T25: Total Body Circuit


As promised, I am back to tell you about the joys of Total Body Circuit!

Oh, did I say joys? I meant hell. 25 minutes of PURE, TORTUROUS HELL.

I felt like I got a good workout, but that came at the expense of having to sit on the floor and catch my breath whilst swearing a fair few times, and also accepting my lack of coordination. You want me to criss cross my legs and jump backwards whilst punching, and then swap sides? Hahahahaha. Ha.

This was a bitch of a workout, no lie. As I mentioned yesterday, my fitness is kinda intermediate. I’m not a beginner. But this workout made me feel (and probably look) like a newborn foal.

However, by about halfway through the other people in the workout were also matching my moans and groans. One of the guys had a lovely puddle of sweat beneath him. And it made me realise that this workout is hard for everyone; it’s about as hard as you make it. I still refused to follow Tania and modify, but the beauty of this workout is that she offers you a much easier time of it if you’re not quite ready to go at full speed. Now all it needs is someone else who can’t keep in rhythm and I’ll feel even better!

Tomorrow is Ab Intervals. I’m hoping it will be slightly easier than this beast of a workout, but who am I kidding? Shaun T kicks my arse, but I weirdly enjoy it.

Nikki x


Happy New Year! & T25


Hello, and happy new year!

Gosh, I have been such an utter failure at writing in here this past year. I hope to change that this year, but we’ll see. Last year I did manage to achieve my goal of reading more, so maybe this year I shall focus on writing more!

I think I’m going to start writing about fitness regimes again. I managed to complete Zombies 5k last year, but suffered with persistent shin splints that still won’t go, forcing me to give up on the running malarkey. It’s a combination of having low arches but being an underpronator, meaning my feet roll outwards. Because of this, I find it much easier to work out barefoot, which is why I’ve gone back to home workouts. Now I realise why I’ve always hated wearing shoes!

This past year I’ve been pretty successful with working out. There have been set backs (thanks to labyrinthitis, something I may write about in the future), and I have PCOS so no great weight loss has been achieved, but what has been achieved is a level of fitness and defined arm muscles that haven’t ever been seen before!

I usually do Jillian Michaels’ workouts, and my favourite is Ripped in 30. After I finished the second go-round of that, I attempted her 30 Day Slimdown program, which combines 30 Day ShredNo More Trouble Zones, and Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism. My problem with this is I prefer to get my workouts done in as short an amount of time as possible, and NMTZ and BFBM are both 50 min workouts, which made me start to dread them.

So in comes Shaun T’s Focus T25! My aim in getting fit has always been to get to the level where I can do Insanity without ending up on the floor gasping for breath during the warmup (yes, that happened), and I’m still not there yet. Plus, the workouts are LONG. So Focus T25 seemed right up my street. So far I have done the first two days and let me tell you, they are no joke. I heard some people say they’re for beginners; technically they are, but only if you follow the modifications. I consider myself intermediate and I had to take more breaks following Shaun T than I was happy with. Not running in so long has turned my calves back to jelly.

I missed my workout today thanks to the inevitable NYE hangover, so tomorrow I will be picking up where I left off with Total Body Circuit. I’m already dreading it. The first two workouts were mainly cardio but I cannot believe how much my shoulders and back ache; these beats of a workout certainly work every part of your body. So if I remember, I’ll be back tomorrow with an update on how that goes. Wish me luck!

Nikki x

New blog!

Stop the clocks! For I have just created a new blog, all about being gluten free. I didn’t want to turn off my more regular readers by posting about a diet they don’t need to follow, so I created a separate one called Gluten Free & The Graceless Girl.

Yes, Graceful Girl would have sounded better, but if you met me, you’d know this was nothing but an out and out lie.

Anyway, pop over there if ingesting a mere Malteser gives you symptoms you’d rather not discuss in polite company (yes, this happened to me yesterday) and share in the gluten free love!

In other news: I’ve started running again. Running is the only exercise I enjoy, and I’m not as bad at it as I think I am. I used to run on a treadmill, but after nearly face planting into one, I lost my confidence in them and I also lost my balance. So this time, I’m running outside. Which is hard. It’s really, really hard! I’m following the Zombies, Run! 5k Training app and I’ve been really, really impressed with it. When I first started running, 2  years ago, I followed the generic C25K programme which is ok, but my god, it is mind numbing. After the first time I did it, I basically went off running and have been trying again and again to get back into it, but the C25K programme makes me want to cry. Zombies, Run! 5k, on the other hand, is amazing. It’s less structured than C25K as it has ‘free run’ sections, where you walk or run as much as you’re able. Basically, it puts the control back in your hands, and I’ve found I trust my abilities a lot more following this programme than I did with the original one. The sessions are longer – the longest session is 52 minutes, and it also intersperses your training with stretches, squats, heel lifts – all things to help you build up your strength. I completed Week 5, Day 1 yesterday, so I’m well on my way to actually achieving it, and outside, too!

