Showing posts with label workouts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label workouts. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My week of workouts (for the week of July 14th)

I'm a few days late on my weekly workout post, but I still want to do my recap. I hope I can remember the details!

Sunday, July 14th: Rest.

Monday, July 15th: Yoga.

Tuesday, July 16th. Hmmm, I am having a hard time remembering. After the warm-up we did several sets of get-ups. I started with a 12kg kettlebell and switched to a 15-pound dumbbell. As for the rest of the workout, I am drawing a total blank. I have no idea. Maybe I'll ask and post an update later.

Wednesday, July 17th: The best part of this workout is that we had a babysitter so Carl and I were able to work out together. Yep, that is my idea of a date night. Ha! Anyway, our gym is running a new class for the summer that is kindof a hybrid of several other classes, designed to work on agility, mobility, strength and all sorts of other important things. It is a long workout and super challenging. We did some drills that involved improving knee strength, we did some TRX, we did running, we did medicine ball stuff. I felt it the next day.

Thursday, July 18th: This was the sixth week of rope climbing and I'm so surprised by my progress. I was able to climb halfway up the rope three times, thanks to the help of my partner. I still have work to do in terms of my figuring out how to grip the rope with my feet, but I'll get there. Not that I actually want to climb higher; being up that high is scary!

Friday, July 19th: Rest.

Saturday, July 20th: Another rest day. I would have gone to yoga, but I had a really bad cold again. My second this summer. What is up?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

My week of workouts (for the week of June 30)

I'm documenting my workouts here once a week (on Saturdays now instead of Sundays) so I can look back and see how I improve/change over time. This is just for my own information. I find that this is an easy way to record everything (I know most readers come here to find out what paleo babies eat).

Sunday, June 30th: Rest.

Monday, July 1st: Blast. This is a one-hour class, where we do several segments of strength and cardio intervals using a bench, medicine balls and dumbbells. The class is really tough, especially since I rarely attend. I was super sore the following day.

Tuesday, July 2nd: We started off with pull-up practice (my current favorite!). Five max sets with a one-minute rest in between. I used the red band, the one with the least resistance, for the first time, and managed to do three for the first three sets and two for the last two. The workout was short, and I'm glad because it was super hot. We did three rounds of one 400m run, 25 doubles unders and 10 burpees.

Wednesday, July 3rd: Rest.

Thursday, July 4th: Rest, and lots of it because I was (am) still not feeling well.

Friday, July 5th: More rest.

Saturday, July 6th: I finally felt well enough to workout, but could not wake up in time for yoga. So, I went to the 9:15am workout instead. It was a partner workout with stations. Six rounds, 30 seconds each (per person). We did sit-ups with a medicine ball toss, seated rope climbs and dumbbell thrusters. I used a 10-pound medicine ball and 20-pound dumbbells.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

My week of workouts (for the week of June 23rd)

I am documenting my workouts here once a week so I can look back and see how I improve/change over time. This is just for my own information. I know most readers come here to find out what paleo babies eat, but for me this is an easy way to document my workouts (rather than using an app or pen-and-paper or even a spreadsheet)

Note: I usually do my workout recaps on Sundays, but since tomorrow is a) the last day of the blogathon and b) a blogathon theme day, I decided to jot down my workouts a day early. 

Give yourself workout credit for taking a toddler to the zoo!

Sunday, June 23rd: Sunday is almost always a rest day for me, and this week was no exception. Especially because I was still recovering from last Friday's cold. 

Monday, June 24th: Rest. Even though I was quite a bit better, I was still in no shape to workout. My philosophy is rest until you are completely over it so your body can focus it's energy on healing. I would not be doing myself or anyone else any favors by working out while I was still recuperating.

Tuesday, June 25th: Rest, and see above. Part of the reason I opted out of Tuesdays work out is I already had so much going on on this day, and working out would have probably put me over the edge. Too much too soon after being sick is not a good idea. I went to the orthodontist in the morning to get braces, I went downtown to get a haircut and then, in the evening, looked at house with our real estate agent. More than enough for one day.

Wednesday, June 26th: I finally made it back to the gym for a TRX workout. Just TRX. No kettlebells or sprinting this time.

Thursday, June 27th: So, it was one week ago today that I did my first pull-up ever. Well, I was not able to do it again. After almost a week off and a cold, I'm not surprised. I'll see what happens next week. Anyway, we worked on rope climbing again. I'm still stuck in the same spot. I can do one foot hook and that is it. For whatever reason, I lack this skill and I really cannot foresee myself figuring it out anytime soon. After rope climbing, we moved on to the workout. It was kind of a choose-your-own-adventure theme, with three levels. I choose level three: 175 body weight squats plus a four-lap run (a lap is a loop that goes of the gym, onto the sidewalk and kind of around the parking lot -- I am not sure how far it is exactly but it might be close to 200m, making a four-lap run close to a mile). I definitely felt the squats as soon as I got home.

Friday, June 28th: A trip through the zoo on a hot day with a toddler. Yep, I am sooo counting this as a workout. I did a lot of walking while pushing a very heavy stroller. Our zoo has a lot of hills. When I took her out of the stroller, I had to run around and chase her. Later, I had to wrestle her into her car seat. This is exercise.

