October Challenge!

It’s time to get off my expanding rear and get moving again! Not like I wasn’t moving last week but this is different. Last week I my goal was merely to get back into the habit of exercising every day. Now I get to start a challenge. Naturally, I caught a cold yesterday so my head’s all achy and icky. Figures.

Last Thursday I met one of my goals!

Goal Met!!!

Goal: 10min Mile

9/26/13 – 9.46min Mile


I’ve had that goal up for a year. I was working on it last summer but the nasty fires in Washington drowned my town in solid smoke. I beat a hasty retreat to my parents’ house in CO but the smoke damage was already done and I was down for the count for awhile. I was coughing up my lungs for a little over a week. Awful time. My physical prowess suffered big time and I focused on getting it back instead of going for that goal. I was playing around on Thursday though and decided to go for it just to see how fast training for that 10k got me.

I’m happy. So very happy.


I get my challenges from various fitness magazines. This one come from SELF magazine (www.self.com). Trainer David Kirsch (@DavidKirsch) was featured in Self’s October issue with a new routine that works your whole body. Find it at Self’s site under the title 5 Powerful Planks.

Equipment Needed:

  • set of 5lb dumbbells

What I’ll be doing:

  • Plank with added moves. 3 sets of 12 reps of each move 3 times a week on alt days.

Not sure how to describe it all. Really, the best way to see it is to go to the site. http://www.self.com and look for 5 POWERFUL PLANKS FOR ALLOVER TONING.


Just because this looked like so much fun, I decided to add it in on the days between my Plank Challenge. I got this one from the October issue of Shape (www.shape.com).

What it is:

Rowing and Strength Training for 30min.

Equipment Needed:

  • Rowing Machine
  • pair of 8-12lb dumbbells

Workout Plan:

  1. 0-5min – warm-up row, 20-24 strokes/min (rpe 4)
  2. 5-6min – row, 25-40 strokes/min (rpe 8-9)
  3. 6-7:30min – Lunge 1min holding dumbbells, alt legs, rest 30sec (rpe 5-6)
  4. 7:30-8:30min – row, 25-40 strokes/min (rpe 8-9)
  5. 8:30-10min – V-sit 30sec, plank 30sec, rest 30sec (rpe 5-6)
  6. 10-11min – row, 25-40 strokes/min (rpe 8-9)
  7. 11-12:30min – squat w/shoulder press 1min, rest 30sec (rpe 5-6)
  8. 12:30-27:30min – REPEAT 2-7 TWICE MORE
  9. 27:30-30min – cool down row, 20-24 strokes/min (rpe 3-4)

*rpe – rate of perceived exertion – scale of 1-10, 1 being sitting doing nothing, 10 being about to have heart attack…not really. 10 being can’t speak, foaming at mouth, ready to drop from exhaustion…more or less.

Need to see the moves? Go to shape.com/cheatsheet

* Squat w/shoulder press is called a “Push Press” or “All-Over Toner” on the site.

V-Sit – sit with knees bent in front of you, arms held straight out in front at shoulder level. Lean back slightly and lift legs while straightening them out so body forms a V. Hold for 30sec.

Yeah, I don’t think think I’ll be able to do that move yet but I’ll try! Maybe a modification for that move would be to hold it for less time or to do an In & Out.

In & Out – sit with knees bent in front of you and hands resting behind you for support  as needed. Keep feet off floor while doing this move. Lean back and extend legs out, come back forward and bring knees into chest. It’s also known as Accordian.

Feel free to try this challenge with me! I’ll take before/after photos but won’t post the before photos till the end of the month. I’ll check in every Sunday to say how the week has gone and I promise not to skip any days.

Good luck to everyone who participates in my October Challenge!!

*DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a certified professional. I will NOT be held responsible if injury occurs while trying any exercise, stretch, or routine that I post here. I am currently undergoing training to be a fitness group instructor. Always consult your doctor before trying any new exercise.*


About Katie St. John-Shin

I believe in living life and not letting it pass you by. I mean, come on, if you really want to do something but don't have the courage to do it so you let the opportunity disappear, you may regret it for the rest of your life. How can you know what you're capable of unless you go for it? Like every writer, I naturally plan on becoming world-famous (not really). I love reading, writing, fitness, coffee, watching my favorite movies/shows, listening to music, and trying new things even if they're sometimes terrifying. I'm a writer, a group fitness instructor, a personal trainer, and a nutter for doing all of the above.

Posted on September 29, 2013, in Fitness, Monthly Challenge, Personal and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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