Making the Time

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Making the time for fitness is SO HARD sometimes, am I right? I’m generally an early gym-bird, but lately I’ve just not been able to pull myself out of bed in the morning, so I’ve been squeezing in lunch and after-work sessions. I always regret not getting it done in the morning. Life has just been crazy though and I’ve been craving sleep. It shows too – I’m averaging 8 hours these days which is crazy to me.

But honestly though, once I’m there, I really like working out. I’ve been sticking to my push-pull routine, and even though I’m not 100% consistent on days of the week, I’m making it happen and I’m starting to feel stronger in my arms after about four weeks. Here is my fitbit’s account of my workouts over the last four weeks – averaging 4-6 times a week, which I’m happy with! Apparently I hate to workout on Fridays.

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I’m posting today just to encourage you to make it happen, whatever “it” is for you. What do you care about accomplishing even though it may not be the most APPEALING thing right now? Just commit to something, and start chipping away one day at a time.

Plus I mean, wouldn’t you agree that nutrition is about 1 million times harder to stick with? It is for me anyway — probably because there are thousands of workout options out there, but only like, three ways to cook chicken and vegetables.

And remember…

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Push/Pull Workouts

We all need variety in our lives, whether it’s our food, friends, activities, clothes, or workouts. I mean, we live in a culture where it is NOT OKAY TO BE BORED. I fill my “boredom” with Netflix, crafting projects, baking etc… The idea of doing nothing is literally terrifying.

But I digress. Today I want to talk about variety in our workouts. If you’ve been around my blog a while, you’ve seen me share a variety of workouts – because I LOVE a variety of workouts! Seriously, I enjoyed my stint with crossfit. I like to jump rope. I like to row. I like to lift. I like to yoga. I like to follow a plan. I’ve even run even though I don’t really like that much at all.

Some of my favorite 12-week stints have been Jamie Eason’s Live Fit trainer, which was awesome. I’ve also done your traditional back/bi, chest/tri, legs, sholders/abs routine…with Live Fit and with this, I would feel SO GUILTY for missing a day because it was like, a WHOLE GROUP OF MUSCLES I was totally skipping. OH THE PRESSURE. And then, for the last month or so, I’ve mostly been doing sporadic home workouts with my Nike Training Club app, and it was just what I needed. I was burnt out on the gym, and my schedule with rehearsals got a little crazy (I’m getting too old to handle late nights). But now, I’m ready to get back into a solid routine.

And as I’ve mentioned before, the BodySpace app is MY FAVORITE when it comes to planning and tracking workouts.

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To lift the pressure of the traditional weight lifting routine, I’m now shifting into a Push/Pull split. Basically, you have two kinds of weight workouts – one where you pull, and one where you push. Literally. By doing this, you are working your whole body each time, but different parts of each muscle, giving the other parts plenty of time to rest. Here is a good image I found:

So a “Push Workout” may include things like:

  • Barbell Bench Press
  • Barbell Full Squat
  • Incline Dumbbell Press
  • Standing Military Press
  • Dumbbell Flyes
  • Skullcrushers
  • Barbell Shoulder Press
  • Side Lateral Raise

And then a “Pull Workout” may include things like:

  • Bent Over Barbell Row
  • Barbell Deadlift
  • Dumbbell Shrug
  • One-Arm Row
  • Barbell Curl
  • Face Pull
  • Wide Grip Lat Pulldown
  • Seated Cable Rows

I’m aiming to do weights three times a week (so one week would be push/pull/push and the next pull/push/pull), HIIT cardio two times a week, and then a bonus day of either extra cardio or a yoga class. A lot of people also add a leg day in here, but I’m okay having squats in my regular workouts, and then also doing leg-intensive HIIT workouts. I’m not training for a body building competition, here. I also think it’s important to switch it up, sometimes doing more reps with less weight, and other times doing less reps with more weight. This is the balance I want for myself, but I know it’s different for everyone. I started back into this routine this week and let me tell you – I am SORE and I am SLEEPING LIKE A BABY. Both of which are good signs in my opinion 🙂

Yoga at Columbus Commons

Yoga is one of those things that I occasionally do, am glad I did, swear I will do a lot more, and then forget about for a couple of months. Shame on me. But when my friend Annie asked me to do yoga at the Commons over the weekend, I was like, YEAH! And it was really fun! Something about being outside made me feel less self-conscious than I usually do in a studio. It was a leeeettle sticky outside, but by the end there was a nice breeze and an overcast sky.

