The pre-workout routine is almost as important as the workout itself. It’s necessary to be fueled properly and ready to go in order to have an efficient workout. Here are my pre-workout essentials.
Music. I have my playlists loaded on Spotify. Check them out here. Music is a must for busting out a workout! Don’t forget your earbuds and charged phone!
Pre-workout fuel. My workout time varies, but I always eat first. If it’s super early I’ll have a little fruit, otherwise I will go after breakfast or lunch (depending on the day). I am not one of those people who can workout on an empty stomach!
Workout. I always have a plan before I enter the gym. I store my strength workouts in the Jefit app. When doing cardio I will decide on intervals vs steady state, inclines, etc. while in the gym, but other than that my workouts are generally planned out. When I first started working out, I’d load workouts straight from bodybuilding.com workout plans, but now I plan them myself. If I’m in a rut, I’ll take ideas from other bloggers or fitness professionals to add some variety.
Post-workout fuel. Last, if I know I’m going straight from the gym to work or to run errands, I’ll bring a snack to have afterwards. Right now my favorite thing is berries with cottage cheese topped with cinnamon and stevia.
What’s your pre-workout routine?? Anything I’m missing?
I read an instagram post from Skinny Meg yesterday that said she didn’t want to get up at 5am and do her run yesterday. She was up all night with her baby, and the last thing she wanted to do want go run at 5am. But guess what. She got up and she did it anyway. Because she’s training for a marathon and she is a BEAST.
This totally resonated with me. I don’t feel motivated every.single.day. I didn’t want to workout yesterday morning. I did it anyway. Why? Because it’s habit. I expect more out of myself. I had a huge test I was stressing about, and the only time yesterday I wasn’t feeling a ton of anxiety about it was WHEN I WAS LIFTING.
There is nothing like the feeling of pushing yourself harder than ever. I’m now to the point where routine takes over when motivation is gone. I have a program and I’m sticking to it. No excuses. No bull shi*t. No quitting. Who cares if 6 days a week is a lot right now. Who cares how often “everyone else works out”. Do I want to be everyone else? Do I want to do what everyone else does? Do I want to look like everyone else? NO. I want to BE ME. I want to WORK HARD. And right now, I am holding myself to 6 days a week.
HABIT is what keeps me going. Loving the feeling of pushing through my last set. Music blasting. There is nothing like it.
So if anyone isn’t feeling particularly motivated today, it’s okay. Do it anyway. You ALWAYS feel better after. You owe it to yourself to stick to your goals.
Happy Monday! Last week I shared some of the health benefits of strength training, but I wanted to share why I personally lift weights and the benefits I have seen for myself. This isn’t an extensive list ,but just a few reasons I continue to hit the gym every week….
Physical strength brings me a feeling of inner strength. I know I am mentally strong and I can do hard things. I can also use my mind to push myself further.
Anti-Anxiety. I saw these benefits from cardio, but it’s even better with lifting. Because I have to stay focused on form, reps, sets, etc., it puts my mind at ease simply because I’m not thinking about anything other than my workout. And then of course there is the endorphin high 🙂
Self Love. In the past I was so critical of my body (and still can be, but getting so much better) I now see myself as strong, and am no longer with trying to get smaller, smaller, smaller….which is not a good mindset to have.
Self-discipline breeds self-discipline…the more focused I am in scheduling and completing my workouts, the more I want to take care of myself– make sure I’m eating well, schedule my check-ups at the doctor, get enough sleep, etc. etc. It’s a snowball effect.
I’ve learned to love exercise. I enjoy being active, which in the past I never would have expected from myself.
A common hobby with my husband- It’s nice to be able to text him when I hit a PR at the gym. He gets it and supports me.
So obviously there are alllll kinds of reasons to workout…tell me what keeps you going back for more…
[this was supposed to go up yesterday for W.O.W…but that didn’t happen…so Happy Thursday!]
I started incorporating strength training into my workout routine about 2 years ago, and switched to almost exclusively strength training about a year ago. I’ve seen a lot of changes, and I am still learning a lot. What I have learned -interestingly enough- is the long term health benefits are HUGE.
As you get older your body naturally begins to lose muscle mass. By building a foundation of muscle when you’re younger- you will maintain more muscle mass over time, which means more strength as you get older.
Higher metabolism- the more muscle mass on your body, the more calories your body will burn with out doing A THING! [Muscle cells naturally use more energy to keep functioning than fat cells]
Stronger muscles= easier to do daily tasks (lift babies, carry in groceries, etc)
Muscle is more dense than fat (takes up less space). Therefore, with more muscle- at the same weight- you look smaller. [although it is a misnomer that muscle weighs less than fat. 1 lb = 1 lb]
The best way to get that tight and “toned” look! Doing only cardio leads to a “skinny-fat” body composition. By adding in strength training (weights or body weight) you can still shed fat, while also building muscle, which leads to that tight look.