Saturday, June 29th: The plan is yoga. I am writing this on Friday afternoon, so whether I wake up in time is TBD. Update: I did not make it to yoga. I could say I was too tired or something came up, but the truth is I was too lazy.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My week of workouts (for the week of June 16th)

I am documenting my workouts here once a week so I can look back and see how I improve/change over time. This is just for my own information. I know most readers come here to find out what paleo babies eat, but for me this is an easy way to document my workouts (rather than using an app or pen-and-paper or even a spreadsheet)

Monday, June 17th: Kettlebells/TRX/sprinting. Carl and I got a babysitter and had the rare opportunity to work out together. 

Tuesday, June 18th: First, front squats. I did five sets of five at 65 pounds, the same exact weight I lifted a month ago. I really don't feel ready to increase the weight at all on this particular exercise, in part because it hurts my wrists and it is very difficult for me to position my arms correctly. I think I need to get the form down before I try to lift heavier. Next, we did three sets of the following: three sets (each side) of kettlebell snatches and a team shuttle run (i.e. taking turns sprinting between cones). I used the 8kg kettlebell. I feel stuck between the 8kg and the 12kg (the 8kg feels too light, and the 12 too heavy). 

Wednesday, June 19th: Rest. My daughter kept me up most of the previous night, so working out would have been a very poor choice. I needed to relax and get to bed as early as possible. It was also my husband's birthday, but we were too tired to celebrate. We made dinner plans for Saturday instead. 

Thursday, June 20th. This is a day that goes down in history -- the day I did my first pull-up ever, in my entire life! Yay! Then, more rope climb practice (I seem to be able to do just one pull for now). The workout was 50 wall balls, 30 burpees and 20 toes-to-bar. We had the option of going through the workout once or twice. I chose twice, with a 10-pound wall ball and knee raises instead of toes-to-bar. I can do a few toes-to-bar at a time, but after the wall balls and burpees there is no way -- I felt like I was about to throw-up. 

Friday, June 21st: Rest, rest and more rest. I woke up at 3am with a terrible cold that seemed to come out of nowhere.

Saturday, June 22nd: Still sick. We had to cancel our dinner plans. So sad, because we haven't been out much without our daughter and this was our opportunity. Oh, well. I guess we know what we're doing next weekend.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My week of workouts (for the week of June 9th)

I am documenting my workouts here once a week so I can look back and see how I improve/change over time. This is just for my own information. I know most readers come here to find out what paleo babies eat, but for me this is an easy way to document my workouts (rather than using an app or pen-and-paper or even a spreadsheet). 

Sunday, June 9th: Rest

Monday, June 10th: Yoga. My yoga instructor, Kili, recently returned from an advanced yoga training retreat, and she is incorporating some of her newly-acquired knowledge into her classes. I feel like the class is above and beyond my capability, but it is still doable. I just need to modify and rest a lot. This is some tough stuff. For me, anyway. Mobility and balance are not my strong suits right now. Monday was particularly difficult because for some reason my back was killing me. Honestly, sometimes when I am in yoga I feel like I am not really doing anything. Not because of the class, but because I feel like there is so little I actually can do.

Tuesday, June 11th: Floor press, 5x5, with max hand-release push ups and a two-minute rest between sets. I did 65 pounds, which is 10 pounds more than I did last year at this time. I started off with eight push-ups, then did 10 and by the last round I dropped back down to some other number (totally lost count). By the last round I could only do two. After floor press, we did tabata squats. I did 21 squats in the first round, 15 for the next six and 16 in the final round. I had a hard time making it up the stairs when I got home.

Wednesday, June 12th: I'm calling this the Be Careful What You Wish For Workout. Lately, I've been missing our old Friday at noon TRX class (the schedule changed and it was replaced with spinning). Usually, Wednesday evening is a TRX/kettlebell combo. Usually. This week it was all TRX, like the old Friday class. I had forgotten just how challenging 45 minutes of straight TRX can be. I love it.

Thursday, June 13th: So, I've learned that we're doing six weeks in a row of rope climb practice (starting with last week). I know I said that I don't give a hoot about climbing the rope, but I decided that if we're going to practice it for six weeks I might as well give it a whirl instead of just standing around. I'm still trying to figure out how to get my feet to hold on to the rope, though. If I can make it halfway up the rope by the end of the six-week period, it will be a miracle. The workout itself was a 10 minute AMRAP with seven/seven dumbbell snatches and seven box jumps. I was quite amazed at how light the 20-pound dumbbells felt to me. I'll probably have to try 25 next time. I did six complete rounds plus a seventh round of snatches.

Friday, June 14th: Rest. Unless you count taking a squirmy toddler to the mall, which I pretty much do. 

Saturday, June 15th: Yoga. I woke up at 6:30am and felt really well rested. I was soooo looking forward to yoga, but on the way to the gym I felt a really bad headache coming on and it didn't go away. I still did the workout, but it was difficult to concentrate. By the end of class I was on the verge of a migraine (I rarely get migraines anymore, but I used to get them all the time), so I took an Excederin. Fortunately it helped, and the day was redeemed.