IMG_7645There were definitely a LOT of people, but not too many where we felt crowded. You can see in the photo: plenty of space for all. So big thanks to Annie for getting me out of my comfort zone! Plus let’s be real – yoga is a seriously nice break from the running and the weights and regular routine. If you’re in Cbus, I highly recommend you go check it out!

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Rowing HIIT Workout

It should be news to no one that running is NOT my favorite form of workout. I like exercise, and I don’t even hate cardio…I just have to find ways to keep it more interesting. Tell me I’m not alone in this.

So this weekend, I made up this little workout, and it definitely kicked my booty a bit. I highly recommend it for a little cardio variety, with the added bonus of some shoulder and leg work. Let me know how you like it!

Row Workout

Cardio Mania Month {On Fitness Goals}

If you read my blog like, ever, you’ll know that I TRY really hard to have a healthy life. I make healthy meals (but also cupcakes) and I workout (but also netflix). I probably read too many blogs of these hardcore women who lift weights like a beast and compete several times a year. Compared to them, I’m CRAZY inconsistent. They have intense goals, and have to be extremely disciplined to reach them. We all have our priorities.

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So let’s talk about goals.

I don’t play a sport. I have no plans to compete. I’m at a pretty comfy weight (though can pretty much always afford to lose 10 pounds or so). I’m healthy (seriously, my good cholesterol is through the roof and all my “bad” numbers are crazy low). So what goals do I set to keep me moving? Because “not getting fat” is not really a goal. I mean, kind of, but not.

I’ve started to realize that what works for me is constantly changing it up. I sometimes feel that I jump from plan to plan (8-weeks of this, one month of that), but you know what? That works for me! It’s okay that I don’t go 52 weeks a year with a leg day, a back/bi day, a chest/tri day, a shoulder day…etc. OH MAN I could not do that. Instead, I commit to different plans for a certain period of time. And while I’m far from crazy athletic, it helps keep me motivated, and I sincerely LOVE working out because of it.

So all this takes me to my point. This month, I’m doing MAJOR CARDIO. I love lifting weights, but lately was feeling a little, well, puffy, which usually means I’ve put on a solid 10 lbs or so, and NOT of lean muscle mass. Basically, as I got more into weight lifting, I let cardio slide away. And let’s be real – I do not eat consistently lean enough to totally take cardio out of my regiment.

This month, along with a few friends, I’m following a “triathalon” plan. Don’t freak out – it’s not a real tri. The goal is to essentially complete a triathalon throughout the course of the month – run, bike, and swim (well, row) enough to equal one tri. So that’s 26.2 miles of running (or walking, or elliptical, etc), 112 miles of cycling, and 16,000 meter of rowing.

Here’s a glimpse of the blank form I’ve been using to track what I accomplish:

tri tracking

And I’ve actually really liked it! I mean, not the running part, but I feel great once I’m finished of course. And I seriously had forgotten how much I loved spin classes – plus they knock out 17 miles of biking a piece.

Next month, it’s on to the next thing. Time to get back into weights. I plan to do Bite Sized Fitness’s 12-week challenge. Offers more variety than doing it on my own!! Anyone want to start with me on October 1?

Good times had by all! If you read all this, you deserve a prize!!

Extreme Weight Loss Commercial Break Workout

Last Tuesday, as I watched Extreme Weight Loss in my hotel room, I literally sat with my stop watch to time the length of commercials and doing workouts during them to come up with the workout below. I mean, let’s be real – you can use this watching ANY show, but if you finish the whole thing, I promise you’ll feel a little extra good at the end of the night!

