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Losing focus & 30 days of yoga

I have not made it to Body Pump this entire week!

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Yesterday, I was just way too tired because I had stayed up late on Wednesday night and had some house cleaning to do for this weekend.

And on Tuesday, I was way too sore from a yoga class that I took on Monday night. It was seriously the most intense class I have ever been to. I was sweating like I was in hot yoga only it was just a regular, air conditioned room.

Now, to me, the point of yoga is not to sweat as much as you can, burn a lot of calories, or to be extremely sore the next day. What I like about yoga is that it makes me feel leaner and longer, plus it gives me so much mental peace and happiness. It also stretches out the tight spots I get from all the walking, running and other activities I inflict on my body.

And it’s fun to challenge yourself in new ways you didn’t know were possible. That’s what happened in this class and that’s why I was a bit sore Tuesday. We did some long holds in chair pose and with support, I got to do wheel again! I hope someday I can do this one on my own. 😉

I recently read about Healthy Ashley’s 30 Days of Yoga challenge, where she is committing to doing at least 10 minutes of yoga per day for 30 days. This caught my attention and I totally intend to at least give it a shot. I mean, certainly I can do 10 minutes, right? Sometimes I stand in tree pose while I’m waiting for dinner to finish cooking. 😉

But then again, as a person who enjoys multiple forms of exercise, I have a hard time staying focused on any one (or two) activity in order to see real progress. I jump around between running, weight lifting, yoga, walking, etc. so much that I don’t stick with one thing for very long or I neglect one activity for another.

So what should I do?

I think this is happening because I do not have a specific goal. No races to train for (yet) and nothing else really motivating me right now.

I don’t like choosing between so many things I enjoy but is it really realistic for me to think that I can run, walk, do yoga and Body Pump each multiple times in one week? There are just not enough hours or days.

If I were able to fit them all in, I feel like I would be doing each thing one day and then not devoting enough time to anything to keep it up.

Hmm…deep thoughts for a Friday afternoon!

I feel so distracted right now. Did I mention my high school reunion is tomorrow?! Perhaps I should wait until Sunday to make any major decisions. 😉

What are your favorite forms of exercise? Are you able to fit them all in?

Seeing results

I am now into my third week of Body Pump and I can already tell a difference!

My results aren’t exactly “visible” yet but I can tell that I am getting stronger with each class. I have even increased my weight on a few different tracks: squats, back, and biceps. Lunges are also getting easier (did I really just say that?).

I enjoy Body Pump because it pushes me so much harder than I would push myself in the weight room. I like having an instructor there to tell me what I’m doing wrong and to encourage me in what I am doing well. Body Pump is also about endurance and toning, which is exactly what I am looking for.

And even though I have been in a class with men before, I love how this class I’ve been attending has been all women so far. Even though I know guys are typically stronger, it’s less intimidating not having them around 😉

Here is a breakdown of what I’ve been using on the bar:

  • Warm up – 5 kg (11 lbs)
  • Squats – 10 kg (22 lbs)
  • Chest – 5 kg (11 lbs)
  • Back – 7 kg (15.4 lbs)
  • Shoulders – 5 kg (11 lbs) + 4-5 lb hand weights we use for lateral & front raises
  • Lunges – 7 kg (15.4 lbs)
  • Triceps – 5 kg (11 lbs)
  • Biceps – 5 kg (11 lbs)
  • Abs – N/A

I started out lighter on squats, back and biceps before realizing more weight works better for me. I can’t wait to see how I improve in the future!

Body Pump 74 just got released over the weekend and I haven’t had a teacher run through it yet. We’ll see what happens at tomorrow’s class. Apparently it’s brutal (in a good way, ha ha). I think I read something about “walking hovers” — yikes!

If you like weight training but can’t ever seem to get yourself doing the right things in the weight room, I highly recommend this class.

