Hi all! I hope you are all doing well and taking the appropriate precautions to reduce your risk of contracting the virus.
I just wanted to share my workout plan for the next 6-8 weeks. If you are looking for a new routine, try this one with me and let me know how it goes!
I will be doing four days of weightlifting- two for upper body and two for lower body. They combine cardio intervals and supersets.
Upper body days-
Each set (A,B,C, D, E and F) is done two or three times
A1. High knees (done for 1 minute)
A2. Chest press
A3. Chest flyes
B1. Jumping jacks (done for 1 minute)
B2. Bent over rows
B3. Back flyes
C1. Star jumps (done for 1 minute)
C2. Shoulder press
C3. Lateral raises
D1. Mountain climbers (done for 1 minute)
D2. Hammer curls
D3. Tricep kickbacks
E1. Butt kicks (done for 1 minute)
E2. Push ups
E3. Tricep push ups
F1. Jump forward and run back to start place (done for 1 minute)
F2. Wide push ups (arms out wider than a regular push up)
F3. Skull crushers
Done the same way as the upper body workouts.
A1. Jump squats (done for 1 minute)
A2. Regular squats
A3. Stiff legged deadlifts
B1. Jump lunges (done for 1 minute)
B2. Reverse lunges
B3. Plie squats
C1. Turn jumps (done for 1 minute)
C2. Legs together squats
C3. Wide deadlifts
D1. Star jumps (done for 1 minute)
D2. Side lunges
D3. Hip thrusts
E1. Jump squats (done for 1 minute)
E2. Regular deadlifts
E3. Inner thigh raises
F1. High knees (done for 1 minute)
F2. Forward lunges
F3. Outer thigh raises
I like to do two days of cardio a week. My favorite form of cardio right now is to do about 30-40 minutes of cardio movements without stopping (or briefly stopping to get water halfway through).
After doing the cardio I also follow it up with a couple of ab exercises or I do a short Pilates workout.
There are SO many wonderful free cardio workouts you can choose from!
I have decided for my off days I will be doing restorative Yoga if the mood strikes. If not, I will be doing nothing!
Getting in exercise is important
I love to come up with exercise plans for myself as that is how I am able to be consistent. This workout plan is very similar to what I have been doing but it is just slightly different so that my body keeps getting challenged.
As stated in other posts, I enjoy exercising regularly. I love what it does for my mind and body.
I had been wondering if women with PCOS respond to exercise differently and if it helps treat our specific health problems. This led me to investigate this topic more.
In this post I will talk about what I found out!
What many women with PCOS struggle with
A PCOS diagnosis comes with health struggles. It is a chronic condition that women with it must be mindful of in order to have a good quality of life.
Weight and body fat level are two areas that a lot of us have problems with. We may have excess weight on us with a lot of fat in our upper body (mainly midsection). In most cases, it is insulin resistance that causes it.
To control our weight and fat, diet is paramount. This typically means that carbs (along with calorie counting) need to be watched to increase our sensitivity to insulin. Some women also find that intermittent fasting and supplements help them.
Exercise is also important as it is for anyone without this condition. Although diet comes first, getting some good movement in during the week can really help with having an overall healthy life.
How exercise specifically helps those with PCOS (according to research)
There were several great research articles I found on exercise and how it effects women that have a PCOS diagnosis. They further proved the point that physical activity is a must in people’s lives due to all the benefits it provides.
Testosterone levels in women with PCOS are sometimes considered too high. In a few studies, exercise reduced the high levels. Since having too much testosterone as a woman can cause various issues, adding in exercise could help to eradicate them.
The improvements of conditions associated with metabolic syndrome was noted in each study. This was the case even in the absence of weight loss. The positive changes were as follows:
Lowered fasting glucose levels
Waist circumference reduction
Blood pressure reduction
Increased insulin sensitivity
These results were seen with just aerobic activities or a combination of aerobic and strength.
The chances of successful ovulation increased with regular exercise in a couple of the studies. This was most likely due to the other health issues that that were addressed by engaging in physical activity. For example, treating insulin resistance has been shown to help with ovulation.
In some studies, there was greater muscle strength shown in the study participants with PCOS versus the ones without it. They were able to life a great deal more than the other participants.
In regards to helping with weight loss (along with a good diet), a couple of studies showed it didn’t add any benefit for the women with PCOS. For them, it was only diet that helped.
Every woman with PCOS has a different experience with the diagnosis. It is interesting to look around forums and blogs to read about them. Exercise is one of the topics that is talked about a lot on these sites.
These days more women are doing weightlifting because of the benefits that come with it. Some women with PCOS feel as though they will get bulky if they lift weights regularly. The reason they think this is because of the excess androgen levels a lot of us have.
The whole “getting bulky” thing is not true though. Being as though exercise helps treat insulin resistance (which can cause elevated testosterone levels), there is a good chance that women can lose some fat with weightlifting multiple times a week. This will make them look lean.
There have also been some women with PCOS saying that they seem to get stronger quicker than women without it. They said that they were able to progress with the amount of weight lifted at a faster pace than others even though they started their strength routines at the same time.
When it comes to me, I can get fast results (muscle definition, lean appearance) from exercising regularly. This is true even with not watching my calorie and carb intake very much. This has just been my experience though and I am not trying to brag at all.
Exercise is an important part of life
To have a good quality of life, exercise should be part of it in addition to a healthy diet. There are great benefits to be had for everyone.
It is safe to say that women with PCOS might see a reduction in their symptoms when combining regular physical activity with the appropriate daily food choices. The evidence (scientific and anecdotal), clearly shows the healthy, PCOS-specific effects that we get from it.
Do you have PCOS? If so, how has exercise helped your symptoms?
So I was cleaning out one of my closets and found a workout routine called War Room Strategies. I did this back in college in 2010 and I remember loving it. I am excited that I found it again!
The workout routine
The War Room Strategies workout plan is from T-Nation. this is a site that has a ton of articles related to fitness and nutrition. I am not entirely sure how I came across it back then but I am sure glad I did.
The author of the plan is Christian Thibaudeau. He is a bodybuilder and a strength training coach. His routine involves using different types of workouts during the week. He claims that doing this will maximize fat loss while maintaining muscle mass. The workouts that he has you doing in the plan include heavy lifting, lactate inducing lifting, aerobic work and anaerobic alactic energy systems work.
Christian explains the science details behind his fat loss plan really well and it is interesting to read. Here is my summarization of the workouts below:
Heavy lifting days (2)- One day is chest/back (day 1 of the workout week) and the other day is quads/hams (day 4 of the workout week). Each workout includes four exercises that you are to superset five to six times. You should lift heavy enough so that you can only do six to eight reps.
Lactate inducing days (2)- These workouts are tough and burn a good amount of calories! They are done on day two and day six of your workout week. You are to perform two to three full body circuits that have five exercises. Each circuit is done three times through without stopping. There are to be 12-20 reps per exercise.
Aerobic work (2)- This involves doing twenty to thirty minutes of steady state cardio after your two lactate inducing workouts.
Anaerobic alactic energy systems work- This involves doing intense cardio after your chest/back workout. Christian suggests doing sprinting but I recall doing HIIT on the treadmill instead.
Is it worth doing?
Yes! I highly recommend it. Like I said before, I loved this workout routine. I decided that I will be doing this again starting in April. In terms of fat loss, as always it needs to be combined with a great diet but I believe this plan really helps. I remember reaching my cutting goal fast with it.