Fit Fabulous Fall: My Six Week Routine

Fit Fabulous Fall: My Six Week Routine

As bad as everything is right now in regards to the pandemic, we can’t be giving up on our health. I sure won’t be.

One of the things that we should be doing is exercising on a regular basis. It is not the most fun thing in the world but it has so many benefits.

For this post, I wanted to show you my new six week routine I will be doing and possibly inspire one of you to do it too!

My goal for this routine

I am a fitness enthusiast that does weight lifting four times a week. This has been important for me when it comes to staying mentally and physically well.

As a person with PCOS, I need to do all that I can to keep the negative effects of the diagnosis at bay. Engaging in consistent exercise that includes intense cardio/abs and weight lifting is key to this.

Over the years I have done many different weight lifting routines but have never really budged when it comes to increasing the weight used. Because of this, my goal is to up the weight I lift for each move.

Lifting a bit heavier will have me working harder during the exercise sessions. Not that it really matters that much, but I would love to see a higher calorie burn number on my heart rate monitor watch! Maybe heavier lifts will do that for me.

For my six week routine, I will be taking note of the amount of weight I lift for each exercise move in my health journal. It will be interesting to see the amounts I end up lifting when the six weeks are done!

My workout structures and schedules

As stated before, I always do four weight lifting workouts and two intense cardio/abs workouts a week. The workout schedule always goes like this:

Upper/cardio/Lower/Rest/Upper/Cardio/Lower

There have been times where I have taken more than one day off of working out during the week. For the most part though-I exercise six days a week.

The weightlifting days always include cardio bursts. These are either before the weight lifting or between circuits/supersets/tri-sets. I like to do this because it just feels like I am getting an even better workout than only doing weightlifting moves.

In regards to how many moves I do for my weightlifting workouts-it varies. It is always at least six of them though, with two or three sets.

The cardio bursts on weightlifting days and the cardio workouts, look almost the same. They include doing a lot of moves like jumping jacks, star jumps, mountain climbers, donkey kick-ups, burpees and more. A workout ladder is the only piece of cardio equipment I own but I save it just for my cardio days.

I am not a fan of abdominal work at all so I only do about two different exercises. These are done after the cardio part of the workout has been finished.

The six week routine

Upper body workout (2x per week):

First, 18 minutes of cardio is done.

Then, three circuits with exercises done one after another without stopping. Each circuit is done two times through.

Circuit 1-

Chest press

Wide bent over row

Alternating chest flyes

Alternating back flyes

Close chest press

Close bent over row

Regular push ups

Supine (back) push ups

Circuit 2-

Overhead press

Palms up pull overs

Alternating front raises

Alternating pull overs

Lateral raises

Arm circles- 45 seconds

Hindu push ups

Circuit 3-

Single arm tricep extensions (left or right)

Hammer curls

Single arm triceps extensions (left or right)

Skull crushers

Alternating curls

Tricep dips

Staggered hands push ups

Cardio and abs workout (2x a week):

30 minutes of straight cardio and then 10 minutes of cardio ladder work. Then I do some ab work.

Lower body workout-

First, 18 minutes of cardio is done.

There are four supersets and each are done three times through.

A1. Wide deadlifts

A2. Side lunges

B1. Narrow squats

B2. Reverse lunges

C1. Stiff legged deadlifts

C2. Hip thrusts

D1. Squat to forward lunges

D2. Side leg raises

What do I do my workouts to?

I love to workout to shows. It is just more motivating for me than music is.

Right now I have been working out to Superstore and it is so fun. That show puts me in a better mood and I really look forward to my workouts. Next I will be putting on Wayward Pines!

To conclude this

I am excited to do this six week routine and reach my goal of lifting heavier weights. My plan is to update you all on how I do after I have finished the routine.

What is your current workout routine?

Thanks for reading!

#homeworkouts #homegym #fitness #weighlifting #HIIT #exercise #health #PCOS

5 Lower Body Exercises That Helped Me Most

5 Lower Body Exercises That Helped Me Most

Lower body workout days are usually not a favorite for many. They are definitely not one of mine! It is still important to do them though because of the benefits they have.

Recently, my legs have become shapelier (in a good way!) than they have been in the past and I attribute it to a few different exercises. I wanted to show you which ones they are in this post and maybe you can add them into your lower body days too!

