Hi, hi, hi! How is everyone doing? Now that the April Arms Challenge that my friend Athena lead is over, I thought I would take some time to reflect on how the challenge went! Now, as I mentioned in my birthday post, I am not big on setting goals and doing challenges; in fact, when presented with a challenge, I usually lose interest in what is at hand. I am so internally motivated, that I prefer to do things on my own time, on my own account and when I feel like doing them (selfish, much?), not just because someone is challenging me or because there is a prize at the end (although, don’t get me wrong, I am the biggest sucker for free things). And, I have a fear of not succeeding, or better yet, failing (there, I said it. After Friday’s post, I feel like I can/should share that stuff with you guys). Needless to say, when Athena hosted her January Abs Challenge, my response was “I wish I had time, but with all the teaching I am doing, I don’t want to add another thing to my plate.” Okay, this is partially true- taking on any sort of “challenge” certainly would add more to my already busy schedule, but I could’ve fit that in. No doubt about it.
This time around, I went for it. Now that I have been teaching for almost a year and have been strength training more consistently throughout that time, I’ve noticed an all around difference in my body, but I knew there could be more. I’ve always wanted those arms. You know what ones I’m talking about: toned, defined, not too stick thin and you can tell they workout. I thought that maybe if I took a month and put extra focus on working out my upper body, I could be closer to having those arms. And, you know what? It did! So much so, that I have decided to not only repeat the April Arms Challenge this month, but I have also started the January Ab Challenge. Bathing suit season is just around the corner so I know I’d love to tone up a bit and my class members probably feel the same way!
Here are some before and afters (not bragging here, just showing that there was a difference and that doing something like this WORKED and was really easy to fit into my normal routine).
Before & After
Before & After
And, not just by pictures, but in class when I am teaching, I notice more of a definition in my arms and I LOVE it. Now, I will never have those arms because I think that is really more genetics than working out a lot (some people are naturally graced with better arms or legs or stomach or back, etc. and no matter how much working out you do, if you were not naturally graced with those good features/body parts, they will only look so good. I could be all wrong here, but I really believe this.), but I feel like I have made great progress with the type of definition my body is capable of producing.
I cannot do justice by trying to explain how organized Athena was throughout this entire challenge, but I will say that I was totally impressed. She created workouts that were short and manageable for even people like me with a crazy teaching schedule, she incorporated a variety of moves that worked our muscles in all sorts of different ways (and, gave me loads of inspiration for my classes!), she showed wonderful modifications so that the workouts could be tailored to fit everyone’s levels and she kept it fun with prizes at the end!
The workouts were designed in the following format:
Sunday Circuit- This workout incorporated cardio, upper body and core (usually), so it was easy to make this into a fully body workout if you repeated it 2 or 3 times.
- Monday- Pushup Pyramids, increasing the number of reps each week (or, she had us to a 1 minute pushup challenge to see how many we could do).
- Tuesday- Triceps Tuesday! My all-time favorite day.
- Wednesday- Biceps Blast- A close second for my favorite day.
- Thursday- Tabata Thursday- I loved to hate this day, as did my classes!
- Friday- Friday “Fives”- the workouts varied greatly on this day, but they always incorporated 5 different exercises. These were a bit longer and I usually incorporated some cardio intervals between doing rounds of the Friday Five workout to complete my entire workout for the day.
- Saturday- REST:)
So, there you have it! I can’t believe how much more I enjoyed the April Arm Challenge than I thought I would. It’s fun to have a plan and it makes it easier some days because you don’t have to think or plan out what you want to do for a workout. If/WHEN ( 😉 ) Athena does another challenge, I highly suggest that you sign up! Athena, thank you for taking the time, energy and knowledge to plan such a fun month of upper body-focused exercises.
Questions for you:Have you ever participated in an online workout challenge? Are you externally motivated (ie: more apt to follow through with something if there is someone pushing you along)? What is your current favorite workout move?