Tag Archives: homeworkouts

Cizing Past Fear

Taking a break from Insanity this week so I can work on my
dance skills! Beachbody is having a contest for the best video of people doing
the routine “You Got This”, from the amahzing Shaun T’s new workout program,
Cize. Cize isn’t even out yet, but you can preview this awesome workout on
Beachbody on Demand.
Now it’s on like Donkey Kong. I never took any formal dance
classes when I was kid. I did participate in Airband in college. But I am up to
the challenge of seeing how close Bianca can get to Beyonce by Saturday.
Saturday June 20th is the day that I will record and post my video for
the world to see in hopes of winning, wait for it… $1000. Yup a cool grand is
at stake and the grand prize winner gets $5000. That’s something to shoot for
right? Damn right.
So why am I doing this…. That is a very good question. I’m
putting myself out there to get over my fears. I have been stuck in neutral
with my Beachbody business for a while because of this little thing call the “What
if’s”. You know, what if I suck at helping people? What if no one responds to
my invites? What if I can’t make it through this work out? What if I can’t
stick to this meal plan? What if I don’t lose weight? What if everyone thinks I’m
nuts? What if people get sick of all my sweat selfies on Instagram? What if no
one reads this blog? Wait what!!! You are reading this right? Ok good! That’s
one what if crossed of the list!
The “What if’s” are fear’s way of stopping me. Stopping for
going out on a limb and going all in with my business. Dancing like no one’s watching,
posting it on Facebook and hoping that someone likes it! Even if it is just one
person. What if no one likes it? So what!
Insanity is on the back burner for a few days while I get my
Beyonce on. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t be getting a workout. Oh Honey!
Cize is cardio on fleek! You don’t realize that you are getting an amazing
workout until you realize that you are dripping with sweat! I even had to take
a couple of water breaks. Dancing is an awesome workout! And so much fun. Shaun
T breaks down and cues the moves incredibly well, that by the end of the
workout you can go all out and “Cize It Up” with attitude. Yes, girl!
It’s finally time to feel the fear and do it anyway. And I
need you to keep my accountable! If you don’t see my video on Facebook by 8pm
Saturday night, I am giving you permission right now to call me out on it! Text,
post on my Facebook wall, anything to make sure that video is up!
Time to punch fear in the face and do it anyway. It’s finally
time to clear the what if bullshit out of my head and go all in!
Let’s do this!
Later Days!


Insanity Week 1 Recap

Today started week 2 of Insanity, which means I survived
week 1! And oh the insanity. I knew that it was going to be crazy and push me
farther than I have ever been pushed by a workout before, and Shaun T did not
let me down at all. In fact somehow he exceeded my expectations.
There were so many times when I couldn’t breathe, felt like I
was going to throw up, and thought I was about to pass out. There were moments
when I experienced all three feelings at the same time. And I actually
chose to do this to myself. I paid for this program. Makes you question my sanity, right? But it did make
me think.
When I started Plymomteric Cardio Circuit for the first
time, I was shocked. There was no modifier. Nothing was low impact. No one was doing any low impact moves. Everybody
was going all out on every exercise. Well, if no one else is,  I guess I’m doing the high impact moves
too. And I did. And I didn’t die. I was stronger than I thought I was. I had
been modifying complete programs for months because I was afraid that I couldn’t
do it. But here I was doing full on power squats, suicide jumps, power jacks,
and Heisman’s like a boss, and so were the people on the screen. And you know
what else they were doing? They were falling out, screaming, grunting and
looking at Shaun T like he had five heads. Just like me. They were no different
from me. We were all struggling to make it through these ridiculously hard
workouts. And we did. 
So the first two workouts I went over in my previous recap,
Plyometric Cardio Circuit and Power Cardio Resistance. Next up, Pure Cardio.
Shaun T should have called it Pure Hell. I thought Insanity Max 30 Friday Night
Fight Round 1 and 2 were crazy. I was wrong. Dead wrong. After the workout was over, I laid
on the floor for a good 2 minutes because I could not move. My heart was pounding out of my chest, my clothes were soaked with sweat, and I could barely catch my breath. I was so delirious
that I brushed my teeth with my face wash. It was that hard. But I finished.
Time for Recovery. Not a lot of cardio, but you still worked up a good sweat. Lunges, squats, and some core work are on deck. And I have to
say, this was a tough workout too! Even the recovery day is insane. You don’t
think so? Try doing squats, followed by squat pulses, followed by a squat hold;
each for a minute. I thought my legs had turned into flame throwers. And that
whole thing about being Day 3 Insanity sore…. It is totally true. I was fine
days 1 and 2, but on Day 3, my calves were beyond tight. And on Day 4, my legs
were completely gone; totally done. Rest day could not come fast enough. I
normally loathe rest days because I feel so lasy when I don’t work out. Not
this first rest day, I slept in and did not feel bad at all. I totally needed
to recover after getting my ass handed to me for 6 days straight.
In a nutshell, is this workout out hard? Yes. Is it intense?
Yes. Will it make you question your sanity? 
Yes. Will it push your current physical and mental limits? Yes. Is it
worth it? Absolutely
Later Days!


