MANday Week 2

This is my third week of exercise for the MANday challenge with Jillian Dodd. I’m not sure if I’m shaping up to be eye candy for the ladies yet, but I’m giving it all I’ve got. Jillian still has a LONG way to go to get her 5,000 comments on my MANday page, so I’m not too worried yet.

If you want to help Jillian, you can post a comment here. Take pity. It’s quick and easy.

This was a difficult week for me in a couple respects. I lost two readers and friends. Their passing drained the gusto from my workouts, and my writing for that matter. It also rained for four days straight here in New England (fitting) and I’m not enough of a fanatic to run in the pouring rain, so I waited it out.

Cheryl Delano is in black
3rd from the left

Me with Terri Krause

Personal Trainer CJ talked me into trying a longer run on Sunday before the rain started. Being way out here in the sticks, the easiest way to extend a run is to loop around another block. The only problem with that is it means adding about two miles.

By 4.5 miles into my run I was sagging. I’d never been that far before and while my heart rate was good and steady, I felt completely out of gas. Somehow I pushed myself along and made 6.1 miles with a halfhearted sprint at the end. After the rain ended, I ran a spirited 4.1 miles Thursday, ending with a really strong sprint.

Right now I’m feeling like running is a success. I need to keep it up to burn the fat covering my abs. Somehow I think those three pounds will be the last three pounds of fat on my entire body, but maybe that’s just Author CJ whining.

My ab work suffered a bit this week. For the mystery writers out there, consider adding ab workouts to your books. They are insidious and nasty. Scary for anyone!

My plank times took an odd twist. I went from 2:30 on Saturday back down to 2:01 the rest of the week. I’ve been struggling to make 2:01 every day and I think it has to do with how much ab work I’m doing and not so much a lack of progress. I’ll try a day of rest and see if my times pick up.

Last week I promised some new ab workouts. I have tried a few and I’m going to recommend two that I like. I’ll keep looking for exercises with a focus on things you can do at home without buying equipment.

Bicycle Ab Exercise

The Bicycle*

1. Start lying on your back, hands behind your head.
2. Touch your right elbow to your left knee.
3. Touch your left elbow to your right knee.
4. Repeat 20 times for beginners.
* Watch this on Youtube video.

Ab Wheel Begin

Ab Wheel Out

The Ab Wheel*

I try not to include anything you need to go out and buy, but I love this exercise. Wow does this work your core. A cheap Ab Wheel will run you about $15. I cheat and use two sets of hand weights that roll freely. It’s not ideal, but it works for me.

1. Start on your knees with the wheel on the floor.
2. Roll the wheel away from your body keeping your back straight.
3. Use your abs to stretch out away from your knees.
4. Pull yourself back with your abs.

* Watch this one on video.

After three weeks I’m feeling great. After watching these videos I realize I need to get a little more sleep and ramp up my veggie intake. I’ve been slacking on my diet lately. If I don’t break any new ground with exercise, maybe I’ll talk about my diet next Friday.

What ab exercises work for you?

Are you planking along with me?

What’s your plank time?


11 Comments on “MANday Week 2”

  1. Running from Hell with El says:

    You’re doing great CJ!! And hey, 6.1 miles is not a wimpy run my friend!! Keep up the miles and the planks and hey, 2:01 is good!! So good!! Soon you’ll be signing up for road races and then a half and then one crazy night you will say, “Man, I really want to run a marathon . . . ” LOL. Good on you.

  2. kemmery says:

    Good working, CJ! I wish that I had met Terri. I sure miss Cheryl – she was so good to my kids when she stayed with us, and I miss her book recommendations.

  3. I’m really sorry to hear about your friends. May they R.I.P.

  4. Sounds like you are doing great, but do you really feel you have to lose weight to get some great abs? I remember the wheel! Oh I hated that thing! lol! Okay let me see if I can explain this. Lie on the floor, hands flat on the floor under your hips, legs together and raise your legs about 6-8 inches off the floor hold for a count of 10 then lower.Repeat as many as you can. This is great for the lower abs. Are you doing a vegetarian diet?

    • cjwestkills says:

      Thanks for the exercise.

      I would die on a vegetarian diet. I like my fruits and veggies, but I’m a big meat eater. That’s not likely to change.

  5. Angela Maria says:

    Keep up the great workouts, thanks for the ab workouts. Your determination is inspiring to me for my own routines.
    P.S.–you might as well “take it off” b/c from the looks of these comments, if you don’t, these women will riot! Lol looks like Jillian has already won.

  6. Good afternoon! Hope your day is going great! I see you are now following my blog, guess I better get busy and put something new and interesting on it! 🙂 Tomorrow :-))

  7. Cassia says:

    I am truly sorry for your loss.

    I am with Angela, you are inspiring me to get back on the exercise routine that has gone by the wayside these past few weeks. I have a treadmill for the cardio, I have the wheel, and the bicycle sounds like something I can do with my kids. Wonderful suggestions, I will start implementing them this week. Good luck to you!

    • cjwestkills says:


      That is wonderful. Please come back next week and share your progress. Sharing makes me push so much harder!! I hope it will do the same for you.

  8. […] Good to see you’re making the time to exercise, CJ West! Here’s hoping you don’t have a stroke anyway, like I did to your […]

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