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      DAREBEE day 34 (days in a row: 8)

      Gravity day 3: I'm still suffering from major muscle soreness in my legs from day 1. I think I overdid it on the wall sits. I'm feeling the involved muscles a lot, particularly glutes and quadriceps (hamstrings less so, calves not at all). The quadriceps group is getting a bit of load in today's exercises, but at least it's just basic concentric contraction without much resistance. Still, I'm going to stick with level 1 here to be safe. I'm already feeling my abs (mid to lower rectus abdominis in particular, though of course the hip flexors got some heat, too) after the first set and three sets is probably enough for some basic fatigue, even though I probably could have done another set. Level 2 would have been too much, though, I think.

      It's funny - the "to exhaustion" push-ups yesterday finished my arms off a lot more quickly than anything else got wrecked on the other days, but my arms feel a lot less sore now than my legs did yesterday, despite push-ups involving a lot of eccentric contraction, too (arms and legs had similar - significant - levels of weakness, though). Maybe tiring them out so quickly actually prevented me from overworking them too much? I don't know. To make things more complicated, no one really fully understands delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)... so nobody could even tell me with a proper degree of certainty what exactly caused the difference in soreness without a corresponding difference in weakness. Bodies are weird. Maybe differences in lack of sleep and nutrients? Hard to tell, but entirely plausible.

      In any case, ideally I'd figure out a sweet spot where the muscles will be encouraged to develop without too much soreness (after all, the idea that more soreness = more muscle growth is a misconception) - and without doing too much questionable (at this point) guesswork about extra factors like sleep, it does seem like that sweet spot works differently for each muscle group. Things couldn't ever be simple, could they?

      Next: stretching. I hate that. It's quite painful for me (especially in the hamstrings) and never seems to do anything worthwhile (especially in the hamstrings). My flexibility seems to be varying day by day based on factors other than stretching - I think my muscle tone has a tendency to be a bit high, though it's not something I can test systematically. Interestingly I can affect it with meditation type exercises so there's probably no actual damage of any kind. Of course I'm still committed to this program so I'll be doing the exercises anyway, but I'm probably going to hate each second.

      Some predictions for the individual exercises in day 4:
      - Back stretches - no big deal
      - Toe touches - completely impossible, I've never managed that in my entire life
      - Kneeling hip flexors - likely to pull on the rectus femoris a fair bit in a fairly painful way. I've had passive stretches applied to these in physiotherapy and it sucked. A lot.
      - Side splits - likely that I'll manage much less than the illustration shows. I'm least confident about this prediction, though, since I don't think I've ever seriously tried this. However, hip abduction on its own is quite uncomfortable for me in the lateral regions (roughly gluteus medius/minimus area), for reasons I don't quite understand. I tried to reproduce this while writing this to pin it down further, but right now the hip adductors are complaining a lot more. As I said, it varies day by day. Anyway, the adductors start complaining loudly at a roughly 30° angle (probably a little less), so I'm not expecting too much here.

      Stay tuned for results... or don't.


        DAREBEE day 35-37 (days in a row: 12 - I miscounted in the previous posts, apparently)

