I follow GPP Fitness for my strength training workouts. The programming is awesome – for me. For others, it might not work, and that’s okay. I love it because we do so many different exercises from week to week. It is definitely not boring. Sometimes the workouts are super fun, and other times they make me want to vomit. As of the writing of this blog, I have not actually vomited from any of the workouts, but I came close last week.
Last week was what the gym calls Hellth week. It’s a week of grueling workouts and challenges. I decided to participate in it this time around, which meant committing to the 6 posted workouts and to a no sugar challenge. It sounded like a great way to begin the new year, and it was.
The 6 workouts were crazy:
Monday we were challenged to do as many rounds of this workout as possible in 40 minutes:
4 ten meter high knee sprints
20 lunge switches (R+L=1)
20 OH DB presses 15/20 ea.
20 DB biceps curls 15/20 ea.
20 OH triceps ext 15/20
I finished 5 rounds, which was super lame. BUT I did use the right weights and didn’t miss a rep. Ordinarily I would drop to 10# when the going got rough, but I didn’t. Also, I didn’t know how far 10m was on our turf track, so I sprinted the length of it and then jogged the rest of the way around it. That took up valuable time. PLUS I was suuuuuper self-conscious about the high knee sprints, so it took a lot for me to do that in public. It was totally NBD.
Tuesday was rough. This workout is known as Specter, and man was it hard. Again, I was painfully slow but I did every. damned. rep. My squats were all at or below parallel. I almost puked. It took me 60:54 with lots of pauses and deep, not-so-cleansing breaths. (I got lots of weird looks from the dudes on this one.)
20 power squat cleans 45/65
19 power squat cleans 45/65
18 power squat cleans 45/65
17 power squat cleans 45/65
16 power squat cleans 45/65
Keep repeating while subtracting a PSC and adding a burpee so the last round is 1 PSC and 20 burpees.
Wednesday was kettlebell fun. This was actually a fun workout, and I only smacked myself in the head 3 times during the halos. Otherwise it was wholly uneventful. (I’ll admit to only using 20# KBs since our gym didn’t have a 25# one. And I used 15# for the juggles since I’m always afraid I’ll drop those.)
Thursday was so hard on the heels of Tuesday’s Specter. I ended up tweaking a hamstring part way through, so I dropped the weight from 65# to 45# on the second round of 19, and went from lunge switches to step-back lunges on the second round of 18. I came home and promptly sat in an ice bath. (By Sunday my hammy was fine.) This took me 43:53 with looooots of stretching for that poor hammy.
15-16-17-18-19-20-19-18-17-16-15 reps per round of:
back squats 65/95
lunge switches (R+L= 1)
Friday was thankfully something I could complete at home, since Little Dude wasn’t well enough to attend the gym daycare and Daddy was away for the day. I plopped LD on the couch with some blankets and put on “Planes” and started my workout.
I hit every rep. This was super hard after the other workouts we’d done during the earlier parts of the week. I was amazed that every set took me right around 40 seconds. I was amazingly consistent, even when I felt like I was slower than molasses. Little Dude shouted encouraging remarks like, “Mama, you can’t reach the ceiling!” (This was when I was jumping at the top of the burpee.) During one of my recovery periods, he looks and me and said, “Mama! Get on it!” I guess he didn’t approve of me resting.
Saturday‘s workout was the only one I didn’t complete. I just plain didn’t have the time. Plus our gym was having its Winterfest so there was a slew of people and the equipment was all over the place. I got through 2 full rounds of this before I had to jet.
4 rounds for time
200 rope jumps (All the jump ropes were in use or missing so I ran 400m)
25 tick tocks R 35/54
25 tick tocks L 35/54
25 donkey kicks (I didn’t think they’d approve of me kicking their walls so I did mountain climbers)
25 swipers 15/20 (R+L+1)
25 stability rev back extensions
25 V-up ball transfers (I can’t even do V ups so I did a modified V up, no ball.)
So all of that was great fun. I took the week off from running due to a hip “injury”, so it was great timing. I think something would have suffered if I would have tried to keep up the running as well.
During all of this, I was on board with the “no added sugar” challenge. I was amazed to find out that there were sugar in my salty rice crackers and the salsa I use on my salads. It was definitely an eye opener. I did eat fruit, including dates and dried fruit that wasn’t dried with sugar. It wasn’t as hard as I thought, craving wise, but it did make meal planning a little tricky. I made some dinner recipes that called for a bit of sugar (like collard greens) so I chopped up apples for those. It all worked out.
I will definitely be keeping up with the reduced sugar change. I felt a lot better. This encompasses all sugary substances like:
agave nectar, brown sugar, cane crystals, sugar, cane sugar, corn syrup, crystalline fructose, dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, maltose, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, syrup
Sugar substitutes were also a no-no, but that was okay because I generally avoid them too. That list included: Aspartame (Nutrasweet), Saccharin, Sucralose (Splenda), Stevia, and Mogrosides (Nectresse).
Sticking to a vegan, low gluten and no-added-sugar diet was interesting. I don’t eat a ton of packaged foods to start with, but this basically meant they were all off limits.
If you are looking for some workouts to get you out of a rut, check out GPP. I can’t say enough good things about the program. I started following it last spring and by adding in the workouts, I trimmed time off of every distance I ran. I did zero speedwork, but got stronger and it showed.