It has occurred to me that I should probably update my fitness endeavours. My fitness journey has been ever evolving and continues to. In fact I had been in a bit of a rut lately. After leaving Australia last November I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do. We hadn’t yet found out where we were going and I started gaining weight (and playing with sixmillion different eatings styles – ketogenic, carb nite solution, warrior diet….). In the heart of Ohio with winter coming on and the ability to start training in Aerial work again I floundered – a few silks classes, running a few days a week, on again off again yoga classes, pole dance classes, combat classes..then I paid for a trainer to write me a program and I followed that religiously for 2 weeks and hated it. I did a bodyweight training program for a month. Then I left for rehearsals – tiring days of rehearsals and a few days of long slow jogging. My weight rounded itself out at an uncomfortable for me 130lbs. I was tired and dancing a lot, doing whatever conditioning I could do in between shows (push ups, abs, the like) and I was running 3 days a week. My first day on board I broke my ankle but didn’t know it was broken and I fought through the pain and swelling…and continued to run, working my way up to a few 10k’s. After 2 months, weight not moving, but feeling ok, I had an xray and found the ankle was broken and was sworn off running. I was still doing shows and elliptical a few times a week and I started doing yoga, 50 minute classes, a few times a week too.
But now I’m half way through my contract, my body hasn’t changed at all and I’m bored of 60 minute cardio with some yoga. I feel like I need something to spice things up and get me working with purpose. I had shied away from strength training after I left for the ship because I actually wanted to lose some muscle mass. My body has done a really great job of maintaining muscle though even though it’s been the better part of year since I picked up a weight. So I talked it over with Dan and did some thinking about what I want to do after this contract and devised a plan. We have 13 weeks left on board so it’s a perfect chunk of time to try something new.
I’m 3 weeks into intermittent fasting and I really like it. I find that eating in a small window (2-4 hours) really suits my active life style. I thought it might be difficult with how much activity I actually do but I think it makes it easier, and since my eating choices are often very limited I don’t worry so much about days when I eat something less then “clean” and healthy – for instance yesterday with 2 shows, rehearsals, and running around I ended up eating a lot of tortilla chips, some gummy bears and 2 small bags of dried mango…so not the diet of champions, but it’s one day and my calories don’t end up being crazy since I’m not eating all throughout the day. Some nights I eat a grilled chicken sandwich with ketchup and some fries with a few bites of Dan’s cheesecake and I’m within a healthy calorie range without any stress. Today I had the opportunity to eat salmon with a nice salad and some tofu with spinach so I feel like my tortilla chip and gummy bear diet from the yesterday isn’t really a big deal. I don’t, coming from an eating disorder back ground, fasting from 16-20 hours an then eating dinner and then maybe a snack after really keeps my stress down. I hydrate more during the day and tend to eat what I really want and then move on. My workouts feel good and I think doing my cardio fasted really works my endurance for the shows. There have been a few days I felt like I needed to eat earlier so I did. But then I found I wasn’t hungry later so I still ended up with pretty much one large meal. We’ll see, I’m following my body. It’s nice to have proved to myself that I will not pass out if I dance on an empty stomach, for years it seems I worried if I didn’t eat or felt hungry for rehearsals and classes and shows that I would pass out or lose all my energy. Not so, Americans rarely starve to death and there are athletes from 3rd world countries who compete in the olympics but I have an inkling couldn’t afford eating 5-6 meals a day. My performance does, however suffer from poor hydration and so trying to focus on getting adequate water has really served me I think.
So the workout plan is completely opposite of everything I have been reading about lately. At Dan’s suggestion and my need for something new I am actually doing now high rep lighter weights. Odd, I know, but I have done high weight low rep and mid weight medium reps at different times and they have their place. But now I’m trying to burn off excess fat AND muscle while also building muscle endurance for dance and aerial work. So the plan looks like this 5 days I week I do fasted cardio (elliptical for now as I’m still babying my ankle) and then I have a 2 days upper body and ab split so I’ll do ideally 4 days a week but some weeks will be 3 days depending on my show schedule.
The exercises are shoulder press, lat raise, bicep curls, front raises, dumbbell rows, tricep kickbacks, tricep extensions, chest press. low leg raises and oblique crunches – 3-4 sets of 25-30 reps. I started yesterday and did 3 sets of 25 for each exercise. I’m not going to lie it’s odd using 5lb dumbbells and I feel a little ridiculous. But I always give everything at least a month to see a difference. And I’ve done P90X, I’ve done the Big 3, I’ve tried Insanity, I’ve done just cardio and yoga…. I want to try this for a while. If nothing changes in my body I’ll move on but for now this is my schedule along with the odd yoga class when I want and I still try to do P90X abs a few times a week.
I’ll keep you posted!