TV Binge: Skate Into Love (冰糖炖雪梨, 2020)

Skate Into Love (冰糖炖雪梨, 2020)

Skate into Love

Director: Yui Bun Chu

Cast: Steven Zhang, Janice Wu, Lijie Zhou, Vincent Wei, Jiunuo Han, Lei Zhang, Ziling Ding, Bo Cao, Tianyu Qin, Xuanlin He, Yue Chu, Eman Zhang,

A speed skating girl crosses paths with the ice hockey god of their school. Despite starting off on the wrong foot, they start on a journey to chase after their dreams. – MyDramaList

Where to Watch: Youtube

STORY

Skate Into Love is the second series in the Honey Trilogy adapted from novel of the same name by Jiu Xiaoqi (the first was Ashes of Love. You can see my review HERE). Its essentially a sports and romance drama about a bunch of youths chasing after their ice sports dreams and trying to beat the impossible and get into the next Olympics in speed skating, hockey and figure skating. Chinese Olympians and professional athletes were hired in the production to choreograph the moves to keep it realistic as well as the cast had to take lessons to perform their own skating. Some things a tad over exaggerated like the scene above where if an arena’s partitions could break and shatter with a player checking another one. That’s just nitpicking obviously.

Its a breath of fresh air every once in a while to see series that is about something other than solely romance. In this one, its about chasing dreams while also showcasing the different successes ice sports have achieved over the years since they did cast some Olympians into the show as cameo roles and they had consultation to keep the series grounded and realistic. Chasing dreams and perseverance is a big backdrop here even if the characters do have their own little family dramas and complicated friendships and other competitions. There are love triangles and different romantic connections as well but it never loses focus that the premise revolves are these charming characters finding strength in each other whether as teammates in a hockey team or competing against each other as an anchor to be better or even finding the inner confidence to rekindle the love with a sport and balancing its importance and other elements in life.

LENGTH/PACING

Episodes: 40
Length of episodes: 35 mins

For 40 episodes, Skate Into Love manages to have a great pacing. It sets up where these athletes are at when the story starts especially with a focus on female main character Tang Xue and her speed skating dream that she had to give up because of an injury in high school and because of this, her family’s opposition to her choosing this career for something more steady career path. As she meets again her elementary school friend and current university hockey team leader Li Yu Bing and work through their past issues and gradually become friends and have romantic feelings for each other, she also encounters figure skating university athlete Yu Yan who she treats like a brother and defends him because of his more timid and introvert personality and breaks him out of his protected environment to show him the world that he is missing which leads him to be a love interest.

The story focuses on Tang Xue but as her friendships and teammates expands into those characters friends and dreams, it builds up on each of the tangent to help build up these characters properly along with the things that are important to them and the sacrifices they will do for their dream and for each other. Its about relationships, dreams and friendship. Like most dramas, life isn’t fair and is rather complicated and yet while staying in the realm of the focus of this story, it doesn’t forget to also create great moments between each of these characters and how they help each other to move forward and the struggles they have to work through their own inner struggles of being an athlete as well as the difficulties they face from outside influences. Each issue and success in the development is timed well and each character development and relationship build-up also blends well with the flow of the story to make these characters more likable. There are sweet and happy moments and there are sad and nerve-wrecking challenges, just like how life normally is.

The deal is that the show works through each of these three leads and their own ice sports focus and the path they need to take. The structure is set up very clearly and that’s why the pacing also works smooth.

CHARACTERS/CHEMISTRY

Li Yu Bing (Steven Zhang) & Tang Xue (Janice Wu) & Yu Yan (LiJie Zhou)

I have to say that Janice Wu is one of my favorite Chinese actresses. Her acting skills is able to embody this strength in each of her character whether its the stubbornness or perseverance and also manages to give quite a bit of depth, just like layers that they peel back to see her character having a tough side but also a rather sweet and shy side when in love. There’s also this loyalty to her friends. That’s the charm of the character of Tang Xue that she portrays. Paired up with each of these male leads, it has a different dynamic. The difference in this story is that her love trajectory, other than her high school crush that shows up again to try to break up her and Li Yu Bing all the time out of jealousy (which I will talk about in a later section), her heart is loyal to her current love Li Yu Bing that starts like most dramas on an “enemy” stance which she never quite understands how it happens. When the childhood friendship blends with her present, it shows another side of her character. Steven Zhang and Janice Wu gradually starts off in a more comedic pranking each other sort of manner and eventually, their chemistry also grows throughout the series from sweet moments to a couple that you can root for because both of these characters may be flawed but have great characteristics that make them incredibly likable plus together they make each other better.

