Tag Archives: GRIT

An Unexpected Break, and GRIT Results!

Well it’s been over a month since I posted on this blog and I have to say it was anything but a planned break. Work got absolutely crazy sort of out of nowhere and I ended up working almost 30 days straight, 10 hours a day – and with plenty of stress. During this time I definitely wasn’t myself, I wasn’t eating well or sleeping enough, I barely worked out (other than making it to my GRIT sessions) and just generally didn’t feel like myself. I barely had time to check my personal email, or read blogs – and I definitely wasn’t cooking anything blog-worthy! When I was cooking anything at all…

But on a happier note, I’m back! I’m not saying you noticed I was gone (though one lovely reader – Kristin – did and reached out – thanks again!) but I am so glad to be getting my life back on the healthy track after a not-so-great start to 2014.

Today was my last GRIT session and thankfully I’ve been working out and eating better over the past week and a half or so, but it wasn’t enough time to really get myself back on track. I’m disappointed with my weight/muscle mass/body fat percentage results but I know they were heavily affected by my January madness so I can’t hold it against myself too much (although it was mostly out of my control). But I am so grateful that my physical tests had better results. I reached my goal of doubling my push-ups by completing 35 push-ups this morning and it made me feel so strong and accomplished. While I can’t afford to do the GRIT program again (although I REALLY want to) right away, I’m hoping to try again over the summer and see what results I can really get with full dedication. In the meantime, I want to share my results for those who are interested! And I’ll be back next week with some great recipes to share! πŸ™‚

Here’s a picture of my amazing GRIT team:

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And my results from the program (trust me that most people’s are better as far as the numbers go! But I couldn’t be happier with my beep test/push-ups results!)

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The Start of GRIT

Last week was the first week of the Les Mills GRIT program that I signed up for a month or so ago. Although the program is a little pricey ($350) for 7 weeks, I truly loved the demo classes I had taken and knew that this program would get me to the next level of fitness.

For those who don’t know, GRIT is a new program from Les Mills (the same company that does Body Pump, Body Step, all those “body” classes) that focuses on high-intensity interval training in a team atmosphere. You meet with the same team of participants at the same time, twice a week. Personally, my GRIT team consists of 7 people who meet at 6 am Wednesday and 6 am Friday with our two coaches – Colleen and Arnold. The idea is for your group to become a team – and I’m really loving the atmosphere so far!

For those who are interested, I am taking the GRIT series at Arlington Health and Wholeness which is a great personal training studio. Or if you don’t live near DC, look for a GRIT program in your area!

The first GRIT session (last Wednesday) was the pre-test (and the last session will be the post-test). The pre-test consisted of getting on a very neat scale that measures body weight, body fat percentage, muscle mass, hydration levels, bone density, and a few other things I can’t remember. Then we did three physical tests – a push up test (as many as you could do), a vertical leap test, and a beep test (50 m sprints). We documented our results so we can see how we improve over the 7 weeks. My body fat percentage was just 1% higher than the “healthy” range so my goal is to bring that down into the healthy range for sure – and hopefully build some muscle mass along the way!

But the most important thing to come out of the pre-test was this – I smashed my ‘Fitness Bucket List’ item to do 10 “real” push-ups in a row. I was reluctant to ever count this as completed before now, because I never feel like I’m getting my chest low enough — but with my coach Colleen counting reps for my pre-test I did 17 solid push-ups, on my toes, before collapsing. I. Am. Ecstatic. And looking to smash even more on my post-test!

Friday’s session was our first “real” session with was a pylometrics session. The GRIT series rotates between three different types of classes: plyometrics, cardio, and strength. Plyometrics was the only one I hadn’t tried before and boy was it hard! I felt like I was dying the whole time (pretty standard for GRIT) but boy did I feel accomplished afterwards!

In addition to two GRIT sessions a week, I am maintaining my two Body Pump classes a week with a yoga and/or cycling class thrown in as I can. I can’t wait to continue this journey and report back to you! πŸ™‚

Fitness Update: GRIT, Yoga, and Hundred Pushups!

Yesterday morning, bright and early at 6 am – I had the opportunity to take a free demo class of Les Mill’s newest offering – GRIT. (Just an FYI: Les Mills is the same company that offers Body Pump, Body Jam, Body Step, etc) GRIT is a high intensity interval training (HIIT) style workout. Fortunately for me, my Body Pump teacher’s husband just recently got certified to teach GRIT and his gym was hosting a few demo classes to get people interested in the program. Heather and I reported to Arlington Health and Wholeness around 5:45 am to meet up with the group and get started.

There are three styles of GRIT classes: cardio, plyometrics, and strength. In our 30 minute demo class, we did a cardio based workout – although there was plenty of plyometrics involved! We did a series of intervals involving various exercises – high-knees, push-ups, burpees, jumping squats, jumping lunges, and sprints in between. We finished off the class with an abs track. It was intense! During the class, I felt like I was going to pass out but in a “working really hard” way – and I felt great after class ended! I should have grabbed some pictures, but I was too busy working out! Although about half-way through the push-ups I had to drop to me knees (we did A LOT of push-ups) and I have some very bruised knees from doing push-ups on a basketball court floor.

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They are seriously gross. And it definitely hurts to kneel.

Today I actually wore my calf compression sleeves to work under my dress pants because my calves are so sore. I was sort of hobbling around before I put them on. I think it was all the plyometric work that really got into my calf muscles – a muscle group that I think was seriously underworked before now!

For a quick look at what GRIT is all about – check out this video:

Speaking of push-ups, I mentioned in my Fitness Bucket List post that push-ups are sort of my nemesis and one of my goals is to do 10 full “real”, all the way down to 90 degree push-ups in a row – and I think I’m getting really close! Based on some recommendations, I downloaded the ‘Hundred Pushups’ app from iTunes and I started it this week. It’s a three day a week program that builds you up to doing a bunch of push-ups in a row. While I have no delusions about being able to do a hundred push-ups, I’m really excited to make working on them a weekly priority.

Finally, this past Sunday I had an amazing yoga class. It was only the second time I’ve been to yoga since I started my half-marathon training plan, and now that I’ve abandoned that idea, I’m so excited to get back to yoga. I’ve truly missed it. I was worried that I would have lost all the gains that I had built up going twice a week. Fortunately, I had a really spectacular class. I held Bird of Paradise (albeit with a bent leg), held Crow for a few seconds, and even got into full Wheel pose! I was so shocked. I remember being able to do this move (referred to as a back bend in my gymnastics class) when I was in middle school, so I was shocked when I started taking yoga and found I couldn’t push up into this position. This past Sunday, I just decided to go for it and I popped right up! It was such an amazing feeling. I think it’s really a testament to the strength I’ve built up in my shoulders and arms that I was able to pull it off. It reminds me of a quote I saw on Pinterest about falling in love: “You fall in love the way you fall asleep – slowly, and then all at once.” I think the same thing is true for yoga poses – you work and work on getting them, and then all of sudden you take a deep breath – and you’re there.