        Gravity day 4: all in all this was about as not fun as I expected. Back stretches - no big deal. Hip flexors - no big deal (I actually expected this to be worse than it ended up being). Toe touches? Not even close. Couldn't get within 30 cm of my toes, as always... but I did get some fierce burning down the backs of my legs, as always. Side splits - I did manage to get to about 40°, but my knees (for whatever reason... possibly sartorius muscle, going from where I felt the pull? Or biceps femoris?) got really upset about it and kept complaining for a few minutes after I was done. The toe touches and side splits made for some fun tingling and light burning in my lower legs, too. Everything is messed up basically. Yay.
        Gravity day 5: I had a nice headache going before I even started, so that was fun. My arms still felt a little sore and weak from day 2 so the up and down planks were fairly hard. Doing 3 sets of those pushed me to my limits - and my headache to eleven. I ended up taking an ibu and waiting for it to kick in before moving on to part 2. Which... was difficult, too, but not so much for the abs/core area. I could barely hold the plank for 30 seconds because my arms were flaking out (which didn't happen when I was doing "test planks" while working my way through the Foundation program, so I'm fairly sure it's temporary weakness). Not sure how much the abs/core muscles got challenged because the ibu is still going strong, but I didn't notice any flaking out or shaking there, so probably not so much. I did some bonus crunches to compensate a little for part of the plank time I didn't manage to do. If you wanted to be really technical about it, I guess this means I failed the program, but what matters in the end is that the muscles are getting challenged, and I think that's happening.
        Oh hey, more push-ups tomorrow. I suspect that part will be over quite fast.
        Gravity day 6: I borrowed some 5kg dumbbells from a friend to try out bicep curls this time around. Seems doable. From today's part 1, surprisingly the scissors were the most demanding part. Didn't really think about it much beforehand; I might have guessed, I suppose. And after that... hello push-up, my old friend...
        Again, this was... tricky. I did about 10 of 'em in the first round in about 30 seconds but not really very well - in hindsight I made some mistakes on day 2. I tried lowering much farther than I probably should have. There's just no chance I'm going to be able to get back up after lowering myself almost to the floor. I realized this after the first few and then only went as low as I could push back up from, which I think was at least 20 centimeters above what's probably the right kind of height. So, for the second round I did 8, but this time in roughly 20 seconds because I wasted less time on being stupid. The third round yielded 6 in about 16 seconds. Doesn't sound like much, now does it...
        Next - another leg day. Never skip it, they say. All right. Fine. Let's do this (again).

        PS. bonus nerdery: I calculated how much resistance I'm actually putting on my arms during push-ups - if I got my math right, it's somewhere in the area of 50-55 kg total, so around 27 kg per arm.


          DAREBEE day 38-40 (days in a row: 15)

          Gravity day 7: this is not dissimilar to the first day, except the rep count has gone up. Fun. After doing day 1, I've changed my mind a little about alternating vs. not alternating sides for the exercises. Doing a fair number of lunge step-ups on the same side puts a lot of load on the gluteus medius/minimus on the side that remains on the ground throughout, and I suspect that mine are a little out of whack. I don't want to overdo it too much. So, this time I'm splitting it up between sides every ten reps, which should still create some extra exhaustion but without overdoing it. At least that's what I did for the first 40 reps, after which I moved on to changing sides after each rep because it was getting a bit much. I also took a few seconds of reset after 40 and 60 reps. I recall this being a fair bit easier the first time around on day 1, but whatever.
          I also took a few seconds rest after 40 calf raises because my calves were quite close to cramping up (they're pretty much always too active, including at rest and when lying down, so this isn't a complete surprise). Same thing again at 60. The muscles weren't really fatigued but they did feel like they might clam up any second and I kind of wanted to avoid that. The side-to-side lunges, on the other hand, weren't a big deal except for some lateral pull on my knee and some pull on the medial hamstrings on the other side.
          As for the wall sits, after the first part I suspected it might be over faster this time - the quadriceps, particularly the rectus femoris and vastus lateralis, were feeling a little challenged already - and I was right. Maybe getting closer to ideal form contributed a little, too - plus I learned my lesson from last time's extreme soreness afterwards and stopped a little earlier into the shaking. The first set lasted about 30 seconds, followed by two of 25 seconds. Let's see how that develops over the next two days...
          Bonus result: after all of this, my calves actually started relaxing a little for once. Normally I have to do some light massage plus some meditation-related exercises to get that going - so that's nice. Even the hamstrings are following suit a little.

          Gravity day 8: yay, another "I hate stretching" day. From part 1, only bridges gave me trouble because my adductors (and to some extent medial quadriceps/hamstrings) are sore and weak, probably from the side squats yesterday. Possibly for related reasons, I managed less of an angle during the side splits, it was more like 30-35 degrees per leg, pulling mostly on the lateral glutes and/or possibly nearby muscles. Knee pain seemed to disappear sooner after the exercise was over, so that's something at least.

