Everything You Would Want To Know About My Fitness Lately

Apparently being “on track” was a hot topic early this week!

I posted my thoughts on “getting back on track” after vacation on Monday. Paige posted “How to Bounce Back After Falling Off Track” on Monday. Colby posted “Staying On Track” on Sunday. (p.s. loved both of their posts! go check ’em out!)

Also hot this week? The TEMPERATURES.

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…for some people this is light cheese, but this is steamy for me.

These temperatures are making me feel perpetually sweaty. Not to mention how much my face sweats during my workouts, especially if I take them outdoors.

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I’m not a cat person, but this fella here is my spirit animal of the summer.

And that was the drawn-out transition to the real topic of today: how my fitness has been looking lately!

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I’ve been posting more fitness videos in the past few months, ever since I officially joined Fit University.

I could say, “A bunch of people have been asking me about my workouts,” but that would be a big, fat lie. I think only my aunt has actually asked, but I thought I’d give you all a detailed post about my fitness in case you were curious!


How often do I work out? 

Right now, 4-6 times per week. I try to move in some way or another every day, but complete rest days are definitely in there every week.

What is a typical week of workouts for me?

  • 2-4 days of HIIT workouts OR strength/conditioning
  • 2-4 active rest days/lower intensity workouts (yoga, pilates, skill work, etc.)
  • 1-2 full rest days

I rarely do solely strength days these days, mostly because I don’t have time, but I also don’t currently have access to a lot of good, heavy strength equipment (read: a squat rack). If I do strength, there’s always some cardio/circuit training involved.

For example, here are last week’s workouts:

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sorry for the weird formatting — these are all screenshots

How do I decide what to do?

My workout depends on:

  • how much time I have
  • what kind of equipment is available/if I get to the gym or not
  • what I’m feeling that day (the #1 factor)

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sometimes I feel like this before and/or after the gym

Sometimes I write my workouts the day before if I have an idea of what my body will want/what I would like to work on. More often than not though, I just go with the flow. I love to challenge myself in order to improve, but I don’t strictly hold myself to a certain workout/rep scheme/weight if I’m really not feelin’ it. I’ve really learned to embrace modification.

I also like to add a lot of compound movements (like burpees!) to my workouts. I don’t usually like to dedicate any more than one hour to a structured workout, so compound movements help me work a bunch of different muscle groups in a short period of time!

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rowing is the only cardio machine I like these days

Lastly, I draw inspiration from so many different people around the internet. My favorites:

I love to do their workouts, but for the most part, I’ve been writing my own workouts based on their formats. Or sometimes I just come up with something completely new.

P.S. Most of the time, I end with stretching.

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Do I have any fitness goals?

I’m mostly just aiming to be consistent and to continuously challenge myself, but if I had to point out specific goals (which I have not written down until now):

  • handstand walks
  • one arm handstand hold with my legs together (against a wall for now)
  • strict toes to bar
  • increase pull-up reps
  • explosiveness

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I need to get back to these stairs sometime soon too.

How do I get better at a skill/exercise?

Do it over and over and over again. Use progressions (!!!), do drills, and focus on good form, but just practice. Take good rest days and eat enough too!

How do I decide whether I want to work out or not?

I do not work out when:

  • I’m absolutely exhausted, to the point where walking is difficult and I know I need sleep.
  • I have other fun plans that I cannot pass up.
  • It’s been a while since I’ve taken a rest day.
  • I just don’t have time.

I might work out OR do an active rest day if:

  • I’m sore.
  • I’m really craving a stretch.
  • I just want to work on yoga, pilates, mobility or skills.
  • I’m sleepy.
  • Sweating a lot would be inconvenient.

I do work out (i.e. circuit/HIIT/strength) when none of the above apply.

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Why do I work out?

It makes me happy. (Don’t roll your eyes at me yet!)

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No, working out did not always make me happy in the past. Yes, workouts can totally suck while I’m doing them.

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me between every round of last Thursday’s workout

That’s why I’m such a proponent of working out depending on how you feel. It’s important to challenge yourself and push past comfort if you want to improve, this is true. But if you’re making yourself miserable day in and day out, you’re damaging your relationship with fitness (and probably damaging your body too).

I still get nervous before some of my workouts, because I know they’ll be difficult. I still think of giving up after the first round sometimes.

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It’s an awesome feeling to be 100% spent after completing a workout, but not every day!

The difference between now and the past (when I obsessively exercised in tandem with my disordered eating habits) is that I don’t lift a weight just because someone else lifted that weight. I appreciate the progress that I make, but realize that some days are better than others. I no longer work out with the pressure of burning a certain number of calories. I am no longer ashamed of modifying. I am no longer afraid to fail.

