Work It On Out!

Welcome to Workout Wednesdays! Exercise can be a challenging concept because it’s difficult to motivate yourself into doing it. I get it. After a long day of work it’s hard to get the energy to move off the couch and change into comfortable clothes, let alone move willingly. Or, if you are a morning exerciser, it can be hard to get yourself out of bed, especially if you think about the long day ahead of you.

Exercise didn’t come to me easily, but once I started, I was hooked. I like the feeling of being slick with sweat, pushing my body beyond what I thought possible. Sure, that feeling isn’t always enough to get me excited about it. Sometimes there are days when I’m just not feeling it, but I go through the motions anyways because it makes me feel better in the end.

Rest days are crucial for exercise too. I devote one day a week at least for rest days where I do not do any type of organized exercise, but no more than two. It’s important for the body to restore and rebuild muscle. That being said, it is also important to be moving your body anytime possible, organized or not. On top of my workouts, I like to walk, play basketball, softball, tennis, swim, hike, dance, etc. Movement should be incorporated way more than we do in our culture, on top of that half hour+ you devote to “working out.”

To keep my body guessing and my mind intrigued, I change my workouts up daily as well as weekly. For about a month or so, I have a weekly routine that features different types of exercise using different types of equipment. After a week and a half of vacation in which I enjoyed the luxury of relaxation and working out in bits and pieces, my body was itching to get back into action.

I’m only on day three and my body is already sore, but it’s in that good inspired way I crave. Here are some workout ideas to get you going. Keep in mind, I have a lot more time to devote for exercise these days, so if you can include one or two of these facets in a day that would be great too!

Monday: Strength 1 (Barbells)
• Bench Presses
• Cleans and Presses
• Bicep Curls with Calf Raises
• Squat Presses
• Single-Hand Twists
• Bent-Over Rows
• Deadlifts
• Shoulder Presses with Lunges
• Lying Tricep Extensions
3×10

Core
• Standing Kickbacks
• Spidermans
• Alternating Planks (Leg Ups)
• Side Plank Twists
• Mermaid Raises
• Hundreds
• Alternating Hip Lifts (One-Leg)
• Scissor Crunches
• Alternating Ankle Grabs
• Russian Twists
• Step Ups
2×15

Cardio
• Bike Sprints
• Running Sprints

This was obviously a strength heavy day, so I kept the cardio short and quick, but uber effective. If you do any of these moves, start at a weight that is comfortable for you.

Tuesday: Strength 4 (Medicine Ball- Sequence Style)
• Burpees
• Wall Throws
• Squats
• Lunge Twists
• Standing Kickbacks
• Arrow Twists
• Mermaid Raises
• Hundreds
• Hip Lifts with Calf Raises
• Sit Ups
3×15

Plyometrics
• Jumping Jacks (75)
• Box Jumps (20)
• Plank (1 min)
• Skater Jumps (15 each)
• High Knees (20)
• Reverse Plank (1 min)
• Rope Swings (45 seconds)
• Jump Rope (1 min)
• Bridge (1 min)
x2
Cardio

• Lap Swim

Wednesday: Cardio
• Long Run

Strength
• Yoga (I create my own sequence or find videos on Youtube. Sometimes I’ll go to a class at my gym or around the area).

Thursday:

REST

Friday:
Strength 3 (Kettlebells- Sequence Style)
• Swings on Bosu
• Deadlifts with Deep Squats
• Alternating Shoulder Presses with Leg Lifts on Bosu
• Shoulder Raises to Front Raises on Bosu
• Bicep Curls to Shoulder Presses on Bosu
• Lunges with Magic Eights
• Windmills
• Tricep Dips
• Bent-Over Rows on Bosu
• Kneeling Kickback Extensions
• Mermaid Raises
• Hundreds
• Bench Presses with Hip Lifts
• Russian Twists
• Side Plank Extensions
3×10

Plyometrics
• Repeat Tuesday

Cardio
• Lap Swim

Saturday: Cardio
• Long Run

Strength
• Yoga

Sunday: Strength 2 (Dumbbells- Sequence Style)
• Bench Presses on Ball
• Shoulder Presses with Squats
• Arrow Twists
• Hammer Curls to Shoulder Extensions
• Front Raises with Calf Raises
• Tricep Extensions
• Mermaid Raises
• Shrugs to Lunges
• Standing Kickback Rows
• Front Deadlifts
4×8

Core
• Ballet Squats
• Alternating Back Lunges
• Split Squats
• Lunge Twists
• Curl Ins on Ball
• Ball Plank
• Hip Lifts on Ball
• Hundreds on Ball
• Lying Ball Reaches with Crunches
• Leg Lifts with all
4×12

Cardio
• Bike

meyuck

Mondays are when I start my new workout week, so depending on my schedule I will rework my exercises. I aim for four strength workouts a week, which means I’ll have two strength workouts back-to-back. For me, one of them is the medicine ball workout because they are not as heavy. I like to do a lot of the same moves with different equipment because it keeps my body guessing and works out the muscles in different ways.

I formulate my own workout routines from a bunch of things I see online that I have remembered over the years. When I say sequence style, this means that I go from one move to another with little break and run through the whole routine three times. When I do my barbell workout, I do each move three times before moving on, mostly because it’s a hassle to keep having to change weights and what not. For these moves, I wait about 20-25 seconds in-between sets.

Cardio depends on how much time I have and how I’m feeling. I try to get in at least a half hour every day as it is so good for the heart. Sometimes walking suffices. I will also sometimes go to different classes, like Hot Yoga, Zumba, or Spinning, but I often like to do my own because I push myself harder than I would allow someone else.

I know that these workouts sound ambitious, but I have been working out on a serious routine basis for the past three years. I enjoy doing it. There are times when I have to skip a scheduled day because life gets in the way. I’m getting better at handling my guilt when I don’t workout, but truth be told, my body is happier when I have done a workout.

Sharing these workouts, I hope you get inspired to include some new moves or try different equipment. Exercise can be fun, especially when you develop a new plan and are eager to try it. Your body can do far more than we think, but we have to train them to cooperate. This is something I have learned over the past couple of years and I am so happy for it!

One thing I will emphasize is that if I didn’t exercise this year, I would not have completed my Fellowship. Yes, it was difficult to fit it in sometimes. There were times when I had to break it up into chunks just to include it all. Exercise helped me keep my sanity, helped me to gain clarity when I was overwhelmed, and ease my anxiety when I was stressed. It healed me. It exhausted me.

It’s worth it.

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