When you start out, it is wise to take your fitness slowly. You don’t jump in too deep too early, and overwhelm yourself – which would make you crash and give up and get extra UNfit. You EASE your way in.

But the flip side of that is that you are always ramping up. It never gets easier. I guess I had hoped it would be like boiling a lobster – I wouldn’t notice the heat rising until I am a fully cooked model of fitness. Sadly, it is the opposite, every new degree burns and scalds you.

That sounds grim. But after coming out the other end of the 30 day hot yoga challenge, after taking a vacation for a week, I have come back to find my workouts are waiting for me, ready to kick my butt. And there are always ways to tweak my progress, to turn up the heat a little more.

The shoulder workout on Sunday was tough! I felt roughed up the next day (today, aka Monday). My tank felt dry and I dragged my feet a lot at work. But it wasn’t a rest day, I had leg day with Leslie! And I forgot my preworkout at home! Blast it!

I dragged myself in, and warned Leslie I felt “bombed and depleted”, 2 shades short of half in the bag. She patted me on the shoulder, and proceeded to take me through a rogue’s gallery of the most draining leg exercises (most draining for me).


warmup on elliptical
squats: 135 x 12, 155 x 12, 155 x 12
step-ups with knee raise and 35 lb dumbbells: 12, 12, 12 (each leg)
vertical leg press: 360 x 12, 12, 12, 12
lunges with 25 lb dumbbells: 10, 10, 10 (each leg)
bent leg raises followed by double crunches: 10/10, 10/10, 10/10
side planks: 30 sec each side x 3

notes: maybe step-ups and lunges aren’t draining for you, but I am big and heavy, more grizzly bear than jungle panther, so they were draining for me… and that’s why Leslie picked them, haha. Anything involving throwing my bodyweight around is tougher than laying down and pushing iron – I would rather leg press 360 pounds over and over than do step ups with 35 lb dumbbells, lol!

Leslie said she was “taking it easy on me” by only doing 3 sets of squats. It was a trap!! It meant more step ups and lunges. (Actually, we did 4 sets of leg press, so it wasn’t all punishment.)

After the legs, some ab/core work. Although sadly, I still felt my thighs burning during the double crunches, I think it was because my legs were suspended in the air.

instead of working out, how about a pic of me catching my breath?

instead of working out, how about a pic of me catching my breath?

yes, yes, more leg press!

yes, yes, more leg press!

I struggled to maintain my good mood. When I tried to stay upbeat, Leslie would remind me that I need to tighten up my diet. I eat too much bread 😦 But it’s so delicious! I gave up pasta and rarely have rice, but bread remains a pleasure.

After dragging myself out of the gym, did I mention it had been freezing rain all night? Walking on sheer ice with wobbly tired legs is no treat, I promise! When I made it home, I wanted some bread so bad! I could swear I NEEDED it to reward myself for my hard work, to buoy my mood, to cheer me up, to relax. But I decided, “I was already in pain, why not reap the rewards and eat clean?” So no bread, instead some chicken, some veggies.

Looks like it’s gonna be a cold night tonight, gonna huddle under the blanket and hope for a sunny day tomorrow. But I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t get any easier.