A New Challenge

You know how I always tell you all how I really enjoy not having a set workout schedule?

How I love being “free as a bird,” able to come and go when I please, choosing whichever exercises I’m in the mood for.

Well this is me…reneging on everything I’ve told you up to this point.


So why am I going back on my word?

Well, I’ve decided that I need a change and have officially begun the 10lb. Slimdown Xtreme Challenge.

DVD case

I was sent a copy of the program to review from Exercise TV, and debated on whether or not I really wanted to fully commit to the challenge or if I just wanted to try out some of the different videos. After weighing my options, here’s what I came up with:

  • I now have the DVD, so I have everything I need
  • I’ve been itching for something new (BodyPump was starting to get a little dull)
  • I have already enjoyed a couple of the videos
  • I love Chris Freytag – she pushes you to work, but she’s super cute(!)
  • I want to really push myself!

So, I’m DOING IT! Smile

The Program

The program is a 28-day advanced training system separated into four weeks of total body, upper body, core, and lower body workouts. Muscle memory is shaken up each week for faster results by target toning each muscle group with isolated styles of training.

  • Week 1 – total body circuit style workouts and kickboxing cardio
  • Week 2 – focus on targeted upper body sculpt moves and yoga
  • Week 3 – focus on core
  • Week 4 – focus on lower body

Why I’m Doing It

The first thing that I want to emphasize is this: I am not doing the challenge to lose 10 pounds. I will be honest with you, however, and tell you that I wouldn’t mind losing about five. Many people I admire in the blog world have mentioned things about their “happy weight” and I will tell you that I know that I am not at mine.

This summer was filled with lots of treats. Between parties, weekends with friends, and vacations, things like ice cream and beer seemed to become regulars in my diet.


Tasty, yes. But not so awesome for all the jeans I can’t fit into.


Also, since being home more often, even though my workouts have been more frequent, my daily life is fairly sedentary. And with that, my snacking habits have gone a little crazy.


My main goals for taking on the challenge are simply to switch up my routine, and hopefully gain some new muscle definition. If I end up dropping a couple pounds in the process, that’s great; but that’s not my main purpose.

In terms of my eating habits, you probably won’t see much of a change with that and it’s not a huge focus in my decision to take on this new workout challenge. While the full Xtreme Workout DVD set comes with a meal plan, I was only sent the workout DVD and honestly, I wouldn’t have followed it anyways.


My meals, for the most part, are usually pretty healthy; it’s the mid-day snacking and after dinner sweets that I really need to work on, which you guys don’t normally see anyways (I definitely don’t document everything I eat).

My Plan Of Attack

Last night, I reviewed the workout plan and had to alter things a bit to come up with my own plan. Since I’d “officially” be starting it today, on a Wednesday, I still wanted my recovery day to be on a Sunday.


So this morning, I decided to just start with Day 3; I’ve already taken a BodyCombat class this week and did cardio yesterday, so I figured it wasn’t too far off.

Today’s Workout was Lower Body + Abs – I had already done the abs so I knew what to expect with that, but that lower body routine was definitely tough. WOW. I guess it’s a good thing I want to push myself! Winking smile


I’m really looking forward to this new challenge and honestly don’t feel like the set workouts are going to be a problem for me (I say this now, it is only day 3…).

**If there’s anyone out there who thinks they might want to follow along with me on the challenge by doing the workouts On Demand (if it’s available to you) or if you already have the DVD, let me know! I’d love to start a group where we could all motivate each other, whether you follow the full challenge, or just try a few of the different workouts. It could be super fun AND motivating!


And now, since I’ve already talked your ear off on this way more than I anticipated (woops!), I’ll wait to fill you guys in on the awesome breakfast that was had a little later. It was amazing!

Questions for the Morning:

When was the last time you really pushed yourself with a workout?

Have you ever followed any sort of workout challenge (i.e., P90X, etc.)?


  1. Laura says

    I seriously was just thinking yesterday how I need something to shake up my workouts. This looks fun and so easy that it’s On Demand so I think I will join you! What weights do I need for the workouts?

