HIIT + Strength Workout & Life Update

 

Hey everyone!

Long time, no blog. Ten days to be exact.

How have the last ten days been for you guys? They have been BUSY for me, and I wanted to pop in on the ol’ blog and let you know what’s been going on.

So, first and foremost, I left my position with the bank. I am not going to go into details online because I know some people from my previous workplace read my blog, and I don’t think it is proper to dive into the nitty gritty online. BUT – that being said, I have taken on another position that is so much less stress and I am feeling a lot HAPPIER where I am now. That’s the whole point, right? In life, in your work, in your relationships, in your thoughts.

Speaking of relationships, Ryan and I celebrated our anniversary yesterday. We went to a cute little bistro in Nanaimo, and we have MORE celebrations this weekend! I am super excited and will update you guys next week on what’s to come.

Otherwise, on the running front things have been going well. I have ran three times now since the marathon, and I have kept my running easy and at a conversational pace. While I LOVE running, I have also loved switching things up. Yoga and strength training have been my go-to’s when I’m not running, and this evening I got creative and made up a high intensity interval training workout that incorporates cardio to boost the heart rate and strength training. Of course, I wanted to share it with you all! My arms and legs are feeling it already… but that’s probably because I haven’t done a workout like this in a while. Let’s be honest, haha!

 

 

You will need a set of dumbbells (or two depending on how heavy you want to lift!). I have dumbbells that are interchangeable, but I used the same weight for all workouts.

Note: You do not have to use a weight for the exercises marked with a * and workouts marked with a ! you can add weight if you’d like!

Alternating Bicep Curls x 12

*Squat Jumps x 12

Repeat three times

Shoulder Press x 10

Tricep kickbacks x 10

*Jumping jacks x 15

Repeat three times

Deadlift x 12

Row x 12

*Mountain Climbers x 12

Repeat three times

*Push ups x 10

! Lunges x 10 on each leg

Repeat three times

! Glute Bridges x 10

*Lower-ab crunches x 10

*Leg circles (for abs – pilates move!) 10 in each direction

Repeat three times

Note: You can do all the exercises as one circuit & repeat three times, or repeat each mini circuit three times individually, which is what I did.

Be sure to use a weight that is comfortably challenging for you (is that even a thing? Ha!). You want to make sure you can complete each exercise without sacrificing your form. Please, no flinging the weights around!

 

 

Let me know in a comment below what YOUR favourite kind of workout is : ) Have a great night everyone!

WORKOUT! Upper Body Blast Workout

Good morning!
So, home workouts. I love them, how about you guys? I actually have not been to the actual gym in months, because I have been doing my own thing at home. Home workouts are super convenient, and a huge bonus is that you do not have to purchase a gym membership! I’m all about saving that cash money.
If you are looking for a good upper body workout then I would highly recommend giving this one a shot! Added bonus: you only need a pair of free-weights (or dumbbells). I have been adding this into my routine about two times per week after my shorter runs, or I will sneak it in after work. It doesn’t take all day, and the minimal equipment is a plus, too!

Modify the exercises if you need to. I took a 30 second to one minute break in between each exercise before moving onto the next one. Once all exercises are completed, take a water break and do ’em again!

I hope you enjoy the workout! Let me know in the comments what YOUR current favourite workout is right now : )

Time to Hop on the Interval Train

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Hey, hey, party people!
I am here to chat about your new best friend when it comes to cardio.
No, seriously!
I know people think cardio is some grueling task, and yes, it certain can be, but this is something that will go by in a breeze and leave you feeling exhausted in the best way.
If you haven’t heard of high intensity interval training, otherwise known as HIIT, you are missing out! Never fear, though. That’s why I’m here to spread the good word ; )
High intensity interval training is exactly what it sounds like – you work at your maximum for a short amount of time, followed by recovery. HIIT has been my BFF for the last couple weeks on the days where I do not want to run or do cardio for longer than twenty minutes.
Yes, all you need is 15-20 minutes to complete a HIIT work out. Super short, sweet, and sweaty.
Before I chat about what my personal HIIT workouts look like, here’s the benefits. That’s most important. WHY the hell should I do this?
– Kickstarts your metabolism and burns tons of calories in a shorter amount of time when compared to calories burned during a long run
– Effective at burning fat
– Strengthens your lungs, heart, and legs (especially if you kick up the incline – oooh mama)
– Promotes weight loss, not muscle loss
– Time efficient: no need to set aside an hour of your day since you can get it done in 20 minutes or less!
– You can pretty much do it anywhere. Inside, outside, in your living room, whatever!
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That moody morning gym light at 5:30am, pre-HIIT madness.
This is what I have been playing around for my intervals:
Warm up: 2 minutes
Easy run: 1 minute
SPRINT ALL OUT! 30 seconds
Walk to recover: 1 minute
Repeat for 15 or 20 minutes. You will work up a huge sweat, your heart will be pumping, and you will feel amazing after. Yes, it’s hard, but start wherever is comfortable for you. If you feel it’s better to have a longer warm up, do that. If you want more recovery time, do that. Hell, sometimes after sprinting my butt off I stand on the sides of the treadmill for a good twenty seconds before I even begin my walking recovery. It’s all up to you!
You can also mix up your intervals with jumping jacks, skipping rope, burpees, mix in strength training moves. Lots of options to keep you sweating!
Note: I like to do my intervals after so I conserve my energy for strength training, but do what works for you. Sometimes we only have 20 minutes to get a workout in, and HIIT is perfect for that!
Let me know in the comments what your favourite HIIT workout is, or if you are a lover of HIIT as well!

