As the holidays approach, our lives seem to take on a mind of their own. There are holiday parties with work, family and friends. Then there is the gift buying, wrapping and mailing that needs to be done. Don't even get me started on all the baking and cooking! There seems to be little time left for ourselves, let alone to exercise. When you add in all those extra commitments it can be easy to skip a workout here and there. Unfortunately after awhile those missed workouts start to add up. And before you know it you've packed on a few extra pounds and find that you haven't worked out in weeks! It happens to the best of us.
I wish I could say that I have a magic spell that will allow you to stop time so you can get everything done each day, but I don't. It really comes down to making yourself and your workout a priority. Learning to say no to some of the commitments, letting others help and scheduling in those things that just can't be missed. I usually look at my schedule in segments: a month ahead, a week ahead, the next day and today. Based on travel schedules, work, family obligations and other odd things that I've committed myself to, I plan out my workouts. I also plan in my rest day for that week. Knowing that I'll have a day off from my workout, and an extra hour to hour and a half to get other things done, keeps me sane. I may be tired that morning waking up and as a result not look forward to that mornings workout, but knowing that in a few days I'll be able to get a few more minutes of sleep helps me get out of bed. There will be a day to rest coming up soon. I also think about whether or not I'll feel guilty about missing that commitment. If the answer is yes, then I keep it. If the answer is no, then its something I can easily pass up. Then there are the long term results that I think about. Working out helps me to feel good, gets out any pent up frustration or stress and wakes me up in the morning. So even though I may have to drag myself out of bed, I usually feel better after my workout and am ready to tackle the day ahead.
My husband has been doing P90X with me each morning. For the last 2 weeks he's been traveling and has been in a different time zone than where we live. To keep each other motivate, to stay on track with the program and to push each other to our max, he got up at 4am each morning to workout with me. I admired his commitment and it kept me more motivated each day. Knowing that he was waiting for me to skype in with him to start our workout meant I couldn't press the snooze button and go back to bed.
Find what works for you. Do you need to schedule in your workout? Do you need a workout buddy that will be there for you and won't let you skip a workout? Do you need to get up a little earlier to get your workout in? Do you need to rearrange your day so you can find some down time to get in your workout? Do you need to change up your workout so it can fit this busy time of year? Sometimes changing your workout by breaking it into 20, 30 or 45minute sessions will help.
Keep the good habits going. You'll not only feel good about yourself, but you'll be doing something good for yourself as well. And come New Year's Day, you won't have to start that same New Year's Resolution again to exercise more, lose the weight, etc, because you'll never have stopped!!!
It has been a month since I started P90X. There have been some ups and downs, but it has mainly been an incredibly positive experience. I've enjoyed the new workouts and the change to my routine. The focus on upper body has been wonderful. After training and competing in road races, triathlons and duathlons for the last 14 years, this area has been lacking from my training. I've enjoyed these workouts the most and seeing the visible changes to my upper body. Being able to complete a pull-up and chin-up, even with a little assistance, is a big accomplishment. The workouts have been challenging, but doable. There seems to be enough rest time worked into the week to fully recover. I certainly am never bored! Very few exercises are repeated within the same week. And the added flexibility work each week has really been helpful. I don't think I knew how tight my hamstrings, hip flexors, shoulders and back were getting after years on the bike and running. Better to know now than to be sidelined by an injury later!
The most challenging aspect of the last 30 days has been the nutritional piece and staying on track. Some of the workouts last an hour and a half. With three small children, finding the time for that extra 30 minutes of dedicated workout time can be a challenge. Some days I'm just hoping it will end so I can get back to my "real" life as mom, trainer and wife. Luckily my children have embraced Tony and P90X as much as I have and they often are getting in their own workout right along side me. I hope that they'll grow to learn that exercise and healthy eatting should be a part of every day life. I think my middle daughter summed it up well when she posed and said "I'm getting STRONG!!!" I laughed and couldn't think of a better way to sum up the last 30 days. I'm getting STRONGER!!!