The Big D

All of you get your dirty little minds out of the gutter. I
am not talking about that. I do try to keep this blog somewhat PG except for
some four letter words sprinkled throughout just for flavor.
The big D that I referring to is depression. No one ever
wants to admit that they suffer from it. It’s so much easier to put on a big
fake smile and go through the motions of your day until you can get home, curl
up in a ball under the covers, and cry. Sounds like I know a thing or two about
it. Yeah, because I have suffered with depression for years.
There will be a lot of people who know me who will stare at
that last sentence wondering how I hid it so well. They will look back at
conversations and meetings to see if there were any signs that they may have
missed. Where there? Absolutely. But it’s easier to hide the pain instead of
fessing up to the truth. My depression wasn’t constant. It came in waves caused
by some stressful experience or situation. Project at work not going right,
lost my job and struggling to make ends meet, overworked and severely
underpaid, giving up hobbies that I loved because I couldn’t afford them, and
watching people have a good time when I couldn’t. Those have been triggers for
me. It would take every ounce of my being just function, to get out of bed and
go on like nothing was wrong. And very few people know the physical toll that
depression takes. It hurts. I remember how hard it was to physically sit up,
put both feet on the ground, get out of bed, and continue living.
But by the grace of God this is as far as it went. I haven’t
been on medication, probably would have been prescribed something if I went to
a therapist, but that wasn’t an option because, at my lowest point, I didn’t
have the best insurance and I didn’t want people, even my family to know the
Call it pride. Call it a protection mechanism. But why cause
more mental anguish by telling people that you are not well. Letting people
know what is going on with you tends to lead to questions. What happened? Why
don’t you just move on? You are not depressed, get over yourself. Shake it off
and move one. If it were that easy, there wouldn’t be Prozac would there…..
So what changed? And for the record I still get depressed.
But how to fight it? For me it has been working out and Beachbody. I found
Beachbody almost two years ago when it seemed like nothing was going right. I
was holding on to the promise of a pay raise, struggling not to make ends meet,
but to pull them closer together, and trying to keep some resemblance of a
normal life when everything seemed to be crumbing around me. I needed something
to take my mind off of what was not going right in my life, which felt like everything.
I needed something to do at home since hanging out was not an option. So for
some reason, I answered a random post on Instagram to join a Beachbody challenge
group. And it was the best decision I have ever made. Working out gave me a way
to get rid of my stress and I was a part of a group of people who were supporting
each other as we began our fitness journey. I had found my tribe.
And you know what. The two months of T25 came and went. I wanted
to quit lots of times, but I felt like I would be letting everyone else down in
the group if I did. This was the first time I actually finished an entire
workout program and I wanted more. Now, I can’t go a day without working out. It
is my therapy. A good sweat makes me happy (crazy I know, but it works for me).
I wake up every morning and press play. Sometimes it is a struggle but I know
that if I don’t get my workout in, I will be in a bad mood for the rest day. And
if I have had a tough day at work, I’ll work out again in the evening just to
make everything right with the world.
But working out is my thing, maybe it will work for you. But
everyone is different. If you are battling depression try to find something to
take you mind off of things. Go for a walk, listen to music, read a book.
Anything. And if things are really bad, please go see a professional for help.
I haven’t gotten to where I am overnight. It’s been a long
journey and one that I am still on. I know that I will have good days and bad
days and will have to deal with my depression here and there, and that’s ok.  But it’s like Dory says… “Just keep swimming.”
Later Days!


