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ChaLean Extreme Review ~ Day 5

The words of the day are SORE and SHOULDERS! WOW! Some people are sorest the day after a workout. That is not the case with me. I hit peak soreness about 2 days later. Last night I did all I could to NOT have to lift my arms at all. 🙂 So waking up to Chalean Extreme Burn Circuit 3 where the first exercise is a sumo squat with an overhead press wasn’t a “Good morning” I was happy to see. But, as Chalene Johnson tells you during the warm up, warming up loosens muscles and relieves soreness. By the end of the warm up I was good to go. As with the other Burn Circuit workouts the goal is to use weights heavy enough that you reach failure at 10-12 reps. If you go rep for rep with the workout, you will do a total of 72 squats and 36 lunges! O_O I did a few less because on a couple of exercises I reached failure at 10 or 11 reps. See?

As I mentioned in previous posts, I have knee issues. I’d like to take a moment to repeat that I am not having ANY knee issues this round, even with lunging with 20 pound weights. How is that? I am focused on sticking my glutes to the wall behind me, then on going low. People insist that it is hard to have good form during squats and lunges, but that’s because they are focusing on bringing their butt low rather than pushing it back. Pushing the butt back keeps your weight in your heels and keeps the knee over the ankle. This saves your knees. Going low requires strength you may or may not have. Forcing the position means your form will suffer and so will your knees. You should always be able to see your shoe laces when squatting because your knees, butt and shoulders are back.

 Good Form and Good Shoes

Focusing on good form is one thing and shoes are another. I have all kinds of sneakers in my house. Many of them I bought because I saw Chalene wearing them in a video. I’ve learned a lot over the years doing that. For me, when it comes to lifting weights, I need to be as close to barefoot as I can get. I need some arch support as well. All my Nike’s with the Shox in the heel throw my balance off and make it hard for me to keep the weight in my heels when squating and lunging. Yesterday I saw some Fila Skeletoes. I know there are different types of barefoot shoes, some more expensive than others, but I don’t care about brand. I thought the price was great and so I got them. I LOVE them! They supported my feet wonderfully during Burn Circuit 3. I felt close to barefoot without worrying about my foot slipping on my carpet, which is why I can’t workout barefoot. We’ll see how they work with the Interval workouts.

I’m looking forward to doing some clean eating today. I finished my Shakeology Cleanse yesterday and I’m down 4 pounds in 3 days. The first 2 times I did the cleanse I dropped 7 pounds in 3 days. I’m a bit disappointed, but all in all 4 pounds in a week is great, let alone 3 days!

On that happy note I’m signing out for today, with this one last reminder!

Have a wonderful day!

XO

Ana María

ChaLean Extreme Review ~ Day 4

Yes, today is Day 4 of the program. It is only the 3rd workout since the second day was a rest day. I titled my Chalean Extreme review from yesterday Day 2 which was technically incorrect. Bare with me. 😉 I’m a little sore from Burn Circuit 2, but nothing unbareable. My knees are feeling great and for that I am thankful! The schedule for today was Burn Interval and Ab Burner. What can I say about Burn Intervals? There were times where Chalene said it was the recovery period and I thought it was harder than the high intensity part! LOL I’m typing this review with shaky tired hands as my legs still tremble. I can’t deny it though, I love intervals. The sweat factor increases exponentially and I LOVE to sweat! It’s kind of unbelievable because 15 years ago when I first got into working out, I HATED sweating. Now I understand!

Understanding Burn Intervals and Burn Circuits

Burn Intervals (BI) is very different than the Burn Circuits (BC) in that this time you go for light weights and to a “bajillion” reps. That is Chalene’s EXACT word, a “bajillion”. The goal of this workout is to increase endurance. In BC2 my lightest weight was 10 pounds and I went up to 20. Today in BI I worked with 3 and 5 pounds. We alternated between intense cardio intervals and weights training interval of approximately 2 minutes each. In many ways it is a precursor to TurboFire in that it gets your body used to bursts of intense cardio. Once again my lower body took a beating. The lunges hurt so good. The great thing is Chalene encourages you to do everything at your own pace and to keep your form proper. This round my nemesis is the bowler’s lunge.

I absolutely loathe them but I put my all into them because they do great things for your outer thighs and hips. Like most women, I have some mixed feelings about my thighs. 😉 The one thing I know is that regardless of whether they are the size I want, they are strong and could be and the entire Chalean Extreme program is going to make them stronger and leaner. This was one workout where my Energy and Endurance formula saved my butt. I can always tell when it’s one of those killer workouts that would normally have wiped me out half way through. The fact that this is Day 2 of my group’s Shakeology Cleanse didn’t help my endurance levels any either.

The second part of the workout was Ab Burner. Nothing new to report here. 10 minutes of great ab work some exercises used weights. I think the best thing about Ab Burner is the reminder

Leave me a comment and tell me what fitness quote or saying motivates you! You’ve already seen 2 of my favorites. 😉

Have a wonderful day! I’m off to do the same!

