Balancing the Imbalances

What a gorgeous Autumn day here in North Texas! With temperatures in the 40s this morning, it was perfect weather for running/speed walking but a bit chilly for lifting weights, so training was split into 2 segments: indoor and outdoor.

I have been diligent about showing up on my yoga mat at least 5 days a week for a combined yoga and Pilates session. On my HIT days, before I workout, I spend about 20 minutes mobilizing my joints, stretching, and rolling out my shoulders, thighs and IT bands on the foam roller. On my “off” days I do an hour of yoga and Pilates, with a lot of my ab exercises done using a 55 cm fitness ball as well as a Theraband.

Posterior muscles

Posterior muscles

In addition to the Pilates ab work, I’m focusing on scapular stabilization with the Theraband, as I can tell that a year+ of lifting weights has caused some imbalance in my shoulder girdle – too much of the same movements like shoulder presses (lots of deltoid work) and not enough attention on the serratus anterior and teres minor muscles.  My right shoulder hurts, clicks too much, and I’ve lost range of motion in both shoulders. I plan to regain ROM by rehab’ing with band, using Pilates exercises adapted from the Reformer.

Strength and Conditioning

Speed Walking

Stations, x2 (speed walk a lap between stations)

  • Chest Flys in Lunge
  • Lunges
  • Triceps Overhead in Lunge
  • Speed Skaters
  • Biceps Curls in Squat
  • Squat Jumps

Lifts, with variations

  • Triceps Kickbacks
  • Biceps Curls
  • Give and Takes
  • Shoulder Presses

Mat:

  • Theraband work for shoulder stablization (abduction, adduction, internal and external rotation)
  • Rollups
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A TNT Training Day

Okay, so I’m still a little gimped up from the Achilles tendon injury I sustained at the end of July’s P31 Boot Camp. I thought I was more recovered than I am, and I had a teensy bit of post workout pain to deal with last weekend, after a couple of days of light running last week. However, I rested my ankle last Saturday and Sunday, and kept Monday’s workout fairly low-impact so that I could amp it up a bit for kickboxing this week. Today, I’m feeling only a slight twinge in the tendon and I am sports-tape free and sans ibuprofen.

Today was my first workout in a while that left me drenched in sweat and feeling like I have TNT coursing through my veins.

 

I'm TNT, I'm dynamite! (photo from whoisthemenace.com)

I’m TNT, I’m dynamite! (photo from whoisthemenace.com)

TNT Training Day

A TNT workout is two circuits of 9 Strength and Conditioning Stations plus Cardio Kickboxing, with a few extra cardio blast moves thrown in like Squat Jumps and Jumping Jacks. Topped off with a yoga vinyasa of Warrior poses 1, 2 and 3, and I was left a quivering heap on my mat.

I LIVE FOR THESE DYNAMITE WORKOUTS!

Cardio, Strength and Conditioning

Stations 1- 3, x2

  • Traveling Squats
  • Squat Jacks
  • Speed Skaters

Kickboxing – Punches

  • Jabs
  • Hooks and Uppercuts
  • Punching Bags
  • Jabs and Crosses

Stations 4 – 6, x2

  • Backstep Lunges
  • Squat Thrusts
  • Squat Turns

Kickboxing – Kicks

  • Forward
  • Side
  • Back
  • Round the World

Squat Jumps

Stations 7 – 9, x2q

  • Quick Feet
  • Chair Squats
  • Heismans

Kickboxing – Combos

  • Jabs and Front Kicks
  • Jabs and Back Kicks

Squat Jumps
Jumping Jacks

Mat:

  • Forearm Plank
  • Side Planks
  • Climb the Rope (abs)
  • Bicycle Abs
  • Reverse Crunches

Yoga: Warrior 1 -3 vinyasa

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Train Like a Girl

Today’s training combined the best of 2 workout worlds: Strength/conditioning stations and Kickboxing.  I performed a circuit of 9 stations, jogging to each station until I did all nine. Then, I did a set of Cardio Kickboxing moves, throwing in a couple Burpees at the end of each Kickboxing segment. Lather, Rinse and Repeat.

