Heart Rate Monitor

I recently got a Polar F4 HRM for Father’s day. I had a HRM before, but never one that counted your calories.  This was such a great gift.  Something about knowing the actual calories that I have burned in an exercise has made all the difference.

This morning I did the INSANITY max recovery… It was hard, but not real hard.  Before, I would have noted that I worked out for the day, so I was good. However, now that I have a HRM that counts my calories, I knew I had only burned 300 calories.  So when lunch rolled around, I went to the gym for another workout.

I like the “in the zone” feature shown above, but fair warning, it beeps annoyingly when you drop below your range.  (You can probably turn the beep off, but directions are for sissies!!) Since I have gotten my new toy, I have blown through my weight plateau that I had been stuck on for a month.  It is really awesome.

The HRM is not doing the work, I am, but it is motivating and I am enjoying it.  If you are stuck on a plateau and need a little motivation, maybe a HRM is for you!!


You can’t cheat the system

 I read this in a post of SociallyFit blog and had to comment on it, because it really hit home.  I use myfitnesspal to journal my food intake, but sometimes when i fall off the wagon, I just don’t use it that day.  I just start over the next day with a clean slate. While that is fine, my body does not start over clean the next day.  It remembers those M&Ms whether I wrote them down or not.  It remembers the weekends that I didn’t even try to stay on the diet. Yes, I have lost 20 lbs, but I am not at my goal… Its time to lose those last 10 lbs!!! 

Who is with me?!?

P.S. I don’t know why the best motivational slogans have women on them… how many of these posts do you think I can get away before I get in hot water with Coach Crystal?!?  haha.

Weekends — the antithesis of weight loss

We have reached the weekend again.  For me, I have been putting back most of the weight I have lost during the week for the past several weekends.  This weekend is an out-of-town trip to Jackson,  Mississippi for the Warrior Dash. I know there will be eating out, and you get a free beer and turkey leg for finishing the Dash… to go along with your Viking helmet.  (I know, you are so jealous, aren’t you!!)

My goal will be to limit the damage.  I found the following tips on Men’s Fitness in an article by Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D:

“Saturday and Sunday backsliding can erase your fitness gains made during the week. Here’s how to party like a rock star and still feel fit on Monday.

IF YOU PLAN TO . . .. . . party:

* Pencil in at least one longer workout later in the week to counteract the extra weekend calories you’ll no doubt consume.

* Take a break from your typical routine to cross-train or, say, attend a boxing class. You’ll burn more fat as you put demands on different muscles. Take a swim instead of your typical stint on the elliptical machine; or play basketball or soccer. Maybe swap a short run for a longer one that includes sprints and hills.

* Try to start Saturday and Sunday with a healthy breakfast, even if you’re waking up later. It’ll rev up your metabolism. Successful weight control is consistently linked to breakfast-eating.

. . . chill at home:

* Jump on the scale on Saturday morning, and plan to do it again on Monday. Researchers say people who weigh themselves are better at weight control.

* Variety is the cornerstone of a healthy diet, but having too many options spells doom for persistent snackers. Restrict afternoon snacks to one healthy choice, such as almonds, popcorn, or pretzels. No refills!

* Avoid mindless eating while you commune with your DVR. Leave food and drinks in the kitchen. When food’s directly under your nose, you eat more.

. . . barhop:

* Head out with a full belly. Before hitting the bar, eat a meal with at least six ounces of meat, poultry, or fish and a cup or more of cooked vegetables. When you’re full you’re less likely to cave in to high-fat bar food.

* Steer clear of mixed drinks, which can pack upward of 500 calories per. Stick with a 150-calorie beer or glass of wine. Or at least opt for something made with a low-cal mixer, like diet soda or diet tonic.

* Budget. Set a limit on how much you’ll spend on drinks before the night starts. Then alternate alcoholic beverages with mineral water or club soda. You’ll drink less alcohol and maybe even come in under your goal.

* Get your rest. Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your metabolism and makes it difficult to avoid overeating, especially after a long night of drinking

. . . eat out:

* Order first. Set the tone for the meal by choosing a healthier entrèe.

* Don’t waste calories on mundane foods, like white rolls or baked potatoes. Save those calories for foods you don’t eat very often or never make at home.

* Drink with dinner, not before. A predinner drink lowers your resistance, making you much more likely to indulge on something you didn’t really want”

I will putting several of these to use this weekend. Good luck to all of you, I hope you all have a blast… and stay on your path!!


Is that exercise appropriate for children…to see? (INSANITY — Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs)

Today was my first time doing Cardio Abs.  It was intimidating knowing that I had another routine following Pure Cardio.  Pure Cardio is warm-up, stretch, and 15 or 16 cardio exercises done for a minute each without any rest in between.  Well, it is not designed to have a rest, but I took a break or two.  (I think about everyone in the class did, too, including Shaun T). I was proud I was able to get through all three rounds of the warm-up without taking a break. (Yes, the warmup is hard.)

