Here Is How I Get Through My Tough Workouts!

Here Is How I Get Through My Tough Workouts!

I love to workout at home. It is more “relaxed” that way. There is no waiting for equipment, having to hurry up so someone else can use the equipment, possibly getting sick from some infectious person that decided they needed to workout, having to listen to annoying people chatter etc.

Another thing I love about working out from home is the ability to turn on whatever I want for entertainment! It really helps to make my workouts successful.

If you want to know what I have used and currently use as entertainment during my exercise sessions, then read on!

Before college- magazines and music

When I first started working out on a weekly basis, I would read magazines on the cardio machines. This meant that I was not getting the best cardio work in that I could. I mean, who can read when they are doing high intensity intervals?

At that point in time, I thought steady state cardio was great for my fitness. It was extremely boring though so that is why I read magazines while doing it.

I was so naive back then!

When it came to doing weightlifting at the gym, there was only one TV and quite a few other people there. This meant that I would most likely not get a choice on what to turn on. I was at the mercy of what others wanted which always seemed to be some awful program.

Because of not liking what other people picked on the TV, I decided to just wear my Ipod on my arm and listen to a mix of songs while lifting weights.

College days-Nothing!

During my time at college, I loved going to the gym.

I was somehow able to get through my workouts with absolutely no entertainment. There was no television, no music that would be playing, no magazines and I did not feel like bringing my Ipod with me.

I got in some awesome workouts despite not having the extra boost of motivation from TV and music.

After college

When I graduated and moved back home, I started going back to the same local gym I had gone to before.

This time I was armed with the knowledge that having a great workout meant that I would not be able to read on the cardio machine I was on. Because of this, I did tough cardio sessions-keeping them short but effective.

For the weightlifting at the gym, I was used to having no entertainment. That meant I just did whatever I was going to do and left. No music and no hoping I would get a turn with the TV.

Fast forward to now

Ended up working out to this zombie movie on Netflix before making this post!

I have been working out 100% at home since I got my first house in 2012. I ended my gym membership and bought Powerblock weights (they go up to 50 pounds per hand) that I still use.

For my very first workout in my first home, I put on a show that I liked at that time (I think it was Dog The Bounty Hunter, haha!). It was really fun and I have been putting on shows during my workouts ever since!

I do not care what any one has to say about having the TV on while working out. It motivates me and I still get quality exercise sessions in each week.

When I close the door to my bedroom each night I exercise, it is my special time. I get to do something that is healthy for my body while watching things that make me happy. It is my definition of self-care.

So here is what I have been turning on lately:

  1. Monk (Amazon Prime)- This was one of my favorite shows a few years ago and I decided to start watching it again.
  2. Paternity Court (Roku channel)- The trashiness keeps me going.
  3. Golden Girls (Hulu)- I love this feel-good show!
  4. Working Moms (Netflix)- Super fun show!
  5. X-Files- Has been my favorite show since I was seven!

I will have to look through the streaming services and compile a list of other shows to watch soon!

Exercising is fun to me

Saying that might sound really weird to some, but it is true. I have figured out what makes it tolerable for me.

It is important for everyone to find ways to make exercise something they can do each week! You do not have to necessarily be excited about your workouts but at least be able to get through them and be consistent.

What do you watch/listen to when you workout?

Thanks for reading!

#exercise #fitness #homegym #weightlifting #hiit #health #netflix #hulu #amazonprime #roku

Here Is My Workout Routine! What Is Yours?

Here Is My Workout Routine! What Is Yours?

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!

Weightlifting days

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

Lower body-

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

Cardio days

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!

Off Days

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.

What workouts are you doing or planning to do?

#homeworkouts #weightlifting #fitness #homegym #cardio #yoga #health

PCOS And Exercise

PCOS And Exercise

Yay for arm definition!

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:

  1. Lowered fasting glucose levels
  2. Waist circumference reduction
  3. Blood pressure reduction
  4. 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.

Anecdotal reports

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?

Thanks for reading!

Sources-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26587847

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29927897

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25430509

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3289164/

http://www.sjosm.org/article.asp?issn=1319-6308;year=2017;volume=17;issue=3;spage=123;epage=128;aulast=Shetty

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3115385/

#health #fitness #weightloss #weightlifting #diet #pcosawareness #pcos #womenshealth

My Least Favorite Lower Body Exercise

My Least Favorite Lower Body Exercise

We all have exercises that we dislike more than the other ones that we do.  The sense of dread might rise within when it is next in the workout routine or we are cursing to ourselves as we are doing it.

As one is doing the particular exercise, they could have the mindset that it will be over soon. This may power them to get through it mentally and physically.

If one really despises it, then they should assess if it truly needs to be part of their workout routine. An alternative exercise could be chosen since there are a lot of different types to choose from.

To have a healthy life and reach fitness goals a person needs to arrange their workouts so that it is at least tolerable for them. There are days where one might not want to work out at all but overall there should be enough interest in the routine that it can be done somewhat consistently.

I have to admit that overall, lower body workout days fill me with dread. As in, I really do not like that type of workout concentration. Upper body days are where it is at for me. That being said, I would never choose to not have lower body days in my workout routine because I know that they are important.

There is one lower body exercise that  will never be tolerable for me. Do you want to know what it is? Read on!

I hate them!

Ready? My least favorite lower body exercise is (drum roll please)…

834df455372aed57e29eed322deb8617--dumbbell-squat-palms

Squats!

Yes, that is right. I do not like doing these at all. No matter how much I try to force myself to like doing them, it never works. I have to just face that I will never like them.

Squats are seen as an essential exercise in lower body weight lifting. It is said to work the full body especially the butt, hips, thighs, quads, and hamstrings. It is also called a “functional exercise” as doing it helps in our everyday lives(https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/strength-training-101-how-to-squat-properly).

It seems to have become a popular thing in social media for the past few years. There are dozens of Pinterest pins and Instagram posts about doing squats to build a better booty. They usually include pictures of backsides that are considered to be the most aesthetically pleasing  for inspiration purposes.

In short, squats are wonderful for us! I still hate them regardless. There are a variety of different types of squats that can be done and I hate them all. I do put them into my lower body workout days but I am screaming inside my head during each set.

Doing squats feels so uncomfortable and strange to me. I have went over my form through videos and with a personal trainer to make sure I am doing them correctly. Unfortunately, it did not matter or make a difference. They just do not feel right to me. I hate them!

I will continue to do them anyways in order to keep a relatively nice booty on me. There will never be a day that I will like them though.

Are there any lower body exercises you dislike/hate/despise?

 

War Room Strategies

War Room Strategies

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3.  Aerobic work (2)- This involves doing twenty to thirty minutes of steady state cardio after your two lactate inducing workouts.
  4. 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.

Check it out!

https://www.t-nation.com/training/destroying-fat