Add in the equation of Yu Yan, his character lives in a closed world that expands because he meets Tang Xue. Lijie Zhou does a good job also in taking on this role. His character has the cute and timid title of a “little sheep” because he is rather naive and doesn’t know much about the world around him, lacks decisiveness and is controlled by his mother in order to push him to be a successful figure skater. As his character grows, he loses his focus and ends up struggling through an inner battle and things spiral out of control. His story is one that focuses on friendship and support network in a sport that is a very lonely fight that maybe doesn’t need to be that lonely. A solid second male lead that I enjoyed watching. He wasn’t frustrating but at the same time, he was a naive character to say the least that went through a phase of growing up from experiencing a lot of first times that “normal” young adults at his age would have if his world wasn’t revolving around strict training.

The dynamic between these three character is also a huge anchor in Skate Into Love and it works well together.

Sports Team and Teammates

With sports series, its important to talk about teams and teammates dynamic. Coming from Montreal, hockey is in the blood of everyone here so Skate Into Love having a focus on a university hockey team is a big part of the attraction to the series alone. The team here is actually focused heavily on three of the characters: Li Yu Bing who plays the captain, his best buddies and roommates, Jiang Shi Jia (Bo Cao) and goalie Deng Jian Guo (Zihe Jin). The hockey team dynamic is actually rather fun since they go through the phase of transition between leaving university team to moving to a professional team and contemplating their future.

Speed skating team where Tang Xue is also shares a huge focus on dynamic. The other character that hasn’t been mentioned yet would be a girl who has a crush and great friends with Li Yu Bing who is the champion speed skater in their team that she chooses to pick as the goal to beat in order to boost her own time in order to stay on the team. Its a group effort of working together even if speed skating is a solo sport. They find a different friendship dynamic which progresses throughout the series.

Teammates and sport shows heavily focuses on sportmanship and thats the great dynamic that these characters are able to show. Its a different kind of chemistry between these friends and teammates.

Liao Zhenyu (Tianyu Qin) & Xia Menghuan (Xuanlin He)

The happy fountain goes to the supporting roles of Tang Xue’s best friends. One from high school who ends up sharing the information of Tang Xue’s loyalty and personality and the other is her university roommate. These two get together fairly quickly as a couple. They act both as friends support system as well as the comedy and happy elements in this series. Their relationship and how these two interact is very sweet and cute. At the same time, these two characters do stand out since it helps sooth over some of the more dramatic parts.

Bian Cheng (Vincent Wei) & Zhou Ran (Yue Chu)

Love interests and characters that get more and more extreme in their negative emotions are usually the frustrating elements of any TV series. I do say that some of this does occur. Bian Cheng and Zhou Ran both have their own revelations to get through and they bond because of their own warped desires that end up showing their selfish natures instead of truly loving the people they are trying to get while setting up situations to break up Tang Xue and Li Yu Bing. These two go through quite the vengeful trail that becomes frustrating because its stemmed from a lot of unnecessary emotions that they just get stuck in most of the time and they don’t see losing themselves in the process and losing sight of their value, making themselves having some unpleasant consequences in the end. Definitely not my favorite characters but they are necessary to create friction in a series that is fairly fun to watch in general.

OVERALL

Skate Into Love is an outstanding Chinese drama. Its not only because it focuses on youths chasing their dreams and making their own sacrifices and trials and tribulations and all the sweat and fatigue that goes into being a professional athlete. In any series, its about balance and Skate Into Love has a good view of this. It has a lot to do with director Yui Bun Chu who really has a great eye of how each scene is portrayed. Moving away from Ashes of Love which is a more dramatic and fantasy love story and taking on the second separate story which is more sweet and light-hearted but with a very meaningful sport series element, its executed very well. Whether its the characters and dialogue or balancing between drama, comedy and sweet romance, everything is very on point. Its a ton of fun to watch and one that is incredibly bingeworthy.

With that said, Yui Bun Chu is also helming the final series in this Honey trilogy which seems like it will group back all four leads of Ashes of Love and Skate Into Love to create another story set more in the fantasy realm again. Its one to look forward to for sure.