          Gravity day 9: Going into this I wasn't confident I'd manage the full 90 seconds of plank. I started having trouble even before that, though - the alt arm/leg raises were really doing a number on my wrists - unlike in previous days where they worked out just fine. My wrists started hurting during the very first set and steadily got worse, but apparently I figured out the issue during the third set: my arms weren't really perpendicular to the ground, they were basically flexed a little too much which must have increased the load on the forearms substantially. So, the third set was much better than the second, and the fourth set was perfectly fine again. Phew.
          I took a four minute break before moving on to part 2 - the dreaded 90 second plank.
          As expected, I didn't last nearly 90 seconds - my arms starting flaking out around 45 seconds, and letting go of the plank position I noticed some light-to-moderate back pain, so I took a short break to write this one sentence and then continued. Just barely completed the last 45 seconds, for more arm shaking and more back pain (L/S region, right next to the spine on the right side). The core muscles themselves didn't really feel like they were worked, though. Shame. I swear my arms are actually getting weaker as I progress through the programs. At least the back pain went away within the first two minutes after finishing.
          To challenge the core muscles a little more, after resting for a few minutes, I did a bonus elbow plank - which I kept up for another 45 seconds. This time the shaking was definitely coming from the right area.

          Coming up next, a 15 minute session of two-minute exercises. Dang.

          PS. I guessed at my weight when doing the math in the previous post - I weigh a little less than I thought. At about 81 kg and roughly 197 cm height, with my legs slightly above 50% of my total height, using some basic equations from classical mechanics, I determined that my arms lift about 61% of my body weight in push-ups. So, it's actually just below 25 kg per arm. Still, that's nothing to sneeze at...


            DAREBEE day 41-45 (days in a row: 20)

            Gravity day 10: I was a little worried about how long these exercises were supposed to be going for. Did about 113 side leg raises which weren't so bad (though, as always, the angle wasn't too exciting), 180 raised arm circles, 2 raised arm holds (briefly lowered the arms with about 45 seconds to go because the full thing didn't really want to happen), 115 knee-to-elbows, about 260 scissor chops and 130 arm scissors... and now it's time for bed!
            Gravity day 11: Nothing worth talking about in the first part... then - yay - another bunch of push-ups to exhaustion! This time I figured it's probably not a good idea scaling down the range of motion on the push-ups to really challenge the muscle and I went back to doing the full range of motion (including pushing slightly above shoulder level). I did two full push-ups and then, due to not being able to keep it up, switched to knee push-ups of which I did maybe 7 or 8. Next set I did one normal push-up and five knee push-ups (barely), and for the final set just five knee push-ups. Doesn't feel like this is getting any easier... but I didn't go into this journey with high expectations, so it's all good. I'm just not too happy about having to do more side splits tomorrow...
            Gravity day 12: The balance exercises weren't too challenging. Side splits - the usual. Once again, around 30-35 degrees.
            Gravity day 13: Oh boy. Just about everything was a lot easier than I expected... with the obvious exception of the hollow hold. That's brutal. I did, in fact, do it wrong initially - had too much of a curve in the back and that way the exercise gave me some fun back pain, but then I looked it up (elsewhere, since DAREBEE doesn't seem to have an entry for this exercise) and fixed that and then it was just hard. I think this is the first exercise where I really felt the upper abs struggling... but I managed to complete all sets, so I guess that's something.
            Gravity day 14: Unlike on day 7, I had to take a ton of breaks to get through the first part. Second part: 30 seconds, 35 seconds, 40 seconds... I might be doing this wrong...
            By the way, the delayed onset soreness from yesterday is mainly in the upper abs today, so apparently my observation about the hollow holds was spot on.
            Up next: another upper body day...


              DAREBEE day 46-48 (days in a row: 23)

              Gravity day 15: Nothing exciting in part 1. Part 2, my old favourite: push-ups to exhaustion! Following my decision from last time, I'm now doing knee push-ups throughout. More room for improvement, I suppose... results this time: 15 in 30 seconds, 10 in 20 seconds, 4 in 10 seconds. I don't think I can even do planks now.