Fitness At Your Fingertips

Just when I think that Beachbody has it all figured out….. they reinvent the game. Beachbody recently introduced it’s Beachbody on Demand platform. Think Hulu and Netflix for Beachbody Programs. What the fudge!

Of course, I was a Beachbody junkie before, but this…. this is a total game changer.. I have been wanting to try some “older” programs for a while (hey Hip Hop Abs) and now I can. Here is the current list of available programs:

  • Hip Hop Abs
  • Insanity
  • Insanity: The Asylum Vol 1 and 2
  • Chalene Extreme
  • Turbo Fire
  • The Complete P90X series (P90X, P90X2, P90X3, P90X one on one: Vol 1 and 2)
  • 10 Minute Trainer
  • Brazilian Butt Lift
  • Rev Abs
  • Tai Cheng

And on top of all that… you can preview newer workouts, such as PiYo, T25, Insanity Max 30, Body Beast, Slim in 6, 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme. More programs are being added all the time. In fact, 6 additional programs will be added in May, bringing the total value of content to over $3,000.00. All available on any Wi-Fi enabled device (computer, phone, iPad). No DVDs necessary.

Oh wait, there’s more. If you have ever purchased a Beachbody program, it will be added to your program list in the near future! I can now stream T25 and 21 Day Fix while on vacation. How awesome is that.

Now fitness is truly at your fingertips! All of these programs for less than the cost of an annual gym membership!

Interested in learning more about Beachbody on Demand? Send me quick note at bshart@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to answer any questions!

Later Days


Ladies Who Lift

I always remember that I love lifting when I start to lift again after taking a break. Insanity Max 30 focuses on using your body weight (think push-ups, planks, and tricep dips) to build muscle, which don’t get me wrong, is amazing and did tone my arms and legs quite a bit, but there is just something about picking up some free weights and doing bicep curls and sqauts that does my body (and booty) good.

“Stop lifting weights. You’re going to turn into a man”, says my mom. No Mother. I will not all of a sudden turn into a Mr. Olympia contestant. Contrary to popular belief, women will not “bulk up” if they lift weights. Strength training will actually give you lean, slender and defined muscles (think Michelle Obama arms), so don’t be afraid to lift! Although, my summer work pants from last year no longer fit due to my current “quadzilla situation”( I am no longer a size petite in the thigh area).

Women, by being women, do not have testosterone, and therefore will not bulk up (myth busted). But there is a certain strength that comes from within when you push through a drop set of weighted Bulgarian squats that makes you feel like you can conquer the world. Go on, give it a try. You may thank me or hate my guts afterward.

I was having trouble deciding which Beachbody program to do while training for the Broad Street Run. My race training plan is pretty simple. Run three days a week (long run on Saturdays), cross train 2 days, and have 2 rest days. Well, let’s just say those rest days turned into cross training days, just because I can’t take that many days off (#teamnodaysoff). Strength training is very popular in the running community because increased muscle mass= faster running and more endurance. Just what every runner wants. Sign me up.

I had been looking at the 21 Day Fix Extreme since it was released in February or March and was sold. I had tremendous results with the original program and since I had just finished Max 30, I could handle the challenge and I would be lifting again and still working out only 30 minutes a day. Score!