Many gyms offer Body Pump, even this small one that I go to. It’s been a great experience so far having somewhere to go but I’m still kind of bummed there is no cardio cinema or spinning classes. I’m thinking about switching to a different gym when this contact is up in November. 😉

Update on goals

I decided to kick my caffeine habit on Monday, May 24th and I am happy to say that so far, so good.

I still drink one cup of caffeinated tea per daybut that is significantly less caffeine than I was consuming (19 mg caffeine vs. 90). I have only had one minor breakdown where I was literally falling asleep at my desk and had to have a cup of the “real” stuff.

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But once in three weeks is pretty good, no?

I wish I could say it is helping me sleep better but that has actually taken a downturn (hence falling asleep sitting up). I’ve been up every night past 11 (sometimes 12) and then I’ve been waking up every morning at 5 or 5:30 to work out before work.

I can function well on 6-7 hours of sleep normally, but when I start going under the 6, it becomes a problem. I need to work on this soon because not getting enough sleep can cause a whole lot of problems! It seems like it’s hard to fit everything in and still get enough sleep but somehow I have to do it.

I also gave up drinking diet sodas and I think now that I have found enough other drinks to enjoy, it’s not so hard to resist them anymore. I haven’t had one since May 8th! Josh even has a 24 pack of Coke Zero in our house where I can see it and I’m still not tempted.

A diet soda here or there isn’t such a bad thing, but I have no moderation. I would drink that entire 24 pack in just a few days. Then the artificial sweeteners wreak their havoc on me. No good for me, so no thanks!

If you read my fitness blog, River City Fitness, then you know that I have been taking Body Pump classes regularly the past two weeks (this week is the 3rd). Since I am in a regular weight training program now, I am trying to pay more attention to what I eat after my workouts, including adding more protein to some of my meals and snacks.

I’m also learning a lot thanks to this summer “Nutrition in Athletic Performance” class that I’m constantly cramming for taking right now. I’m also having a lot of fun, eating healthy, hanging out with friends, not worrying about my weight and just enjoying life.

So that’s what’s going on right now. How about you?

Have you given up something recently? How is it going for you?

Gym rat

On Memorial Day Monday, I officially became the proud owner of Josh’s now former gym membership.

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While I am sad that he’s not using it for himself, I have to keep telling myself that you can only lead a horse to water. There’s no sense in paying for something not being used and since canceling was not an option ($$$) we were able to transfer the remaining months on the contract into my name.

I definitely prefer to be outside in nature, taking a nice long walk or invigorating run, but my free time has recently become quite limited and now that it’s hitting at or near the 90 degree mark every day, time outside is also limited. So this could not have come at a better time!

I’ve also been struggling with a little weight gain pretty much since the mini-Marathon but this new gym membership is just what I needed to get me motivated again 🙂

Since we were off work on Monday, I took Suzie for a nice long walk (for her, 2 miles) in the morning before it got too hot. As a smaller dog, she is really sensitive to the heat so we try not to stay out too long.

Tuesday afternoon, I actually braved the heat (for a few minutes) and did a 1.87 mile run with Farrah and about 5 minutes of abs. It was way too hot for me to be running outside but I know the more you do it, the easier it gets. Still, I want nothing over 2 miles when it’s 88 degrees!

Then last night I went to the gym for the first time. What is my favorite thing about gyms?


Every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., this gym has Body Pump classes. I was so excited to get to my first one at this new gym last night!

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I’ve taken Body Pump several times before and loved it. Once at the YMCA, a couple of times at Urban Active, and even a “do it yourself” body pump I did on my own. It’s a perfect toning workout for me! I’m so glad that now belonging to a gym, I can start going more regularly and get some real results.

It was much smaller than other classes I’ve been in, which has to do with the size of the gym, so it was a little more intimate if you will. The instructor was really great, even throwing out a few random nutrition facts (“limit saturated fats!”) while we were “pumping” up our bodies.