Thanksgiving and the Christmas season have made sticking to the "diet" a challenge. I did indulge more than I should have. I figured that some of those family favorites are only made once a year and I was not going to miss out on them. After I had my taste, I moved on. All the cookies, candy and goodies my child has been bringing home from school have been handed out to friends and neighbors so they don't stay in the house. I don't do well when temptation is sitting on my kitchen counter! I've planned out our holiday dinners so we can have our favorites and not go overboard with days and days of leftovers. I've also asked people to take extra helpings home so they can enjoy some leftovers too and I don't feel like I have to eat it all. I've done my best to follow the nutritional plan. Some days are better than others and the results have proved that I didn't do so bad afterall. I'm down 2% bodyfat and 2lbs! Not much you say...but I didn't have anything I wanted to lose. I just wanted to be more toned, stronger and to change up my routine. And that I have done. I'm excited for the next 30 days and the new routines coming up this month. I'm sure there will be more challenges with Christmas and New Year's just weeks away, but I'm up for the challenge!
Just as my daughter said....I'm STRONG! And getting STRONGER!!!!
I have officially completed 4 days of P90X, chest and back, plyometrics, biceps triceps and shoulders and YogaX. Surprisingly the most difficult was not the pull-ups, but the yoga. One hour and a half of balance and strengthening yoga poses. This is not your average stretching class. It was INTENSE! After 45minutes I was done. But I held on and completed the whole cd. The lengthening of my muscles felt great after 3 days of intense strengthening and cardio. Flexibility has never been my strong suit and this cd proved this again. I thought about giving in, but how would I get better. I could hear my own voice telling my clients that they could do it. "Just stick with it. It will get easier." Its good to know that over the next 90days I'll have a chance to improve and eventually make myself more gumby like than when I started.
I've been happy so far with the cds. I've enjoyed quite a few laughs, both at myself and at my husband who's completing the program with me. I've challenged myself and found some new areas of strength and areas where I'll have to keep working at it (someday I'll be as flexible as I am in my head!). I like the modifications to some of the exercises. I could not do a pull-up without the assistance of a chair. But I'm confident that by the end of 90 days, I'll be able to bang them out!
There's a confidence that comes from learning a new skill. From challenging yourself to do something you once found difficult. Other things don't seem as difficult. You look up more when you walk. You embrace other new challenges with gusto. And failure doesn't seem so scary anymore. Everyone needs to change things up every so often. To challenge themselves to do something they once thought they couldn't. It all starts with one step, one phone call, one email or as Tony puts it, continuing to press play. You never know what you can achieve if you don't keep trying. Sometimes you learn just as much from the process as you do from the achievement!
As 2011 comes to a close...what new thing are you going to try this year?
Yesterday I completed the baseline assessment for P90X. I can honestly say that I have a new appreciation for my clients. Standing there getting your photos taken, feeling like every imperfection is on display and being noted is a humbling experience. It is something all trainers should experience at least once. Put yourself in your client's shoes. Even knowing that this was my baseline and just a starting point did not make the process any easier.
It did give me a good feel as to where my weaknesses are and what areas I need to pay more attention. I was able to see how I compared to the minimums set for the program, where I could push it hard and where I might struggle and need to modify. For that reason, its a necessity to complete baseline assessments. But moving forward I'll have more compassion for my clients and the situation they're in while we're completing the assessment.
As for my assessment, it went smoothly. I'm already excited about how I'll progress through the next 90 days. I'm already eager to see my results and I have super high hopes for what the program will bring. In that way, not only have I learned something about myself as a trainer and how I approach my client assessments, but I've already re-energiz ed my training. That has been my goal through this whole process.
I'm looking forward to what this first week of training will bring. I anticipate sore muscles, a few laughs and a tough workout. You know what I say to that.....Bring It!!!!!
My P90X package arrived this week. I quickly opened it up to see what I had gotten myself into. My first impression...this is going to be hard and boy am I going to be sore! It seems doable though and I'm excited about the challenge of it all.