    • Courtney says

      You’ll need a lighter and a heavier – maybe 5lbs & 8lbs? or you can go lower with 3’s, higher with 10’s…I need to get a pair of 8’s. I was using Jay’s (I think they were around 12lbs?) and they were too heavy and bulky!

  2. says

    Maybe it is something in the air because I am definitely having the same feeling lately of wanting a challenge. I just started a new program similar to crossfit (I went to my first session last night) and can tell I am going to LOVE it and with it being scheduled like a class I will feel obligated to go.
    It looks like fun! So have fun and good luck (not that you need it!)
    Andrea @ Andrea out loud! recently posted..It Hurts So Good!

  3. says

    I wish I could do DVDs at home, but there is a wee bit of a problem with my basement (where the TV is). When I stand up straight and extend my arms, I push up the ceiling tiles! It makes for some very awkward yoga, let me tell you. That said, I may try to come up with my own challenge to do at the gym since I am now off race-training and can be more varied with my workouts. I also never follow suggested meal plans and just work in what fits with our scheduled meals. Good luck and I am sure you’ll hit your goal! 😀
    Krissie J recently posted..Rock’n’Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon 2011

  4. Briana says

    Hey Courtney! Just wanted to say that your blog is the first one I ever started reading and I’ve never commented till now but thought I finally should! I know what you mean about Chris Freytag, I did her workouts On Demand at home ALL summer! Sadly I don’t have On Demand when I went back to school so I had to buy some of her videos, though I’ve never seen the Extreme ones until you posted about them. Sounds like a good challenge!

  5. says

    I’m so excited for you! I’m sure you’ll do great! :)

    My last hard workout was this morning–a speed workout on the treadmill for my half marathon training. I love doing this type of training because it IS challenging and I really have to push myself. Whenever I want to stop, I will tell myself, “it’s only X more minutes! You CAN do it!!!” Such a great feeling of accomplishment.

    Can’t wait to hear about how it goes for you!
    Melissa recently posted..New Girl

  6. says

    Having workout goals definitely helps me to motivate – especially with the transition from summer to fall. Good luck!! ps those ice creams look so delicious :)

  7. says

    This is awesome! A new challenge is always exciting and motivating. To be honest, it’s kind of refreshing to hear that other healthy bloggers still struggle sometimes with snacking a bit too much or having one too many beers (because I certainly do at times!). Can I find that DVD at like a Best Buy? or do I order it online? Where would you recommend finding it?
    Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..Superset Filled Workout

    • Courtney says

      The only place I’ve seen it to buy is from the Exercise TV website. I’m not sure if somewhere like Best Buy would be carrying it..?

  8. Karen says

    I am planning to get that DVD as I love her videos on Exercise TV & also won her yoga video from you. I am having a baby and due January 1st so once I get the okay from the doctor, I am planning on the challenge. I have also done Turbo Fire and love it. I actually still it now but just modified. Good luck!

  9. says

    I’d love to join the challenge with you. I was just looking for some sort of workout I could do regularly to help me get some baby weight off. I have the DVD’s on my Exercise on Demand, so I think I’m in!

  10. Leila says

    I have access to the workouts on Exercise TV so I’d love to do some of the workouts with you. I won’t be following along with the actual program but I am always looking for different ways to switch up my routine (and since I pay for a gym membership I can’t justify not using my membership for a whole month, ya know?!). The only workout from this program I’ve tried is the yoga one (thanks to your awesome recommendation) and I really loved it. I look forward to trying out some of the others!

  11. Jennifer @ Somewhere In Between says

    I tried out one of the segments on demand earlier this summer and loved it! Their website has some great printouts to go along with the whole program. I’m thinking this is the challenge to go with to get in shape for my upcoming wedding (since I’ve totally fallen off the gym wagon!). It will be interesting to have a whole group participating in the challenge – I’d definitely participate!
    Jennifer @ Somewhere In Between recently posted..August 20, 2011 {We’re Engaged!}

  12. says

    This seems like an interesting plan & I look forward to reading the updates!

