Sunday I did my 30 min of activity on the elliptical while browsing Facebook and various TT blog posts. I also walked the dogs with my daughter and husband but that was pretty low intensity with all the sniffing the dogs do.
Yesterday I did TT Big 5 Circuit workout B1. After a warmup, I did:
1 leg squat 12, 10, 8
DB flat chest press 35lbsx2/12 reps, 40lbsx2/10 reps x 2
DB row 35lbsx2/12 reps, 40lbsx2/10 reps, 40lbsx2/8 reps
DB Bulgarian split squat 30lbsx2/12 reps, 35lbsx2/10 reps, 40lbsx2/8 reps
Stability ball rollout 12, 10, 8
Stretched and foam roller 10 minutes
Today I did interval workout B from TT Big 5 Circuit which I hadn't had time to do the day before. I walked 10 minutes to a steep hill, then did 8 repeats of 45s walking up hill, 90s recovery. I walked back to my building and stretched for 5 minutes.
It was absolutely gorgeous today in NC, about 70 degrees and sunny! This week is supposed to be warm but to get rainy after tomorrow. I'm just glad the 20 degrees at night is done. That was getting really old!
TT Big 5 Circuit Workout C1
Today I did my first workout C. I had to move the weight down after the first set because the last exercises were really tough! I could hardly get the bar off my shoulders after the lunges. I can feel it in my shoulders already.
Squats 50lbs/15, 40lbs/15 x 2
Push press 50lbs/15, 40lbs/15 x 2
Bent over rows 50lbs/15, 40lbs/15 x 2
Forward lunge 50lbs/15, 40lbs/15 x 2
Mountain climber 15x2 x 3 sets
This took about 20-25 minutes with rest.
I followed this with high intensity cardio on the elliptical trainer, 5 min warmup HR 120, 20 min HR 140, 5 min cooldown, 10 min stretching and foam roller.
San Diego workout updates
Yes, that's right-I'm in sunny San Diego! It's for a work trip, but I am fitting in workouts and good nutrition just fine.
Last Saturday's workout was at home, TT Big 5 Circuit workout A2. After a warmup:
Dumbell squat 40lbsx2/12 reps, 50lbsx2/10 reps, 50lbsx2/8 reps
Decline push-up 12, 10, 8 (successively harder variations, from shins on the bench to toes)
Inverted row 12, 10, 8 (knees straight to elevated)
Dumbell reverse lunge 20lbsx2/12 reps, 25lbsx2/10 reps, 30lbsx2/8 reps
Stability ball jackknife 12, 10, 8 (successively harder variations, from shins on the ball to toes)
Interval Workout A - 45s shuttle runs, 90 seconds walking recovery x 6 intervals
5 minute walking cool-down, 10 minutes foam rolling and stretching
I had a fantastic workout at the hotel gym yesterday and interval running workout on the trail along the water.
TT Big 5 Circuit Workout B2
1-leg squat 12, 10, 8 (concentrating on going lower)
DB flat chest press 35lbsx2/12, 40lbsx2/10, 45lbsx2/8
DB row 35lbsx2/12, 40lbsx2/10, 45lbsx2/8
DB Bulgarian split squat 30lbsx2/12, 35lbsx2/10, 40lbsx2/8
Stability ball rollout 12, 10, 8
I couldn't remember how long the workout B intervals were supposed to be so I did 30s hard/60s recovery x 6 after my weight workout. Oops! I just looked and it was supposed to be 60s/90s but I guess that's OK. Then I stretched and used the foam roller out on my hotel room patio while I looked out at the water.
Today I got up early for a healthy breakfast (strawberries, blueberries, oatmeal and a little bit of eggs) and had sushi for lunch which was very good-I think it was called Sushi Soto? I walked in the evening for about 45 minutes along the trail that follows the water, which was a good workout but relaxing too. I had a small dinner and will soon be headed to bed so I can get up early for a workout.
There are no barbells in the weight room, just dumbells and a Smith machine. Which reminds me, while I was working out yesterday a teenager came in and was doing set after set of bench presses on the Smith machine, pretty much tossing the bar up and down as fast as he could with his little brother watching him. Sometimes I just want to say something so badly but I just usually don't...
