ChaLEAN Extreme

For some time, I have been planning to add a weight lifting routine to my running.  And for some time, I’ve been putting it off.  I picked up ChaLEAN Extreme and got started, then promptly stopped after injuring my wrist while doing something other than working out (I’m still not sure how I injured it, but it didn’t seem to be fitness related).

So I’m back to the weight lifting.  So far, so good.  I really like ChaLEAN Extreme.  Chalene focuses on heavy weights and slow movement.  So you may only do a max of 12 reps, but those 12 reps are killer.   It’s been a good addition to my running routine because it’s not cardio based – though there is an additional cardio workout as part of the videos.

I can’t say that I see any difference yet, but I’ve only been back to the program for four workouts!  But I can definitely feel the workouts after I’m done.  I just need to stick with the program this time.

Week One – Ow.

This week, I started using ChaLEAN Extreme.  Let me start this week one review by saying that unlike a lot of the other bloggers out there writing about the program, I’m not a BeachBody coach.  That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with those blogs – I just want to make it clear that I’m really not trying to sell you on anything.

So a brief overview.  A lot of people call this P90X Lite.  I’m not sure that’s an accurate description, but it is intense.  The program consists of three phases, one month for each phase.  I’m in the first phase – Burn.  I do three different weights workouts a week, plus two of the program’s cardio workouts.  I’m also trying to train for a half marathon at the end of February, so I’m also trying to run three times a week.  Sound like a lot?  It is, so I’m letting some of the workouts slide a bit.  I insist on getting in the three weights workouts and my long run, but sometimes I’m missing a cardio workout, typically a CE cardio workout.  Gotta get in those training runs!

The thing that this program emphasizes is slowly lifting heavy weights.  In the first phase, the goal is to do between 10 and 12 reps.  That doesn’t seem like much.  Until you try it.  You can do this with either bands or dumbbells – I use the latter.    I’m still trying to figure out what weight works best for me, but I can guarantee that it’s a good workout.  I get up at 5am to lift and I’m sore by the end of the day.

The best thing?  The time!  With the exception of the days when you combine workouts (doing cardio and yoga, for example), no workout is over 40 minutes.  And even the combined workouts are under an hour.  I love the idea of P90X, but I know that I don’t have the time for it.  With this workout, I can get up early, grab my weights, and get in a workout before work, then still have my evenings for running or resting.

So week one is done.  And so far, I like the program.  It’s intense, but not annoying.  The workout lengths are good.  After today’s 8 mile run though, I am SORE.  I’m hoping to keep up the plan next week, but with travel and the holidays, it might not happen – at which point, I’ll just repeat week 2.  I’m really excited about CE and hope that I see even a fraction of a results that they advertise.  Either way, I know that I need to do strength training, and that’s something I often fall behind on.  This is good for me.  And it feels pretty good too.

Officially a Looper!

So for over a year, some of my running friends have been bugging me to come run “the loop,” a running/biking path around BWI airport.  And for no real reason, I have never gone.

Until now!

On Saturday, I drove the 40 minutes to the loop and ran a lovely 7.6 miles, some of them with Kim and Jen, some alone (we were all running different distances).  And it was awesome!  I actually have never run with people before because I’m always so worried about my pace, but this was a blast.  I think I’m going to try to run the Disney Princess Half with some of the other Loopers, rather than run alone.  Group picture opportunities abound!

All in all, a pretty awesome weekend.

I’ve been pretty down about my general fitness level as of late.  I ran three half marathons and achieved a bunch of goals, but sort of let my fitness fall off.  I’m still working on getting back on track, but I think I need to make a serious plan.  Get a whiteboard, write up a schedule, and stick to it.  I think I’m going to order Chalean Extreme, as it’s an intense workout that I can still do while running.  I wanted to try P90X, and I know that I can’t do that and run.  It’s going to mean some early mornings, but I think it’ll be worth it.