Dealing with reality in strength and recovery


Well! As I had earlier reported, this morning I did the P90x Legs and Back DVD, along with Ab Ripper X. Great stuff, that….and by 9am, I was at the gym with my husband, ready to do my 55 minutes of treadmill cardio.

That went rather peachy, I must admit. Then I was seized by an insane desire to see just how much weight I could leg-press….back before in my peak, I could handle 210 pounds. Imagine my surprise to realize that today, I was barely able to move 135 pounds!

Obviously, my leg muscles are still quite weak. This is okay…but frustrating, I will admit. Here I had thought I was well on the road to recovery….well, I *am*, to be honest, but it apparently will take far longer than I had expected.


The good news is, with my “I can DO this!” attitude, I looked at it and said to myself, self, these things happen, so long as you’re on the right path, just keep enjoying the journey.

So I shall.

Reality. It’s something quite stark sometimes.



ps – want to see what else out there targets the abs?

Recovery after intense exercise workouts


As you know if you’ve been reading my blog, I’m currently challenging myself with P90x, an extreme home-fitness routine. It’s great! It’s exciting! And it cajoles your muscles to failure, which is why taking care of yourself afterwards is of such high priority.

After every workout I do, I now will take a looooong hot bath (I have the time for this, you see, because I push ‘play’ at 4am before anyone else is awake) into which I’ll have added several drops of essential oils. My favorites are pine, sandalwood and damask rose. When that’s done, I’ll slather on the Tiger Balm (muscle rub) onto whatever part of me aches…and then simply rest for half an hour.

So far, this routine has helped in my recovery. It’s something you should consider as well! Every extreme effort always deserves a wonderful reward…and hot baths/muscle rubs certainly fall into that category.



ps – Here’s discounted Tiger Balm!

Want to do Pilates? Check out these reviews and resources!


Ever have an insane urge to do Pilates? Ever wonder what the heck Pilates is?

I’ve tried it myself and let me tell you, it translates into a killer of a workout! From Wiki, it’s described like so:

Pilates was formed by Joseph Pilates during the First World War with the proposal to improve the rehabilitation program for the many returning veterans. Joseph Pilates believed mental and physical health are essential to one another. He recommended a few, precise movements emphasizing control and form to aid injured soldiers in regaining their health by strengthening, stretching,and stabilizing key muscles. Pilates created “The Pilates Principles” to condition the entire body: proper alignment, centering, concentration, control, precision, breathing, and flowing movement … more …

It’s a LOT more difficult than one might think, and yes indeed, it does help you condition the body. Here are some more resources you can use to learn about it:

By poring over the above, you should be able to get a good idea if it’s for you.



ps – more Pilates goodies include:

I can do habanero pushups! Wheeeeeee!


Life is joyous.

Back in the summer, one of our karate senseis showed up a rather killer pushup that my kids named ‘habanero pushups’ (mainly because your muscles burn when you’ve completed them).

Actually, they’re simply pushups with your hands close by your sides so it works your triceps. Thing is, though, back then….I couldn’t do one. Even when I worked up to 50 normal pushups in a session, my ability to do a close-handed pushup simply wasn’t there.

Well! Today I had an insane urge to try them again, and was able to bash out 10! Rather slowly, mind you, and somewhat agonizingly….but all in all, it was ‘way easier than my earlier attempts all this summer.

Hopefully this means I’m getting in better physical shape! It was quite a nice thing to realize.



ps – Here are some other fun triceps thingees!

P90x+ What’s different from P90x…Is the Plus for You?


I’ve received several questions asking what’s the difference of P90x Plus compared to P90x.

Well, here’s what I’ve found out. We’re talking 5 different upgrades:

Interval X P90x Plus
‘Way more killer and effective than typical cardio, Interval X Plus blasts your heart rate up and down with 3 speeds: recovery, medium, and full-out, creating more dramatic change within the briefest period of time. (40 minutes)

Kenpo Cardio P90x Plus
Featuring new dynamic fat-burning moves, this advanced-level Kenpo will shred the most resistant layer of fat with the all-out self-defense workout that builds agility, stamina and balance. (40 minutes)

Upper Body P90x Plus
This King Kong upper body workout will challenge the plateau phenomenon by blasting every muscle from the hips on up: chest, back, biceps, triceps, and shoulders. Talk about a complete meshed P90X way! After this one, you won’t be able to pick up a coffee cup for at least a couple hours. (45 minutes)

Total Body P90x Plus
New synergistic moves pump your muscles, and then allow you to recuperate in stages until you’ve got nothing left but a state of total exhaustion. An unprecedented total body phenomenon. (45 minutes)

Abs/Core P90x Plus
This detailed new ab/core workout adds 4 challenging positions (hanging, sitting, standing, and plank positions) to blast your ab work and rip your midsection even faster. Is a ten-pack even possible? Wait and find out!
(20 minutes)

It sure looks pretty enticing to me! I’m still waiting for my leg recovery to complete, of course…and hopefully in 2008 will begin my own personal p90x+ journey. I’ll keep y’all posted!



ps – P90x makes a great holiday gift!

Perfect Pushup Review – Excellent buy


Well! My local Sports Authority had a 25% discount off of any single item in the store…and I was lucky enough to visit there when they unloaded 15 instances of the Perfect Pushup. At only $32 (including tax!), how could I resist?