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throwback to when Sarah’s Cyc class absolutely kicked my ass

It took me a long time to be okay with those things, but time is a great healer. I thank God for the gift of movement and its healing/therapeutic/confidence-boosting powers. I guess that’s why physical therapy is so attractive to me!

How do I motivate myself to work out?

Before the workout: The more I listen to my body and allow myself to do the workout I’m craving, the more motivated I am. On harder workout days, it does take a little bit more mental effort, but knowing that there is an opportunity to move, improve, and take care of my body is enough to get me to at least start the workout.

During the workout: I used to think of badass athletes for motivation when I worked out, but ever since starting work at the rehab hospital, I actually think of the patients when I work out. In my head, I hear the therapists saying things like, “You said you couldn’t do one more step ten steps ago! One more, c’mon.” People who are fighting to walk inspire me to fight during my workouts, as cheeeeeeee-zeeeeee as that sounds.

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How do I know when to push through workouts/How do I push through?

It takes time to truly listen to your body. I think each individual has to find out how to do that through trial and error. I’ve learned some nuggets of wisdom from great fitness role models that have helped me though:

  • Complete a good warmup and see how you feel if you are on the fence about working out or not.
  • The beginning of the workout is always the hardest…
  • …BUT if your form is failing (on exercises that you can normally do well) and you feel miserable after the first round, you probably need to stop and take a day off OR modify. Working out can do more damage than good on some days.
  • Focus on one exercise at a time.
  • Form and safety are most important.
  • You don’t have to push to failure every time. I don’t even think you should push to failure every time.
  • BREATHE.
  • You can often do more than your mind initially thinks you can do. (And if your body can’t, then at least you tried!)

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So there ya have it! Everything about my fitness that you didn’t even ask for. 🙂 But seriously, I hope some of you found this helpful for your own fitness journeys. Please remember that these are all things that have worked for me personally through experience. Everyone is different! And although I do my best to learn from credible sources, I am not an expert in anything.


So tell me:

How do you like to move on a weekly basis?

Do you have any fitness goals?

How do you listen to your body when it comes to working out or not?

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Weekly Moves and Grooves XXV {When School Gets Crazy}

This weather has me OFF THE WALLS right now.

In a good way! I’ll gush about it more tomorrow, but today I’m coming at you with a recap of weekly moves and grooves from the past two weeks since I skipped last Sunday for Easter!

I’ve gone to the gym three times in the past two weeks just due to a hectic schedule. But I always feel better when I exercise, so I fit it in when I can!

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

jog to the gym + leg workout

My butt and hamstrings were sore for THREE DAYS after this. Oh my word.

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

gymnastics warmup + circuit workout a la dorm

4 rounds:

  • 10 modified handstand pushups
  • 15 burpees
  • 20 modified v-ups
  • 25 plank jacks
  • 20 straight leg tricep dips
  • 15 supermans
  • 10 side crunches each side

This took about 23 minutes. I wanted to do a quick workout focused on upper body and core exercises to give my sore posterior chain some more rest. Oof.

Wednesday

sun salutations (lots of down dogs, planks, pushups) + bodyweight circuit + random burpees

4 rounds for time:

  • 10 pushup burpees
  • 16 jump lunges
  • 20 pushups
  • 30 mountain climbers
  • 40 air squats

This was another workout in the dorm. I usually go to the gym with my buddy PJ on Wednesday mornings, but I skipped it this week because I needed an extra half-hour of sleep and extra time to study.

I still enjoy working up a sweat and getting my blood flowing before sitting in class for three hours straight though, so I did another bodyweight circuit workout. The pushups are what got me on this one! I finished in 15:00 flat.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Active rest/bodyweight workouts

I really don’t remember what I did on these days because Holy Week festivities are dominating any other memories of those three days.

{Easter} Sunday

Tabata workout in the dorm

4 rounds of each // 20 seconds hard work: 10 seconds rest

It was a glorious Easter morning! I slept in didn’t have much time to spare before choir practice, so I got the blood flowing in the dorm.

Monday

gymnastics warmup + 100 burpee challenge

I PR’d again!

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Wiped.

This time I broke it up into sets of 35, 15, 20, and 30. I had to dig deep to do 30 in a row for that last set.

Tuesday

circuit workout in the dorm

3 rounds:

A great, quick workout! This took about 18 minutes.

Wednesday

jog to the gym + upper body workout + rowing thruster workout

The upper body workout consisted of assisted pull-ups, arnold presses, bent over barbell rows, decline pushups, seated rows, and lat pull downs.