She also made sure when we were doing an exercise that we were engaging the right muscle, which I’d never even noticed before. Like when you are doing a bent over row (for your back), don’t use your biceps to pull in the bar, use your back muscles and squeeze your shoulders together. It makes such a difference!

We started out with a warm up of each exercise we’d be doing and then we went through the tracks: squats, chest, back, shoulders, triceps, biceps, lunges, abs. I think that’s it! I didn’t care much for all of the music but I’ll get used to it. I can’t wait to go back tomorrow!

Finally, this morning I popped in around 6 a.m. to get in a little 30-minute elliptical action before work. I work full-time, I’m taking summer classes, and have a lot of after work commitments, so first thing in the morning is just about all I have left. It worked out great, no pun intended.

How do you keep up with your workouts over the summer?

Do it yourself: Body Pump

I love Body Pump classes. You might recall the ones from my recent gym visit and I also took them at the YMCA last year.

Body Pump is literally a full body workout! In other words, you are isolating one muscle group at a time for an entire song.

I haven’t joined a gym yet but I figured while I keep thinking about it, I could try to do a Body Pump workout on my own. I had the necessary tools:

  • Body bars (not the same as the barbells but it’ll do) – 9 lbs and 12 lbs
  • iPod with Lady Gaga, No Doubt, Pink, etc.
  • An hour to kill

Basically with each song, I started out slow, doing the exercise up for 2, down for 2. During the “bridge” of the song, I changed from 3:1, and then during the chorus, I did single counts.

This is similar to what you would see in a Body Pump class. I tried to recall the sequence of exercises as best I could and included the songs that I specifically remember (next time I’m write it down).

  • Chest – Chest presses using 9 lb bar (Kevin Rudolf, “Let it Rock”)
  • Squats – Regular squats using 12 lb bar on shoulders (Lady Gaga, “Just Dance”)
  • Back & shoulders – dead lift, bent over row, and clean & press
  • Lunges – Used bar for stability, alternated legs (Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance”)
  • Biceps – Bicep curls using 9 lb bar, my arms were on fire! (No Doubt, “Spiderwebs”)
  • Abs – Regular crunches, bicycles, and reverse crunches
  • Triceps – Tricep bench presses (aka don’t hit yourself in the forehead!), Close-grip bench press (all lying on bench) 9 lb bar
  • Abs – Side crunches, Straight leg toe reach, regular crunches
  • Side bends – Using 10 lb dumbbells (Pink, “So What”)
  • Stretching (Rhianna, “Disturbia”)

It was so much fun to try and recreate Body Pump on my own. Of course, the class dynamic is more fun and having an instructor always helps. But it’s good to know I can sort of do it on my own if I get the urge!

I was feeling it at the end and right now my arms are tired and my quads ache a bit, so I definitely gave my body a workout today 🙂

I’m a new woman

Hello exercise, how I’ve missed you!

Before I left I ate a delicious Larabar. With so many flavors to choose from, I never get tired of these things. Plus it’s nice to have a go-to snack that is vegan and with very few ingredients.


After my snack, I hit the YMCA for a beginner’s Body Pump class. If you have never done Body Pump before, it is a group fitness class that uses barbells.

It is a total body workout: upper body, lower body, abs, you name it. The beginner’s class just lasted 40 minutes (including some basic instruction) so I hit the treadmill for a 30 minute interval run.

Needless to say, I FEEL AWESOME!

I’m so glad I committed to working out today to you guys in my post yesterday. I think that really pushed me to get to it 🙂

When I got home, I made some lunch. My last leftover black bean burger, plus some cauliflower (with Smart Balance Light) and an applesauce.



*Note – this applesauce contains calcium lactate and I haven’t yet researched what source they use for this. I know some vegans avoid this (I don’t) so I just wanted to throw that out there.

Lunch really hit the spot! But tonight is girl’s night potluck so I’m really looking forward to that as well.

Might stop and pick up some vino on the way…

Don’t forget to enter the Musselman’s giveaway before 11:59 tomorrow night!