Wednesday, 5 February 2014

I Did It!!

I'm not only keeping to my workout schedule which IS TOTES AWESOME BABAY!! But I also did Step Work's from Cathe's Cardio Hits dvd ~ an oldie but goodie ~ AND I DID the whole thang pretty much without pausing! Which is HUGE!! As I haven't done it in about 2 years! Yes, you heard me, 2 years! And it's pretty intense! I used to have to take it down a notch without fail during the step skips over the step when I was doing it before and now I don't. Way cool! This is ALL as a result of doing Cathe's Tabata and HIIT workouts. I've been doing them way more lately as I've been doing an experiment to see if they really open my lungs up cardio wise and because I've been coming home late from work and surprisingly enough the plyometrics in the Tabata and HIIT jiggle my condo way less ~ less agony for my neighbours, lol! ~ than step. One of the reasons is because I've learned to land very softly, bending my knees deeply and taking it into my quads and landing toe, ball, heel. Thank ballet for that! So as I said to a friend I land so quietly like a First Nation's walking in the forest ~ NO sound. Even the squirrels make more commotion than me! lol! With that said, the experiment is working! My cardio capacity really is getting better. WooHoo!!

Somebody said it this way on Cathe's forum: "I have always thought this (Step Works) was Cathe's hardest step workout! I love it, but it's a killer! It's the one I always reach for when I want to check my fitness level and be sure I'm "up to par"!

... so practice, do some Tabata & HIIT, then test it with Step Works, and all is coming.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Love Me My Power Yoga For Happiness!

... with Eoin Finn's dvd of course! I finally did it again this Monday with his sure to uplift "Strong, Free, and Happy" 53 minute class. It's the perfect time, the perfect sequencing, his voiceover is so calming and smooth, yet fun at the same time and it has most of my favorite practice goal postures for this year in it! All with no dread factor. Sometimes primary gives me dread. lol! But this doesn't. There's something happy and approachable about it yet it's no wussy either. It will challenge you as it mirrors the sequencing of primary but sprinkles in more arm balances along the way. Which I LOVE! It affords me the opportunity to practice Kino's arm balancing teachings a number of times throughout the practice. And the floor series has just the right amount of seated postures with jump backs which is rare among non ashtanga dvd's! And includes all these lovely arm balances: bakasana jump back, eka pada galavasana, ashtavakrasana to koundinyasana jump backs, tittibhasana, and kurmasana jump backs. I'm in heaven!

My Practice

It was so satisfying as I did the whole thang this time. Sometimes I cheat and only do two-thirds of it. But this time I did it all! Yeah me! It felt so good to do the arm balancing and notice my lift is more sure and my jump backs a touch better. My postures felt a little more fluid and open, my twists more upright and turned. For the standing warriors sequence, I was able to do it without breaking to straighten my legs! This is huge as Eoin burns your quads by keeping you in it FOREVA!! ~ burn baby burn with warrior 1, warrior 2, side angle, twisting side angle, without coming out of it once!! Yowza!! That will give you some wicked quads and a booty butt like no otha!! Then I finally was able to do an almost easy warrior 3 hold into utthita hasta padangusthasana into dancers pose. Yes! Lovely to see improvement in these as my warrior 3 can suck with me giving in to airplaning my arms instead of holding them out in front. For some weird reason it's almost agony for me to hold them out this way. But it was almost easy-peasy this time!

Floor was just as satisfying, with jump throughs getting better little by little. I did my practice front splits while they did abs. I already killed them in gym so there was going to be no abs! Splits are still painful but my mantra while in the pose is "just keep on keeping on and it will get easier, it WILL get easier" because I truly believe it will. Then I also added bhuji before we practiced kurmasana. Then we did my other goal poses of baddha konasana, ushtrasana and urdhva dhanurasana. Still suck but I just keep telling myself ...

... practice, practice, practice kino style and all is coming!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Back Like a Pantha!

