minutes in. I still feel the S90Day discs are effective, but they are also quite short, hence not the best daily choice for my endurance training.

I definitely plan on throwing in some of the S90Day discs into my new custom routine though; as much as I hated it, the Ultimate Ball disc proved to be a great core workout and the Tabata Inferno disc is still, to this day, one of the hardest cardio workouts I've ever done.

So what is my routine these days, now that I'm no longer sticking to the S90Day calendar? I'm aiming for 3 days of cardio (primarily running, followed by short/intense intervals of incline walking, stair master-ing and elliptical-ing) mixed with 3 days of strength training. For strength, I'm rotating my Jari Love DVDs. While I liked the idea of working specific muscle groups on separate days with S90Day, I tend to get better results with total-body strength routines and it's really hard to beat Jari in that area (homegirl includes push-ups in all of her workouts, which I need more of). On days where I'm short on time, I'll opt for Jackie Warner, Jillian Michaels, the NTC app or S90Day.

Another reason for my decision to pursue other workouts outside of S90Day was the difference in calorie burn. Between my slower metabolism and my goal to lose about another 8-10 pounds, I really need a higher calorie burn throughout the week which I just wasn't getting with S90Day (exceptions being Cardio Challenge, Tabata Inferno and the longer Back/Biceps disc). After adding gym-cardio and Jari Love back into my routine, I've already broke my weight plateau in just a week.

LASTLY, my exercise A.D.D. got the better of me. I know, "how can a person get bored of 10 different discs, Tam?" It's just the way I roll, I guess. I surprised myself sticking with it for the 40+ days though; I thought I would throw in the towel after 30. So, coming from me, that's actually a good sign.

So that's where I'm at with exercise. I still give S90Day my seal of approval; the price you pay for the number of discs and variety of moves simply cannot be beat. If you're on the fence about trying the program because of the 90 day commitment, consider working the discs into your current routine without following the calendar.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Health/Fitness Truths.

I came across a new blog today, SweatyGirl and read a post about her top 10 Fitness Truths. I really dug the idea and decided to share some of my health/fitness-related truths.

1. I think every vegetable is amazing when roasted. Seriously. I'm not a picky eater these days to begin with, but if every serving of vegetables I eat could be roasted, that would be a doozy. A doozy of awesomeness. A doozy of awesomeness with a side of ketchup.

2. I still can't do full-fledged push-ups. I'm getting closer, but still need more training in this area, even after more than 4 years of working out regularly. Being able to rock out 10 push-ups without having to be on my knees would be a dream come true.

3. One of my fitness goals is to beat Doug at arm wrestling. I think that's all I have to say on the topic.

4. I subtly play air guitar and air drums at the gym. It's just hard to resist when a kick-ass song comes up on shuffle. And really, 99% of the music I listen to kicks ass, so there ya go.

5. The swimming part is what keeps me from doing a triathlon. It's not that I can't swim, I just don't swim well enough. I know it's just a matter of training, but swimming in a competitive event just doesn't sit well with me at the moment. Hopefully that will change in a few years.

6. I really, really, really love vodka. And tequila. My penchant for cocktails and shots keep the bro-ham in me alive and kickin'. And also keep my abs from looking better. The ultimate compromise. Sigh.

7. I wear sweatbands. But only at home. When doing fast-paced circuit or lifting routines, I rock the sweatband to keep my drippy curls out of the way. Also, I'm the sweatiest person I know.

8. I will never turn down a slice of cake, ever. No matter how much I preach about eating better and avoiding excess sugar, I WILL stop whatever I'm saying mid-sentence and eat cake if it's put in front of me. And I'll even take that extra frosting off your hands because it really is a shame to waste.

9. I prefer to exercise by myself. I've gotten offers from coworkers to meet at the gym and have participated in a few group exercise classes, but I really just prefer to bust out a sweat session on my own. There's less distraction and I can push harder or go slower without having to worry about someone else's pace. I'm sure working out with others could open me up to some different challenges though, so I'm willing to give it a try more often in the future. (Though, it's hard to find people who already wake up at 5 am most days just to exercise. Hello? *tap, tap* Is this thing on? Anyone out there?)