MAIN THEME

Double Feature: Varsity Blues (1999) & A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits (2016)

It feels like quite a while since I did a double feature but that might be because I’ve been taking a little movie watching break and binging some more TV that I never happen to write about (but I will, I promise). A bit of a mixed bag here although you could call this a young adult/adolescent pairing? I don’t know when A Cinderella Story for this one takes place. Its usually around the high school phase as well.

Varsity Blues (1999)

varsity blues

Director: Brian Robbins

Cast: James Van Der Beek, Jon Voight, Paul Walker, Ron Lester, Scott Caan, Amy Smart, Eliel Swinton, Ali Larter

A back-up quarterback is chosen to lead a Texas football team to victory after the star quarterback is injured. – IMDB

Those who know me know that I’m a huge fan of Paul Walker, as a human being and truly do miss his presence since he had done some fantastic work in Fast and the Furious as well as other movies. I’m sure that I’ll be doing something in the Sunday Lists very soon. With that said, I haven’t seen Varsity Blues before where he plays the supporting role of Lance Harbor, the injured star quarterback mentioned in the plot summary above. The main character here is played by James Van Der Beek. Going into Varsity Blues blind did give me quite the shock because it is quite an intense film especially in the sense, of how Jon Voight’s character as the coach of the team.

Varsity Blues is quite generic in the coming of age sports film but it shines in its performances and the cast member. The movie also has some pacing issues particularly in the beginning however the second half of the film does redeem itself quite a bit as that is where I was truly invested into the movies. It touches a lot on say the future of the dreams but also brings into other realities of say race and prejudices as well as unreasonable ambitions and doing/fighting for what is right and following your heart instead of what others perceive as your future or the path you should take.

I was a little underwhelmed by the film as its fairly average but the decent performances does make it worth a watch.

A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits (2016)

a cinderella story if the shoe fits

Director: Michelle Johnston

Cast: Sofia Carson, Jennifer Tilly, Amy Louise Wilson, Jazzara Jaslyn, Thomas Law, David Ury, Sven Ruygrok

A contemporary musical version of the classic Cinderella story in which the servant step daughter hope to compete in a musical competition for a famous pop star. – IMDB

I have no idea how these A Cinderella Story is still going on. I think I’m missing like the third one if this one is the fourth one. I do like the Hillary Duff one with Chad Michael Murray which started it all. Its one I watch every once in a while for the obvious reasons that the cast is spectacular with Jennifer Coolidge as the absurd mean stepmother role. The next one after that was Another Cinderella Story with Selena Gomez which I didn’t love but enjoyed since it had some cute moments and lovely dancing and singing moments. I didn’t bother with the third one since I figured this stuff wasn’t worth my spending money on it so to fill up some background noise and uninvested movie viewing, I put this on because I saw it on Netflix. I know no one in this one and its all quite rinse and repeat. There’s some dancing and the opening thing of singing and dancing seems like this female replica of Grease’s Grease Lightning part. However, this one is just bad. The humor is not funny. The acting is meh. The singing and dancing is okay. The story is generic.

It was something of a waste of time but then I mean, as background noise, I guess it fit the bill but I wouldn’t watch it again.

Week 34&35: Persistance and Discipline is the Key!

Seems like discipline is my main thing I’m working on.  With the novel writing and keeping up with everything in life, my blog has slowed itself down and I’m actually enjoying it.  There’s less pressure to go mad writing up posts every night.  Its a nice breather.   I love the blog but sometimes, I need a little break as well to let other things fall into place.  I’m hanging around for an unforeseen length of time so lets not burn myself out.

Talking about that! The goal this week, starting November 1st was two challenges.  One is the Tribesports November Push-up Variations Challenge.  30 day in length to fill up the entire month.  Its right under here!

30 Day Push up Challenge

So far, I’ve actually really liked the whole incline push-up concept.  Its pretty awesome and my arm, shoulder and chest are definitely getting a good workout because they are all contracted and sexy 😉 I don’t intend on stopping. I realized that technically I can stay on track with this because as long as there is a flat ground, then no matter at home or not, I can “easily” fit it into my schedule.