Ladies: 5 Reasons Why You Should Lift

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There seems to be this old tale that women who lift weights are manly and will have ginormous muscles. Well, today I wanted to chat about WHY it is important for women to lift weights, and more importantly, lift heavier than they think they can lift.
There are so many benefits to weight lifting. We will get into that, and also chat about how to get started.
So, you’re ready to start lifting but have no idea where to go? If you plan on attending a gym, it may be worth booking an appointment with a personal trainer to at least get familiar with the strength training area. At my gym they have it separated by cardio equipment, strength training machines/dumb bells, and another room with another rack of dumb bells and things like yoga mats, foam rollers, resistance bands/tubes, and kettle bells. Having someone show you around the gym will not only answer any questions you may have about the facility, but make you feel more comfortable. Being comfortable is HUGE in starting a strength training journey (or any health journey for that matter), as you will be more inclined to stick to it if you don’t feel awkward or out of place.
That’s not to say that feeling awkward won’t happen, because I can guarantee that it will happen! However, getting your bearings will help make things easier in the long run.
To get started means to simply put on your work out gear and get going. If buying a new exercise outfit will motivate you to take the first steps, then by all means, do what you need to do. That being said, in order to begin a program you just have to START, so start now, whatever that may look like for you!
When it comes to strength training, having a plan will allow you to visually see what you need to do in the gym. A plan tailored to your specific needs will also alleviate that, “OMG what do I do today!?” feeling that can arise. Start small to start – say two times per week – and build up as you start to feel stronger in the gym. Soon enough, you will have a work out split (another word for plan) that can target multiple parts of your body.
For me, my workout split looks something like this:
Legs twice per week, shoulders/triceps twice per week, and one day for back and biceps. Occasionally I will mix in some back/biceps on my shoulder days, but it is completely up to you. Every 4-6 weeks I switch things up (providing I am seeing results), and I mix some cardio in there as well because I love me some running! : )
Again, your first steps into strength training may be at-home YouTube videos, and that’s okay, too! Do what works for you and what makes your body feel good.
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So, WHY should women strength train?
I’ll tell you why I personally do it. I strength train for mental clarity, for challenging my body, so I can withstand day to day activities with ease, so I can age gracefully (or so I am hoping anyway), and so I can be a better me.
You can tell when I haven’t worked out because I am grouchy, irritable, and I won’t be as in tune with my body or my mood. This is important to me as I want to be present and mindful in my interactions out there in the world, so working out can set the tone for a great day.
However, some other reasons why women should strength train are listed below.
1. You will burn more fat. Strength training builds muscle, and muscle burns more calories and fat while resting. Sure, you burn calories after a run, but not nearly as many as you would after a good strength training session!
2. You will practice the art of mental strength. Yep, you can do one more rep. Yep, you can lift a little bit heavier. Yep, you can do one more squat. Strength training (and athletic training in general) helps train your mind in that whole, “mind-over-matter” sense, which can translate to so many other areas of your life.
3. You’ll strengthen your bones, as strength training helps your muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons adapt under pressure. Your bones will become stronger and more dense, which will help stave off age related degeneration.
4. You will lean out. Yes, weight lifting (combined with a clean diet, OF COURSE) will help your jeans feel looser and make your shirt less tight. This is because muscle takes up less space than fat. Sure, a pound is a pound, but a pound of fat is more voluminous than a pound of muscle. So while you may still weigh the same weight (which I don’t recommend going by the number on the scale anyway), you probably look a little slimmer since your body is increasing muscle and decreasing fat.
5. Your HEART will seriously thank you. Strength training and cardiovascular exercise is a God-send for your heart. As you get into better shape, your heart actually doesn’t have to work as hard to send blood throughout your body. Exercise reduces blood pressure, and we all know high blood pressure ain’t cute.
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If you are a woman who has a strength training routine, what does this look like for you? Let me know in the comments! Any AMAZING moves I should try in the gym!?