TT W10D2: Morning Workouts Are The Way To Go

I missed a planned Forza workout last night after I took a detour on the drive home from work to pick up this week’s groceries. I was further sidetracked when I got to the house by some bulk meal prep and some finalizing of my wedding invitation design in Adobe Illustrator.

This just confirms that I MUST get in all of the baseline workouts in my plan in the morning. Evenings are just too unpredictable for me and my motivation is usually lower after a day at work even though my strength and stamina are much better at night than in the mornings as evidenced by my chin up numbers. I’m still going to get in the Forza tonight while my sweet potato “fries” and garlic/cilantro Thai street vendor’s chicken breasts bake in the oven, but that is it as far as my core workouts go. I have the option of doing extra cardio, yoga, or other activities not on my basic plan at night, but ALL standard workouts are going to be done at 7 AM Sunday-Friday even if I feel like death warmed over.

My new Sun-Fri workout schedule is posted in my nifty new calendar. I’ve shifted things around so I do all of my lifting on Su/Tu/Th only and work on cardio and other aspects of fitness M/W/F with Saturday off. This will hopefully keep me from feeling too burned out and still give me some leeway to add in more cardio as necessary in the evenings or during lunch breaks. I’m in no rush to bump up cardio as of yet, though.

Since the fat loss has slowed down in the past two weeks, I am now alternating between 1550 calories on non-lifting days (baseline diet) and 1800 calories on lifting days (baseline diet + PWO dextrose/whey/BCAA shake). I haven’t been as clean as I could be, so I am working on that as well this week. We’ll see how it goes.

Meanwhile, I am going to focus on getting to sleep at a reasonable hour (11:30 pm is this week’s goal) for the rest of the month of March. Just getting up half an hour earlier so I can get in just 15 minutes or so of yoga a day before heading out to the gym for my “real” workouts should free up the time I would normally have to allot to flexibility training on my cardio-only days for some higher-intensity activities that leave yoga in the dust when it comes to fat burning.

– TT Workout A
A1) BB Romanian Deadlift (3×8 @ 95 lbs)
A2) DB Flat Chest Press (3×8 @ 40 lbs)
B1) DB Row (3×8 @ 37.5 lbs)
B2) Elevated (Kneeling) Push-ups (3×8 per side)

– TT Workout B
A1) Chin-ups (Full/eccentric – 3 x 8, 7/1, 2/6) *Really need to get up earlier and eat something. V. weak this morning on chins.
A2) BB Sumo Squat (3×8 @ 135, 145, 145 lbs)
B1) DB Step-up (3×8 @ 30 lbs)
B2) Cable Lateral Raise (3×8 @17.5 ; subbed 2 sets of DB bent arm lateral raises @ 12.5 lbs because all cable stations were in use by other gym patrons)

– Personal Trainer: Leg Circuit
1) BB stationary lunge (3×15 @ 85 lbs each side)
2) Lying hamstring curls with manual resistance (3×10)
3) Fire hydrant combo (3×20 each side)
4) Kickbacks (3×10 each side)
5) Single leg squat (3×10 each side)
6) BB Plie’ squat (3×12 @ 95 lbs)

TT W9D5: 300

So I just got back from our company movie outing to see “300.”


It’s amazing what a visual impact 300 sets of super toned 6- and 8-pack Spartan abs marching toward you on a big screen can make.

And not a single pair of chicken legs attached to said abs, either.

(Hooray for revealing red wool cloaks and studded leather spankies!)

If they released a 300 workout / nutrition book tomorrow, there would be a lot of guys sneaking off to the store to get it, methinks. Heck, I’d buy it myself.

Just for the articles, of course.

I really want to lift some heavy things now.

And drink a protein shake.

That is all.