I was not ready… and thanks to Beachbody on Demand, I was able to start the program before my DVDs came in the mail. Amazeballs. On deck for Monday…Plyo Fix Extreme. The back story, Plyo and I are not friends. In fact, we are not even aquaintances. I don’t know if I am uber uncoordinated or jumping and my knees don’t have a good working relationship, but everytime I hear the world Plyo, I cringe. But with any journey, you have to do things that you don’t want to so I sucked it up and pressed play. The modifier was jumping. Hold please. Smaller jumps, but she was still jumping. Autumn does not mess around.

 My only saving grace is that Monday is Plyo day so at least I get it out of the way. I will admit, the moves are getting easier to do, but I will not be getting any air like Michael Jordan on my squat jumps.Oh and if Plyo wasn’t enough Wednesday is Pilates… with resistance bands day. Crazy town. Pilates alone gets my butt and abs buring so just think what adding extra resistance does.

For my first round, I used 5 and 8lbs weights, which worked in the begining, but last week I felt like I wasn’t getting a “good” workout. So this week I deceided to increase my weight… which increased the sweat factor! I am actually excited to see what the increase in weight will do.

But that’s not all folks…. the 21 day Fix Extreme also comes with these awesome color-coded containers so you know exactly how much of each food group (protein, carbs, fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and oils) to eat eah day. This is a total game changer. Fitness and nutrition in one deal, plus the workouts are only 30 minutes and the enitre program is three weeks.

Off to through some weight around.

Later Days!

6.2 Hemoglobin Count and Still Kicking

For those health care practitioners out there, you are probably screaming at me to run to the ER because I obviously have some internal bleeding. After some routine blood work as part of my physical, my doctor called me frantic, saying that he had been trying to reach me all weekend and feared that there was something seriously wrong with me because I was not answering the phone. Truth is, like most people, I don’t answer the phone if I don’t know the number. He then proceeded to tell me my hemoglobin level was 6.2, way below the normal range of 12-14 and I needed to go the the emergency room immediately. Here’s the thing…. I felt fine. I worked out that morning (when the admitting nurse heard this she called me a bad ass). I was A-ok. Totally normal. And I was at work so I was not about to take a sick day if I didn’t have to.

Against doctor’s orders, I went to the Emergency room after work. More blood work, waiting, more waiting. At least I had a book and a full telephone battery. The doctor came in with even more terrifying news. “You are being admitted. You need a blood transfusion.” Hold please… At this point, the only thing wrong with me is a spike in my blood pressure because I now have an IV in my arm and have to tell my parents that I am in the hospital. Long story short, I signed myself out. No blood transfusion and still a 6.2 hemoglobin count. I did stay home from work the next day.

So what was the final verdict?? I have Thalassemia. A genetic blood disorder which causes chronic Anemia. I just don’t make enough hemoglobin. And here I thought I was normal.To put things in perspective, I trained for and ran half marathons, a full marathon and completed several intense cardio programs at a hemoglobin level were normal people would pass out or have a gun shot wound. The human body is an amazing thing. My body adapted to be able to train and workout at intense levels, when by all Doctor’s accounts and tests, I should not be able to walk, let alone run. And for full disclosure, I never knew why I couldn’t do high impact exercises. Yes folks, I am a modifier. If I were to go all out, I probably would have a heart attack. And I did come close the first time I Cardio Fix from the 21 Day fix. I had to stop because I felt dizzy and short of breath. Lessons: know your limits and it is perfectly fine to modify!! Don’t try to kill yourself because you think you have to go balls to the wall to prove that you can workout at Shaun T’s level.

After a follow up trip to the hematologist, I am now on prescription iron (yeah I know). But I have counteracted all side effects by increasing my water intake and I becoming vegan. My standard meal is corn, kale, mushrooms, chard, and lentils. Fiber is my friend. I try to stay away from soy thanks the Frankie the fibroid. I do have some meat, but it is maybe once a month. And I will be having steak when I go to Disney World in May. I went back to the hematologist last week for a check up and I happy to say that my levels are now a whopping 9!!!! I made 4 pints of blood in 6 weeks. Booyah! I go back in 4 months and hopefully will be able to kick the iron pills to the curb.