Tomorrow's my last day of the contest. I'm back from San Diego now and returning to EST.
On Wednesday, I did my TT Big 5 Circuit Workout C2. I only had dumbells in the hotel gym, so I did the following:
squat 25lbsx2/15 x 3 sets
push press 25lbsx2/15 x 2 sets, 25lbsx2/12
bent over rows 25lbsx2/15 x 3 sets
forward lunge 25lbsx2/15, 20lbsx2/15 x 2 sets
mountain climber 15 x 3 sets
High intensity cardio on the elliptical for 5 min warmup, 20 min (HR 150), 5 min cooldown.
Stretched and foam roller 10 min.
Thursday I did a shuttle run interval workout outside on the grass at the hotel (40s/90s x 6), met up with a friend for dinner, and the conference ended for me. I didn't get to do anything much on Friday except walk through airports, leaving for the airport at 4:30 PST...Yuck!
This morning I did a shuttle run interval workout, because I'm saving my weight workout for tomorrow (10 min warm-up, 30s/90s x 6, 10 min cool-down). I'm working on getting my heart rate up to 160-165 and trying to get faster. My family and I took the dogs went for a leisurely walk on the American Tobacco Trail this afternoon.
I've also been working on my essay. 300 words...yeah, right! I am too philosophical for and long-winded to be so succinct as that.
Some final thoughts on everything.
I lost about 10 lbs total during the transformation contest, which was not the 15 I had hoped for, but I am absolutely stronger than when I started-for example, for flat dumbell press, I started out doing 8 reps with 35s in my first week, and now I can do 8 with 45. I plan to move up to 50s next time I do that exercise.
Other random thoughts...
1. The shuttle running appears to have been helping me trim down my upper thighs during the contest. I've lost about an inch off each, and can see lots more definition.
2. I lost the most inches off my waist at my belly button line-about 2 1/2 inches, while my smallest waist measurement went down an inch. In my first 10 lbs, I also lost about 2 1/2 inches at my belly button level, so I've gone down from 37 to 32 there since Sept 2008.
3. I have difficulty keeping my calories low enough to get my body fat down quickly. I seem to be able to lose weight the best on 1600-1700 calories a day. I didn't lose fat when I ate 2000-2200 per day. But it's harder to maintain 1700 calories per day. I think I need to improve my planning as far as calories and when I eat them.
4. Work trips are without a doubt the most difficult challenge for me. I feel better (and eat healthier) when I get some good workouts in on the road, so it's crucial that I make time for my TT workouts when traveling.
5. I can fit in interval workouts during lunch on a work day if I don't have time right after hitting the weights, and have two very nearby options (hills and stairs) that don't even involve going to the gym, so there is no excuse.
6. I listened to my body during this contest. If I needed an extra day of rest, I took it and then picked up the next workout. If a program wasn't working for me or seemed too strenuous on one body part (e.g., TT Fat Loss Fusion was hell on my shoulders so I only did it for 2 weeks), I moved on to another. As a result, I never got tired of it and I never felt like quitting. I felt some twinges but I was lucky not to have any injuries.
7. I am finally a morning person. I found myself jumping out of bed to work out on my last work trip, and it feels like something is missing in a day without some kind of activity now, even if it's just an active rest day.
8. I have a lot of co-workers who are exercising regularly, and I talk to them about what they are doing. That social support is great. And I brag regularly about how freakishly strong I am, you know, for a girl. Everyone's got something athletically-guess this is what I've got!
It's been lots of fun tracking workouts and being in the contest, and now I have to figure out what to wear for my after picture. I am really not bikini shape yet, so I'll find something!
TT Contest Results!
Well, it's time to post my results here! But first, my last workout of the contest from today.
