Take Your Workout Up a Notch…

There is an array of exercise methods available to help you reach your goals.  I found that sometimes it became overwhelming for me so I chose to try out out various exercise methods to learn what worked for me.  While exercise is essential for all fitness goals, one important factor should be that you should enjoy it along the way, it should never feel like a dreaded chore.  Find what works for you.

I generally enjoy splitting my weight training days up by muscle groups.  For example, I may alternate doing one day of weights where I’m pulling, the next day will be focused on exercises that involve pushing.  But most of the time, my preference is split it up a little more than that.  For example:

Monday: Chest, Shoulders, Abs
Tuesday: Glutes, Quads, Lower back, Hamstrings, Calves
…and so on

I prefer to do my cardio afterward for 30-45 minutes, and I switch that up between elliptical, treadmill, or bike.  While this alone may seem like a lot to some, this quickly became  a routine to me and I was looking for ways to further challenge myself.  Enter: Interval training, HIIT training, and Circuit training.  Although they are similar in many ways there are a few key differences.  First allow me to provide the definitions and video examples of each.

Interval Training involves exercises that alternate between two activities that are at different speeds and different degrees of difficulty.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) helps to improve athletic performance.  For example, you perform a series of exercises using a timer and write down how many reps you were able to complete within the alloted time for each exercise.  The next time you perform that sequence of exercises, you compare your timing and repetitions to check your progress.  (Were you able to do more or less in the same alloted time?)

Circuit Training is a mixture of high intensity aerobics and strength training that usually involves all of your muscle groups.

I chose to use Zuzana Light as my example for each type of training because she was the one who peaked my interest, and I use her videos to create my own series of exercises. I enjoy the challenges that each of these have to offer and decided to incorporate them into my workout routines at least twice a week and it made all the difference in the world.  I felt it immediately, and by the time I got home and showered, I was absolutely exhausted and sore.

What is most important is to adjust your training to what works for you. Modify it to your fitness level. Start off by adding this to your routine at least once a week, then however often you choose. Also try beginning with fewer repetitions and work your way up. Adjust your rest period between sets and as you progress, you can add more repetitions and/or adjust your timing. Trust and believe that adding this to your workout will ignite the muscles in your body like you would never have imagined.

Definitely worth adding to your routine…just start slow!

If you are looking for some routines to incorporate to your own, definitely look up Zuzana Light, or ZWOW on youtube. She has a ton a videos for you to choose from. Keep me posted on your experience!

-She’s Evolving

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Keep It Moving…

I started off having a great week last week.  I was eating clean and enjoyed some vigorous workouts and the “bruised” muscle feeling.  Then comes along Thursday to throw me off my game…

I was reaching behind me with my left arm when I felt a sharp pain between my shoulder-blade and my spine (areas 5 and 6…I believe they are called the Trapezius Interior and the Rhomboid Major). shoulderpain-back At first I assumed it was gas and tried maneuvering my arms around to dislodge it.  No Luck.  I couldn’t walk, sit, stand, or lay down without being in excruciating pain.  So I have been on bed rest, with a heating pad, muscle relaxers and ibuprofen for the past 4 days.

Needless to say, now that I’m feeling better, I am more than excited to get back to the gym tomorrow.  I am at my best when I am working out.  I feel great, focused, positive and ready to take on the world.  When I’m not working out, I get bored easily, eat unhealthy foods, and on some occasions even slip into a depression.  Yes, all symptoms of emotional eating.

Working out encourages me to make smarter meal choices, drink more water, and produce those wonderful endorphins that elevate me into high spirits.  I am happy to be returning to the gym…back to the grind, the planned workout routines that leave me sweaty and sore.

dontstop2I enjoy the feeling of my body being challenged, pushing through the aches and pains to make it to the next level.  If something knocks me down I simply dust myself off and keep going and not everyone understands that.  People will call you crazy, they will tell you to slow down, they will tell you to rest or that you are pushing to hard…basically, they will give you a way out.  They will give you reasons to justify slowing down, and giving up.  They do not realize that they are acting just like an enabler-giving you just enough to stay right where you are and holding you back from the potential of what you can actually be.  Don’t fall victim.  They tell you that it is okay to be complacent.  I say, stay focused and keep moving.  You honestly don’t know your own potential until you test it.

You may lose friends and family, but even then the reality is that those who really care about you will support your efforts and encourage you to keep going.  They won’t let you give up.  Supporters don’t try to temp you with foods you are trying to avoid.  They will respect your workout time and may even want to join you.  Supporters ask about your progress, or will even comment on the changes they see your body making.  That is the crowd you want to surround yourself with.

I am feeling better and ready to hit the gym, but will have to listen to my body.  I don’t know how my injury occurred because I wasn’t sore, nor had I been working on my shoulders, it was honestly a freak accident.  What is most important is that despite the pain, all I could think about was getting back up and stay on my path.  I did not give up, I did not lose track of what is so important to me.  I am focused and ready.

If you find yourself lacking your own cheering section, please know that you are not alone on your journey.  You have me.   😉