– Physical training session (Combined upper/lower body circuit x 3)
1) Combination shoulder raises (3×10 @ 7.5 lbs)
2) Side-to-Side alternating bench step ups (3×12 each side)
3) Standing alternating shoulder press (3×12 @ 20 lbs each side)
4) BB Plie’ squats (3×12 @ 95 lbs plus 10 second hold on final rep)
5) Bent over posterior delt raise (3×12 @ 7.5, 7.5, and 10 lbs)
6) Mary Catherines (3×12 each side)

– TT Intervals (Stationary Bike)
Level 8-9 / Level 11-12 (6 sets plus warm up and cooldown)

Notes: I did get my TT lifting workout done last night and have finally managed to do 8 chin-ups! Rawr! I can’t wait to hit 10–maybe when I’ve dropped a few more pounds.

I seem to be stronger in the evenings after a full day of clean eating. Morning lifting and running is always noticeably less peppy for me.

TT W9D4: Crazy Viruses and 43 Things

I started out the day with the warm-up portion of Plyo X, but just two exercises into the main workout I could tell that my right knee just wasn’t aligned properly somehow, and that attempting to do the full workout would probably lead to a minor injury or at least a few days of knee twinges. I switched immediately to 30 minutes of YF Cardio and felt a lot better (and injury-free) about my workout. I like a tough workout as much as the next fitness fanatic, but while I am perfectly willing to put up with a few days of DOMS, I can’t stand being injured and am old enough to know when to push things and when to find substitute activities.

It helped that the activity in question was one of my least favorite forms of cardio anyway. 😉

I’m working late tonight, but I’m trying to get in some extra activity (lunch break walk, possibly some bodyweight work if we stay VERY late and a full TT workout isn’t possible). I’m feeling pretty good today–no more residual soreness from the rock climbing, PMS low iron weakness just about gone, and apparently safe from the low-grade cold my fiance’ has been trying to give me for the past week.

I don’t know what is up with this winter’s viruses. We have had a record warm winter here in Orlando–so warm that my supposedly cold-sensitive Brazilian oval orange eggplant is thriving and popping out jumbo-egg-sized fruits all over the place–and yet people keep getting sick. I’m determined not to succumb in March though. The putrid two week congestion-fest I experienced in January was plenty.

I’ve been taking care to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, take my vitamins, eat at least 3 servings of fruit and 3 servings of veggies each day, and drink a minimum of 16 cups of water/green tea. So far so good.

I also ran across a nifty goal-setting community site called 43 Things yesterday. You set up an account there and start entering goals you’d like to achieve. You can create your own goals or first do a search for existing goals created by others that match your own. If you find that someone else already entered your goal, you can join their goal group for mutual encouragement or progress reports. You can also set up reminders to give you a virtual prod to get going on your list at specific intervals.

Check it out. 🙂


– Plyometrics warm up (10 min)
– YF Cardio (mostly calisthenics like jumping jack variations; 30 min)
– 1.5 mile walk (23 min)

Evening (planned)
– TT Workout B (Actual weights lifted will be posted later)
A1) Chin-ups (Full/eccentric – 3 x __)
A2) BB Sumo Squat (3×8 @ ___ lbs)
B1) DB Step-up (3×8 @ __ lbs)
B2) Cable Lateral Raise (3×8 using resistance tubing at home)

P90X Log Sheets

Since I get so many emails requesting copies of the P90X program workout log sheets from people who failed to make photocopies of their originals before scribbling all over them, I’ve dug up the links to the log sheets on Beachbody’s site for your convenience. (Sorry, I can no longer provide the P90X calendar due to copyright restrictions.)


Note: I do not now, nor do I ever plan to host copies of the P90X DVDs, and I will remove any future comments relating to obtaining or distributing pirated copies of the program. Do not waste your time contacting me with requests for burned DVD copies, download links, or torrents either, as all such inquiries will be ignored. It’s a good program that WORKS, folks. Man up and PAY for it.

Related Links:

TT W9D2: Mini Rest Week

My quads are still a little sore from this weekend, and I worked out at home, so I wasn’t equipped for heavier deadlifts this morning. I usually go 115+ when I have access to the squat rack at the gym. I made up for the lighter weight by focusing on form. DB flat chest press and rows both went up to 40 lbs and 37.5 lbs respectively.

