Grackle & Sun

Archive for the tag “lovingfit”

Office Chair Workouts: Week 19

Links to the videos for all these exercises can be found here in the post from Week 14.  This is the last week of my month-long challenge of incorporating LovingFit exercises into my workouts.  I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in strength and my overall ability to perform most of these moves, but the shoulder issue is still problematic.  Actually, I found that it became worse with some of these exercises that I was hoping would help (like the wall climbers, crab side plank lift, and 1/2 dive bombers), and so I pretty much took them out of rotation.  I’m kind of at a loss for what to do.   I’d love to get to the point where I can do the LovingFit workouts as-is, but I’m just not there—not without a lot of modifications.  But I worry that by just pulling individual exercises from them and incorporating those, I’m missing the bigger picture of the workouts as they are designed.  I either need to be ok with that, or I need to be ok with only kinda-sorta doing the workouts as presented.  Food for thought.

Monday:  Upper Body

  • Diagonal Bear Push-ups
  • Slow Pull Down
  • Walk Over Scissor Planks
  • Circle Shoulder Press
  • Double Bicycle
  • Mt. Climber Push-off

All exercises x 12 reps.  Had to stop at 1 set.  Stupid rotator cuff.  Nearly face-planted on the last Mt. Climber Push-off.  Then I get so MAD, that I have to bully through just to finish a workout at all.  But it’s a weenie thing to quit over.   So, I did another set.  Had to modify the Mt. Climber Push-off to just a Push-off.  On my knees.  But I did it.  So there.

Dre: 1

Rotator cuff: 0

Tuesday:  Lower Body

Something a little different than what I usually do.  Only 4 exercises.  Part 1, each exercises is timed 1 minute on, 15 seconds off.  5 rounds for the squats, 6 rounds for the other 2.

  • Go-Stop-Go Squats (managed 11 on every round, total of 55)
  • Step Up Knee Up (did either 15 or 16 on each round, total of approx. 45 per leg)
  • Cook Lift (averaged around 40 per round, total approx 120 per leg)

Total Time:  22 minutes

Part 2:  Isometric Squat Side Bends.  20 per side.  These are way harder than they look!

The Rest of the Week:  :/

I worked extra this week, and therefore was extra tired.I had two, count ’em, TWO job interviews which were in the time slots when I’d usually work out.
And there was a doctor’s appointment in there somewhere, too.

Read this as:  I got lazy and made excuses and didn’t work out the rest of the week.

Why?  Dude, I don’t know.  Some days—I’m not even kidding about this—it is as simple as if for some reason my workout gets shifted to a later time, I won’t have enough time for my hair to dry after a shower before I have to go to work, or that it will mean taking 2 showers (and isn’t that just ridiculous and wasteful?).  Typing that for the general public to read just instantly put that into perspective, let me tell you.  I let little things derail me from things that I really do find important.  I have spent my whole life being one of those people who never does the same thing at the same time two days in a row—ie, I’m inconsistent.  But I’ve always desired consistency.  Go figure.  My blogging friend Stephanie wrote a really great post about this same issue.  It appears that we were both riding the excuse train this week.  :/  I love her idea of a motivation board on Pinterest.  I also like that reading her post made me have to sit with the reality of this issue and get up close and personal with it.   Not easy, but necessary.  And good.

The positive that all of this has shown me is that I have changed in a small but very important way.  It used to be that getting derailed even once would mean the kiss of death for my new “healthy habit”.  I’d just quit altogether.   I don’t do that anymore.  I get back on the horse over and over and over again.   I am thankful for this small victory, and I hope that one day it will transform into something resembling consistency.    I have another job interview tomorrow.  My goal is to work out afterward even if it means I have to take 2 showers, lol.

