Week 4 Push-up & Plank Challenge!

Confession…I did not do the challenge Sunday and Monday of this past week. Enter in shamed puppy dog face and all the excuses possible. Unfortunately, I don’t have an excuse that justifies not taking 15 minutes out of my day to complete MY OWN CHALLENGE (repeat shame face). Even with the amount of travel that I did this weekend there really isn’t a reason why I couldn’t have completed it. I debated with myself whether or not I was going to confess but I figure we are all human and get lazy sometimes. Better to own up and be honest to all my dedicated followers then to pretend I am something I’m not!

So with that being said, if there have been days that you have missed this month here and there don’t beat yourself up about it. More importantly look at how far you have come as we enter week 4! If you have held any sort of consistency throughout this challenge then you have 100% noticed a difference and maybe now you are able to finally hold a plank for a minute or do 3 regular push-ups. Whatever it may be for you do not stop there! If you were like myself this Memorial Day weekend then you may be late to the game in starting week 4, no worries just extend as need be. I will be extending my week till June 1st and starting a new challenge/program (more exciting details to come).

I started week 4 of the advanced challenge yesterday, which meant I complete three rounds of 40 push-ups and 2minute planks. HOLY GAUCAMOLE MAN! No holds bar…I was absolutely dreading it and I kept doing the math in my head…120-push ups YIKES! After some pacing around the apartment, cleaning, opening & closing the fridge a million times I set my procrastinating aside and got to work taking some of my own advice!

The first set of push ups I dropped to my knees at around 20 but since I wanted to do as many regular push ups as possible I completed 10 on my knees and gave myself a little 30 second break before attempting the next 10. The first plank was a piece of cake…having a magazine or electronic device in front of you to check pintrest or insta can really make the time fly! The second set I set up so I would complete 10 push ups, break for 45 seconds and complete the next set. By the end of my final 2 minute plank I was shaking and making grunting noises that would make doing this in public extremely awkward for everyone. Today the challenge went more smoothly since I allowed myself a break in between the push-ups and had a new wedding magazine on hand 😉

Advice for Week 4 of the Challenge:

  1. Break up the push-ups into sets or 5-10 and allow some time in between to keep the correct form so you are reaping the benefits. What’s the point in half assing it?
  2. If the planking part is more of a challenge for you give yourself a break between exercises before you jump right into your plank and vice versa.
  3. Use any means of distraction to help pass the time while your planking – loud music, magazines, social media, your dog licking your face, whatever works!!
  4. DO NOT GIVE UP!

Keep it up gang we are almost there!

xoxo

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Bear Mountain Race Recap

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Two weeks ago I ran a Marathon relay race with the best team EVER! The race was the Northface Endurance Challenge at Bear Mountain State Park in Bear Mt. New York. Our team of four (in order of runner Me, Christine Kitt, Greta Sanborn, and Molly Magnuson) each had to run 6.5 miles. Each leg was designed to basically be the same topography. When I say topography please do not underestimate the degree of difficulty. To put it quickly in perspective, the night before, Kevin (fiancé) and I were going over the details of the event … the cool gear we got, GPS trackers, protein and hydration packets, clothing etc. Then I showed him the trail map. (Side note..him and I hiked Bear Mt. in October last year so he has an idea of what is in front of us). His evaluation word for word after his typical few minutes of silent analysis …“oh ok so the hard part is in the beginning where your going straight up for 3 miles but the next three miles are straight down. Well that’s not so …. uhh wait a second, let me get this straight, after 6 miles of running up and down a mountain that has really no trail and your feeling close to the end you then have to go right back up a 45 degree hill for like ¼ mile then down again for ¼ mile? Then pass that same trail off to your mate? That is so cruel. I thought this was a fun run for charity?”

This course was rough. The first mile was a steady incline with rocky terrain. Miles 2 to 3.5 was a STEEP progressive ascent but the terrain was mostly a dirt-covered path with the occasional mud puddle and tree limb. When you finally make it to the “top” and I use the term top loosely, because what was expected to be a straight dissent turned into a never-ending rolling hill. At least we were given roughly a half-mile decline to catch our breath that was lost from making it up there. From mile 4 to 5 you have rolling hills. They are in no way like the hills encountered at the beginning of the race but they are by no means easy! At mile 5 the terrain becomes really rough and even though it is downhill it is near impossible not to slow down and walk/trot/gallop/dodge/hurdle a few times because there are many large rocks and steep cliffs on either sides of the trail. I found myself holding onto nearby trees at many times for fear stability because lets be honest I am not the most nimble person …. The last mile to mile and a half have more rolling short hills and then you are faced with one last climb at mile 6. Making it to the flat terrain at the end of the course never felt so good! My sprint at the end felt more like a sprint through quicksand but I promise I was attempting to sprint.

