March Strength Challenge - end of week 2

March Strength Challenge - end of week 2

2 weeks in and I'm already struggling! How's everyone else doing? I'm attaching my chart here which shows a significant number of 'rest days' this week! I caught up yesterday though and overall did 144 reps for the week, including squats, press-ups and tricep dips, which is a 20% increase on last week. But I didn't make it to the rowing machine in the park, and my running/cycling completely slipped by the wayside. I'm afraid this is what happens to my exercise routines when I suddenly get busy in other parts of my life! The good news is I suddenly got offered a new job with better pay and a permanent contract (I've been on a temporary contract for the past 6 months - so I'm very pleased to finally have something permanent). But part of the requirement for the new job was that I had to start straight away while working out the notice in my old job. So as you can imagine I'm ending up working above and beyond the usual 9-5 leaving little time for anything else. I've just been for a run now, and intend to cycle to work tomorrow, so hopefully this week will go better, as I find I feel more motivated to do strength on the back of my other exercising. I don't plan to increase the number of squats, press-ups and tricep dips this week, as I think just keeping these up will be an achievement in itself. I'd like to add something else though - maybe the rowing machine in the park - 30 reps on that would see my overall reps increase by 20% for the week. Or any other suggestions?

Last week I reminded the people who posted at the beginning what they had pledged to do - and the reminder proved useful to lots of people. So I'll quickly list here the additional pledges made by late joiners. It will be great to see if we can collectively keep the strength momentum going for the rest of the month. Just another 2.5 weeks to go! Lots of great ideas in these pledges - so if anyone's wondering how to fit strength into their routines have a read below :)

Flavvy61 has pledged to do 4 strength days/week: 20 kettle bell swings, 5 tricep dips, 10 squats and 2 x 5 stomach crunches.

Catmay has pledged to do the strength & flex podcasts 4 days/week on non-run days and to start using her new 1kg weights instead of food tins - yay :)

MarmiteRehoming has pledged to do 5 strength days/week: 10 crunches, 10 leg raises per leg, 10 squats and the NHS lower back exercises, increasing each exercise by 2 repetitions as she goes along.

elacol68 has pledged to do the 30 day squat challenge - brave!

Happy strengthing :)

22 Replies

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  • Hi Ruth,

    Firstly, many Congratulations on the great news that you've got a new job with a permanent contract, and I know you have a lot on your plate currently - so think you've done an excellent job to keep up with your Strength Training - well done for accomplishing 144 reps this week and to improving on last week by 20% - that is really great!

    I am copying and pasting my initial pledge, which is: "Lowcal pledged to do 20 press-ups, 20 cycle crunches & 20 squats daily, with 1 day off, and 2 trips to the gym" I know that last week I added that I would try to do it 6 out of 7 days per week - but what happened this week was I managed it on 4 out of 7 days, so I could do a lot better!

    So this week, I pledge to 'get serious' and try to achieve 6 out of 7 days.

    Thanks for keeping this Challenge going and for keeping us on track with it too.

    Hope you have a great weekend and a good week ahead.

    Lowcal :-)

  • Hi Lowcal - better late than never - hope your week is going well 😊 Are you on track for 6 days out of 7 of exercising? Or at least more than 4? I've had a very hectic week so far and I'm knackered. I'm running late for work already today and worrying when I'll ever fit any strength in. But I really want to keep the momentum going! I'm taking the attitude that all is not lost, and to just try to do what I can for the rest of the week. So watch this space...

  • Hi Ruth,

    Thanks for your reply, and I hope you have a great day today!

    No, I'm not on track at all this week, as I've got my period, and that has made me feel more lethargic and potentially gumpy than normal. I've got a few work projects on the go currently too, and so very busy indeed. I have managed to keep up my steps and walking, but sadly my Strength exercises have so far failed to happen this week, so I am glad you've messaged me today to remind me of my pledge within this challenge, and I will try to ressurect the remainder of the week - so I will look out for Asic's Daily Pledge post (which I have also neglected) and pledge there too.

    Here's to watching this space!!!

    Lowcal :-)

  • Hi Ruth,

    Huge congrats for getting a permanent job, that must be a relief. Once the dust settles (working two jobs), you will be able to sort the exercising out.

    I walked three miles today and when, eg waiting for the kettle to boil, I am doing gentle press-ups by standing a few feet from the work surface and pressing up and down holding on to the work surface, if that makes sense. I can't press-up from the floor. I'm also doing squats, but not counting, just doing a few here and there. It's all got to help.

    Thanks for this challenge, it's encouraging us to do more, certainly more than I would have done otherwise 😃😃😃

    I'm a happy Mouse!

  • I like the sound of your work surface press-ups while waiting for the kettle to boil. Keep fitting all these moments in when you can, it all adds up! I'll be taking a leaf out of your book today by the way. Will try to do various smaller sessions throughout the day - it may be the only way I'll fit them in this week!

  • Congratulations on the new job, I hope the overlap between both positions doesn't go on too long. At least you will have double pay to look forward to!

    Considering all that, you have done very well to manage anything at all and you managed to get three sessions in over the week, which is great!