I also worked on pull-ups a couple of times this week. I'm getting closer!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

My week of workouts (for the week of June 2nd)

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I'm going to start documenting my workouts here once a week so I can look back and see how I improve/change over time. This is just for my own information. I find that this is an easy way to record everything (I know most readers come here to find out what paleo babies eat).

Sunday, June 2nd: Rest.

Monday, June 3rd: Yoga. Balance and mobility are big challenges for me right now, so yoga is tough. I used to be able to do a full wheel and at one point I was getting very close to doing crow pose. Now, I can barely hold a shoulder bridge. Much work ahead.

Tuesday, June 4th: One minute Airdyne challenge (21 calories). In the workout we did kettlebell front squats, toes to bar and slam ball sprints. I used the blue kettlebell, and for the first time possibly ever I did a few toes to bar (instead of just knee raises). I started out using the 30-pound slam ball but switched to 40 on the last two sprints.

Wednesday, June 5th: TRX/Kettlebells/sprinting. This is my favorite workout right now. It involves everything I love and nothing that I dread. I'm switching between the blue and the yellow kettlebells (BTW these kettlebells are not actually blue and yellow; they just have tape on them to make them easy to identify for people like me who can never remember how much they weigh), which is an improvement because not too long ago I was using the two smallest ones.

Thursday, June 6th: Three-minute rope climb challenge. I am currently unable to climb the rope, and I don't care. Sorry. Then we did an 800m sprint, followed by 3 rounds of 25 kettlebell swings (I started with yellow and moved to blue) and 50 bodyweight squats and one more 800m sprint.

Friday, June 7th: Rest.

Saturday, June 8th: Unintended rest. I planned to go to yoga. But I didn't make it. I needed sleep.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Keeping track of progress

Yesterday's post on the comparison trap got me thinking about my own workouts over the past few years and how/if I have actually improved my level of fitness overall. Considering I was pregnant two years ago at this time, it is really hard for me to tell. I am stronger than I was one year ago, but am I stronger than I was three years ago? I don't know. I'm not much of a record keeper, but if I had actual data I would know. So, I'm going to try keeping records for a while so I can monitor my progress. Some of my workouts (like yoga and TRX) aren't exactly set up for collecting data, but my other workouts are. I should be able to keep track of my time and my rounds (if applicable) and the amount of weight I am lifting and skills I am performing ... it is just a matter of writing things down and/or taking a photo of the white board. I'll post my workouts here once a week (probably Saturdays, since Sunday is almost always a rest day) to make it easy (I know I would not keep it up if I were using pen and paper, and I'm not much of an app user).

A year from now, I should be able to look back and see (theoretically) whether I have improved. This will go a long way toward comparing myself to myself rather than comparing myself to others. I'm also going to think about setting some measurable goals ... I've had them in the past, but I haven't been working on them lately.

The two goals I'm going to work on first: pull-ups and double-unders. I just want to do one pull-up. I'm close. I think if I work on it I can get there by sometime in July. As for double-unders, I can do them -- just not consecutively. For now, I just want to do two in a row.

Do you set specific goals and/or keep track of your workouts? How does this data help you?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The comparison trap

Do you compare yourselves to others at the gym? I sometimes do. 

Look at her. She is so much stronger than me. She runs faster than me, completes more rounds than me, lifts more weight than me. Why can't I do that? Why am I so weak and slow?

This is such a waste of my energy! The only person I should be comparing myself to is me. Who cares if I can't deadlift 150 pounds? My five rep max is 20 pounds more than it was at this time last year, and I am only 10 pounds away from deadlifting my body weight. So what if I can only burn 21 calories on the Airdyne in one minute? Last time I only got to 18. I am making progress based on my own numbers, and that is all that matters.

The comparison trap is dangerous and counterproductive. I have been making an effort lately to avoid it, and I think it really helps me get more out of my workouts. If I am paying attention to what someone else is doing, how can I focus on myself? How can I get stronger and faster? How can I learn new skills and reach my own goals? I can't, because I am making it about someone else rather than me.

Strong and fast is relative. I work out with some amazing women with some really impressive skills and athletic abilities. I cannot necessarily do the things they do, and that is OK. The goal is to find my own definition of strong and fast and to strive to do my best. Not their best.

With all of this said, I do think there is value in emulating people you admire. If someone has a skill or ability you admire and desire for yourself, ask how they acquired that skill or ability. You might not achieve exactly what she achieved, but perhaps you'll gain some knowledge that will help you achieve your personal best?

Finally, please remember that nobody is judging you because you only completed five rounds in an AMRAP while everyone else completed six. If your gym is anything like mine, people are cheering you on and encouraging you no matter what round you are on or no matter how long it takes you to get through the workout. It isn't a contest. Really, it isn't. Some people are motivated by competition, and that is fine! But if you end the workout feeling bad about yourself simply because you couldn't keep us with so-and-so, that is not motivation. That is self-deprecation.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tuesday's workout + sleep

I am so, so thankful for my friend Mary. Mary comes over to my house twice a week and plays with H so I can go to the gym. She has helped me stay sane! Without her help, I doubt I would be able to remain so consistent with my workouts. I know there are gyms out there with childcare, but I am very loyal to my gym. I would never give up everything they offer in exchange for childcare somewhere else.

