Suzanne Workout Nirvana

Now Entering Phase 2…

I’m super excited to be making progress with my goals! Even though I can’t do some of the things I love (biking, running, hiking) I’m finding other things I enjoy and keep me focused on the positives instead of the negatives.

Phase 1

My favorite exercises in the first 6 week program ended up being the triceps kickbacks, Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift and the bicycle crunches.

I loved the triceps kickbacks because it was an activity I previously thought I couldn’t do and slowly increased the weight each week until I was up to 17.5 pounds! That filled me with confidence and happiness.

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The Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts are good for me because it pointed out just how imbalanced my body was. I could stand on my left leg til the cows came home, but as soon as I switched sides to my right, I could barely stay upright. I spoke to my physical therapist about this and he agreed that there was an imbalance in my body. As the first six weeks progressed, I got a little bit better on my right side. I still have a LOT of work to do in that area. I’m enjoying seeing progress.

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Bicycle crunches? I like them because I can FEEL them.

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Even as I move to the new phase, I will still do the above exercises as part of my normal workout routine because I enjoy them! The important part of sticking to a fitness routine is LIKING IT!

Phase 2

I gave Suzanne my doctor’s orders for the 6 week break of all lower body activities. She said she was confident that she could build me a routine according to my doctor’s orders because she does a lot of plans for people who have had reconstructive knee surgeries and the like.

She gave me a new workout that is still focusing on my core, triceps and glutes. The lower body activities she gave me are more like the physical therapy exercises I’ve been doing with resistance bands.

There are two moves that were my favorite from the start of Phase 2. The first is the “Glute Bridge.” It’s similar to some of the glute bridge moves my PT gave me but this one includes a stability ball. The video makes it look so simple but it’s actually incredible difficult. I LOVE IT! It makes me feel like I’m working really hard to strengthen my glutes and core. I always feel this move! I think it will help my balance and stability, too.

The second move is not new to me and I’m wondering why I never included it in my workouts because I love it!

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The rope pulldown for triceps is so much fun and it’s also incredibly hard. Even though I spent 6 weeks working on my triceps before Phase 2, this exercise always makes my triceps sore. I love that I can see definition and progress in my triceps.

There are a bunch of other exercises in the second phase but I’m not going to share all of Suzanne’s magic. I definitely encourage you to consider signing up for her services. I’m so glad I did. I think it’s kept me sane during this knee injury rehab. I paid for Suzanne’s services, and all of my reviews are entirely my own. No freebies and it was money well spent.

I’m currently in week 2 and so far I’ve noticed that I’m stronger now than I was just a few weeks ago and the moves are easier. I did not struggle as much to learn the moves in week 1 like I did when I first started the program. My trick this time around: I saved all the video descriptions she sent me in a Youtube playlist called “Phase 2 Workout.” So if there is a new move I’m unsure of, I just look it up super quick. So much easier!

Stay tuned for the before and after results of phase 2!

What is your favorite weight lifting exercise?

Operation Glutes Follow Up

You can read the first post here

What I loved most about the plan Suzanne built for me is that pretty early on I felt STRONGER. This is the part of the post where I admit that I felt up my butt (good god, the Google searches that are going to arrive at my blog…) and found that I had muscle! My glutes FELT stronger and rock hard. It only took about 3 weeks for that to happen. While my butt didn’t look different yet, it felt different. It didn’t look like Kim Kardashian’s (maybe I just genetically have a flat butt) but it FELT stronger.

In general I just felt more muscular. In turn, I felt more confident in my body image.

Week 3 – I noticed around the 3rd week that I wasn’t sore for 1-2 days after a session like I was in the first two weeks. That first week I was sore for days and it was awesome! But that feeling quickly went away and I needed to increase the amount of weight.

For example, the first week I did the 1 arm tricep kickbacks I used an 8 lb weight and it was difficult but I could finish the 10 rep set. By the end of week 2 I increased it to 10 lbs (struggling to finish the 10 reps) and week 3 I did 12 pounds.

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I breezed through week 4 and 5. I increased the weight on a lot of the exercises I was doing because they got too easy. I barely broke a sweat or I wasn’t sore afterward. I kinda like that “I worked out really hard last night” soreness…

Week 6 – The final week came and I knew the routine well and my transitions between exercises were faster. It look less time to set up and get started, which was nice. That was my frustration in the beginning. The final week I was up to doing 17.5 pounds for the tricep kickbacks. It was a pretty awesome feeling to be able to do 3 sets of 10 at a higher weight!

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Final Results

I went into this experiment with the goal of strengthening my glutes and toning my arms. I believe I achieved both. I’m in no way “done” and still have a lot of work to do but I made progress. My physical therapist said my glutes were much stronger and that was music to my ears.

When I discussed my goals with Suzanne before starting, weight loss wasn’t even on the list. Which is strange for me–considering my background and my mindset. It just wasn’t the focus. Getting strong and healing my knees and toning my lunch lady arms was all I cared about!

I stepped on the scale for my first weigh-in since March. I hadn’t weighed myself for the 6 weeks that I was doing the program. I didn’t lose weight, in fact I gained 1 pound. But that could be inaccurate. My weight can fluctuate between 2-5 pounds depending on the day I step on the scale.

February 28th April 25th
Hips: 36 inches Hips: 35.5 inches
Waist: 33.5 inches Waist: 33 inches
Thighs: 18 inches Thighs: 18 inches

As you can see, I lost about 1/2 an inch on my hips and waist. Now for the horribly awkward “before” and “After” photos. I felt incredibly foolish posing, hence my dumbfounded look and Michael was teasing me telling me to do my Hulk Hogan pose. 😛

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Robyn's Birthday

The changes may not be totally obvious in these pictures but I can feel them on my body. My triceps, deltoids and biceps are stronger and more defined.  My thighs are a little more toned and muscular. The underarm and “side” fat (I don’t even know what to call it) is a little less. All in all, I’m pretty happy with the results. I can SEE a change. I can FEEL a change. I like it. And I’ll work on getting better pictures for the next round. 😉

Thanks for following along on my experiment. Stay tuned for Phase 2.