Saturday, July 6, 2013

Exercising and Eating -- Focus T25: Speed 1.0 and Total Body Circuit Review, Tough Mudder Training, and some Healthy Meals

 Seth and I have been making the most of our four days off for the 4th of July holiday. We have been doing some great work with our exercising and eating.

Exercise for Seth: Focus T25

Friday: Speed 1.0

 Seth has been doing this newest Beachbody program 100% by himself, so all my review comments are from him and from watching him to the workouts. Speed 1.0 is his favorite workout so far. As with the first workout, Cardio, you start with simple moves and build in intensity before switching to a new activity. The Cardio workout incorporated two  Burnouts, where you did all of the hardest moves with as much intensity as you could for a couple of minutes. Speed 1.0 uses a slightly different strategy. The entire workout builds to a five minute Burnout at the end of the workout.

The moves here are simple and very fun. There is definitely a focus on agility. For those who are familiar with Asylum 2, some of the moves are taken from the agility ladder drills and simplified. As always, Tanya shows low impact variations. Most of the moves involve hopping of some sort. There is a good bit of jumping around.

Seth did a great job with this workout and had a very fun time. The moves work well with the music (some are even a tiny bit dance-inspired). The workout featured a few stretch and stability moves. For the first twenty minutes, you'd do some harder moves, then take a break and do a minute of stretching or a stability move. Seth said this helped him go longer and feel great. This workout also had some kickboxing inspired moves.

Like Cardio, this workout is pretty much all about cardio. The moves are a bit more fun than in Cardio (per Seth), and the stretch breaks are a nice surprise. He finished this workout and felt great -- like the champion he is!

Saturday: Total Body Circuit

 I didn't even do this workout, but I could tell it was tough! More than any of the workouts I've seen, this one reminds me of Insanity. This workout featured a lot of floor work such as push-ups, pike-ups, spider presses, and planks. Like Insanity, you are often using your body for resistance.

The workout started with some cardio standing up. We saw moves that were in the other workouts, such as jogging in place (which has started all the workouts so far), some hop squats, and some light punching.

Things quickly moved to the floor for some planks with shoulder taps. Tanya's modifications were a bit help for the floor work. Seth was doing great, but he's been having some slight carpal tunnel in his wrists and had to follow Tanya so as not to aggravate it. Push-ups were added to the shoulder taps for extra measure.

There was then a bit more standing cardio work using lunges and squats to strengthen the legs. Shaun T did a great job adding some punching into the moves to really keep the heart rate up. When you're exercising for 25 minutes, you want to go all out.

There was then more floor work with planks and in and out abs, sprints with burpees, 180 squat jumps and burpees, pike ups, and spider lung push-ups. These moves are all super challenging. Lots are inspired by things I've seen in Insanity. The sequence with the pike ups was very very similar to something seen on the bonus Pure Contact Asylum 2 workout.

The workout finished with a shorter burnout which evenly incorporated the standing work and floor work. There was then an optional 3 minute cool down, slightly different from the 2:30 cool down from Cardio and Speed 1.0. The one featured more upper body stretching, certainly understandable considering the number of push-ups and planks in the workout.

I would rank this workout as challenging. Seth felt as though he struggled during the workout, though I thought he did a tremendous job, especially considering it was his first time through. I definitely would recommend following Tanya for beginners. Seth is kind of a warrior and alternated between following Tanya and going all out. He's been practicing his push-ups and other floor work with the Sanity Check workout he got to prepare for T25. Good move! I think that this workout, more than any of the others, will give him the results he's really looking for -- toning in the chest and back. Push-ups are an amazing move for both those body parts. This difficult DVD will get him where he wants to be.

Exercise for me: Tough Mudder training

Tough Mudder training is going well. I'm sticking to the training schedule I created, a mash-up of Insanity, Asylum 1 and 2, and a half marathon training program. Week 1 of training went very well. The Insanity and Asylum workouts felt excellent. My runs felt good.