Depending on how my legs are feeling tonight, I may or may not do core and intervals (either bodyweight circuit, outdoor sprints or 22 minutes of plyometrics). If I’m still sore after work, I’ll just stick to yoga, forza or tai chi for tonight.

I don’t have a personal training session this week until Friday morning, and frankly, I am enjoying the break. I’ve been feeling a bit bonked out since I started cutting again while still lifting 5 days a week. I’m going to partially switch to my new workout schedule this week with just three days of lifting to see if that makes a difference. Chris is currently sick with his second cold of this winter, so it’s possible that I am fighting off the same bug even though I haven’t developed any symptoms beyond a general feeling of tiredness and weakness in my workouts so far.


– Warm-up

– TTW7 Workout A
A1) BB Romanian Deadlift (3×8 @ 95 lbs)
A2) DB Flat Chest Press (3×8 @ 40 lbs)
B1) DB Row (3×8 @ 37.5 lbs)
B2) Elevated (Kneeling) Push-ups (3×8 per side)

TT W8D7: Rock Climbing, Islands of Adventure, and Swheat Scoop Kitty Litter

I had some DOMS in my quads, hamstrings, lower back and glutes from last week’s workouts and my 5k outdoor interval run when I woke up so I warmed up and stretched with a light 30 minute YF workout before heading out to Aiguille Rock Climbing Center in Longwood for the first time with Chris and three of my co-workers. After taking a quick belaying class, Chris and I had a great time clambering up the walls in the gym. I really liked the functional aspect of the activity and wouldn’t mind making this a bi-weekly or monthly activity with Chris since we normally have very different workout schedules and routines. (I’m generally a morning gym workout type–lifting + cardio–with a few home workouts for variety while Chris pretty much just hits martial arts two nights a week for around 2-3 hours at a shot.)

After being defeated by a 5.10 difficulty wall, we headed out to meet some friends at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure with a quick pit stop at Jason’s Deli for a late lunch. We only got to ride the Dueling Dragons and Incredible Hulk roller coasters before we headed back home, but hey, when you have an annual pass you can do that kind of thing without feeling too guilty about wasting money. 😉 I am seriously considering driving out to the park next weekend right when it opens and doing my morning cardio run on property just for a change of scenery. The crowds may not be so bad at that hour. Following said run, I could cool off by hopping on Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls or Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges, the two rides guaranteed to leave a rider sopping wet after 2 minutes of fun.

On to a more eclectic topic: Kitty litter.

I was in the local Petsmart the other week looking to blow a $10 gift card I’d received for Christmas on some posh organic and/or human grade cat food for my boys when I was shanghaied into a 20 minute conversation with a fellow cat owner who was browsing the same set of premium food shelves. This other cat owner told me about another local store that carried the high-end foods at decent prices and also let me know about a clumping, non-clay kitty litter called Swheat Scoop. She said she had hairless Sphynx cats due to allergies, and when she used regular clumping clay litter she noticed that she had to bathe them weekly to get rid of the clay dust that had accumulated on their skins and around their eyes and noses. After switching to the wheat-based litter, her cats stayed cleaner and no longer had the build up of clay dust around their faces and skin.

I was out of litter anyway, so I picked up a box of Swheat Scoop instead of my usual Arm and Hammer brand. I dumped out the old stuff and completely refilled the litter box with the new wheat litter. Luckily, my cats aren’t that picky and had no trouble with the switch.

While I am not 100% certain that the reports on the potential dangers of clumping clay litters are true, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try a biodegradable, natural alternative that was priced competitively with the usual clay brands. Lo and behold, two weeks later I observe that Slinky no longer has his occasional wheezing asthma attacks (this was a 1-2x per week occurrence) and both he and Neville seem to have softer, shinier coats. Fabulous!