Also, while I was working on this little project, I saw that Heidi Powell posted about jogging in place during every commercial. We were totally on the same wavelength!

Each commercial break, do the exercises listed (either two or three), and whenever a new commercial starts, switch. You’ll see that the first two commercial segments say “two commercials per workout” because I noticed that those two sets have many shorter commercials, and later in the show, the individual ads get longer. You won’t end up doing everything for exactly the same time, but it gets you moving and strengthening! So here you go: EWL Commercial Break Workout, no equipment needed.

EWL Commercial Workout

To sum it up in a more copy and paste friendly way, here you go:

Commercial 1 (3:15) – Jogging Cardio

  • Alternate High Knees and Butt Kicks (two commercials per exercise)

Commercial 2 (3:15) – Quads and Core

  • Alternate Wall Sits and Plank (two commercials per exercise)

Commercial 3 (2:30) – Legs and Upper Body

  • Alternate squats and pushups (one commercial per exercise)

Commercial 4 (3:45) – Calves, triceps, and core

  • calf raises, Tri dips, & plank (one commercial per exercise)

Commercial 5 (3:30) – Legs and cardio

  • lunges and jumping jacks (one commercial per exercise)

Commercial 6 (3:15) – Quads and Core

  • Alternate Wall Sits and Plank (one commercials per exercise)

Commercial 7 (3:30) – Legs and Upper Body

  • Alternate squats and pushups (one commercial per exercise)

Commercial 8 (3:30) – Calves, triceps, and core

  • calf raises, Tri dips, & plank (second time hold plank til end of commercials if you can)

Commercial 9 (4:15) – Legs and Core

  • lunges, squat jump, v-sit (one commercial per exercise)

Commercial 10 (3:45) Jogging Cardio

  • Alternate High Knees and Butt Kicks (one commercial per exercise)

Flip Belt Review

If you workout like, at all, you need to get a flip belt. For real. Not kidding.

I randomly discovered it online a month or two ago, and send the website along to my husband as a “hint hint wink wink.” Then last week, when I was having a bad week, one suddenly appeared in the mail! BEST HUBBY EVER!!

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How it works: Insert your goodies (phone, keys, money, what have you), flip it around, and go about your workout.

So obviously, I’ve been testing it out. And I LOVE it. Here’s why.

1. Looks like your waistband. Just pop this sucker on with any pants or shorts, and it blends right in. I’m usually in long tshirts anyway so you can’t see it, but still, it’s fashionable-ish.

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Yep, that’s my crotch shot. Sorry.

2. No bounce. The first thing I was wondering is, what about when I run? If I have my phone and stuff in there, will it bounce? NO people, it does NOT bounce. It is MAGIC. Basically, anything you put in it is flat to your body, avoiding what I would like to call “fanny pack syndrome.”

3. Security. If I’m just meandering around the gym, I generally just have my phone shoved in here since everything else is in a locker. And since I actually use my phone to track my workout reps, weights, etc, I need easy access. Therefore, during these types of workouts, I don’t even flip it, and my phone stays in there just fine and I’m still able to access it easily. However, for running, I just turn on my music, stick my phone, key, and whatever else I may need in there, and flip that sucker around. Literally. Nothing. Moves. It’s awesome.

4. True to size. I ordered a small (my waist measurement is 27″) and it’s a perfect fit. And, even better, it doesn’t give me any extra muffin top like you may think it would. Trust the size chart. It is truth.

Here’s a much hotter model for you from the website:

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All this to say, if you find yourself not knowing what to do with your stuff, or you’re sick of that stupid arm band for your phone that is so ridiculously uncomfortable, this little gadget is well worth the price. Happy exercising!

Disclaimer: I didn’t get anything free for writing this. Oh, if only I was popular enough for people to send me free stuff to review. Le sigh.