April 23: Tough ab workout and flexibility

For today’s exercise, I thought I’d search for something different from somewhere different, but I knew it had to be stomach-centric. When I plank, I’m gobsmacked at the pudding that hangs from that area! When the fitness instructors plank, their bellies stay flat and taught. How is it so?! I can’t even ‘blame’ having kids on this excess! So that’s a new goal for the end of fitfor15in15 – to plank without the pudding.

Thanks to the Internet, ask and you generally shall receive. I liked the name of this – Get Fit Fast Ab Workout – 15 minutes of pain – and ignoring the physique of the totally ripped bloke without a shirt, thought I was up for it.

Ahh, no … nowhere near up for it. Apart from it feeling a bit militarised, with the host, Adam Harper, barking at his buddies, “Don’t you give up on me!” *cringe* it would be a brilliant workout for someone who has the fitness levels of, say, Adam Harper and his buddies.

Wowsers it was tough. I couldn’t do any of the exercises properly, or for the entire duration, apart from the side plank hip lower one. I’ve learnt some new exercises though and will try adding them into any homemade routines. The last one, touching your ankles through bent, spread legs, may become a regular. (I really had to giggle at the end of the show, when the host plugs his company’s t-shirts. If they’re so good, shouldn’t he be wearing one?!)

A lot of the raised-leg exercises hurt my lower back, so I did them with bent knees. I realise this made them much easier, but I’m not an advocate of pushing through the pain, yo. Especially when it’s yo back, yo. Overall, I’m not proud of my efforts in that workout, but it’s something to do again and refer back to, in order to keep improving. It’s motivation to plank without the pudding! Plank without the pudding! (A new mantra?!)

One thing I am proud of today is the realisation I’m becoming more flexible. Yesterday and this morning, I was able to touch my nose to my knees for the first time, albeit briefly, but that is a massive improvement from January. Sure it can be contributed to four months of moving, but I also think yoga is making a big difference. I’ve done two yoga classes, here and here, in the past week and I really think my hips are loosening up, which means I can bend further forward. Morning stretches, as part of my morning routine, will have also played a role.

Have you been doing something regularly and noticing an improvement? It’s such a nice boost, isn’t it?! Please, tell me about your successes.

  • Physically Fit: Get Fit Fast Ab Workout
  • Mentally Fit: Sitting in the sun for 10 minutes
  • Nutritionally Fit: Fourth day of fasting on the 5:2 Diet – 500 calories
  • Minimalism: Nothing today – other than minimal calorie intake 🙂

Wishing you a wonderful day. Here are some photos from my walk home yesterday evening after meeting Iva.


The long way home


The sun was a huge ball and created a wonderful sunset glow


The sun sets on another day in Tulip Military School

April 11: 20-minute core workout


Leo taking an arty shot of me eating breakfast in Neuf-Brisach – a chocolate bun thing AND a nut croissant WITH a hot chocolate. Sugar overdose!

It was nice to be at home for the day, mooching. Grand plans for a run in the forest took a hike thanks to the rain, but after all that glorious weather we had last week, shut up! I’ve updated the post from the holiday to include photos. Click here if you’re keen on seeing parts of the Alsace Region. I didn’t take any photos of the vineyards. They were everywhere. Vines, vines and more vines.

We’re off to Zurich soon for Leo’s niece’s first communion early tomorrow morning – it wasn’t worth risking dodgy traffic tomorrow so we’re overnight-ing with Leo’s dad.

But first I have to do some exercise. We walked a lot in the Alsace but I didn’t do any stomach exercises (and ate a lot of bakery products) so I found a core workout which should make me wince if I sneeze tomorrow. It’s from the Men’s Fitness website but, hey, we all have abs.

I don’t have all the equipment (or skills) needed for these workouts (but you might!) so I had to do Exercises 1 and 3 from Workout 3, and Exercise 1 from Workout 5. There are seven workouts to choose from, and they say they should take about 20 minutes to complete.

Did I do something wrong? Did I read the instructions incorrectly? I finished the three reps of 20 each side in around eight and a half minutes. And no, I do not feel like doing it one more time! Maybe it’s because I chose three floor exercises which may not take as much time as some of those hanging ones? Let me know if you do it and work out my timing mistake!

Wishing you a wonderful day.