This is what we did yesterday (after a warmup of floor work, two laps around the building and some body weight drills): First, the Airdyne challenge. One minute for max calories. I made it to 21. This is three more than last time, so even though this is the lowest number in the group I am still happy with it. The workout was four rounds of seven kettlebell squats (each side), seven toes to bar, one slam ball sprint and a 30-second wall sit with two minutes of rest between each round.

Lately I've had a really hard time even making it through some of the workouts (one day last week I seriously contemplated giving up before completing all my rounds), but today was different. I managed to squat with my kettlebell swing weight (instead of one below), and I even did a few toes-to-bar (usually I just do knee raises). Also for two rounds I did the slam ball spring with a 40-pound ball instead of the 30-pounder. It didn't really feel all that difficult for at the time (well, except for the Airdyne), but an hour later my legs were shaking. Ouch.

I'm crediting my workout success to last night's great night of sleep. NINE STRAIGHT HOURS! Even when H sleeps through the night (which is off and on; lately off), I usually wake up. And sometimes I can't get back to sleep. It is rough. But last night, I went to bed at 10pm and slept all the way through till 7am. I heard the birds chirping and saw the sunlight peaking through the blinds when I woke up. I was so disoriented because I am just not used to this anymore. I even had time to get up and take a shower before H woke up ... she slept until 8am! Nice. Dear Baby: Can we repeat this please? Thank you!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Baby Boot Camp

Carl was out of town most of this week, which made it difficult for me to make it to the gym. I have a babysitter twice a week, so that helped. Still, by this morning I was like "OK, I need another workout." Twice a week is not enough for me. Going to my gym wasn't an option, so I decided to go to Baby Boot Camp instead.

We have been to Baby Boot Camp a few times, and I really like it! Before H was born, I totally pictured myself attending regularly. What could be more convenient than a workout that included my baby (it is a great excuse buster, actually)? I even won a month of unlimited classes in raffle, which was a huge incentive to try it out. Unfortunately, it didn't really pan out for me because H's schedule didn't jive with the class schedule. By the time she started to become a little more predictable in terms of sleeping, it was almost wintertime (in other words, too cold for me to exercise outside) and my shoulder was injured. As much as I liked the classes, it just didn't seem meant to be.

Until today. I'm really making an effort in my life to look for opportunities (Baby Boot Camp) rather than dwell on obstacles (inability to make it to any Friday classes at my gym). Today offered the perfect chance to put this into practice. Off to Baby Boot Camp we went (we paid the $15 drop-in rate).

The workout was tough! Perhaps it was because my workout yesterday was so taxing (18 minutes of kettlebell get-ups, plus a 12-minute AMRAP of four mini rope climbs, a 400 meter run and 20 squats) but I was having a hard time keeping up with most of the other moms. We started out with some running, then moved on to a bunch of stair climbing exercises, followed by burpees, squats, bicep curls, more running and lunges. The class ended with some core work. The hour went fast, but I was ready for it to be over. So was H -- she had had enough of the stroller (although, she did surprisingly well for the duration of the class -- probably because there were so many other babies for her to look at). Between yesterday's workout and today's Baby Boot Camp class, I suspect I'll be sore tomorrow. Ouch!

Anyway, I've come to the conclusion that working out and running with a stroller is no joke! I have a 22-pound toddler, a stroller meant for running and maybe (maybe) five pounds of stuff along for the ride. Other moms are pushing double strollers with two kids strapped in plus diaper bags, yoga mats, toys and more. And guess what? They are kicking my behind! It is humbling, and it seems to me that (in conjunction with a healthy diet, because we all know that a lean body starts in the kitchen) a person could get into pretty good shape by doing these workouts regularly. I've decided that I need to attend Baby Boot Camp once a week whenever possible because it challenges me in a different way.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Early morning workout success

I am now two weeks into my new, early morning workout schedule. I love it! I'm so glad I made this switch. As much as I am not a morning person, evening workouts have always been the toughest for me because I like being at home in the evening and I'm not a fan of go-go-go schedules. With Carl's busy workdays, the two of us trying to trade-off/coordinate gym time, healthy meal preparation and the baby's bedtime routine (which starts at about 6:45pm) everything felt too crazy for me.

Now, my alarm goes off at 6am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (I did miss last Friday, though, because Carl had to travel out of town for work). I get up and leave the house at 6:15am. Carl gets up with the baby at approximately 7am and they get some time together before he has to get ready to head into the office. I am home by 7:45am, just in time to feed her. It is a perfect scenario -- I get some me time and he gets some dad-and-baby time (which is hard to come by as he is gone all day and she goes to bed so early).

I love how morning workouts give me whole day to hang out with the baby and get things accomplished without the constraint of knowing I need to be somewhere by 6pm. I also know that (barring a scheduling conflict, which is rare) I can always make it in. Plus, it just feels good to get moving early in the morning. I've also experienced the added bonus of working out with a new group of people, which is fun!

