Another day of completing the exercise and sticking to the spirit – though today in particular, perhaps not the letter – of the eating plan.
Today brought the first instalment of Cardio Core – two words to strike fear into anyone’s heart! I love strength-based workouts and yoga, but I always have to force myself to do cardio – particularly the high intensity variety. I know I ought to do more of it though, and I’m keen to use this programme as a springboard towards that.
Luckily, two things were in my favour. Firstly, I got away from work relatively early for once, so was home for about 6.15. And secondly, this was only a 40 minute workout, which almost felt like a treat after two days of hour-long sessions. Even so, it took a lot of effort to motivate myself.
Once I did, somewhat to my surprise, I really enjoyed the workout and felt really good afterwards (I get this feeling a lot with other types of workout, but cardio, not so much). The format was 30 seconds of on (supposedly) low-intensity move, followed by 30 seconds of one (definitely) high intensity move, repeated three times each for a total of 3 minutes of non-stop cardio. Then an ab exercise using the sliders. There were 6 rounds like this, then all the ab exercises were repeated, back to back.
The format worked really well. The ab exercises were a nice way of allowing you to catch your breath while still working really hard in a different way. And the cardio was pitched at just about the right level for me. Hard enough that my heart rate and breath was consistently high, and I had to push myself, not so hard I really couldn’t breath or felt I might have to give up. Apart from for a minute or two in both the penultimate and the final round, where it did start to feel a bit trickier. I’m not sure I could have coped with many more round. I was dripping with sweat by the end, but didn’t feel drained in the way I sometimes do after cardio that crosses a certain line.
The cardio moves were mostly pretty straightforward. There were a few dance moves and a few from the gentler end of the plyo spectrum, but it was mostly solid aerobic type movements. Fine by me – complex choreography leaves me too confused to move fast enough to feel the burn!
The addition of the sliders meant that the ab exercises were more innovative. In a few instances – notably the mountain climbers and the cross-overs – I felt like I could have done with a few extra reps. Conversely, the side plank based ones were really challenging.
Overall, really happy with this one and feeling really pleased with myself for pushing through.
- alternating leg skipping
- one legged squat jumps
- mountain climbers on sliders
- ankle tap skipping
- peppers (at least I think that was what Autumn called them – vibrating on the spot, basically)
- pikes on sliders
- butt kicks
- frog jumps and knee raises
- side plank, sliding leg out
- butt kicks and high knees
- kamikaze skaters
- side plank knee crunches
- cross jumps
- standing mountain climbers
- knee crosses
- cross overs
- squat jacks
- “circle teasers” (a rather complicated move involving -which in a plank and on sliders – moving on foot behind the other then drawing them both in to the body)
Having been fine for the last two days, I spent large swathes of today feeling ravenously hungry. I guess a few days of exercise and calories deficit is starting to catch up with me, though hopefully my body will adjust soon. I didn’t cheat though, and by the evening, I was feeling a lot better.
My other main issue is that I underestimated the sheer volume and variety of food required on this programme. I did a massive shop of Sunday, but I was already unable to fill all of my boxes properly.
And because I left work earlier than usual (or as it’s supposedly known, “on time”) I forgot to have my pre-workout meal. I compromised by grabbing some sushi on the way back, which just about equated to one red, one yellow and some proportion of a green. I’m hoping that next week, I’ll have got into the swing of this more and be able to learn what works and what doesn’t on the food front and shop and prep accordingly.
On the positive side, homemade tacos worked well for dinner/post-workout (food tastes so good when you’ve just worked out hard!). If I’m 100% honest, they slightly pushed the boundaries of just what should be in a yellow box and I added a sneaky extra blue, but it was all healthy stuff, and my overall daily calories were low. That’s not making excuses, that’s being reasonable, particularly considering I’m not trying to lose tons of weight. Finally, putting banana and almond butter in my breakfast Shakeology was a revelation.