Pairing up with this one  is a 30 day challenge that is part of the 30 day fitness challenges I’m working on.  After much debate, I decided on doing the 30 day Crunch challenge. I’ve felt like I’ve been slacking off on my core so this one should bring it back a little bit.  Here’s what this challenge looks like:

30 Day Crunch Challenge

30 Day Crunch Challenge

I can tell you after the first few days, I already knew my core is going downhill.  50 crunches was ok, then by 55 the next day, my abs were burning by the time it hit 40.  By day 3, with 60, at 35 I had to pace it slowly to get through the whole thing. Thats what rest days are for, right? I loved those so much! Words probably cannot express the extent of how good it felt to rest up and recharge. I have no idea if I can make it to 250 crunches in a month but I’ll give it my absolute best shot!

On the side, I’m working on a new challenge.  I’m not one to do weightlifting professionally but I’d like to build some endurance in my legs as dragonboat is a full body exercise.  Less legs but we need it to give an extra push so I wanted to try out something simple: 5 minute Full Depth Squat Sit! Most unelegant exercise in the world (other than maybe fire hydrant or whatever you call those). How long can you go for a full depth Squat Sit? I started at 2:33 and then went up to 3:15 the next day.  Took a few days off and will get back into it.

When this goes up, its currently Day 11! Where am I? Good news is push-ups I’m on track. Bad news is that Crunches,  I’m not! I fell behind one day and tried to play catch-up but I got caught up chasing another deadline for a personal project.  Meaning, Day 11 includes, one set of crunches at 105 reps and the second set at 110 reps. Yup, I already feel my abs screaming in pain from the thought of it. My lesson that I need to stay on track from now on…

I’ll be back with a full report at the end of the month 🙂

On another note, if my health is back to normal (which it isn’t), indoor practice for dragonboat resumes this month and I’m really looking forward to it.  Hopefully, soon, right?

Week 23: Mash it Up!

My motivation is pretty much back! My favorite of the night, other than writing up blogs and watching movies is to come home and do my workout.  Last week, I kept it on my Tone it Up routines (mostly).  This week, I am on my freestyle week.  Eventually I might start figuring out how to make some workouts on my own once I start learning more but this week, I want to mash it up a little and hopefully MORE cardio!! My goal every week…lets hope the weather is going to be in my favor 🙂

Monday

After searching around, I decided that I wanted to work on my core.  Then I pressed START WORKOUT on Tribesports then saw another workout I wanted to do and did that one first.  It was Pumps and Iron’s 10’s Med Ball Workout.

Click on this image to go to learn how-to do the moves 🙂

I did modify this one a little.  I was in my room upstairs so as to not break the house eventually, I swapped the 10 med ball burpees to 10 Russian Twists (1 rep equals doing both sides).  I also changed the 10 logger jumps to 10 Lat Rollout (from last week’s Summer Sizzle workout) and did 5 reps of each side. I did 2 sets of these because halfway through my second set I realized I had pressed Start workout on my Core Challenge workout.  I ended with the one through of the Core Challenge. I’ve done this one before 🙂

One set through always feels crazy at the end.  This one is quick and efficient even if you did this by itself or pre-cardio workout 🙂

Tuesday

Today is a day off! One of the reasons is that I have yet another infection: my right eye! YAY! *sarcastic tone* So doctor’s office again! Luckily I was able to book one with my family doctor, at least the wait wasn’t long.

Wednesday

Another day off! Why? Because I’m going out with my best friend to celebrate with dinner and a bit of shopping and then went to play some arcades 🙂

Thursday

I almost skipped a workout today.  But being the workoutholic that I am, I decided that I really needed it so I went straight ahead and chose one the one from Tone it Up called Sandcastle Workout.

After one set, I started thinking that since its mashing it up this week, I decided to do a shorter workout that I had been meaning to do and try my first time at doing Crossfit.  Its called 10 Minute Crossfit Workout with Celebrity Yumi Lee.

This possibly is the most intense 10 minutes of my life.  If you don’t feel charged up and sweated out after this, then I don’t know…you are just way more fit than I am.  I did the Level 2 mostly. Its actually really fun.  I have difficulty doing full body push-ups so I had to switch back to the knees push-ups halfway through the second set in the warm up part.  Most of these are actually way more challenging than it looks and it got my heart rate up really quick! Definitely going to search up more Crossfit quickies!

