HIIT Day 2, Goals, Thoughts

Posted on April 26, 2012

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I don’t know if it was because I was tired or if I just pushed myself too hard earlier in my work-out, but I only managed a total of 20 minutes for my HIIT today. I imagine what I did today was close to what I would do in preparation for Week 4 of the HIIT training program. I didn’t intend to do it that way. My goal was to do Week 3 again (4 high intensity intervals of 1 minute each, 30 minutes total work out), but after 20 minutes, I couldn’t go any further.

Here is what I did:

HIIT Day 2 (Week 3)
1-5 min: Warm-up (HR reached 135)
5-6 min: High intensity (58-62 RPM, HR reached 145 at end)
6-10 min: Recovery (38-40 RPM, HR 135-140)
10-11 min: High intensity (58-68 RPM, HR 145-155)
11-14:30 min: Recovery (38-40 RPM, HR 135-140)
14:30- 16:00 min: High intensity (60-70 RPM, HR 150-160)—— 1 minute, 30 seconds!!!!
16:00 – 20:00 min: Cool down (38-40 RPM, HR 140’s) 

This week is my “maintenance mode” week as it’s a stressful week before a big deadline I have coming up. I think I was right to stop at 20 minutes (even though part of me wants to beat myself up about it) because my goal this week is to just do the bare minimum so I can maintain.

I also think I’m going to start documenting my work-outs in here, just so I have a way to track my progress.

Today’s Resistance Training (Day 3 of Upper Body): 
3 sets of 15 repetitions
Chest Press: 30 lbs
Lat Pull: 25 lbs
Shoulder press: 10 lbs
Lateral raise: 15 lbs
Triceps: 2 sets at 20 lbs, 1 set at 15 lbs
Biceps: 2 sets at 20 lbs, 1 set at 15 lbs

After my deadline, the things I want to incorporate into my work-outs are:
1. Starting doing lower body resistance training
2. Start doing yoga– 1 day per week
3. Try a water aerobics class (Sundays, perhaps?)
4. Work on abs and core exercises
5. Make it a point to work on my stamina and endurance on the treadmill in terms of walking. As I mentioned in my previous post, 3.0 mph is my new warm up speed (up from the 2.5 mph it was a month ago, up from the 2.0 it was in January). I would like to be able to train myself to do 3.0 mph for a sustained period of time, so that hopefully I can increase that to 3.5 mph. Jogging seems like something that I’m so far away from being able to do, and it’s something I’d like to be ABLE to do for 15 minutes. Someday.

The things I want to continue:
1. HIIT program– would love to finish the program
2. Build my upper body strength
3. Zumba– I’m realizing that as much as I love Zumba, it doesn’t always give me the consistent cardio work-out I need. I think that’s because I can adjust how hard I want to work during the class based on what I’m up to, and I have no way of standardizing the work out so I know that I am doing my best at all times (unless I purchase a heart rate monitor, but that’s an expense I can’t afford right now). So, while I will continue to go, I’m going to stop viewing it as a work-out and more as something fun to do.

Fitness improvements since January:
1. I warm up at 3.0 MPH rather than 2.0 MPH on the treadmill (at a 1.0 incline).
2. I started at the lowest weights on all the upper body machines in January, and now I am slightly higher on all machines, except the shoulder press.
3. It takes me 30-40 minutes to look at the clock in Zumba, as opposed to 10-15 minutes (meaning I get tired later in the work out than I was).
4. I remember just doing the elliptical at 40 RPM for 30 minutes was a challenge. I remember trying to tell myself just another five minutes starting as early as 3 minutes into my work out. It was a real struggle to make it through the full 30 minutes. Now, I not only can do the 30 minutes without really pushing too hard, but I’m challenging myself with this HIIT program, where I incorporate 1-minute intervals of high intensity into my elliptical routine.

That’s pretty cool.

I haven’t seen a lot of change with my body’s measurements (two inches off hips, two inches off waist; I don’t really measure anything else yet, I may have to ask my trainer to do so). But I can tell my clothes fit better. The clothes I was wearing in December are baggy enough that they make me look bigger than I am. I have dropped 1 pant-size (from size 26 to 24). I had to tighten the draw strings on my work out pants/capris/shorts. 