TT Big 5 Circuit Workout A3
Dumbell squat 40lbsx2/12 reps, 50lbsx2/10 reps, 50lbsx2/8 reps
Decline push-up 12, 10, 8 (toes on the bench)
Inverted row 12, 10, 8 (knees straight)
Dumbell reverse lunge 20lbsx2/12 reps, 25lbsx2/10 reps, 30lbsx2/8 reps
Stability ball jackknife 12, 10, 8
(20 minutes total)
Stretched and foam roller 15 minutes
Ending measurements (with change during 12 week contest in () )
Weight 160 (-10)
Chest 37 (-1)
Hips 39 (-1.5)
Waist 29 (-1)
Waist at belly button 32 (-2.5)
Upper thigh 23.25 (-1)
Calves (-0.5 each)
Upper arm 12 1/8 (-3/8)
I went back to San Diego for work during my last week of this transformation contest. I had attended the same conference at the same hotel in March 2009, but last year I never even visited the hotel gym. I ate whatever I wanted at every meal, and by the end of the 2009 trip, I felt pretty horrible. But it wasn’t till May of last year, after a theme park vacation with my husband and daughter, that I really hit rock bottom in my feelings about the state of my body and my health.
While I enjoyed the uninterrupted family time, the rides and seeing my daughter meet all her favorite characters, at the same time I was uncomfortable in large summer clothes that barely fit me. Eating at huge buffets and daily junk food snacks didn’t help. I tried to avoid being in pictures as much as possible that week, but when I returned home and saw our completed vacation album a few weeks later, I knew it was time to face the reality that I now weighed a completely depressing 180 lbs at 5 ft 4 inches. Swimsuit season was already upon me and I didn’t even want to go to the neighborhood pool.
I knew it was time to do something about this situation. So I began to rollerblade on the weekends and ride the stationary bike or elliptical at night after my daughter went to bed. Slowly I made progress. My endurance improved and I lost 5 lbs, but since I continued to eat whatever I wanted, the results were not what I’d hoped. In my mind, I could picture the body that I had in high school, and again in grad school, when I weighed 135 pounds and was a fit athlete. While looking for fitness podcasts to listen to while I rollerbladed, I stumbled upon Craig’s Turbulence Training podcast series.
Craig’s was the voice of reason that reminded me how I could get back to being that fit athletic woman. You would think that I would have remembered that I was fit in high school and grad school because I was lifting really heavy weights! You would think I would have returned to what I had done in the past that had been successful. But I hadn’t. Why? I was working out at low intensity because it was easy, but I wasted tremendous amounts of time doing it-up to 1 ½ hours a day some weekends! The more I listened to Craig, the less time I spent doing that mindless cardio. I went back to short and intense interval training. I added weight training back into my fitness program, gradually working my way back to weights that challenged me during every workout. I wasn’t following the TT programs just yet, but I did incorporate a number of exercises that Craig mentioned in his podcasts into my workouts-deadlifts, lunges, inverted rows. I dropped more fat, but I also started to see muscular changes in my body and my clothes fit better.
Craig’s podcasts came with me on my iPod to work and on various work trips across the country. Even if I was following other workout programs or designing my own workouts, I was listening to his advice, doing the same basic strength exercises that are in the TT programs, and loving it. I was getting stronger with every workout, and I had dropped 10 lbs by Christmas, even continuing to lose weight during the dreaded nutritional black hole between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I stopped my daily snacking on the free candy in the break room at work by substituting healthier snacks, like peanuts and almonds. I packed my own healthy lunches and cooked on the weekends.
While listening to older podcasts, I heard Craig talk about his transformation contests, and the more I heard about it, the more I wanted to do the next one. I had missed TC#6, but when TC#7 came along, I decided to do it. I had my husband take my before pictures. They were far better than the awful summer vacation pictures but still humbling. I joined the website around New Years and picked my first program.
From that point, the biggest change I made was to write down everything I ate. Prior to that, I had been following a compliance grid for meals but not tracking my calories too closely, so I started doing that. Again, this was a habit I had followed in the past when I had fitness success…so it was not too painful to pick it up again. Partway through the contest, my husband and I watched the documentary Food Inc and re-assessed our eating habits. We committed to buy more fruits and vegetables and organic foods (especially avoiding the worst chemical pesticide offenders), and reduced the quantity of our meat intake while increasing the quality of the meats we bought.
