Summer Wardrobe

14 Aug 2015

Fitness Blender Five Day Challenge Day-to-Day Diary

In summer, the good habits of exercise seem to lax and be replaced by lazing around in the garden which is all good and well, but with a holiday coming up I wanted to get back into a good routine and desperately implement any sort of exercise into my day. I heard about the Five Day Challenge mentioned on another blog, and as a target can seriously help with much-lacking motivation I thought it would be a good idea. 

I've been using Fitness Blender workouts on Youtube for a while now, as I find them so easy to access, SO many different videos to follow and best of all, they are free so no hefty sign-up fees that you might find at a gym. I often use the longer workouts (40-50mins) when I am at home, whilst when at university and armed with a gym membership, I used the shorter workouts, such as the 10 Minute Abs, through some headphones from my phone. Most of the workouts for this challenge are averagely 45 minutes long. I have kept a day-by-day diary whilst doing this challenge, partly as a way of sticking to it, which outlines the basics of each workout and what is involved.




Day One - HIIT Lower Body (262 - 563 calories)

The first workout is around 50 minutes long and it is focused on high intensity interval training for fat burning, as well as lower body strength training. You can either follow the easier versions of the moves or the advanced versions so it is suitable to any fitness level. They warn you at the beginning of the video that it is going to be tough, but I underestimated how grueling it actually would be. I have done a lot of the Fitness Blender videos and this definitely pushed me to my limits. The workout is split into three; warm up cardio, strength sets, then the cool down. There were a lot of squats, lunges and burpees, but the moves were varied to make it more interesting. I alternated between the beginner and advanced versions just to make sure my body kept up, and by the end I really felt like I'd worked myself to the point of collapse. Considering you can burn up to 500 calories, I'd say it was 50 minutes well spent but I don't think I could do it everyday.. 

Day Two - Arms (225 - 438 calories)

After waking up slightly more achy on my lower half than I was the morning before, it was a relief to discover that Day Two was slightly shorter and although a few squat-related exercises cropped up, it was mostly focused on arm exercises. Ideally you need some dumbbells for this workout, and if you don't have them then tins of beans etc. are a good substitute. The workout interchanged between weight exercises such as bicep curls and tricep extensions (most of these I'd never heard of) and cardio exercises - mostly varied star-jumps. Although I didn't find it as physically grueling as yesterday, it definitely still worked up a sweat and pushed my (relatively weak) arms to their limit. It's easy to forget to vary the type of exercise you do, like spending hours on the treadmill was probably not as effective as I thought it was, so this challenge has already shown the importance of mixing it up as if I'd stuck to a more cardiovascular workout again I doubt I'd have been able to push through it being still tired from yesterday.

Day Three - Cardio and Core (258 - 572 calories)

Another day, another ache.. my arms were feeling particularly tender today which just goes to show how effective these workouts are. The third installment of this challenge focused on HIIT cardio and abs, and ran about 50 minutes long. You didn't need any equipment this time, and a lot of it was floor work focusing on your core. The main part of the workout was alternating between a cardio move such as burpees, with a core exercise e.g. varied planking. Before the cool down, there is a burnout round to really tire you out as much as possible, if you still have any energy left.. It was slightly less intense than Day One and I found that I didn't have to take as many breaks, but it was still pretty hard work. However, the format of the workout makes it a lot more bearable, saving the hardest bit till the end.

Day Four - Kickboxing and Yoga (272 - 561 calories) 

I really liked the look of this one as the kickboxing I'd done previously in home workouts was relatively easy to do and fun, and I've taken yoga classes at the gym before - both a breath of fresh air from HIIT cardio. The workout started with an ABAB pattern of kickboxing sequences and upper-arm moves, mostly press-up orientated. This reallly works up a sweat and it was a relief when the yoga section began. However, the yoga was not as gentle as I anticipated, some of the moves were really tough to the point my upper arms were burning.. But it was good to learn some new yoga moves that pushed my body. This was definitely the most enjoyable workout so far as it is really different from your standard home fitness video.

Day Five - Butt and Thigh (221 - 405 calories) 

The final workout! I was relieved to see that today's workout was only 37 minutes long.. after a week of back-to-back full on exercise with no rest days, my body was feeling pretty tired and achy, demanding a much needed break. Unfortunately, a shortened length does not mean easier as I quickly realised. The structure involved a warm up, HIIT exercises, lower body strength exercises with dumbbells and finally the cool down. The HIIT was hard going, involving lots of jumping squats and lunges. Although these exercises are seriously tough and require a lot of will-power, they burn a lot more calories than you think. Before you know it, the tough bit is over and the lower-body section begins. You need a pair of dumbbells for this part, as it involved deadlifts, more lunges and more squats, just with weights this time.. I have a feeling my legs will be pretty sore tomorrow. Despite all that, it is such a good feeling to complete the challenge, and knowing that I have worked all my body throughout the week as hard as I could.

Fitness Blender is an amazing platform if you want to get into exercise but don't fancy a gym. Most of the videos have a calorie bar at the side that shows you the min/max calories that you have burned so far which is motivational in itself. I have learnt so many new, effective exercises that I wouldn't have found out on my own, and I will definitely be using these videos in the future (maybe not as intensely as this week, though..!).
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2 comments

  1. I completely agree how in Summer exercise can easily be substituted for more lazing activities, plus when it gets really really hot working out can seem like a last good idea! But this post is quite motivational & you've definitely mentioned some pretty great workouts and I love how you can choose either short or longer workouts! Seems like a pretty good idea, lovely post :-)

    Xo Gemma
    http://www.simplygemmalouise.co.uk

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  2. I love fitness blender - totally agree the range and variety of workouts available is amazing! Great post :)

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