I am now in either week four or five of exercising with “Hip Hop Abs” and I have to say that while it’s still not easy for me to do the routines, damn it, I think it’s starting to work!
Everything’s feeling stronger and, as I’ve been saying to my baby, I don’t know if it’s working on my abs but my arms and legs are getting one hell of a workout! My love handles are starting to disappear ’cause my obliques are feeling pretty good, my hip flexors are getting toned – I ain’t gonna say I have a six-pack or even a one pack but that “V” of toned hip flexors is there and getting better.
Even though my legs are feeling stronger, the problem I have with my motor control in my right leg is really telling on me; there are some routines that I can do slowly but when it’s time to do them at tempo, eh, forget about it. That leg just ain’t gonna move as quickly as I need it to and, sometimes, it’s all I can do not to totally lose my balance.
And, yes, my baby is still laughing her ass off at times.
When I’m trying to work it, I’m a little frustrated because I know that had I not had the stroke, I could do the routines easily and not have to worry about one leg being a half-second slower in responding. Sure, I fake my way through the things my leg doesn’t want to do and I know that anything I can do is gonna help, but still…
On Mondays, we do “Ab Sculpt” and “Total Cardio Burn” – and that’s provided that the first session doesn’t wear our legs out too badly. Tuesday is “Hips, Buns, and Thighs” and I gotta tell you, my hips, buns, and thighs do not like this shit; getting in the floor on the mat and doing those fucking reverse leg lifts and pumps not only kills the shit out of my lower back but my arms are raising all kinds of hell as well – my knees aren’t speaking to me on Tuesdays. Between some damage I did to my left shoulder and the weakness on my right side, it makes it hard for me to be on my hands and knees in the table top position for very long and while I can fake it by resting on my forearms and working my glutes, my knees just ain’t trying to hear of me trying to balance my 195 pounds like that.
And when Shaun says, “Give me eight more!” or “Hold it up there!” I very loudly say, “Fuck you, Shaun – you do eight more… bastard.”
Wednesday it’s back to “Ab Sculpt” and “Total Cardio Burn” with the same provisions as Monday. I not only work up a good sweat, I literally have water flowing off of me, totally soaking my UnderArmor cap way past its saturation point. TCB isn’t giving me as many problems as it did when I first got started and there are some routines in there that I kinda enjoy doing, like the “Throwdown” and “Press the Floor” combo, as well as the “Get Busy” and my real favorite, “The Freak” – I’m surprised my baby can keep working out at this point because she’s trying very hard not to just bust out laughing at my enthusiasm.
Thursday… it’s time for the “Total Body Burn” and it’s forty-five minutes of sheer torture and the worst of it – other than having to get on the mat and work the glutes and shit again – is doing the three-tiered squats. Ladies and gentlemen, fellow bloggers, THAT SHIT HURTS! Now, it’s bad enough that you gotta do Shaun’s “tilt, tuck, and tighten” throughout the routines but when it’s time to do those fucking squats, my thighs wind up feeling like someone’s been beating them with a 2×4 while I’m doing them. Of course, my right thigh is screaming bloody murder while my left thigh is wondering, “What’s wrong with him? This feels good!”
By the time we’re done, I can barely move; I’m sweating like I’m already in the shower. I smell to high heaven and cannot wait to get the funk off of me… if I can get my legs to work long enough for me to strip down and make it to the bathroom. My arms have taken another beating because TBB includes working with weights… and I’ve noticed something about this. Dealing with two and three-pound weights sounds like an easy thing to do… until you get those fuckers moving around and in ways you’d normally not move this seemingly slight weight. By the time I get done flapping my arms around, well, it doesn’t feel good; my left shoulder is seconds away from filing a restraining order against me and my right arm just hates me for trying to make it do shit it doesn’t feel like doing.
All I want to do after barely surviving TBB is curl up in a ball and suck my thumb for a while…
Friday is a repeat of Monday and Wednesday and, believe me, after Thursday, I’m actually looking forward to the Friday routine, which now seems easier than standing up. According to the enclosed workout schedule, there’s some shit we should be doing on Saturday before resting on Sunday… and it ain’t happening because I need those two days off to get my mind and body ready to start the cycle over again on Monday.
I think back to when I agreed to give this a try, taking a moment to watch a part of TCB to see what would be involved. I remember thinking, “How hard can this be?” and, no, it wasn’t being naive or anything like that – this shit looks easy and, of course, Shaun and his fellow professional dancers make this look even easier; like I said, this dude is running his mouth a mile a minute AND doing all the routines AND smiling the whole fucking time. So, no, it doesn’t look hard to do…
Then I think about my state of mind when I learned that this shit is even harder than I thought it would be – yes, I knew it would be hard because I know my balance is shot and I have this damned deficit to work with. But even after four or five weeks, it’s not getting easier. Oh, I’ve pretty much got the progressions from one routine to the other memorized – I don’t wind up going in the wrong direction or doing the wrong thing as much as I was. I do feel stronger and able to really push it a little more with the routines I can do, like lifting that knee a little higher, sitting down a little further on those squats, etc.. But it’s not easier and after all this time, there are muscles and muscle groups waking up that I’d forgotten where there that want to stiffen up and ache a little; you should try doing “Press the Floor” at tempo while your lower back is cussing you out.
And, keep in mind that our workout plan is not the one on the provided guide; if I remember correctly, on Wednesdays, we’re supposed to do Total Cardio Burn and Total Body Burn. Like hell I will…
Despite all of this, I am committed to doing this, come hell or high water; I’m still not sure that I’ll have that totally ripped abdomen but provided I don’t rip any muscles or tendons, I should wind up in pretty good shape.
Okay, left arm out front, right arm out to the side… and freak!