I got this amazing compliment at the gym on Friday whilst I was minding my business doing my biceps. I got this coveted position at the corner mirrors ~ there's those mirrors again! ~ so I could see myself in front and sideways doing my barbell curls. And this cool, youthful, need I also say handsome, TALL, built dude was doing biceps on a bench behind me with his buddies egging him on for one more rep. And there I was, as I said, minding my beeswax doing my reps and checking my form in the side mirror. And who told me to notice that my back was looking mighty fine, thick and rippling every time I took a rep! I was in shock. Was that MY back doing that!?! Haha! NICE!! I was secretly thinking. Then suddenly the cute, young, BIG thang turns around and exclaims, "Wow, do have an amazing back!" I'm like, "Who me?", in all innocence," ;) And he's like, "Yah! Your like jacked in the back, it's like rippling!! Man, I'd like to get ripped like that!" This is this big dude who's got all his workout buddies buzzing around him! Well, blow me over with a feather! Let's just say I was a-swaggering when I walked out of that gym! Lolol!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Interval Training Explained!

Finally, I found an awesome poster that explains all the mysteries of basic interval training you could ever want to know:

The Complete Guide to Interval Training
More Health and Fitness News & Tips at Greatist.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Tabatacise Me!

Tonight I did XTrain's Tabatacise! Woohoo! This is just my second time doing it. And already I see a teeny-tiny bit of improvement. I also squeezed in my Intensity dvd (warmup to combo 2) that was planned for Saturday but I just couldn't resist doing today. Call me eager but I LOVE intensity and plyometric type workouts. I just love jumping. I guess it's a throwback from ballet where I excelled in jumps. It's in my blood. I just hope my knees behave!


Cathe gives you five tabata's on this dvd. Of which she separates them into LEVELS. Each LEVEL tacks on another tabata. LEVEL 1 has only one tabata and by LEVEL 5 you're doing all five tabatas. And, yet the way tabata's were designed you really ONLY need to do ONE tabata to reap the benefits of epoc calarie burn for the next days and of course increased cardio capacity. But Cathe's a machine and wants you to be one too. Lol! So I did LEVEL 2 with tabatas 1 and 2 which including warmup and cooldown is 25 minutes. Each tabata is actually just 4 minutes long though Cathe does top each tabata off at the end with a short blast to finish it off. Kinda like a burn set for cardio. Each tabata has eight 20-second high intensity blasts followed by a 10-second recovery. If you want to get a burn in your lungs and legs this will do it! It will also fast-track your cardio capacity like nothing else. But who told me to do it the day after, yes, I said the day after a heavy leg workout. But hey, give me a break, I didn't feel any quad pain before or during so I thought DOMS would slip under the radar, just for me of course. Haha! I'm joking right?! My legs are suddenly in P.A.I.N, I mean A.G.O.N.Y. I don't even want to think about tomorrow! Seriously, I'm a little afeard!!


AND to top it all off as I said before, I got a little gungho, couldn't leave well enough alone and added Intensity step into the mix. Thanks be to Jesus, I only did the warmup to combo 2. But still! The tabata should have been more than enough. This step is all power moves, plyo's, and intensity blasts which is basically like a frikken full-on 20 minute non-stop blast, I kid you not. Which includes a crazy-ass step section followed by an HIIT step section, high impact floor HIIT, low impact floor HIIT and a bonus bootcamp section. The really nice thing about it is Cathe designed it purposely so you can do as little or as much as you want, and use it to tack on sections to the beginning or end of say your weight workout. It's very flexible. But as one reviewer said, there's no downtime on this dvd. You go from intense to maximum-intense-on-roids-over-n-over-again. Yowza! BUT it hurts SO good! I guess that will be my mantra tomorrow!

... so practice, hurt SO good, and all is coming!

Go Kino! Go Kim!

I've been having a very successful week keeping up with my workout schedule. And it's made me feel like Superwoman! With aching quads and chest to prove it! lol! Yesterday I did Cathe's Gym Style Legs and tacked on Lean Leg's & Abs (just did the legs portion, okay, I'm not that Superwoman) to give me an added cardio hit. And on Monday I did my favorite yoga teacher Kino's Primary dvd. She's such an amazing ashtanga teacher, so generous and prolific in sharing her vast knowledge. And her love of all things ashtanga and her eagerness to share is infectious! But I digress ...

