Project Birthday Bod.

Okay, NOW it feels like a new year. As I head back to school today it is settling in that the holiday season is over, it’s a new year, and I have a new sense of focus for 2016. After the success of gaining strength in my Finish Strong 10-week Fitness Challenge, I am ready to tackle a new fitness training program – Project Birthday Bod.


Why the name? I know, it sounds corny. I got the idea from a well-known vlogger on YouTube who did a similar fitness challenge for her birthday. I like that it’s a fun name for a hopefully fun fitness training plan. I am combining my two favourite things – running and strength training into a plan that will last three months… just in time for my birthday!

What are my goals? I built up a lot of strength in the last two and a half months in the gym. I was a little too loosey goosey with my nutrition and while it helped me build muscle, it also helped me protect my muscle VERY well with some “insulation.” I want to keep the strength I built (e.g. using the same weight and hopefully continuing to PR my bench and lifts) but lean out my body and shed some “insulation.”

What about the timeframe? I think three months is an adequate amount of time to see change in body composition, but not an overwhelmingly long timeframe that makes it hard to keep focus. It just happens that my birthday is at the end of these three months and what better way to start off my year of being 23!

What is different about this challenge? Honestly, not a ton. I found a really great strength training schedule that works for my life schedule and for my muscle recovery (trying to fit in two leg days a week is tough) so I am keeping that schedule. I am adding short HIIT cardio sessions to my schedule a few days a week and keeping one day on the weekend for long and slow cardio sessions. HIIT is honestly the best way to get your sweat on and make the most of 20 minutes in the gym.

What am I going to do? I have a pretty detailed training schedule (see below) for the next three months. I am going away to Kananaskis at the end of January for a conference and heading to Montreal for a week in February so of course workouts might be shifted but the closer I can stick to the training schedule, the better off I am!

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I started off the new year with a resolution run! I dragged my mom out (okay so I may have told her we were only going 5 miles) and we ran 16km (10 miles) to start 2016! It was a nice slow run in the gorgeous Alberta sunshine and just the perfect way to kick off the new year! On Saturday at the gym after work I did 45 minutes of arms and KILLED IT. Like, can’t move my arms, can’t life a coffee mug, struggle to wash my hair, killed it. I think after taking a few days off of strength training before the new year I was able to let my muscles recover and then lift heavier when I was back in the gym! It was awesome!

I’m excited to have a schedule in place for the next few months that will hopefully set me up with a good strength and cardio base for the BMO Vancouver half marathon in May! What can I say, I’m a goal digger.


Do you start the new year with a new fitness schedule?

What are your 2016 fitness goals?


  1. This came at the right time! After reading about your last strength challenge I was motivated to try again (I really dislike strength training, probably because I have no strength), and now my daughter and I have buddied up. I look forward to watching your progress, I’m sure it will help with my motivation!

  2. I love how dedicated and motivated you are! I know, at your age, I was not, haha. Right now, for 2016, while I have plans to get more active, etc, I definitely do not have as concrete of a plan as you, but I’m feeling inspired! 🙂

  3. Would love to hear exactly what moves you are doing to make those arms so sore! Can you please link to your specific moves or do you make each one up as you go? Thanks!

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