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My intention going into this race was to do the best I can…and make sure I finished it under 65 minutes. Mission complete!!!! I had trained hard but next time I know I can train harder! I want to be stronger all around so I am going to increase my strength training next time and make my hill training more challenging.

By the end of the race my team and I were referring to it as a journey. Because challenges like this one need to be looked at as more of a personal journey if you are going to complete them! My Teammates kicked ASSS! I couldn’t have been more proud of each one of them. They all surprised and encouraged me. The effort they put into this race was amazing and they all did better then they thought they were going to which is a great feeling! If you want to venture on a personal journey with some of your best girlfriends I couldn’t think of better event or a better group of girls to do it with. Aside from my amazing team members it was such an uplifting experience to see hundreds of people come together in the name of fitness and push their bodies mentally and physically!

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I will 100% be signing up for this race again next year!

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Good luck to one of my Team Members/BFF Greta & her mom this upcoming weekend! She is running her first half marathon and I am so proud of how far she has come with her running career! Keep it up Girl!

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend Everyone! Safe Travels! Week 4 of the Challenge is right around the corner!

xoxox

Week 3 May Challenge & Birthday Celebrations!

Happy Monday! Its not just any Monday it is also this girls Birthday! She turns 22 today and I can’t wait to celebrate with her tomorrow when she comes home! She has been like a sister to me for years but soon she officially will!

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And my future mother-in-laws Birthday is tomorrow! I am so lucky to have these two in my life! Bring on the Celebrations!!!

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It’s officially the start of week 3 for most of you. How did everyone do with week 2? Did you find that it got easier as the week went on? I found that the planks got easier as the week went on but the push ups were still rather challenging if I didn’t take much of a break between the sets. I was however able to mix in a few different style of push ups as the week went on with the sets. Since the diamond push ups were in no way easier then the regular push ups…that may have played a role in my exhaustion and muscle fatigue.

Tips for Week 3

  1. If you have been doing the challenge at the beginning of your workout try doing it at the end.
  2. Try really hard to go all the way down on each push up
  3. During both the plank and the push up be mindful of your neck if you have a tendency to tuck it under and watch your feet. This will help with your form and breathing!
  4. If you always start with the pushups first start with the plank and vice versa.
  5. DON’T GIVE UP!

Yesterday was supposed to be my off day but since it was soooo gorgeous out I couldn’t resist a good run from Queens to the west side!

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Todays workout will consist of:

Squat 5×5 105lbs
Pull ups (with a band) 5×10

Bench press 4×8 70lbs
Tricep dips with 45lb plate 4×10
Walking DB lunges 4×20 20lbs

Standing over head press 55 5×5

Calf Raises 5×25

Single leg squat machine 3×10

Over head press 15lb 4×10
Glute Bridges 85lb 4×10

Front raises 12.5 4×10
Leg raises 4×15

Ending with a metabolic circuit, the May Challenge, and some ab work!

Get up & Kick Ass!

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Put you GRRRRR Face on!

xoxox

May Challenge Week 2

Before we get started Happy Belated Mothers Day You guys kick ass! I hope everyone enjoyed a fun filled weekend! Here are a few pics from my laughing so hard my abs hurt kinda weekend with the family 😉

lil sis

lil sis

picture we gifted to my parents for their anniversary for two weekends before.

picture we gifted to my parents for their anniversary from two weekends before.

View from my parents home!

View from my parents home!

realizing I had almost forgotten my own challenge because I traveled all day!

realizing I had almost forgotten my own challenge because I traveled all day!

AND A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY DAD! Looks like I may be able to beat you in a push up challenge finally!