So after it was over, you have to press play again for Cardio abs and you get another warm-up.  I almost freaked.  Thankfully, it is only one time through and not as intense as a normal warmup.  The rest of the routine is on the floor.  (But no sit-ups or crunches). Just because it is on the floor, doesn’t mean it is easy. I was so wiped at the time, but I don’t think it is as hard as P90X’s ab ripper. I could do all the moves (though I did take some breaks). 

The last move was very… interesting.  You start out in plank and do, what can only be called a type of hip thrusts.  Then you sink to low plank (plank on your elbows) and do more hip thrusts.  Up and down for four sets. I felt like I was training for some type of pornography Olympics.  I diverted my eyes from the television because that was just more than I wanted to see…Haha~!

Has anyone else done Cardio Abs and felt very strange performing the last exercise? Am I just doing these wrong?

Tax day — is a fat tax coming?

Today is Tax Day… that wonderful day that everyone strikes a check to their government.  Just read an interesting “tax” article from across the pond.  Apparently, medical providers are arguing that the government should tax fatty foods due to the added cost that obese people have on government-run health care. I am sure whether it works or fails over there, we will have people clamoring for it over here soon.Can you  imagine the regulations a food tax would have? Little Debbie would have the best lobbyists money could buy and your Nutty Buddies would each cost $1 more to pay for it.  (not that you should be eating nutty buddies, but still). I read that the U.S. Tax Code already had more words than all the collected works of Shakespeare combined.  I had to take income tax in law school — talk about ridiculous.

 The author proposed (tongue in cheek, I think) having a “fat tax.”  Each year, your BMI would be calculated and if you were outside the guidelines, you would pay a higher tax. Personally, I think both proposals are ridiculous.  My government cannot spend less than it earns (or takes), do I really want bureaucrats dictating what I eat.  First step toward Soylent Green, people!! Haha!!

So I am going to keep doing INSANITY, watching my calories through MyFitnessPal.com, and drinking my Shakeology. I hope that by the time the “fat tax” becomes reality, I am getting a refund!! 

What are you going to do?


Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, ‘press on’ has solved, and always will solve, the problems of the human race.
~Calvin Coolidge

I wrote about my workout yesterday, but forgot to mention the most important part. It almost didn’t happen.  I left at lunch for my usual workout location, the YMCA of Mountain Brook.  I was hungry but determined to push through.  I grabbed my bag and went in… only to see a sign that said:  “Men’s showers unavailable today, sorry for the inconvenience.”

Inconvenience?!?  Most definitely. I can’t sweat like I was planning and go back to the office without a shower.  It was a no go.  I got back to my car and thought about just bailing and going to get lunch.  Then I thought about the Warrior Dash. I thought about all the work I have been doing with INSANITY. I thought about why I wanted to get into shape.  I called Coach Crystal because I knew she had frequented a different Y. So she reminded me of where the Shades Valley Y was and I was off. 

They were doing construction on this Y and the entrance heading south was closed.  I was in the wrong lane to exit and had to drive almost a mile before being able to turn around.  This extra mile took me into road construction as well as past several places to eat. I kept my mind on my goal, got to the gym, and had a really great workout.  

It is these small decisions that make the difference in the end.

 Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
~Mahatma Gandhi

Warrior Dash Training

So today was an off day for INSANITY and I decided to try to simulate the Warrior Dash. Crystal and I are running the race April 21 in Jackson, Mississippi. It’s a charitable race benefiting St. Jude’s Children Hospital. Its 3.4 miles interrupted by 14 obstacles. Check it out here.

So here was my workout today:

Ran 1.4 miles in 14:30 minutes

10 Push Presses of 95 pounds

.5 miles in 5 minutes

10 pull-ups (5 wide and 5 narrow)

.5 miles in 5:40 minutes

Dumbbell Bench plus 25 push ups and 5 plyo pushups

.6 miles in 7:50 (I was really wiped by this point plus the Lebatard show was on — havent seen that much, but it is funny.)

10 pull-up (5 wide and 5 narrow) (I did two sets because I am just excited I can do any!! Thank you P90X2 and Beachbody bands!))

.4 miles in 5:30

So I did the 3.4 miles in about (times are approximate from memory, I looked but didnt write them down) 38:40.  Not too bad. I jogged most of the way and ran a portion, but walked more than I ran.  I imagine I will be doing about the same in a couple of weeks.  I know those obstacles (crawling through mud, under barbed wire, climbing  walls, running through tires, and jumping over fire, to name a few) will be tougher than what I did. Check out the obstacles here. I hope P90X2 and INSANITY have me ready for those!!

What exercises should I do to help me prepare for these obstacles?  Any ideas??