Training Like a Girl

I love station work because it’s impossible to get bored doing anything for 45 or 60 seconds, and I love Cardio Kickboxing because it’s impossible not to have fun imagining that I am Bruce Lee and that each and every punch I throw is landing square on the jaw of my ex-husband.

This is me:

Packing a punch

Packing a punch

This is my ex-husband’s face:

Kapow!

Kapow!

I kept my jumps low-impact to avoid overworking my freshly healed Achilles tendon and skipped wearing hand weights during the Kickboxing segments so as to avoid further aggravating my right rotator cuff.

Cardio, Strength and Conditioning

Stations, 1 minute

  1. Squat Turns
  2. Wall Jumps
  3. Chair Sit
  4. Jump Rope
  5. Step Ups
  6. Triceps Dips
  7. Squat Jumps
  8. Standing Mountain Climbers
  9. Reverse Lunges

Kickboxing

  • Punches
  • Combos

Burpees

Stations, 45 seconds

  1. Squat Turns
  2. Wall Jumps
  3. Chair Sit
  4. Jump Rope
  5. Step Ups
  6. Triceps Dips
  7. Squat Jumps
  8. Standing Mountain Climbers
  9. Reverse Lunges

Burpees

Kickboxing

  • Standing Twists
  • Front Kicks
  • Squats
  • Back Kicks
  • Standing Twists
  • Side Kicks

Mat:

  • Reverse Crunches
  • Rollback with Twists
  • Boat
  • Roll Ups
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Back in the Saddle

After taking some down time to recover from a minor shoulder injury – a non-training injury – I was glad to get back to working out. I even jogged a bit, which was my first time to run in 10 weeks since hurting my left Achilles tendon. All in all it was a re-emergence training session, my “I’m back in the saddle again!” work out.

Cardio, Strength and Conditioning

Weights:

Partner Relays – 1 partner does a combo weight lift while the other runs and performs a related lift; staggered reps (10, then 9, then 8 etc)

  • Shoulder Press
  • Clean and Press
  • Triceps Overhead
  • Triceps Overhead in Lunge
  • Biceps Curls
  • Biceps Curls in Squat
  • Give and Takes
  • Curl and Press
  • Flys
  • Flys with Lunge
  • Triceps Kickbacks
  • Triceps Kickback with Lunge

Mat:

  • Rollback with Twist, weight
  • Roll Ups
  • Superman

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Starting the Week with Fitness

The week is off to an excellent fitness start. Yay! I’m still in low impact mode, and my left Achilles tendon does seem to be slowly improving. I remind myself every day to take it easy and to not rush anything. By far, this Achilles injury has been the most painful and slowest healing sports related injury I’ve experienced.  The second worst: torn rotator cuff (Pilates teacher training injury) Third: sacroiliitis (yoga teacher injury). I don’t count my broken metatarsal as a sports injury because I was moving Pilates equipment, not actually doing Pilates when it happened. :)

In keeping with low impact, I modified all jumping movements such as the Jumping Jacks and Wall Jumps into step movements and calf raises. I find that as long as I move my arms a lot I’m able to get my heart rate up.

Strength and Conditioning

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Push-ups

Shoulder Presses, x2

1 Minute Stations:

  1. Wide Push-ups
  2. Chair Sit
  3. Squats
  4. Wall Jumps

Overhead Triceps Extension, x2

  • Quick Feet
  • Drops Downs
  • Prayer Jacks
  • Push-ups

Biceps Curls in Squat, x2

1 Minute Stations:

  1. Triceps Push-ups
  2. Chair Sit
  3. Squat Pulses
  4. Wall Jumps

Triceps Kickbacks – 3 positions

  • Quick Feet
  • Drop Downs

1 Minute Stations:

  1. Standard Push-ups
  2. Chair Sit
  3. Squats
  4. Wall Jumps

Mat:

  • Weighted Sit-ups
  • Rollbacks, with Twists and weight
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Off and Outta Synch Today

Yowza… talk about feeling “off” – I’ve been out of sorts all day. It’s as though I’m out of synch with the rest of the world.  I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t had an entire day off, where I can do nothing, or if I’m just plain ole tired.  And the rest of the week holds no promises of slowing down.

