Monday, July 22, 2013

30 Day Ab Challenge


Alright girlies, we are gonna DO THIS THING! It is summer, and I am NO WHERE near ready to even BEGIN thinking about bathing suits. In fact, I'm going to be skipping the whole bathing suit thing altogether. However, my four year anniversary is coming up in September, then we've got family get togethers for the Holidays and psh, forget Summer, my goal is going to be to look trim, slim and sexy for the next season! No more looking bulky in bulky sweaters for me! 

The adorable Yuen from The Craziest Paradigm posted this fantastic 30 Day Ab Challenge and asked everyone to follow along with her, so that is PRECISELY what I'm going to do!  (and so are you!, nono, don't give me that look....DO IT....ahem DO IT!)

 Click on pic for larger view

I'm also inviting all of my fellow bloggers to follow along and post this on their blogs as well! I'll be updating this post with my results and well..uh....pain, suffering and finally victory every rest day (day 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, and ending day 30). I'll be posting about the updates on Facebook and Twitter so if you're not following me on those platforms, be sure to add me so you'll catch the updates faster! On the right side of my blog are quick links....a simple "Like" button to add me on Facebook as well as a @CharmngCheshire Twitter button. 

I'm starting TODAY, which you're more than welcome to as well if you have the time. The first few days are super easy. Time to beautify that tummy! Who's with me! ::glares at YOU::

Day 1 (7/22) - 15 Sit-Ups, 5 Crunches, 5 Leg Raises, 10 second Plank

Day 2 (7/23) - 20 Sit-Ups, 8 Crunches, 8 Leg Raises, 12 second Plank

Day 3 (7/24) - 25 Sit-Ups, 5 Crunches, 5 Leg Raises, 10 second Plank

Day 4 (7/25) - Back on here to UPDATE!!!



Well hello there! ::flexes rock-hard They're there, I PROMISE, they're just comfortably protected by some soft cushioning at the moment ::wink::

So Days 1-3 weren't bad at all! The Sit-Ups probably kill me the most, I'm definitely more of a crunch girl, than a sit-up girl and if I could have it my way I'd reverse the two and do more crunches than sit-ups...but I prevailed. Therefore, Crunches = piece o' cake. 

Now the Leg Raises I had to modify slightly. Well, I don't know if you'd call it modifying, more like doing the beginner version. I placed my hands, palms down, right under my derriere below my sit bones because I've always had an easier time doing Leg Raises that way. I have ridiculously long legs and a short torso, and unfortunately my legs are not skinny long, they're fairly thick so they're VERY heavy. They probably make up at least 70-75% of my overall weight just from being so darn long (37" inseam, baby!...yeah I hate clothes shopping). With my hands under my sit bones though it made it much easier and less straining to do the Leg Raises. That way, I could focus on working my core instead of pulling on my back muscles!

Planks....ugh....I hate planks, with a passion and what's more, I'm doing the tougher elbows-on-ground planks. No easy plank for me...gotta werk-it! However, the 10-12 second planks aren't too bad. It also helps that I do them last so I've already engaged my core with the Sit-Ups, Crunches, and Leg Raises. 

All in all, feeling good and actually not that sore. I only feel sore (especially in lower abs) when I flex my core. Here is the line up for the next 4 days:

Day 5 (7/26) - 30 Sit-Ups, 12 Crunches, 12 Leg Raises, 20 second Plank

Day 6 (7/27) - 35 Sit-Ups, 15 Crunches, 15 Leg Raises, 25 second Plank

Day 7 (7/28) - 40 Sit-Ups, 20 Crunches, 20 Leg Raises, 30 second Plank

Day 8 (7/29) - Back on here to UPDATE!!!

If you still want to join in, I'd say it's not too late! This is probably your last chance, though, if you're not a seasoned COME ON! Our abs will look so chiseled you won't even need to put contouring powder on it! That's right, I said it. ::knowing grin::



Whew! Well needless to say it is SLOWLY getting tougher, HOWEVER I have noticed a small difference already! I get power up to 10 Sit-Ups pretty easily and fairly smoothly, and by Day 7 I was up to 15 that were easy. I will admit getting to 40 Sit-Ups was NOT fun. The last 8 or so I had to touch my finger tips to the sides of my legs to get a little pulling assistance without straight up grabbing them, but I made it through!

Crunches are no problem for me, I even noticed that I'm lifting up ever so slightly higher now in the first 5 or so, which means my core is activating better.

Leg Raises....ugh....I'm still keeping my hands under my sit bones. I had two herniated discs (L4 and L5) about 5 years ago (which is why my core is so weak) and I'm very protective of my lower back now. This exercise does pull on your lower back if your core is strong so placing the hands there just assists with support. By day 7 I was OK for about 8 Leg Raises, then I had to take a 5 second break in between every 5 raises to turn out my leg. I have ridiculously turned out legs from being a dancer and holding my legs in parallel for that long actually starts to hurt a bit! I'm hoping at least by day 15 that I might be able to do the first few Leg Raises without my hands supporting! We shall see!

