Fitness

BBG Review & What's next!

BBG Program Review - Josie Feather Blog

It’s been a whirlwind these last two weeks, so much so that I haven’t even really been able to get to fully celebrate finishing up 12 weeks of BBG! I actually finished my last morning of it, worked, and then jumped on a plane and headed straight to Florida for the weekend, and then got hit with a nasty cold as soon as I got home, which is why it’s been a bit quiet over here.

REVIEW

At the halfway point of the program I shared by thoughts at the time (which you can read here!). Overall, a lot of my thoughts still stand. It’s tough for first timers, especially if you’re like me and have absolutely zero natural muscle. I had actually been doing some strength training before I started the program, but still found it to be really challenging.

I think it’s great that it is so challenging. There’s a lot of things that a hallmarks of the program that I know I just wouldn’t have made myself do otherwise, but have made me so much stronger. On the other hand, I think it can be easy to injure yourself if you’re not careful. I modified almost all of the arm workouts and still almost pulled my shoulder one time (thankfully I could feel it coming and stopped right there and gave it a few days rest). The older PDF version I used doesn’t include modification recommendations, but because I’ve done other programs I already knew ones I could do, but if you’re totally new to strength training, it may not be the best thing to start with.

Overall I am absolutely so happy I did it. The first six weeks were somewhat excruciating, but once I got past the halfway mark it felt like it flew by! I also really loved that with the program I didn’t sacrifice running, you alternate strength training days with cardio days and you can pretty much pick whatever cardio you want to do, so I was still able to keep up my running (and in fact saw quite a bit of improvement!).

If you’re wondering if I saw results… yes! I don’t like to use body perception as a unit of measurement, but I know a lot of people are curious. I definitely have seen a difference, but way more important, I’ve felt a difference! I feel so much stronger and confident in what I can do, and that’s priceless!

WHAT’S NEXT

Dramatic drum roll please… I’m doing it again!

hah! A bit anticlimactic I know. I’ve talked to a few other women who did multiple rounds of BBG and found they continued to see results with the repeats. I also would love to be able to get through a round of BBG without all of the modifications I’ve been relying on, so I’m jumping right back in! I’m excited to see how much easier some things feel after getting through the program already.

How to Know When to Take a Break

How to Know When to Take a Break - Josie Feather Blog

I’m one of those all-or-nothing types. Either I’m obsessively doing something all the time, or I drop it and completely forget about it altogether. I really struggle with balance which I know a lot of other people do as well. I tend to think that if I’m going to miss one day at the gym, well then, I might as well just skip the whole week! It’s a really damaging way to think and often leads to feeling either depressed about missing one measly workout, or pushing through even when I shouldn’t and hurting myself physically or mentally.

The thing is, it’s all mindset. There’s no other way to avoid it then to change how you view it, which is way harder to me then just physically pushing through something. I’d so much rather attempt to run a 5k on a broken leg then try to wrangle my thoughts under control. The all or nothing mindset has been something I have really been trying to work on lately.

Even though I’ve got a long way to go, I thought it’d be nice to share those signs I’ve been tying to keep an eye out for that tell me it’s time to take a much needed break. I’ve been trying to apply these same ideas to all areas of my life, but have been trying to really focus in on what it means for my exercise routine.

PAIN

The most obvious sign. If you’ve been working out hard and are experiencing pain in your muscles, it’s time to take a break! Let your body rest so you can come back and kill it next time. You’ll only make things worse, and probably cause a full blown injury, by pushing through. Also take it as an opportunity to look at your habits and see if you can adjust anything to avoid pain in the future (you know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout - stretching!).

EXHAUSTION

It’s honestly hard for me to tell the difference between physical and mental exhaustion, it all just runs together in my mind, so let’s talk about both. Last week i was feeling it for a lot of reasons. When it first hit me I tried to talk myself into ignoring it and plowing through, but instead I took a step back and saw how much I had been doing - hitting the gym 6 days a week for the past few weeks, walking a lot even on my off days, and running from thing to thing in my personal life. Honestly, I wasn’t even excited to go to the gym the next day, which is actually really rare for me. So I decided to take a day off right in the middle of the week. Instead of letting myself worry that it was the end of the world that I skipped one day, I set my sights on enjoying a rare weekday morning at home before work, and rekindling my excitement to get back to the gym the next day.

LACK OF MOTIVATION

Let’s be straight here, I’m not talking about when you are just getting started and motivation is hard as h*ck, I’m talking about when you have already pushed through that phase and have found that you usually love working out, but all the sudden it’s become a chore. Take a look at why that is. If you’re feeling a little depressed, it may be good to keep pushing through since it may actually help, but if you’re otherwise feeling fine and you’re just dreading your workout then maybe it’s time to take a break and come back with a new plan.

