My Current Training Split

Today I thought I’d switch gears and write about my current workout schedule, or training split if you will. I almost hesitate to call it a “training split” because that’s a term I hear a lot of fitness experts use and I obviously am by no means a serious bodybuilder. That being said, I have been focusing a lot more of my workouts on strength training lately (and less on cardio) and it has made going to the gym more enjoyable and less of a chore. When I’m at the gym now, I’m not thinking about weight loss near as much as I used to. When I am lifting weights, I am focusing on building muscle so I can be stronger and burn more fat throughout out the day. This shift in my thinking has really helped motivate me to get my workouts in on days when I would typically be tempted to skip them. Additionally, time goes by WAY faster when you’re strength training as opposed to spending 45 minutes doing mindless cardio.


Don’t get me wrong – I still do cardio. I always warm up with 5 minutes on the elliptical, and I finish every workout with 15-20 minutes of some sort of cardio. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less; but 15-20 seems to be the sweet spot for me. Ideally, this is spent doing HIIT on the stair master, but I also enjoy walking on the treadmill and doing hills on the stationary bike.

My current workout schedule that I have really been enjoying lately is a 5 day split, which I will dive into below. However since I only go to the gym 3 to 4 days a week right now (that’s what works for me), it takes me about a week and a half to get through the entire split. I wrote this schedule by combining ideas from my own past workout routines as well as ideas from current fitness gurus I follow on social media. Every time I complete a workout I am seriously sore for days…so basically I am pretty much sore all the time, lol. While I am working out, I record how many sets and reps I do of each exercise on my phone as well as much weight I use. This is a great way for me to track my progress and is a reference for me to refer back to when planning future workouts.

As a reminder, the following routine is what has been working for me and is what I personally have been liking. Everyone is different, and I know a lot of people dislike strength training and prefer cardio. If there is one thing I have learned over my many years of experience with weight loss, it’s that the right kind of exercise is exercise that you will STICK WITH, so find what you like and do it!

Here is my current training split!

Day 1: Biceps and shoulders

  • Single lateral raises 3×12
  • Barbell curls 3×12
  • Overhead press (dumbbell) 3×12
  • Alternating bicep curls 3×12
  • Alternating front raises 3×12
  • Cable curls 3×12

Day 2: Legs (glutes and hamstrings focus)

  • Seated leg curls 3×15
  • Single leg deadlifts 3×10 each leg
  • Sumo squats 3×8
  • Walking lunges 3×10 each leg
  • Glute kickbacks 3×10 each leg
  • Stiff legged deadlifts (Romanian deadlifts) 3×12

Day 3: Back and abs

  • Lat pulldowns 4×12
  • Standing close grip cable pulls 3×15
  • Dumbbell rows 3×10
  • Stiff arm lat push downs 3×12
  • Ab machine one 3×15
  • Ab machine two 3×15

(lol I know my ab workout needs some improvement, but right now I just use two of the ab machines at the gym which I call “ab machine one” and “ab machine two,” ha!)

Day 4: Chest and triceps

  • Chest press machine 3×15
  • Tricep pressdown (rope) 3×15
  • Smith machine bench press 3×12
  • Tricep machine 3×15
  • Flies 3×10
  • Overhead tricep extensions 3×15

Day 5: Legs (quads and calves focus)

  • Seated calf press 4×20
  • Single leg extension 3×12 each leg
  • Leg press 4×12
  • Adductor machine 3×15
  • Squats (Smith machine) 3×8
  • Standing calf raises 4×15

Hope everyone is having a great week, and thanks for stopping by the blog!



It Takes 21 Days to Make A Habit

That’s what they say, right?


After many, many months of subpar eating habits, I am ready to once again try and get some of this weight off that I’ve gained back over the last three years. If you are a long time reader and are familiar with my old blog (Hi! Thanks for sticking around all these years!), then you know that I dropped a LOT of weight in college. Since then, I’ve probably tried to start over at least 20 times as the weight piled back on exponentially like it unfortuantely does for so many people. It’s amazing how your mindset can do a complete 180 in situations like this. When you’re trying to lose weight, a 1/2 pound gain can completely ruin your week. However, when life is a free-for-all and you are not in “weight loss mode,” you play mind tricks on yourself to avoid dealing with the real problem in right in front of you. You get so used to seeing your weight go up by 5 or 10 pounds every time you step on the scale that you start to convince yourself that it’s okay, since it’s “only  5 pounds.” Well, we all know that all those pounds add up FAST.


