My commitment to working out has always been up and down…when I’m feeling motivated and up for the challenge, I will put in the hard work but most of the time it just drops off my to-do list every day. Consistency is something I have always struggled with. Being naturally ‘skinny’ in my teens didn’t necessarily make me healthy, but I took this to mean that I was invincible…just a product of good genes in that regard…I ate what I wanted, drank what I wanted and didn’t put on a single lb. I also thought that was an excuse to pass on the exercise. I didn’t need it, or at least I didn’t think so at the time. Now looking back on those days and uni days included, I wasn’t at all healthy. If I could go back and tell my younger self to get it together and get off my ass, my present day self would have highly appreciated it. Fast forward a few years and my quarter life crisis is in full swing. I am at my worst in terms of body shape, size and confidence…I guess that fast metabolism doesn’t always last forever hey?! Whilst I think I have nailed my eating habits, eating pretty clean 99% of the time, I have come to realise that it’s my mental health that has suffered in recent years, impacting my physical self too. Mindset is everything, you know the saying “Mind over matter”…if you are in a positive mindset you can achieve anything and this just hasn’t been me recently. Adulting is tough and sometimes I feel the pressure to have it all figured out, but at this moment in time I have no idea where my life is going and what I should be doing, making my everyday life stressful. Getting back into a fitness routine is just the kick up the arse I need in helping me become the best version of myself I can be inside and out. As much as it pains me to say it, I do always feel better after a workout.
Thankfully the bf is a personal trainer and I am finally ready to take him up on his offer of whipping me into shape. We have always been opposites when it comes to fitness…he lives and breathes sport, loving every single second of it…me on the other hand, fitness has always been an inconvenience…the burn, the sweat, the aching, has never been for me. I’m a creative soul so can usually be found deep in thought…which has kind of become my problem. Whilst pouring my thoughts out onto a page has become therapy for my mind I still need to learn to establish boundaries in my own head…I haven’t learnt yet how to to switch it off, so my thoughts turn to worry, which turns to stress which turns to insomnia, which leads to unhappiness, which turns into demotivation, which leads to lack of confidence. Unfortunately it’s a vicious cycle which needs to stop now. So I guess it’s finally time to get out of my own head and get active. I actually need to embrace fitness and learn to love it…if only just a little bit.
So hello to my new workout routine. Using our home gym (FYI, I really mean garage here, which we converted into a studio for the bf) I am using a combination of weightlifting and cardio, but also turning some of these sessions into HIT style workouts. I have already been trying this new routine out over the past few weeks and I feel so much better already. High intensity training definitely works well for me for a couple of reasons: 1. Slow and steady equals boredom and I will lose all motivation, so I need to be kept on my toes 2. Little to no rest at all makes the time pass so much quicker 3. The harder you work, the better you feel afterwards. I am aiming for 5-6 sessions a week lasting around 45 mins to an hour each, with 2-3 of these being HIT sessions where the pace, reps and weights are all more intense. These ones are definitely a challenge for me, both mentally and physically but absolutely what I need to get my arse into gear and sweat the fat away. The weight lifting sessions are split out into upper body and lower body and when it comes to the cardio sessions, I like to change them up every now and again so I don’t get bored, throwing in a little punch bag action so I can box my frustrations away, which I highly recommend.
WHAT I HAVE LEARNT SO FAR…
The workout must haves: Squats, lunges and deadlifts are the key to getting that butt lift.
The one that makes me look and feel stupid: The bent over row…I will never feel comfortable holding a squat position whilst sticking my arse out as far as it will go!
The way to survive the treadmill: Many call it the ‘dreadmill’ and I can see why…it is the quickest and easiest way to boredom. Anyone else think treadmill minutes seem to last forever?! To avoid this feeling I mostly use it for interval and hill work only with the idea of constantly changing up your speed and incline to avoid feeling like you’ve sold your soul to the devil. My cardio sessions are either run-walk-run or I mimic the motion of climbing a mountain by constantly increasing the incline so I still get to feel that burn.
The exercise I have a love/hate relationship with: Sumo squats…they are great for your inner thigh and to say mine need a little toning is an understatement…they need all the help they can get, but boy do these hurt. The burn is intense and I’m lucky if I can stand at the end!
The one that kicks my butt every time: Burpees. They are a killer. It just doesn’t matter where they are in a workout, or how many reps, they just knock me for six! They leave me with dead legs, zero breaths left and gasping for air every single time. I definitely need a sneaky little extra rest after those!