I embrace my abnormally low hemoglobin levels because Thalassemia is just one trait that make me…. me. It’s a part of who I am and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Later Days

Insanity Max 30 – The Final Results

Well, 60 days has come and gone and I made it through Max 30! Like I said before, I knew Insanity Max 30 was just that, insane and I would have to push myself to make it through every workout. Overall Shaun T brought it. An intense cardio and strength training program that had me wondering why I would put myself through this torture. He yelled at me to move faster when I knew full well that if I moved any faster, I would pass out and have to be revived by the dog. But I am so happy that I pressed play and completed this program.

What I ultimately learned, was that Max 30 was more mental than physical. Yes the workouts were tough, but when I first started the program, my mind would give up before my body was ready to, just because I thought that if i didn’t take a break now, I wouldn’t make it through to the end. By day 60, I was saying to myself, “You are going to make it through this workout even if you have to decrease your range of motion or slow down, but you are going to get through this no matter what.” And that’s what I did!
Water breaks were my friend and a measuring tool. Yes, I needed water because I was working out like a crazy person, but the circuits were broken into 5 minute segments with 30 second water breaks (except for the ridiculously hard Friday workouts). All I kept saying to myself was,
“Just make it through the 5 minutes and you can have your life-saving water and a chance to catch your breath!” Sometimes you have to play Jedi Mind tricks with yourself 🙂
Another aspect that I love about Max 30, is Shaun T, even though I wanted to punch him in the face and look at him all kinds of crazy when he decided that it was a good idea to do 8 count push ups after 5 minutes of push up jacks and shoulder taps (yeah, insane).  He is amazing, motivating, inspiring, and funny. And he keeps it real throughout all of the workouts. I was comforted in the fact that even Shaun T hates Shaun T sometimes and even he can’t make it through his own workout without taking a break. Mind blown. The motivational speech before the workout is amazing, and a little frightening.
Thanks to Insanity Max 30, I have learned that I love tabata workouts. Month 1 the intervals were 30 seconds. Month 2… 45 seconds which felt like an eternity. You can do anything for 45 seconds if you put your mind to it. I will definitely be looking into ways to incorporate Tabata into my workout routines.
I also learned to Dig Deeper and sometimes falling out is the only option. I thought that I had some resemblance of upper body strength that myth was was squashed during the first 10 minutes of Max Strength. After one set of 4 count push ups, it felt like I had burning coals for arms. I think it took about 2 hours for my arms to function normally after that workout. The results are amazing. My arms are more toned than ever, and I did not lift one single weight. In Max 30, your body is your equipment. How cool is that.

This is exactly what I thought of Shaun T…. * explicit language
Because of Max 30, I have found my life. Not the meaning of life or my purpose on this planet. But I have found that I wasn’t maxing out at life. I was comfortable going back into child’s pose when things got rough instead of taking a deep breath and pushing through the tough stuff. If I can survive Friday Night Fight Round 2 (the hardest workout I have ever done in my life), then I can handle anything(within reason).
Oh, before I forget, here are my results….
Day 1



Day 60

Well there you have peeps. My Insanity Max 60 Adventure. On to the next big thing… The Broad Street Run!

Later Days!

Insanity Max 30 – The first 30 days

I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I was prepared for the complete butt whooping that was going to take place.I knew I was going to be pushed mentally and physically. I knew that it this was going to be the toughest workout that I had ever done. And that’s what I wanted. I wanted to push myself to the absolute limits. I wanted to see how far I could actually go. That’s why I bought Insanity Max 30 because I knew Shaun T would bring it. And he did.The first week it was all physical. There were times when I physically couldn’t do another rep because I would pass out or throw up. But after that, it was all mental. I knew that if I pushed past a certain point, I could make it to the end of the workout!

Cardio Challenge: This is basically a fit test. All cardio, all the time. Each interval is made up of three exercises that you repeat for three rounds and then you get  a water break. I knew that if I could just get through the last interval, I would get a water break. Getting there was 95% mental.

