Squat Circuit Challenge Update: Day 9

No, I didn’t miss the challenge. Whew! I just missed doing the update. My bad. I was recovering from an illness and it isn’t an excuse for skipping this relatively easy workout, I still wanted to fully recover so I was at a social media abstinence. I also avoided any continuous staring at monitors so as not to aggravate the illness.

Having said that…

Day 9: 9 reps of each, 2 sets
I can say that I am getting stronger. But rests on between sets are a must, especially if it’s the only workout you’ll be doing.

I now treat the first set as a warm-up and try to be more intense in the latter set/s. It’s no good to shock your muscles.

Cool downs have also become a requirement on my part. Otherwise, I get muscle cramps. So stretching the concerned muscles is a must.

Update on Day 10 coming right up!  🙂

Squat Circuit Challenge Update: Day 7

Finished today’s circuit at the end of the day, not because I forgot but because I didn’t have any time to squeeze it in. I attended two dance classes early this morning (almost missed it) and then went to the BDJ Fair near lunch to after lunch, then I went home to do some work.

I have to confess though, I did the circuit to wake myself up because what I’m reading for work is a bore. Enough about that. We don’t want to hear about work here unless it’s to work out, right?

Day 7: 8 reps of each, 2 sets

I think I’m getting stronger. But I have to pause in between sets now, about 5 seconds. I think I’m supposed to rest in between anyway, but only started it now. :p

I’m lucky that tomorrow’s a rest day. Today was a really physically challenging day.

Are you doing your squats?

Squat Circuit Challenge Update: Day 6

Due to the many things that happened, it being my Dad’s birthday, I forgot to post an update about Day 6 of the Squat Circuit Challenge.

Day 6: 10 reps of each
It actually surprised me to find this easier that the Day 5 combo. So I guess it’s the variation rather than the consistency that gives the challenge. That’s why it’s always recommended to vary the intensity or even the type of exercise. Amazing!

Needless to say, I finished this one faster than yesterday. I hope can conquer tomorrow’s combo.

Wish me luck!

Squat Circuit Challenge Update: Day 5 (Take 2)

It certainly was a good decision to do the squats before breakfast because after then, I felt too full to even try a single squat.

Day 5 (Take 2): 5 reps of each, 3 sets

As in Day 3 (Take 2), I struggled in the middle of the 2nd set. But unlike it, today’s circuit has 3 sets so I was struggling more. The fact that Day 4 was a rest day didn’t help much. My thighs tried to get accustomed to the sensation again.

So far, I knew I did myself a disfavor by not squatting all the way down where my thighs would be parallel to the floor (legs at a right angle) during the sumo squats. But I also knew that if I tried, I wouldn’t have been able to get up. I’d have to lower myself “gently” to the floor. Plus… since we do sumo squats, among others, as warm up before pole fitness classes, I didn’t risk it this morning as I’ll be attending such class later today.

On the happier side of things, I’d like to share my breakfast. It’s quite simple but I added a few things to make my breakfast a reward for a job well done. 🙂

It’s scrambled eggs with chopped basil, Ma Ling (luncheon meat), and brown rice also sprinkled with chopped basil and a dash of chia seeds for fiber and protein boost.

You can see it on the sidebar (“caught on cam”), on top of a really unhealthy lunch I had yesterday but “A for effort”, right? 😛

Tomorrow’s the great challenge because it’s in the 6th day that I failed the challenge. So wish me luck, luck, and LUCK! 🙂

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How do you motivate yourself when you do these 30 day challenges? I’d like to know.

Get in Shape: How to Stay Motivated (Part 2)

If you think exercising is hard, try maintaining an exercise routine! The first 2 weeks can go by very smoothly. You’re high with endorphin and feel that no one can stand in your way to a sexy body. Then come the 3rd and 4th week, you find yourself losing interest and getting bored with your routine. How do you stay motivated?

This is part 2 of Shape’s 10 Tricks to Stay Motivated to Hit the Gym. As mentioned in part 1, I’m adding my take on to the tricks in Shape’s article. I found them applicable beyond just “hitting the gym” and so I’d like to share my opinion and personal experience on the subject. Here’s the 2nd half:

6. Get a Little Competitive

True, competition can drive you into completing an extra set or rep. Seeing the person beside you bust her booty during a Zumba routine can also hype you into giving your all. But if you’re not a gym goer, have no workout buddy, or mostly just workout alone, then here’s my tip for you to get competitive without being with your competition. Find an office mate who’s also hoping to lose weight and challenge her. Dare her and say that you’ll be able to lose XX weight before she can. You can even have a bet to up the stakes. Bonus points if you can challenge your frienemy [friend+enemy]. Anything to awaken your competitive spirit.

7. Get Help from a Pro


If you don’t have the money and don’t want to invest (like me), make sure you spend time learning and mastering the form of every exercise you’re planning to do before actually doing them. This is so you can prevent any injuries from happening and be able to maximize the full potential of a particular exercise.


For the gym, it might be safer to use machines instead of free weights as the former guides and controls your form.

For those who go to classes, you’re already paying for the classes. You don’t need to have one-on-one sessions with the yogi, Zumba instructor, or dance teacher. If they don’t correct your posture during the session, you can always politely ask them after the session if how you’re doing it was correct. Mind the points they give you and remember the feeling of the correct posture so the next time you encounter the same routine, you will know.

Plus, and this happened to me, asking the teacher tells them you’re paying attention and willing to learn. They will remember you next time you attend their class and will pay more attention to you and your form. That beat’s an expensive one-on-one session!

8. Read Fitness Magazines

Fitness books
I have lots! But remember, understand the articles. These are meant to educate and are not only for leisurely reading. If it helps, place markers on the routines you like and incorporate some of it into your daily routine to spice things up.

For myself, I look for additional stretches for my cool down routine as I find the ones I’d currently following a bit lacking. Sometimes, I incorporate those I learned from practicing yoga. Knowing different versions of the pose or exercise gives you variation and allows you to know which ones you are more comfortable doing.

Before, when I was still going to the gym, I bought a strength training book (it’s the purple one in the picture above) and focused on the ones with machine guides. Reading up on the book really helped because by the time I got to the gym, I was more confident in using the machines. By then, I also knew what to ask the trainers there. This saves you and the trainers a lot of time trying to understand each other.

9. Follow your Routine

This is related to Trick No. 3, keeping it real. If you followed that trick (more like “tip”), chances are, you’ll be able to follow your routine. No questions asked, no complaints, no excuses.

Like the article said, “small, achievable, and realistic goals”. This time, for your routine, keep it simple. There’s no need to have a long routine. 20- to 30- minute routines are feasible (warm-ups and cool downs not included).

Start with basic and easy to remember routines (you can customize your exercises) and work your way up from there. I’m already in my 2nd week of my 30 by 30 Challenge and I’ve changed one exercise since the 1st week and replaced it with 3 exercises. The 3 exercises were mostly for warm-up and cool down and focused on the legs. I found that I needed stretches more to avoid my muscles cramping up.

10. Remember this

Essentially, what I think this last trick means is for you to stay quiet about it. Let your own physical transformation speak for you (so to speak).

Stop talking, start doing.”

With my personality, I’d always want to share want I’m doing with everybody else. It’s an experience worth sharing and a knowledge worth spreading. Plus, announcing it gives me added push and deters me from going back on my word, albeit one-sided.

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Do you have your own tips or tricks to live by? Let me know what you think!