              Gravity day 16: Oh noes, another stretching day! Same story as before, basically - significant tension along the back of my legs during the toe touches, even 35-40 cm away from touching my toes. Also, the exercise that was supposed to be stretching the hip flexors affected only the rectus femoris, pretty much, and the opposite side's leg adductors (and maybe medial hamstrings - biceps femoris?). I felt a lot of pull there and hardly any in the iliopsoas area (the main hip flexors).
              And, of course, side splits are still far from what the diagrams and videos suggest - 30-35°. Most of the stretch is still on the lateral lower half of the knee, which is where the iliotibial tract attaches. That, in turn, is connected to the tensor fasciae latae (which doesn't get any mechanical stretch from the exercise) and the gluteus maximus (which potentially does get stretch). So, possibly there's some excess tension in the glutes? Not at all unlikely.

              Gravity day 17: this was absolutely terrible. My arms weren't even close to recovered from day 15, so even the very first set of part 1 was quite challenging and I didn't even manage to do its 10 up-and-down planks. I'm not sure I can keep doing this program at this point. There's no point in even trying part 2 of today, I doubt I would last more than 30 seconds, and that's rather optimistic already.
              Doesn't seem like there's any point in continuing if I have to ignore half of the instructions...

              Admitting defeat. To at least give my abs/core section some actual work today without my triceps(es?) being the weakest links by far, I finished off with a 70 second elbow plank (at which point I started losing form so I stopped) and another 50 seconds of the same after resting for a few minutes to recover from any CNS exhaustion. These still challenged my arms a little but much less than the "traditional" plank, let alone the up-and-down stuff.

              Possible next steps: I looked at a few more of the programs and all the ones that look interesting have way more push-ups than I can probably handle right now - even if I scale down to knee push-ups. So, I think it's probably best to focus on "to failure" type exercises, making sure that the muscles get enough stimulation but not pushing myself to overdo it (by trying to achieve rep counts or intervals I couldn't possibly manage at this point). It's a little frustrating that my ability to keep up with the programs varies so much by muscle group, but in the end all that means is that I have to customize things more. I can handle that.

              So, my plan moving forward is this: each day, look up a new workout for inspiration on which exercises to do. Three strength workouts per week, each targeting a different area, possibly modified to make them as anaerobic as possible to speed up peripheral exhaustion. Four days that are more about light, moderate or HIIT-style aerobic exercise... but I'm not decided on the specifics yet.

              The basic idea is to pretty much go with the Knight training plan, with maybe the occasional somewhat more intense "casual training" day (and then maybe a somewhat less intense "strength" day leading up to it to keep the overall balance). In most cases, though, I think I'll draw inspiration from the 3/5 workouts for strength days (maybe 2/5 for upper body) and the 2/5 workouts for "casual" days. For now, at least.

              PS. of course even though this program didn't work out too well, clearly there has been some progress since I started out doing DAREBEE things, and I think it's important to acknowledge that.

              Looking back: the first time I tried a plank (on Foundation day 11) I barely managed 30 seconds, and now I can do a 70 second elbow plank. That's nice. I also feel like some everyday things are a little easier than they used to be - I am a fairly fast walker and I take two stair steps at the speed most people take one, and both that and walking uphill I can do longer now before the muscles start feeling heavy. Also, despite not specifically doing a lot of aerobic exercise, it takes longer for me to get short of breath with these kinds of things - most of which may be down to better anaerobic performance... but still, it's an improvement.

              On the other hand, I don't think I'm getting much of an improvement in all the muscle/circulation/sensation weirdness in my legs. I might have to focus more on aerobic exercise there and see what, if anything, that does for me. If nothing does anything there might actually be something wrong... we'll see...


                DAREBEE day 49 (days in a row: 24)

                Goodbye, training programs. Hello, workouts and training plan!

                Thursday - "light exercise" day: Burn & Build workout. Level 1, extra credit. I did the fastest pace I could manage. Turns out I definitely do need some more aerobic exercise in my life. I'm definitely not going to dare doing difficulty 3 aerobic workouts any time soon after this experience. The best part: I scraped open the skin on the back of my hand against the ceiling only once.
                Overall, at this point, I think the hardest struggle will be consistently getting all those calories I need. It's funny how sticking with daily exercise is the easier part...