The only downside is the aforementioned alarm. I am personally opposed to alarms -- I just don't think it is natural or healthy to be jolted out of bed by a jarring noise (even the pleasant alarm sounds my phone offers sound jarring at 6am). I suspect that in time I'll wake-up on my own, without help from an alarm. I don't see this happening, though, until the baby drops her 3am feeding. I'm not sure when that will happen, but I hope it won't be too much longer. It will be soooo nice to someday sleep through the night again!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Early morning workouts

This morning, I finally decided to do something I've been thinking about for weeks. I got up early and went to the gym at 6:30am. For me, this is huge because I am not an early riser. I would sleep until 8am everyday if I could. In fact, before my baby arrived I usually did sleep until 8am. Things have changed, though, and I no longer have the ability to sleep in as late as I want and I can no longer work out whenever I feel like it. My gym time has to be planned in advance and it also has to be coordinated with Carl in such a way that allows him to hit some classes, too. We were alternating evenings for a while, but that really limits both of us in terms of how often we can work out. So, mornings it is! For the time being, I'll go Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, as well as Thursdays at noon (I have a babysitter for a few hours every Thursday). Carl will go after work.

I know this is going to be tough for the first couple of weeks, but I'm pretty confident that once it becomes a habit I'll actually like our new schedule. In fact, I felt really great this morning after my hour-long TRX class and I'm thinking that getting up with the roosters is a really good move in terms of making the most of my time at the gym. I mean, if I am going to get up that early I am going to make sure every push-up counts! 

What types of changes did you make to your workout schedule when your children were born? 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Baby's room, workouts and the general haps

First, a couple of photos of the baby's room in progress! What do you think? And yes, that is a glider you are looking at it. Ugh. Unfortunately, it was our only option. I am not in love with the look of it, but it is comfy and practical and something we'll be able to sell later on.

Getting things done
Blogging about my lack of motivation must have been just the remedy I need, because Monday turned out to be one of my most productive days in weeks! After a lazy morning of napping and reading, I did some serious organizing in the bathrooms, took a few things to Goodwill and moved all of the stuff we were storing in the hallway into the guest room. The guest room now looks like something you would see on an episode of Hoarders. If anyone is planning to come stay with us anytime in the next few weeks, don't worry -- the bed is still visible! We'll be going through everything this weekend, but for now I am just happy to have the piles out of my sight.

As for yesterday, it was great ... but I wouldn't call it productive. I went to Costco. I went to Sweat360. I took two naps. I chatted with a friend for a couple of hours. I watched New Girl (hilarious!), Raising Hope (after watching season one on Hulu, the characters are growing on me), and Parenthood (I can't decide whether I love or hate this show). I took meat out the freezer for dinner (I didn't do anything with it, but actually remembering to take it out has to count for something!) and scrubbed the shower while Carl cleaned the shower doors (never get shower doors if you have a choice -- they are such a hassle to clean).

Pickles, but no ice cream
As far as paleo goes, I am still on the right track and very happy about it! My midwife told me at my appointment last week that it isn't big deal if I don't feel like eating (some days my appetite is normal, other days, like today, I have no appetite), which was a relief because Carl was somewhat concerned about my lack of interest in food (he wants to make sure the baby is getting what she needs) and we've had a few, um, debates about the topic. Anyway, she told me to just eat when I feel like eating and to continue avoiding sugar and junk food. Totally doable! For the past couple of days, I've been living on eggs, chicken sausage, green salad, apples, almond butter and pickles (seriously, the pickle thing has nothing to do with pregnancy -- I've always loved pickles).

Tuesday's workout
Now for a quick recap of yesterday's workout. In a non-pregnant state, this would have been a workout that totally kicked my butt. Five rounds of 400 meter runs, 10 barbell/push-press things with a name I can't recall right now, 10 medicine ball throws (we throw them over the TRX bar, which for me is pretty high) and 10 walking lunges. I had to take it really easy, though, so I finished the workout pretty quickly. I started out way overambitious, with a 30-pound barbell plus 20 pounds of weight. After one round, though, I knew that was a bad idea so I switched to a light bar with no extra weight. It was too easy, but it was the only way to ensure that a) I didn't fall over and b) I kept proper form. The medicine ball throws were tough (these are large medicine balls -- not the normal small ones). Right now, no matter how hard I try, I cannot get the 10-pound ball over the bar because my belly is in the way. Normally attempts don't count, but I made an executive decision to count attempts. Otherwise, I doubt I would have ever finished the workout. Walking lunges were a piece of cake, though (and a great exercise for all pregnant women to incorporate into their routine!). Tonight's workout is TRX/kettlebells. I know it will be challenging, and I know I won't be able to do kettlebell swings. But I am looking forward to it nonetheless and anxiously awaiting the day I can amp things up again!

Physical changes, etc.
Switching gears a little now -- I can hardly believe that I am now in my 36th week! Baby is due one month from tomorrow. Time is flying. We still have more to do, but I am pretty relaxed about it all. Everything will fall into place. She'll arrive at the perfect moment, and if we don't have every to-do checked off the list I'm sure we'll find a way to manage.

Speaking of being relaxed, I'm definitely experiencing the effects of relaxin -- the hormone responsible for loosening joints and ligaments in preparation for childbirth. Over the course of the past week, I have actually been able to see my hips getting bigger (yikes!). I know it sounds crazy, but it was like I woke up one morning with an extra inch of hips. Some of my clothes even feel a little snug in that area. I'm not sure whether this "expansion" will continue, but I do know that I have slept with less pain the past few nights so perhaps the relaxin has done its thing? I hope so!