Office Chair Workouts: Weeks 17 & 18

Week 17 was a total loss due to a wicked case of food poisoning that left me feeling like a wrung out dish towel for the better part of the week.  I think that exercise can be helpful in getting over the last bit of something like a cold or the sniffles, but for many illnesses, the body just needs to be allowed to rest.  So I rested.  I lost a good 6 lbs with this bout, and it took a while for me to be able to eat anything without my stomach cramping up and turning into a rock.  I’ve haven’t been this keenly aware of the temperament of my innards since I had that bad burrito from Taco Bell in the early ’90’s.  Oh well.  All is better now.

On another note, but tied to all this food poisoning stuff, I decided to postpone the Whole30.  Technically, just using electrolyte rehydrating solutions (although I made my own with honey/salt/coconut water) meant that I broke the Whole30 in the first week.  Not a great way to start, so I will revisit this after the New Year.

Monday:  Job Interview!

Keep your fingers crossed, everybody!

Tuesday:  LovingFit Full Body Workout

The first part is upper, the second part is lower.  I did all exercises x 15 reps for 2 sets each.

Thursday:  LovingFit Full Body Workout

  • Star Abs x 5
  • Scissor Planks x 5       ( alternate 3 times)
  • Skater | Reverse Lunge Knee Up x 20 (each leg)
  • Bear Push-ups x 5
  • Crab Toe-touches x 5      (alternate 3 times)

Finish with 10 Sun Pose

Sunday:  Full Body

30 reps (each side) of each exercise done in sets of 10, timed in circuits.

  • Bird dogs
  • Mt. Climbers
  • Plank Up Downs + Scissor
  • Star Abs
  • Skater + Reverse Lunge Knee Up
  • Sun Pose
  1. 5:58
  2. 6:07
  3. 6:32

Having those first 4 right in a row was such an ab killer!

Ended with Qigong practice.  Great way to finish out the week.




Office Chair Workouts: Week 16

Monday:  LovingFit Upper Body Workout

All x 10 reps.  This was really hard for me today.  Geez.

  • Slow Pull Down
  • 1/2 Dive Bomber
  • Wall Mt. Climbers
  • Slow Pull Down
  • Circle Shoulder Press
  • Side Tricep Kick
  • Slow Pull Down
  • In & Out Catch
  • Crab Side Plank Lift

Tuesday:  LovingFit Lower Body Workout

  • Stretching Surfer x 20 per side
  • Step Up Kick Up x 25 per side
  • Toe Lifts (10 lb weights) x 25
  • Skater x 25 per side
  • Go-Stop-Go Squats x 25
  • Reverse Lunge Knee-up Hold x 25 per side
  • Cook Lift x 25 per side
  • One Leg Bridges x 25 per side
  • Isometric Squat Side Bends x 25 per side

Wednesday:  Rest Day

Thursday:  Thanksgiving

Today was busy, but I did do some planks,  played medicine ball catch with Husband, and I ran sprints at the dog park.

Friday:  Rest Day

Saturday:  Minding My Qi

Went to a new qigong class today.   This instructor was actually very… instructive.  It was awesome.

Sunday:  Food Poisoning Sucks

Non-Thanksgiving related.  I think it was a bad batch of almond butter.  Oh, god.  I don’t ever want to look at food again.

Office Chair Workouts: Week 15

Monday:  LovingFit Upper Body

I broke down some of last week’s upper body exercises into 3 sets, repeating the Slow Pull Down to get more pulling exercises into the workout to balance all the pushing.  All exercises x 15 reps, except for the Slow Pull Downs which are 10.

  • Slow Pull Down
  • Shuffle + Scissor Plank
  • Double Bicycle
  • Slow Pull Down
  • Mt. Climber Push-off
  • Diagonal Bear Push-ups
  • Slow Pull Down
  • Star Abs
  • Sun Exercise

Tuesday:  LovingFit Lower Body Workout

  • Stretching Surfer x 20 per side
  • Step Up Kick Up x 20 side
  • Toe Lifts x 25
  • Skater x 20 per side
  • Go-Stop-Go Squats x 25
  • Reverse Lunge Knee-up Hold x 20 per side
  • One Leg Jump Up x 10 per side
  • Cook Lift x 20 per side
  • One Leg Bridges x 20 per side
  • Pulsing Low Jacks x 25
  • Isometric Squat Side Bends x 20 per side

Wednesday:  Rest Day

Thursday:  OCW

Today I did combo sets.