                Planning ahead:

                I've been looking up workout candidates to do for the next couple of days. Keeping in mind that I don't have a pair of dumbbells yet, I'll be going with no equipment workouts exclusively for now. I might fit a set of adjustable dumbbells into next month's budget. We'll see.

                Friday - strength day: Gentleman (lower body) which has some exercises I haven't done before. As I already explained in the previous post, I'll be ignoring the rep and sets counts on strength days and make this pack more punch by slowing down all of the exercises... significantly... then seeing how far I can go.

                Saturday - light day: Snap Out Of It. I'm just randomly picking level 2 full body cardio workouts here to avoid getting too used to any specific routine.

                Sunday - strength day: Arms of Steel (upper body, focus on arms and back). This doesn't have too much of a focus on push-ups (which I still suck at a lot) but still covers everything and doesn't focus on abs too much (see Tuesday).

                Monday - light day: Permission Granted. Still random.

                Tuesday - strength day: Maverick (full body), conveniently focusing mostly on everything that Sunday didn't cover.

                Wednesday - light day: The White Rabbit. You might be able to tell from my profile picture why I chose this one.

                Thursday - light day: Superstar. Random random random.

                I'll make up my mind on the level of intensity I'll be bringing to the "light" days depending on how much each preceding day messes me up.


                  DAREBEE day 50-53 (days in a row: 28)

                  Friday - strength day: Gentleman. As promised, I completely ignored rep and set counts, instead favouring slowing down the exercises by a lot and doing them approximately to failure.
                  Cossack squats - as I feared, the stretch was a little unfriendly... but by doing this really slowly I did give the hamstrings and quadriceps in particular something to write home about.
                  Side-to-side lunges - to avoid heavily loading the same muscles again (which were already specifically brought to exhaustion), I made sure to stay in the final position on each side as briefly as possible, focusing more on the side-to-side movement itself and slowing that down a lot. Obviously that still targets the same muscles to some extent, but not as much as remaining in position.
                  Side leg raises - since my hip abduction range of motion is fairly humble, I don't think this did as much as it could have, even slowed down, so I added some side leg raises lying down. In combination the two definitely did the job.
                  Knee-to-elbows - In terms of what I wanted to achieve here, this was mostly redundant - today isn't about the abs/core area, so the upper-body twist is irrelevant; the hip flexors are already worked by the other exercises; as are the hip stabilizers (gluteus medius/minimus and tensor fasciae latae). I did a few anyway, for the sake of completeness.

                  After a few minutes rest, I repeated everything, again to failure. Took much less time this time around... so much less so that I figured another repetition probably wouldn't do any good. Some of the muscles were already protesting quite loudly at extra load, particularly the vastus lateralis, so that was me done for the day.

                  Saturday - light day: Snap Out Of It. This was fairly unexciting, so I did the full 7 sets with EC.

                  Sunday - strength day: Arms of Steel. There's no way I could have completed this as-is, but as mentioned earlier I'm just using the workouts for inspiration. I ended up doing a bunch of slow knee push-ups - also tried them as triceps push-ups but didn't even manage one. The plank-based exercises (thigh/shoulder taps) seemed to me to mostly challenge abs/core and balance (plus extra load on the arms which is already covered by doing push-ups to exhaustion), so I de-prioritized them on this day. The various punches seemed to be focusing more on aerobic exercise; I did a few of those but mostly did resistance exercises against walls and such, for all of the basic degrees of freedom of the arm and shoulder. All the most important muscles should be covered by that, though I'll need to shake it up a little more overall to keep it challenging. I just didn't spend too much time working through the details today because I was really, really tired. I guess three hours of sleep will do that to you.

                  Monday - light day: Permission Granted. I think I caught a bit of a cold - seems like that's making things a little harder today, plus my arms are a little weak from yesterday's workout (I noticed that on the W-extensions in particular). I did stick to doing extra credit but limited myself to 3 sets. I certainly could have kept going but I guess allowing for some recovery is a good idea, too.


