The Expressive Creatrix (and Hobbyist)











A new month!  Time for some new goals, and a new plan.  With the revelation that repetitive workouts like SI6/SS/SSX are hazardous to my back, I guess I can abandon more traditional types of training for now.  I’m taking a break for  bit at the beginning of the month.  And starting my Flat Belly Diet – see my new blog – Shelley’s Quest for a Flatter Belly.  I am also going to try a Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis rotation and aim to start that on February 7. 

1st – 50 min. of hooping.  This was my fifth day of hooping for close to an hour or more in a row, and my back did start to feel a bit sore after I was done.  It went away by late morning, but I’m going to heed the warning and take a day off from the big hoop.  I’ll swing my minis tomorrow, as they’ve been neglected.

3rd – An hour of hooping this morning.  Thirty minutes with the minis and 30 minutes with the regular hoop.  Felt my back a bit, but not a lot, and it disappeared within 20 min. or so after I was done.

4th – I began my day today with Namaste Yoga, Season 1, Firebird.  Very nice.  I had never done “firebird” pose before, and I really enjoyed it.  I followed the yoga with 25 min. of hooping with my minis.  Great arm workout, and I often get my heart rate up a bit with the minis as well. My back has been feeling really, really good!

6th – An hour and twenty minutes of hooping.  One hour with my regular hoop and 20 min. with the minis.

7th – Hooping, 75 min. – 35 with the minis and 40 with the regular hoop.  Worked on pretty low key stuff.  It’s the second day of TTOTM, and I was a bit low energy this morning.  The movement with the hoops, though, helped energize me. I felt much peppier after I was done.

This afternoon I did 60 min. of the Complete Yin practice from Kim Eng’s Yin Yoga.  (I ran out of time for the whole thing, and I may do the remaining three poses before bed.)  Very nice.  I’ve always liked Yin yoga.

8th – This morning I spent 45 min. with the hoops – 30 with the minis and 15 min. of practicing isolations with the big hoop.  Great arm workout!  Especially because I’ve been using my biggest, heaviest hoop to practice isolations in order to strengthen my arms, wrists and shoulders.  I followed the hooping with 10 min. of stretching on my own.

9th – In (giddy) anticipation of my upcoming Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis rotation (starting February 14), I decided I’d better bone up on my TA cardio.  I have a feeling doing the cardio that comes with Metamorphosis for 90 days just might get on my nerves a bit.  LOL!  I’ll need some alternatives, and I’d prefer them to be mostly TA’s stuff. So, I put in my favorite Tracy cardio workout, Dance Aerobics.  I once knew about half of the routines  in the workout, but I haven’t done it in ages, so I decided to re-learn it.  This morning I spent 50 min. learning songs 1-3.   Fun stuff!  Afterwards, I spent 10 min. stretching on my own.  I am sooooo looking forward to Metamorphosis.  I’m hoping it really adds to the results I’ll get with my Flat Belly Diet.

10th – More Dance Aerobics with Tracy, 40 min. worth, practicing songs 1-3, which I learned yesterday.  Ten minutes of stretching on my own when I was done.  My back did feel a bit tweaky later, and the next morning my calves were really sore.  I think 2 days of Tracy’s high impact is enough.  Better take a day off.

11th – Hooping, 40 min.

12th – Hooping 60 min. – 50 with the regular hoop; 10 with the minis.

Note:  I’m beginning my Metamorphosis – Hipcentric rotation now.  I will most likely post longer posts re: how I’m doing with it at my Flat Belly Blog.  Here I’ll mostly stick to report the workouts I did and possibly some quick, random thoughts.

13th – Metamorphosis Day 1 – Muscular Structure (MS) Sequence 1 (arms and standing abs x2), 40 min. + hooping, 30 min.   (I am going to do the first week of Meta without doing the cardio component so I can see how my back takes doing the same toning workout every day.)

14th – Metamorphosis Day 2  – MS Sequence #1 (arms and standing abs x2)m 40 min.  I woke up with a bit of soreness today, particularly in my butt cheeks, hips and triceps, although I could actually feel a tiny bit of soreness almost everywhere.  I worked more on “performing” the exercises, and it definitely makes them more challenging.  I’m getting most of the reps in the lower body work, although I took breaks during both legs on exercise #3, and I paused the DVD between exercises # and #4.

In the afternoon I worked with my regular hoop for 60 min.

15th – Metamorphosis Day 3 –  MS Sequence #1 (arms and standing abs x2).  I added my own short warm up, did the arms and standing abs segments twice and then added a few minutes of extra stretching in on my own – all that, plus a few seconds here and there to pause and rest during the lower body work, clocked in at around 45 min.  I was really, really sore when I woke up this morning – all over!  Working out though, helped alleviate much of it.  So far, so good.  My back is doing well!  I’m so happy about that, and I pray it continues!  I’m really starting to “perform” the moves and put more into them, and I can feel it.  Although the work seems harder then, I often feel stronger and almost like I can do more reps before needing a break.  On both sides, I was able to get all the way through exercises 1 and 2 without pausing.  Progress!