Right now, my weight gain is holding steady at 28 pounds. I haven't gained any weight in a week, but the week prior I gained between two and three pounds. Because I love math (haha), I calculated my average weight gain per week thus far in order to determine how much weight I will gain overall. The results? I've gained .8 pounds per week, which means I'll gain 32 pounds by my due date. This, of course, is just a guestimate and I really have no idea how much weight I will gain between now and October 23rd. It is still fun for me to do the calculation, though.

OK, well, I guess that is it for now. I still have a busy afternoon ahead and I need to get to my list before I give in to the temptation to take another nap (my first nap of the day commenced at 10:30am, right after my massage appointment). Off to Trader Joe's to stock up on some healthy paleo eats for the next few days!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Working out in the final weeks of pregnancy

My due date is exactly 40 days away, and I am amazed by what I am still able to do in terms of my workouts. I always intended to keep up with my routine the entire time, but I had no idea I would still feel so strong in these final weeks. I do have to make some modifications, and I can't run and sprint and challenge my own strength as much as I would like -- but overall I really don't think pregnancy is all that much of a hindrance. I'm really, really happy with how things are going in this department! Last week, I did barbell snatches right along with the rest of the class. I kept the weight on the light side (for mobility and safety reasons), but it felt good knowing that the only thing holding me back right now is my round baby bump. Today's workout (five rounds of 10 push presses, 15 overhead lunges and 20 kettlebell deadlifts) was 100% doable for me ... I loved it and would have been OK doing another couple of rounds, even (although I did wimp out on skill portion of the workout -- get-ups -- because it is just such an awkward, uncomfortable movement for me).

With that said, I did experience some pretty significant doubt exactly three weeks ago. Looking back, I now know it coincided with a growth spurt (so many people commented on how the baby seemed to "pop" overnight) -- but at the time, it just felt like defeat. I wondered if it was time to scale everything back (way back). My workouts seemed almost pointless (they seemed pointless, but they weren't), and peddling the Airdyne while everyone else ran laps was depressing. Turns out I just needed a break. And a few minor tweaks.

The timing was perfect actually, because Sweat360 was about to take an end-of-summer vacation. Most classes were canceled, and Robert and Kili were going out of town. I decided to to take that time off, too. I didn't work out for 11 days in a row. Eleven days! I cannot remember the last time I took such a long break (probably back in 2007 when Carl was dealing with some very serious health issues). This was just what I needed, though. When I returned to the gym last Tuesday I was re-energized and no longer felt so defeated. I also met with Kili to discuss modifications ... things I can do to make sure I am getting the most out of my workouts. So, now I have a great list of alternatives at my disposal (like push-ups on a bench instead of the floor, for example) and I am reminded that breaks are good for the body and the soul. A week+ off every now and then is not going to undo all my hard work. And now I'm really excited to see how my workouts go over the next 40 days. Will I still be doing push presses and snatches four weeks from now? Time will tell, but I'm hoping the answer is yes!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My latest guest post over at For Two Fitness

Today, I'm guest blogging again over at For Two Fitness. The topic: coping with mystery pain. While you're there, be sure to check out all the other For Two guest bloggers ... a great group of expectant and new moms, all sharing their experiences with fitness and nutrition during pregnancy.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pregnancy fitness in the pool

Swimming for exercise has never really been my thing, but last night I decided to step out of the box and into the pool. In other words, I tried out a pregnancy fitness class at a local pool. I'm so glad I did, because it was fun (and a great workout, too!).

I even found a cute swimsuit to wear. Can you believe this was the first (and only) swimsuit I tried on? A true swimwear miracle!

Honestly, I thought I would spend most the class floating around in the pool treading water and kicking with one of those foam board thingies. I never dreamed I would be even remotely challenged. I was so wrong. After spending forty-five minutes doing various types of strokes and kicks across the pool (while wearing a flotation belt), I was totally wiped out. For those who aren't used to swimming or pool workouts, the experience is actually a little surreal (for me, anyway). In the pool you feel weightless, but the water provides a TON of resistance. At the same time, though, you're not really sweating because the water is keeping you cool. I actually thought I would be sore this morning. I'm not ... yet! Overall, it was a fabulous workout and I'm looking forward to going back. I think it will be particularly beneficial two months from now when I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy. And until then, maybe it will keep my mind off the fact that I can't run anymore (I soooo want to run!)?

The best part of the class for me, though, is the social aspect. I met about 10 other pregnant women, many of whom are also due in October. So far, I haven't made an effort to meet other expectant moms (I'm not counting social media interactions here). This class was a great start!