In terms of the scale, I’m close to losing 10% of my starting body weight (only 0.1 lb away).

There’s a lot to show for four months of work. Sometimes, I feel discouraged because it feels so slow, especially if I ever compare myself to other people. I read blogs of people who lost far more than my measly 1-2 pounds per week, and although I know my results are considered healthy and normal, I can’t help but wonder why I can’t have a large loss every now and then, like they did. I try to remind myself that I have always expected this process to take me two years, because that gives me a healthy 1-2 pound loss per week to aim for.

I try to constantly reward myself with all the mini goals I have set for myself (every 5 pounds, every 5% of body weight lost, every big change in BMI, every 5% towards reaching my goal), but it’s difficult. If I go more than two weeks between reaching a goal, I get frustrated, I feel stagnant, I feel like I’m close to losing my motivation. It’s silly and unreasonable because it’s such a short period of time, but I guess like most people, I want instant gratification. I want to lose the 10 pounds per month and expect to lose x amount of pounds by this date, which if I’m being honest, I kind of do. Right now, my goal is to have lost 50 pounds by July 1st. I don’t think it’s an unreasonable goal– according to my last weigh in, I’m 16.4 pounds away from that. And I’m 10 weeks away from my weigh-in on July 1st, which leaves me at trying to lose ~1.7 lb per week. I know setting deadlines for weight loss is a bad idea. I know that it can lead to bad habits, like starving or over-exercising or extreme forms of weight loss. I also know that if I DO this, it’ll be a major milestone for me. Not just because I lost 50 pounds, but because I know that that I can stick it out to lose 50 pounds. To know that with persistance, I can reach my goals. 

I try to remind myself of more than just the scale, but sometimes, those things seem slow, too. I know I won’t go down another pant size until I lose at least another 20-30 pounds. I know that shopping in non-plus sized sections is going to probably take me another year or so to get to. 

And then, sometimes… I really just want a day off. I want to be able to go have chicken wings and not freak out about how much over my calorie or point limit I went, or worry that it’ll affect my weigh-in. I know and understand moderation, but for one day, I’d like to not worry about only having enough for my calorie/point allowance.

I guess if there’s one thing I’ve enjoyed about this week and my efforts towards just maintaining my weight this week, I’ve been able to eat whatever I have wanted in whatever quantities I have wanted (mostly). I am still counting calories (I set my calorie limit to a deficit of only 250 calories per day, as to lose only half a pound this week) and I am still tracking points (hoping to stay “on point,” which I’ve come to learn means that as long as I don’t go over my daily points, weekly points, and activity points, I am “on point.”) I’ve eaten all kinds of wonderful things this week, and it has only been a few days– A greasy hamburger with lots of fries, a burrito bowl, etc. If I don’t have a gain this week, then I’d like to try doing this again the next time I want a “break.” Just do maintenance for a week. Or even just a day! 

Actually… I don’t think I ever mentioned what gave me the idea to do a “maintenance week.” I was on the Weight Watchers discussion boards and saw someone mention that their secret to breaking a plateau was to “maintain” for a week, as to reset your body’s metabolism. Their perspective was that after time, your body becomes more efficient at its work-outs, more efficient at storing and burning energy, and by doing this, you reset your body into thinking this “maintenance mode” is normal, so that the week following, when you hit it hard again (with your calorie deficits and staying within points), you shock your body and end up losing more weight than you would have otherwise. 

So, as much as I want to say that this week “off” was solely for a more relaxed week before my big deadline, it served two other purposes: 1) To help me prevent the slowing of my weight loss into a plateau, and 2) To give me the “break” I’ve been so desperately craving.

Like I’ve been saying– it’ll be interesting to see the weigh-in results this Sunday. So far, my weight has been trending downwards for the week (enough that I think it’s possible I’ll meet my 10% and 35-lb goals), so if that holds true on Sunday, I think “maintenance week” might be something I would do every few months. Which will be a nice treat in itself.

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