I posted my TT workouts in the forum all throughout the contest, and I check other peoples’ threads as often as I can. Lots of other participants have similar challenges to those I face-limited time, lots of fat to lose, young kids, demanding jobs and work travel. It’s been good to know that I’m not alone, and I wish I had more time to read and comment on everyone’s threads. I do know that if this process of becoming fit was easy, everyone would do it. It breaks my heart now as I walk along a beach or an airport terminal and I see overweight and unhappy people. I want to talk to them and help them, but I know everyone has to come to their own rock bottom like I did, and they don’t appreciate you pushing them off the cliff if they’re not ready to jump.
It’s funny, though, I almost left graduate school to study personal training, right around the time Craig started TT. I ended up switching fields and stayed in graduate school to finish my PhD. I guess some part of me still wants to help be the catalyst for fitness change in other peoples’ lives. So instead of randomly talking to people in airports who may or may not want to hear my thoughts, I have taken a different approach. I’m taking Craig’s advice to be loud and proud of what I’m doing with the people I know and love. During this contest, I’ve talked to my husband daily about what I’m doing with my workouts, and have even inspired him to start tracking his own workouts in a notebook-which he admits has helped him get stronger. We alternate morning workout times so my daughter’s wake-up time is always covered, and even work out together sometimes when schedules permit.
I’ve talked to people at work about working out, and I’ve even inspired one of my female co-workers who never did any weight training to start working out (with a trainer’s guidance). Several co-workers have commented on my weight loss and I always talk about strength training and nutrition as key. My parents and in-laws have been showing recent interest in keeping up strength now that they’re retired. My dad is back to working out with weights now, and we talk about it regularly. I think he actually likes me checking up on him! My in-laws have started on a bodyweight and strength training routine, under supervision by a health consultant. I’m still working on my mom. She is active and walks a lot, and I know she will come back around to strength training again, as she’s done it in the past and she knows the benefits. I would absolutely do this contest experience again, and I probably will when TC#8 starts. Maybe I can get Mom to do it with me!
OK, now back to San Diego…finally. I went back this year to the same conference, same hotel, but in stark contrast to last year, I actually had a plan this time. I packed snacks for every day so I wouldn’t be tempted by junk I should avoid, I watched what I ate carefully and wrote it all down, and I exercised every day! I did two TT circuit workouts from my current program, two different running interval workouts, one on the trail and one on the grass, and on off days I walked on the path that wound around the beach. I sat in a lot of talks too, and stood in the company booth for hours each day. Still, maybe it was because of the sunshine and the workouts, but for a work trip, it felt relatively relaxing. My room had a water view, and after workouts I stretched and did yoga on the patio while I looked out at the water.
The biggest transformation that I have experienced in this contest is the change in attitude I've experienced-feeling that I am an athlete again. I might not be the strongest, smallest, or fastest I’ve ever been, but I’m strong, fast and successfully losing fat. I lost somewhere around 10-12 lbs during the contest, and lost inches everywhere. I can wear my size 10 pants comfortably. I’m now a morning exerciser. I can walk up and down the 7 flights of stairs in my building 4 times! Congratulations to everyone in the contest as you finish up, and thanks to Craig for all your motivation via email and Facebook. Those daily messages really do help me stay focused!
Please see attached pictures in support of my essay.
Picture1-Me and my daughter in 2/09
Picture2-Yucky vacation picture in 6/09
Picture3-Walking in the trail this Saturday. Making up for unhappy vacation memories with matching Tinkerbell shirts!
Picture5-Ending picture. You know the camera lies! I look a lot hotter than the picture would suggest.
Picture6-starting newspaper closeup
Picture7-ending newspaper closeup
Last edited by Starbuck1517 : 03-21-2010 at 11:12 PM.
This is one of the best entries ever! You rock.
I think you're also the first person to ever say they found me through the podcast. Very cool!
Congrats on all of your success, and to your future success.
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
Thanks, Craig, that means a lot to me. I really appreciate your support, and I definitely feel like you are "my" trainer-though you belong to all of us. I will re-post this on the contest results thread.