The more exciting thing in my life is that I’ve booked to go to Dublin again! It was a bit of an impromptu decision last night, after listening to some Irish drinking songs. I’m going for 4 days in March, and I’m taking my dad with me. His mom is from Dublin and he hasn’t been back since he was about 6, so I’m really excited to show him around, show him the street his mom was born on, get him to drink lots of Guinness… Alas, I can’t drink Guinness (see Malteser incident, above), which slightly diminishes it, but not really! Dublin is the only place I’ve visited where I truly feel like I’m at home. Exciting!

Nikki x

Can I call myself a runner now?

I am one of those people that the word ‘obsessive’ applies to. When I find a new interest, I get very excited and learn all I can about it; talk about it constantly; practice it as much as possible… only to become bored of it within one to two weeks.

This can be applied to many things in my life: the Brownies (I attended one session), my wish to join the Navy (LOL), choirs, university, Zumba… it’s fair to say that when I tell people I’ve started something new, they know to not expect much.

There are, however, a few things I have stuck at. I finally got my degree (6 years after I embarked upon that journey), I was a member of am dram for 2 years (until the ‘drama’ got to be too much: literally) and I am in my second year of Swedish classes.

So, needless to say, when I started trying to run, I thought I’d keep it on the downlow. Nothing is worse than having to admit defeat after you’ve told everyone about your new passion.

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We can’t all throw like Miss Trunchbull

So David Cameron has jumped upon the success of Team GB and said that “We need a big cultural change – a cultural change in favour of competitive sports”. He has said that we need to end the culture of everyone receiving medals, blah blah blah.

I left school in 2004 which, although it doesn’t seem that long ago, was actually a good while ago (8 years, that is terrifying). Anyway, I can most certainly say that not everyone received a medal.

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The Shred has been Interrupted.

I was doing so well. SO BLOODY WELL. I did the Shred Monday – Friday last week. I had Saturday off, because I was working 12 hours. Did it Sunday. Yesterday off. Did it today.

But I have to admit defeat, at least for the time being. I had difficulty doing it on Friday because I have hurt something in my back. I don’t know how I did it because it didn’t hurt Thursday and then it hurts Friday. It’s still hurting today, and I think it’s gotten worse. I am going to rest it until Sunday, and then if it still hurts, take a trip to the doctor. I know there isn’t much they can do for back injuries other than prescribe you ibuprofen and rest, but sometimes it’s nice to know exactly what is wrong, especially so you can avoid it in the future.

But I’m annoyed because I was actually enjoying it in a sort of sick, sadistic way. It really is a very good workout and I fully recommend it.

I just thought I’d let you know in case you were wondering how far I’d gotten with it. I will start it again, but it may not be for a few weeks which really frustrates me. In the words of John Locke, ‘Don’t tell me what I can’t do!’

Stupid back.

Nikki x

30 Day Shred.

So following on from a few online chums on Twitter, I decided to cave into peer pressure and commence the 30 Day Shred. I do have a gym membership but getting to the gym can be tricky since I don’t drive and so having to rely on parents frequently throws me out of my routine.

Apparently she’s the trainer on The Biggest Loser (I don’t watch it so wouldn’t know). But it appeals to me because she’s actually a fitness trainer, not some random celeb who lost thirty pounds and then put it all back on (I’m looking at you, Natalie Cassidy!).

There is a lot of love for this woman and this DVD online – there are a ton of before and after pictures and you can really see the difference. I came across a woman who said she had only lost 2 pounds overall but she had become extremely toned making her look as if she had lost at least 20! (And of course, muscle weighs more than fat.)

The 30 Day Shred consists of three 20 minute sessions. You do Level 1 for ten days, then Level 2 for ten days and finally Level 3 for ten days. There is no resting. The sessions consists of a few minutes of cardio, then strength, then abs, and that happens three times. It’s basically circuit/interval training.

I  did Level 1 earlier today and at the time I felt a bit like ‘Oh, I don’t feel as knackered as I thought I would’ but I felt it more once I stopped – I felt more tired in 20 minutes than I do after an hour at the gym, which has to be something! Plus my thighs ache a considerable amount.

The only bit I had trouble with was the skipping because I am an uncoordinated idiot. So I substituted that bit with jumping on the spot 😉

I thought I’d write about it in here to see if I can keep it up. It would be embarrassing starting a blog on it and then not continuing!

The only thing that might stop me doing it is what stopped me doing Zumba – I have a lot of trouble with my neck and aerobics style activities make it stiffen up and a few hours later I will get an absolutely cracking headache. I have no idea how to stop this from happening other than roping my mom into giving me a neck massage and taking ibuprofen. I felt on the verge of getting a headache earlier but I took a couple of paracetamol and I feel ok at the moment.

Anyway, we shall see. Wish me luck!

Nikki x