Why people skip (or are tempted to) lower body day

There are some reasons as to why lower body day is not especially liked and looked forward to. While everyone has their own reasons, here are the common ones:

  • The exercises are tough- Some people find the lower body exercises to be tougher than upper body ones. This may make them mentally and physically difficult through.
  • The exercises are boring- Some people think that lower body exercises are actually boring for whatever reason. This makes it hard to get through them mentally.
  • Next day soreness- The toughness of the exercises may make it hard to move around the next day. Since most people have things to do that require them to be on their feet each day, the lower body workouts can look less than attractive.
  • Worried about “bulking up”- Some women are worried that their legs are going to end up looking bulky after doing lower body workouts.

People just don’t like them! You can even find many threads/posts on forums where people profess their hatred of them.

Why you shouldn’t skip them

Despite lower body workouts not being preferred by a lot of people, they are still important to do. Here are the reasons why one shouldn’t skip these workouts:

  • They balance out our bodies- If you regularly neglect your lower body when it comes to your workout routine, this area of your body may not match with the upper area. For example, you may have a good amount of muscle built up in your upper body but be weak in your lower body.
  • Provides the strength to get around- To get around in life, we need to have strength in our legs/pelvis/hips/lower back/abdomen. Lower body workouts help with this!
  • Boosts metabolism- Strength workouts may not burn as many calories as cardio workouts but they do help boost the metabolism for up to two days afterwards.
  • Sculpts and shapes- Doing regular lower body workouts can help give your legs a nice appearance.
  • Bone health- Strength training in general helps build and maintain healthy bones as well as lower the risk of osteoporosis. This is why it is recommended especially for older adults as bone loss increases as we age.
  • Improves cardio fitness- Strengthening your lower body helps with your overall physical fitness level. This means that it may help you advance in your cardio workouts (faster and/or able to go longer).

There are probably more reasons why you should not skip lower body workouts but the above should be enough!

My lower body

Ever since I was around 12- I have hated my lower body. It always looked big and fat to me no matter how skinny I got.

Since I started getting into weightlifting though, I never wanted to skip my lower body days because I thought that my legs would get even bigger. I have wanted to skip them because the exercises feel harder to me and I find them taxing to do (mentally and physically).

When I first read about lifting weights, I also read about the bulking myths. That is why I have never been worried about doing lower body workouts from that aspect- I had the true information right away.

Over the past few years, I have slowly come to accept my lower body. It is always going to be a little bit thicker then I want it to be due to my obvious dysmorphia issue though.

The 5 lower body exercises that helped me the most

Recently, I have noticed a wonderful change of shape in my lower body. My legs are looking better with more of a “curve” to them and my butt is perkier. I believe that this has to do with these five exercises that I have added into my workouts these past few months:

  1. Side lunges-

I don’t know how I only read about these lunges a year or so ago but I am glad I did. I have been doing them more recently and I love them.

2. Single leg glute bridges-

Whew! These can be tough but I feel that they have been a game changer for my butt.

3. Forward lunges-

I am used to doing reverse lunges as I thought that they would help my butt. Switching to forward lunges has seemingly helped to make my legs look better so I am going to continue to do them regularly.

4. Curtsy lunges-

I was looking for new lower body exercises to do one day and came across these. I thought they were weird and awkward at first but I have come to really like them. They are supposed to be great for the butt and I have to say that I think they worked for me!

5. Narrow squats-

I have been doing these narrow squats more regularly for the past three months now. The fact that they work the quads makes me think that they are one of the reasons why my legs are looking the way they do.

So, there you have it!

Those were the five different lower body exercises that have helped me the most in terms of getting the look that I want. I am still in awe of how effective they have been for me which makes me more motivated to do these workouts.

Remember that it is important to not skip working your lower body. So get out your weightlifting equipment and get to work!

Have you tried any of these five exercises? If so, how did you like them?

Thanks for reading!

#legday #homeworkouts #homegym #womenwholift #weightlifting #fitness

Fitness Blender HIIT Workout + Review

Fitness Blender HIIT Workout + Review

I have been doing calorie burn comparisons with Fitness Blender workouts but after this one, I will start doing other workouts I find on the internet.

If you haven’t seen my other calorie burn comparison posts (here is my most recent one)- they are simply me reviewing the workouts and telling you how many calories I burned. These posts are really fun to do and I hope it helps others find a new workout to try.

This workout review is on one of Fitness Blender’s HIIT videos.

The workout

For this review, I chose Fitness Blender’s HIIT Cardio and Abs workout. For the other posts, I did their strength training ones so I wanted to change things up.

On their website, they have a handy-dandy filter for the workouts they offer. With it you can pick the exact kind of workout you want based on trainer, level of difficulty, training type, duration, calorie burn and equipment needed.

This particular workout is rated as a 5/5 on the difficulty scale, is 45 minutes long, requires no equipment and has a calorie burn range of 263-431. This all means that it is a tough workout that won’t take up too much time in your day/night!

