21DFC Day 4 – Loving the Sweat, the Pain, and the Aches!

This is Day 4 of the 21-Day Fitness Challenge (21DFC) for Feb 2012. View all posts made during the challenge: 21DFC Overview.

Hello and welcome to Day 4 (Feb 6) of the 21-Day Fitness Challenge! :mrgreen:

Sign ups for 21-Day Fitness Challenge are now officially closed. Guess what – we now have nearly 300 participants with us on 21DFC! :D Congratulations to 296 official participants who are on board! :clap:

For all 296 of you, please do and post your pre-work (Day 0) if you haven’t. At the same time,  post your progress for Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 too if you haven’t – it’s the commitment we’ve made to each other when we signed up (remember our 21DFC pledge?). Even if you didn’t do any physical activity for that day, the act of reporting back on the site will keep you within the community, which is one of the keys to success in this course.

If you don’t post anything, instead taking the read and see-only approach, you don’t stand to gain – at all. Share. Engage. Participate. This is how all of us will get the best out of the challenge.

While you’re at it, please read and apply the 8 tips to succeed in 21DFC I’ve shared on Day 0′s post. They are crucial in your success in 21DFC.

Review of Day 3

We’re now into Day 4 – seems just like yesterday when the challenge started. :D It seems that many of you are getting into the fitness groove now, which is great! I’m having a great time reading your progress via the comments for each day:

It seems like some of you are still having difficulty living true to your fitness plans. Here’s one suggestion – If you did not get to do your physical activity for the day, identify what exactly led you to skip/avoid the activitylearn from it, share your lessons with everyone in your progress update, then commit to making tomorrow a better day where fitness is concerned. Don’t just brush it off, because that’s almost a sure indicator that it’s going to recur again. Big rule in personal growth: Whatever does not get addressed will always resurface. Uncover the root and you eradicate the problem.

I’d like to take the chance to say a huge THANK YOU to those of you who have been reading other participants’ replies and taking the time to leave a positive word or two. You guys are selfless beings with hearts of gold. Know that your words do make a difference and you have unknowingly brightened up someone’s day. I believe those of you who have been receiving replies from others can attest to that.

For those who have been participating only by way of doing your fitness regimes and posting your updates, take some time out to read the other participants’ updates and replying to 1-2 of them, at the very least. 21DFC is more than just personal accountability, though that’s one big part of it. It’s also about the community, making new bonds and appreciating them, as are all challenges at PE.

My 21DFC Progress, Day 4

In just 3 days of getting back into fitness mode, I’ve been observing these amazing benefits:

  • My muscles are now more defined, especially with my legs and calves, since jogging and lower body workouts have been my main fitness activities for the past 3 days.
  • My legs are definitely slimmer, hips smaller, and stomach flatter.
  • My face is now sharper with more defined features, probably from weight loss due to fitness
  • My breathing feels more regulated – not that there was any problem with my breathing before, just that when I compare it with the past, it has clearly improved.
  • My natural posture has also improved, probably due to increased muscles throughout my body.
  • Mentally, I’m more alert. My level of concentration is higher.
  • I feel more energized than ever. I don’t feel tired at all during the day, and when I sleep I sleep soundly – no restlessness. When I wake up, I feel wide awake and ready to start the day.
  • Spiritually, I feel more aligned as a being.
  • Emotionally, I feel really awesome that I’m at the top of my fitness game. The positive emotion is in turn rippling out to other parts of my life.

I’m excited to see these benefits, especially since it’s only been 3 days! I can’t wait to see what 21 days of complete fitness will do to my body. :D In a way I’m inspired to go the extra mile for my next exercise session, because, hey – no pain, no gain, right? ;) It’s obvious that the more I commit to my fitness, the more benefits I’m seeing. There’s no doubt about that. And same for you, too.

So Day 4 – I woke up at 6:30am, went for my now routine morning jog of 3.6km (2.2 miles). And unlike Day 3, I was definitely earlier than many other joggers today. :D

Sun rising
Sun rising over the horizon as I jogged along the path

By the time I was done with my jog, the sun was completely up. Rise and shine, people! ;)

Dragon Fruit
Enjoying my morning fruit as I start work for the day. ;) This is the Dragon Fruit – a sweet tasting fruit found in South East Asian countries, among other places.

I already planned to head out today to buy lights for the new videos I’m producing for PE. (My room uses ceiling light, which is terrible for shooting videos.) Since I’ve already been exercising twice a day during Days 1-3, I wanted to exercise again after my jog today. So I decided to hit the gym first before going to town to get the lighting (and run some errands).

As I mentioned on Day 2, I stopped taking the elevator since Day 2 and have been climbing the stairs. I’ll be doing this for the whole of 21DFC.

Walking in the park
Walking to the gym again, instead of taking the bus. It’s a nice 30 minutes walk in the sun.

