Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.


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SSE Phase 2.

AKA: Holy crap that’s a lot of lunges.

 Good morning!

So this last Sunday, I finished Phase 2 of the Slim and Sculpt Elite workout plan I purchased from This Fit Chick. I completed her original program back in December, so when school started up again I decided to continue with her Elite program. It’s 12 long, with 3 phases of 4 weeks each.

So phase 2: 4 workouts a week. 2 upper body, 1 lower body, and a full body dropset workout, plus 3 cardio workouts.

Upper body workouts: Definitely well put together. I’m pretty proud of myself – I’m now doing pushups on a BOSU to make them a little more challenging for myself. Yay upper body strength! It also made for a really long time that I’ve been at the same weight for my chest presses, which is why I made it one of my goals this month to up that weight. I did see some good increases in shoulder presses and one-armed rows though, which is lovely.

Lower body workout: two different lunge workouts – one group weighted, one group bodyweight. Have I ever mentioned that lunges are the only lower body exercises that I strongly dislike? I was definitely feeling that one. I hadn’t done one-legged exercises in a while, and I forgot how challenging, but fun they are. I had to skip it in the fourth week due to knee pain, but I’m still happy with my progress.

Dropsets: Yea…these are painful. I didn’t see a lot of weight increases with these, but I didn’t really expect to. Really, I was just happy to get through it each week!

Cardio: The first week was incredibly painful (gotta love HIIT) but it got easier as the program went on. Although, it made me realize how much I’m looking forward to spring weather and a nice long run outdoors – I’m getting a little sick of treadmill sprints.

Other things of note: I made sure to really emphasis stretching after my workouts, which really helped with muscle soreness. I got DOMS a lot in the first week, but they pretty much disappeared afterwards. I also starting following workouts with a real meal (usually, I would eat lunch after my workout) as opposed to a smoothie made with a banana and protein powder. I felt a lot more satisfied – not hungry again an hour later. Real food for the win!

If The Walking Dead is teaching me anything…

(source)

The next phase: 5 workouts a week, broken down into isolated muscle groups. Bring it.

<— What are your workouts looking like right now?

<— Do you run outside in the winter? Cannot. handle. it.


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Slim and Sculpt + What Happens Next.

So, it’s no secret that I loved the fitness plan I just completed.

A few months ago, I got an email from Carrie asking me I’d be interested in completing her program. I had just finished Livefit and was searching for something new, so her timing was absolutely perfect. I hadn’t put on the muscle I was hoping to with Livefit, so I wanted to try a different approach.

When I saw her program, I was a little hesitant. By the end of Livefit, I was working out 6 days a week for an hour to an hour and a half a session. Carrie’s program is 4 days a week, with workouts taking (on average) 45 minutes to an hour. Some days I was done in less than 30 minutes.

You know what?

Her approach worked better for me than any other program I’ve tried.

Carrie’s program is 12 weeks long; broken up into three phases of four weeks each. Workouts were completed Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The focus was on lifting, with 20-25 minute interval cardio and plyo circuit workouts thrown in.

This might be my favourite one ever.

Results

My overall goal with the program was muscle and strength gain. I measured my results in two ways.

1. Measurements

I took measurements after each phase of the workout. In the end, I didn’t lose much body fat – less than half a percent. I’m fine with that – that wasn’t my focus at all. If it was, I would have focused more on the nutrition aspect (with the program, you get a sheet with nutrition guidelines).

But – I gained 3 pounds. Considering that my body fat didn’t really change, that means I gained MUSCLE. Exactly what I wanted to do! I also gained half an inch in each bicep – definitely nothing to sneeze at.

2. The Chin-up Test

I have never in my life been able to do a chin-up. While I gain muscle in my lower body easily, upper body has always been a challenge. Therefore, my goal for the last few months has been to do a chin-up.

Yesterday at the gym, I decided to test it out.

I grabbed the bar, and hoisted myself up and over. I let myself down, stunned. I had just done it!

I was surprised at how easy it was – I decided to try again. Chin over the bar once. Chin over the bar twice. A huge smile broke across my face – TWO unbroken chin-ups.

I didn’t think I’d be able to do two…so I had to try for three.

I rested for a minute, than climbed back up. One…two…I felt myself struggling a lot, but…three!

I could barely do pushups a year ago, and now, I can do three unbroken unassisted chin-ups. I’m glad the gym was empty, because I was actually doing a bit of a victory dance afterwards. Although, that felt like a high five moment, so maybe it would have been better if someone had been there!

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Woot progress!

So was Carrie’s program effective? ABSOLUTELY. The way it was set up allowed for my muscles to rest, which is what they need to grow. I think that element was missing on Livefit – so although the programs were the same length, I didn’t see the same results. If you’re looking for a good, effective workout program that’s doable (without spending every moment in the gym) I 100% recommend This Fit Chick. She puts together one hell of a program!

What’s Next?

So this week, I’ve been hitting up the gym per my usual timeslots and doing upper body workouts (the knee is feeling better, but I’m trying to keep it rested). Starting next week, I’ll be taking 2 weeks off of heavy workouts to rest up a bit.

