Thursday, February 28, 2013

My Normal Gym Routine

I have been emailed and asked by several friends to write up my gym routine. So here it is!

My goal during working out is to maintain my current weight, while building lean muscle and improving my muscular endurance while strengthening both major and minor muscle groups to prevent injury. I weight train, in the "guys" area of the gym, and I don't give a flip if they feel invaded. Girls should weight train. Period. It's one of the best things you can do to strengthen your bones and prevent bone disease.

In order to maintain my weight, I eat 1200-1400 calories a day. I am being a little less strict on this, seeing as I am breastfeeding at the moment and that requires about 400 more calories a day, but typically I'm very careful about the calories I consume. If you have a smart phone/ipad/tablet I highly recommend the app called "Myfitness Pal." It will help you get used to counting your calories and keep you on track. It also serves as a great way of calculating just how many calories you are consuming between meals, which can completely throw off your fitness goals if you're not careful.

On a typical week, I try to go the gym 5-6 times a week. Sometimes I go all 7, sometimes I only make it 3-4 times. But I try to make the best use of my time. The daycare at our gym is 2 hours per visit, so I can get a lot done in those 2 hours.

For a normal 5 day a week plan + Sample Exercises:

Day 1: Back and Biceps + Cardio
3 Sets of 12-15 Reps of each of the following:
Cable Pull Downs:
Bent over rows: 
Straight Leg Dead Lifts:

3 Sets of 12-15 Reps of each of the following:
Hammer Curls:
Concentration Curls:
Incline Curls:
Cable Curls:

Day 2: Chest and Triceps + Cardio 
3 Sets of 12-15 Reps of each of the following:
Bench Press:
Incline Press:

3 Sets of 12-15 Reps of each of the following: 
Kick Backs: 
Skull Crushers: 

Day 3: Legs and Shoulders + CardioLegs:
3 Sets of 12-15 Reps of each of the following:
Leg Press: 
Quads Extensions: 
Hamstrings Curl:

3 Sets of 12-15 Reps of each of the following: 
Arnold Press: 
Forward Raises: 
Lateral Raises:

Day 4: Gluteals, Bikram/Fitness Yoga (fine muscles and flexibility) and Abs + Cardio 
3 Sets of 12-15 Reps of each of the following: 
Single Leg Bridge: 

Day 5: Long Cardio (Spinning, Running, Walking, Hills, Elliptical, Biking, Stair climbing) I do anywhere from 1-2 hours of cardio. Sometimes I run the entire time, others I may do 30 minutes on various machines.


I highly recommend following all your work outs with cardio. Whether you can do 15 minutes or an hour and 15 minutes, do it! You will build your muscular endurance while strengthening your muscles, burning calories and getting a good burn in before you go home. On leg day, this is the hardest for me, so I might just walk at a steep incline for 30 minutes, but it's better than nothing! And it burns about 200-250 calories while I play sugar crush on my Ipad... Can't beat that!

I listed sample work outs above, most are listed as beginner, so start with what you can. I am always changing up my "go to" exercises to prevent plateauing. There are thousands of sites with workout suggestions for each muscle group. Until you're in a routine, make a list and take it with you. There's no shame in busting out a cheat sheet while you work out. Don't be intimidated by other gym-goers. They don't care what you're doing, I promise. Crank up your music and remember the old addage that everyone started out as a newbie at one point. If you go to you can pick out work outs and go for a weight that isn't too heavy, but by rep 12 becomes a real struggle. If you find that you're arching your back, or incorporating other muscles to achieve the rep, your weight is too heavy, and you will end up hurting yourself, so be careful and focus on your form!

Also, I'm a HUGE yoga advocate. It has done wonders for my small, stabilizer muscles. While I'm weight training, those muscles help me maintain proper form, which is a must if you want to build muscle/define muscle safely! Seeing as I have arthiritis in my right knee, it has helped me strengthen the surrounding muscles so I'm not causing unnecessary rubbing of my patellar. Seriously, if you've never tried it, do it! I've never met anyone (guys included) who didn't love it after a couple sessions. Also, hot/bikram yoga is probably the most fun I've ever had doing yoga, and you can leave after an hour sessions burning up to 800 calories! My gym doesn't offer it, so I go to a studio when I can, so it's a real treat! And the cold lavendar towel at the end is what I imagine Heaven may feel like.

So there you have it, if you have any questions, feel free to comment or email!