Plank....::le sigh::....well I DID it, it was awful but I did it. I was good up until about 20-25 seconds. It's about then that my core decides NOPE and deactivates and I feel my back start to give. I'm not giving in and going on my hands though, I fully intend to stay on my elbows and work through it! Grrrr! Arrrg! ::tough::

So I am noticing a difference! My tummy does look less bloated and I feel like I'm standing a little straighter which usually happens with an activated core. The next four days should be...well....they're gonna suck to put it bluntly, but I shall power on! How are you doing on yours?!

Day 9 (7/30) - 45 Sit-Ups, 30 Crunches, 30 Leg Raises, 35 second Plank

Day 10 (7/31) - 50 Sit-Ups, 50 Crunches, 30 Leg Raises, 38 second Plank

Day 11 (8/1) - 55 Sit-Ups, 65 Crunches, 33 Leg Raises, 42 second Plank

Day 12 (8/2) - Back on here to UPDATE!!!



See, nooooow it's getting tougher for this little ol' wimpy lass. Well I have to say, I'm bringing the pain of this week upon myself! I took a master ballet class last Monday, which I thought would be fine since it was my rest day, but then I don't think I was quite thinking about the fact that the NEXT MORNING I'd have to do a more amped up core workout. Woopsie! Aside from the fact that I haven't actually taken a ballet class in a couple of years, (only teaching, but not a class for myself, HUGE difference) much less a MASTER ballet class. Gah! By the end of class my legs were like jello and literally shaking in all of the combinations. WORK IT, COOKIE, WORK IT! But I digress....

Sit-Ups! First 10-20ish no sweat now! I've gotten to where I listen to music to stay with a beat as it's very motivating (if you're not doing, you should, it helps immensely!) and for the moment I'm doing Sit-Ups to Get Lucky by Daft Punk. SO much fun...well OK, not fun...but it takes my mind off of the buuuuurn. At about 25-30 is when I start to slow down and need to stop for 5 seconds or so. Then 30-45 I just try to power through but I don't keep a good rhythm. It's pretty much: 33, 34, 35... ::whoo whoo ugh whoo::... 36, 37, 38... ::$^@%::... 39, 40, 41... ::agggghhh::... 42, 43, 44.........45! and that was just day 9. By day 11 I was keeping the rhythm a bit better but it definitely is the longest part of the routine.

Crunches! I've been alternating between hands behind head, across chest, reaching straight up and reaching past knees as they each activate the core a little differently. I typically do about 10 crunches with each arm position. It makes it a bit less monotonous and it keeps you from getting lazy in the movement and not doing it full out by constantly keeping it fresh. I'm definitely feeling the burn by 30, but I can push through these pretty easily.

Leg Raises......O_o........they suck. Enough said. I've tried not placing my hands under my sit bones but I think my back and core are just too weak for that. I'd rather continue keeping my hands there than injure my back and not be able to do this at all! My main problem is that my hip flexors just HATE being parallel so they start to strain and I have to bend my knees, turn my legs out and rest for a moment between every 5-10 raises or so towards the end. My goal is to only rest between every 10 if needed for the next four days. My song for this exercise? I'm Blue (da ba dee) by Eiffel 65. So awesome.

Plank - getting better! I definitely love how well activated my core is by the time I'm done with the Sit-Ups, Crunches and Leg Raises. If you're not doing these in this order, you really should as it seriously helps with the Plank. Once again, I start to lose it for the last 5-8 seconds but I'm glad that I'm actually building strength and seeing an improvement in lasting time. My song for this currently is Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, it's got that mellow, chilled vibe that definitely helps me...well...not freak out, let's put it that way ::giggles::

So I've also been doing a bit of dieting, as well as trying to do other exercising (like the master class, biking, etc) and I am noticing a difference already in my abs. When I lay down they just feel more sunken in and empty (but not hungry) and my clothing feels looser around my mid-section. I'm positively terrified of the next 4 days though...check this out: Almost up to 100 crunches, 50 leg raises and gonna hit the 1 minute plank mark. WHEW!

Day 13 (8/3) - 60 Sit-Ups, 75 Crunches, 40 Leg Raises, 50 second Plank

Day 14 (8/4) - 65 Sit-Ups, 85 Crunches, 42 Leg Raises, 55 second Plank

Day 15 (8/5) - 70 Sit-Ups, 90 Crunches, 42 Leg Raises, 60 second Plank

Day 16 (8/6) - Back on here to UPDATE!!!


Happy Makeuping Sexy Ab-ing!
Love, Cookie


  1. Love thiss! Definitely going to give it a good go:)


  2. You go girl! I always neglect my abs during a workout. I go hard with the cardio and then I feel like if I get down to do some sit ups I will never get back up lol

    1. LOL see I positively hate cardio...I NEVER could do well with it!