Fortunately for me, Carrie has agreed to put together a ‘continuation’ of her Slim and Sculpt program for those that have gone through it. You’d better believe I’m going to be purchasing that!

She’s also offering a nutrition program, which I’m seriously considering buying. I think it’s obvious that when it comes to strength/muscle gain, what you eat is just as important as your workouts. I loved seeing what I managed to accomplish on my own accord, so I want to see what can happen when I’m eating for proper muscle growth.

Of course, I’m a tad hesitant about this (considering the ED history). But I have been emailing with Carrie, and she’s assured me that 1. I won’t know my calorie intake (she takes care of that) 2. It’s not calorie-restrictive 3. She won’t tell me I’ll never be able to have chocolate again (clearly vital to my happiness) and 4. It’s not overly specific (not super strict, exact meals laid out. As in, it will tell me to have x ounces of lean protein as opposed to ounces of chicken breast). She knows my past struggles with food, which she will take into consideration.

I haven’t decided for sure yet if I’m going to go for it, but the more I think about it, the more I want to do it. I loved that feeling of accomplishment I got doing those chinups, so I want to feel that time and time again. I know that learning more about eating to gain muscle with help me with that.

*disclaimer: although I received the program for free, I was not compensated for my posts. All opinions are my own, and I will be paying for the next program.

 

Jenny’s Christmas Challenge

I’ve never had to travel for the holidays before, but since Eric and I moved in September, we’ll be travelling a bit this year. Fortunately, we’re only 45 minutes away from my parents and an hour and fifteen minutes away from his mom, so we don’t have to travel too far. It’s nice having everyone relatively close!

(edited to add: Oops, jumped ahead! That’s what I get for writing posts at 11 pm. I’ll do favourite meal tomorrow).

<— Ever followed a workout program? Was it successful?

<— What’s something you’ve done lately that you’re proud of? Does not have to be fitness related!


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Surprise!

Good morning! Did you have a good weekend?

I definitely did…first with a Christmas party, then second with a surprise trip home. Well, it was only a surprise to one person…my dad!

After more than 30 years with his company, my dad is retiring; his last day of work will be this Friday. In celebration, my mom has secretly been planning a surprise open house for him for MONTHS.

I woke up and had a quick breakfast before Eric and I were off to London.

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Banana oats – oatmeal, unsweetened almond milk and egg whites with maple extract and cinnamon stirred in. I added a chopped banana and topped it with peanut butter and jam. Always does the trick. 🙂

Then it was time to get ready – my uncle had taken my dad to the gym and out for breakfast that morning to get my dad out of the house so my mom could get it ready. She had done a great job – she had been stockpiling snacks, appetizers and beverages for months, and had a few decorations thrown in there too.

SURPRISE!

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Happy retirement!

My dad said he had honestly been surprised – he had no idea it was coming!

I don’t have a lot of pictures, because I was enjoying the social time. Bit I did make sure to grab a few for blog purposes!

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This is probably less than half of all the food my mom had prepared – all sorts of crackers, chips and dip (hummus, yogurt dip, spinach dip…), chicken wings, meatballs, cheese and meats, tons of hot appetizers (sausage rolls, samosas…I had my first mozzarella stick in about a decade, and it was wonderful), and a dessert table with nanaimo bars (my absolutely favourite) and macaroons.

My contribution? I had secretly been working on it all weekend…

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A golf bag chocolate cake! Keep in mind, I have never really decorated a cake before, plus I can barely draw a stick figure (to give you an example of how atrocious my artistic ability is) so I was pretty happy with how it turned out! My main goal was for people to be able to figure out what it was, so I accomplished that Smile with tongue out

My dad is a huge golf fan – which was evident by the decorations.

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I loved this!  I was reading through them before we left, some were absolutely hilarious. You can come up with a lot of creative terms and expressions involving the word “ball.” Smile with tongue out

I wouldn’t even be able to begin to tell you what I ate during the day – I just munched my way throughout. So much good food!

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And, a lot of party-goofiness, of course. Smile with tongue out

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Shots are a lot more interesting from a test tube. Smile with tongue out

Of course, I pertook when it was time to cut the cake.

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One small piece, plus another shared with Eric. Delicious, if I don’t say so myself. Smile with tongue out

Overall, it was a fabulous party – my mom did an amazing job putting it together. Happy retirement Dad! ❤

Workout

So, this last week was week nine of my Slim and Sculpt program with Carrie of This Fit Chick. This was the first week in the final phase, which has a little bit of a different set up – workouts are more cardio and small-muscle focused. When I woke up yesterday, I could barely lift my arms above my head to wash my hair – they were so sore! Clearly, it’s been a good week of exercise.

workouts skipped: none

workouts changed: I switched Sundays workout to Saturday in the interest of time, but other than that, no.

And today is another busy day – TA class, my class, a GSA meeting, and hitting the gym in there too. Better get to it!

<— Do your parents like to golf? Both of my parents golf, but my dad does it more often.

<— How was your weekend? Do anything fun?