Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The No Excuses Workout - Day 9

Today was Click Day for me.

There's a point when a workout starts to "click."  You no longer go through a motion; you feel your muscles as they move through the motion.  Walking is no longer a chore; you find yourself walking faster than you normally would and your body is hitting a comfortable stride and eating up the pavement.  You're still soft in places you don't want to be soft, but they no longer jiggle.

It's Click Day.

Not bad for Day 9 of the workout.


What was once a handful of random exercises seemingly cobbled together is rapidly becoming a fairly intense circuit training workout.  There's also an intentional pattern to the exercises that goes like this:

Static core (abs/back held in place) for 30 seconds.  Do it three times.
Fluid "other" muscle group, one time for ten repetitions.
Static core (abs/back held in place) for 30 seconds.  Do it three times.
Fluid "other" muscle group, one time for ten repetitions.
Static core (abs/back held in place) for 30 seconds.  Do it three times.
...and today, a new fluid "other" muscle group, one time for ten repetitions.

The only break comes in the static core exercises where I give myself a three to five second breather between sets.  All of the other exercises flow from static to fluid to static without pause.  The farther that this workout is extended, the greater the intensity that builds throughout the entire group of exercises.

This morning's workout went like this...

Table Top - three times (from Day One)
Hug and Release - one time, ten repetitions (from Day Three)
Elevation - one time, ten repetitions (from Day Four)
Lift - one time, ten repetitions (from Day Five)
Plank - three times (from Day Eight)

And a new exercise, Tiny.

I call it Tiny because the movement is really small - between four to six inches - but it's a muscle group that is rarely asked to do anything on its own.

Tiny is performed by me laying on my left side (still on the mattress) and crossing my right leg over my left.  I place my right foot on the mattress in the general vicinity of my left knee for stability.

Keeping my left leg (the one resting on the mattress) straight, I lift my left leg off the mattress as high as I can for a count of four, a distance of only four to six inches.  I hold it at the top before lowering it slowly back to the mattress for a count of four.

That's one repetition.  I did ten and then switched sides to do ten with my right leg.


Fifteen blocks at a pace faster than Walking With Purpose.  It wasn't intended that way - my feet just took off, it felt good, so I went with it.

PM Workout:

The evening workout is following a different pattern than the morning workout, taking a muscle group and working it from numerous different directions before moving on to the next muscle group.  For instance, the first three movements - Twist (No Shout), Bobble Head, and Too Sexy - all work my core.  The next two that I've done so far - Popeye and Kick Back - work my arms.  Our body looks for the easiest path between Point A and Point B, generally by finding a pattern, maximizing efficiency, and then not moving things any farther.  By altering the patterns in the workout, I'm not offering my body an easy path.  From the perspective of my muscles, I keep calling on it to do different things - the morning pattern, cardio, and the evening pattern.  Rather than slowing progress, it keeps adapting - adding lean muscle, burning fan, increasing strength and endurance - as it searches for the "easy" way through its challenges.

The secret?

My body will never find that elusive pattern.  I'm calling on it to do too many "different" things (three different patterns throughout the day) and so it keeps evolving to meet the demands placed upon it.  That's one of the reasons why this workout is so effective.

This is what I'll be doing tonight:

Twist (No Shout) - one time, ten repetitions (from Day Two)
Bobble Head - one time, ten repetitions (from Day Three)
Too Sexy - one time, ten repetitions (from Day Four)
Popeye - one time, ten repetitions (from Day Five)
Kick Back - one time, ten repetitions (from Day Eight)

And a new exercise, Flight.

Starting with my elbows at my sides (as in Popeye and Kick Back), I bend my arms so that my upper and lower arms form something between a 45 and 90 degree angle.  Focusing on my shoulders and keeping that bend in my arms, I lift my elbows as high as I can get them for a count of four - like a bird's wings flapping up.  Then, still keeping my shoulders flexed, I "flap down" for a count of four until my elbows are at my sides once more.  That's one rep.  I'll do ten.


  1. Hi Jeffrey
    Sorry for long absence from your blog - have been out of action for a while due to simultaneous serious illness of my dad and my horse, both of which are sadly ongoing but I've come up for air, today! Loved your divide by twelve post - applies in UK as well. The workouts have worn me out, but then I always find reading quite tiring :-)
    Am sorry to have missed book launch date but am catching up on everything bit by bit!
    All best

  2. Karla!!! :)

    First, many warm thoughts to you, your father, and your horse. I'm very sorry to hear that you're going through so much. Big hugs to you!

    Second, I totally understand. In the midst of all of this, we're moving and I'm passing a kidney stone - which is a level of pain I'd never experienced (and my list of broken bones and places I've gotten stitches is pretty extensive.)

    Once we're moved (July 15) I'll start catching up on other people's blogs. Writing the daily workout blog is a great way for ME to stay on track in the midst of everything.

    Big hugs!