I mentioned in last week’s post that I’ve really been enjoying getting back into the gym recently. Of course, it helps when your gym is brand spanking new and just about all of your local friends use the same one. We are always sharing tips and stories from our experiences there and it helps motivate me to keep going back. I’ve been making it my personal goal to exercise 4 days per week, and I’m happy to report that I have either been achieving or exceeding that goal for the last 3 weeks.
When I was still writing my old blog, some of the most common questions I received revolved around my workouts. People love food posts, and people love workout posts! I totally get it though, because if I’m reading a blog or website about someone’s food or fitness habits, I definitely want the nitty gritty details. It inspire me to hear exactly what other people are doing to better themselves and their health, which leads me to today’s topic – what I’ve been doing at the gym.
I personally find that I am most successful when I walk into the gym with a plan. The first time that I lost weight I would frequently write detailed weekly workout schedules, repeat each week four times to five times, then write a new one to keep myself from getting bored. I decided to use the same approach this time around, and so far it is working well to keep me focused and on track.
This is the workout schedule that I am currently using:
I start each workout with a 5 minute warm up on the elliptical, then move on to one of these four routines. I do not always work out on consecutive days, but I generally follow this order. For example, if the first day I exercise in a week is on a Monday, then I’ll do Day 1 on that day. If the next day happens to be Wednesday, then I’ll complete Day 2’s routine that day. Sometimes I will mix up the days depending on how I’m feeling, but I try to complete all four of the routines every week. If I go to the gym a fifth time in a week, it’s usually with my sister and we will just do whatever we feel like doing that day. It’s typically cardio combined with the Planet Fitness 30 Minute Workout, which I will go into more detail about shortly for those that aren’t familiar with it.
With regards to my cardio, I tend to get bored easily and don’t usually spend more than 20 minutes on a single machine. My cardio preferences are the elliptical, treadmill (walking only for now), stationary bike, and most recently the step mill. I used to use the step mill all the time back when I was in good shape, but haven’t used one in years. However, I decided to bring it back into my life since I know it is a phenomenal cardio workout. I don’t last more than 10 minutes on it right now, but that’s to be expected given the fact that I have only been exercising for three weeks. This is my current favorite step mill routine that I’ve been doing:
It may look a little confusing and hard to remember, but I promise it’s not. It’s just the same interval sequence repeated four times. The thirty seconds at level 7 really wipes me out, and then I get a break for 2 minutes before going again. I’m sure I will be coming up with something more challenging at some point, but for now this works for me.
The PF 30 Minute Workout that you see on Day 4 of my workout schedule is something that Planet Fitness offers that I have really been loving. It’s basically a designated area in the back of the gym that contains 20 stations – 10 machines and 10 steps. Each station is numbered, and the idea is to move from station to station, alternating a machine with a step, until you’ve completed all 20. There is a light in the front of the room (it looks like a traffic light) and when it turns green it means it’s time to workout, and when it turns red it means it’s time to wipe off your machine and move on to the next station. There is also a chart on the wall with ten different step exercises that you can do when you are on one of the steps.
These photos are not from my gym, but you get the idea. (I found this picture on a Google image search and when I tried to link the original website it warned me that it could be a phishing scam, so I’m opting not to.) What I love about the 30 Minute Workout is that it keeps my heart pumping the whole time and I am constantly moving for the entire 30 minutes without ever getting bored. I remember hearing about it a long time ago on The Biggest Loser and it’s fun to finally get to try it out.
I’m looking forward to seeing how my workouts change and progress as time goes on. It is always hard to get started and can be difficult to come up with a plan, but once I get that momentum going I am constantly thinking of new ideas and ways to challenge myself with my workouts. If you’d like me to start another Exercise Log page on my blog like I did on Healthy Berg, let me know and I’d be happy to do so.