Kino Primary

Because I'm feeling I have to psych myself up to do anything physical these days I decided not to push myself and just get on the mat and JUST DO IT DAMNIT. However much I do, whether just standing or up to supta-k or even not up to supta-k, I was just going to go how I feel. With that I had a nice practice and really only did up to the marichyasana's and then did Fit Chick's version of closing, my goal postures: supta-padangusthasana, front splits, ushtrasana, urdhva dhanurasana (wheel), back to ushtrasana (great sequencing by the way, as doing camel first helped me with wheel and wheel opened my back up more for a deeper camel again. Nice!), then front splits and my final "badass" konosana before savasana. That was perfection for me.

... so practice what you can and don't sweat it, and even fit in your goal postures, and all is coming.

Monday, 27 January 2014

My Goals for 2014

I don't know what has gotten me all fired up with goals this year. Maybe it's to fight the blues from taking over in this most squalid of winters or just maybe I'm all inspired from within. Well, whatever it is, I shall not question and just ride the wave.

So here are my goals for 2014 in no particular order. Notice I did not say New Year's resolutions. Somehow this feels so carved in stone and if I don't do it I'll be a loser of losers, a failure of failures, a characterless person. Goals sound so much more positive and realistic ~ something you're reaching for as opposed to being so resolute you'll never budge. Hmmm. But I digress:


• maintain a consistent painting schedule
• maintain a consistent workout schedule
• maintain a consistent Ashtanga/yoga schedule 
• Get thee to your Mysore classes backslider!!! lol!


• To get more creative and start painting again after I let a couple of years slip by. Which I have! Woohoo!
• To do at least two of the most inspiring pictures I've taken last year. I'm starting small with two as to not overload myself. I even prepped three canvases. Who knew they would be the primary colours!

In the beginning there was Cadmium Yellow Light!

In the beginning there was also Primary colours!


• To get an open Baddha Konosana or as I like to say a "Badass" Konasana. I'm hoping to have my knees on the ground by next December. This will open up so many postures for me.
• Be in full frontal splits by the end of the year.
• Widen my side splits. I won't say full, as I have a LONG reach to go!
• Being able to get my leg to face in Supta Padangusthasana ~ because I want to! Is it wrong?!
• A more open, deeper backbend: What would that look like?
– straighter arms in Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel)
– a more rounded Ushtrasana (Camel pose) with more open hips and quads,
– and starting to work on Laghuvajrasana
• More lift in my arm balances: being able to consistently get my feet back to bakasana from tittibhasana and a better positioning of the knees on upper forearms for jumping back with dignity instead of a sad flop.
• A cleaner jump through because it'll make me look fly!

Ways to get me there: 
• Always do crow, supta padangusthasana, titti-transition, splits, backbends and wheel with every practice.
• When watching TV sit in butterfly pose, or front splits. Also, practice passive stretches every other night for backbends over a chair with pillow, over yoga blocks, and on my exercise ball to open my back.


• Increase my cardio capacity: What does that look like?
– 1st: Being able to do a Cathe cardio dvd without pausing one iota.
– 2nd: Perhaps being able to do all of Cathe's Step Works without pausing one iota.
– Pinnacle: If I want to go for broke, being able to do Intensity dvd's step portion including the HIIT step portion without pausing! I'm not even going to attempt the other HIIT segments in this dvd as my goal as there's no need to bother. As it is, this one's going for gold. But ya neva know until ya try! As one reviewer said this has NO downtime, even the "moderate" segments are intense ~ it goes from intense to maximum intensity over and over again, no in between. Get it!?!

Ways to get me there: 
• Doing a varied and consistent routine of steady state, metabolic (since it has alot of anaerobic cardio that really pushes plateau's), HIIT's (anaerobic for plateau pulverizing) and Tabata's (app).

Hopefully, I'll remember to check in 6 months from now in July to see how I've been doing with these little goals of mine.

... so practice, make inspiring but realistic and maybe even some unrealistic INTENSITY goals ~ cause ya neva know unless ya try as my friend said, at least it will get ya some ways there! ~ and all is coming.