At the gym – it was busier than usual when I reached! Probably because it was during the lunch hour.

I actually planned to sign up for a 6-month gym membership today, but they needed a passport-size photo of me for the membership card. And since I didn’t have one with me there and then, I couldn’t apply for the card today. Oh well – next time, then.

I worked out for 45 minutes at the gym – 15 minutes on the recumbent stationary bike, 15 minutes of indoor rower, 5 minutes on the elliptical, and 10 minutes on the stationary bike. At the end of the session, I was satisfied with my progress and went for my shower, then lunch.

While my “official” exercises for Day 4 ended here, I continued to engage in physical activity throughout the day. For example, instead of waiting for the bus on my way to lunch, I walked my way to the mall – about 15 minutes long. I also stood/walked for a good 2-3 hours today while I was out running errands and getting my lighting in the afternoon. On my way back, I chose to alight at the bus stop next to an overhead bridge so I could climb up the bridge, cross it, and climb back down the bridge.

So all in all, it was a great day today for 21DFC. I continue to feel aches and sores throughout my body for all the physical activity I’ve been doing, but by now it feels a natural part of the (strengthening) progress. Funnily, they’re fading away with the regular exercises I’m doing – and not worsening as one might imagine.

That’s it for my Day 4 – Stay tuned for Day 5 tomorrow. ;)

How About YOUR Day 4? Share Your Progress!

How did YOUR 21DFC Day 4 go? Did you get to complete your scheduled activity? Did you achieve any personal victories? Did something unexpected crop up, which made you learn some valuable personal lessons?

Regardless of how your day went, we want to hear it all. 21DFC is not about sharing ‘flawless’ fitness progress, but about sharing everything our journey towards a healthier, fitter life – obstacles and all. Post your day’s journal in the comments section! If you have any images to share, simply upload them to Photo Bucket or Imgur first, then include the link(s) in your reply.

  1. What physical activity did you do (if any), and for how long?
  2. If you didn’t get to do any physical activity, why? And what can you do about it such that the same thing doesn’t happen again?
  3. What physical activity do you plan to do tomorrow?

Check out other participants’ responses and join in the discussions!

Looking forward to Day 5 tomorrow! ;)

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« 21DFC Day 3 – Turning it into a Routine

21DFC Day 5 – Tuning Into Our Inner Self »

101 Responses | Share Your Results!

  1. Linh says:

    I just wake up and finish my morning exercise for 15 mins.

    It’s the beginning of the day and I’m going to update my progress during the day ^^

    I have to go to school now but I’m back to jogging in the afternoon. :dance:

    Like: Thumb up +1

    • Celes says:

      Great job on your morning exercise, Linh! :clap: Keep us posted on your jog and your progress for the rest of the day. :D

      Like: Thumb up +1

    • Linh says:

      Like I said earlier, I’ve just comeback from my jogging ( I have to admit it was actually walking more than jogging :shy: ) I was running for 5 mins and felt so tired. So I changed to brisk walking for 5kms . Well, I guess my body need some time to get used to more intense activities.

      And like usual, I’m gonna to end my day with 15 mins exercise :D

      Like: Thumb up +1

      • Ian Hind says:

        Well done.

        When I first started your running, someone told me to not try and run too fast too soon. Which I did! And it hurt.

        I then used the ‘lamp post’ method to get started. Simply jog a couple of lamp post distance then brisk walk the next couple and so, until you have completed your target time. Next week increase the lamp posts jogged and decrease those walked. Etc. Then you can work on speed and distances etc, but to begin with its all about just getting out there, which you are doing!

        Good luck


        Like: Thumb up +2

        • Amanda says:

          I like the lamp post method. :) I don’t use it, but mine is similar. Since my condo is small, I jog a couple of rounds, then walk, then jog, then walk. And adding in some runs in between. :D

          It works well for me. :)

          Good luck!

          Like: Thumb up +1

  2. Christine Aicken says:

    We had organized to train with free weights at the gym straight after work, I was so tired & my husband asked me if I wanted to go straight, even though I might have said yes, I knew this commitment I had made I must keep, so glad I did worked out with weights for 1 hour, going to bed early feeling good, Thanks!!!!

    Like: Thumb up +1

  3. Amanda says:

    Thanks for the earlier upload! I swam for 30 minutes about an hour after my lunch (and before doing my homework!) non-stop: breath stroke and front crawl. 20 minutes breath stroke, because that definitely is my stronger stroke. This is the longest so far: 30 minutes non-stop. Whew.

    After completing my homework I went down and ran about 10 rounds round the condo, which took about…
    1 minutes each round, so 10 minutes in total. I really look forward to my new house where it’s definitely bigger and has a running/jogging track. :D

    New plan: I’m going to stop one stop earlier near my destination, so I have to walk for about 5 minutes more. Not a lot, but every bit counts. ;)

    Like: Thumb up +3

    • Amanda says:

      Woop. I did another exercise tonight. 20 minutes of alternating between slow walk, jog and run. I’m really sweaty now. :) But running under a full moon is really too good to miss.