    I try to alternate between cardio & strength training so that I don’t get bored. And when I do find myself getting bored with certain things (like BodyPump) I just take some time off from them!
    Erica @ For the Sake of Cake recently posted..BBQ Turkey Burgers

  13. Ashley says

    I would love to do this workout program! I get bored really easily doing the same workout over and over again and think that this would definitely mix it up for me. Do you have the DVD set that is $55? There is another DVD on Amazon that is $18, but it isn’t “xtreme”.

    • Courtney says

      I have the DVD that is $55, but I only have the xtreme workouts (not the meal plan, tape measure, etc.) I believe the one that is $55 also includes all of the original 10lb. slimdown workouts, which are used as recovery workouts in the xtreme challenge (which is what is on amazon).
      The only place I’ve seen the xtreme to buy is on the Exercise TV website.

  14. Ashley says

    I was thinking about starting this too! I currently use On Demand for all of my workouts and I have done most of these workouts individually (not following a play). I think it would help me really be accountable and lose the pesky pounds that I have. I did the lower body on Monday, and I still can barely walk.

  15. Megan says

    I like doing the 10lb slimdown on Exercise TV as well…especially when I’m feeling not motivated enough to drive to the gym in the morning. I haven’t done it consistently but I really do like the videos.

    I just ordered Insanity the other month and haven’t fully started the plan, but have done a couple of the DVD’s and they are awesome. It’s not boring whatsoever and I definitely sweat as much or more if I was at the gym doing cardio. I’m looking forward to starting them consistently and seeing what happens!

  16. says

    That sounds really interesting! I don’t mind workout challenge dvd’s and have been wanting to try one for a while, this sounds like one that might actually keep me motivated 😉 :) I’ll have to give it a try! Can’t wait to read your review of it!

  17. says

    I did P90x for awhile, but I didn’t like being forced to do a certain workout every day, and doing the same ones over and over got boring…now I just pick and choose to do a workout here and there whenever I want to focus on a particular muscle group (I use the leg workout the most often, and the kickboxing workout is a fun second choice!)

    Good luck!!
    Taylor @ Crumbs Don’t Count recently posted..Operation Burger and Archery

  18. says

    I’m so excited to hear more about your experience with this! It sounds great!! I would do something like that if I had workout equipment at home…sadly I don’t- perhaps when I finally get a place of my own and have a job haha. I actually just wrote about changing up how I strength train because I’ve been getting bored and not feeling challenged- I plan to start today :D. And can I just say that you are absolutely gorgeous Courtney!
    Lindsay@ In Sweetness and In Health recently posted..New Strength Training Plan

  19. says

    I have/have used a lot of workout programs (Insanity, p90x, Windsor pilates, the Firm, BeachBody Slim in 6). Most of them are either my mom’s, my roommates at one point, or I got for free. I’ve never really done a full program of any of them, but I have used them a few times. I have a hard time sticking out an entire program because the moves get so repetitive and I like mixing it up. Mostly I will just do one of the videos when I can’t get to the gym or need to mix up my workout routine.
    Alyssa @ Don’t Look Down recently posted..a new little friend

  20. says

    i’m tempted to try that video! about a week ago i actually pushed myself to head to a challenging mountain in Burbank to hike (which i barely ever do) and i’ve been three times so far…it is rough! but i’m proud of myself for trying something new and waking up with sore muscles makes me feel like i accomplished something. i tried a little of insanity a few weeks ago, and that wasn’t too bad either. i just prefer being outdoors. good luck with your new program :)
    jordan @ thedancingdonut recently posted..recipe: super wheat berry salad.

  21. says

    Good luck with the challenge! You can do it, and it will be so worth it in the end! The last time I really pushed myself in a workout was before a wedding I was in, in early September! I like a good challenge, those workouts always leave me feeling accomplished!
    Hilliary@HappilyEverHealthy recently posted..Love: Vol 7

  22. Emily says

    Would love for you to one day document everything you eat, including the snacks. Also, would love to see what you drink throughout the day. We know you always have your morning coffee but I wonder what else you drink throughout the day. Are you drinking water or something else?

