30 Day Ab Challenge – Week #1

 

This is it. The beginning of my fitness journey! I’m really excited to dive in and start working on bettering my body, both inside and out. I can’t wait to see the changes and share my results with everyone!

Here is my Week #1 schedule, with a quick description of the workouts:

  1. 2 minute blast (1 set)
  2. 2 minutes blast (1 set)
  3. HIIT high knees (40sec. on + 20sec. rest – 6 sets)
  4. 2 minute blast (2 sets, if possible)
  5. 2 minute blast (2 sets, if possible)
  6. Sprints (30sec. full sprint + 75sec. recovery – 6 sets)
  7. REST DAY

The routine’s for the 2 minute blast, are:

  • Lemon Crushers
    • Lay flat on your back with your arms & legs extended. You will then pull your knees into your chest (similar to a sit up position), then back flat on the ground.
  • Toe Reaches
    • Lay flat on your back with your legs straight up towards the ceiling. Crunch up reaching towards your toes, then back down and relax.
  • Mountain Climber Holds
    • Go into a raised plank position, then bring your knee in towards your chest (holding for a few seconds). Quickly switch your knees, making sure your hips stay in line with your shoulders.
  • Plank Up/Downs
    • Get into a forearm plank, then move up into a raised plank. Come back down into a forearm plank, and repeat.

 

**Posted below will be my results and my thoughts for the week!

As a women, and a mother of two small children, body image can be a huge thing. Viewing and posting these photographs took me a while, but I feel I’m finally ready do so in hopes that it will give me the push that I need to achieve the changes I want.

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I didn’t realize how much my lower abdominal muscles had truly been weakened, until I started this challenge. After two miscarriages (both requiring surgical intervention, one ending in a tubal removal) and two C-sections, the surgeries had definitely taken a much larger toll on my body than I had thought.

Immediately after starting the Lemon Crushers on Day #1, all I could feel was the pulling of those weak muscles. It was really intense, as if it was my very first time working out. Instead of bringing my body all the way back down to the ground after coming together with my knees, I had to keep my knees bent (but not touching the ground), and more or less did crunches from there (bringing my back as low to the ground as I was able to, before coming back up to meet my knees).

To prevent myself from causing any serious damage to my muscles by going beyond my limits, I chose to improvise on a couple of the routines (if I felt the need). I didn’t want to quit, or give up, so I did the next best thing. I made the routines a bit more manageable for starting out, until I knew I would be able to complete them without feeling like I’m hurting myself.

With the Toe Reaches, I could definitely feel the pull of those muscles, but I was able to push through it. The same goes for the Mountain Climber Holds.

When it came time for the Plank Up/Downs, I found the first day excruciating. I pushed myself to finish the whole set, but felt like I was going to pass out from exhaustion. By Day #2, I chose to switch to being slightly on my knees and stretching forward a bit. Enough to still feel the burn of the planks, but without being in a lot of pain.

After finishing my first day, I wasn’t sure how confident I was that I was going to be able to finish this challenge. 30 days! This challenge is only 30 days long, and I was doubting my ability to handle it. I felt like such a wimp, quitter, you name it. To me, it seemed completely insane that I was ready to give up after only a two minute workout. I realized that the first week was probably going to be the toughest for me, since I was so out of shape and not used to helping my body in this way anymore. I was fairly positive it was just my fear/laziness talking, so I decided to give it another try and keep going!

Day #2 was the best/most important for my confidence to finish the challenge and succeed! As I was working through the routine, I quickly realized that I had to give myself a huge boost of confidence and I needed it fast! I looked over to see my 3 ½ year old Daughter lying beside me on the floor, trying to do my routines with me. When I asked what she was doing, she said she “wanted to be like Mommy! I want to exercise too!” She said it with such wonder and excitement that I knew I couldn’t give up with her watching. I suddenly realized the example of good health I was starting to set for her and had to keep going. I refused to give up!

From that day on, I had a helper by my side. She helped me to push through everything and was my strongest supporter, even if she didn’t know it!

During this weeks challenge, I found that my HIIT day was the hardest for me. All of those high knees was actually the most work I’ve done in a long time. I almost couldn’t finish every set, so I chose to take a longer rest period than it said to, in order to be able to breath and move again. Honestly, I felt like vomiting and passing out on the couch. It was insane! Thankfully I didn’t, but it most definitely was a wake up call!

Day #4 and #5 were actually pretty great! Compared to the first two days where I could barely do the routines, I was actually able to complete them properly without having to baby myself through it. I felt quite proud of myself!!

This week was a little difficult for me (seeing as I haven’t regularly exercised since High School), but it definitely felt great having a goal, and knowing that I was well on my way to accomplishing it. I was a little thrown off by how much it hurt in the beginning though. I’m totally fine with some pain and the burning of my muscles, as it lets me know that what I’m doing is working. What I’m not okay with, is being in pain to the point where I feel like I will tear a muscle or cause any other harm to my body. Especially since I’m just starting to work on my body again, I need to do it at a pace I’m comfortable with. You need to be able to listen to your body and work with it’s needs and restrictions. In my case, it’s paying attention to my lower abdominal muscles that were cut open from my surgeries, and making sure that I don’t do anything too hard on them off the bat, jeopardizing the recovery. Just make sure to go at your own pace!

I’m curious to see how hard I will find these routines by Day #30 when I’m doing all 18 of them. My goal is to be able to complete them all consecutively the way they’re meant to be done, without needing to improvise on the methods.

By the end of the week, I had a lot more confidence and was left feeling really excited for the following week!

 

**Here are my stats/measurements from the end of week #1:

 

  • Date: Sunday, February 7th, 2016
  • Weight: 126.8lbs.
  • Measurements:
    • Hips: 35″
    • Waist: 30 1/2″
    • Butt: 37″
    • Chest: 34 1/2″
    • Arms:
      • Left: 11 1/2″
      • Right: 11 1/2″
    • Thighs:
      • Left: 19 1/2″
      • Right: 19 1/2″

 

I lost 4 pounds and either went up or down 1/2″ everywhere else. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to see any result after one week, but was ecstatic! I didn’t quite see a different looking at my body, but I could definitely feel it. If I went to grab the side of my stomach, it was harder to pull. My stomach was getting a bit more toned and I was feeling pretty great about it!!

I can’t wait to see how the next week ends!

 

***Here’s the link to the site where I found my workout. There’s a video for each week showing and explaining how to do the routines!

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/abs/exercises/30-day-ab-challenge/

 

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