Xo,

Ana María

 

ChaLean Extreme Review ~ Day 2

Since creating my Chalean Extreme Challenge 2012 group, several people have asked me my thoughts on ChaLean Extreme. I realized I should do daily posts to document my thoughts on the program. Of course this idea came to me AFTER day 1, so I’m starting with Day 2. Such is the nature of my muse. 🙂 So here we go with my Chalean Extreme review!

 Chalean Extreme Challenge: Burn Circuit 2

Today’s workout was Burn Circuit 2. It’s a resistance workout that kicked my butt! Well more like kicked my hamstrings… There were a lot of dead lifts and they are VERY effective. I feel it already, which is usually the case when I do a terrific workout. I was ready to quit at exercise 4 of 9 which is another good sign. lol The entire workout is 38 minutes long and actually flies by, but the whole out of breath wanting to pass out thing can make it feel longer. 😉 Now, before I terrify someone, I will say, you can modify to make things easier. But, the goal is to reach failure (the point at which your muscles literally can’t do another rep) at 10-12 reps, so there’s only so much modifying you can do. KWIM?

The reality is that you are doing this to get fitter and easy doesn’t get you a better body!

All the lunging and squatting ensures that you FEEL it and burn a ton of calories. The bowler’s lunge with a single arm row used muscles in my hips and thighs I think I forgot were there! I had to take a recovery minute (or 3) between legs. It was amazingly intense. I amped up the effectiveness by keeping my form pristine. I’m keenly aware of form because I have bad knees. My last go round I wasn’t diligent and ended up quitting the program in favor of being able to continue walking.

The difficulty of Burn Circuit 2 was also a bit of a wake up call to me. I have to face the fact that I am not at the fitness level I was the first time I did this program. It’s not the first time I’ve had to acknowledge this reality, but it added to the sting I was already feeling. Burn Circuit 1 used the thigh toning band in ab work, but in BC2 we used it for outer thigh work. My core was already exhausted and then I had to work it to keep my balance while doing bicep curls on one leg. O_O That little combo created my final desire to give up the ghost!

Overall I’m satisfied with both my effort and intensity level this morning. There’s tons of room for growth (lol). I enjoy the pace and Chalene’s personality in this program. She’s encouraging but less “cheerleader-ish” than she is in Turbo Jam. 😉 I hope I touched on all the things you may want to know about this particular workout. If you have any other questions, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Wishing you all the best!

Ana María

 

Mindset is everything

Lately there has been an increasing change in consciousness around the reason to workout. Women are being encouraged to workout for the health benefits rather than to be thin. Campaigns like “Healthy is the New Skinny” state it plainly “It’s not about a size. It’s about a movement.” I love that change in perspective! Early on after my decision to improve my fitness, I realized that my focus on weight loss and thinness was stressing me out! Many of you know that the scale can make or break your mood. The obsession with the is extremely unhealthy! Yet, most of the promotion of fitness is still firmly connected to losing weight and getting thin. The damage of this mindset has been documented. Research has found that women were more likely to exercise for weight or appearance related reasons. Exercising for thinness was also associated with higher levels of body dissatisfaction and a predisposition to eating disorders. It’s crucial that we readjust our thoughts from reducing fat to increasing fitness. As women our desire has to be for strength and flexibility, not skinniness. That mindset has long term physical and mental health benefits.

Correct Mindset About Eating and Exercise

If exercise is one part of the equation then the other part is eating. Many times we eat because of emotional or social cues. We are at a cook-out so we eat. We are bored so we wander to the refrigerator and we nibble. Often we are quite unaware of the signals our bodies are sending us in general and keenly unaware of hunger cues. Intuitive eating is a practice of actively paying attention to the feedback our body gives us about being hungry or full. Intuitive eating has been connected with less body dissatisfaction, lower BMI and fewer symptoms of eating disorders. Many women have lost the connection between their body and mind when it comes to food. Fad diets, diet pills and the demonization of certain food groups has made listening to our internal messages very difficult for many of us.

Taking time to listen and actively heal our relationships with our bodies and food is important if we are intending on having true, lasting health and wellness.

Intuitive eating is simply letting go of the obsession with calories and kinds of foods ~ the diet mentality. The focus is on the messages our bodies are sending about when they are hungry and when they are full. The only foods you shouldn’t eat are the ones your body doesn’t like. This level of body awareness will benefit all aspects of your life. Our bodies are constantly giving us feedback about whether our environment is beneficial or toxic, it is our job to listen and make the appropriate adjustments.

For the next 7 days try these eating practices:

  1. Eat only when you are truly hungry, not when you think you SHOULD be hungry.
  2. Stop eating when you are no longer hungry. This is not the same as when you feel “full”.
  3. Pay attention to how you feel after your meals. Are you energized or more tired? Play around with eating different combinations of proteins and carbs, raw foods and cooked and observe your body’s reactions.

The great thing about trying these mindful eating techniques is there is no downside. Incorporating mindfulness into any aspect of your life is going to enrich your entire life, so give it a shot! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!!

 

Wishing you nothing but the best!