16th – Metamorphosis Day 4 –  MS Sequence #1 (arms and standing abs x2).  I added my own short warm up, did the arms and standing abs segments twice and then added a few minutes of extra stretching in on my own – all that, plus a few seconds here and there to pause and rest during the lower body work, clocked in at around 45 min.  I started with my left leg for the lower body work today, and I was able to make it through exercises 1, 2 and 3 without pausing!  I did pause before the start of 4, though, but then made it all the way through 4 and the two exercises on the knees without pausing.  I had to pause more when I worked the right side.  Mostly because my left (supporting) leg was needing a break.  My back was a bit sore yesterday, but it was okay when I got up, so I went ahead with the workout.

In the evening I spent 25 minutes hooping.  Bliss.

17th – Metamorphosis Day 5 – MS Sequence #1 (arms and standing abs x2).  I added my own short warm up, did the arms and standing abs segments twice and then added a few minutes of extra stretching in on my own – all that, plus a few seconds here and there to pause and rest during the lower body work, clocked in at around 45 min.  Another great day!  Feeling stronger and stronger, although I still need rests during the lower body work! 

My back is still feeling great, and I had to do it.  I just had to!  After the MS work, I popped in Meta Cardio and did 10 min.  Mostly I just wanted to try it out, and I also thought  a mini test run for my back would be good.  I only did 10 minutes, and believe me, that was enough!  A LOT of bouncy impact here.  I’m not saying it doesn’t the potential to be fun and a hell of a workout, but the impact is probably too much for me to handle on a daily basis. I think I’ll try again tomorrow or Sunday and maybe try adding on another 5 min.  This is one I’ll have to work into!  I still prefer TA’s other cardio vids with more choreography and a little break from the mega-high impact once in a while. This one, though, I didn’t find too hard to follow. I don’t think it would take long at all to learn this one.

18th – Metamorphosis Day 6. MS Sequence #1 (arms and standing abs segment x2), followed by Rockin’ Body: Party Express + extra stretch on my own, 75.  I wanted to do some cardio (I know I wasn’t going to until next week, but I really feel I need to get some in), but I didn’t feel like jumping to the Meta cardio, so I chose Shaun T. instead.  Fun stuff!  I struggled a bit more with the MS work today, and took more breaks than I have been.  I think I’m just experiencing some fatigue after six days straight.  I’m glad tomorrow is a rest day!

19th – Metamorphosis Rest Day.  Technically it’s a rest day, but I take that to mean a “rest” from the MS work!  LOL!  Besides, I over-indulged in some beer last night, so I felt the need to make amends. I spent 80 min. learning and practicing some of the songs on TA’s Dance Aerobics and playing with my hoop.  I didn’t get too crazy, but I did do the performances of the first and second songs.  Whew!  TOUGH stuff!  I didn’t do them back to back. I don’t know if I could!  I really want to get good at TA’s tough cardio, though, so to the extent my back (and body) will tolerate the impact, I’m going to try to do her cardio most days.  I would love to be able to dance a full hour with TA!  Definitely something that will require a lot of work and time!

20th – Metamorphosis Day 7 – Okay, back after the short break from the MS work yesterday.  Again, it was Transform 1, MS Sequence 1.  I did pretty well with it today.  Better than Friday, when I was getting fatigued after six days in a row.  I still need breaks from time to time, but mostly these are to give my supporting leg a break.  If it weren’t for needing to give that leg a rest, I could probably go all the way through.  I followed the MS work with 30 min. of TA’s Dance Aerobics.  I did Song #1 twice, Song #2 twice, did the breakdown for song #3 and then did that one twice.  Whew!  I do notice that when I push myself, I do get a second wind during the cardio.  I start off great, but after 10 min. I start feeling really winded.  If I just give myself a short rest, I can jump back in and actually really kick it for the rest of the session.  I’m really liking doing TA’s cardio, but unfortunately I know my feet and shins won’t be able to hack doing it daily.  I think I’ll try for TA’s cardio 3x/week (one of those times doing it on the rebounder) and then do other dance workouts that are lower impact the other 3 days.  I’m also going to attempt to do 45 min. to an hour of cardio on days I have time, which will be Sundays and Mondays for sure.

21st – Metamorphosis Day 8 –  Transform 1, MS Sequence 1 (both arms and standing abs segments twice) + w/up on my own, 10 Min. Solution Fat Blasting Dance Mix (3 segments for 30 min. of cardio), and stretching on my own, 85 min.  In the evening I swung my mini hoops for an hour and a half, which is a great upper body workout!

22nd – Metamorphosis Day 9 – Transform 1, MS Sequence 1 (both arms and standing abs setgments twice) + w/up on my own + Leslie Sansone’s 2-Mile High-Calorie Burn with hoop (1st mile core hooping; 2nd mile off-body hooping), 70 min. total.  Adding the hoop to a Leslie is one of my favorite workouts!

