Okay, I’m going to say it again….Can you believe it’s already
I cannot! And not just April, but the 7th….a whole week in and we’re finally getting to the fitness challenge for the month. Next year I’m going to have to reconsider setting this up for the first day of the month instead of just the first Tuesday.
Let’s back pedal a little and get into how we’re doing so far:
Fitness Challenge #1 – Choose a goal; a word to describe that goal and what we hoped to get out of this year. Well, we’re 1/4 of the way done and my word was STRONGER. I posted recently (see here) about how amazing my arms are looking to me and how overall I’m feeling stronger via my workouts. But in terms of wellness (mental, spiritual, emotional, etc), there are still areas in which I want to get stronger. There are areas in my fitness I want to improve more of too and we’ll talk about that in this month’s workout plan.
Fitness Challenge #2 – Try to do more fitness for fun. This is an area in which I have really fallen short this year. I have been outdoors playing with my kids and indoors playing with my kids and just overall trying to play more, but in the grand scheme of things I haven’t hit that goal. I have used my rollerblades exactly once and they’re back to sitting in the garage. And I’ve yet to get my jump rope or hop back on the bike. The weather is really warming up and we’re doing more outdoors, so I’m going to keep playing with this.
Fitness Challenge #3 – Make yourself accountable to someone else/get some support. Well, Brittany and I have met every Monday, rain or shine, to walk. We had one Monday where we walked at the mall and didn’t hit our target distance and another Monday where I had to haul my 25+lb son on my back just to get the walk in because I was short my double stroller. The point is that we are there for each other. Yesterday was our Monday walk day and it was the first day that we incorporated a 1 mile run into the walk. It was slower because Brittany has not been running like I have and she had to pee. But I supported her and encouraged her to get through by giving her time updates and pointing out the short distance we had left to go. We made it! It helps me be accountable too. There are some Mondays that, after traveling all weekend, I just want to sit on the couch and watch tv all day. But knowing that I am meeting someone else to workout makes me get up and get going. Next week our run will fall earlier in the walk and maybe we can improve our times. (Check us/me out over at MapMyRun!)
So, that brings us to the APRIL TRAINING PLAN
- 20 modified push-ups
- Pilates ring exercises for biceps and lats 3 sets of 20 each exercise and each side rotating
- 20 physio ball hamstrings curls
- 20 bird dogs each side with opposite arm and leg
- 20 Pilates scissors
- Every Monday in April walk the 4.13 mile loop at Greenfield Lake with Brittany and run one of the 4 miles. (yesterday=check)
- Log a total of 60 miles or more (that’s 10 miles more than last month’s goal, but I hit it and then some; 52.35 miles in March)
- To the above resistance training (because none of it has become too easy yet other than the noted exceptions with the Pilates ring) add 50 forward lunges with rotation while holding the Pilates ring (25 each side)
I walk through to the next lunge without stepping together on each.
- Add also 5-10 each side balancing single leg wood choppers with the Pilates ring
Something like this…only taking my time to make it smooth and keeping the up leg bent behind me
- Add also 20 repetitions of supine hip add/abduction. I couldn’t find a good photo for this one. Basically you lay on your back with your legs in table top and engage the core by pulling your navel to your spine and zipping up the pelvic floor. Then you slowly open and close the legs while keeping them in table top. This was given to me by my midwife after my second son was born to help with the rectus diastis.
You may, or may not, realize that I cut the Warrior Series out of my workout plan here. As I said last week, the yoga teaching I’m doing is kicking my butt, but even more so, I’m finding out that I’m not getting enough out of my static postures. Just as I had learned back in December, the ability to SQUAT wasn’t coming out fully in my postures. This is why I have swapped them for the lunges. My every third day workout is still meeting my rest demands, but there’s even more that I want to do. So, without further ado…..
This topic is rather pertinent for the work I’ve been doing lately. And most of it has to do with HIIT training. If you’re unfamiliar with HIIT training it’s basically interval training. So, instead of just substituting the 15 sets of stairs on the rainy days, I’m going to just flat out add in a little higher intensity training throughout the month of April. I am planning 3 HIIT days total this month. The 10th, the 20th, and the 30th to make it even. Why? Well, because adding intervals and upping the intensity of your workout from time to time can help you to overcome fitness plateaus.
Since December I have been stuck in a rut with those same 20 push-ups and I have not been able to get to where I feel ready to tackle burpee’s on the regular. Despite the addition of new exercises, more cardio training, and the currently 4 hours of yoga teaching each week, I still feel like I’m not reaching my true fitness potential. So, HIIT it is for those three days. On each of those days I will try to post my HIIT workout and I’ve included several links to HIIT articles for your review below.
As HIIT training may not be for you, your challenge this month is to just take 3 days, any 3 days, and turn up the heat on one part of your workout. Maybe you will choose to do a circuit with little rest for a few of your exercises. Maybe you will add some intervals to your cardio. Maybe you will take it up a notch with some plyos. You choose what is right for your training.