Back in high school I always loved working out. Even in middle school, I would come home and pop in the Windsor Pilates videos and do them for an hour. I always thought exercise was fun. In high school, I pretty much only ran on the treadmill but I still looked forward to it every day.
Fast forward to college, and I really let exercise fall by the wayside. I have always hated the gym (still do) and being at school I thought that was my only option. I went through many ‘workout phases’ during these five years in college. There was a time when I practiced yoga for 90 minutes a day, then when I did couch to 5k, and another time when I decided to try lifting. The thing I found is that I got really bored after awhile and my body started to get injured with all the repetitive exercise I was doing. The worst part? I wasn’t enjoying it (ok – except the yoga. I loved that.. but I got injured because I was not doing any other exercise!)
I thought I HAD to be on a specific lifting regimen, or I HAD to do a particular running program, and I had to follow it exactly. What i’ve since realized is that isn’t really the case. I mean, yeah, if you’re training for a body building competition or a figure competition then that’s a different story. But for your average person just trying to get in great shape, it’s really unnecessary and boring.
For the past two months, I have made fitness a big part of my life again. The amazing thing is I look forward to my workouts and I can see new muscles appearing! I can tell how much stronger I have gotten and how much better my cardiovascular health is (my resting heart beat has even improved!) As of today I am down 7 pounds since I started, and while it has a lot to do with nutrition, it also has to do with the workouts I have been doing.
So.. what AM I doing?
Whatever the heck I feel like doing.
These days I don’t follow any one exercise program. That is too restricting, too boring, too soul-sucking for me. I start to dread the same workouts week in and week out. I realized that I have to do different workouts each time or I will get bored or I won’t want to do them again when it comes time to repeat that workout. Once I realized that I don’t like to repeat workouts, fitness became so much more fun.
I realized that circuit training was the absolute best way to trick my muscles, engage my mind in my exercise, and to get that euphoric high after working out. Circuit training is HARD … AF. I often burn anywhere from 500-700 calories during one session because I am working so hard. Circuit training is my FAVORITE because nothing else improves my fitness, strength, and mood more than this.
Working out is therapeutic for me, and circuit training is the best form of therapy out there. Something about putting 110% into a workout just makes you feel on top of the world after. Not to mention, with circuit training you are constantly doing new exercises so your brain doesn’t have a chance to get bored, forcing you to be present during the workout. It’s like meditation!
If you aren’t sure where to start with circuit training, try searching on pintrest for circuit training. You can also look on Darebee for endless pages of circuit workouts! (that website is what got me super into all of this). BTW- Kayla Itsines also has amazing circuit workouts that will KILL your legs, arms, and abs. You will have to pay for it, but her workouts are really incredible. Check out her instagram for some inspirational before and after pictures 🙂
Another killer workout is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).
When you’re getting back into working out after awhile, HIIT may be the last thing you want to do BUT it’s the best because it gives you quick results, gives you a euphoric high afterwards (which makes you come back!), and there are endless HIIT workouts that you will never have to do the same one twice. Again, just like circuit training, this tricks your body during each workout so you don’t have time to become bored and complacent during it. Plus, your mind will be completely focused on the workout because when you’re working out THAT hard, you really can’t think about anything else.
Pinterest & a simple Google search should give you enough HIIT workouts to last you a few months. Keep switching them up so you never get bored of one workout and never know what to expect — your muscles will thank you.
Lastly..if you really don’t want to do a workout, don’t do it.
You know those days where you feel like UGH I JUST DON’T WANT TO WORKOUT I JUST WANNA LAY HERE? Yeah, we all have those days. Well, some of those days deep down you know you will feel better if you work out. Those are the days you should push yourself to work out anyways.
However, there are the days where we feel sick, run-down, weak, and achey. Sometimes it is NOT best to push through these days. Sometimes our bodies really just need us to rest, and learning to recognize this is really important for a continued, successful fitness journey. Pushing our bodies to exhaustion and sickness is not healthy and not cute.
If you can’t tell the difference, try to work out for just 10 minutes and see if you start to feel better or worse. If you just can’t do it after 10 minutes, your body may be needing a break. Chill out, do some restorative yoga or take a walk, and call it a day. Tomorrow another day awaits and you can kill your workout then.
Remember that if you really don’t want to do a particular workout, just don’t do it. There are thousands upon thousands of workouts, and there may be a different one that looks more fun for you to try. Spend 30 min looking through fitness websites to find one that looks good for you on that particular day. You’ll be much more motivated if you’re excited about the workout ahead of time.
In summary – work out hard, work out often, constantly switch it up, and don’t do things you don’t like to do 🙂
Now i’ll hand it over to you..what are your tips?
Lots of love,