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Now to the nitty gritty….Depending on when you started the challenge most of you should have started week 2 already. I started week 2 on Monday. Monday went well. Tuesday I fought the need to constantly look at my stopwatch for fear of not making it. Oh and I had to remind myself to breath… Kinda sorta important. Today I fell on my face during the second set of 20 push ups. If you fall on your face because you have fully fatigued your muscles no one can say you weren’t trying. Today I tried wicked hard…twice.

Whether you are doing the beginners or advanced challenge it should not be easy! Some of you may have found week 1 to be substantially different to week 2. If you are still struggling do not give up! It will get easier just give yourself a little longer of a break between sets! YOU CAN DO THIS!

For myself I found the first week got easier as the week went on. Unfortunatly I can’t say the same for week 2 yet. For many people there is a substantial difference between 10 & 20 push ups. On sets 2 & 3 it’s around rep 12-14 that I find myself struggling not to pause and reset..hence the face plant. Face plant or not I won’t give up!

Here are my workouts so far for the week:

Sunday:

3.5 mile run in the woods of NH

Monday:
Squat 5×5 95lbs
Pull ups (with a band) 5×10

Bench press 4×8 70lbs
Tricep dips with 45lb plate 4×10
Walking DB lunges 4×20 20lbs

Over head press 15lb 4×10
Bicep curl 30lb 4×10
Leg raises 4×15

Ended with 30 more pull ups with the band & the challenge
Tuesday:

1 mile warm up run

Deadlift 120lbs 5×5

Pull ups (with band) 5×10

Landmine row 25lb 5×8

Hamstring curls 70lbs 4×8

Pull ups (with band) 4×10

Hanging leg raises

Ended with the challenge

Exhausted...

Exhausted…

dat back doe

dat back doe

Wednesday:

3 miles of sprints on the treadmill

pull ups with the band 8×10 (did this spread out through the day)

Ab exercises & ended with the challenge.

Today I spent a lot more time foam rolling and stretching because I was super tight from the past two days and have box squats on the menu tomorrow.

As you continue the challenge keep a few tips in mind:
1. During your plank make sure to engage your core so that your belly button stays up and in. If you start to feel ANY lower back pain raise your hips slightly.

2. It’s okay to do the push ups on your knees but attempt regular ones each set if you are able to complete 1 or 2 reps.

3. If regular push ups are too easy for you play around with different variations such as diamond push ups and around the world!

4. WHATEVER YOU DO. DONT. GIVE. UP.

5. If it ever gets to hard to hold the plank my best advice would be to take pictures of yourself with your iphone. I promise it makes it a lot easier…..see exhibit A & B.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

Happy Hump Day xoxox

May Challenge

It’s been a long winter no matter where your located. My mother always used to say “April showers bring May flowers.” Well, if your not the Abominable Snowman then you are more than ready for those flowers! Beside the flowers we get warmer weather (fingers crossed), cinco de mayo, and Memorial Day. So basically May kick-starts the summer and bathing suit season. In the spirit of the season I have created a fun little challenge for all to participate in and anyone can do…. in case you missed that: ANYONE CAN DO IT. Yes I just took away any and all excuses you may have! Feel free to jump on it tomorrow and get moving! I highly encourage you to track your progress so that you can see the results you are making along the way!

May Challenge:

Beginners

Week 1:

30second Plank

10 push ups

x3

Week 2:

50 second plank

15 push up

x3

Week 3:

70 second plank

20 push ups

x3

Week 4:

90 second plank

25 push ups

x3

Advanced

Week 1:

1min  Plank

10 push ups

x3

Week 2:

1min 20second plank

20 push up

x3

Week 3:

1 min 40 second plank

30 push ups

x3

Week 4:

2min plank

40 push ups

x3

It is important to constantly push yourself. So if you have never been able to get through 10 push ups start with the beginners challenge but try to get in as many regular push ups before you drop to your knees. At the beginning of the week it may take you a little longer to get through the challenge but as the week goes on your rest time should lessen. Remember you CAN DO THIS! Give yourself as many breaks as needed and in no time you will be able to bust out 10 Regular push ups or more! Do not hesitate to email me for any modifications you may need. There are MANY progressions and regressions to the push up and plank!

Exercise tip: During any variation of the push up make sure to keep your core engaged just like you would when doing a plank. Remember to keep your belly button up and in!

Bring on bikini season!

GOOD LUCK

If you are currently injured or have a previous injury or medical condition that would prevent any of these exercises please consult your doctor.