Happy September everyone! Less than 20 days of Summer left (bittersweet). On a positive note, I’m welcoming Fall with a September Shape Up Challenge! My friend, Blake (pictured below) has decided to lead the charge by taking the challenge publicly on GRIT by Brit. Each week, she will share her progress with us, the good days, the bad days and everything in-between. Blake and I went to Cornell together and now live in Dallas, TX. Like me, she’s also has a long weight-management journey. She describes her weight loss history as “one giant yo-yo.” She’s weighed as much at 200 pounds and as little as 135 – currently she’s somewhere in the middle. Hopefully, the September Shape Up Challenge will help her (and you) establish consistent, healthy habits that are sustainable and effective for a maintaining your target weight.
In terms of exercise, Blake usually tries work out at least 3 -5 days a week usually in the form of 2-3 Flywheel classes. Over the next month, she’s hoping to supplement with some weights/cross-training. Of course I’ve got a few resistance/weight training workouts in mind 🙂
Here are the details for the September Shape Up Plan:
- Consume no more than 1,400 calories per day. When trying to drop a few pounds, you MUST burn more calories than you consume. Don’t let all of your hard work in the gym go to waste by overeating. I suggest using My Fitness Pal calorie counter app to track your food consumption.
- Substitute a smoothie for dinner on days with lower intensity workouts. This will help ensure that you are managing your calorie intake. For smoothie ideas, try one of these LO sugar HI Protein recipes or one of my favorite Dr.OZ Smoothies.
- Stay hydrated throughout the challenge. With all of the exercise, you must drink plenty of water. I recommend at least 2 liters per day.
- Strength/resistance training must be done at least 2X per week. Here are some strength training routines that you can pick and choose from. Just select 1 on your strength training days – all you need are 2 medium/heavy dumbbells: Super Sweaty Dumbbell Circuit ; 10 Minute HIIT Workout ; Gritty HIIT Circuit ; Amazing Arms ; Bye Bye Jiggly Thighs, Tummy, Thighs & Booty Oh My! ; Fab Arms & Core ; Flex & Pump ; Dumbbell Mash Up ; Farewell Flabby Arms (FYI – there are several other weight routines to choose from under the “Workouts” section of my blog menu)
- 1 hour cardio 4X per week. Really push yourself during these calorie blasting sweat sessions. I recommend Spinning, Kickboxing, Running/ Jogging or intensity intervals on the Elliptical.
- Introduce power yoga in to your fitness regimen. Power yoga is a great way to both stretch and strength train. Since Blake doesn’t usually do yoga, it will also be a good way to “shock” her body and add some muscle confusion. Also, it will help stretch sore muscles after strength training. If you live in Dallas, I recommend Karmany Yoga with Amy or American Power Yoga with Julie or Sage. If you live in NYC, I recommend Yoga to the People Midtown on 38th Street – Hot Vinyasa.
Hopefully Blake’s journey inspires yours. Be sure to check back next week to see her progress update and photos! You can also follow Blake’s journey on her blog www.binanutshell.com or on Twitter @blakesachs. Wish her luck – GO BLAKE!