The rowing thruster workout was 20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2 cals on the rower with 8 thrusters (40#) between each set.

Thursday

Rest

Friday

12 minute HIIT from Purely Twins + 8 minute ab tabata

I had approximately twenty minutes to fit in a workout [before showering] before class, so I went for it! The 8 minute ab tabata included v-ups, ankle taps, cross body mountain climbers, and spiderman planks.

20 minutes is all it takes these days!

Saturday

dynamic warmup + lower body + 8 minute ab tabata + squats and burpees

I went to the gym with my friend Christine (who has a blog too!) yesterday!

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We started off doing our own workouts first. So I did some lower body weights:

  • 4×12 lunges each leg (50#) (two sets reverse lunges, two sets front lunges) // 30 side jump lunges between each set
  • angled leg press: 1×10 (180#), 1×8 (200#), 1×6 (210#), 1×5 (220#) // 10 pushup burpees between each set

Then we met up for an 8 minute ab tabata:

  • weighted Russian twists
  • leg lift crunches
  • mountain climbers
  • spiderman planks

And Christine requested that we do squats and burpees, so we ended with 3 rounds of 15 goblet squats + 10 burpees.

We were both sweaty beasts beauties. 😉

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Off to do homework and stuff. I’ve been using the nice weather as an excuse to procrastinate all day ahh!

So tell me:

What was your favorite workout/way you moved this weekend?

Have you recently had a workout that made you sore for DAYS?

Weekly Moves and Grooves XXIII {100 Burpee Challenge PR}

HI I’VE MISSED YOU.

School. That’s my only excuse. And maybe some nights when I did not want to do anything at all except watch YouTube videos, but that’s good for sanity, right?

More to come tomorrow! But today is Sunday, which means…

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

1 mile jog to the gym + leg workout

  • 1×8 (115#), 5×5 (125#) squats // 10 squat jumps between each set
  • 5×5 trap bar deadlifts (135#) // 10 box jumps between each set (20 inches)
  • 3×8 Bulgarian split squats each leg (30#) // 16 jump lunges between each set
  • 3×20 hamstring ball curls // 30 side jump lunges between each set

Walking was a little painful on Monday.

Monday

gymnastics warmup + Purely Twins’ 18 minute plank workout

That plank workout is one of my favorite quick, low-impact workouts ever. It makes my whole body shake every single time.

Tuesday

Rest

Wednesday

jog to the gym + 500m row + “WOD” + jog back from the gym

My impromptu “WOD” was 5 rounds of:

I always go to the gym with my friend PJ on Wednesday mornings, but I was so tired this week. I texted him saying I would go later in the afternoon, but then I changed my mind and just went in the morning since I was already up (I was majorly conflicted—it took me so long to decide what to do with myself). I also needed to study a little bit more for an anatomy exam I had at 11AM, so I was in and out of the gym in about 20 minutes. Whatever works!

Thursday

100 burpees for time

It had been a long while since I had done 100 burpees for time, but I think it might have been one and a half years ago! I came across the 100 burpee challenge again on Krista’s blog, 12 Minute Athlete, so I thought it would be a good, fast workout to do in my dorm (since I slept in that morning). Plus, I ♥ burpees.

My PR in 2013 was 7:54, but this time I completed 100 burpees in 6:40! Just less than seven minutes, but I was feelin’ it for the rest of the morning.

burpee PR 3:19:2015

I broke up the burpees into sets of 30, 10, 10, 20, 15, and 15. Now if only I could run a mile in this time… Just the thought of that makes me cringe.

Friday

jog to the gym + dynamic warmup + three 10 min. AMRAP workouts

First 10 min. AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) inspired by this one from The Blonde Ponytail:

Second 10 min. AMRAP:

Third 10 min. AMRAP:

I finished either 4 round or just under 4 rounds for each of the mini workouts. This was a really fun way of keeping me interested during my time at the gym!

Unfortunately though, I had a slight pain in my upper (inferior cervical, to be exact, yay anatomy) spine area that started before spring break, and the overhead motions in these workouts seemed to tweak that pain even more. Thus, I’m going to take it easy on my shoulders and neck, and I hope to do some yoga this week!

Saturday

Active rest

Some walking, air squats, pushups, sit-ups, burpees…

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I’ll talk to you all tomorrow! Hope you have a lovely Sunday. (Palm Sunday is in ONE WEEK and Easter is in TWO WEEKS!)

So tell me:

Have you ever tried the 100 burpee challenge?

What is one way you like to make your workout extra fun? Besides circuit workouts, I love pyramid workouts, dance, and ultimate frisbee!