Mt Climbers x 5 (both knees up = 1 rep) immediately into 3  1/2 burpee hold ] x 5 sets
Ugi Jump x 3 (jumping to both sides = 1 rep) immediately into 5  shoulder taps (both shoulders = 1 rep) ] x 5 sets
Leg Circles x 10 each way immediately into 20 OMGLBIFD ] x 3 sets
Gladiators x 5 immediately into 5 sleeper planks ] x 2 sets (one for each side)

Then I did 3 sets of 5 girlie push-ups/ 5 pull-ups using my dining room table, a couple dozen medicine ball tosses, and finished off with 20 situps.

Saturday:  OCW Fortnight

A fortnight is my nickname for workouts where I do 14 reps.  For this workout, I did 14 reps of each exercise and did each circuit 5 times for a total of 70 reps of each exercise.  I did some 6 lb medicine ball tosses and some Slow Down Pull-ups at the end, too.

Sunday:  Minding My Qi

Qigong was one of those things I found through ‘library serendipity’.  About 10 years ago, I was wandering the aisles of one of my favorite St. Louis Public Libraries when suddenly a book on qigong shouted out at me.  It was a book by Jwing-Ming Yang.  I checked it out and ended up checking out a number of his books, although I have to be honest, I wasn’t in any way ready for them.  But they are to be credited with what got me into exploring qigong.  From there I meandered through Ken Cohen’s work to that of a wonderful local teacher named Justin Meehan, who taught me that qigong can be gentle, flowing, and forgiving of mistakes, to the amazing intuitive and spontaneous style of Roger Jahnke, which really connected the whole practice for me.  Finally, I found another somewhat local teacher named Ron Rain, who teaches a system of medical qigong called Zhineng Qigong.  This, together with the style taught by Jahnke, is what I practice today.

This last week I found a group who is practicing the Zhineng Qigong together every Sunday for just the cost of renting the space.  I went to check it out and was really happy with the practice.  It’s a nice space, and the person who led the practice went at the perfect pace.  I’ll be going back.  :D

Office Chair Workouts: Week 14

Monday:  LovingFit Upper Body & Abs

After reading all the upper body workouts on the site, I decided to pull together a combination of exercises from various LovingFit upper body workouts.  The reason for this is that any upper body workout that I choose from LovingFit is going to be push-up heavy and/or use pull-up bars or dip stations that I don’t have.  I know I can modify these exercises, but I really wanted to choose a number of exercises that would challenge me, but that are doable without too many modifications.  I think that ultimately, this is what will help me strengthen my shoulders so that I can eventually do all those push-up heavy exercises.  I tried to pull a variety of exercises that will work pushing and pulling motions as well as abs.  The name of each exercise is linked to the LovingFit video that it came from.  I’ll be doing various combos of these 14 exercises for the next 4 weeks:

Today I did 10 of each (on each side if applicable) just to familiarize myself with the set.  Believe me, for a bunch of these, that was a challenge.  0.O  Next week, I’ll know better how I need to rep this out.

Tuesday:  LovingFit Lower Body Workout

Again, I did 10 reps of each exercise on each side where applicable.

Wednesday:  Rest Day

Thursday:  OCW

  • 100 Jumping Jacks
  • 25 (per side) Bird Dogs
  • 25 Heismans (each leg = 1 rep)
  • 25 Plank Up Downs
  • 50 High Knees (both knees up = 1 rep)
  • 25 X-pos (to both sides =1 rep)
  • 25 Kick-ups (both sides = 1 rep)
  • 25 Low Sleeper Planks (both sides = 1 rep)
  • 25 UnWDL (per side)

Friday:  Rest Day

Saturday:  Rep Challenge

Was wanting to have a bit of a benchmark, so I decided to do a rep challenge to see how many reps I could do of each exercise before failure.  What do I mean by “failure”?  In this case, I mean the number of reps I can do before having to stop for a break.  Yes, with 5-10 seconds rest, I could definitely keep going, but I want the benchmark to simply be how many I can do “in the first go” so to speak.  I chose 3 OCW exercises and 3 LovingFit exercises for this challenge.

