Point of Failure

Two days in a row of TNT has been a challenge.  My arms feel limp and made it a challenge to brush my hair this morning.  My legs feel like jello and made it a challenge to walk today.  But I think of all these challenges as successes.  I have successfully worked my body to “the point of failure“- a term our instructor uses to push us to our breaking point.


Over the past few weeks I learned to love this phrase… Everyone’s “point if failure” is different.  A different amount of time, a different level of intensity, a different level of weight.  It doesn’t make sense for me to compare myself to a 30 year-old-man who could lift me over his head while simultaneously doing jump squats, nor does it make much sense for me to compare myself to a 50+ year-old-lady who is trying to reacquaint herself with the gym after a few years break.  We’re all at different levels yet we’re all there for the same reason… To challenge ourselves.  To find our points of failure.  To strive for success.


In addition to attending classes twice a week [Saturday’s are optional], we receive weekly challenges.  Past challenges have includes ab circuits, to cardio routines, and some light stretching.

Week 3:  Tabata Intervals

*A Tabata workout is an interval training cycle of 20 seconds of maximum intensity exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest, and repeated without pause.*

Mountain Climbers or Jumping Jacks




Week 4:  Pyramid Workouts

*Pyramid interval training starts with a 5-minute warm-up, followed by high intensity intervals that first become longer with each repetition till the maximum length is reached [after which the intervals become shorter again until the length of the first interval is reached].*

5 minute warm-up

1 min high – 1 min low

2 min high – 1 min low

3 min high – 1 min low

4 min high – 1 min low

5 min high – 1 min low

4 min high – 1 min low

3 min high – 1 min low

2 min high – 1 min low

1 min high – 1 min low

2 minute cool down

Week 5:  Playing Cards Circuits

*Make-up four different exercises, one for every suit.  For example: hearts are push-ups, diamonds are bicycles, clubs are sit-ups, and spades are squats.  Shuffle the cards face down and turn over one at a time, whatever the card shows is what you have to do.  Example: 10 of hearts = 10 push-ups.*


Not only am I successfully “turning my mush into muscle” [Kindergarten Cop, anyone?!] I feel like my runs will be more successful.  I went for my first run in weeks on Sunday and was pleasantly surprised to keep my pace under 9 minutes per mile!

Challenge yourself. Push yourself to the point of failure.


Today…  #elf4Health 12/4 Day 9:  Have a salad today and make your own dressing.  I’m not a big dressing gal [I don’t like oily things including foods or lip gloss #strangebuttrue] but I did eat lots of veggies at lunch and a big salad for dinner [pics tomorrow for WIAW].

Tomorrow…  #elf4Health 12/5 Day 10:  Pack a healthy snack & pack extra for a friend!  I wonder, does the hubby count?

Question:  How did you challenge yourself today?

Question:  What’s your favorite way to exercise?  Run?  Walk?  Weights?  Yoga?

— Allison


Whatcha Think?

  1. Very cool, I guess I don’t really understand what TNT is. I am assuming you probably included this before I started reading your blog. All I see is that you are super knowledgable about this which really impresses me. I wish I was able to attend gym classes, I miss my strength training I could do with classes.

    • Rather than trying to come up with an answer myself I’ll just share what’s on the TNT website ;)… “Enjoy personal training in small groups of 3-10 people. Each 45-minute TNT session consists of 10 minutes of core/ab work, followed by 35-minutes of full body weight training. Our 13-week program includes two weekday sessions, one weekend session, a nutrition plan, cardiovascular routine, 3 body fat checks, core homework exercises, stretches, and weekly educational emails.”

      Have you checked out the Groupon/ LivingSocial coupons?!

  2. ooh i love tabata workouts. I ran today for the first time in a long time. Wasn’t too shabby!

  3. My favorite way to exercise is definitely running. Unfortunately though, I am still rehabing my knee from surgery this summer so I am not yet able to run :( . For now I have been loving walking with the occasional strength training days and yoga now and then.

    • Oh no, I hope your surgery was successful! I have tendonitis in my knees so I know it’s nothing to mess around with… Walking and yoga are both great, I need to incorporate more of both in my life!

  4. I love that quote, reaching the point of failure. It’s such a scary thing, but it’s really not! Each day you can push yourself a little bit further, and before you know it, you’ve achieved more than you could ever imagine! I think running will always be my favorite exercise, but yoga is becoming a much more important part of my life these days. I feel myself improving each time I enter the room, and that’s really cool!

    • You’re exactly right! I love pushing myself farther each time, I like the burn 😛 And that’s great you’ve seen improvement in your yoga- I need to do it more…

  5. So… you’re way more hardcore than me 😛 Self-proclaimed exercise wimp over here! I can’t really handle the intense, I-feel-like-I’m-going-to-throw-up exercise anymore, so I’m just a walker and I love it. I love to push my limits and challenge myself, but for some reason, it’s never really in a physical way. Mentally and emotionally yes, but when it comes to my body, I like to go easy on it – maybe because I’ve abused it so much in the past.

    • Haha, I don’t know how hardcore I am 😛 I like to feel the burn but not to the throw-up point… I’ll leave that to the muscly men who are grunting next to me, ha!

  6. Love this post, Love the quote, Love the tabata workout, and Love you. Geesh, I’m just full of love today =)

  7. The quotes in this post are so motivating. I love it. :) Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Tabatas are so intense! I love them, though – you really get bang for your buck!

  9. I’d rather work to failure and figure out where I can improve than quit before reaching my potential and feel like a failure. The word “failure” has many different connotations and meanings, I love learning how to “fail better” in all areas of my life. 😉

  10. I love intervals, circuits, etc like what you posted. Thanks for sharing! Group fitness is my #1 absolute favorite. I love how many choices of classes there are out there because I have workout ADD and what I’m in the mood for changes all the time. Today I think I’m going to do spin – definitely feeling it but hoping the music is good!

    • I went through a period where I’d pop in and out of classes on a daily basis but have fallen out of that routine. I’d love to try more but it’s hard during the week, maybe this weekend 😉

  11. Those workouts look awesome….and I love the quotes! I am totally with you on the salad dressing thing….I am not one for dressings either, but LOAD on the veggies, nuts/seeds, cheese, etc to give it a flavor punch! I am so happy you had a great run too! Keep it up girl! :)

  12. so true! and each day we have a new point. We must let our minds be strong. No fail but try. ya know?

  13. My favorite exercise lately is definitely strength training and/or circuit training. I like to do lots of different exercises to keep my mind engaged and my muscles guessing! Looks like you’re seeing some pretty awesome results, you must be so excited :) Under a 9 min mile is impressive too! I remember when I first started running a little faster, it made me feel so badass! haha


  1. […] But there are two things that I don’t tend to plan: meals and workouts.  Why?  Because I cannot predict my cravings.  If you can, care to teach me your tricks?  Instead, I make sure to stock up on the weekends and fill our kitchen with a variety of carbs, produce, proteins, and treats that will surely satisfy any of our cravings.  And for workouts, I prefer to go with the flow.  Some days my body is achy and sore, so I take it easy.  Other days I feel full of energy and just wanna move so I push myself to the point of failure. […]

  2. […] week before a race I have no intention of pushing myself to “the point of failure,” but I do like shaking my legs out and getting the blood […]

Whatcha Think?