Welcome to Week 4 + when you’re too sore to work out

Hi friends! I can’t believe this is the last week of Summer Shape Up! You’re all doing an amazing job- let’s finish with a bang. Thank you so much to everyone for your hard work and participation — don’t forget to send in your progress pics and stories this week. If you send yours along (fitnessista at gmail dot com, subject: SSU success!), please let me know if it would be ok to share your story/photo in Friday Faves :)

SSU 2013

(If it’s your first time hearing about Summer Shape Up, all of the workouts and info can be found in the intro post. I’ll remove the passwords this week, so they will no longer be password-protected one week from today.)

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It was a fun and busy weekend in our house and the theme continues onto this week. Our family got in from Key West and are staying here until we help them move into their Tucson place tomorrow. I’m headed to Fitbloggin’ in a couple of days to hang out with blog friends (shout out to Reebok for being my kind and wonderful sponsor), and last night, my friend Ashley and I went to a surprise party to say goodbye to our favorite yoga teacher.

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(A margarita with orange and rose… so aromatic and delicious)

I had a hard time finding a Tucson hot vinyasa fit for me -the power yoga studio is an hour away from anywhere in T-town- and, thanks to Kyle and Meg, found one I adore. We’ve had our weekly yoga date, and each week our group has grown. Last week it was myself, Ashley, one of our friends, Kyle and Meg, three of their friends, Trevor and Mik in a jam-packed class with 50+ mats:

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(Photo from Facebook. Not sure how my fellow classmates would feel about me creeping around during class snapping pics haha)

Now that I’ve found a teacher and class I love, I’m so very sad that she’s moving. This particular teacher is basically everything I love about a yoga instructor: just the right mix of fun and kick-your-asana, with a sweet and approachable personality. Whenever I left her class, I felt more centered and peaceful, and also like I got an amazing workout. She’s also a military wife, and moving around frequently is one of the simultaneously challenging and amazing parts about the lifestyle. One one hand, you get to see new places you might not otherwise visit, but on the other, once you put down temporary roots and make great friends, it’s very hard to say goodbye. The good news is that it seems like our paths all cross at one point or another; many of my North Carolina and Valdosta friends have also been with us here in Tucson.

Even though yesterday (Sunday) would have been her last class to take before she moves, I couldn’t do it. My body was wicked sore from Saturday’s teaching and events -World Beat + Aqua Zumba- and we had an all-nighter with Liv. I think she was so excited her cousins are here that she stayed up all night to party, even though her cousins were fast asleep. ;) I had a feeling an intense yoga class probably wouldn’t be the smartest move.

Sometimes when I’m sore, I know that a little movement will actually help the muscle soreness go away. Dancing or walking seem to make it feel better, but intense strength/cardio are usually best-saved for another day. It’s a fine line to know when it would help, or just be miserable. Just like anything, the best thing to do is to listen to your gut: your intuition will give you a hint as to whether you should sweat it out or skip it.

When was the last time you were too sore to work out? What’s your all-time favorite recovery activity? I love a short walk or nice stretch. The foam roller is also a great option…. even though I wouldn’t really call it “relaxing” ;)

Well, I hope you have a very happy Monday!

See ya later today with my new salad dressing obsession :)



Just for kicks: 19 ways to trick people into thinking you work out



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  1. June has been crazy for me with traveling out of state. So this week was my first week back to the gym after a full two weeks off. Whew, my body was so sore by the weekend. I decided to skip my run on Sat. even though it was super nice out. I was glad I did and didn’t push myself like in the past.

  2. I SO needed to read this today! I’m crazy sore and tired today and have been kicking myself all morning about not going for a run like I originally planned on. Sometimes, the body just isn’t feeling it and you gotta listen! I’m thinking I might be up for it this afternoon….but we shall see. :) Have a great Monday!

  3. mi-an dela cruz says:

    i did manmakers in cf on saturday and boy…. i was crazy sore yesterday!! ready for ssu wk 4 though!!

  4. I can’t believe it’s the last SSU week! I’m looking forward to the week 4 workout, it looks awesomely hard! I’m just about to start :)

  5. Can’t believe it’s already week four.
    That looks like a packed yoga class – so sad when amazing teachers move.
    I definitely relate that it’s hard to say goodbye especially when you enjoy the routine and teacher in a class. They seriously make or break a class for me.
    I definitely feel the same way with muscle soreness. The only way to get past it, is maybe do a little yoga, stretch and do a light workout on the bike or a good long walk.

  6. These past 3 weeks have flown by!

    I think workout 4 might be the hardest yet! Those lunge combos are killer, but my booty is going to look great. :)

  7. I was definitely too sore this past weekend so I walked stretched and foam rolled.

  8. I was on vacation and then super sick, so yesterday was my first day back at the gym in over a month! I am so sore it’s ridiculous. I am so excited to do summer shape up next week-my schedule didn’t line up this year, but when I did it last year I absolutely loved it! Thanks again Gina for all that you do.

  9. Last week, I went to a 2 hour Zumba class (regular Zumba and sculpting). Wow were my muscles screaming the next day! Usually when I’m super sore like that, I just do a lower intensity workout the next day. And you’re right…a little movement does help tone down the soreness.

