April Fitness Challenge

by Laura on March 31, 2011

in Challenges, exercise, Goals, weight loss

Just a reminder, today is the last day you can sign up for the April Veggie Off challenge! If you are interested, click here!

 

On March 1st, I started a fitness challenge. If you want the info on the March challenge, check here. Even though March ends today – this challenge ran through April 4th. As to not overlap the challenges, the April challenge is starting April 5th.

The March challenge has been super successful for me, especially since I added new incentives for not using all of my free passes. The idea of this challenge was to participate in fitness that was targeted towards weight loss. Running isn’t a vigorous activity for me anymore, so I’m not really seeing any weight loss when I’m running three days a week. In March I started heavy lifting twice a week, to promote new muscle growth (as opposed to only going to body works which is more focused on toning + cardio). I also participated in vigorous cardio in the form of spin three days a week.

Taking time off running was also an opportunity for me to seek out physical therapy for my hip, which I started last week. I want to have my hip issue gone by the time I start half marathon training this summer.

As I said before, I have loved this challenge. It have been so successful for me this month in establishing a stable and consistent work out routine. The scale hasn’t moved that much but I’ve seen definite loss in inches, certain spots on my body and in my clothing. I’m wearing jeans I wasn’t able to pull above my hips 4 months ago comfortably now! I love the execution of this type of challenge because I have all my workouts planned for the entire month.  Since it’s worked so well, I’m going to repeat this challenge in April, but make a few changes.

 

april

 

For the April challenge, I’ll be following the same schedule of six workouts each week – with one scheduled off day per week. I’ll keep the heavy lift day and the body works day because I want to stay focused on strength training + vigorous cardio.

The big change is instead of going to spin 3 days a week, in April I’m going to do spin 2 times per week and add step in for the 3rd heavy cardio workout. I really enjoyed step classes several years ago when I first started working out. However when I moved out of Denton, I lost the really great instructor I had. The classes at LA fitness were more advanced that what I was used to doing, so I didn’t go as much. I’m in much better shape now and I know it’s going to be much easier for me. I am a little bit nervous about how it’s going to affect my hip, but only going once a week shouldn’t be too bad and if it is, I’ll sub in another group exercise class in place of step.

I will be running once during the challenge. I have two 5Ks in April – one April 2nd and one April 16th. The April 2nd 5K is actually part of the March challenge, so that wasn’t included in this plan. The 5K on the 16th is part of the April challenge and means I’ll only go to spin 1 time that week.

I also have a Knife Skills class I’m attending one night when I should be doing body works – so that week I’ll do three heavy lifts instead of 2.

 

step

(source)

 

Another big change is that Matt and I are making it a goal to wake up early 2 days per week and take a 30 minute walk (on top of the other exercise). We’ve been trying to fit in extra activity as much as possible to bump up my weight loss – so walking first thing in the morning is going to be a really great way to do this. Plus, our dogs have a big back yard where they do most of their playing and running, so walking them more often is great for them as well!

 

This challenge is 35 days long with five scheduled off days. It will end on May 9th. My Tuesday morning labs are ending in two weeks and once those do I’m moving my off day from Tuesday to Sunday. Sunday workouts are so hard to go to because I really want to sleep in and have a lazy morning at least once over the weekend! I have 30 workouts scheduled and I’m giving myself the option of 2 free days (March had 4 available).

As I did in March, there is a reward for the overall challenge. However, I’m backing off the rewards in April and opting for smaller rewards. March was a little ridiculous as far as rewards go – but it was also the first month I was doing this type of workout schedule so I wanted to give myself incentives to finish it.

 

For completing 28 workouts (using both passes) I get a date night of my choice.

For completing 29 workouts (using only one pass) I get $25 to spend at Old Navy from Matt + above reward

For completing 30 workouts (not using any passes) I get the Sister Wives Season 1 DVD. We NEVER buy dvds or movies, so this is actually a big thing and something I really really want! + above rewards

 

I’ll be continuing physical therapy and backing off the running (except for the 5Ks) until I have a better idea of how my hip is doing. I’m really hoping to go back to running regularly in May – but to be honest, I am enjoying all these gym workouts and the emphasis on strength training! Plus I’m seeing results, which is super amazing and motivating.

 

Next week after the March challenge is over I’ll have a results post/starting post for April with the inches I lost in March, the weight I lost and what my starting strength training weights are for April.

 

I’m not exactly sure what the challenge will look like in May. I opted to have this challenge end May 9th because that is the day finals start and I’m *hopefully* going to Chicago to see this beautiful lady that next weekend. I also have to study for the GRE and find a job for the summer in May. I will probably end up doing a more intense 2 week challenge in May after finals week is over, but we will see. The good news is as much as I want to plan out May right now (because I’m an obsessive planner like that), I know that I have a lot of time to worry about it and don’t need to do it right now!

 

Does anyone want to participate in this style of challenge in April with me? Feel free to make your own workout schedule! I’d love to have anyone else join who is interested, so just let me know!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah March 31, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Awesome idea! I’m totally doing this! My goals/rewards are just a bit different, but I’m in love with this idea!

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2 Laura March 31, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Yayyyy! I hope you’ll post what you do!

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3 Sarah March 31, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Of course!!!

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4 Summah March 31, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I just love how organized you are, Laura! You need to come to Alabama to be my personal organizer :)

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5 Laura March 31, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I would absolutely love that!

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