  • Go-Stop-Go Squats (bodyweight):  58
  • Diagonal Bear Push-ups:  12  (i am a sissy)
  • Skater:  Left leg 23  Right leg 34 (i had balance issues on my left leg, so i called it.  i think i could have done more, though)
  • Shoulder Taps:  44 (feet together and tapping both shoulders = 1 rep)
  • X-pos:  22 (raising up to left and right side = 1 rep)
  • Mt. Climbers:  42 (right and left leg = 1 rep)
  • Bonus! 1/2 Burpee Hold:  31  (my legs were still shaky from the go-stop-go’s and the skaters!)

I wasn’t sure how to feel about these numbers until I flipped back and checked the results from the rep challenge I did at Week 4.  Not all the exercises were the same, of course, but of the ones that were, here’s what I scored 10 weeks ago:

  • Regular Squats:  25 (so I more than doubled these in reps and difficulty)
  • X-Pos:  25 total (12 on each side + one to balance it out.  so again, I almost doubled this score since i did 22 on each side this time)
  • Mt. Climbers:  53 total (meaning 26 per leg + 1.  this week, i did 42 per leg which isn’t quite double, but pretty damn good for improvement)
  • 1/2 Burpee Hold:  25  (so I added 6.  will have to work on this one)

It’s nice to see improvement!  :D

Office Chair Workouts: Week 13

Monday:  Sick Day

Dude.  This was the flu from hell.

Tuesday:  Back to the Office

Something a little easy after spending the weekend feeling like I’d been beaten by trolls.

I did one set, 15 reps of every exercise (on each side where applicable).  I tossed in One Leg Bridges (15 on each leg) between each set, and then ended with 50 OMGLBIFD.  It wasn’t a cakewalk, but it was easier on the brain since I know all these moves really well.

Wednesday:  Fifth Element Workout

Ab workout from called the Fifth Element Abs Workout.

I don’t do well with timed workouts.  I really prefer reps.  I have a hard time maintaining form and a good pace when I’m worried about the stupid timer.  It’s my own hang-up, and I haven’t figured out what to do with it yet, so I’m not doing any of these timed.  Instead, I pick a number of reps that is challenging but reasonable and go from there.  If it seems afterwards that I could do more, I throw in another round.

This workout was hard, and really showed me some areas that I need to focus on—you know, from the neck down mostly.  I was able to do the whole first set of exercises, although they hurt like a mother, but I was only able to do about half of the second set.  Apparently I can’t do crunches when my legs are elevated, so I did some V-ups instead.  Then I did ok until I got to the weighted crunch thingies.  That was a mistake.  I could do Turkish get-ups with a kettlebell, but trying to do this exercise with a dumbbell was a mistake.  Now my shoulder hurts.  And I was hardly using any weight.  So I stopped there and commenced to stretching instead.  I really need to bite the bullet and buy a set of kettlebells and a good sandbag.

Sunday:  New Challenge

Today I did the Bum and Thighs of Steel Challenge at LovingFit, and I took Ronin for a walk. :D

Some thoughts about working out with LovingFit:

I love, and I think Tatianna is amazing.  She is so engaging and friendly and has taken so much time to make this incredible resource for everyone.   It’s pretty freaking awesome.  The quality of the workouts, the explanations and the videos is excellent.   And yet, I have to admit that over the last couple weeks, I’ve been tempted to stop doing the LovingFit workouts in favor of going back to my regular stuff.   Why?

A) Working out really takes me out of my comfort zone in the first place.  These workouts do so exponentially.

B) The LovingFit workouts are HARD, so it’s easy to make up reasons not to do them.  Which, of course, tells me that I should keep doing them.

