Health & Fitness

STRONGER with SELF Challenge: Final Thoughts

A few weeks ago, we joined the STRONGER with SELF challenge because we wanted to add something different to our fitness routines. Four weeks quickly passed and we’re at the end of the challenge. Neither of us actually finished the workouts – Juliet did not because she was on vacation for almost half the month of May, and Annie did not because she got lazy.

Nevertheless, we wanted to give our two cents on the challenge. 

Before & After

Depending on your goals, taking before and after photos can be a better indicator of your progress than looking at a number on the scale. There isn’t much difference between our before & after shots after four weeks of the challenge but that’s okay because our goals weren’t purely about what we looked like on the outside. What these pictures don’t show is how we feel on the inside!

Did we reach our goals?

Juliet: My goal was to work on my stamina and push through each workout. Unless I am working out with someone else, I usually am ready to go home once I feel a sweat is about to break through. I did push myself with the challenge, but I could have pushed myself even harder by trying to get more reps in. I would give myself 85/100 points.

Annie: My goal was to feel stronger and lose 6 kg (12 lbs) and I’m happy to say I accomplished half of those goals. I feel stronger and my endurance improved since the beginning of this challenge. However, I only lost 2 kg (4.4 lbs) which I’m not unhappy about. I realized that trying to lose 6 kg in four weeks was a bit ambitious especially if I’m trying to sustain this long term. I’m in no hurry to reach that goal so I think doing it at a healthy pace that is the best way for me to not lose motivation and my sanity.

Did we enjoy the challenge?

Juliet: I did enjoy the challenge because it was something different. However, if I were to choose my favorite bodyweight workout, I would choose Blogilates with Cassey Ho because that one you feel the burn. The SELF Challenge was probably created so fitness beginners could ease their way into exercising, so at times I did not feel challenged enough. I would add this into my current routine, but figure out an advanced version so I can feel as much burn as I do when I work out with Blogilates.

Annie: With things that are challenging for me, especially when it comes to fitness, I tend to not enjoy it while I’m doing it, but I enjoy the feeling once I’m done. This challenge was a great way for me to break a sweat if I felt like my strength training workouts weren’t giving me that “I exercised” vibe. Before I used to hate sweating (the kind where you’re dripping sweat) when working out, but now I love it because it makes me feel like I actually worked hard. Granted it doesn’t take a lot for me to start sweating, but still.

What did we learn?

Annie: This challenge involved a lot of plyometric exercises and doing them consecutively for 30-45 seconds without rest. I learned that my endurance still needs a lot of work because I’d feel out of breath after doing one or two exercises in the circuit. I will continue to work on improving that aspect of my fitness.

Juliet: I reaffirmed two things about my fitness through this challenge. One, that I can no longer do some easy workout because it does not do anything for me. It takes a lot more for me to break a sweat now. Two, I work out harder when I am with friends or a trainer because I get competitive with myself. I’m not sure if competitive is the right word, but I get a sense of not wanting to look too weak in front of others. It’s something that I want to work on, though.

What now?

Annie: I’m currently training for a 10K race that’s coming up in August. I have never ran a 10K race before so I’m really excited but also a bit nervous. My goal is to finish under one hour. It’s going to be really difficult, but I believe I can do it! I’ll be writing about my experience after I finish the run.

Juliet: It’s summer time, so I’m planning on spending a lot much time outdoors – hiking, rock climbing, etc. My goal is to move as much as possible. I’ll have some posts about outdoor activities that I try out, so stay tuned for that.

If you guys did the STRONGER with SELF Challenge, let us know how it went for you!

Annie & Juliet

In a minor no-biggie announcement, we have some new topics related to health and fitness that we will cover in the upcoming posts and cannot wait to share more of our personal fitness journey with you guys!

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