Unfortunately, the class does have a downside -- it starts at 8:15pm! This is late for me (if at all possible, I like to have my pajamas on by 9pm). Last night I didn't get home until 10pm and wanted to go straight to bed. I couldn't because I had to wash the chlorine out of my hair, and it wound up being a really late night. I did sleep well, though!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Super busy! Here's what The Paleo Baby is up to

I worked out today for the first time in 10 days, and it felt great! I almost forgot all about last week. Before the workout, I was apprehensive because I was concerned that the pain would return. It didn't, and the workout was really manageable for me. I have reached a point, though, where I need to slow down and modify quite a bit. Today, for example, I rode the stationary bike while the rest of class ran and jumped rope. I'm also using not just lighter but light kettlebells, and I'm doing push-ups when everyone else is doing sit-ups. And, because my heart rate gets high quickly, I really have to watch my pace. For the strength portion of today's workout, we did max body weight squats (I did 80 in two minutes) and it seemed like it took a long time for my heart rate to drop back down once I finished. I definitely need to start wearing my heart rate monitor.

Other happenings ...
  • The baby is due in 3 months and 11 days. I'm starting to freak out about getting everything together in time because the weeks are flying by. We still need to get a crib, a stroller, a car seat and basically all the other necessities.
  • I'm now 25 weeks along, but I'm measuring 27 weeks. The midwife I saw yesterday (not my regular midwife) said the measurements are subjective and since I am taking care of myself and gaining the right amount of weight (take that, weight gain calculator!) there is nothing to be concerned about. I'm glad, because when I heard 27 weeks I thought "aack, I'm going to have a huge baby!" The midwife said that is very, very unlikely. Phew!
  • My midwife, Christine, told me at our appointment last month that she, too, is expecting (she's having twins!). The thing is, her due date is just a couple of weeks after mine. So, she won't be at my delivery. I'm sad because I really like her, but she assured me that her colleagues are all very nice and compassionate. And I'll get to meet everyone in advance, so I won't be dealing with a stranger during labor and delivery.
  • I've learned that the Secret Fit Belly is not cool on hot days. Literally and figuratively. When it is 80+ degrees, the under-the-belly style is a must. Unfortunately, I only have two such choices -- one of which is a pair of shorts from Gap. I absolutely LOVE these shorts and need to get at least one more pair asap. 
  • Carl and I spent some time a couple of Saturdays ago in Mother Nature's, a super-cool natural/organic baby store in Southeast Portland. The owner, Judi Martin, is so, so nice! She gave us a crash course in Moby Wraps, diapers, wipes and safe sunscreen (for me to use right now). By the time we left, we were sold on the Moby Wrap, had decided to reconsider our previous decision about diapers (we were pretty set on the Bum Genuis -- now we're leaning toward the standard cloth diaper) and had chosen a sunscreen (ThinkBaby). Judi also suggested homemade baby wipes, and because we a) don't want nasty chemicals touching our daughter's skin and b) don't want to clog up our landfill with disposable wipes, we thought that sounded like a pretty grand plan. Homemade wipes involve a soft cloth and a gentle solution made out of essentials oils -- I'll post more about it once I find a recipe and try it out.
  • I. Am. Busy. I'm spending a lot of time writing, and I even took on an assignment from Alaska Airlines Magazine -- my first story in almost a year! I'm excited about it. Plus, I need the money for baby furniture!
  • The baby is very busy, too. She's moving all the time, especially early in the morning and late at night. And she seems to get stronger every day!
  • We're in the process of choosing a pediatrician. I totally planned to meet and interview at least three, but it seems this isn't really customary. We had one clinic in mind, but they only allow one meet-and-greet. When I asked the receptionist what happens if we meet with that person and decide he/she isn't the right fit, she said we can switch to one of their other docs later on (after the birth). Seriously? Hmmm, I don't like that concept so we didn't schedule anything. We have an appointment with a doctor at a completely different clinic this Friday. She's located about three minutes from our house, so I'm hoping we like her!
  • We've also been discussing birthing classes, and honestly I think we're leaning toward skipping them altogether. I'm just not convinced a class like that will be all that useful to us. Am I crazy (please don't answer for real!)?
  • Yesterday was part one of my glucose test alternative (just a blood draw after a 12-hour fast). The results, as suspected, were normal. In three weeks, I'll go in for part two. This involves a blood draw two hours after I eat a high carb meal. The midwife I saw yesterday (who doesn't really know me and doesn't know about paleo) told me to eat a big sandwich. I think I'll stick with fruit and potatoes instead.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Maternity workout clothes: How thinking outside the box got me through a few desperate days

I don't know what I was thinking. OK, I obviously was not thinking. But somehow I thought I would be able to wear my Nike and Adidas workout pants and my Shock Absorber sports bras for most of my pregnancy. Hahaha.

I'm so happy that my order from
Impact Fitness
finally arrived!
I realized the error in my thinking three weeks ago during a typical Tuesday afternoon workout. Physically, I felt fine. But my clothes were too tight and I was so uncomfortable. I suffered through one more miserable day; then I said "FORGET IT." When I arrived home, I immediately went online and ordered one pair of maternity workout pants and one top (I decided to wait and see if I liked the items before ordering more).

The problem? I had to wait for my orders to arrive and, since it was already 8pm on a Wednesday, they were not going to arrive in time for Thursday's workout. Plus, the sports bra dilemma remained unsolved. I had no choice ... I had to cancel my workout. I went shopping instead. I didn't expect to find anything I loved, but I at least had hope that I would find something that would work for at least a few days. Fortunately, I did.