      Tomorrow, I am aiming for 15 minutes duty, 5 minutes walking from bus stop home and 30 minutes running / jogging, as well as 30 minutes swimming.

      Btw Celes, I can’t seem to view and write comments on the challenges posts on my mobile.

      Like: Thumb up +2

      • Linh says:

        Wow , Good job :clap: You seem to be really sporty :mrgreen: Reading your progress truly motivates me :hug:

        Like: Thumb up +1

      • Ian Hind says:

        Well done! Good work outs :-)

        Like: Thumb up +1

      • Amanda says:

        Linh and Ian: Thanks. :) NAPFA (a fitness test in my country for students) is really catching up on me, I have to do 1.6km and I really want to break my last year’s record! :)

        Like: Thumb up +1

      • Celes says:

        Hey Amanda! Thanks for letting me know. I just switched to a different mobile plugin for my site. Can you check and let me know if you still have the same problem? Thanks! :D

        Like: Thumb up +1

  4. Lina says:

    I’ve walked back home from school through tons of snow, which made me feel like I was going to die under the heavy winter coat plus the effort of making your way through snow up to your knee, lol. It was fun though, reminded me of childhood :lol: And once I got home I did a cardio workout for a few minutes (not sure how long, I really didn’t keep track of it…Around 7 mins I would say.).

    Like: Thumb up +1

    • Ella says:

      I think walking through snow counts at least like hiking :D My muscles hurt from walking, I think it’s ‘cos I try to walk as fast as I can because it’s sooo cold!

      Like: Thumb up +1

      • Lina says:

        Haha, well it totally works up muscles! And yeah, I know that feeling, it’s like your brain subconsciously makes you speed up in order to warm up your body.

        Like: Thumb up +1

  5. Tina Davis says:

    Biked for 45 minutes followed by 15 minutes of stretching and 10 minutes of meditation. :D

    Like: Thumb up +1

  6. Raymond says:

    Hi guys,

    completed a 1 1/2 hr walk outside.

    On this video you can see my face having a red glow from the cold.


    Enjoying the challenge. Feeling very much alive.

    Like: Thumb up +1

  7. Yaleryn says:

    woke up at 6am!
    Rollerblade for 15mins
    Jogged to a reservoir.
    And did more stair climbing!

    Starting to get body sores, which indicates my workout have been effective!

    keep going guys!

    Like: Thumb up +1

  8. Glenn says:

    Ahhh, you just had to tease me with the Dragon Fruit photo Celes! They’re yummy, but expensive here. Usually $4 or $5 for just one. Although I actually prefer the ones that are red inside, as they’re usually sweeter.

    Nothing much to report today, but I increased my time jumping on the rebounder from 20 minutes to 30 minutes. So I’ve set a new standard for myself there. I’m yet to do a long walk yet. Hoping to get that in later in the week.

    Tomorrow, if I’m feeling up to it, I might increase my time on the rebounder even more.

    Like: Thumb up +1

    • Celes says:

      Tell me about it, Glenn – I got a dragon fruit in Chinatown in New York City, and got the shock of my life when I was charged $6.50USD for 1 small fruit alone. I kinda just took it without seeing the price, assuming it will be reasonable – it’s only about $0.50USD for 1 fruit here in Singapore. You should come over to Asia and buy truckloads of it back!

      Great work on increasing your jumping time to 30 minutes! That’s a 50% increment. :D How does the rebounder look, anyway? For some reason I keep thinking about it as a trampoline. Is it the same?

      Like: Thumb up +1

  9. Joe says:

    I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and worked out the upper body. Here is my routine:

    Day 4 – Workout #1: Upper Body
    Warm-up Circuit
    • 2x’s through the circuit using a 1-0-1 tempo for each exercise.
    • Rest 30 seconds b/c circuits.
    o Prisoner Squat x 12
    o Pushup x 10
    o DB Rear Deltoid Raise x 10
    Superset #1
    • Do 2 warm-up sets for DB Chest Presses @ 75% of your regular weight.
    • Do 1 warm-up set for Pullups, doing only 3 reps.
    o If you don’t have equipment for Pull-ups, do DB Rows, 8 reps per set.
    o If you can’t do all the Pull-ups, do the 3-second lowering only for 6-8 reps.
    1A) DB Chest Press (6 reps) 3-0-1
    Rest 30 seconds.
    1B) Pullups (Max Reps) 3-0-1
    Rest 90 seconds.
    Repeat the superset 3 times.
    Superset #2
    • After you complete the 3rd round of this superset, decrease the weight by 10% and try to get 8 more reps.
    2A) DB Incline Press (8 reps) 1-0-1
    No rest.
    2B) DB Chest Supported Row on Incline Bench (8 reps) 2-0-1
    Rest 1 minute.
    Repeat the superset 3 times.
    Superset #3
    3A) DB Chest Fly (12 reps) 3-0-1
    No rest.
    3B) DB Lateral Raise with Slight Forward Lean (10 reps) 1-0-1
    No rest.
    Repeat the superset 3 times. Use light weight and focus on form.