The workout has a warm-up, core work portion, cardio portion and a cool down.

For the core part of it, there are 13 exercises. Each one is done for 50 seconds and then you are to move on to the next one after ten seconds of rest. The exercises hit all areas of the core.

The cardio part involves seven different exercises that are done for 20 seconds on, and 10 seconds off. Each one is done four times.

Like any other HIIT workout, they say that it shouldn’t be done more than three times a week. This is due to it being challenging for the whole body and rest is needed.

My experience

For my cardio workouts, I have been doing plyometrics and cardio ladder moves. I also do some ab work afterwards. It has been quite a while since I have done any other kind of workout session.

The current cardio workouts I do yield around 320-430 calories burned-depending on various factors. The length of the workouts range from 45-75 minutes due to my level of distraction and duties as a mother that may get in the way of getting them done in a timely manner.

I chose this Fitness Blender workout for its relatively short length, calorie burn range, level of difficulty and workout structure. It looked like it was right up my alley!

As it turns out, it was indeed right up my alley.

The core workout was a wonderful change from what I had been doing (the same two exercises for a long time). I loved the burn it gave me- as weird as that sounds.

The cardio portion was tough-more so than I thought it might be. I also liked that the moves were different than what I have gotten used to. My plan is to substitute some of my current ones with the ones in this workout.

After the cool down, I felt pretty spent. I was eager to see my calorie burn so I turned the screen of my watch on and it said….

360 calories (I am 5’4, 113-115 pounds)!

This was a pretty good amount in my opinion. I was happy with it especially because an after-burn would be part of the equation.

I think I will do this workout once in a while as well as do some of Fitness Blender’s other HIIT workout videos.

I highly recommend this workout

I am really glad I decided to change up my cardio day workout with this workout by Fitness Blender. It is another one of their great quality workouts that I think many fitness enthusiasts would enjoy. Make sure to check it out along with their other ones!

Have you done any Fitness Blender workouts? If so, what did you think of them?

Thanks for reading!

#workouts #fitness #hitt #womenwholift #FitnessBlender #cardio #caloriesburned #workoutcomplete

Dragging During Your Workouts? Blame Your Hormones!

Dragging During Your Workouts? Blame Your Hormones!

As most people know, consistent exercise is important for a healthy life. There are just so many benefits that it gives us.

Even if we are really into exercising (some might call that being a fitness freak), there are days where we may have a harder time getting through our workout sessions. There are also days where we may have an easier time and can push harder. Our hormones can have something to do with both of these kinds of days.

For this post, how our menstrual cycles can affect our workouts will be discussed as well as what to do about it.

Ups and downs in our workout routines

Everyone has good, bad, “just whatever” and regular workout sessions. Here are some examples of what these sessions may look like:

  • A good one- You are running hill intervals on a treadmill and you find that you are able to handle a more intense level. You feel motivated and physically capable of pushing yourself more than you have some other times.
  • A bad one- You are lifting weights and hating it. Your muscles feel weak, you are irritated, you are saying “screw this” after every set (maybe even rep) and you want to quit.
  • A “just whatever” one- You are getting your weightlifting done but are very distracted and uninspired. After every set, you scroll through your phone and get a little lost looking at threads on a gossip site. You complete your workout but it took an hour longer than usual.
  • A regular one- You are feeling good doing your supersets, you have the mental/physical energy to complete the cardio circuits and you finish the workout in the usual time.

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you?

Just like the rest of our days, how we feel (mentally and physically) during our workouts can differ. There are many reasons as to why this happens and it is all totally normal.

Hormones and our menstrual cycles

We have around 50 different types of hormones in our bodies. There are three of them that play a huge role in our menstrual cycles. They are estrogen, testosterone and progesterone.

Here is some quick information about these hormones:

  • Estrogen- This hormone comes from our ovaries. It is involved in regulating our periods, moods, bone health, regulation of appetite (decreases it) and creating the physical features that are commonly associated with women (i.e. breasts and wider hips than men). It also can help in increasing energy levels.
  • Testosterone- This hormone comes from our ovaries. It is involved in our sex drives, energy levels, muscle mass/strength, bone health, appetite (can increase it) and body fat.
  • Progesterone- This hormone is produced in an endocrine gland in our ovaries after ovulation. It can be calming to the body/mind, help us burn fat, aid in fertility, prevent certain types of cancer and increase sex drive.