Friday

After my mash up routines, my body actually needs time to recuperate so I took this day off to just rest my eyes and my body, plus, with my boyfriend’s new schedule, we hang out on Fridays. 🙂

Saturday

As much I had wanted Saturday to be a morning cardio routine, I did end up doing it nearer to late morning.  Better late than never! It wasn’t too intense and I wasn’t doing any routine in particular but I did bike from my side of town all the way out to Old Montreal.  Thats a total of approximately 30km over a span of about 2 hours including stops for photos, getting a little lost and then taking a break at the final destination.  Coming back was so painful though.  If you want a look at my bike ride photos, check it out HERE!

Sunday

Suffice to say, after that bike ride, my lower half of my body was aching like no tomorrow. Mostly because I have the most uncomfortable bike seat so my behind was bruised and sitting was possibly the most painful thing. I didn’t do any intense workout but with the great weather, we did some strolling in the shopping mall and then added on a 20-30 minutes evening stroll.  Nice and relaxing! A good way to end the weekend 🙂

OVERALL…this week was definitely successfully.  It may not seem like I was being as efficient as the previous week but the workout’s themselves were higher intensity therefore, I took more time to balance out rest time in between to give my muscles some times to recuperate.  I’m actually choosing workouts to work target different body areas and putting in some form of cardio to balance things out.  I’m getting the idea on how to work out something a bit more balanced 🙂

My recommendations this week is Crossfit.  My first shot at it was a really exhausting but inspiring experience.  I loved how it felt and how it efficient it was.  Its body weights, quick and short but it did the job even during warm-up.  The 10 Med Ball Workout was also really fun to do. Its very intense and its fun to use the med ball for workouts!

Do you know anywhere I can find more Crossfit routines? I’d definitely want to research some more on it 🙂

Week 12: Intentions and Goal Setting!

I never follow Tone it Up completely but this week, I’m drained out of focus, so they set the Inspirational Challenge which is all about intentions and goal setting.  I felt that it would be cool to check that out. I’ll write about what the thing we have to do each day of the week as I move along.

Monday

After 4 days straight of working out, I had to give my body a break.  Plus, with my boyfriend’s change in schedule, we had to shift date night a tad earlier 😉 Date night is all about the 3rd movie of May that we wanted to catch: FAST AND FURIOUS 6!! Everyone was anticipating most a bunch of super hero movies or sci-fi or even horror..for me, it was really Fast 6! I mean 2.5 hours of turning off my brain and watching something loud and intense with my fave Vin Diesel and The Rock.  I’m down for that anytime 🙂 I’m going to leave the rest for the review that you can find HERE if you missed it!

However, I want to talk about the start of the inspirational challenge. Our work today is to write down the top 3 goals for the rest of Bikini Series! Mine will be to increase muscular endurance, happy with how I look in the mirror in anything and to stay healthy 🙂 I don’t know if thats how I do it..but its all more long-term but its still goals, right?

Tuesday

Today is the new workout day and we were introduced to Thailand Tush Workout!

This was actually really fun.  I didn’t expect it to be as hard as it turned out to be. To me, this looked pretty relaxing but those Glute Burners really burnt.  By the 3rd round, I wanted to just stop midway.  However, I toughed it out as always 😉 Pretty fun! Then I ran off to reread my goals for the inspirational challenge.  It said to visualize and see how you feel about it.  I felt pretty happy thinking about it.  To see myself accomplishing all those things made me smile and I know that I can do it 🙂 No modifications needed! I’m going to work hard to get there!!

Wednesday

Tonight’s workout looks extremely long with two separate workouts planned.  The first one was Surfer’s Paradise.  You’ve seen that one over and over again for the last few weeks.  Still, here is the video to refresh your memories! I did 2 rounds of that.

Then afterwards, another throwback with Sunkissed Abs workouts.  A full workout is 3 rounds for this one so I managed to do three even though honestly, I wanted to give up at 2.  My abs were burning.  It was a nice one which focused a lot on the core.  On the side note, today’s inspirational challenge is to think about it for 15 minutes and visualize and feeling incredible.  Somewhere in the thinking, I came to the revelation that this weekend, I will take a picture as a before version and really start working on compiling some healthy recipes to incorporate in my diet this weekend and we’re going to make things happen! Eventually I’ll look fit in the mirror 😉

Thursday

Those killer Thursdays again! Double full workouts again! We start with the Santorini Bikini Ready Workout. I did 3 rounds of these at varying between 10-20 reps depending on the exercise.

This time around the Scuba Dives felt a bit easier.  However, those Coconut Crunches are still quite painful to do.

Second up, we have the Bikini Strap Toning Routine.

