Last month marked the halfway point of the Fit Bride Bootcamp. With the race to the finish line in sight Staci and I have upped our weekly sessions. We’re now training at least twice a week. That’s on top of Staci’s regular exercise habits of… well of dog walking, yoga and shopping..
With an imminent wedding, a high pressure job, a fiancé, a blog and a dog to take care of, Staci has about a million and one to-do lists. Although she’s hyper organised and will easily take care of it all, it’s a lot for anyone to have on their plate!
As a PT it’s easy to tell when a client is stressed. They fatigue quicker, feel weaker and basically don’t make as much progress.
Because of this, we made time this month to have some girly catch ups and coffee outside of the gym. I want to make sure that Staci has some regular down time where she isn’t focusing on work, work, work. Easier said than done.
In terms of our workouts, I’ve been including some brilliant stress relieving exercises into our weekly sessions.
My aim was to get Staci to the point where she physically couldn’t do the exercises unless she turned her brain off and focused all her attention on her body. We did them in a HiiT style circuit formation to really up the intensity. No rest in-between each exercise, and a 45 second rest between circuits. That’s just enough time to reset and get your breath back. She definitely slept well that night!
All of the exercises I’ve chosen for this month’s workout are big, powerful exercises that require a LOT of energy and focus. You can really get your anger out!
There’s a few tips and teaching points below and of course make sure to check out Staci’s commentary too!
Tips & Teaching Points:
Battle Ropes: Make sure you’re in a nice strong stance, with the core braced and the chest high. Legs should be just wider than hip width apart and with a slight bend at the knees. Hold the ends of the ropes in each hand and make waves by slamming the ropes as hard as you can down into the floor. The movement should be powerful and explosive. You can either do one hand at a time, or both together. Keep the movement sustained for the duration of the set.
Burpees: Drop down to a crouched position on the floor, then jump both feet out so you’re in a plank position. Either drop or push up all the way down to the floor, before jumping the feet back in to your crouch, and jumping from the floor all the way to a standing position. Repeat. And repeat. And repeat. Don’t skimp on the jumps (unless you actually have an injury or a reason not to). They’re supposed to be tiring!
Kettlebell Deadlifts: Stand right over the kettlebell with the feet hip width apart. As you go down to pick it up, sit right back into the heels and bend from the hips and knees – the spine should stay nice and straight. Grip the handle of the kettlebell nice and tight before driving up to standing – push through the heels and squeeze those glutes!
TRX Squat Jumps: Have the legs just wider than hip width apart, and hold onto the TRX handles. Bend the legs and push up powerfully into a strong jump. Bend the knees as you land and make the next jump join on to the landing of the first – so they’re nice and continuous. Think jack in the box!
Renegade Rows: The key to these is focus. You should start in a straight arm plank position with your hands gripping two dumbbells. One arm at a time, row the dumbbells up by pulling the elbow up. Try to do so whilst keeping the hips steady – prevent them (as best you can) from rocking to side to side. Your body wants to stay straight whilst the arms do the moving.
Sandbag Clean and Squat: Have the sandbag in front of you and stand feet just wider than hip width apart. Bend down to pick it up by hinging at the hips, bending at the knees and keeping the back straight. In one smooth, powerful movement, you want to pick up the bag from its handles and swing it over your arms, so that you’re holding it nice and high up to your chest. From there you can. squat nice and low, holding the bag up high.
Bear Crawls: A great finisher, and deceptively exhausting. You’re essentially just crawling on your hands and feet (not knees). Right hand-left foot, then Left hand-right foot. Try to keep the hips nice and low and bring the knees nice and close to the chest.
The Commentary – By Staci
Two sessions a week. Sounds simple enough, well- it’s not. Not only do Roslyn and I have crazy schedules but when they do overlap it seems like every second is spent in the gym. So this month, we made it a point to have a coffee date as well. Although it meant we cut a session a little short, the laundry didn’t get done and the house was a mess for another week, it was oh so worth it.
I am a chronic over-worker. For example, right now I’m writing this as I throw a ball for the dog on my left, a stick for the dog on my right, and in the background I’m uploading photos to be edited. I hate wasting time, which means I’m basically on ten 24/7. It also means I crash really really hard. So hard that I sleep for 12+ hours to reboot. This isn’t the healthiest of life choices so I’ve been trying to relax more.
You may have noticed I’ve been off social media for nearly a week – which for me is a lifetime. But one thing I realised was sometimes we just need a break, we need less distractions and we need to take a minute for ourselves.
So yes, this month was the start of two sessions a week. Did that always happen? Not exactly – but we tried really hard and I listened to my body telling me I need to just take it easy.
This was by far the best month yet. I’m (secretly) starting to enjoy them a bit more. Even though I roll my eyes and moan every time I see Roslyn reach for heavier weights, I’m continually impressed with myself and how I can get through ⅔ of the reps by myself – as opposed to the maybe ⅓ when we started.
It’s a satisfying feeling knowing that my muscles are being pushed to edge. Even if I hate it when it’s happening and the next day when I’m sore and can’t tie my hair up because my arms hurt so much from doing the most ridiculous exercise ever. I have no idea what it’s called – let’s call it the Michelle Obama.* Seriously y’all it’s the death of me, I hate it so much. I hate everything about it, just thinking about it right now my arms are aching and my blood is boiling. It’s seriously THE WORST. But determination is at an all time high. More to come next month…
*Just in case you’re wondering, the “Michelle Obama” exercise that Staci hates so much is overhead dumbbell tricep extensions. Great for toning and getting some great definition in the arms (hence Staci’s apt choice of nickname).