After I got this beastie home, I opened up the box. The pushup thingees have extremely smooth motion and they’re extremely easy to rotate…and let me tell you, wow, do you really feel it in your muscles! Back, shoulders, triceps, biceps – each position you use activates different muscles.

One thing I really like is because the handles are about 3 inches off the ground, you can get virtually parallel with the floor while doing your pushups. Wow! Is that a challenge! Additionally, because your wrists can rotate to different directions, no longer will you feel any typical wrist pain from indulging in pushups.

Now, I’m used to doing between 30 to 50 pushups at a clip, but with these babies, I was able to do only 13 until exhaustion. Wow! Does my form and style need work. But still, even though it’s a weeeee bit pricey, I find it definitely an excellent value indeed.



ps – Wanna see ’em in action?

25% off Sports Authority This Weekend – Can you say discount?


Just found out that Sports Authority is offering a 25% off coupon on any single item (either bought online or thru the store!). Click below!

25 percent off

Nice!! Last time this ad appeared, I treated myself to two karate foam blockers. This time, I might get a set of adjustable dumbbells….



ps – And don’t forget about!

Calories burned by shoveling snow, and creative exercise tips


So! It’s the wintertime…and if you live where bunches of white fluffy stuff falls, you’ll probably have to haul your cheerful self outside every now and then to shovel off your driveway.

First off, did you know that you burn around 408 calories every hour you shovel snow (assuming you weigh 150 pounds and that Calories Burned for Activity: Shoveling Snow is accurate)? And that that is equal to eating:

Quantity – Description – Calories

1.6 Grande Starbucks Caffe Latte – Made with whole milk 260

But I digress. :-)

Shoveling snow, while being a great exercise for some, can cause overexertion in others. So, here are some useful tips you can follow to make sure you get the best out of your exercise.

From the National Safety Council:

  • Individuals over the age of 40, or those who are relatively inactive, should be especially careful.
  • If you have a history of heart trouble, do not shovel without a doctor’s permission.
  • Do not shovel after eating or while smoking.
  • Take it slow! Shoveling (like lifting weights) can raise your heart rate and blood pressure dramatically; so pace yourself. Be sure to stretch out and warm up before taking on the task….MORE….

Snow Shoveling Techniques from the Toronto EMS:

  • Always try to push snow rather than lifting it.
  • Protect your back by lifting properly and safely
  • stand with feet at hip width for balance
  • hold the shovel close to your body
  • space hands apart to increase leverage
  • bend from your knees not your back
  • tighten your stomach muscles while lifting
  • avoid twisting while lifting
  • walk to dump snow rather than throwing it.
  • When snow is deep, shovel small amounts (1-2 inches at a time) at a time….MORE…

Me, I love shoveling snow – I figure it’s a wonderful workout that really gets my muscles moving. My favorite part of snow shoveling is when I have to chop away the ice/packed snow in front of my driveway (you know, the 32 foot tall pile always left there by snowplows), because I’ll pretend to be Gandalf and declare to the world, You! Shall! Not! Pass! HERE! and then cut down smoothly on the snowy mass. My kids adore watching me act it out. :-)

So….if you can move the snow, become one with it! Your weight loss will thank you for it.



ps – need a snow shovel?

DDR Dance Dance Revolution – Fun way to lose weight!


It’s not just for your kids, you know!

One of the most funnest (to quote my children) ways an adult can lose weight is to indulge their inner child’ and participate in Dance Dance Revolution.

Now, what is DDR, I hear you ask? It’s simply a game that requires a dance pad, a Playstation or Wii or Xbox or whatever, and the DDR games. Basically, the music plays and you have to move your feet to the correct arrows in time with the game.

Let me tell you, boy, does that burn up calories and really make you break a sweat! I got DDR for my kids last holiday season when I wanted them to get into better shape…and it wasn’t long before Mom decided to indulge as well too. I was floored at how much exertion it requires! It’s lots of fun.

Here are some great Dance Dance Revolution resources:

Do yourself a favor and check out this excellent method of exercise – it’s something you can do with your kids and make as a family-centric activity as well.



ps – Some DDR goodies include:

2 chinups, 1 mile walk and weak thighs – oh my!


Well, I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that I can now do 2 (count ’em, two!) unassisted chinups! This is 1/2 more than my last record of 3 days ago. Yay!

My right thigh muscles are still somewhat weak from the surgery. So I’ve been spending some time stretching and today, decided to try a small walk. Instead of my beloved 2.4 mile circle walk, I simply walked one mile up and down my town’s sidewalks…and managed to complete that with no problem at all. Yay! It does look like I’m on schedule for my healing, although I will admit, I really wish I could participate in my karate and kendo again. Wah. Oh well, that will happen, some day….

In other news, I’ve come to realize that exercise becomes a “need” instead of a “have to do” after awhile. I just don’t feel right when I neglect my exercise – my body tells me, ahem, you’re stalling! Do something, anything, just get up off of your rear and make things happen.

So I did. :)

In 10 days, I will have been on my get-healthy plan for officially one year! I will certainly look forward to posting about my accomplishments – it’s been a great ride that will continue in 2008.



ps – want a pedometer?