Ah the gym – it’s sort of a love/hate relationship we all have isn't it? Some days we love each other, other days I swear its main purpose is to try to kill me. The outcome however is always good- I feel energized refreshed and ready to take on the day or night. Whatever your reason for working out, it’s a proven fact it makes you happy!! As Elle Woods says:
“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t!”
I digress…having played competitive tennis for the better part of my life I was always in shape. College came & went and then the real world hit…cooking for myself, trying to eat what I considered to be healthy food, balancing work and social life, paying for a gym membership...I put a little weight on...
When I got engaged, I decided I was ready to be proud of my body so I switched gyms and set on my journey. Granted I was "sweating for the wedding," so the workouts were seriously intense, but the payoff was worth it!
The gym I go to is fabulous!! Seriously….I take as many classes a week as I can and I try to fit in some cardio here and there...and two years later I’m in the best shape of my life. Could it be better - YES, but I work hard and never turn down food that my body is craving - including Milano cookies :)
Excuses are so easy to make, so that’s why the gym is a five minute walk from my job, which makes going in the morning or after work that much easier. I put it in my planner – if I write it down – it’s in my plans and I have to do it!
I've done a variety of workouts and sometimes I even prefer working out at home - especially with blizzard like conditions outside! I've found that circuit training and Pure Barre have been my favorite types of workouts. A lot of the classes at the gym incorporate full body exercise, so if I haven't focused on my abs in a while, it’s ok because they’ve definitely been worked out in some sort of fashion!
Below are some examples of what I do at the gym. I'm by no means an expert...but it's worked for me!
~Tabata ~ founded by a Japanese scientist named Izumi Tabata. You can basically do any exercise, but it has to follow the following guidelines:
4 minutes long (whole Tabata Session)
20 seconds of intense training
10 seconds of rest
Total of 8 sessions or rounds
You can find a ton of Tabata workouts on YouTube and the TabataTimer can help with at home workouts. There are also Timer apps you can download for your iPhone or iPad. Supposedly, if done correctly your body will continue to burn calories for up to 24 hours after your workout!
~PureBarre ~ by now I think we have all discovered Pure Barre and the amazingness that is a dancer's body!! I chose to do an unlimited one month membership to Pure Barre Boston when I was getting a little tired with my usual workout routine. The results were good...not great, but I think had I gone for longer than a month it would have been fantastic. My body ached in the best way possible! The classes are pricey, but if done with a discount it's manageable!
~ShockWave~ this may be exclusively offered at my gym, but it can be done on any rowing machine. This is all based around the rowing machine and there are three other “stations” set up. You row for distance and once the distance is completed, you go on to the next station – these stations focus on your core, arms and legs. If your gym has a rowing machine – I suggest attempting to do bursts of all out rowing and then to get your breath back get some weights and create your own “stations.” For the rowing challenges you can either start low and go up or start high and go down low. 1,000 meters, 500 meters, 300 meters, 150 meters…you get it!
If you have any questions about anything I've mentioned or the gym I go to - please let me know!
What are your favorite workouts?! How do you stay in shape?
Thanks for reading,]~Biana~