Five on Friday...All Things Gym-Related

Friday, January 17, 2014

Continuing my Five on Friday "series" for talking 5 things on one topic and since it's January and we're all back to good, healthy habits (positive reinforcement here) I thought I would use today's post to talk about everything related to workouts and time spent at the gym, and doing good things for our bodies.
ONE. Workout Regime
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):
Day One
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.
Day Two
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.
Day Three: 
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.
Weights: None
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

FOUR. Motivation
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.
FIVE. Do One Thing Everyday
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.

- 29 Comments

  1. I really love how you broke down your routine! I need to find the time to add exercise back into my life! In the warmer weather I'd take Noah for naps, but now I'm struggling. By the time I get Noah to bed and could actually go down to the gym, I'm exhausted!

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  2. I absolutely love this! So great seeing people's different workout schedules and what keeps them going! Thanks for the ideas and have a great weekend!

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  3. This is so great, I definitely need to mix up my gym routine and will be using this for ideas! Happy Friday.

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  4. I LOVE Old Navy's workout clothes they are cheap and so comfy!!!!

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  5. Great routine! I'm like you--my legs bulk up with muscle if I'm not "careful", especially my thighs. It's frustrating! High reps, low weights seems to be the way to go. And, yes! ON workout clothes are the BEST. I have some LL pants, and they are no where near as flattering as my ON pants!

    Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Love your routine. I was actually looking for some new things to try so I will definitely have to give these a shot. Thanks for all the tips and tricks.

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  7. This is a great break down of what you do...but I have to know, when and how do you make it to the gym? When your husband is home?

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  8. Such great tips & I love your routine! I've been meaning to try out Old Navy's fitness line & need to make it a point to go there!! Happy Friday!!

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  9. How in the world do you remember all of that at the gym? I'd have to bring an index card with me. haha.

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  10. I love when I score a great deal on Old Navy workout gear! I also LOVE the Zella brand at Nordstroms. If you can catch it on sale it's even better. I read that an old creative director from Lululemon now works with Zella and the quality is top notch at half the price of Lulu's!

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  11. Thanks for sharing, Natasha! Loving the "One Step at a Time" quote!! :) I shared quite a few health/fitness quotes in my "35 by 35!" weight loss challenge blog series. Here's a link: http://www.chattingoverchocolate.com/p/35-by-35.html ...just in case you may be interested. ;) Thanks for co-hosting this fabulous link up each week! It always fun to "party" with you lovely ladies!! Have a terrific weekend ahead!

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  12. I totally do calf raises while I brush my teeth and dry my hair, lol!!! I rarely have time for more than 3 days either, but I think we are doing a pretty good job momma!

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  13. Thanks for the great tips! I love that a lot of your workout can be done at home (as I don't currently have a gym membership). Thanks for sharing :)

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  14. Love this, I suck at trying to figure out how to do weights on my own and I know I need more than just my running days worth of exercising.

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  15. I AM guilty of paying Lululemon prices but not as frequently these days. I do have some things from Old Navy too and also love Target!!!

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  16. Love this! I need to get back into working out! I have been so bad about it lately! Thanks for the motivation! :)

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  17. You are so good - super proud of you for making this happen on a weekly basis! Drag me along with you, eh?! ;)

    And I 100% agree .... Old Navy's selection on activewear is amazing! I love that it's affordable AND cute! Sorry, but I'm not going to pay $120 for a workout top unless it magically makes me arms super toned and skinny.

    Hope you and those little loves have a fun weekend ahead!

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  18. I love this! I am always looking for great playlists and motivation, so this post hit it right on the head. :)

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  19. I love how you break down your routine! I should do that to keep myself more accountable and organized. Even though I have it in my head, it's nice to have a physically written out plan! I love cheap work out clothes. I'm with you, why try to look good?! Since I just work out in my house anyways, I find myself wearing mismatched old clothes anyways! Haha :) Have a great weekend!

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  20. Thank you for sharing. That's the first I've heard of Old Navy active line. Will definitely check it out. I agree that that if you're going to sweat in them, they shouldn't break the bank.


    Cheers!
    Katie

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  21. girl i am ALL ABOUT the old navy active wear! I LOVE their compression stuff! with me being a SAHM to three little guys there is just no money for me to get all fancy-schmancy with workout gear. i'll save that for better things!

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  22. Love this list! I fully agree concentrating on one thing at a time, way less overwhelming and you actually get shit done! ;) And you are so right, positivity is the key to life.

    PS- Marshalls, TJMaxx, Nordy Rack etc. have amazingly cheap workout clothes!

    xo
    Megan
    Hello Newlywed Life Blog

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  23. You had me at 5 work-out related things! ;) I always find it so interesting to see what people do to stay active. It looks like you have an awesome plan in place that works for you!! Thanks for sharing your fav work-out tunes, there are a few that I don't have that I'll check out!

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  24. I love this! I am a HUGE believer in walking. I used to think that it "wasn't really a workout" until I had a baby and now it's my favorite form of exercise. Though I am making it to the gym these days, too. Oh, and I've definitely drank the lululemon koolaid, but ON stuff is pretty cute!

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  25. Yes about Old Navy! I came across a pair of workout leggings on clearance once and got them and they have now become my favorite pair! And if you really wanna burn some calories... add Play Hard by Krewella to your playlist ;)

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  26. Ok these workout tips are awesome - I'm totally going to write this down and start taking it to the gym with me. Thank you for sharing! I am not the best about planning ahead of time what I'm going to do and too often waste time once I'm there trying to figure it out. I clearly also need to check out the Old Navy workout clothes! Have a happy weekend!

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  27. This is just what I needed! I've been in such a fitness rut this new year! Thanks so much for sharing this, it's an amazing encouragement!

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  28. Good music really makes such a difference in staying motivated - thanks for giving me some new additions to my playlist (and for hosting the link party!).

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  29. Wow thanks for sharing your workout and song list!! That's great!!

    Check out "Life on the Parsons Farm" at: atparsons.blogspot.com

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