The litter is indeed scoopable AND flushable as advertised, and the only negative is that odor control isn’t QUITE as good as Arm and Hammer. I am experimenting with sprinkling some A&H baking soda in the box to help with this issue this week. I’ll post an update on this oh-so-fascinating subject next week.


– Yourself Fitness Flexibility (30 min)
– Indoor rock climbing (1 hour)

TT W8D6: Fun With Free Cardio Coach V.6

I took to the sidewalks again today for my interval cardio for the sake of efficiency because Chris and I wanted to catch the 12:35 pm showing of Zodiac. I didn’t have time to drive to the gym, do my intervals there, and then come home and shower, so I compromised by hoofing it around my neighborhood for a full 5k instead.

It was just as awful as I feared.

Tell me again why I bother running?

I used the free lower audio quality Cardio Coach v.6 workout that I downloaded last year during a promotion to guide my workout and got to about the halfway point of challenge 2 by the time I finished my 5k distance. If you absolutely loathe cardio, CC is a decent way to trick your stubborn brain into thinking about something besides the tedium of running, cycling, or stepping for 30-60 minutes at a stretch.

I am Miss Anti-Cardio incarnate, but even I can huff and puff through my cardio quota without my usual constant clock-watching when I’m running with this MP3 in my player. I think it is best when used with a cardio machine because the coach asks you to change your resistance levels several times (kind of hard to do outdoors when you live in a completely flat state like Florida), but you can still modify it for the great outdoors by increasing speed instead of resistance.

In case you missed out on the free download window last year, I have thoughtfully uploaded the MP3 as a zip file here:

Free Cardio Coach V.6 with Sean (Lower Audio Quality) Download (~24 MB)

This is the full workout, not a truncated sample. The only difference between this version and the full commercial download is in audio quality, though I haven’t noticed any major pops, static, or other issues with the free download. It’s a workout, not a concert, you know? I don’t need high quality stereo surround sound when the loudest sound I will hear is my own wheezing anyway.

If you like the free workout, support the Cardio Coach crew by checking out their other workout offerings at They are running a buy two, get one free special right now on all of their audio workouts.


– 5k Outdoor Interval Run (30 minutes using Cardio Coach v.6)

TT W8D4: Another Boring Workout Log

I need to set up my whey/dex/bcaa workout shakes in a bottle the night before. I had to rush out the door this morning and didn’t have time to even slam down some water before heading to the gym. My energy level was noticeably low during cardio, even though I wasn’t doing strenuous TT style intervals today. I’m also considering moving my TT lifting workouts to T/Th/Sa at 7 am and saving core and intervals (and an optional flexibility workout at home) for M/W/F. I’d still have sessions with my trainer on T/Th after I get my TT workouts done, but frankly, the high reps, lack of rest periods, and 25% (on average) lower weights used in her usual circuit routines feel more like cardio with a bit of resistance than a serious strength training workout. I definitely don’t feel that those workouts are on par with my TT supersets as far as intensity goes, so I feel okay about performing them after TT twice a week.


Lower body circuit with trainer
– BB Squat (3 x 12 @ 115 lbs)
– 1-Leg Stability Ball Leg Curl (3 x 12)
– Bodyweight Sumo Squats (3 x 12)
– Jumping Jacks (3 x 20)
– DB Step Ups with Knee Raise (3 x 12 @ 15 lbs on each side)
– DB Sumo Squat (3 x 12 @ 15 lbs)

TT Core B
A1) Cable Lift (3×8 @ 40 lbs per side) * increase to 50 lbs next time
A2) Elevated Push-up (3×6/side) * actually did 15 per side
B1) Side Plank (2×4 per side)
B2) Plank (2×60 seconds)

Steady-State Cardio
– 10 minutes elliptical @ 5.1 mph/level 3-4
– 5 minutes run @ 6 mph/0% incline
– 5 minutes walk @ 3.7 mph/10% incline
– 1.5 mile walk during lunch break @ ~4.0 mph