Training today was what I would call “meh”, or “blah”. Not that the workout itself was “meh” – it was me. We worked partner relays and weights, with a lot of the cardio being in the form of jumping rope. I’m not jumping these days, not with this nagging Achilles pain, and so I never really got my heart rate up.

I’m also experiencing overall joint pain, especially in my right shoulder and right wrist.  I don’t believe I had enough recovery time this weekend – Friday was an intense workout, and then Saturday I had a 3 hour kickboxing and instructor training workshop, which also involved almost 5 hours of travel time. My shoulders are fried! Hopefully, I’ll feel more energetic on Wednesday.

Cardio and Weights

Partner Relays, x2

Partner 1 runs, jumps rope and then does weighted punches on the return; Partner 2 does lifts

Lifts:

  • Push-ups with weights
  • Weight Punches in Hip Lift
  • Overhead Triceps Extensions (1 arm at a time: front, side, back)

Cardio: Speed Walk with 4 level punches

  • In/Out Push-ups
  • Weighted Twisters
  • Triceps Kickbacks (3 hand positions)

Mat:

  • Roll-ups with weight
  • Boat Pose
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Outdoors, Finally!

I am so thankful to have been able to train outside this week. It’s been gorgeous here in North Texas, and exercising outdoors has been a real “pick me up”. I love seeing the sky and feel the breeze while I’m working out.

I’m still dealing with my Achilles tendon injury although it’s improved A LOT over the past week and a half. I wrap my ankle in KT Tape for my workout and then on my off days I’ve been going tape free.

Today’s work out was a combo of cardio kickboxing and weight training. To add a little “oompf” to my punches and punch/kick combos I used 1 1/2 lb weights during the kickboxing session.

Cardio, Strength and Conditioning

Kickboxing:

  • Punches (weighted)
  • Kicks
  • Combos

Weights, x2:

Set 1

  • Clean and Presses
  • Drop Curls, standing on one leg
  • Give and Takes

Cardio Blast

  • Burpees with Push-ups
  • Squat Jumps
  • Squat Pulses

Set 2

  • Back Step Lunge with Curl
  • Triceps Kickbacks
  • Lawnmowers

Cardio Blast

  • Burpees with Push-ups
  • Squat Jumps
  • Squat Pulses

Repeat all lifts for 10 reps

Cardio Blast

  • Burpees with Push-ups
  • Squat Jumps
  • Squat Pulses

Mat:

  • Plank: Pointers with Pull-ins to opposite elbow
  • Weighted Fall Backs
  • Reverse Crunches
  • Weighted Up and Overs
  • “Explosion Party”
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And I Feel Fine

What a beautiful day here in Fort Worth. Working out this morning, in 63 degrees and under a clear blue sky, was an absolute delight. Between my Achilles injury finally on the mend and the perfect Autumn weather I have been feeling much more optimistic and content. Hey, I’ll take all the good moments I can get.

What a relief to say: I FEEL FINE!

Feeling fine, playing it safe

I re-taped my left Achilles tendon for training and went low impact on my ankles. I replaced all the run time with speed walking, Squat Thrusts,  Burpees, and Burpees with Push-ups (Death Push-ups) and I didn’t do any jumping during the Cardio Blasts. By doing lots and lots of Burpees and moving my arms vigorously during the Cardio Blasts I was able to elevate my heart rate and bring on a decent sweat.

Cardio, Strength and Conditioning

Partner Relays, x2 – Partner 1 runs while Partner 2 does lift

Lifts:

  1. In/Out Biceps
  2. Pulse Lunges
  3. Front/Side Arm Raises
  4. Side Lunges w/Press

Cardio Blast:

  • Horse Squats
  • Quick Feet
  • Speed Squats

Lifts:

  1. Hammer Curls
  2. Pulse Lunges
  3. Shoulder Press
  4. Side Lunge w/ Press

Cardio Blast:

  • Speed Squats
  • Quick Feet
  • Squat Jumps

Mat:

  • Rollbacks with weight
  • Rollups with weight
  • Side Planks
  • Forearm Plank
  • Plank
  • Donkey Kicks
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Every Little Thing is Going to Be All Right

Along with the North Texas autumn weather comes outdoor workouts. What a relief after months of being stuck inside and staring at the same 4 walls! It was wonderful to take P31 class outside and exercise under a vast blue sky.