    • Courtney says

      Most of the time, if I’m not drinking coffee, it’s just water. I’ll have the occasional diet soda (I know, I know) but it’s usually only in the evenings.

  23. says

    Hey lovely! I think this is really exciting! It’s always fun to shake things up, and there’s nothing wrong with a change in perspective and take on exercise every now and then – I’m excited for you! 😀 And excited for me becuase I get to read all about it, lol!
    And dude, I know exactly what you mean about snacking going on the up during the day – I am working on freelance writing projects from home, whilst simultaneously job hunting, and I snack ALL the live long day, I swear. I have now gotten into the habit of having two lunches. I kid you not 😉 One at like 11.30 and the other at like 1.30! I don’t know how it happened. It just started and now it’s the new normal! 😉
    Glad to hear it’s not just me who falls into that trap working from home, lol! 😛
    Have a wonderful day! <3 xyx
    Yolie @ Practising Wellness recently posted..eating by the book

  24. says

    After reading your blog last week, I tried one of the workouts. I’d definitely be interested in trying the program with you. I’ve done Insanity and TurboFire before but after the third time around, I was getting a little bored. I may have to wait a little while to start the workout though…my honeymoon is coming up in 10 days. I doubt much exercising will get done while I’m gone. 😉 Good luck!
    Kait recently posted..Cupcake Wars

  25. says

    The fitness studio I go to does a lot of challenges, which are always fun and super motivating. They also have prizes you can win! I’ve done a few of them before, but my schedule gets so tight that I miss workouts and then loose motivation :(

    I want to look into getting dvds like this though. I think it’d be helpful since once I get home from a long day I can’t bear the thought of driving to workout. Would rather workout in the comfort of my own home :)

    Can’t wait to see how your challenge goes!
    Katie @ Plates and Paste recently posted..View of the Water

  26. says

    That sounds like an awesome DVD. I have trouble motivating myself to do exercise in my house. I feel more motivated at the gym when I am surrounded by other people pushing themselves. Maybe I just haven’t found the right at home workouts.

    I love the picture of you and Jif… I can tell its true love.
    Lindsay @ biking before bed recently posted..Rita’s Water Ice Blues

  27. says

    Ooh great idea to start a new workout challenge! You definitely don’t look like you need to lose ANY weight, you’re gorgeous as always, but of course if you feel it would make you feel better then totally go for it! I totally get what you mean about “happy weight”. I, too, went snack-crazy when I lived back at home before i got a full-time job…now that I’m working it’s (slightly) easier to stop munching all day and I’m almost back to where I want to be. Doesn’t help that my co-workers just bought big bags of twix and kit kat bars, though :)
    Mallory @ It’s Only Life recently posted..The Unplanned 7 Miler

  28. says

    I feel the same about Chris (cute but makes you workout hard) and wrote that in my post too, love that about her! :)

    I would love to follow along and join this challenge! I still enjoy going to the gym though so I may not follow it exactly, but I would love to do some of the classes here and there!

    I always get super motivated in a workout class when I’m around other students, and I always park myself right in the front row which really helps with the motivation and makes me workout harder :)
    Shayla @ The Good Life recently posted..A Bad Habit & Peanut Butter Smoothieness

  29. says

    i would totally have done this with you if I had the dvd or on demand. but alas i have neither! i did jillian michaels 30 day shred and was surprised i stuck with the whole thing (however that was kind of the beginning of when my ED started so a warning to you, that those videos can be addicting, but you seem to be pretty level headed about it and your goal for it. main thing is to stay nourished, which i’m sure you already know!)

    good luck with it, i’m anxious to see your progress!
    debbie (accidently delish) recently posted..By: WIAW #7 – fun with new finds « Accidently Delish