I only did two rounds of this one.  For one, I have dragonboat practice planned for tomorrow.  Plus, those rear flies kill my hands on my metal dumbbells. I need to upgrade them for this one and I don’t want to do that just yet.  I’ll find some way to modify it eventually. 🙂 Plus, today’s Inspirational Challenge is to make 2 small changes to the current plan to make differences.  I chose to bring healthier snacks with me and eat lunch outside which will allow me to stay active by taking a little lunch walk (except when it rains), if I miss one day, then I make it up on the weekend with extra distance on my bike ride or jog!

Friday

I’m trying to get myself to keep up with Dragonboat as much as I can.  Since I have some other plans coming up that I’ll be missing it. I decided to go again. Dragonboat is really awesome! I took a 2.5 km walk before practice while hydrating myself like crazy.  Then on the boat, we did some awesome drills and I was working on some problems to make my stroke longer.  We were also testing as a team how fast we could push our stroke rate without harming our technique. It was a great practice!

Today’s Inspirational Challenge is to let someone know.  I actually told my boyfriend about this and that I was going to start tracking the way I look by taking pictures of myself every month or so.  Plus, I encouraged him to join me on all or some cardio workouts 🙂

Saturday

I started today off early and super efficiently did a ton of chores…then after an hour, I sat back down to rest and before I knew it, I was out and about.  I didn’t end up doing anything….I’m a bit ashamed of that.  It was supposed to be my cardio catchup day but the crazy 38C heat was killing me.

Sunday

I went for a 10.2 km bike ride (6.34 miles) which accounts 1/3 for the 100 By Summer Challenge.  So I clocked into another 2.11 miles.  Seeing as it came to less than my needed daily cardio.  I decided that I needed to do some more cardio so I went to do 45 minutes of DDR. Then at night, I went for another 1 mile walk with my boyfriend to get enjoy some of the nicer cooler weather as it got a bit more windy.

My old bike that desperately needs an upgrade!

My old bike that desperately needs an upgrade!

This week went alright on the cardio level.  I’m gradually increasing it but if my calculations are correct (and they are), I need to do about 30 miles PER WEEK starting now in order to get to 100 miles by the first day of summer.  I’m thinking of starting to do extra cardio everyday even if it means walking or biking, whichever it is.  If things go as planned, it should be no problem.  Plus, this week only had one new workout and thats the Thailand Tush Workout.  Its a pretty good workout for the glutes.  I enjoyed it quite a bit through the pain. Its definitely worth a try! Plus, I think that doing the Inspirational Challenge was useful.  It helped me visualize where I want to be and highlighted the additional elements I needed to work on and just little changes to implement and its these small changes that will make the big difference 🙂

Now, I’m charged up! I know where I need to go and all I have to do is keep going! Summer is pretty much here and the weather has slightly settled in so I can bring up the cardio! The first bike ride felt awesome and spending quality time with my boyfriend is fantastic as well so we will definitely keep this up for as long as possible 🙂

Any sports/exercise/cardio you like to do when summer and the heat arrives?

Week 8: Relieving Stress, Staying in Balance

The last two weeks seemed to have been sickly and then tiring.  To top that off, we come into one of the busiest weeks of the entire year at work.  I had no idea how it would go to be honest.  To top it off, Tone it Up was starting its Bikini Series again which caused it to not give out the Weekly Schedule but rather just Monday workout.  So no plans for the week on Sunday, causing it even harder to actually get anything going.  Lets see if I even manage to get in 4 workouts and we enter into the last indoor practice for dragonboat, I’m not even sure if I can make it this week…but the intention is there.

Monday

Following my writeup on last week’s  workouts, I realized I accomplished more than I had expected and it had tired out my body.  Sunday’s one set along with the full exercise on Saturday caused my lower body to be in immense pain.  I had to take the day off even I remotely wanted to do something on Tuesday.

Tuesday

Bikini Series starts today on Tone It Up.  I originally wasn’t too sure about joining and I’m pretty sure I won’t follow the whole thing since I like to switch it up a little here and there.  However the first workout did look cool. Even if they ask for morning workouts.  I don’t have energy for that… Either way, I decided to put together this week`s workouts on this very day.  Later than usual, but still, I`ll manage to get in a nice workout.

