A Lifestylye Blog

Monday, November 20, 2017

Making it to the Gym- My Current Favorite Workout Circuit

Making it to the gym with a toddler and working from home is already enough of a challenge as it is! Throw in colder weather, busy holiday schedules and the usual mental barriers and it's so easy to just throw in the towel and chill on the couch.

I had these lofty plans to highlight some of my favorite healthy Thanksgiving side dish recipes this week, but time and lack of good lighting just did not allow. We enjoyed some of them at a lovely Friendsgiving- which is a great opportunity to practice Thanksgiving dishes ahead of the big day. I had hoped to shoot photos of them perfectly placed in platters with floods of beautiful natural light and garnishes. But I ended up being in a mad dash once they were finished cooking (my yams took 3hrs+ !!) as we were rushing to make it to the dinner in time. Ahh- perhaps next year. Or for this year's Christmas dinner! If I can get some nice photos in of our dishes during dinner this week. My family prepares a lot of the same dishes for both Thanksgiving and Christmas :)

So, instead, this week I thought it would be great to highlight my current favorite workout circuit. As some of us have Thanksgiving Day off and maybe even the day after, making it to the gym may not be a top priority as we want to spend quality time with friends, family and other loved ones. This workout circuit can be done at home or a gym. All you need are some tennis shoes, resistance bands and a sturdy chair. Make sure to properly warm up! (I usually foam roll for 5 minutes and do leg kicks to the front and the side to loosen up my hips)

See below for more details!

These shots are how our mornings typically go- my first goal about four mornings per week is to move as quickly as I can to get Chaya and myself out of the house to get my workout in before my work appointments begin. I do this workout outlined below at least once per week and rotate the other days with heavy lifting or intervals on the spin bike or stair-master. I don't have the fanciest gear or outfits and my goal is all about putting in as much work and sweat as I can in the shortest amount of time.

My Current Favorite High-Intensity Interval Training Circuit:
  1. 20 burpees
  2. 200m sprint x2 (0.12 distance x2 on the treadmill) or half a lap x2 around the track depending on your fitness level. If at home, you can use the RunKeeper app and track your distance around the block of your neighborhood. I consider a good sprint to be 80% exertion. 100% means you are in pain putting everything you can into it, 50% would be a comfortable jog. Sometimes I will take advantage of the sled at the gym and push those 20m to change things up.
  3. 30 step ups on to a sturdy chair or stair (if at the gym I use boxes) alternating one leg at a time. (Make sure you are pushing off of your heel, keeping your back straight and activating your glutes as you bring your knee up to your chest. Reaching the alternating arm up to the sky can help you maintain good back posture during this movement). Try adding dumbbells, push-ups in-between each leg or a little hop at the top of the step to increase the difficulty. 
  4. Side squat steps using highest resistance band possible maintaining good form. This movement is done in a squat position while stepping to the side. 20 steps each side x5. To prevent injury: our backs should be straight and not leaning forward, knees slightly pointed outwards and emphasis placed on heels (we should still be able to see our toes; i.e. knees not leaning too far forward). I will usually carry a 25lb weight when doing these as well. 
Repeat this 5 times with minimal rest in-between each movement and only taking breaks for water as needed! This workout is high-intensity and usually takes me about 45-50 minutes. I am always drenched in sweat after this circuit. It is full body and builds strength while also enlisting aerobic cardio. Treat yourself to a good burn and it will feel so good once finished.

Have a wonderful, joy-filled and healthy Thanksgiving!

3 John 1:2
Dear Friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.


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