Upon the advice of a friend (thank you, Jen!), I went to Old Navy. Now, I'm not going to lie. I'm not a fan of Old Navy. The styles are cute, but the quality? Big thumbs down. Desperate times, however, call for desperate measures. And I was indeed desperate. Jen informed me that one of our local Old Navy stores has a maternity section, and that they also carry smaller sizes (my size is hard to find in maternity).

So, what happened at Old Navy? Well, I found one pair of pants. Actually, more like sweats. Not my typical workout attire, but OK for a temporary thing. I also found a couple of tank tops. The pants are too long (of course), but at least they aren't too tight! This was great and everything, but it didn't solve the sports bra problem. And I had to solve this problem before attempting another workout.

Admittedly, I was worried. Bra shopping, any type of bra shopping, often brings me to tears (and I am not a crier, so you know it has to be bad). I wondered what I would do if I couldn't find anything. Stop working out? Keep squeezing into my pre-pregnancy ones? Cry more tears?

Anyway, I tried Aries Apparel first. No luck. Then, I went to Lulelemon. Hahaha. I usually love Lululemon, but I actually walked out of the store that day thinking "I cannot believe that just happened." I'll have to save the story for another post, though.

By this time, it was getting fairly late in the afternoon and I had to start thinking outside of the box. I also had to be a little more open-minded in terms of style, and I had to adjust my expectations. I knew I wasn't going to find anything like the Shock Absorber bra. I resigned myself to settling and headed to Target (don't get me wrong, I love Target -- but usually not for this type of purchase). Turns out, settling was a smart thing to do because I tried on something I would normally pass right over -- the Champion C9 compression sports bra. And while it certainly isn't anything I would wear under normal circumstances (it would never work for running, for example), it works for now. Fairly comfortable, too.

I made it home just in time to change in to my new clothes and make it to the gym by 6:30. Because the pants were too long, they weren't perfect (tripping was a huge issue). I have since turned them into at-home lounge-wear (my maternity workout clothes did arrive, and I love them), but I am still glad I made the purchase because, well, at-home lounge wear is always a staple (even when you're not pregnant). 

What was your experience shopping for maternity workout clothes?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

20 weeks pregnant: a status report

We are now at the halfway point! It's time to start getting things done around here to prepare for our baby girl's arrival. We have closets to clear out, rooms to rearrange and baby supplies to purchase. Our goal is to have everything finished by Labor Day Weekend. That way, we can spend the last six weeks or so of the pregnancy just kicking back.

So anyway, at week 20 I have gained 14 pounds (it was 15, until I cut salt out of my diet). Here's what my belly looks like today:

I've learned that the baby is now the size of a small cantaloupe, supposedly. What To Expect When You're Expecting says she should weigh about 10 ounces and Your Pregnancy Week By Week says 9 ounces. My baby weighs 13 ounces. And, since I've gained 14 pounds, apparently I am huge, too. I just entered my stats into an online pregnancy weight gain calculator and it told me that I am "two pounds over the high-end of my target weight range." It says I need to be more conscious of my caloric intake, and I need to make sure I consume no more than 300 extra calories per day (right now, I consume zero extra calories -- I don't need or want extra food). More proof that all the shoulds and supposed-tos and averages out there are pretty much all bunk. I'm doing everything right in terms of health and I know I am gaining exactly what I need to gain. Plus, I am still doing overheard lunges with 25-pound plates, along with kettlebell swings, sled drags and wall balls. To me, that is all that matters.

Working out today at Sweat360, in my new favorite tank top from For Two Fitness.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Running, workouts and modifications in week 19

Last week I decided I am done with running for the duration of my pregnancy. I'm just not liking it right now. Instead of running for the fun  of it, I have to monitor my heart rate. I have to make sure I don't get overheated. I have to pay extra close attention to terrain. All of this extra stuff (obviously important before, too, but much more so now) makes running feel like a required task rather than just an enjoyable way to get some exercise. Plus, I'm uncomfortable because my running pants don't fit anymore. So, I'm done. I'll definitely pick it back up again next year (with my baby in a jogging stroller), and when the weather shapes up I'll probably get outside and do some walking. For now, though, I'm sticking with my workouts at Sweat360. I'm pretty sure that's enough!

I have reached the point in my pregnancy, though, where I have to make some changes and modifications at the gym. I can't do anything on my back or anything ab-focused anymore, which rules out a few moves in TRX. It also rules out kettlebell get-ups (um, shoot??) and tabata sit-ups. I'm using lighter weights, too. Just yesterday we worked on push presses, and I used a 50-pound bar. It wasn't easy, but it felt light. I know I am capable of more, but it just doesn't seem like the right thing to do. I have the rest of my life to focus on getting stronger -- right now I just need to take care of myself and keep my baby safe. One way I do this is by listening to the voice in my head that says 'this is enough.'  I also have great coaches and friends who are always looking out for me and the baby.

By the way, if you're not sure how to modify your workouts -- check out Crossfit Mom, where you'll find some guidelines for first, second and third trimester modifications as well as a list of substitute exercises for burpees, rope climbs, box jumps, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, handstand push-ups, cleans and snatches. I learned a few things when I read it, and it was also really validating.

PS: Don't miss your chance to win a copy of Everyday Paleo! All you have to do is guess whether we're having a boy or girl, and post your guess in the comments section of Monday's post.