Today`s plan is a body weight workout called No Excuses Workout by PopSugar which I got from Pumps and Iron February Workout Roundup. Here is what it looks like:

OMG! This workout is crazy intense! The first circuit is possibly the hardest and it just smacks you down in pieces by the time you get to 3rd time.  The other 2 circuits aren’t particularly hard if they were done before the first circuit.  Definitely a keeper 🙂 I like to torture myself.  I call it challenging myself!

Wednesday

Seeing as Monday was a break day and this weekend might be crazy. I decided to use today as a workout day also. Plus, the Bikini Series is supposed to be working out every day.  They asked for 2 challenges today.  Challenge 1 is a 45 Cardio.  I don’t jog at night by myself…mostly for safety issues. I decided to the 45 minutes Pumps and Irons remix routine.

Did I ever tell you have much I love Pumps and Iron workouts? Because I do! Her workouts are like intense to the max where I end up cursing in pain and getting all disgusting and sweaty, but you know that its mega effective and efficient 🙂 I know I pushed myself every time after! I hope that she’ll come up with more of these workout DJ-ing! Mashups are fun stuff!

Then I followed through with the Challenge 2 and did Sunkissed Abs Workout from Tone it Up 🙂 Since I didn’t do a complete cardio, I did one set of this workout!

Thursday

Tone it Up workout for today is called Bikini Strap Workout! Normally this is my dragonboat day but overtime at work has caused me to miss out on the last indoor practice.  Sad to see that this is the way I will end dragonboat season.  Hopefully I’ll be able to go back on part time.  Its my motivation to get that certificate done! Back to the Bikini Strap Workout, it was a strength training workout with super sets on mostly the upper body.  It was pretty intense for some of them.

Friday

I had to give myself a day off.  Other than having a long work day, I started coming up with sickness so I spent every moment I could either relaxing, drinking water or going to the washroom to flush out the bad toxins.  It didn’t really feel like I did much but sit around. At least I succeeded in resting, something my body will need for the next 3-4 days of craziness.

Saturday

I had posted about brainwashing failure and how my sickness did not go away causing today to be a horrible day. It did NOT feel great at all. By the end of the day, for various reasons, I wanted to bang my head against the table and just sleep.  I did bang my head against the table, but I did not sleep until later that night.  I took the route of giving my body yet another day to rest and get better. 3rd day off this week, but I think its a good choice.

Sunday

Because if you were following my previous post, you know that it was a fantastic choice.  My massive sore throat went away for the most part and I was super energetic and happy for some weird reason.  The enthusiasm for going into the office on Sunday was a bit abnormal.  Still, I didn’t end up staying for too long…4 hours or so and leaving.  One of the reasons I left early was to go home and prep for my postponed piano lesson and the second reason is for you…however, I am debating whether I want to post about it right now.  You will know about it eventually 🙂  Good news at night was that I managed to get in the workout I wanted.  I did the Friday one below from Tone It Up.

That was one set and it worked the full body and felt pretty awesome.  It didn’t say how many times to do it but I followed up with 2 sets of Itty Bitty Bikini Workout.  I’ve already done this one before and I remember liking it the last time and I still do.

This week was tiring, stressing and all sorts of negative.  I have managed to keep everything in balance and fought through sickness.  I don’t think I completely won the battle as I have a bit of sniffles. It could be worse and so far its been pretty alright. Plus, I got a few things done and I managed to do 4 days of workout so there wasn’t too much slacking off.  I didn’t even go and binge on junk food.  I always give you some fave workouts. This week its a bit harder to recommend but I think I felt the most awesome was Tuesday’s No Excuses Workout and Wednesday’s Pumps and Iron Workout Mashup!

Next week’s Bikini Series workouts are all set out.  I’m going to see if I can fit it all in. 🙂 Although Monday and Tuesday will be slightly tricky…

Week 3: Weight Check-in Starts!

Its been two weeks of exercises done, if I can keep this up for a month, I’ll be pretty impressed with myself because that means that I’ll have managed to keep it up and it will continue on for a while longer.  Its actually been pretty fun to try out all these new exercises and its been so helpful in relieving stress.  Slowly my routine is changing to incorporate what I want.  It hasn’t completely managed to reach fitting everything in yet, but I’m sure that with some time, it’ll all balance out.