In an effort to keep myself focused and try to prevent discouragement, I am concentrating on smaller, short term goals right now. When you have such a tremendous amount of weight to lose, it is so easy to get frustrated and give up. Currently, I am focusing on staying committed to calorie counting for 21 days. Supposedly, that’s how long it takes to create a habit and it should become easier to stick with a healthy eating regimen after that point. Today is day 13 and despite my frustrations with the scale this week (more on that in a minute), I have to say that I am pretty proud of my progress. I’ve tracked almost everything that I’ve eaten, and drastically cut down on junk food and sweets. I haven’t been getting sugar cravings every night like I used to (side note: I have an entire post coming on sugar addiction so stay tuned for that) and I’ve been in an overall better mood. Last week I worked 12 hours of overtime and by the end of my 8th day in a row of work I still felt like I had energy left to go out and do stuff. Normally I am totally wiped out after just 5 days.

I have also started to incorporate exercise back into my life, and that has been a wake up call in another sense. For one, none of my old workout clothes fit me. I’m a firm believer that feeling comfortable and confident in what you wear while exercising can really improve the quality of your workouts. When you feel good, you work harder. So I bought some new workout clothes (in fun, bright colors to boot) and I look forward to putting them on and heading over to the gym. Additionally, since I’ve been slowly adding back some of the exercises I used to do years ago, I’ve learned that things that used to be so easy are now quite challenging. It’s crazy  to me that I used to hop on the treadmill and run 3 miles on a regular basis, and now 5 minutes on the elliptical gets me out of breath.

Speaking of the gym, Traverse City got a brand new Planet Fitness that just opened a couple weeks ago and I am LOVING it. I’ve been to most of the gyms around here and this one puts the others to shame. There’s only a couple of gyms in Traverse that, in my opinion, could be actual competition for Planet Fitness but a PF membership is a fraction of the cost of those other places. Major win in my book. My sister and her fiancé recently moved back to the area and they also both got memberships at PF. While we have different schedules and don’t work out together every day, it’s nice having a gym buddy on the weekends.

I’ll go into more detail about what I’m eating and what I’m doing at the gym in future posts, but I want to address the comment I made earlier about the scale. So, the first week I started counting calories again I dropped weight FAST. I made major improvements with my food choices but still had a few “cheat meals” and wasn’t really exercising much, and I still lost 5 pounds like it was nothing. Naturally, this week I expected to lose at least another 3 or 4 pounds since I’m doing the same things as last week; plus I’ve started going to the gym again. However, that was not the case and I did not lose one single ounce this week. Of course this irritates me, so I’ve been doing a lot of reading on week 2 plateaus to try and ease my frustrations. From what I’ve been reading, I’ve gathered two explanations for it:

  • Water retention. When you drastically reduce your calories and change the kinds of foods you are eating, your body initially responds with a quick weight loss. However, after the initial loss, your fat cells hold onto water in an effort to retain their shape (fat cells shrink when you lose weight) and this is what causes a plateau. Soon that water will be flushed out and your weight should begin dropping again.
  • Cortisol. This is a stress hormone that is released as your body starts to adjust to exercise. Cortisol also causes water retention, which temporarily halts weight loss. Cortisol is also the reason that people tend to gain weight when they are stressed (with the exception of stress starvers).

Since I am not a nutritionist, nor do I have a background in exercise science, I do not know how valid these explanations are. However, I do have a doctor of pharmacy degree and they both make sense to me from a medical and physiological stand point. Regardless of the reason for the week 2 plateau, it just makes me feel better knowing that there are tons of other people who have experienced the same thing and I’m confident that I will get past it if I just keep working hard. I’ve also been looking at my old weigh-ins from years ago when I lost weight the first time around, and my weigh-ins have always been inconsistent from week to week. It’s not about short-term results; it’s about what happens in the long run. While my weight may have fluctuated over the weeks, I lost an average of 50 pounds a year for two years.

Here are some pictures from the last couple of weeks. I will try to update a couple times a month but let me know if there’s anything in particular  you’d like me to post about 🙂



Thanks for reading!