Though I’m a few days behind on my post, I did actually complete my 31 Day Barre Workout Challenge. During the course of my 31 Day Newcomer Unlimited at Physique 57, I took a total of 25 classes (that breaks down to week 1: 5 classes, week 2: 6 classes, week 3: 6 classes, week 4: 5 classes, and bonus partial week: 3 classes. From start to finish, I continued to feel challenged in my classes, though in the last week I took more Intermediate vs. Mixed Classes and took more of the challenges offered up while in Mixed Classes as I felt that was necessary in order to keep up the intensity of the workout. I made significant strength gain in my abs, gluts, inner thighs, quads, back muscles, and upper body. I also benefitted from a great deal of toning – even a good friend asked if I had lost weight (though I didn’t lose a lot) because I appeared slimmer. I also feel like I gained a significant amount of my flexibility back – I am close to having my full splits again, can bend forward and get my palms under my feet, and I once again have a full backbend (half wheel) with ease.
The implications of all this strengthening and lengthening has been that I’ve seen rapid results in my dance classes and ballet classes in particular. I feel like I cut down what normally might have taken me 3 months to achieve into a 1 month period. I have my terrific ballet alignment back (though there is always room for improvement) and have significant strength increases for balancing (both on and off relevé). I also feel like my Physique classes have helped me create and maintain a discipline for showing up to exercise on a regular basis (and making this a priority) and to push myself a little bit harder than I normally would (which for someone with so much knowledge of alignment and form and such an innate sense of caution is huge!).
I am still experiencing some occasional knee pain, an overly dominant left hip flexor, and overly taut left ITB band. For the most part, these sources of pain (which are the result of some long-term imbalances and old injuries, not the Physique workout itself) have actually diminished, due in large part to both the strength and flexibility that I’ve gained from doing this workout. In the long term, I believe that these pains and imbalances will continue to right themselves, but because I’m about quick results, I intend to mix up my workout a little more in the next month to see if applying a little TLC and cross-training will help alleviate these sensitivities more quickly (more on that a later!).
My results by the numbers
|Day 1||Day 16||Day 31|
|Weight:||119.8 lbs||118.4 lbs||118.2 lbs|
|Bust:||33.5 inches||33.5 inches||33 inches|
|Waist:||26.5 inches||26.25 inches||25.5 inches|
|Hips:||37.5 inches||37 inches||36 inches|
|Biceps:||10 inches||10.25 inches||10 inches|
|Thighs:||23 inches||22 inches||21.5 inches|
|Calves:||13.25 inches||14.5 inches||13.5 inches|
|Day 1||Day 16||Day 31|
|Day 1||Day 16||Day 31|
Over the 4 weeks, I did not experience the kind of weight loss I had hoped for though I did achieve some, 1.5 lbs to be exact. I learned that my weight can fluctuate up to 2 lbs during the course of a week and that this level of exercise alone is not enough for me to experience rapid weight loss. I believe that the initial 2 lbs lost in my first week was because my level of exercise was so different from what I had been doing before and I was eating like a saint. My body acclimated very quickly to this amount of exercise (probably because the majority of my life I’ve worked out 5+ days a week and an hour or two each of those days). Our bodies become more efficient from prolonged exposure to these kinds of demands.
I also lost some significant inches – 1 inch from my waist, 1.5 inches from my hips, 1.5 inches from each thigh. My calves and arms were largely unchanged, but that is fine with me since I don’t believe those areas are places where I hold significant stores of body fat.
So, what’s next for me? Will I continue to do Physique? Continue in my weight loss efforts? The answer is yes to both. I have decided against doing another unlimited package at Physique for 3 reasons: 1) It is really expensive. 2) I don’t think it is providing enough cardio for my body – so I need to create time in my schedule to incorporate more cardio to facilitate more weight loss. 3) I am and was doing Physique to support my goals of making it on Broadway as a performer and becoming a working fitness model. I think that both will be served better at this juncture by including more variety in my workouts and taking more dance classes.
My plan for the next 29 days (in service of our Leap Year February):
6 dance classes a week
2 Physique classes (or other barre workout) a week
2-3 cardio sessions a week starting at 30 minutes each
Continuing to focus on eating better – juicing each morning, grocery shopping, and cooking/ bringing more meals with me
Will I check in on this blog again? You bet. But I’m going to cut down my blog entries on this topic to once a month as I believe my results may be more gradual now that I’ve gotten a good kickstart for my plan (plus I want to bring the focus of the blog as whole more towards my readers). I will continue to log my weight on a weekly basis and take measurements in 1 month’s time.
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