For the past few weeks now, I’ve been eyeing the Fitnessista’s Winter Shape Up workouts and wanting to give them a try. However, I was a bit hesitant to jump right in because, while I’m pretty decent at cardio and I do some weights every now and then, I really don’t have much (if any) upper body/core strength to speak of. I attempted one of her shape up programs last summer and after one workout, I was SO sore, I couldn’t work out for almost a week and a half afterward. This is a sign of a really good and effective workout, but I got the feeling that I needed more of a fitness base before I should be doing such challenging moves.
So, this year when the shape up started out, I didn’t get into it right away. After all, I had just started really getting back into going to the gym 4x/week and working on my strength. Today, a month or so into my new routine, I finally felt ready and I went back to the first week of the program that she posted, printed it out at the office this morning, and then got ready to go home during lunch and bust out some moves.
I knew I was going to only do a portion of the workout to avoid the burnout from last time, so I only did steps 1 through 5 and used 5 pound weights (I knew 8 would be too much for me to start with) and then I closed with a 6 minute biking cooldown.
My reaction: The workout, even just the first 5 steps of it, was extremely challenging, but with my 5 pounders and stopping where I did, it was doable and I felt like I got in a quality workout – more of a quality workout I could ever hope to get at the gym on my own. I haven’t done a lunge in years so it was a bit hard to get into the motion again, and by the end of all the bicep curls, my arms felt like lead weights. The tabata intervals were also new to me and WOW — so much harder than I anticipated. I did them on the bike because that’s the only piece of cardio equipment I have at home. Walking down the stairs afterward, my legs felt like absolute jello.
To give you some frame of reference for where I’m starting, strength-wise: I can’t do a full push up or a full sit up without some form of modification to it. I want to be able to change this, and if I have to take some extra time and add on each exercise as I feel comfortable, that’s what I’ll do.
I will definitely do this workout again. Check it out if you’re looking for something that will challenge your whole body!