This next week is all about preparation. I've already watch my "How to Bring It" video and downloaded all my workout sheets. I've chosen my workout schedule and nutrition plan (I'm still nervous about this most of all. I love my food!). My darling husband is joining me on this adventure. We're not usually the best workout partners, but due to the weights, pull-ups and pushing yourself to fatigue, its best to have a partner. I've been completing the level 3&4 Power 90 dvds for the last 2 weeks, so I should have a good baseline.
The next step comes on Saturday. I'll complete my "before" photos, take my measurements and body fat and complete a basis fitness assessment. There are recommended baselines to meet before tackling P90X. I'm pretty sure that I can do most of them, but the pull-ups have me worried. I've never been able to complete a pull-up. I'm hopeful that by the end of 90 days I'll be banging them out. Won't I feel like a Strong Woman then! And that's what this little year long experiment is all about. Changing things up so my body is challenged in ways that I didn't think possible. Where I'm not just have fun, but also thinking "Wow! I didn't think I could do that! How cool is that!" Now that's empowering!!!
I feel like a kid in a candy store, giddy with all the different options that are available to me. I have a list of things I've been dying to try for a while from Zumba to P90X and CrossFit to running the trails with friends through WOOT (Women On Okinawa Trails). I plan on continuing to run a few 5ks and 10ks and have 3 triathlons planned into the year, including the TriChicks Triathlon in August. My oldest daughter, Abigail, will get to join me on that one as they have a TriKids Triathlon after the race. Gotta pass along that competitive spirit!!! I've never been able to complete a pull-up, so that's high on my list this year too. There are also a few relay races, spin classes and functional fitness races that I'm going to try along the way. My goal: to change things up, try a few new things and to keep the body guessing!
First up, P90X! I've listened to so many people talk about how they love the program. Did you know it is one of the top selling workout plans worldwide? And after careful research, it looks like a sound program both in nutrition, injury prevention and overall sound exercise cueing. I'm excited to begin, but also a bit nervous about how intense the program will be, taking the beginning assessment (I know I put my clients through these all the time, but its a bit daunting when you're the one being assessed!), taking the before photos (let's be honest here, we all have things we don't like captured on film for everyone to see!) and following the "plan" (I'm never very good at following someone else's instruction!).
My goal is not to lose weight, but I would love to see those abs again that I used to have in my 20s before I had 3 children! Its all about the toning, strength gains and muscular development for me. I've done so much cardio over the last 14 years, I'm changing it up.
I'm awaitting the arrived of my kit. The newsletters and email encouragement from BeachBody, the distributor of P90X, have already been hitting my in-box. I'm taking my "before" photos over the weekend and will get started in a week or two. For now, I'm doing the Power90 system to warm up and prepare my body for what is to come.
I hope I'm ready!
As personal trainers we're always telling our clients that they need to do things they enjoy. You're not going to continue doing something unless you enjoy it. We also know that to continue to see improvements in your fitness level, you need to change things up every few weeks. Gotta keep the muscles guessing!!!
Well I am sad to say, that I have not taken my own advice. I'm bored with my routine! For the last 14 years or so I've been training for road races, marathons, duathlons, aquathlons or triathlons. And while I've loved it and the cycling, running and swimming have changed up my routine enough that I've staved off injuries, I'm bored. The weeks of training have left me with little time to do other things. And while I've listened or watched friends and clients talk about the fun Zumba class they attended, the trail run they completed or the charity event they participated in, I've been focused on my training for my next event. It was starting to feel like my training was leaving little room for any "fun" fitness. Like I was sitting on the side-lines while others were having all this FUN! I was dying to join in!
So I'm changing things up! I completed my last race last weekend and am charting a new course. This year I'm going to try a few new classes, complete a few charity fitness events, leave room in my schedule for hikes and rides with friends and still compete in a number of triathlons and road races. Hey you can't completely take the athlete out of the girl!!!
I'll post my progress and thoughts along the way. Hopefully some of you will join me along the journey or maybe you'll get the itch to try something new yourself. I'm looking forward to the fun I'll have this next year....and I'm sure a few laughs along the way too!