Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Operation October Boot Camp -- THE RESULTS!
I've had a few folks ask me how my whole self-imposed "Operation October Boot Camp" turned out, so I thought I would share my results.
One of my main goals was:
--Do 30 days of the 30 Day Shred WITHOUT injuring myself.
Just about every morning I hung out with these three gals:
(May I say the move shown at the 50 second spot on the above montage is a KILLER!)
I am telling you, this workout is SERIOUS. It is very modifiable (is that a word?) to suit your current condition. If you are out of shape, don't use the weights and do the moves with less intensity. If you are already super fit, use heavier weights and give it all you got. And if you are like most women and your upper body strength leaves a bit to be desired, this workout is going to make you WORK!
Bear in mind that many exercise experts claim that doing demanding workouts which employ the same muscle groups to exhaustion every single day does not give your body sufficient time for recovery. For this reason, weight trainers will do upper body one day and lower body the next. I managed to do 28 days of the 30 Day Shred workout in the month of October. However, I would highly recommend that anyone attempting this program consider doing it every other day with some walking or running or other light cardio on the days in between. This is how I am now doing it.
So, inquiring minds want to know, did a month of The 30 Day Shred leave me "shredded" and looking like this:
IN MY DREAMS!
But on the bright side, I definitely achieved some significant muscle gains, my cardio and strength improved drastically AND I am now able to wear those jeans that had mysteriously "shrunk" and wouldn't even consider zipping up any more!
My other goals (and their results in parentheses) for the month were the following:
--Walk daily with hubby. (30/31) (It rained one day)
--Eat mostly vegan/raw with LOTS of fresh fruits and veggies daily. (31/31)
--No caffeine, sugar, chemicals or processed foods. (28/31)
--Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. (29/31)
And now we get to the nitty gritty. The part every woman worries about...that dastardly scale. The question on everyone's mind, "What about losing weight?" Well, to be honest, just before starting this escapade, I had lost 8 pounds in September by drastically adjusting my eating habits. I truly hoped I would lose more pounds in October. But the sad fact of the matter is that even with all that exercising and eating like a rabbit, I did NOT lose any weight in October!
BUT, and this is a really big "but" (pun intended), I lost inches!!!
--0.5" off my upper chest (measuring around the chest just below the underarm)
--1.5" off bust
--1.25" off waistline
--1.5" off around the abdomen 2 inches below waistline
--0.5" off my hips at their widest point
--0.25" off each thigh
--0.5" off each upper arm
That is a grand total of 6 3/4 inches GONE from my body without losing a pound!
How can that be? It is simple. While I was losing fat, I was also gaining muscle. Not only does muscle jiggle considerably less, but also a pound of muscle takes up considerably less space than a pound of fat.
If I had only measured myself using a scale, I would have been seriously discouraged at the end of October. The scale can not measure your muscle to fat ratio; and weight can fluctuate drastically from day to day simply due to water retention. Please keep this in mind if you are exercising hard and the scale is not cooperating. I HIGHLY recommend that folks trying to shape up take accurate measurements with an old-fashioned measuring tape which is a far better assessment of your progress. (That, and those jeans that somehow "shrunk" and you can't zip anymore.)
All vanity issues aside, the really, really important thing is a person's overall health. Not only did my strength and cardio ability improve, but the mostly vegan/mostly raw eating significantly reduced the muscle and joint pain I have been living with. My energy levels went up as well. So...
I officially declare Operation October Boot Camp a success!