The other thing that is difficult is that doing these workouts requires prep.  I absolutely have to watch the whole videos first  because:

A)  So many of the moves are new to me and/or are combo moves and therefore somewhat complicated, and I am ridiculously uncoordinated.

B)  I still have to modify a lot of the upper body moves to accommodate my shoulder, and I have to modify for lack of equipment (not that there is much of that used).

This all takes time, and I have little enough of that to dedicate to working out to begin with.   I’m trying to watch them the night before, but as I work late, that doesn’t always happen.  The videos are great.  Really helpful and full of good advice.  I just need to organize my time better.

I love that Tatianna gives so many great ideas for variations for beginners.   But even with the modifications, her workouts are still really challenging.  Which is a good thing.  Just hard.  Sometimes I think the best thing to do would be to pick a couple new moves from each of her workouts and incorporate them into what I already do.    But I’m having a hard time telling if this would be smart or a cop-out.  Not sure yet.  I think I might ask for her opinion on her blog.  She’s great about responding to her followers.

What I do know is that despite feeling weak, wimpy, awkward, and uncoordinated when I do these workouts, I am seeing RESULTS, like, whoa.  I have to keep reminding myself that I felt the same way with the workouts I was doing before in the beginning, too.  I just have to be kinder to myself and remember that it’s ok to feel like a dork.  I also want to give myself a chance to NOT feel like a dork.  I think it might be a good idea to do some days LovingFit and some days old school OCW.  I also think it would be beneficial to pick only one upper and one lower body workout from LovingFit to do for the month so that I really get the chance to learn the moves and get the full benefit from them.  I need to slow down and see progress with my ability to do individual exercises.   All of this requires a better, more organized plan of action.  So for the next month, I want to implement the following:

Monday:  1 upper body workout (LovingFit)
Tuesday:  1 lower body workout  (LovingFit) + Booty Challenge
Thursday:  1 full body workout  (Office Chair Workouts) + Booty Challenge
Saturday:  1 full body workout  (Office Chair Workouts)

When I get my kettlebells, I’ll add them to the OCW days.  My goals are still the same, I just need to better organize what I’m doing so that I can actually accomplish the workouts each day and see more consistent progress without stressing about scheduling.  For those of you who work out a lot, I’d love your opinion on this.  How do you feel about tweaking your workouts?  How often do you change it up?  Do you see this as being inconsistent or is it necessary?  How do you deal with schedule issues?  How often do you take yourself out of your comfort zone?

Office Chair Workouts: Week 10

Notice there’s no Week 9?  Sometimes shit happens… all over your life.  And when that happens you have to do what you can to keep laughing and being a good person and not curl up into a sobby mess in the corner.  Two weeks ago, that meant taking a break, curling up under blankets, watching a lot of escapist television, eating my body weight in apples and raw maple almond butter, and knitting and dyeing.

I’m a day late posting Week 10, but workouts for this week did happen.  And how.  I continued Week 10 doing the awesome workouts at  I really like splitting up the upper and lower body workouts on most days.  Then, at least only half of my body hurts.  Lol.  Since I’d taken off Week 9, I didn’t want to start out learning any new exercises, so I repeated the exercises from Week 8 again on Monday and Tuesday.

Monday:  Upper Body

Magnetic Sweat Workout

Tuesday:  Lower Body

Booty Pop Siren Workout (still giggling, but I totally was able to do the One Leg Chair Squats without holding on to anything!  WOOT!!!)

Wednesday:  Rest Day

Thursday:  Upper Body

Strength Beast Workout (I did the Complete Beginner variations because of the push-ups.  Also, I omitted the pull-ups and did some planks instead)

Friday:  Lower Body

Booty Pop Siren again.  ZOMG.

Saturday:  Meaning of Life Workout

Today I did a regular Office Chair Workout.  Full body.  Good times.  One round, 42 reps (each side if applicable).

And I ended by starting the Booty Challenge.  This is going to be good.


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