    I've been improving in most areas, had a slight injury to a wrist during a pilates class and that limited my press-up work, but everything else is coming along well. I introduced weights with my squats as well as the sit-ups now and, although challenging, it feels fine. I am now doing 3 pilates classes a week, which also helps with a lot of my goals and it is more enjoyable working out with other people.

    So this week, my goal is to improve at all leg lifts and bicycle crunches during pilates, as well as the planks. I think my wrist is OK now to restart the pushup challenge and I will increase the sets on the other weight-training from 4 to 5 this week too.

    My arms are benefitting from all the extra training, they do look more toned. I wish I could say the same for my abs!

  • LTL you're really pushing the boundaries! Great to hear you're going strong still - it shows you must have a good routine in place. I hope your week continues to go well and your wrist feels fully recovered :)

  • I just wanted to post on here as I am dead chuffed - I managed to do 120 squats, while also holding 2x2kg weights! I may not feel so pleased when I get up tomorrow morning and my legs hurt, lol!

  • Woohoo LTL! Go you! You're becoming quite the little exercise demon! :)

  • Thanks Moreless - as are you too!

  • Amazing LTL! Hope you're not too sore today!

  • Oops, sorry Ruth, I've only just found your thread! :o

    Congrats on the new job, you must be shattered though, having to work both of them at the same time! Definitely not an ideal situation, but it'll be over soon and you'll be able to get back on an even keel and even have some time to yourself! What a luxury! :)

    Everybody is doing fabulously well with their strength exercises and I feel like the fat granny at the back of the class! :D No, not really, whilst I'm not doing massive amounts, I am pleased to say I'm improving. I'm no longer doing cheat squats, but real squats with a 4kg kettlebell, I've increased my rowing to 400 strokes at a time and I'm doing the stretches you advised me to do.

    I'm sure I can see a difference in the way the fat's hanging on my belly! :D :D

    Keep up the great work everyone! :)

  • Real squats - yay!! Great that you are getting to grips with that rowing machine, too!

  • I'm even contemplating putting the rowing machine up a notch too! Wonders will never cease!

    Don't think I'll be doing 120 squats though! :o

  • Wow, you are doing so well! Re the squats - give it time, give it time...

  • You should hear me when I'm doing this, all my joints crunch! It sounds horrible! :o

    I'm working on technique first, then I'll look at increasing numbers.

    I'm still doing half my exercises on the bed, because I can't get up and down off the floor and it's too painful, but I'm getting there, slowly, but surely :)

  • Heh-heh, I know all about that creaking! My knees sometimes sound like gunshot, the joys of getting older (and still carrying too much weight, sniff).

  • I was wondering if WD40 might help! :D :D

  • Amazing moreless! You're doing ace and very pleased to hear you're stretching! As you lose more weight you'll definitely see the definition you're creating now. Just believe it's in there, pulling all your muscles into line, and strengthening your body from the inside out 😊

    Laughing at fat granny at the back of the class. I don't think you're that - you're like the unlikely candidate no one noticed at the beginning and suddenly all eyes on you now. I'm arriving late to the classes and even forgetting my kit. This week has been intense. I've only done one strength session so far and it's already thursday! Oh no! I need to try to do at least two more sessions, perhaps aiming for a higher number of repetitions to achieve my overall 20% increase for the week. I think I may have to get more ingenious about when and where I do them...

  • Ruth, I'm surprised you've found time to use the loo, never mind do strength exercises! :o I'm having a similar day today, I've been shopping all day, so I've still got all my cycling, rowing and strength to do and I'm already pooped! Without the challenges, I wouldn't even bother! :D

  • I've actually been doing my squats in the loo. And yes I know how that sounds! But at least I've got 20 under my belt today (so far). I feel I've got a real chance of crossing a weight threshold this week, and that's really motivating me, even if time is very tight! Hope you got some of your cycling etc done today.... I've yet to check out the new 20,000 leagues challenge this week. I have some cycling to report at least, it's great knowing you can tell people you've done all this stuff... :) 🚲

  • Brilliant news about your new job offer with a permanent contract and with more pay :-) you must be over the moon with this and you deserve it hun :-)

    This challenge has motivated me no end and gets me going every morning over the course of the week. I have committed to 5 days of strength training covering Mon - Fri and it is working out great. I find that I am getting stronger and have included various strength routines to my existing routine. Don't know the names of each one so don't list them. This week I have managed to increase each strength exercise. Last week saw me do 20 of each ie sit-up, press-ups, tricep curls, pull down bar and bench presses. This week I am doing 30 of each including the kettle bell squats and have continued with my 5 x 15 squats and included some others. I'm loving this challenge RCR :-)

    It's great to see that you have been keeping up with your strength training although you haven't done as much as you would have liked you have still managed fit it in around you busy schedule so well done :-) I fit mine in every morning that way it's done nice and early :-)

    Happy Friday :-) love Fridays and have a great weekend Ruth :-)

    THANK YOU FOR KEEPING ME ON MY TOES :-) :-)

    T1 x

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