Fitness Friday: “Toning” workouts and a running injury returns

fitnessfridayHappy Friday, friends!

As I explained a few posts ago, I finished my 8-week muscle and strength building program (which did help put on some baby muscles!) and started the Tone It Up Bikini Series this week.

I was skeptical about the Bikini Series workouts, because they looked like fluffy women’s fitness magazine workouts with lots of body weight exercises and strength training (or “toning” moves, as they call them) with tiny pink dumbbells. Now, that’s not going to do a whole lot to build muscle or make you stronger. But it’s a good place to start of you’re a beginner and not ready to get into true strength training. While online videos and DVDs are fine for body weight and light dumbbell exercises, I think proper strength training requires the assistance of a personal trainer or coach to ensure you’re performing the exercises correctly, so a) you don’t injury yourself, and b) you actually benefit from the moves. That said, there’s certainly a place for lighter, Pilates-type exercises. They do a good job of working your core and your ancillary muscles (triceps and biceps, etc.), and are particularly great if you’re rehabing an injury and can’t do heavy lifting or more intense exercise.

Anyway, here’s what my week of workouts looked like:

Monday
5 daily moves from the Tone It Up website (some dynamic and some strength) performed for a minute each two rounds through. I couldn’t even finish some moves in the first round. It was more high intensity, which is something I haven’t done in awhile. Needless to say it kicked my butt. This was followed with the Rock Your Body routine from the program, which was a fun Pilates-type workout with both body weight and light dumbbell workouts. Initially I grabbed heavier weights, scoffing at their 5 lbs dumbbells. But the reps were high enough I couldn’t finish the set and went with 5 lbs as well. *hangs head in shame* Total time: 50 minutes.

My Bikini Series Bundle finally arrived! I'm excited for a proper lunch bag and the workout journal so I can track my progress. It also comes with a tote bag, beach towel and socks!

My Bikini Series Bundle finally arrived! I’m excited for a proper lunch bag and the workout journal so I can track my progress. It also comes with a tote bag, beach towel and socks!

Tuesday
5 moves from the daily workout (a bit easier this time), Bikini Bod and Beach Booty (these were both 10-12 minute routines), and a 20-minute walk on the treadmill. Both of the videos were challenging enough that I was sore all over my glutes the next day, but also kind of fun. Total time: 1:12.

My absolute favourite meal on the plan - a protein pancake! Just 1/4 cup egg whites, 1/2 a mashed banana, few TBSP almond milk and a scoop of vanilla protein powder.

My absolute favourite meal on the plan – a protein pancake! Just 1/4 cup egg whites, 1/2 a mashed banana, few TBSP almond milk and a scoop of vanilla protein powder.

 

Wednesday
5 daily moves, HIITy Bitty Bikini and Toned Arms. HIITy Bitty was HARD. Like I said, I haven’t done HIIT in awhile so I struggled through some of the moves — especially the burpee-and-tuck-jump combo. Ouch. Toned Arms was about 10 minutes of continuous dumbbells exercises hitting all angles of your arms. I only use 5 lbs weights (I can usually curl and press 15 lbs) and I’m sore today, so that’s a good sign! Total time: 1:06

Decided to have the rest of my lunch for dinner! The KandKale salad is really good on the BBQ :)

Decided to have the rest of my lunch for dinner! The KandKale salad is really good on the BBQ 🙂

 

Thursday
A less intense day! The 5 daily moves were foam rolling moves, so I saved that for the end and did the Cardio Flow yoga (about 10 minutes long) and went for a 30 minute walk on the treadmill. I was going to run later, but I’m nursing a potential running injury (I’ll explain in a moment) so I opted for a 20 minute walk with the dog. Total time: 1:20.

Cardio Flow and foam rolling!

Cardio Flow and foam rolling!

 

Friday
5 daily moves plus the Total Body Tone Up, which was a good total body burner with lots of dumbbell complexes of 15-20 reps. Again, I started with 10 lbs and had to drop down to 5 lbs, though some of the moves I was able to go heavier, like the deadlift-and-row combo. I followed this up with an easy 30-minute run — my hip was a bit angry but it was manageable. I think I’m more sore from the workouts and physio than anything at the moment!

Verdict so far (’cause my week of workouts isn’t done! I have more videos and runs to do this weekend :)): A really nice change from my usual routine. Everything hurts (in a good way), so I know it’s hitting muscles I haven’t hit in awhile. Also, it’s super fun to check in with the Tone It Up community on Instagram who are all doing the same workouts as you so you can commiserate together about burpee-tuck-jump combos.

Another reason why I decided to jump in on this challenge (aside from trying to curb my chocolate problem) is that the weird grinding hip pain I experienced during the Phoenix Marathon came back a few weeks ago during a trail run. My hip, glute and hamstring on my right leg started to feel numb and painful as I was running downhill at Gowlland Tod, but went away once the run was over. I didn’t feel any pain through the week during my strength training workouts, but it immediately came back when I tried to run again at the end of the week. It felt like a pain/ache deep within my glute, and kind of radiated out to hamstring on the right near my knee. Running downhill made it worse, but the pain seemed to subside when I would run uphill. Ugh.

I went to physio yesterday to find out what was going on, and they were a bit stumped. They said the could see my right hip was slightly elevated, but the left side of my body was more stiff. Everything else seemed good, so the physiotherapist gave me a few core strengthen exercises to do and a few hip flexor stretches. I can still run, and the last run I did wasn’t as bad — I just don’t want to make things worse, and would rather be in tip-top shape going into marathon training this July than to train and injury myself even worse this time. I’ll be going back next week for more manual work and more stretches and probably a few times after that until my hips are nice and straight!

Do you like to incorporate light-weight, high-rep workouts into your routine? What are your favourite online or DVD workouts to do? Have you ever had an issue like the one I described above?

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