This evening I was feeling quite tight (especially in the upper back, neck and shoulders, so I did the neck/shoulder section from Yoga In The Garden of Serenity followed by Yoga Booty Ballet’s Pajama Time.  Aaaaahh.  Exactly what I needed!

After my late dinner (8:00 p.m.), I did 15 min. of mini hooping and 10 minutes of work with my regular hoop.  A lot of great physical activity today. I’m a very happy girl!

23rd – Metamorphosis, Transform 1, MS Sequence 1, Day 10 (final day, yea!!) (both arms and standing abs setgments twice) + w/up on my own + Meta Cardio on rebounder, 80 min. total.  Meta Cardio is a bit tough to do exactly as is on the rebounder.  It’s impossible to get the timing the same as Tracy who’s on the floor.  I ended up freestyling quite a bit.  That’s okay. It was fun, and I kept up the high energy for the full 30 min., something I never would’ve been able to do on the floor.  My final day with this sequence.  Moving on to sequence 2 tomorrow!

24th –  Metamorphosis Day 11 – Transform 1, Muscular Structure Sequence 2.  WOW, WOW, WOW!  Just when I thought I couldn’t love a workout more than MS 1, along comes MS 2!  This one is awesome!  The arms and standing abs move wicked fast, and it’s definitely going to be a challenge to keep up with Tracy and maintain the control she demands!  I’m glad I have 9 more times with this one to work on it!  I found the floor abs a bit hard to follow, like the arms and standing abs, she moves fast and changes tempo and moves a lot.  The lower body work is simply genius!  The first two exercises are done on all fours, and they are so unique!  The next exercise is done in an upright kneeling position, and the final two are done lying on the side.  Incredible variety here, and the supporting leg is worked just as much as the “working” leg.  In fact, on both sides, it feels like both legs are working equally. It’s really amazing!

I followed it with Leslie’s The Big Burn, which is 2 miles of intervals.  During the lower intensity work, I worked my arms constantly doing “TA style” arms.  Lots of movements, pulses, etc.  During the 90-120 second “boosted walking” (a/k/a jogging), I did TA style dance moves instead – lots of different kicks, ponies, chasses, etc.  Fun!   All in all, 75 min. spent working my body today!  Aaaahhhhh!

25th – Metamorphosis Day 12 – Transform 1, Muscular Structure Sequence #2.  Again, I really like this one.  The flow is great, as are the exercises.  Totally different than the exercises in the first sequence.  Was able to keep up and follow the arms segments and standing abs segment. I just might be able to get these before the 10 days of Sequence 2 are up!  I would love to do them twice each day, but time is an issue on work mornings. I may try to do them twice on Sunday and Monday.  I followed the MS work with Brazil Butt Lift: Cardio Axe, which is a fantastic, fun 30 min. cardio workout. I haven’t done this one in ages!  I forgot how much I liked it!  It’s not as intense as TA’s cardio (but it doesn’t have any impact, which I need from time to time), but it really involves the hips, butt and abs, so it’s perfect after the Meta MS work.  It’s like the icing on the cake! 

I felt some soreness definitley in my hamstrings today.  I like to note that because I noticed with Transform 1, Sequence 1, the soreness tended to move around despite doing the same exercises every day.  I’ll be interested to see where it migrates next!

26th – Today is my rest day from Meta.  Good thing as I had a bit of a stomach issue thing last night and didn’t sleep well.  If one is going to be sick, it’s always nice when it falls on a rest day!  I feel okay now. I may do some hooping – after I take a nap!  Definitely feeling soreness still in the thutt area.  Nice.

27th – – Metamorphosis – Transform 1, Muscular Structure Sequence 2, Day 3 (Day 13 total).  I really love this sequence. I had time today, so I did the arms and standing abs twice. I can keep up with TA and do all the reps of ALL of the lower body exercises until I get to the last one (the pulsing lifts while lying on the side). I’m to the point with that one where I can go right into it, but after about 10-20 reps, I need to take a break. I take just a quick one, though and get right back into it! At first I was concerned that since I can do so much more at this point with S2 than I could with S1 that it wouldn’t be challenging for me. However, because I can do all the reps and I’m not struggling to keep up, I can really focus on reaching, stretching, engaging my whole body, getting those “ta da” moments in and focusing on the cross-vectors (which despite what the naysayers say, really make sense to me). I love how I feel much of this sequence in the thutt and outer thigh area. Those are the areas I’m must concerned with, and I like feeling a burn right in my saddlebags! I know you can’t “spot reduce” with toning, but if I can pull in and tighten that area, perhaps the saddlebags will shrink, and eventually disappear if I can get the cardio to burn the fat that likes to reside there! LOL!

I also had time to do a longer cardio. I did Dance Off the Inches: Cardio Hip Hop, which isn’t overly hard cardio wise, but it keeps me in a nice steady state for 45 minutes.  All in all, I had a 90-minute workout this morning, and I loved every minute of it!  I always feel great the day after a rest day!  🙂

28th – Transform 1, Muscular Structure Sequence 2, Day 4 (Day 14 total) (w/up on my own) + Abs Diet 2 HIIT workout, 65 min.



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