    I used more weight than Friday’s workout; about 25% more weight. Feeling stronger. Tomorrow the forcast is cold and raining. I have my back up plan.

    Like: Thumb up +1

  10. ASLO says:

    A quickie here
    I took a cold morning jog for 17 odd minutes, a small victory by 2 small minutes compared to the 15 minutes before….now i’m to set my eyes for much longer bit by bit……its difficult and tiresome at the start but soon would be easy and much more fun….am sure
    Then 15 mins of cycling later in the day….
    Tomorrow i might try skipping, used to love that as a kid, just a teeny bit scared if it would cause a dislocation of the gas bubbles in the intestine (at least that’s how google translates it from my native tongue (pechoti it is for those who know Gujarati))…but whats a challenge if you shy away citing your ridicules and fears……
    Good day…..

    Like: Thumb up +1

  11. Vedat G. says:

    I’ve been a bit lazy on posting in the last 2 days, however i wasnt lazy with my GYM routine.
    Seeing all you guys and girls working out and posting here, pushes me to keep going. Normally today, i feel like going to home and having a nice rest but, NO NO NO , i will hit the gym within half an hour and i will workout 1 hour, plus go to a cardio class for 1 more hour. Afterall, i like the gym :)

    I am not a quitter :)

    Like: Thumb up +1

  12. Monisha says:

    My personal victories:

    1. I lost a kilogram
    2. My grandmother said that I looked a lot thinner :)
    3. Physical pains are fading away with the regular exercises
    4. I feel more energized than ever.

    A problem: I feel a little nauseous after exercise. I have been noticing this these couple of days. I know the reasons why this happen and I need to tackle the problem.

    What physical activity did you do (if any), and for how long?

    Walking, skipping, stretching, jogging in place, the plank, jumping jacks, bicycle crunches, squatting, push up with leg extension, seal jumps and lunge with twist. Total time taken could be 42 minutes, almost 42 minutes or maybe more than that.

    Like: Thumb up +2

    • Celes says:

      Hey Monisha – Congratulations on your weight loss and increased energy. :D Sorry to hear about your nausea – you said you know the reasons behind it. Is it okay if you share them with us?

      Like: Thumb up +2

      • Monisha says:

        Hi Celes, thank you! :heart:

        The reasons behind me feeling nauseous after/during some exercise is dehydration, exercising on an empty stomach and I may have hypoglycemia.

        Like: Thumb up +1

  13. Bilal Kamoon says:

    Oh the ache! Oh the pain!

    I knew that yesterday’s activity http://personalexcellence.co/challenges/2012/02/21dfc-day-3/comment-page-2/#comment-23458 was going to make my muscles sore today, but this is soo painful. I can’t sit for a few minutes without bursting in pain. The soreness have even reached deep inside my head.

    Today’s exercise consisted of:
    -30 minutes of Muslim Prayer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_prayer
    -30 minutes of walking (my school is 15 minutes away)
    -walking up and down the stairs 4 times.

    I hope that by tomorrow the pain will be a bit less so i could get back to exercising again.

    Like: Thumb up +1

    • zingfairy says:

      Hi Bilal

      Hope your muscles stop aching soon! If your body is in that much pain then I think it’s right you let it recover!

      And in the mean time, don’t write off the walking you did – it all counts as exercise! :)

      Like: Thumb up +1

      • Celes says:

        What zingfairy said. Don’t write off the walking, especially if you normally don’t walk that much to begin with. It all counts as physical activity. :D

        Like: Thumb up +1

  14. Jaleen says:

    This morning, I had a sudden dizziness. When I was reading something on the computer, I suddenly felt that I was unable to balance my head. I laid down on my bed, and I felt that the room was spinning!

    I fell asleep after all, but the condition remained the same after I woke up. In the evening, I took a bathe then suddenly I heard a sound “wong…”, and the dizziness had gone.

    It was weird. However, I managed to do a simple walk for around 15 minutes, cannot make it for home aerobics again as my plans were massed up by the dizziness. :(

    I really hope that I can make it for home aerobics tomorrow…

    Like: Thumb up +1

  15. Ella says:

    Day 4 is yoga day! I love yoga because while doing it I feel every muscle in my body stretching. Besides, yoga goes great with meditation and I’m gonna try to make a habit of it also.

    Like: Thumb up +1


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