7 min is a long time

In which #1 chronicles week 1 of her 7 min challenge.  For, you know, posterity.

Day 1:  Jumping jacks are easy but tiring.  Wall sit, this seems easy oh but now my upper legs are burning.  Why are my leg muscles burning?  Woo, 3 push-ups, go me, I guess.  Cannot do another.  I cannot do a single abdominal crunch or sit-up.  Step up onto chair, another one I don’t understand.  Squats are easy… it’s like how I picked stuff up when I was pregnant.  Triceps dip onto chair, I have never done this and it kind of burns.  Plank… doesn’t happen.  First my toe slips on tax papers on the floor and then I am completely unable to do even one push-up.  I ran out of push-ups in step 3.  High knees running in place– no problem.  Lunge– why is this even an exercise?  The last two things don’t happen– no more push-ups left so no push up and roll and no side plank.  During this time, the kids keep coming in demanding attention, despite having declined to try the exercises with me.

Day 2:  It becomes clear why people online said the wall sit was a challenge.  My day starts with sore leg muscles that remind me they exist every time I walk.  My colleagues ask me if everything is ok and laugh when I tell them.  Two of my colleagues used to force their younger siblings to do the wall sit, they tell me.  Another one says, “oh, I tried the 7 min workout once,” and grimaces.  After dinner I force my tired self to do another set.  This time I get 3.5 push-ups and manage to at least start the plank.  Not the side plank (wait, my rear end is supposed to be off the ground?).  My 8 year old successfully completes the entire circuit and then runs off.

Day 3:  Still sore, but maybe not as much.  Or maybe I’m just used to it.  Back to only 3 push-ups, and forget any crunches.  And I’m pretty sure the side plank isn’t going to happen this month, but you never know.

Day 4:  Amazingly, no longer sore.  Still, took the day off from the work out because of teaching for 6 hours.

Day 5:  My sister asked how it was going.  I told her some exercises were more doable than others.  Not at all sore today.  I did four push-ups in the first set and one in the last (and was able to plank for a bit).  I feel great today and at first attribute it to my exercise regimen, but then realize that my nose is no longer dripping, my head is no longer muffled, and I’m no longer getting vertigo when I dip my head down.  Not being sick is AWESOME.

Day 6:  FIVE pushups in a row.  And 2 in the last set.  And I’ve discovered 7 min goes a lot faster if you’re watching the daily show during it on the other computer monitor.

Day 7:  Another 5 pushups in the first set and 3 in the last set.

20 Responses to “7 min is a long time”

  1. xykademiqz Says:

    This reminds me of the kickboxing practices, I am a bit nostalgic. Maybe I will try the workout with you? I remember when I started kickboxing after having kid No 3, which would have also been like a decade after the most recent workout, I could not to a single full situp. That was really disheartening. But it got better fast, as did the darn plank, and even the side plank! Ah the wall situps… *wipes of tears of nostalgia* Maybe I will join you in the 7 min challenge…

  2. MutantSupermodel Says:

    Go you!! So you’re only doing one right? Is it taking you 7 minutes?

  3. Leah Says:

    keep going! That’s good progress, and it will only get better. When I can stick with it, I really like work outs like this. Something is always better than nothing.

  4. Liz Says:

    Bravo! I’m always amazed at how “being strong” feels in everyday activities, like getting to the top of the stairs carrying groceries without being winded. Or picking up a child without ruining my back. Hope you’re getting some enjoyment out of the 7-min torture sessions.

  5. chacha1 Says:

    see how fast the improvements can be? :-)
    Lunges are a thing because they improve your shock-absorber capacity IF, and it’s a big IF, you do them correctly. They are also a good movement for improving your balance because they require you to engage your pelvic floor and to keep your upper body upright while taking your locus of support off a single plane.
    Many people lunge by leaning forward from the hips. Don’t do that. Keep the upper body back over the hips.
    Many people decelerate by catching themselves at the knee. Don’t do that. Deceleration should come from engaging the butt muscles and hamstrings. Trust me on this, more women blow out their knees than men, and a study showed it’s because women decelerate forward motion at the knee. It doesn’t work because no muscles cross the knee in front.
    Step forward onto the heel, engage the butt and hamstrings, lower into the knee, don’t let the knee go past your toes, and keep the knee lined up over your foot, not inside or outside.
    This concludes your personal training session for the day. :-)

  6. Ana Says:

    Go you! Improvements already! Planks are my nemesis (which of course only means I should be doing them more often but ugh)

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I don’t think I’d ever heard of them before this.

      • Thisbe Says:

        For a totally interesting experience about physics or kinesiology or something, try “plank with your forearms on the floor ” ( I think this is the way the 7 minutes wants you to do it) and contrast with “plank with your hands on the ground ” (yoga plank). I don’t know why I think it is so weird that these two things are experienced so differently.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        plank with my hands on the ground is what I try really hard to do after I run out of push-ups… usually I fail!

  7. GEW Says:

    I’ve been doing the 7-minute workout, and I’ve been surprised at how quickly I get stronger. It’s a great way to squeeze in some exercise that generates noticeable progress! Even if it’s only 7 minutes …

  8. Carolina (@braziliancakes) Says:

    I like doing planks. Well I used to a few months ago, now I’m too pregnant to be able to do them. If you’re having a hard time doing them completely on the floor, you can always start with something propping up your hands/or arms. Like two textbooks of the same height – one for each arm/leg. It makes the plank easier to do while still working out all the muscles. You can also do them on a wall or table, but then you have to really take into account whether you’re activating the right muscles.

    As for pushups, I am terrible at them. But I find that even dipping only ½ or ¼ of the way does increase your strength and will eventually allow you to do all the full pushups.

    Yay for workouts! :)

  9. Linda Says:

    Side planks are super hard for me. Both my ankles are still too weak and you have to use them to balance in a side plank. Unless I’m doing them wrong, which is certainly possible. I really need to do more core stuff. I’ve slacked off on it in the past couple months and can tell the difference in my posture.


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