10. I shop for new weight equipment and fitness DVDs like they're porn. Sad, but true. On the rare occasion I have some extra money to burn, my mind doesn't go to clothes, shoes or a new phone (I've had the same sliding Samsung Blast for 5 years now, holla!); I immediately think, "Hmm, I could go for some new dumbbells right about now."

What are some of your fitness/health truths?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Beans, Bacon, Beagles.

Quick dinner post from last night:

Pasta with Kale, Bacon & Great Northern Beans!

Serves two. You will need:

  • 4 oz pasta (I used Ronzoni Smart Taste thin spaghetti)
  • 4 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced or diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups kale, rinsed and chopped (could also use spinach)
  • 1 can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed (could use any preferred white bean)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice (optional)

Get some water boiling for your pasta. While you wait, prep the bacon, onions, garlic and kale.

In a large pan, cook the bacon. Toss it onto a plate with paper towels and set aside. Drain *some* of the grease from the pan, not all of it. If your pasta water is ready, go ahead and drop the pasta at this point.

Add the onions to the bacon pan and if necessary, deglaze with a bit of water. Once the onions are sweating, quickly add the garlic, kale and a bit of salt & pepper. Stir continuously until the kale starts to cook down. You may need to add a more water to move this process along. Once the kale reduces significantly in size, add the beans. Feel free to add more salt, crushed red pepper and lemon juice at this point. Add the bacon bits back into the pan, stir, remove from heat and cover with a lid until the pasta is done.

Drain the pasta, divide into serving dishes and top with the kale/bacon/bean mix. Sprinkle on grated parmesan if you'd like and enjoy!

Lastly, a random Randal pic for the dog lovers:

Sleeping, as usual. I always said I would never own a cat because of the hair, but Randal sheds so much, it doesn't even matter. Ah, well. He's cuter than most babies and a total goofball when he's awake, so I can't complain too much.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Supreme 90 Day: Week Four

Just a quick check-in regarding my progress with Supreme 90 Day... I'm into week 4 and almost done with month one! Time does indeed fly when you're having fun... And sweating. And burning out your muscles. And cursing at a stability ball.

So what kind of progress have I seen, exactly? Well, I'm down almost a whole dress size! Unfortunately, I'm one of those people who doesn't take formal measurements (gasp!) so I can't post a pretty number for you all, but I'm back to fitting in clothes that haven't seen the outside world in about a year.

In terms of weight, I've only lost about two pounds. And I can tell ya right now that it's all due to my sub-par eating habits. I haven't been eating and drinking like a maniac, but I have been indulging more than I should, so on the plus side, Supreme 90 Day has at least kept me from gaining. Losing the extra inches has been great, but I know I can do better by making better choices and exercising more discipline. I still won't commit 100% to the Tosca Reno meal plan that came with the DVD, but I will definitely refer to it for new ideas. Trying new foods and recipes always boosts my efforts and gives my motivation more endurance.

Notable improvements: Upper body and core, for sure. My push-ups still need work, but I'm a lot better off than I was prior to starting the program. After noticing a difference in less than a month, I'm stoked to see my final results at day 90.

New discs since last update: Total Body and Core Dynamics. Total Body reminded me a bit of Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred or Ripped in 30; a steady-paced circuit workout with compound exercises that activate all major muscle groups in a short amount of time. I'm also digging Core Dynamics as a nice change from Ultimate Ball; this disc incorporates dumbbells and bodyweight exercises to work your abs and back, which I found to be a nice break from rolling around on the floor with the ball, feeling like a hamster.

Adjustments: I've been following the program *almost* to a T... I did switch around one of my rest days and on core days (Ultimate Ball or Core Dynamics), I've been adding a cardio session at the gym. I still like to get out of the house every once in a while for some hot cardio machine action and these particular discs are short enough that I can do both.

So far, so good! I'm surprisingly not bored yet and very much looking forward to months two and three. It's been nice not having to figure out what workout to do each day! Just need to clean up my eating a bit and I should be at my ideal weight and body composition. Remember, kids: Weight-loss is 80% diet and 20% fitness; you CAN eat your way through ANY workout.