How has the first month gone so far? For me, nothing overly impressive, but I have been improving steadily over the course of the month. After a molasses-like start to January, Kate and I lost a combined 6 pounds this week! 5 words...soup and salad for dinner. You will not get along with the others in your home at night, but stick it out. You WILL celebrate with them when you reach your goals.
The workouts started slowly, one the first week, two the second, but I did 3 this past week, so I'm inching closer to the goal of at least 4. None of the workout this past week lasted more than 30 minutes. In fact, one was only 15 minutes, but they took full advantage of the time I had and I was always sore afterwards. My strength is definitely improving, as is Kate's for that matter. If you have been training this month, then you are certainly feeling the same. That's the beauty of working out, the benefits are virtually instantaneous. If you challenge your muscles they will respond by getting stronger. The best part is that in order to get stronger, they actually get smarter. Your muscles communicate with your brain better and you feel stronger without having to add very much muscle mass. Win Win.
I know a few of you are feeling the benefits already, but it has come to my attention that some of you may not believe that you can even attempt these challenges. YOU CAN! With the exception of some cases, everyone can do these. It's just moving YOUR own body around, something you already do all day. I'm not saying you are all going to be able to do a high level of repetitions or that your form will be perfect, but you WILL improve and you will do so very quickly. Today Kate and I repeated the 2 minute squat challenge and this time she managed 96 and I was able to pull off 97. A combined 20 more than last time! The human body is an amazing machine. See how many squats you can complete in two minutes, and please track your numbers. You can always send them to me if you like.
There are a few quick things about the squat that you should know. Feet at least shoulder width apart. If you find that you have a lot of forward bend when you squat, open your legs up wider. Your goal should be as little forward bend as possible. Sit back into the squat, (like you're going to sit in a chair) don't try to go straight down. In doing so, try to use the glute muscles not just the quads. You will find that if you use your glute muscles, any pain you may feel in your knees will immediately disappear. Most of you won't have any knee pain, not to worry. Make sure you get full range of motion out of each repetition. Try to get your quads to be parallel to the floor. Try this in a mirror, it's further down than if feels!
Enjoy the squats and let's have a good February. Remember...small, steady improvements add up the most over time.