On Wednesday, I started up my account at My Fitness Pal again.  It’ll help me track what I eat and the approximate of what I’m burning and taking in.  I’m pretty happy with that.  I usually taper off with these things so I’m hoping that with the help of reporting to everyone here as a journal and motivated to keep myself healthy and in the best shape possible, I will be able to stick with it 🙂 What’s good is that actually has the weigh-in to track how I’m doing weight wise.  Although of course, sometimes, before after pictures are the best, but I won’t be doing that here.  Maybe eventually I’ll do that for my computer.

Monday

Sunday was a most intensive exercise than I had thought.  It was awesome and fun but my muscles were still in pain so I gave it a little break and did an hour of DDR instead.  I went on intense mode so it helped me break a sweat and I was trying to catch my breath at the end of each course routine.  I didn’t perform well in the sense of breaking any records in the game or unlocking anything but still, it was efficient.

Tuesday

I did the workout in my room and for the first time, took out my mat for this Tone it up workout. It was supposed to be for Monday but seeing that Tuesday didn’t seem to have anything new except announcing their challenge, which I wasn’t going to participate in, I backtracked a little.  The workout consisted of 8  moves, 12 reps for each (some actually 12, some 12 alternating meaning 6 each side), and then the whole workout done 3 times.  I don’t have a link so here is the intro vid for the moves.

By the 3rd time, I started thinking that these girls over at Tone it Up was out to kill me.  Every muscle was contracted and I sat there downing lots of water.  I wanted to start the second part but to prevent any injuries, I stopped.

Wednesday

This is officially my off day.  Plus, I had chiropractor session and I try to not do any intense exercise afterwards.  However, it is the first day I started logging my food intake and setting my weigh-in.  However, I did end up going downstairs to do 30 minutes of DDR to get some cardio in because with the food/exercise being tracked, I realized I over-ate…It was going to be longer, but then the fire incident happened and that caused everything to be in a frenzy in the neighborhood.

Thursday

Dragonboat day! WOOHOO! Who is excited?!?!? I am! Practice is totally awesome and fun.  We had a full group pretty much and it was doing little exercises increasing in length.  My coach gave me some pointers on my technique to work on and I’ll have to try to figure it out and hopefully get it right.  We did a bunch of body weights and it all was good fun.  Its starting to not bother me as much since I do them 4 other days in the week.  Oh, other than that, my friend might want to do the Color Me Rad 5k marathon.  Anyone done it or seen it? I’m intrigued.  I was going to do it last year, but then it clashed with something else that I had planned.

Friday

I went off the schedule on this day because it was another jogging day. Dragonboat is already cardio from yesterday so I wanted to get some more body weights since we did about accumulated 15 minutes or so of it on Thursday.  Flipping through my saved emails of post after post of workouts, I came to a  Pumps and Irons Online Workout Roundup and found this one: Core Challenge Workout.

Saturday

Plans always change around a bit.  I had to go to work for some overtime in the morning.  After that, it held me up and bumped back my schedule for getting my haircut and then going home to make the cake for my boyfriend’s mom’s birthday gathering. That recipe was posted up this morning, you can check it out HERE! This resulted in me having some alcohol in my system and a whole bunch of food…so it ended up that I had to skip my workout.

Sunday

My boyfriend usually works the weekends, and it was his birthday, but much to my surprise when I carried my tired self out of bed, I realized he was still home and not feeling well.  After taking care of him, my body decided to not do so well.  Thank goodness for my go-to herbal drink (talked about HERE) and after early lunch, Tylenol.  In the mid afternoon, my energy came back and I got in a longer exercise to compensate.  I backtracked to Saturday’s workout called Sunkissed Abs. This ripped my core like crazy.  I ran downstairs and set courses for DDR on Expert and Challenge which didn’t mean that I’d necessarily pass it all but it would be an intense cardio dance routine.  It definitely kept my heart pumping for 30 minutes.

Overall, the week turned out to be more eventful than I had imagined and I didn’t get to do the intended outdoor jog that I wanted because for one, the tempurature plummeted from last week.  The weather is looking up though, so I hope to get more workouts during next week. With Easter weekend coming up, I truly doubt it, but thats for next week’s update 🙂 However, with a mix of extreme DDR and some various workouts, this week, I did manage to get my 5 days in.  It was mostly light cardio in a way but the body weights that I put in really worked me to the max.

If you want to get yourself a challenge, the Core Challenge is super awesome and Tuesday’s with the YouTube video for the 8 moves was fun. Check those out if you want to get a good thorough core and total body workout respectively 🙂