Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Rump Shaker

Like a lot of people I am trying to fit a little more exercise time into my daily routine.  I pretty much embody the Good Life fitness ads where people talk about working out so they can keep up with their kids (AKA stop them from their imminent death when they decide to run out into traffic AND be able to use the monkey bars at the playground without getting winded all in the same day).  Don't get me wrong - I am also hoping that my increased efforts also gets me a little more toned for summer.

In March I decided that I was going to attempt the 30 day plank challenge where I would build my core (alongside Chris) by gradually increasing my time planking from day one at 30 seconds all the way up to five minutes on day 30.  As nice as it was to have Chris's support planking beside me I found myself increasingly frustrated that his fast metabolism had given him a definition line down the centre of his core by day seven while all I had was a sore back.  We both got up to day twelve on two separate occasions before we both threw in the towel, the first time because of the flu (both minions and ours) and the second time because the idea of planking for five minutes seemed like an impossible feat.  Our day 13 rest day became a permanent rest day - twice. Essentially the plank challenge became my Everest.

About two months ago I bought a FitBit pedometer to track and increase my daily steps by fitting in walking whenever I can: be it getting off the subway a stop or two early, a lunch time walk or trip to the park with the kids.  I've been trying to reach and exceed the fitness industry recommended 10,000 steps a day as often as I can.

Then I decided that I wanted another challenge that wasn't too time consuming and  didn't seem as daunting as the 30 day plank challenge.  Enter the 30 Day Squat Challenge, a fitness challenge that would take me from day one at 50 squats up to 250 by day 30.

30 day squat challege
Image courtesy of  

Below is the brief annotated summary of how I did:

Day 1- This is totally easy...until the last ten.
Day 3 - Okay, it kind of feels like someone has used my thighs as a punching bag.
Day 5 - Since when were squats a cardio workout? Answer: TODAY  So out of breath!
Day 9 - This morning Jack saw me doing squats.  He immediately giggled and pointed at me.  Eventually  he joined in and did squats beside me.  He grunted loudly and shouted, "I'm pooping mama!" while I finished up.
Day 13 - Today was a really tough one...I'm really starting to break up the numbers into sets of 20-25 squats at a time with small rest breaks in between to ensure I don't lose my form.
Day 16 - I got complimented today by a coworker on how nice my new pants were...they are not new, but apparently are fitting better - YAY squats.
Day 17- I'm finding myself obsessed with checking out other people's butts...I assume everyone with a nice butt is doing squats because they have to be, right?
Day 18 - I cheated and only did 100 squats because I ran out of time and wanted to drink a beer in front of the Veronica Mars movie.  I'm not going to lie, it was worth it!
Day 22 - Just completed 185 squats.  By 70 I was hurting, by 100 I was breaking sets down to 15, by 150 sets of 5.  Today was the toughest day so far, wanted to quit so badly, but didn't.
Day 25 - I totally screwed up here and was convinced that I only needed to complete 210 squats instead of 225.  Tomorrow's will be even harder to complete, I'm certain.
Day 26 - Okay that wasn't so bad.
Day 30 - Mission complete!

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I didn't take a before or after picture because I didn't think about it until day 11 - so there is no specific photographic tracking of my legs and tush - sorry and you're welcome!  That being said the most important thing to me was that I was actually able to complete the challenge.  I didn't lose any weight, however I noticed a lot less wiggle and a lot more tone in my legs and butt. I am very pleased to report a significant decrease in leg and butt cellulite - probably a better claim than any firming cream can make.  I am so happy with the results that I decided to embark on my next 30 day challenge, although I'm not ready for my Everest Plank Challenge quite yet.

What's Next:
This month I'll be undertaking the 30 Day Little Black Dress Challenge along with my continued dedication to getting more than 10,000 steps a day.  I will be modifying the challenge slightly to increase the number of squats and add in some weights for the squat portion of the challenge so as not to lose my momentum.  Wish me luck...I'll be recording my huffing and puffing and whining for your reading pleasure next month.

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