                    DAREBEE day 54-59 (days in a row: 3, was 31)

                    Tuesday/Wednesday - strength day: Maverick. Unfortunately during the first set (in which I slowed down some of the exercises, as usual) a raging headache started up, accompanied by nausea. I still had some of those cold symptoms going, too... so I left it at that, and just repeated the same things on Wednesday, adding some extra things for good measure like a bit of hollow holding and elbow planks.

                    Thursday - light day: The White Rabbit. Nothing worth mentioning here. I did extra extra credit, cutting the rest time in half again to 30 seconds between sets.
                    Since this concludes the week, I'll be moving the workout planned for today into the next week, which I'll start planning before I do the leg day.

                    Friday: skipped due to exhaustion - the type where it's hard to even keep my eyes open. Shame on me, I guess. This moves the rotation by one day, so now the week starts over on Saturday.

                    Saturday - strength day: Leg Shred. That sounded ominous, so I went ahead and did it. As always, I slowed all the exercises way down. Squats created a nasty pull above the knee on the back leg (probably tendons of rectus femoris and maybe vastus lateralis), so that wasn't fun, but everything else worked nicely to create some proper exhaustion.

                    Sunday - light day: Superstar. Went for extra credit but did only 3 sets. I think I've still got a bit of a cold, and I'm still way behind on sleep.

                    Monday - strength day: this was the day for arms, but none of the workouts I looked at were really looking right. My triceps is the weakest link by far, and all of the workouts either don't challenge it enough, or challenge it too much in relation to the other parts of the workouts. So, I freestyled, doing a bunch of push-ups (yeah right, more like 1-2), wide grip push-ups (one maybe?) and also a bunch of knee push-ups (including wide grip and narrow/diamond grip). Additionally I did some slow dumbbell curls but not really a whole lot - my biceps doesn't need nearly as much attention. Finally, some elbow planking and hollow holding, just for kicks. Of all strength exercises I've tried so far, hollow holds create the funnest burning sensation. Most other things just get weak/flaky if they're tired, without much of that burn going on. That's kind of interesting.

                    I'll keep looking into changing this up a little more. I don't think I can create enough space for more equipment than a proper set of dumbbells (all I have right now is a single 5kg one), I suppose a pull-up bar would be useful but I have no idea where I could possibly put that. So, this may need some creativity. We'll see...


                      DAREBEE day 60-63 (days in a row: 7)

                      Looking up workouts that fit in with my current abilities (i.e. challenging but not overtaxing my weak points) is a chore, so I've decided to try another training program. My focus is still on strength, but I'm way too weak in the arms for proper push-ups, so I'm going to try Power Up. It looks a fair bit more challenging than I thought at first glance, maybe because I allowed the magic words "low impact" to influence me, through an alternative interpretation of what they mean.

                      Power Up day 1: Wow. I think someone murdered my legs while I was doing this. I think blood circulation suffered while doing these, my legs started tingling and feeling a little cold and all - though all of this recovered after finishing each part. And the second half of this? Those hip flexors were burning. I did manage to complete all exercises, though, and I didn't need any rest. I'm a little less sure about tomorrow, but we'll see.

                      Power Up day 2: Ouch. ​ Those biceps extensions look so simple, but with the hold it starts burning after just a few seconds. Now that I'm done with this, my arms are somewhat disinterested in lifting or flexing at the elbow. Good thing the only thing left on my agenda for today is sleeping.

                      Power Up day 3: This wasn't actually a big deal. I expected my calves to cramp up like crazy, but they didn't... and they're probably the best trained muscles I have, on account of them being tense pretty much all day round, including at night where the tension usually contributes a fair bit to keeping me awake. If there was any issue, it was with the second half and the raised leg hold specifically, in which I noticed that my left leg in particular doesn't go even close to the roughly 90° as shown in the illustrations. It's more like 50° and I just can't lift it any further, not even briefly (except by way of momentum during the swings, but that doesn't change much, either). Sigh.

