Grackle & Sun

Archive for the tag “fitness levels”

Office Chair Workouts: Week 8

Something new!  I’ve decided to give the workouts over at Loving Fit a try.  Why?  Because while I think the most important goal for me is to continually do better compared to what I did last week, sometimes the only way to get perspective about one’s gains is to measure them up to a clear standard.  I wanted to get a better idea of my progress by seeing where my fitness levels are using someone else’s ruler—namely a someone who is ridiculously fit.   It’s easy to feel like a hoss in your living room when you’re doing exercises that you know you can do, but it doesn’t mean you are doing all you can do.  This is my step back to take a wider view.

Tatianna at has a wealth of killer workouts on her site, as well as fantastic guides on how to choose workout schedules.  Her videos clearly explain how to properly do each exercise and how to do variations for beginner and intermediate levels.   I like that she is all about form, all about making sure you’re doing the exercises properly.   One thing that she talks about is the necessity, even with bodyweight exercises, to take a day off between full-body workouts or to break up workouts into upper and lower body splits (even then tossing in a couple days of rest). I’m going to try this approach to see if it helps my workouts.   I also really like that her site is not the boob-bomb that other sites (yeah, I mean you, Bodyrock) I used to use are, and that’s incredibly refreshing.  I just want to see the exercises.  Finally, Tatianna is amazing about responding to questions and comments on her site.  I had a question about her plank variations video, and she answered it within the hour.  Wow.   That she takes the time to acknowledge and help her viewers tells me that she cares about this, and that makes me care about her work, too.   I first heard about Loving Fit on Angry Trainer Fitness, and it was all the comments about how she took the time to answer questions that made me give her site a try.  I’m glad I did.

Because I’m doing a new schedule, I’ll be posting my Office Chair Workouts on Sundays instead of Fridays.  Wish me luck.

Monday: Lower Body Workout

I didn’t have time to do one of her full workouts today, but I did watch a lower body video and incorporate a couple of the exercises from it into my workout.  Immediately, I can say, “Whoa, she is not messing around.”  Time to ramp it up.  I will be better prepared tomorrow.

Tuesday:  Upper Body Workout

Today I did part of the upper body workout entitled Magnetic Sweat from  I didn’t feel magnetic, but I did break a sweat.   One thing I like about the way Tatianna films these workouts is that the first half is her going through the exercises at speed, and the second half is her explaining the form for each one and variations that can be done for beginners or intermediate level.  It’s helpful to see what the benchmark on speed/form is for someone who is very, very fit so that I can gauge how I’m doing.  I modified most of her exercises to be somewhere between beginner and intermediate.  It was once again very frustrating to be limited by my shoulder.  I’m really unsure how to make it stronger without jacking it up.  One thing I do know is that the “two way dive bomber” push-ups was some high comedy in my living room this morning.  :/

Wednesday:  Rest Day

One of the cool things that Tatianna does on her website is to show workout schedule variations for different levels—beginner, intermediate, and advanced.  I’m experimenting with following Intermediate Workout Plan 1 for the next several weeks to see if I achieve more gains by A) doing split workouts—upper and lower body, and B) add a rest day in the middle of the week rather than the 5 days straight followed by 2 days off that was recommended by Bodyrock TV.  One thing that I’ve noticed over the last 7 weeks on this schedule is that I had a surprising amount of muscle fatigue, and every single Monday was a bitch to get back into the groove.  We’ll see if this new schedule fixes all that.  I can tell you that after the last two days, I needed this day to recoup.

Thursday:  Lower Body Workout

Today I did the Booty Pop Siren workout at Loving Fit.  These names make me shake my head, but Tatianna is so friendly and so freaking ripped, that it doesn’t matter.  She is helpful and thoughtful and clearly serious about doing this right.  I am in awe of her impeccable form, and it gives me something to work towards.

She recommends that beginners do not do interval training.  I’ve done some in the past and did not like A) worrying about the clock and B) ending on uneven reps.  I like to finish up a side so that it’s all balanced.  So I did not do the intervals on this routine, instead opting to do 3 sets of the recommended reps.  I figured it would work out to about the same anyway.

Also, I only did ONE set of the One Leg Chair Squats instead of the FIVE MINUTES that she did them.  Why?  BECAUSE THEY ARE EVIL!  AND THEY WILL CLAIM YOUR SOUL!  Or at least your quads and glutes and possibly the rest of you if you fall off the freaking chair like I almost did.  So I did one set on each leg very, very carefully and lightly holding on to the doorjamb.  It takes a lot of muscles to do that exercise.  Muscles I apparently don’t own yet.  O.0

And lastly, I did the One Leg Bridges on a medicine ball, because I don’t own a balance ball.  I tried doing them on the couch and a chair, but both were too squishy to do them properly.  It’s really important to remember to drive through the heel on this one.  That’s the key to properly engaging the glutes and the back of the thigh instead of lifting with the quads and back.  Muy importante.  Is the difference between a lame exercise that makes you hate the world and an awesome exercise that makes you dream about the butt you might possibly have one day if you keep doing them.  I finished up the workout with a few different plank variations.

Friday:  Upper Body Workout

Today I did the Trendsetter Workout.  I picked this one, because it was not too push-up heavy, and the 2 exercises that had a push-up could be easily modified.  This workout was surprisingly challenging for balance and coordination.  I had to really concentrate on maintaining proper form and not getting sloppy.  I’ll be adding bear push-ups and walking planks/scissors to my regular rotation.  Had a bit of wrist pain on the walking planks today, though, and that sucked.  WTF wrists?  And, AND I woke up this morning to my glutes telling me exactly what they thought of yesterday’s workout.  I told you those chair squats were evil.

Saturday and Sunday:  Home renovation and lots of walking.  Since I was still sore from these new workouts, the break was welcome.  I’m excited for a new week of workouts with Loving Fit.

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