May 27, 2015

Staying Fit: My workout routine

I like working out.
I like working out in the morning.
Getting that sweat session in and over with and then not sweating anymore for the day is my slice of cake.
I like taking one shower and not dreading that I still have to go to the gym after work.
I usually don't have the energy to do what I do in the mornings, after work.

In the beginning of 2015, I joined a local gym after not having one for a couple of years.
I tried doing the whole home-gym thing.  I collected a few items (treadmill, 3 kettlebells, resistance bands, ankle weights), but felt it was holding me back from experimenting with higher weights and different routines.

I work out five days a week, Monday through Friday. I don't spend one second in the gym on the weekends. My morning routine these days is up at 5:30, at the gym at 5:50, leave the gym at 6:40, and home at 6:45am.
(Another fun disclaimer: the weight limits, cardio levels and anything else I speak of in this post is what works for ME. Don't hold me accountable if you drop a weight and hurt yourself. Don't be stupid. I am not a personal trainer. My max rep now was NOT my max rep four months ago, I have slowly and diligently worked my way up.)

I started following a few body-builder ladies because what they have accomplished is inspiring to me.
Do I want to be one of them? Nah.
What I like about their workouts is the efficiency.

I hate cardio so I try to figure out how to do it in the least amount of time burning the most amount of fat.
I like to see how these people use their gym equipment. What types of reps they do and in what order.
One of my favorites on IG is @ladyfitworkouts.

My stats are as follows:
I am 5'-3" and 135 lbs.
I have a medium frame.
My shoulders, back, and legs are the most powerful muscles I have, and in that order.
I will never have a waify, thigh-gapped body. I tried that once and all it got me was really sick.
What I do have is a power house frame.
I have the capability to lift heavy and the stamina to do sprints and high reps when needed.
So I work to enhance those traits.

I complete 10-15 minutes of cardio 5x a week, and not a second more.
If I am lifting heavy legs for the day, I do my cardio at the beginning, otherwise, I deplete my carbs by sprinting at the end.

My goal with cardio is to burn fat and aid my asthma.
I enjoy HIIT (high intesity interval training) for its efficiency and max capacity to torch fat in a condensed time frame.

I will walk for one minute.
Minutes 1-6 is at a 2% incline sprinting at 7.5 mph for 40 seconds with a 20 second recovery (either by hopping off the machine, legs straddling the belt, or reducing the mph to a walk at 3.5mph)
Minutes 6-10 is at a 4% incline sprinting at 8.5 mph for 30 seconds with a 30 second recovery.
Minutes 10-15 I do one of the following:
-Incline at 15%, sprints at 5.5mph for 25 seconds, with 35 second recovery, walking at 3.3 mph (holding onto the bars).
-Incline at 5%, sprinting 8.5 mph for 30 seconds, sprinting 9 mph for 10 seconds, walking recovering for a minute.
Final recovery is walking 3.0 for 1-2 minutes.

I mix all of this up depending on how sore I am from the day before.

Weight Training

I used to be one of those people that thought you had to do a full body workout each and every time you went to the gym.
You don't.
In fact, I believe you will see faster, more defined results if you pick your poison each time.
For me, each day I focus on two variations of reps for 2 muscles groups.

For example, I will do two variations of biceps curls and two variations of squats one day.
The next I will shoulders and hamstrings.
Or maybe I'll do back and butt.
Triceps and inner thigh.
You get the picture.

It's always one upper body part and one lower body.
I also super set. This means that I will do a set (6-15 reps, pending weight) of lower body exercises immediately followed by a set (6-15 reps, pending weight) of upper body exercises. I go back and forth between each set, upper and lower, for a total of 3-4 sets each.

Then I take a "break" to set up the next circuit.
To keep things streamlined at my gym, if I am using the resistance machines, I stay at the resistance machines for the duration of my lifting.
If I'm at free weights, I'll keep it at the free weights.
Squat machine at squat machine, and so on.

It is literally different every day.
The only thing I don't duplicate is muscle groups.

If one week I lifted heavy with low reps on one muscle group, the next week I'll use lighter weights with higher reps.
I lift heavy with both upper and lower body on the same day.
Lighter with lighter.

I can't post specific workouts since it varies so often, but here are a few examples.

Heavy Weight/Low Rep Day
Using the Smith machine, I will load 305 lbs and max out at 4-5 reps.
Then I will hop off and using a weight bar loaded with 60 lbs, max out shoulder presses for 6-8 reps.
I will repeat this sequence two more times, then drop the weights by 20 pounds for legs and 10 pounds for shoulders and repeat the sequence. Dropping the weight means I can probably double my max-out reps. I will drop it one more time, max out my reps, and be done for the day.

Light Weight/High Rep Day
I will usually be on the resistance machine or free weights.
I typically do a similar version of weight structure as heavy days, just much lighter.
So if I am focusing on inner thigh doing grand plie squats, I'll load 50 lbs and do as many reps til failure, hop over and curl biceps starting at 15 pounds with reps til failure. Drop everything a couple times, maximizing my reps until everything feels like jell-o.

One final note, I don't really spend a lot of time focusing on abs. A lot of my weight training requires the use of core muscles so I will squeeze in a few sets of different core workouts here and there, but it is never the focus of any workout.
Not to mention, you can do all the crunches you want, but if there is that dough-boy layer of lovin' over top of them, you will never see them.

If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to help if I can! Happy training!!


  1. Ummmm - cute suit! and body! ;) Ha. Impressed. Any lifting I do right now is just my 37 lbs toddler ;)

  2. You sound so much like me. I LOVE lifting, but HATE......LOATHE......cardio. Since I sprained my ankle I've been doing the treadmill, incline at 15.0 and walking at a brisk 3.5 or 4.0. But I cheat.....I hold on to the top of the machine. I can't do it without!! I'm so afraid I'll trip and fall. haha. Just followed your IG it!!