Today, I was scheduled for a 5 mile long run. That's a pretty easy length long run, especially since I had done 5 mile runs the last two weekend. I was planning to maybe skip a head in my schedule a little bit and do a 6 mile run. After all, my runs have been going fantastic during the week where I've easily been doing 3.5 to 4 miles at the gym (in air conditioned splendor).

I should mention one thing about my house. We do not have air conditioner. I've been doing some tricky workouts, Insanity and Asylum, in the blazing heat. We've had a heatwave that's been going on for almost a week now with temperatures in the 90s and high humidity. Basically, we feel like we're being tortured.

Seth and I have been getting by with fans, which have been making life (and working out) tolerable. Today, I knew the key to a successful run would be getting out early. I usually sleep until 7:00 a.m. on the weekend, so I planned to get up and have a quick snack and be out the door by 7:30 a.m. Instead, I slept in until almost 8:30 a.m. and didn't get out for my run until 9:15 a.m.

It was already hot. Very hot. In a burst of complete failure, I forgot to bring my water bottle. Fine. I decided, I would stay in the woods, do some trails and stay cool. This was a good idea anyway; the Tough Mudder wouldn't be run on roads. Sounds good in theory. In reality, I found myself slogging through the very humid woods, climbing intense hills, and basically feeling horrible. I dragged myself back to the roads, decided that the sun was too hot, dove back into the woods, hit more terrible hills. I was down to walk-run intervals at this point with some definite moments of walking when I should have been running. I was covered in sweat and spent. I was doing 13 minute miles (instead of my normal 10 minute miles) and tripping over myself.

I dragged myself through 5 miles and back home. This was seriously one of the hardest runs of my life, giving me flashbacks about the last few miles of my half marathon. True, I made some bad decisions on this run: forgetting water, running in the super heat. While this was all terrible, in a way, this might be good preparation (mental and physical) for the Tough Mudder. That being said, I will never forget water again -- that's dangerous, and I was smart to take care of myself by walking when I needed to.

Eating Together

Last night, Seth and I traveled up to Kringle Candle in Bernardston. We had plans to have dinner with friends but headed up a bit early to check out the store. We do like a good fragrant candle.

While shopping for candles, we heard that our friends weren't going to be able to make it. Sad news, but luckily, we're going to be able to reschedule with them. Since we were already up at Kringle, we decided to have an impromptu date night.

We then headed over to the restaurant, The Farm Table, at Kringle Candle, where we had planned to have dinner. They do farm to table dining. The restaurant is a converted farm house from the 1800s, and had a very cool atmosphere.

We ended up having a lovely meal (for almost free since we had a $50 gift card -- yay!). The service was great and the food quite tasty.

We started off with a cheese plate of local cheese. There was a cow's milk cheese, goat cheese, and blue cheese served with crostini, fig preserves, almonds, and dried cherries.

For entrees, I had a spinach and lobster risotto and Seth had the Spanish pizza (topped with olives, egg, and chorizo).

We finished with some three layer chocolate cake, which came with a shot of milk! 

It was quite the tasty and luxurious meal!

Today, we've been eating quite healthy. I was spent after my run this morning and decided to have a healthy and light lunch of toast with egg and avocado. This features good fats, protein, and healthy whole grains. I recommend using Food for Life / Ezekiel Bread, which is an excellent whole grain bread with lots of protein. It's basically the only toast I eat.

Here's how to make it:

1. Toast some bread.
2. Cook an egg.
3. Cut up a quarter of an avocado.
4. Layer the egg and avocado on the toast.
5. Optional: Top with a very small bit of sea salt.

You can also make a pita pizza variation of this dish if you want something bigger. Just substitute a pita for the toast and mash up half an avocado for "sauce".

Couldn't be easier! Seth made us some exercise recovery smoothies to have with the toast. His smoothie had chocolate milk (good for exercise recovery because of the balance of protein and carbs), flax, and a banana.

Pretty easy and tasty way to bounce back after some exercise.

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