  30. says

    I thought about trying Insanity–and even downloaded all the videos, but it’s so hard for me to get in the right mindset inside my house! I’m interested to hear how you like this one though, because I wouldn’t mind trying one at some point, but even though I like to schedule my gym classes, I like the freedom of making up the schedule myself. Also, I think you look fantastic and don’t need to lose a pound, but I totally understand how it’s always different to be inside your own skin :)
    Ari @ Ari’s Menu recently posted..Fall TV Guilty Pleasures

  31. says

    Why do jeans always seem tighter in the fall? HAHA I swear after a whole summer of dresses and shorts (shorts seem more forgiving don’t they?) My jeans must have shrunk sitting in my closet for three months! Good luck with the challenge! I did P90x for a while but it was just too much to commit to, plus I don’t really enjoy strength training all that much. I prefer yoga or running.

  32. says

    I totally hear ya on the jeans being a bit too tight and snacking too much in the afternoon and evenings. I have started blogging everything I eat because I feel like it helps keep me a bit more accountable. We all have to do what works for us! :) Good luck with your challenge! It is always nice to have a plan in mind!
    Abby @ Abz ‘n’ Oats recently posted..WIAW #8

  33. Amanda says

    I just ordered this program!! Can’t wait to start it!

    I have tried Insanity, but did not stick with it for the whole program. I do the DVDs randomly, but really need to re-commit to them.

    I am planning on going all-out with this program and sticking with it and hopefully getting results! I’m glad I read your blog, so I can see how you are doing with the workout while I’m doing it as well :)

  34. says

    The last challenging workout was this morning’s 7 mile run! I thought it would be fun to do a hard hill in the last mile…it wasn’t haha. I just started a new challenge 2 weeks ago – New rules of lifting for women. It’s going well so far, and it’s nice to follow the plan since I’ve never done any structured lifting before.
    Lauren recently posted..Schweddy Hiking

  35. says

    I just did the 10 lb. extreme yoga this morning! I didn’t think it was too extreme but my muscles definitely enjoyed it after yesterday’s intervals on the treadmill. I might just have to try some of the other workouts as well!
    Shana recently posted..Apple of my eye

    • Courtney says

      I just did it this morning…I agree, not *too* extreme, but I liked some of the power poses. I also paired mine with some HIIT :)

  36. Yaara says

    Hey Courtney!
    I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog! The new “10 pound challenge” looks good. Also–if you’re looking to shake up your workouts–I know you like workout DVDs–and I recently got really into them. I’ve gotten really hooked on kickboxing and ordered Turbofire which is really good. Another really fantastic cardio workout that involves plyometric drills and other fun stuff is “The Firm’s” Calorie explosion. It’s intense and it’ll get you sweatin!!

  37. Regan says

    I did P90X a few years ago with my husband. Then we did Insanity…P90X kicked our butt and got us much better results…good luck, can’t wait to hear what you think of your new challenge!!

  38. says

    Good luck! I’m gonna do thus challenge also! Let’s rock these 28 days! Just hope can find a buddy to come over and join me!!! I agree, I need to slim down about 5 pounds just to feel normal! I know I gotTa monitor the snacking and the cOol whip addiction! But it’ll be one mOnth on sept 26 since I had ice cream, so much happier w out my ice cream addiction 😉
    Stacey recently posted..Hello world!

  39. Ani says

    I’m a couple days late reading this but it’s so funny because I actually just started the regular 10lb slimdown plan today!

  40. says

    I started Jamie Eason’s 12 week challenge a couple of weeks ago and I’m loving it. (The workout program and meal plan are free online at bodybuilding.com) It keeps challenging me to push myself farther than I would have an I am definitely seeing an increase in muscle definition…score!
    Olivia recently posted..Allergy Blues

  41. Amanda says

    Good for you Courts! A few kilos can definitely make all the difference. I was in denial that I had put on about 10kgs over the last two years, and then I finally made the decision to do something about it in May. I’m doing it slow, 1/2 kilo/week. I’m already feeling SO much better, and my jeans fit again, and I only have 4kgs to go! Best of luck m’dear! x


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge