After some disappointment with week one of Selter's workout, I was skeptical that week two would challenge me in the ways that I was hoping for. Right off the bat, I'd like to say that these concerns were proven wrong, and week two was way more intense. I still had mixed feelings about it from the get-go, but this was mostly because the unique workout routines seem disjointed from the repetition of week one. Nevertheless, I'm trusting Jen and pushing forward.
Just like last week, I used Monday as a pre-cursor to the five-day plan provided by our inspiration, Jen Selter. I did my own cardio workout, which started off the week right. I've committed to augmenting Selter's challenge with this extra day, but there's also nothing wrong with taking a rest day as Selter suggests.
Day 9's workout is called "climbing the repetition ladder," and consists of doing the same set of five workouts for different amounts of reps. This comes after completing the same warm-up sequence from last week.
I started out with 5 squats, 5 walking lunges, 5 crunches, 5 squat jumps and 5 step-ups (both legs). Then I repeated each exercise with 10 reps, 15 and finally, 20.
At this point, you climb "back down the ladder," doing 15 reps of each, then 10, then 5. Jen says that this workout should be completed in about 30 minutes, which was perfect timing for me as I was tired at that point, but did not feel overworked.
For the rest of the day, I felt sore walking up stairs but otherwise, I felt like my usual self. The workout was strenuous but not exhausting, pushing me a bit more than the ones before while still being manageable.
Day 10 had two different parts—the Stairmaster and an ab workout. Needless to say, this one was tiring. I took plenty of breaks, and suggest you do, too, if you need them.
I started with the same warm-up as always, then 15 minutes on the Stairmaster. Selter doesn't specify what speed to go on the Stairmaster, so just try to push yourself without attempting anything dangerously fast.
The ab workout consists of a series of exercises meant to be completed in their entirety 3 times. The cycle is a 30-second plank, a 30-second side plank, a 30-second side plank on the other side, 1 minute of butterfly kicks and 25 sit-ups. Then a two-minute rest (seriously, take the rest time) before repeating.
Today was another cardio day, which again, I chose to complete with the ArcTrainer. I seriously love this machine, especially because of my hip injury limitations. It would be a good idea to try out several cardio machines over the course of the workout, until you find the one that's the best fit for you.
Day 12 is Tabata day, which is a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout where you put in 20 seconds of all-out effort followed by 10 seconds of rest. Selter groups the rounds into sets of 8 (four minutes per exercise).
To complete this day's workout, I started with her warm-up, then completed four minutes each of Tabata cardio, abs, and movement. Selter gives options for the exercises: cardio can be running in place, jumping rope, mountain climbers or sprints. Abs can be either V sit-ups or planks, and movement could consist of side lunges, burpees, tuck jumps or jumping lunges.
I really enjoyed this day's workout. The Tabata was tiring but not that lengthy, and the toning aspect made me feel even better and even stronger. The whole thing (including warm-up and stretching) took about 40-45 minutes.
Just like week 1, I picked Saturday as my rest day. At this point in the week my body was sore, but I credit some of that to lack of sleep and not the best eating habits. I let myself slide a little this week, due to some classic pre-finals college stressors, so my goal for week 3 is to commit nutritionally to Jen's challenge as well, to get maximal results.
This was definitely my favorite day of the week. The workout was called "deck of cards," which means you use a shuffled deck to dictate your workout. Each suit represents a different workout, and whatever number you pull is the amount of reps you must complete (face cards count as 10, aces as 11).
I completed the warm-up, then made my way through a deck of cards. Selter recommends setting a timer for 25 minutes and completing as many cards as you can until time runs out, just in case completing the whole deck is a bit much.
It only took me about 20 minutes to complete the deck, so I filled the last five minutes with crunches, jumping jacks, and stretching. This workout was quick, but so much more interesting and unique than the previous ones.
I think Week 2 was far more successful than Week 1 as a total workout plan. I have to admit, I ate like crap (read: sometimes a girl's got to indulge her sweet tooth) and still felt pretty good about my progress. Week 3 will be all about working on my nutrition as well as Jen's plan, so stay tuned for another progress report.