A lot of you ask what my typical workouts are like, and here is a little snapshot of what I do on a normal basis broken out in 3 days per week (because I rarely have time to go more than that):
Cardio: I start with the Arc Trainer (like an elliptical, but harder) for 1.0 miles, then I head to the treadmill and do .50 mile running and another .50 mile walking at a 4.5 pace on a 5.0 incline (tricks your body into burning more calories this way, as well)
Weights: Day one is where I focus on arm workouts (alternating chest fly, tricep kickbacks, bicep curls, weighted arm (lateral and front) raises, pushups, and overhead tricep extensions--google these for pictures to get a visual). I do one set (12-15 reps) of each of these workouts and 2 do rotations/circuits. Trust me, if you do this for awhile, you will really start to see definition...this is what I did prior to our wedding, so it definitely works, it just takes time.
Abs/Stretch/Cool Down: Finally, it's time to round out the hour at the mats where I focus on abs and stretching. For abs, I do two sets (20-25 reps) of the following exercises: crunches, cycle cross crunches, 1 minute plank, and flutter kicks. For stretching, I do the basics...heel, hamstring, quadricep, and inner thigh stretches, as well as shoulder stretches, toe touches, and neck and shoulder rolls.
Cardio: Same cardio as Day One seen above.
Weights: For day two, we move to my not-so-favorite body part, the legs. I have a hard time because my legs always want to bulk up with muscle, rather than lean out so I have to do higher reps with lower weights in order to combat looking like I have cankles :). Specific things I do include the following: burpees, squats, lunges (while holding 8 pound weights in each arm), leg adductors/abductors (using a machine), calf raises, mountain climbers, and jumping jacks . Like I listed above, I do one set (12-15 reps) for each of these with 2 rotations.
Abs/Stretch/Cool Down: Same as Day One seen above.
Cardio: Day Three is a toss-up for me...it depends on what I feel like doing and I listen to my body to figure out what I want/need to do. Sometimes I will do the same cardio as days one and two, or I might take a class to do something different. As long as you're doing at least 30 minutes of cardio, that is all that matters.
Abs/Stretch/Cool Down: Same as Days One and Two.
TWO. Inexpensive Workout Clothes
You don't have to spend a fortune on workout clothes to look "good" at the gym. No, i'm not one of the Lulu Lemon/Athleta crowd (not that it's a bad thing), but I'm REALLY frugal when it comes to spending money on running/exercise gear for the simple fact that I know the sole purpose is to sweat in it. Maybe just me...who knows?? I'm a HUGE fan of Old Navy's line of activewear, most specifically, the compression pants and capris. They suck you in (I promise!!) and yet still look flattering. I usually buy an XS or Small and haven't had any issues with awkward sizing. They recently had a big new year sale so I got a steal of a deal on each item, paying $8 for tanks and $12 for the bottoms...if you're looking to switch it up, try these:
THREE. Music Makes it Better
I have found that when I have music playing, I workout harder and don't feel like "loafing off" at the gym. I have a few tried and true songs that are sure to get anyone up and moving...usually I put my iPod on to shuffle, but here are the go-to hits that are my favorites:
- All of the Lights, Kanye West
- Single Ladies, Beyonce
- Break Stuff, Limp Bizkit
- Breath Stretch Shake, Mase
- Applause, Lady Gaga (actually, all Lady Gaga songs for that matter)
- The Clincher, Chevelle
- Boom Boom Pow, Black Eyed Peas
- Crashed, Daughtry
- 3, Britney Spears
- One Two Step, Ciara
- Hollaback Girl, Gwen Stefani
- Tunnel Vision, Justin Timberlake
- Crazy Town, Jason Aldean
Surround yourself with positivity!! If you need to print quotes off to help get you fired up to tackle a workout/fitness goal, then do it...if you need to hold yourself accountable by logging your workouts in a journal or by using an app, try that method. Whatever keeps you on track, make that commitment and stick to it. It takes 10 days to make something a habit, but only 3 days to quit. And yes, this is possibly why the gym "levels out" again by March.
I am totally guilty of cramming my schedule to the point where I tell myself I have zero time to workout that day. But honestly, that's a load of crap. We ALL have 5-10 minutes where we can do SOMETHING...whether it be 50 jumping jacks at night, calf raises while we brush our teeth, etc, we can find the time to do one thing each and every day. It all adds up and then might actually cause you to take a quick walk or jog around the neighborhood. Food for thought my friends :).
Cheers to another Five on Friday down in the books...my hope is that these tips are helpful to some of you out there looking for advice and motivation to live a healthier, and more fit, life. Now this mama is spending the day packing and such and then leaving town for our annual girl's weekend trip!! Fun stories to come next week I promise.