Ana María

P.S. If you would like to support implementing these practices and more, check out my NEW FB coaching group at Brooklyn Fit Mami Coaching Group

P.P.S If you are up to a SERIOUS health and wellness challenge, join my Chalean Extreme challenge starting on June 25th!!

 

No judgment. No perfection. Please.

No judgment. No perfection. Please.

 

 

 

With every ending, there is a new beginning. Ending can be sad or a relief depending on your perspective. This week I am finishing a 90 day challenge I started in March. As I look back over the 12 weeks and look forward to my next challenge, I am taking stock of what I did right and what I will do differently next time. Can you guess what my biggest obstacle was? You guessed it, ME! I judged myself against my standards of perfection and my mind played many tricks on me.

 

Every time I judged myself, my failure grew exponentially.

 

 

 

When I set out I had the BEST intentions! I was going to work out 6 days a week and be back in the best shape of my life. I was going to eat perfectly clean for 3 months and blow myself away with my results. Then real life happened. There were days when I was exhausted from…I don’t know, work, motherhood, PMS whatever, and I missed workouts. I declared myself a slacker. Feeling bad about having slacked I reached for comfort food, which inevitably is not very clean. There were times that I was mindful of my emotional state and had some control. I wrote a post about it! Wanna read it? Here it goes!

 

However, during the other much more private times, I ate until I felt better. Everyone cheats and we all feel guilty after. However, my guilt as the leader of a fitness challenge and “fitness professional” was devastating. Having eaten, what I judged to be, terrible food I would resolve to work out twice as hard the next morning. The thing is, when you eat crappy food, you feel crappy. Hence, the morning after I was abnormally tired. Additionally, I was mentally out of the game because I believed I was a piggy slacker. Anyone know the feeling? My cheats allowed my horrible inner critic to judge me and pronounce me a complete and total fraud.

 

The mind is very powerful.

 

With our thoughts and breath, we control our emotions and our physical being. It is a power that can cut both ways. Our thoughts can lift us up or depress us. The more I negatively judged myself the worse I felt. That unhappiness would seep into every aspect of my life, just as the sense of confidence informed my existence when I stuck to my fitness routine. Negative self-judgment is a poison to the day. Has this ever happened to you? Let’s stick with health and wellness, but it could be any promise you didn’t honor. You feel bad about ­­­­­­­­­that cheat meal and your mood goes down. You have less tolerance for other people, kids, spouses and other drivers especially. Everything grates on your nerves because of the guilt about not honoring your agreement to stay away from cheesecake. All the irritability causes you to say things that make you feel guiltier and the next thing you know you are on the couch with Oreos and a empty pint of Häagen-Dazs. You don’t even remember eating it all. A 300 calorie cheat just turned into a 3000 calorie catastrophe! There has to be a better way! Right?

 

 

 

Perfectionism will bring your progress to a complete halt.

 

Far too often, we view fitness and nutrition in very black and white ways, when the reality is life is not black and white. Your food and activity levels are your life. There is no way you will work out 6 days a week and to stick to eating 1500 calories a day every day for the rest of your life. It is impossible to keep that agreement with yourself. Making that agreement sets you up for failure. Each day and week becomes and all or nothing proposition. If you are not perfectly on point then you are a failure. If you eat 1600 calories, your inner critic judges the day a flop and the cycle begins anew. Monday and Tuesday’s workouts did not happen because of a sick child and part of you feels your fitness week is a waste. You give yourself no credit for being a great parent/nurse. You solely judge yourself for not keeping to your routine. Perfectionism is the reason you take 2 steps forward, STOP and take 1.9 steps back.

 

 

Bodies and fitness goals need to be flexible.

 

 

 

To avoid the poison of self-judgment and perfectionism, make realistic goals.

 

  1. Create fitness and nutrition goals that take into account your current lifestyle and habits. Go for gradual improvement rather than an overnight overhaul. ~Do not commit to eating clean 7 days a week when you currently drink 5 Cokes a day and eat lunch at Mc Donald’s 5 days a week. A more attainable goal would be cutting down to 2 Cokes per day by substituting flavored water for the other 3 cans and getting healthy salads 3 out of 5 days at Mc Donald’s
  2. Get an accountability partner(s) ~ You’ll do much better with people supporting and encouraging you to achieve your goals. They will be kinder to you than you are to yourself. They will keep you focused. Trust me!
  3. Be in the present ~ If you made a less healthy nutrition choice, let it go with the last bite. Do not guilt yourself into a full on binge.
  4. Keep a log of your progress ~ When the negative voice starts telling you there hasn’t been progress or it’s not worth it, look at your before and after pics, or the chart with decreasing measurements and be proud!

 

As we enter into summer I know there are a lot of challenges starting and people doing some last minute summer shaping up. I hope that these tips with keep your mind positive and focused. You never know, a get fit quick plan may lead to a lifelong love of fitness and good nutrition!

 

 

If you have any other ideas for staying focused, please take a moment to comment!

 

 

If you’d like the support of other women living their most mindful lives, join my FB group : 30 Days of Meditation and Beyond

 

 

 

Wishing you much success and happiness!

 

Ana María

 

 

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