30-Day Get Fit Challenge | Week 1

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 Sara De Boer/Startraks

Staffer Gretchen Parker, 35, is working out with ExerciseTV celebrity trainer Kathy Kaehler (past clients include Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston) for Us' 30-Day Get Fit Challenge! She's blogging a few times a week. Here, Gretchen details her first workout session with Kathy:

Oh, the pain.

Kathy just put me through my first workout session, and even though I think she pulled some punches, I still feel like the kid who wants a doctor's note to get out of P.E.

The only part of the session I was dreading was the photographs we’re shooting so you can see what I look like and what I’m doing in the gym. I hate being in pictures, and I was nervous about that. Turns out, the actual exercise was way more painful.

We started out with weights. For legs, we did leg extensions, dead lifts, squats, lunges and overhead presses. For arms, we did lateral raises, bicep curls, tricep extensions and chest presses.

From the very first set of leg extensions, I knew I was in trouble. Seriously. It hurt. When Kathy asks, "Do you feel the burn?" I'm wondering how she can’t see it burning. It feels to me like flames are shooting out, so in my sweaty daze I’m confused and wondering why she's not alarmed and not throwing water on me.

The cardio portion of the workout was also painful, but in a different way. More of like a long, sustained pain than a sharp, shooting pain. Doing five minutes on the elliptical machine and five minutes on the bike were no problem. But the treadmill was not on my side.

I walked and jogged (albeit briefly) while Kathy sped up and slowed down the speed. It took me nearly 15 minutes to do a mile. I'm hoping I was just slow because she was standing really close to me and I didn’t want to splash her with too much sweat. I'm sure that was it.

My job over the next week is to work out six days and slowly increase weights and cardio times. Kathy is coming up with a food plan that I can follow while working crazy hours — sans a celebrity chef to keep me in line.

Meanwhile, I'm going to do my best to follow her instructions. And not go begging for a doctor's note.

Follow Gretchen's Day One Workout Routine:

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— 2 sets of leg extension, 12 reps each
— 2 sets of dead lifts, 12 reps each with a 10-pound and then a 15-pound weight
— 2 sets of squats, 15 reps each
— 2 sets of overhead presses, 15 reps each with two 5-pound weights
— 3 sets of lunges: one with no weights, one with two 5-pound weights and one stationary
— A wall sit (with my back against a wall) with a 10-pound weight for as long as possible
— 2 sets of lateral raises, 12 reps each with two 5-pound weights
— 2 sets of bicep curls, 15 reps each with two 5-pound weights
— modified plank (me leaning on a bench, feet on the floor) for 20 seconds
— 2 sets of tricep extensions, 15 reps each
— 2 sets of chest presses, 15 reps each

— Bike for 5 minutes, resistance level 5
— Elliptical machine for 5 minutes, resistance level 5-7 and incline at 10
— Walk 1 mile, increasing speed for intervals of one minute, and finish in 14:44.


Questions? Comments? Contact me at askgretchen@gmail.com

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