Sometimes I feel guilty that this here ol' blog is called Marathon Bird and therefore might make you think I blog regularly about running, particularly running long distances.
Nah, not so much these days (but I love that fact many of y'all visit me here regularly anyway, xoxo).
Even though long distance running is not on my front burner these days and my actual runs are usually short and infrequent (but I still LOVE them), I am definitely pro-fitness. It just looks different for me these days.
I may have mentioned once or eleventy times over the last, oh...fourish years or so that I am a fan of several Beachbody home workout programs. I'm not a coach, I don't sell them, I get absolutely no kickback for talking about them other than hoping y'all might like them if you give them a whirl too. I don't have a gym membership (the one closest to us is not well maintained--eew!), our YMCA membership expired years ago and we don't have a treadmill or elliptical (but, hey, that'd be great if we did!) machine at home. For me, the flexibility of working out at home is a win-win and the Beachbody sets are almost like having a gym in your home anyway.
Over the last four years Scott and I have both done P90X, albeit sporadically and never through all three phases, I've done the first round of Insanity (whew!), and the occasional Brazil Butt Lift disc (cheesy but still effective). Of those three, P90X is probably the best stand alone program since it includes strength training, cardio, yoga and ab/core (though for me I'd still like a bit more cardio), but the workouts are all 1+ hours, so it requires a hefty time commitment, but it's definitely worth it.
Y'all probably already know which workout programs are my absolute favorites. Hands down it's TurboFire for cardio and ChaLEAN Extreme for strength training. Over the last few years I have done each program on its own in fits and starts, but never truly committed to either. Since February of this year I have been a total TurboFire junkie (as you know), with a short break this summer for the first half of Insanity along with the occasional run here and there.
Somewhere in the ballpark of seven weeks ago I decided to shake things up, you know, go crazy.
I started a hybrid program.
I'm doing both workout programs together.
Like I said, cray-cray.
But cray-cray in a GOOD way, y'all.
TurboFire on its own is great, really great, what with the dance-y kickbox-y moves, the hip, fun music, motivating instructor, Chalene Johnson and energetic class atmosphere and all. There are four workouts ranging from 30 - 55 minutes of cardio kickboxing routines along with *fire drills* which are 60 second high intensity intervals, with a 60 second recovery peppered throughout each workout. The time flies, seriously, and so does the sweat! There are also three HIIT workouts which are shorter (15 - 25 min.), but made up of all fire drills, so, um...WOW, along with toning (with resistance bands) and ab/core workouts.
ChaLEAN Extreme includes three different strength training phases, Burn, Push and Lean, each phase lasts one month. There are three weight workout routines you rotate through each week, each one lasting 35ish minutes, along with burn intervals for cardio and two ab workouts. As Chalene says, "Muscle burns fat!" and "Go heavy or go home!"
As for the hybrid, well, there is a schedule available but I'm kind of making my version up as I go. My goal each week is to get my 3 strength workouts done with a short cardio (either a TurboFire HIIT or the FIRE 30) and a regular FIRE workout (45-55 min.) with an ab/core workout (usually 10-15 min.) on the other days, which should equal out to at least 5 (ideally 6) days of cardio, 3 days of strength and at least 3 days with ab/core work.
I am currently on my third week of the PUSH phase and this is what my family room looks like before I start:
From the left are weights ranging from 8 lbs. all the way up to 20lb. dumbbells on the floor.
I find myself mainly using the 16lb (really 32lb. w/both) and the 20lb (really 40lbs.) for most of the exercises, which in this phase involve only 6-8 reps, but you're supposed to reach failure by your last rep, so Chalene really encourages you to lift heavy.
But guess what?
I'm finally breaking through a plateau.
And I'm getting defined muscles (not bulky, leaner & toned).
So for me, this hybrid thing is working.
It's worth the time, the sweat, and the occasional soreness because I am finally seeing results. Woo and a hoo!
Yes, these results have been painstakingly slow. I am not one who just wakes up one morning and has suddenly dropped 5 pounds and has no idea how. I am fighting---and dripping buckets of sweat---for each .02 pound that eventually gives up the ghost. I am still logging my food and exercise on My Fitness Pal (it's free, I'm marathonbirdtx if you want to be MFP buddies). The scale is only one tool of measurement though, and I'm gradually learning not to let it rule me. I've lost almost 12 pounds since the spring--that's been terribly slow--but I've lost inches all over too. My clothes fit better. My body is changing, not drastically, but in small increments here and there and I am learning (okay, desperately trying) to be patient with it and delight myself in the journey.
I hope you are making time for exercise, whatever form, whatever fits your season right now in your life too. Do something active every day, or at least most days. Stick with it, don't quit.
It's worth it! (And so are you!)