                      Power Up day 4: Nothing too exciting to talk about here, but let me just say this was close to my limits again. I seem to be having a lot of those.

                      Oh boy, tomorrow... this is looking to be a day I actually won't be able to complete according to specs. Probably not even close. Stupid arms.


                        Bundling several days together in a single post is actually a little cumbersome. I'm just going to finish up posts whenever it's convenient. Deal with it.

                        DAREBEE day 64 (8 in a row) / Power Up day 5: As expected, I didn't manage this. I did surprise myself by actually completing 30 seconds of knee push-ups, but the 60 second hold was quite impossible. I cheated by taking three 5-10 second breaks and holding myself a fair bit higher for at least some of the remaining time. After that I managed another 2-3 push-ups and that's all my arms and chest were willing to do.
                        The second part looked deceptively simple but still ended up at least partially exhausting the muscles towards the end.
                        I guess technically I've already failed the program now, but this time I'll just keep going and do my best. Maybe I'll manage to actually get the badge the next time around.


                          DAREBEE day 65-67 (11 in a row)

                          Power Up day 6:
                          another day that didn't go so well. I had to take 2-3 five-second breaks in the first part, and several ten-second breaks (5? 6?) during the second part. I felt really tired and weak all throughout today, so I guess it's not too much of a surprise...
                          Power Up day 7: this was more of a minor challenge, really.
                          Power Up day 8: same here.


                            DAREBEE day 68-69 (13 in a row)

                            Power Up day 9: first half was easy, second half was mildly challenging.
                            Power Up day 10: this was significantly more challenging. I had to take two 5-second breaks in the second half. My left hip (the side I did last) hardly wants to flex now. I have to lift my leg with my hands... but it's already going back to normal as I write this. Clear case of CNS exhaustion, methinks...
                            Earlier today, I realized I've been neglecting the abs/core area by doing only this program, so I also did a bunch of crunches, elbow planks (up to 45 seconds at a time), hollow holds and superman extensions. I also did a few knee push-ups and it almost kind of seems like I might be able to do a few more of them now (did 15 just now and I think I could have done more if I really wanted to). Cool. I might actually be able to finish more than two normal push-ups at some point.


                              DAREBEE day 70-73 (17 in a row)

                              Power Up day 11: I had to take three 5-second breaks in the second half. This stuff is brutal. Holding your arms out should be illegal or something... the actual movements weren't too troublesome, just the holds toward the end.
                              Power Up day 12: The first part was okay, but in the second part (a repeat from day 6) I had to break just as often as last time, maybe even a little more. Side note: I made a timer tool to time everything without losing my place, here's an example for today's workout.
                              Power Up day 13: Not at all easy, but doable. (Timer link)
                              Power Up day 14: Once again, not a chance. I managed about 25 seconds of knee push-ups and 15 seconds of hold... and another 10 seconds of knee push-ups after that. The second half I was able to complete as written - again, no surprise there.


                                DAREBEE day 74-77 (21 in a row)

                                Power Up day 15: this was easy - the raised leg holds were unpleasant but that was about it. Half of this program done (reminder: no badge afterwards because I failed certain days). Yay!
                                Power Up day 16: this looked brutal - and it was challenging, but not as bad as I'd feared. Particularly in the first half, the hold was much harder on one of my legs and it was about to get impossible to keep it raised as the timer ran out. In the second half, things actually went fairly well and so towards the end I made the hold progressively more difficult by slowly raising my leg throughout. Legs definitely feel tired now. (BTW, I have sore hamstrings from yesterday...)
                                Power Up day 17: not a big deal, but it turns out that if you clench harder, you can actually exhaust yourself almost arbitrarily soon. I realized what I was doing in time and backed off a little, so I had no issue completing this according to spec. I also did some negative push-ups (an exercises I discovered earlier today) just to not completely drop the ball there.
                                Power Up day 18: oh god, side bridges again. The squats were fine, but I had to take a substantial number of short breaks during the side bridges and planks, and I was very much out of breath towards the end (and not because I held my breath or anything). And here I thought strength training wasn't supposed to be about aerobic fitness...