Bonus: endless cardio is not fun! More variety = less boredom
While the physical/asthetic benefits keep me working out, I really love knowing that my hard work now is leading to a longer, healthier life (and more importantly- a good quality of life, free of chronic disease).
Now tell me…why do YOU work out?! What keeps you going back for more?
It’s been a while since I’ve done Workout Wednesday, so I thought I’d share the back/ bicep workout I’ve been doing….
Warmup: 5-10 min cardio of choice
3 sets 8-12 (sets/reps vary depending on your goals) Back: Assisted Pull-Ups
Cable Seated Row T-bar Row Lat Pull Down Single Arm Dumbell Row
Biceps: Alternating single arm bicep curl- Dropsets* Cross body hammer curls 21’s
*Drop Sets means starting with a heavier weight (that you can still get atleast 6 -10 reps with) and then dropping the weight, and continuing until failure with the lighter weight. This really fatigues the muscle, and improves strength!
In honor of Hump Day I’m sharing my most recent leg/glute workout. I started doing legs on Fridays a few weeks ago. I switch up my other workouts, but I always do legs on Fridays because I get off early and don’t have to be anywhere after my mid-day workout….which is good because I’m always a hot mess after leg day. You will be seriously sweating after this workout…..
Happy Wednesday! I can’t believe the week is already half over! Can I just say, Monday should just be part of the weekend? I LOVED this long, lazy, labor day weekend. Spent plenty of time lounging and watching netflix, and was able to find some great deals at the labor day sales. And….we took the plunge a couple weeks ago and bought this baby! We don’t have a TV, but we have a nice blender haha….I guess we have our priorities straight 😉
This week I am linking up for Workout Wednesday!
Ironically, I left my gym bag at home this morning (fully packed, and waiting by the door….) so I didn’t make it to the gym for a workout. BUT here is the back/bicep workout I did yesterday.
only girl in the weight area and wearning pink pants, naturally. gotta love lulu.
Warmup– 10 min elliptical/ cardio of your choice
cable seated row
one arm dumbbell rows
wide grip lat pull downs
cross body hammer curls
[I did 3x 8-10 on all of these– remember, weight, reps and sets depend on your individual goals!]
By the time this was over, I was wiped out!
matchy-matchy in all pink in the locker room…. Happy hump day!!!
This week I am linking up with Skinny Meg for Workout Wednesday!
Tonight was shoulders and abs for me- one of my favorite workouts! Strong shoulders are a very important part of sculpted arms– it’s not all about the biceps!
3 x 8-10 [remember to always do a few warm up sets first!] standing front dumbbell raises dumbbell arnold press dumbbell lat raise dumbbell upright row standing dumbbell press dumbbell shoulder shrug
abs when doing abs i usually do a circuit of 4 movements repeat circuit 2-4 times, with 20-25 reps tonight I chose: mountain climbers crunches w/ heels on swiss ball plank russian twists w/ medicine ball
Today was my favorite workout of my split- Back and Bi’s. I’ve seen progress much quicker on my upper body than on my lower body….unfortunately I fall in to the category of women (which is most) who lose weight from the top down. My trouble spot has always been my legs, and it’s going to take a lot of work to get to where I’d like to be. Fortunately I continue to see progress in my upper body and that really keeps me motivated.
Tonights Back and Bi’s workout:
(I always start with a few warm up sets for each body part.) cable seated rows one arm dumbbell row wide grip pulldown behind the neck dumbell incline curl cross body hammer curl dumbbell alternate bicep curl 21s Reps and sets are different depending on the weight used, and of course what your goals are. I did 3 sets and my reps varied depending on the exercises– at this time I am doing lower reps and higher weights (except for 21’s, obviously).
Now that it is summer time, I’m enjoying tons of fresh salads and fruit and I’m loving every minute of it!
Today was my rest day and it felt amazing to sleep so long. I went to bed super early last night which made it even better! This is my first rest day of the week- my second will be on Sunday. Here is this weeks workout plan: Monday: Legs Tuesday: am- chest/tris pm- cardio/ abs Wednesday: rest Thursday: am- shoulders/abs pm- cardio Friday: back/bis Saturday: cardio Sunday: Rest
Rest days are so important because your muscles need time to repair themselves- this is also why it’s important to get plenty of sleep at night! Working out is when you break down muscles, but they recover outside of the gym! I usually feel antsy on rest days like I should be in the gym, but today it felt great because I am so sore (which is a good thing).
obsessed with these new nike shorts!
In other news my husband and I are now health coaches for Herbalife- if you are interested in improving your health, let us know!
my hardworking husband! (also don’t mind the costco recycling in the background….)