While we do need them-having too much or too little of them can cause some issues. Here are some symptoms that can arise when our levels of the hormones are off:

  • Too high/low of estrogen- Mood swings, headaches, fatigue, irregular periods, hot flashes and weight gain.
  • Too high of testosterone- Hair loss, acne, excess facial hair and deepening of the voice.
  • Too low of testosterone- Hair loss, fatigue, fat gain, mood swings, muscle weakness and low sex drive.
  • Too high of progesterone- PMS symptoms.
  • Too low of progesterone- Fertility issues, low moods, headaches, irregular periods, weight gain and hot flashes.

As you can see from all of this, a good balance of hormones is necessary to feel well.

Menstrual cycles and our workouts

Before we talk about how our hormones may influence our workout performance- a brief idea of what they are doing during our cycles is important. The following are days of a 28 day cycle and what the three hormones are doing on them:

  • Days 1-7: This is the menstruation phase (and also follicular) of the cycle-when most women bleed. Estrogen and progesterone are low at this time.
  • Days 8-14: This is the follicular phase of the cycle. Estrogen and testosterone are high at this time.
  • Days 15-22: This is the luteal phase of the cycle. Estrogen and testosterone levels get lower as progesterone rises. Estrogen rises a bit again during these days and then falls.
  • Days 23-28: This is also the luteal phase of the cycle. Estrogen and progesterone drop to low levels at this time.

Not everyone has a 28 day cycle but it is considered to be the average length of one.

So let’s take a look at how our hormones on certain days may dictate how well our workouts may go. We can do this by looking back at the effects each hormone can have on us and our levels of them during our cycles.

After analyzing some things, it becomes clear to see how our hormones can help or interfere with our workouts. The following is what the exercise sessions may be like:

  • Days 1-7: Since this is the time that most women bleed, low energy may be a problem. This is due to estrogen being low and/or heavy bleeding. You might also experience aches and just be uncomfortable in general due to the bleeding that is happening. These things may make a quality workout hard to get in as putting in effort could be a struggle.
  • Days 8-14: With estrogen and testosterone being high on these days, energy (physical and mental) goes way up. You also are probably in a better mood than you had been in the days prior. All of this means that workouts will probably go very well for you during this time.
  • Days 15-17: On these days, progesterone is rising with testosterone and estrogen dropping. During this time, energy levels go down. This is due to the progesterone having somewhat of a “sleepy” effect. You also may lose the confidence and good attitude that you had in prior days. These things may cause you to have workouts that you feel are tougher to get through. Although they may be hard, progesterone is rising so you will actually be burning more fat completing them than other times.
  • Days 18-19: Estrogen bumps up a bit meaning you may have a little more energy with a better mood. This means that workouts on these two days can be better than it was the three days prior.
  • Days 20-25: Progesterone is getting higher as estrogen falls again. This means that you may be experiencing quite a bit of fatigue and mental fogginess if you are sensitive to this shift in hormones. You also may be pretty bloated which would make you feel even more uncomfortable.
  • Day 26-28: If you weren’t feeling fatigued the prior few days, there is a good chance you might on these ones. This is due to your hormones being at their lowest. You might be super foggy too which could impair your ability to learn moves to a dance workout (if you are doing one) or another new kind of workout.

These are all just possible things that you might experience. Not all women have a rough time with symptoms during their menstrual cycles. Some lucky ones don’t notice anything!

What to do about high and low energy workout sessions

If you are experiencing an increased or a very low amount of energy when you go to do a workout, there are some modifications you can make. Here are some ideas:

High energy days-

  • Increase the distance (if you are running, walking, biking etc.).
  • Change up the moves to be harder (i.e. add a push up onto your burpee).
  • Go faster through the workout (sprint, move through lifts faster etc.).
  • Lift heavier weights than usual.

Low energy days-

  • Have a backup workout that is easier for you to do.
  • Decrease the distance.
  • Change up the moves to be easier.
  • Nix the cardio portions altogether (if you have added cardio in to your strength training days).
  • Do two sets instead of three.
  • Do less reps.
  • Lift lighter weights than usual.
  • Simply don’t workout that day. Missing one workout won’t hurt you.

In conclusion

Our hormone levels during our menstrual cycles can lead us to feeling certain ways which in turn can affect our workouts-positively and negatively. The next time you are having a workout session, look up what day you are on in your cycle afterwards and compare it to how your workout went. You might find it pretty interesting!

Thanks for reading!

#homeworkout #homegym #menstrualcycles #periods #periodproblems #periodcup #hormones #fitness #strengthtraining #hitt #womenwholift

Want a Full Body Workout? Try This One!

Want a Full Body Workout? Try This One!