I was starting to feel a little blah about my gym time a few months ago and decided to start a new workout plan, and I am so glad I did! It’s hugely helped me reconnect with what I love about working out, and seeing results from all my hard work gets me even more excited to keep going!

5 Tips for Exercising in the Morning

5 Tips for Exercising In the Morning - Josie Feather Blog

Confession time: I used to truly hate working out in the morning. I used to only run in the afternoons or at night. I was tired, grouchy, and ran about as fast as a baby sloth before 10am. On the rare occasion I would attempt a morning workout I would spend the whole time thinking about how terrible it was.

When I went back to work full time and essentially had no choice but to workout in the morning, I knew I would have to suck it up and just do it. Can I just be real? It sucked, for a while. My body did not acclimate quickly at all. I’d say it was almost a full two months of getting up and going to the gym every weekday morning before I finally started to be okay with it. It’s hard to believe that now I vastly prefer early AM workouts!

If you’re thinking about switching out your PM workouts for the morning, here’s a few tips and tricks I’ve figured out along the way that hopefully will make your transition a little easier:

FIND YOUR BEST SITUATION

So I actually have free access to a gym at work. I don’t have to pay a cent and I could literally walk right from the gym to our photo studio. It would save a lot of time and money to just use that gym (and ya’ll know I’m a cheapskate so you’d think I would) - but I hate it. It’s small, which means limited machines that people are always fighting over, the showers in the locker room are always out of hot water, it’s at the top of a building which means its about a thousand degrees and a million percent humidity, and on top of that you’re working out with people you work with (which just feels weird to me, but maybe I’m crazy). I spend more time and money driving out to my gym, but the experience it so much better, which makes getting up at the crack of dawn just a little easier. So don’t fight it - if your gym situation is truly making you unhappy, try something new until you find a good fit.

Also, tons of people aren’t gym people (I actually used to not be, but have since come to love it!) and that’s cool! Whether it’s working out at home, taking classes, or going for a run outside, figure out what’s the best situation for you. There is so no size fits all, and sometimes it take a little trial and error to figure out what works for you!

DON’T SNOOZE

Seriously guys, you can’t let yourself snooze if you’re going to stay on track. On days I wake up and truly am just not feeling up to hitting the gym I reset my alarm and go back to sleep. If you’re going, you need to just do it. Here’s the secret trick - don’t let yourself think about it. Your brain can be a jerk who just wants to complain in the morning, so sometimes you just gotta get ahead of it. Yes, it’s borderline painful for about the first 5 minutes, but once you get past that it usually gets a lot easier, and just remember that the sooner you get past those 5 minutes the easier it’ll get. Also, have you ever actually felt better with 7 minutes of extra sleep? No! Typically I just feel more groggy the more I snooze, so forget the snooze button and just go!

HAVE A PLAN

There’s nothing worse then walking into the gym at 5:30 in the morning and having no idea what you’re doing. I originally got started by doing a LSF 30 day challenge, so I knew exactly what I was doing (usually a little cardio, followed by grabbing a mat and doing that day’s challenge). I actually didn’t have a program for a few months after that, and while I still got things done, I still found myself wandering aimlessly on more then one occasion. Now I’m week 10 into the BBG program and am so happy I committed to it. Having a plan laid out for me every day has helped me so much! If you prefer classes then sit down at the beginning of the week and schedule them all out in advance - you’ll thank yourself later!

HAVE EVERYTHING READY THE NIGHT BEFORE

This is a tired tip that everyone will give you, but that’s for good reason - It’s really is one of the most important things. I don’t know about you, but my brain is not functioning at 5am, so to expect myself to be able to get everything I need together (or even just to pick out clothes) would be cruel. I lay everything (and I mean everything) out the night before. I even try to put anything I can already in the car. This makes it a lot less painful when I’m feeling particularly zombie-eque some mornings.

TALK POSITIVE TO YOURSELF

I can be mean to myself. Like, really mean. When I switched to morning workouts I really had to commit myself to stop being negative in my own head. Instead of thinking about how much slower I was running in the morning, I would congratulate myself for getting through a run - no matter what speed it was at. I also had to ditch all negative talk when I was at the gym. Instead of getting annoyed someone was on the machine I wanted, I would just turn around and find a different one, no grumbling about it to myself. This little change in internal attitude can make the biggest difference. Ban all negative talk when you’re at the gym - if you’re there, then you’re already killing it!

Getting up early to workout may never be super duper fun, but there are a lot of ways to take some of the pain out of it. Make the morning as easy as you can for yourself. Have everything ready to go, schedule a workout class you love, and tell yourself the night before that you’re going to have a great morning.