Tabata Power: The first time I did this workout, I thought my arms were going to fall off. Well, at least I knew what part of my fitness I need to work on! Push-ups, push-ups and more push-ups!! I got through the leg exercises just fine, but anything having to do with my arms was pure torture, especially triceps dips. After the second workout, it turned into mind over body. I knew that if I could get through the 3rd interval without taking breaks, I could make it to the end of the workout. And that’s what I did!!

Sweat Intervals: And it’s time for cardio again!!! Who doesn’t like a good sweat fest. Even more intervals and some ab work too! An amazing intense cardio work out that will have to wondering, why am I doing this and when can I do it again!

Tabata Strength: Well, if Tabata Power wasn’t enough, Shaun T decides to turn it up a couple of notches with this program. The first time I saw the first exercise, I stopped and said out loud, “are you crazy?” This workout is no flippin joke. Just when I thought my arms and shoulders were getting stronger, Shaun T showed me otherwise. To be honest, there were times when I cried and grunted my way through some of the intervals. But I soon realized that I love Tabata style workouts! Just before I pass out, the interval is over! Yeah! There is a reason this program starts during week 3.

Friday Fight Round 1: Ok. If you thought Monday through Thursday was tough, just wait until Friday!!! For me, if I am doing a timed interval or circuit, I live for the water breaks. For the beginning of the week, water breaks are every five minutes. Rough, but doable. Not on Friday. For a 30 minute workout, you get three water breaks. For reals dude? And if that is not enough, Shaun T decides that it would be  great idea to repeat the toughest exercises of the week during one program. Sheesh. Burpee lunges, squat kicks, Ab attack. triceps dips. All the good stuff wrapped up in a nice little package. Honestly, the hardest workout I have ever done! I am the first workout where I laid out on the floor when it was done!

Overall Thoughts: Shaun T said that he was going to kick my butt and he did. I knew going into this, before I even hit pay now on the Beachbody website, that I was in for a tough workout. This program pushed me mentally and physically harder than any other program that I have done before (and that includes T25). Obviously I learned that strength training is my weakness, especially triceps work, but I am getting better. My cardio has improved tremendously over the past month and most importantly, my mental toughness to get through and push past the pain has increased as well!

So who wants to see some pics???

Day 1


Whoa! Mind blown! My arms and legs grew a little bit,but the biggest change… 2 inches off of my hips. In 30 Days. And only 30 more to go!
Can’t wait for Shaun T to bring it!!!
Later Days!

Shredding for the Wedding – Day 2

Star Date September 23, 2014

Yesterday went really well. Surprisingly well in fact. I only ate two Hershey’s nuggets as opposed to my usual 6 or 7!! Chocolate Shakeology, a gallon and a half of water, Strawberry Greek non-fat yogurt (kudos to those who can eat yogurt without anything in it), asparagus, turkey burger plain (no bun, lettuce, nothing). I wasn’t as hungry as I thought I would be. And when my stomach did start to express it’s displeasure about the lack of food I had eaten, I either got some more water or chewing gum.

I got a day behind in my workout schedule last week and wanted to get back on track, so after work (much to the dismay of my puppy since I was cutting into his after-dinner recess) I busted through Body Beast Legs and added 21 Day fix 10 minute Abs to the mix for fun. I feel like I could to go up on my weights when working out my legs, the 8 lbs are starting to feel light. Never thought I would say that. Thankfully the ab workout was only 10 minutes because I don’t think I could have lasted a single second longer. My abs felt like they were being smothered in molten lava and hot coals. Sounds fun doesn’t it? Not really, but what do they say, “no pain, no gain” right?

Of course, immediately after my workout, I checked to see if my 6-pack had started to creep through its protective fluffy coating… No such luck (a girl can dream can’t she?). I just reminded myself that it was only the first day, I have 12 more days days left, and I did work out for 2 hours in a 14 hour period. So forward progress is better than no progress at all.

And after all that working out, I slept like a baby. A cool Fall night didn’t hurt either.

Thinking about trying a DIY body wrap this weekend to see if that can speed up the process. Will let you know how that goes..

Who said beauty wasn’t painful.

Later Days!