Strength training is very beneficial according to many different studies. Although it may not be the most popular type of workout, one should definitely do it at least once in a while for the positive effects it can have.

While having strength training sessions that focus on one part of the body is a great choice, combining it all together for a full body workout can also give you a wonderful workout. This post will discuss full body workouts and provide you with one that you may want to try!

Full body workouts-why and when

These types of workouts work the whole body all in one session. There are a few benefits of training this way and they are as follows:

  1. More calories burned-When you target more muscles in a workout, more calories can be burned than strength workouts that focus on one section of the body.
  2. Good start- Having a strength training workout that involves moves for all parts of the body is a wonderful way to get started with them. It allows you to get a grasp of the different strength training exercises so you can feel more confident doing them. Eventually you can branch out to having workouts that only focus on one part of the body (called split workout routines) if you want.
  3. Convenience for one’s schedule- These workouts are great for people who are limited on days they can workout due to various reasons.
  4. More interesting- Some people have a tendency to get really bored during their workouts which makes it hard for them to be consistent with them. With full body workouts, there is a enough variety in the movements where boredom may be less likely to happen.
  5. Good choice after skipped workouts- If you have missed a couple days of strength training workouts during the week, a full body workout will help ensure that you get all your muscles at least some work that week.
  6. Great for general fitness- Full body workouts are wonderful for those that just want the health benefits that come with strength training and nothing more.

There are some things that might be considered negative when it comes to full body workouts. They are as follows:

  1. No special focus on certain parts of the body- If you are wanting to build up certain muscles, you may not be able to do that with full body workouts. this is because you are working more than one area and are likely not doing a lot of the “small” movements.
  2. Too tough on the body- Depending on how many exercises are in the workout and how it is arranged, it may be really hard on your body. This may mean that doing the full body workouts three times a week could be too much and lead to injuries (such as tears and tendonitis).
  3. May take more time- Depending on the full body workout you are doing, it may take more time than a workout that only focuses on one part of the body.

There are quite a few different full body workouts that you can find around the internet. They are usually arranged in straight set, superset, tri-set, circuit set and descending set form.

If you don’t have a weight set-don’t worry! There are plenty of great fully body workouts that only use body weight.

Full body workouts can be done 1-3 times a week. This means they can be the sole strength training workouts of your routine or combined with other ones. It is important to make sure to listen to your body and take off extra days as needed.

Explanation on my full body workout

This workout is a good one! You do not need a workout bench for it (I don’t have one!), you will need dumbbells for it though.

It has three circuits (A,B and C) that have five exercises each. For each circuit, you are to work through the five exercises with minimal rest in between each. After the five exercises are done, you will rest. This all should then be done two more times for a total of three for each circuit.

Circuits A and B use weights (you can use a dumbbell set, adjustable dumbbells or barbells). You are to do 12-15 reps per exercise. This means the weights you choose needs to be light enough to get up to that number range.

Circuit C is all body weight which involves push ups (three types), jump squats and jump lunges. You are to do each exercise 12-15 times (or as many as you can). This circuit can be scrapped if you are too tired from A and B. It is just to give the muscles a little extra work and a bit more of a burn.

This full body workout can be done as the sole strength training workouts for the week. Another option is to do one of the these workouts with the other two days as heavier lifting- focusing on the upper body and lower body.

This is more of an endurance workout than a muscle size booster. If you are going for the latter, this might not be the right workout for you. You could do it every once in a while though as you will still get a good exercise session in when you do it.

If you have the time and will, you could get some cardio in on the days you do this full body workout. The reps and circuit style of the workout will provide a cardio-like effect though so you may not even need to.

My full body workout

Circuit A (done 3x; 12-15 reps per each exercise)-

A1. Chest press

A2. Regular squats

A3. Bent over rows

A4. Regular deadlifts

A5. Weighted crunches

Circuit B (done 3x; 12-15 reps per each exercise)-

B1. Shoulder press

B2. Narrow squats (feet together)

B3. Hammer curls

B4. Single leg deadlifts (12-15 reps per each leg)

B5. Bicycle crunches

Circuit C (done 3x; 12-15 reps or as many as you can)-

C1. Regular push ups

C2. Narrow grip push ups

C3. Staggered hand push ups

C4. Jump squats

C5. Jump lunges

So there you have it!

This is the workout I created a while ago now. I use it sporadically when I want a break from my regular split workout routine and I always enjoy it.

I would highly recommend trying it sometime if you are looking for a full body workout to do. If you do try it, let me know how it goes!

Thanks for reading!

#dumbbells #dumbbellset #powerblock #workout #homeworkouts #homegym #strengthtraining #physique #fitness #health