It's Day Four - also known as the, "Hey! I Do Have Muscles 'Cause I Can Feel Them!" day.
Getting in shape requires dedication. My "No Excuses Workout" helps with that a great deal. Even though I'm working out twice a day, I'm still only working out for a few minutes at a time. That will slowly change. When I have the full BASIC workout in place, it will take approximately twenty minutes (not counting cardio) twice a day. The key is that it builds slowly. It's never "too hard" to add one additional exercise or a couple of additional repetitions.
The second half of the workout is designed so I can do it while watching television. One half-hour show - even on DVD (with the commercials removed) - is typically long enough to encompass the entire evening workout. There's no special equipment involved - just my own body.
That said, the hardest part of any workout plan is sticking do it. That's why this one builds slowly. If I stop and think about it, even on an unmotivated day, it's hard to find an excuse to skip a five minute workout or go for a short walk. If I don't finish it in the morning, I can do it later in the day. The key is to simply do it. Remember, this isn't a workout where I burn "x" amount of calories for "x" amount of minutes. I'm strengthening my core and telling my body's natural systems, "I need you to adapt to the environment you're in. No more squishy. I need you strong." And I accomplish that by creating an environment where my body is regularly asked to walk and demonstrate its strength.
It's not the typical approach to getting in shape. I'll readily admit that. All I know is that it works.
Once more I completed the Table Top (from Day One) three times. Then I performed Hug and Release (Day Three) once, but this time for ten repetitions instead of five. And then it was time for the dreaded Elevation.
I assume the position for Elevation by rolling onto my back and putting my hands (flat and palms down) under my butt to very slightly tilt my pelvis upward. Like every exercise in the morning workout, this one begins with pulling my navel toward my spine and engaging my abdominal muscles. My legs are together and held rigid and straight as I raise my feet six to twelve inches off the bed.
And hold them there.
The goal is to hold my feet elevated (hence the name) off the bed and motionless for thirty seconds or as long as I'm able - whichever comes first. About three seconds in I started rocking like my body was being hit by an earthquake. My abdominal muscles have not been asked to do this for a very long time and began shaking like crazy. That's normal at this point. Trust me - we did a variation of this back in my special ops days and you'd see and entire group of extremely fit elite soldiers doing the same thing as their abs hit the point of fatigue.
Being a slacker for the last stretch of road, my abs just fatigued very quickly.
That's it for the morning workout: three sets of Table Top, one set of Hug and Release for ten reps, and one set of Elevation. Just think - a few days ago I wasn't doing anything; now I can feel lean muscle beginning to form over large stretches of my body.
And it's only taken a couple of minutes each day.
Once more, a morning walk. I'm enjoying the scenery as I go through my morning. What's more is that I'm discovering little pieces of my neighborhood that I hadn't seen from behind the wheel of my car. This morning I walked four blocks instead of yesterday's three. in other words, I walked about a mile without even really thinking about it. How cool is that?
Tonight's workout will begin with five reps of Twist (No Shout) (from Day Two), five reps of Bobble Head (from Day Three) and a new exercise, Too Sexy.
Keeping my hands behind my head (where they were for the previous two exercises), I keep my navel pulled toward my spine and my abdominal muscles engaged. Holding my upper body in place, I slowly rotate my hips in a circle to the right, counting to slowly to four. If I assign four compass points to your hips, with North facing forward, it should take a full second to move from North to East, another from East to South, a third from South to West, and the fourth from West to North.
The key to this exercise is to perform it slowly, to keep my navel pulled toward my spine, and to keep my abdominal muscles engaged throughout the movement.
Tonight I'll do five circles to the right and then reverse direction and do five circles to the left.
That's it for Day Four.
Just think, after three days I can feel muscles developing all over my body. Where will I be in three weeks...? Getting in shape doesn't have to be some insane process. It just takes a few minutes, twice a day. Remember, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Whether we walk or sprint, that journey has to be completed one step at a time. Me? I prefer the easy way.