  10. Just found your blog thanks to your guest post at Eating Bird Food! I’ll have to take a look at the summer shape up program. The last time I was too sore to workout was last weekend. I had to do two days of hot yoga to recover!

  11. The times I have been too sore to work out were after hiking to the top of a mountain, and after taking my first spinning class. I’ve found that just walking a bit or doing some easy yoga is best!

  12. I did my SSU work-out this morning! I have really enjoyed the combo of work-outs you put together for us. They keep me interested, plus sweaty! I plan on continuing to use these combinations after SSU ends.

  13. Wow, those 4 weeks of SSU really fly by! Summers are good for that.

    I just bought a foam roller – hoping it will help with some severe leg pain I’ve gotten. It’s making it pretty painful to do much of anything so need to get that fixed ASAP!

  14. Loved workout four! Just completed it and it flew by because of the variety of new to me exercises.

  15. “Kick-your-asana” – love it, because that perfectly describes one of the qualities I like in my yoga teachers too haha. But not too much – I want yoga to still feel like YOGA, not bootcamp! I know how hard it is to find the perfect fit so it sucks when they move…but maybe it’s the Universe’s way of presenting you with an even more enticing option down the road!

    Still on track with SSU – I’m usually a regular exerciser but I enjoy taking part just as a way to change things up a bit!

  16. I did a heavy back workout a few weeks ago that about killed me…those pull-ups will get ya every time!! Favorite recovery activity: long leisure walks, preferably with coffee in hand :)

  17. That’s me today. Too sore after my first day back lifting in forever… I’ll probably go for a long walk tonight and hit the foam roller- that thing is a miracle worker!

  18. I was too sore to work out when I first started boot camp. It was rough! Unfortunately it has been a while since I’ve had that feeling, due to injury, so I can’t wait until I can start up again. My favorite recovery activity is a nice walk or easy bike ride.

  19. I was really sore yesterday from Saturday’s workout and a tough hot vinyasa yoga practice. My relief was foam rolling and a gentle hatha yogadownload. Felt much better after!

    Have fun with your cousins!

  20. Melissa says:

    Could I bother you to send the pass word for 3 and 4. I’ve been out of town but haven’t received either:)
    Thanks! Xo

  21. Like you, walks are my favorite way to recover after a tough workout when I’m still sore.

  22. When I’m feeling really sore, I definitely lean towards an easy yoga routine and a date with the foam roller – it helps!

  23. After doing Workout 1 of Summer Shape Up, I was sooo sore that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it again in 2 days. The day of, I was still really sore, but getting the muscles moving felt so good and seemed to actually help.

  24. After doing Workout that leaves me sore, I follow up next day with light walk (with my beloved silver lab) or go for a bike ride along the water front. I just love the outdoors :)

  25. You still enjoy hot yoga, even in the summer in Tuscon? I love it so much during the winter, but I just can’t do it in this weather.

  26. Checking in today with a makeup workout — Week 2 + Cardio Wildcard today (an hour Jenny Ford step vid). Also made up one of the steady state workouts on a spin bike this weekend.

    Since I got behind on SSU I’ll probably wrap up 1/2 a week late, but I’ll get it done nonetheless!

  27. Laura B says:

    I’m usually the most site two days after strength training, just in time for the next session! It usually makes it hard for me to use the same weight I did the first time, but I try and power through.

    Did WO4 this morning and loved it. That lunge combo is killer! My legs are looking so strong these days and your workouts are still killing me!

    Also tried those banana bread protein pancakes–amazing! And so easy! Definitely keeping those in the regular breakfast rotation.

  28. I loved workout 4, minus the rolling plank (the belly only allows for regular plank)! Thanks!

  29. Workout 4 was great! Love me some dead lifts and felt super strong during the lunge circuit but those roll and reach things are killer (major shoulder burn). Really went for it, lifting heavy and doing the lunge jumps 2x and the squat/press and triceps push-ups 3x each. Combined with the HIIT, I was one super sweaty mama! Thanks Gina!! And yoga, walking, and the dreaded foam roller are it for me when I’m super sore :)

  30. Happens all the time to all hardcore fitness fans, me included! Sometimes its best to just take it easy. It’s my legs that get me. When I’m to sore to throw in another cardio or strength sesh, I like to do online yoga videos geared toward whatever energy I have left (sometimes just stretching).

  31. Beverly Aragon says:

    Forget about too sore to workout…I think I’m going to be too sore to get out of bed tomorrow! SSU Workout 4 is a beast :) Did it early this morning before work and now as the day has turned to night, I’m already feeling those chest presses and lunges.

  32. The last time I was too sore to workout was after the first SSU workout from week 1 – I was hurting for days! I tend to get the sorest in the legs, so when that happens I just go for a walk on the first day afterward and do an upper body workout the next day. By the third day I’m usually ready to do some cardio again.

  33. I’m obsessed with restorative yoga now. When I can’t handle my usual intense vinyasa flow classes, I love to go to a class (or do it myself) – you set yourself up with props to let your body fall easily into alignment, and then hang out and let go for ten or so minutes, then set yourself up in another pose and hang out, and repeat for an hour. Perfection, especially if the muscles are sore and creating tension.

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