The Dailyburn Inferno Progam - Challenge Brings Change
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Why do people hire a personal trainer? Most people know how to exercise. What they really want is accountability and someone to push them a bit farther than they would push themselves.

The funny thing is sometimes I need a little of that too. Accountability isn’t the issue. It’s the challenge, pushing myself way past what I think I can do.

I have a rotation of workouts for myself, changing them out at regular intervals to match my schedule and goals. I like routine. But I also say I never ask my clients to do something I wouldn’t do myself. So it’s time to step out of my comfort zone and try sometime new.

When Dailyburn launched their updated website and a new slate of workouts – including the Inferno program by Anja Garcia – I saw the opportunity to try something fresh and challenging. I love Anja’s Dailyburn workouts – especially Bikini Butt. She’s fun but tough, encouraging but not obnoxious.

I’ve never done, or really been a big fan of, super high intensity programs like Insanity. I worry about beginners picking them up, hurting themselves and being turned off of exercise. I worry about beginners getting burned out from the high volume of work. Then, I had to remind myself, I’m not a beginner. Wasn’t it time to challenge myself the way I want to challenge my clients? Wasn’t it time to at try to kick things up a notch and see what happens? Wouldn’t it be nice to let someone else do the thinking for once? I decided to sign up for the 21 day Inferno program.

I’m not trying to lose fat this holiday season. I want to hold steady, maybe get stronger. Thus my goals for starting this program are simple:

  • Stick with program as directed and let someone else be in charge for a change.
  • Stay focused during a hectic holiday season.
  • Prove that I could take a new challenge

And challenging it is. Week One has pointed out my greatest weakness – upper body strength. I can do push ups if they are slow and controlled. However I fatigue quickly. And a plyo push up? It’s pretty ugly. Add a new goal – push up endurance.

Accepting someone else being in charge of my workout has also proved extremely challenging. I keep wanting to fiddle with the schedule or change an exercise if it seems out of my reach. But isn’t that the point of challenge – to go beyond what we think we can do? It took me until Day 5 to really get it. Challenge brings change – something that Anja says a lot in the workouts and I something I say to my clients all the time. While physical change isn’t my big priority right now – mental change is. I need to let go of the limits I’ve mentally given myself.

Some other high points of the workouts thus far?

  • The Dailyburn challenge is at the end of the workout. Oh so not fair. But I can still do the V ups and side burpees!
  • I like that something is provided on “rest days”. There is a yoga workout and a mobility workout as part of the plan.
  • Workouts are quick. The longest one thus far is 41 minutes. Most are about 30.
  • There is a team of 5 trainers working out with Anja. Occasionally they have to stop and catch their breath too. It may or may not be scripted but it made me feel like less of a wimp.

And what isn’t going so well:

  • The recovery workouts are nice but confusing. It’s hard to follow the yoga verbally but you can’t really look at the screen either. The mobility exercises are great but hard to follow at first. I still don’t think I’m doing the Tea Cup right.
  • This was the first time in a long time that I said to myself during a workout “ this sucks”. Not because of the quality of the workout though! It’s a good workout, just tough. It’s not what I normally do, thus it’s scary. Day 1 and Day 2 were all about me still fighting the idea of following someone else. By Day 4, I finally started to accept the instructions of someone else and enjoy the journey.
  • I like to buck the system. I’ve already had to adjust the schedule because of Christmas. Then I decided, before even trying the Mobility workout, that it wouldn’t be enough and did the DB 15 Core workout first. Big mistake. If your trainer tells you do to something a certain way just do it! There is a reason.

I have a feeling I am going to learn a lot about myself in these 21 days. I’m going to renew my spirit and come out stronger –  mentally and physically – to start 2013.  Can you say the same? How can you challenge yourself to start the new year?

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