Last week, I decided it was time to give my body much needed rest and recovery week. The plan was that there would be no lifting, no Tough Mudder training, no running, no HIIT….Just yoga and sleep! I dusted off my P90X2 Yoga routine for Monday, slept in on Tuesday, Bob Harper Warrior Yoga on Wednesday and more sleeping in on Thursday. It was beyond difficult not to workout, but I managed to stay out of the garage and away from the weights until Friday. I had to get my blood pumping, so a little light lifting and some mildly intense interval training (I guess you would call that MIIT, haha). It was just what I needed. 

All that rest really tamed my apppetite, so we have tons of food left over in the freezer. All I prepped on Sunday were some Banana-Berry Protein Muffins! I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to do with myself. It felt really weird not being in the kitchen. 

So instead of talking about what I didn’t prep on Sunday, I thought I would talk about what I’ve been doing in the gym since my last progress update in May (wow! has it been that long?) Time flies…you know. Well, I finished the 12 week program I built on my very own. I’m still amazed I was able to put together an actual “program,” but I have to admit, it was hard! I would spend hours formatting workout logs anddesigning a couple weeks’ worth of workouts at a time. I did my best to create a program that actually made sense and hit as many angles of as many muscle group as I could. It took far more dedication than I ever expected. I was running on fumes during the last week or two. I was mentally and physcially worn out!

All my hard work paid off in the end though. I was very happy with my results. Although I didn’t end up with the six pack I originally set as one of my goals, I did shed 2% body fat and felt stronger than ever. Unfortunately, taking progress pictures at the end of this program was the last thing on my mind since we were up to our ears in boxes awaiting the move to our new home. I found a few progress photos that were taken a month before this program and about a month after this program was completed. I swear, at some point I will take some progress photos with my hair fixed and make-up done. Geez I look scary!LF2 Timeline

What a stressful undertaking moving from one home to another is! This really took a toll on me, and my motivation for hitting the gym and spending time in the kitchen. With so much to pack and clean, everything “normal” in our lives took a back seat. We ate out almost every meal during the week of the move, so naturally, I felt like crap. I still hit the gym 6 days a week, but with little time to research anything new to jump into (and my horrible diet), my progress hit a wall. 

It wasn’t until mid June when I saw the Strong to the Cor 6 Week Challenge on BodyBuilding.com that I finally felt motivated again. The challenge provided training and nutrition tips from a couple of Cellucor sponsored athletes Craig Capurso and Karina Baymiller. See their nutrition and training regimen here and here. It was an obvious choice for me to follow Karina’s advice. She is a very inspiration individual and I was able to connect with her transformation story immediately. Her training schedule kicked my butt too! 

For some reason during the six week challenge, my need for all things sweet and not so healthy went through the roof! Cohen’s birthday party in late June triggered an unfortunate sequence of pie baking and ice cream consumption. I can’t begin to imagine how this hindered my progress and my never ending pursuit to find my six-pack abs. How I managed to not gain weight during this challenge is beyond me, but I was able to shed another body fat percentage and see some serious definition in my arms and legs. I’m not keen on getting all greased up and umpa-lumpafied, but I almost wish I would have for my “after” photos, so my new and improved definition could be more easily seen. Oh well, I know it’s there, that’s all that matters! 

Strong to the Cor TimelineAmidst all the pie, ice cream and lifting for the Cor challenge, the time came to commence our Tough Mudder team training at work! Last year our team training sessions began in April and we trained 3 days a week. This year, we decided to take it down a notch and train only twice a week and obviously start much, much later. We were ragged by the time the Mudder arrived last year, so we are hoping this new schedule with keep us healthy and un-injured!

The Mudder is on September 14th in Montgomery City, MO this year and we cannot wait! Although I am a little intimidated by the 10 – 12 running part (no biggie! ha) I am soooo ready for September to get here.  Our training consists of 30 minutes of HIIT and bodyweight exercises. We throw some running in there as well, but really we are looking to prepare ourselves more for the obstacles and hoping everyone takes care of their distance running on their own time.

Johnny No 5

I’ve decided that I am back to not liking running…I don’t hate it, I just really, really don’t enjoy it. Last year I had a breakthrough and was running 6 miles on my lunch breaks. But, with all the extra muscle I’ve packed on and little to no running worked into my schedule I’ve really set myself up for a challenging experience. There is still 4 weeks left until the Mudder, so maybe a miracle will happen and my ability to run for long distances will just return to me one day. =0) I won’t hold my breath!

So that brings us up to speed! Now to talk about what I’m going to do next. I am not the least bit interested in building my own program again right now. I have so much going on right now, that I want to make sure I can concentrate fully on training, not coming up with the perfect session. So, during the next 6 weeks, I’ve decided to take on the somewhat intimidating, very intense Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Shred. I just finished day 2 and I can still feel my muscles burning and the soreness getting ready to set in. 

The Shortcut to Shred is a mix of heavy lifting, lighter lifting and cardio intervals. He calls it linear and reverse linear periodization with cardio acceleration. What? haha. Jim has a phD in exercise physiology and a minor in biochemistry. Read his full bio here.  The guy is unreal, but more importantly, his program looks perfect for my goals right now which are to improve my endurance and strength so I can kick the Mudder’s ass in September. I wouldn’t mind finding that six-pack either. Again, we shall see! 

Here is what I did on Day 2 of his program…JS Shred Day 2

I’m anxious to see what all this super intense training is going to do to my mental and physical state, but my motivation level right now is through the roof, so I’m ready for the challenge. I’m so glad I took that rest week! 

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