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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Favorite Childhood Snacks

I would say that this is my first valid “hump day” of 2015 now that I’m in classes, but we had Monday off, so I’ve only been in class for one day, so it’s not really the middle of the work week.

Anyway, happy Wednesday to you!

The first day of classes went very well for me yesterday, especially since it started with this:

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eggs + whole wheat French toast with peanut butter and banana + glass o’ milk

My first class at 9:30 AM was a freshmen writing seminar specifically for students in the Sargent College of Health and Rehab Sciences. It involves reading some fascinating books and (obviously) writing and discussing about them, so I’m excited for it!

Immediately after that was my Intro to Linguistics lecture, which was also intriguing. Language has always been a topic of interest for me, and hopefully I can apply some of the things I learn in the course to my blogging, or at least notice language patterns in casual blogs like my own.

I went to daily Mass at the Catholic center before heading to lunch with friends, where we argued about bacon and Canada. (My side: Bacon is not my favorite; I prefer Canadian bacon.)

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salad with a million beets + sautéed chicken and mushrooms with rice + unpictured apple

My quads were mighty sore from Monday’s workout, so I took a rest day with lots of walking…and standing apparently.

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I was studying with Rachel, and I spent a good portion of my time reading while standing. She knows that my butt can only handle so much sitting.

Dinner was delicious— a roast beef, pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato, veggie, and hummus sandwich on whole wheat bread + vegetable and chicken sausage soup (only half because it was saltayyy).

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For dessert, Rachel and I visited Albert’s dorm room. Tapioca pudding, anyone?

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The three of us agreed that this was one of our favorite childhood snacks, so Albert picked up a four-pack and shared with us. Creamy, sweet goodness.

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It was nostalgia in a plastic cup. Come to think of it, I kind of miss some of my other favorite childhood snacks and treats now. Some of them included:

  • Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • Jell-O cups
  • Go-Gurt
  • “Uncrustables”
  • Chinese egg tarts
  • Costco very berry smoothies
  • Cheez-Its
  • Ritz Cheese and Crackers Snack Packs
  • Welch’s fruit snacks

childhood treats

Those red sticks to spread the mystery cheese… And then eating all the cheese, even if there were no crackers left.

I’m joining Jenn’s web-wide food party today!

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So tell me:

What were some of your favorite childhood snacks and treats?

Do you like tapioca pudding? 

Weekly Moves and Grooves XIV {Tired and Humbled}

Good morning and Happy Sunday!

I hope you’ve all had a great week, and I hope all my American pals had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! We’ve definitely been having a relaxing and joyful time catching up with family and friends, as well as eating leftovers. 🙂

This week seemed to be an ongoing battle between what my mind wanted and what my body wanted in terms of workouts. I think coming home and interrupting routine played a significant role in my greater fatigue this week, but I’m glad I got to move and groove even a little bit every day!

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

5 mile run

Monday

5 min. row warmup + arm workout

3 supersets of each:

Tuesday

5 min. stairmaster + leg workout

I had to be quick and efficient with this leg workout because I still needed to pack and get ready to go home for Thanksgiving break!

Wednesday

Yoga video + Blogilates abs

I needed a streeeeetch. And Cassey’s ab workouts always kill.

Thursday (Thanksgiving!)

100s challenge + burpees

Basically, in between cooking throughout the day, I did 5 sets of 20 air squats, 20 pushups, 20 sit-ups, and 20 burpees, coming to a grand total of 100 of each exercise. My body was still sore despite yoga the day before, so I just honored that and kept my moves and grooves fun for the day!

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I also went on a nice 20 minute walk with Pop. I’ve quickly come to realize how much walking I don’t do when I’m at home since I don’t have to walk up and down stairs, to and from classes, and just everywhere like I do at college. I’m actually significantly less hungry at home, which just goes to show that walking often adds up and uses up quite a bit of energy!

Friday

5 sets of 10 burpees throughout the evening + other random exercises

I was still feeling wonky and tired on Friday, and I didn’t have too much time for a real workout since we were preparing dinner for some house guests. Thus, I did my go-to exercise (burpees) in different variations:

I made a short video demonstrating the jump lunge single leg burpees for you because I want you to love burpees too. 😀

Saturday

5 min. row warmup + “Dirty Diana” WOD + 30 min incline walk

Oooooooof yesterday was a rough day on the workout front. I felt crappier than a turkey on Thanksgiving day, and I think it mostly had to do with the fact that I was plain tired. My head was exhausted even though my muscles were fine. Anything I did felt like a huge tax on my body, and I just could not push myself. I completed four rounds of the Dirty Diana workout, and I have never moved so slowly through burpees in my life. I also did Russian kettlebell swings (to eye level instead of overhead).

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I was pretty frustrated because I can usually push through fatigue, but yesterday was terrible. I was also confused because I took three pretty easy workout days in a row before yesterday.

Nevertheless, I decided to honor my body since it’s probably thrown off by the change in schedule/environment/food. After attempting to do ab workout on the TRX and realizing that my body was not havin’ that, I just hit the treadmill to walk. I was falling asleep on the 15-minute drive back home (dad took me as a guest to his gym and he was driving!), so I guess that’s proof that I just needed sleep.

Despite the frustration, I had to remind myself to be thankful for a body that can move and get me through the day!

So tell me:

Do you experience times when your mind/brain is exhausted, even though your body is doing alright? Vice versa?

Do you have a favorite burpee variation?  

Weekly Moves and Grooves V

Hi!

Man, has it been a LONG week or what? Thankfully, it has also been a very fast-moving week filled with both work and play. I have a recap of the weekend coming tomorrow because, like I’ve been saying, I feel like I never talk to you all anymore! Expected in college though, right? We’ll all float on alright.

Anyway, here are the workouts that I squeezed into this past week’s busy schedule!

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

Rest

Monday

5 min. stair master warmup + leg workout

3 supersets of each:

  • 10 pistol squats each leg + 30 side jump lunges
  • 12 Bulgarian split squats each leg (25#) + 12 split jack lunges
  • 12 deadlifts (80#) + 16 jump lunges
  • 12/10 hamstring curls (70#/80#) + 20 surfer jumps

My butt was not as utterly sore on the days following this workout, so maybe that means I’m getting stronger?!…

Tuesday

5 min. adaptive motion trainer warmup + 5 rounds of Jess’ 1000 rep workout

…But I was still pretty sore, so 500 reps instead of 1000 was PLENTY. Jess is a badass partially due to her intense workouts (partially because she’s a supermom), so I was quite smoked with this one.

Wednesday

Rest

Thursday

Row-burpee workout from Lindsay + 8 minute ab tabata

Ab tabata:

4 rounds of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest

That burpee and rowing workout wiped me out. ‘Twas awesome.

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Friday

Some random jump roping and pushups/burpees at the park

I wasn’t feelin’ a real workout on Friday, so I just headed to the outdoor fitness park to just play around. I practiced double unders, did some pushup variations, and some burpee variations!

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Burpee “box” jump-overs (trying not to slip on the slightly damp bench and getting another hole in my body)

Saturday

5 min. stair master warmup + leg workout

3 sets of each:

I’m typing this on Saturday, and I have a feeling my inner thighs are going to be sore tomorrow/today (Sunday) from those sumo squats. I haven’t danced ballet in forever, so that second position plié has not been visited in a while.

I hope you all have a beautiful Sunday! It has been gloomy alllll darn week here, but I think the weather should be sunny and bright today! Perfect for the Lord’s Day 🙂

So tell me:

What was your favorite workout this week?

Burpees or rowing?

How’s the weather?