I waited until the end of my first week to publish this update. Because – since I am designing the challenge according to what I perceive to be my needs I wanted to be able to tweak it. And, I had originally planned to publish My Workout Plan last week (week 1). But, things got pretty intense with my new job and the time evaporated.
In My 30 Day Plan article, I explain to you how, I need to drop at least a size, which I have gained from stress. This is as much a reboot as it is a challenge. I took two weeks off from the gym. Got really stressed out. Drank a little too much beer. Gained some extra weight. This isn’t my first time. And, to be fair – I wasn’t really living up to my potential this last month in karate due to some side issues.
I want to add something more. Don’t judge yourself based on my level or experience. That can be hard even for me to avoid doing. It has taken me 2 years of Pilates and one year of karate to be at a level to do something like Jake Mace workouts comfortably. Even so, the inactivity over the last month coupled with the stress, has caused me to slide backwards a bit.
Result: After my last workout I was braiding my hair and something pulled in my back. I had jumped in with too much enthusiasm and probably not enough stretching. This was my 3rd workout for the week, I was feeling good, but I overextended myself due to the intensity of the workout, and maybe not enough stretching. Please, pace yourself, and try not to overdo it. I had to take 2 days off because of it. BUMMER!
My Workout Plan For a Stronger Body
Current Weight (6/15): 75 Kilos/165 lbs Target Weight: 70 Kilos/154 lbs
The point is to drop a size and get into better shape. But my schedule can change at a moments notice. Late evening exercise or “set hours” for exercise isn’t for me at this time. I am taking a month off from my regular karate classes to whip my self-discipline into shape, and create some healthier habits, while saving money AND getting started on a new work-from-home job. Obviously I am probably not going to drop 5 kilos in one month, but this is a good start. And, who knows – maybe it will become a 60 day challenge!
My workout plan is simple. 20 minutes of exercise 5 days per week.
Actual Results for week 1: I started off pretty well. In fact, my energy has already been a lot higher. Later I lost momentum as the week wore on. Starting this new job put me off my mojo a bit, but I am not going to let it stop me from trying to get there.
Week One: I finished only 3 workouts 🙁 Next week I will try to do better!
The video below is the cardio/strength training complement I am using to the soft meditative internal practice of Tai Chi, which I wrote about in last weeks update which you can read HERE. Tai Chi keeps me injury free, exercise makes me stronger. But, it isn’t enough on its own to get the results I want in the time-frame I want to start seeing them.
My 20 minute workouts are guided by videos like this one from Jake Mace, the same guy I do my Tai Chi practice with.
Note: That Jake Mace excels at making videos which are easy to follow and which truly do seem to be giving me the results I want. This it NOT a replacement for ACTUAL karate or tai chi classes, but – when you have no other option, it’s a good alternative!
I made it to the 25 minute mark before I had to stop and stretch out. I will do this video again next week and see if I can complete the entire 40 minute workout. Jake Mace has about 5-8 different videos like this one which are all a bit similar. The exercise type is very close to what I do at the gym. When I go back to my regular karate classes, I hope to be in the same or better condition than when I left.
But, doing cool kick-ass karate stuff isn’t everything! And, I have slowly come to understand my limits. Limits that we each need to recognize in ourselves. Failure to recognize our “current” limits can result in injury.
One of the most important parts of any exercise routine is core exercises. Without a strong core, kicking and punching doesn’t have the same amount of grounded power. All the balance comes from your core as well. Over time I can see where some of the balance issues I may have had riding horses, came from a total lack of supplementary exercise, core strength and conditioning.
I’m not sure that Ballet Beautiful is the “end-all” to toning and abs, but I prefer the lengthening and slimming over the heavy muscle packing of traditional strength training. I will use videos like this one to supplement with exercises which are focused on ab strength for women. It’s very simple – 20 minutes of ab toning/core strength OR Jake Mace Karate conditioning, 5 days per week. I’m going for short and intense.
Update: In Week 2 I found a workout vide which I really like, which gives me the high intensity, low impact which I want! Check this out:
That’s my workout plan. It’s not very glamorous, I’m not obsessing about how many reps, sets and squats I’m doing. I’m just picking a video with a level of intensity which suits me, and then pouring my heart into it for 20 minutes. Last week I didn’t do as well as I had hoped, but this week I intend to do better. And, to be realistic, I’m not going to risk injury in order to achieve 5 workouts per week. I might even need to modify the exercise videos if the intensity level is too high for me.
Next post I am going to talk to you about my diet plan. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do “diets” but I have learned enough about MY OWN BODY, that I know what foods make me puffy, bloaty and fat versus slim and energetic. I will try to explain my reasoning a little bit when I write my next post in the series.
What resources have helped you hit your goals? What is your favorite YouTube exercise “guru”? Feel free to use my ideas to create your own personalized 30 day challenge for a stronger body, mind and spirit!