28 Day Ab Challenge

Ashy Bines Ab Challenge Review

Dear Diary…

Day 1 – I’m pretty sure I just did leg day… I’m therefore a little confused as I thought this was supposed to be a core workout programme. However, it was a great workout! It took 1 hours, 5 minutes and included some exercises I knew and some I didn’t. Thankfully, all of the exercises are explained in videos on one page of the website and they’re arranged alphabetically so that you can find them easily. I get no mobile signal in the gym so I watched all the ones I didn’t know beforehand and made a note on them on the printed our schedule that I have. (Edit update: Theres an app! It has all the workouts and videos for each exercise included in it. Get this. It makes life so much easier). Some of the moves I adapted or just omitted due to having bad knees (bad joints altogether, really) so things like bouncing lunches are instantly removed for me. But most of them were good. Day 1 gets a thumbs up!

Day 2 – I definitely did leg day yesterday! I have not been able to reach my feet today and walking is much more effort than it should be! Dropping something and having to bend down for it was the worst part of my day, except for coming home from today’s session and remembering that I live in the top floor 🙁 Today’s workout, though, was all about the core and abs. At the half way point I realised two things: 1 – this woman is trying to kill me; and 2 – I am really enjoying this workout. Again, quite a few new exercises, but I liked them all and  can feel them working even as I did them. Looking forward to Day 3!

Day 3 – I barely made it home from work today. It’s a 55 minute walk there and again back at night and everything ached from the last couple of days. I also have had to wear my boots due to the crappy Scottish weather so that became uncomfortable by the end of today. The biggest mistake, I think though, was that I did not eat enough. I took the pina colada smoothie from the meal plan with me for breakfast and it was disgusting, which is very sad as it sounded as though it should have worked together. So I was then left with no breakfast and chocolate protein crepes for lunch and it just wasn’t enough. I didn’t make it to a workout. However, Day 7 is just a 40-50 minutes fat burning walk, so I’m thinking to score that off as done and continue with Day 3 tomorrow. That way, by Day 8 it will have evened out again. In the mean time, bring on the food!

Day 4 – Today I did the Day 3, Upper Body work out. I did not enjoy this one. There were lots of cable exercises and I’m just not fond of cables. I had to skip a couple of the exercises due to it being too painful in my shoulders (that bad joints thing again). My previous experience with cables has been like that too. There are lots of pulling and twisting motions and I find that at the point of the twist it puts a lot of strain on my wrists or shoulders. I also didn’t know most of the moves for today so I lost time checking my notes and trying to work out how to do it correctly. On top of this, I went in the middle of the day, when the people who don’t work and just live at the gym are there, so it was a bit intimidating being this tiny female (I’m a whole 5 feet tall and only 54kg) trying to get a space on all the big boy weight machines when everyone else on them was at least double my size. I got a couple of patronising smiles… That’s just a confidence thing. I’ll work on that. But yeah, not my favourite workout today. Next time upper body core comes around, I think I’ll try the home version.

A Slight Change of Tone

I’m not going to do a day-by-day account for the full thing. The general structure of the week goes Lower Body, Full Body, Upper Body and Core, Yoga, HIIT, Cardio and Yoga again. If you’re working out every day, you should take a couple of days a week as restorative workouts, for example yoga or a relaxing swim, a power walk, take your book to the stationary bike and just chill out on it… Your body needs those days to recover, but you don’t necessarily have to take a rest day. Unless, of course, you’ve over worked or under eaten a bit.

Apart from the yoga sessions, every workout was different so I was never bored with any of them. My favourites were the Lower Body and Full Body workouts. The Upper Body gym workouts didn’t do it for me at all. There were a lot of cable exercises that I have never liked and have always had issues with due to my wrists. However, there is the home version and what I did was mix and match the exercises from that and the gym version to make a workout that I was happy doing as the home workouts for upper body are basically just millions of push-ups. If you don’t enjoy the workout, there’s no point. You just won’t stick to it. I learned a lot of new moves from these workouts and any that I wasn’t able to do, I was able to either swap or alter to work for me. The home version makes this accessible to everyone as you don’t need to have exercise equipment to do it. Most of the moves are based on your body weight. The gym workouts are different as you use the gym equipment such as the exercise bike, treadmill, cross trainer, weights, suspensions…

While this was meant to be an exercise programme for abs, you most definitely get a full body work out. I swear that my boobs even looked better at the end of this! As well as my legs and abs. I even have this tiny little two-pack going on. By the end of this 28 days, in fact, after just 14 days, I felt amazing. I honestly don’t think I’ve felt that I looked this good since I was 19 and had spent 3 weeks training karate in Japan. I loved this programme so much that when it ended, I’ve just started it all over again.

I have to admit though, that I didn’t really follow the food plan. I took a few ideas from it, but generally I feel that I eat pretty well and I don’t like limiting what I can and can’t eat. Deprivation is never a sustainable approach to food, especially for me. The other thing to point out is that the programme claims to be for people of all fitness levels and people who have very little time. Busy mums can fit it in with just 10 minute breaks a day. I don’t agree with this at all. I’m reasonably fit. I’ve been a competitive athlete for 13 year, I’ve done sports pretty much constantly since I was 13 and I’ve never not had a gym membership in the last 10 years, but I struggled getting through most of these workouts. Some of them saw me lying on the gym floor, talking out loud to myself to convince myself to just do one more set and make it to the end. I also didn’t have a workout that lasted less than 45 minutes. Each one took about an hour, ranging from 45 to 80 minutes. So people with only 10 minutes a day to exercise, I’m not sure how they’d fit this in. Maybe breaking it up and doing a section at a time? However, having said that, I would still highly recommend this workout programme, just go into it knowing that it’s hard and if you don’t finish a workout, that’s ok. Take a note of how far you got and just go further next time. Doing half a workout is still better than doing no workout and these are hard!

If you want to give it a try, you can find the sign up info here;

https://ashybinesabchallenge.com/abslimelight

It’s not free, but it’s pretty cheap and worth way more than I paid for the confidence and body that it gave me. Now, I just need to keep it up!

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Amy

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