My Achilles injury seems to finally be improving, and I’ve actually had two days sans sports tape. I’m optimistic that I can continue working out in October as long as I keep it low impact and avoid jumping and running hills.

What has been bothering me a lot about not running and jumping is that I haven’t felt like I’ve been able to get my heart rate as high as I like. And then it hit me last week that maybe – just maybe – if I add more up and down movements, like Burpees, I can get my heart pumping to bring on a decent sweat.  And it worked! For my interval cardio training I did 15 seconds of speed walking followed by series of 5-6 Squat Thrusts, and then 5-6 Burpees with Push-ups; towards the end of my workout I dropped the Push-ups and stuck with straight up and down Burpees.

For the first time in several weeks, I feel like everything is gonna be all right.

Cardio Blast:

  • Speed walk
  • Squat Thrusts
  • Burpees with Push-ups

Weights, 3 sets (16 reps, then 14, then 12):

  • Side Arm Raises
  • Back Step Lunges

Cardio Blast:

  • Speed Walk
  • Squat Thrusts
  • Burpees with Push-ups

Weights, 3 sets (16 reps, then 14, then 12):

  • Give and Takes
  • Sumo Squats

Cardio Blast:

  • Speed walk
  • Squat Thrusts
  • Burpees with Push-ups

Weights, 3 sets (16 reps, then 14, then 12):

  • High Pulls
  • Clean and Press
  • Lunge Pulses

Cardio Blast:

  • Speed walk
  • Low Impact Squat Jumps
  • Burpees

Weights, 3 sets (16 reps, then 14, then 12):

  • Triceps Kickbacks
  • Squats

Repeat all Lifts for 10 reps

Mat:

  • Plank
  • Forearm Plank
  • Superman
  • Bicycle Abs
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Relying on Habit

Once again, I’m in “showing up” mode. Lately, I haven’t been feeling overly enthusiastic about working out and I’m relying on habit to make it happen. Part of the issue is this frigging nagging Achilles tendon injury and the other issue is I’m exhausted because I haven’t been sleeping well this week.

Pain and insomnia are THE two great banes of my existence.

My Achilles injury has me contemplating taking off the entire month of October from training. Egads! I can’t really imagine it, don’t want to imagine it, and will most likely come up with a drastically scaled back exercise program instead of stopping HIIT exercise completely. Because of my injury, which has proven to be moderately severe, my resistance to stopping all training may seem absurd. However, for anyone who has dedicated him/herself to fitness and made working out a lifestyle, taking any length of time off is a depressing prospect.

I absolutely love working out hard, setting goals, pushing myself, and experiencing new breakthroughs.  My mental and emotional health depend on the endorphin and serotonin my body manufactures when I train hard so I am going to have to figure something out to keep me mentally healthy. Unfortunately, yoga and Pilates aren’t enough – I NEED to get my heart rate up and profusely sweat for those endorphins to kick in.

Cardio Day

Interval Run

Partner Relays – Partner 1 travels, Partner 2 performs movement in place

  • Jumping Jacks/Traveling Jacks
  • Lunges/Back Walking Lunges
  • Quick Feet/Traveling Quick Feet
  • Squat Jumps/Froggers (traveling)

Kickboxing:

Punches (Arms)

  • Jabs
  • Hooks
  • Hook/Cross
  • Jab/Hook
  • Jab/Cross/Hook
  • Speed “punching bags”: up, center, down, left, right

Kicks (Legs)

  • Knee Pulls
  • Knee Pull/Front Kick
  • Front Kick/Back Kick

Punches/Kicks Combos

Cardio Blast, x2:

  • Squats: pulse, standard, pliet, squat jump
  • Speed Skaters: simple, touch ground, add hop
  • Burpees with Push-ups
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