January 15, 2010

100/100/100 –if you do nothing else

(At the top of Camelback Mountain, Phoenix, Arizona; 8 1/2 months pregnant... You can do it!)

This simple idea has gotten me through many a day of feeling like I just didn’t have any “me” time or time to keep up my exercise or burn any extra calories. I have to thank Bob Karmel my Muay Thai trainer who used to make us do this (amongst other things) at the end of our 90 minutes of intense training sessions 4 times per week.

Yes, prior to finding out I was pregnant I was actively training in Muay Thai fighting, having earned my shorts, I was hoping to have my first fight within the next few months, but obviously my plans changed when I found out I was two months pregnant!
Muay Thai was the first thing to be set aside in my world, obviously since it is a high impact physical activity. I do miss it, but am sure it will be one of the methods I use to get back into shape after I give birth… eventually that is. I can’t imagine training while breastfeeding, initially.

But not to get side tracked… at the end of our training sessions we would “cool down” with various calisthenics, including Bob shouting, “Give me a 100/100/100!” That means one hundred push-ups, one hundred sit-ups and one hundred squats. Not a lot of fun, but let me tell you, it works all of your major muscle groups, you need no equipment, and it takes only about 10 minutes (more or less, depending on how tired you are, and how used to it you are).

Before you freak out, let me tell you to choose your own number. Maybe you start at 20/20/20, or 50/50/50, and maybe you break this up in two or more sessions whenever you get a chance throughout your day. I do sets of 25, so I’ll do 25 push-ups, 25 sit-ups and 25 squats, rest, then keep on going. If I have a lot going on, like for example I’m in the middle of cooking dinner (oh yes, I have no problem busting these sets out right in the middle of the kitchen floor in between sautéing vegetables and stirring the brown rice), then I just do 25 of something in between whatever I have going on, and eventually throughout the morning, the day, or all at once, I get it in.

So on the days when you don’t have time to hit the pavement around your neighborhood, get into your yoga studio or step on the elliptical at your gym, you can at least be sure to get in your 100/100/100.

On the days when I’m feeling fat, when I’m feeling a total lack of energy, overwhelmed, underwhelmed, uninspired, exhausted or stressed, if I make myself do at least the 100/100/100 I feel like I got a tiny little circuit training session, and burned a few more calories than I would have at the end of the week if I’d just given in and done nothing. And there have been weeks where I’ve gotten in little else than my 100/100/100, especially with the class load I had this past year. And even on the days in my first trimester when I was struggling with such severe nausea, ladies let me tell you, if you just force yourself to do it, even if it is only 30/30/30 broken up into sets of ten done three separate times through the day, it WILL make you feel better… get your blood pumping and temporarily take your mind off your misery.

Do what you can. You’ll be glad you did, and you will love the way your arms abs and rear end start looking after a couple of weeks, and the way your little underoo’s continue to fit throughout your pregnancy. I’ve not changed a single size, and believe me, the bigger your belly gets, the more you’ll appreciate a tight little rear.

So play around with it, and give yourself the gift of the 100/100/100. Work up to it if you have to, that is totally fine. If you hate squats, do lunges instead, if you hate sit-ups, do another abdominal exercise that is equally effective, like side-plank crunches or similar. I mix it up some days too. Set your goal, choose your poison, and get busy. Remember if you do nothing else, you can always get in your 100/100/100.


  1. Erika, I have just found your website. I flicked through your old posts when you just gave birth and you look amazing! I am just over 24 weeks pregnant and would love to be as healthy as you are. Have you done proper squats/ sit-ups during pregnancy?

  2. Hi there!
    As matter of fact I did. I did everything from near-daily Bikram yoga, to running, P90X (my own moderately modified version after 5/6 mo pregnant) as well as old school squats, and modified sit-ups. I more or less kept up with my exact same workout regimen throughout my pregnancy as I did before, changing things up as my belly grew and energy waiverd from time to time. It is usually not recommended to begin a new rigorous workout upon becoming pregnant, but I was encouraged to continue what I was already doing and am so grateful that I did. Please let me know if you have any other questions! Feel free to email me. And thank you for the kind words!!