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.
…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.
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!
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:
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)
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!
rowing is the only cardio machine I like these days
Lastly, I draw inspiration from so many different people around the internet. My favorites:
- 12 Minute Athlete
- Peanut Butter Runner
- @docjenfit (@jen_esq on snapchat)
- Carrots ‘n’ Cake
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.
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
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.
Why do I work out?
It makes me happy. (Don’t roll your eyes at me yet!)
No, working out did not always make me happy in the past. Yes, workouts can totally suck while I’m doing them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- You can often do more than your mind initially thinks you can do. (And if your body can’t, then at least you tried!)
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?