Affordable Home Gym

This post is sponsored by Kohl’s. I was paid for this post and received the included fitness equipment as compensation.

It’s January, the month of the year when people decide to get fit (which I love!) The thing I do not love however, its how packed a gym can get at the beginning of the year. I like my space, and sometimes that can be hard to find!

As a work from home mom who has a child only in daycare part time, I also struggle to find time to get to the gym, and always wanted to have my very own “home gym.” I knew it could come in handy for those times when my toddler is napping, or I need to stretch my legs from sitting at my laptop all day. After doing some searching, I realized that having a home gym was more affordable than I thought, and is incredibly convenient for someone with my schedule.

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When I began research, I knew I wanted a mix of cardio and strength equipment, and needed room to move around. Thankfully, our new house has a huge bonus room upstairs that fits the bill. I have plenty of room to move, and work up a sweat! Here is a list of what I have, followed by some explanations:

-Pro Form Easy Strider

-Resistance bands

-Free weights

-Workout DVD’s

-Pro Form Bike Desk

-Yoga Mat

-Foam Roller

The Pro Form Easy Strider was something I wanted because I had a similar one a few years ago but we got rid of it when we moved awhile back. It’s great for cross training days, and is situated in front of my TV so I can catch up on my favorite shows while I burn some calories. This model has EKG grip pulse that monitors your heart rate, an easy to read LED display, a built in fan (yes!) and it even has wheels to be easily moved around. It supports up to 250 pounds, and has big, oversized pedals that fit even my husbands big feet. Never did I think I would be able to have my own cardio equipment again, but I do!

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As someone who has IT band problems, resistance bands and a foam roller were a must. I have a lot of body weighted exercises I do with the bands to strengthen my glutes and hips which keeps that nagging pain away. I try to foam roll several times a week as well to help with tight muscles. I was able to get a set of bands and a foam roller all for under $20, and they are invaluable to me!

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I admit, I need to do more yoga. I have a mat, as well as some yoga and Cardio DVD’s, I just need to put them to good use. Maybe now that I have my own gym space at home I will follow through.

The Pro Form bike desk is something I have ALWAYS wanted. I sit at my laptop working all. day. long. I frequently have to get up to stretch my legs because I get so stiff. How awesome to multi task like this?!? I can get all of my work done while burning calories and keeping my blood circulating. I can pedal for hours! No more excuses for not having time to workout.

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As someone who loves boot camp classes, free weights were also a must. I don’t have many, but plan to build up a supply as my budget allows. My boot camp classes taught me so much, and I can do dozens of workouts and moves with just a few weights and get in an awesome burn.

With just a few pieces of equipment, I have been able to cover cardio, strength training, injury prevention, and stretching/maintenance in my home gym. It was definitely more affordable than I thought it would be, and is something I can enjoy for many years to come. After all, you can’t put a price tag on your health.

Be sure to check out all of the other fitness equipment Kohl’s has to offer at great prices. They also have a great Fitness page with workout gear, health products, as well as tips from top health and fitness experts.

QOTD: What is your favorite “must have” home gym equipment?

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Tampa Tuesdays: Orangetheory Fitness

Before we moved to Tampa, I went to an amazing gym. I took boot camp classes four days a week, and a HEAT class, which is very very similar to Orangetheory. Soon our town opened an Orangetheory studio, but because of my love for my current gym, I never tried it out.

Fast forward to the end of 2016, and a move to Tampa. After doing some online research and not really finding anything nearby that was similar to my gym “back home”, I decided to give Orangetheory a shot with Megan. You get to attend your first class for free, so why not? They asked me to show up thirty minutes before class was to begin in order to get me set up and explain the class flow with me.

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First a little background. Orangetheory is an interval based, sixty minute workout led by a “coach” who trains you and gives you tips throughout the class. On average people burn over 500 calories per class/hour.

“The physiology behind the Orangetheory Fitness workout involves heart-rate-monitored training designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. The result is the Orange Effect – more energy, visible toning and extra calorie burn for up to 36 hours postworkout. “ –(source)

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Upon arrival, they had me fill out some paperwork, and gave me a heart rate wrist band to borrow for the free class. I was shown around the studio, and as soon as the class before ours let out, I was brought into the fitness room and shown exactly how the treadmills and rowers worked. Then we went over to the weight area and he explained to me how they would put exercises up on the TV as well as have the instructors show us how to do each one to make sure we kept proper form.

I was told you either start in the weight room or on the treadmill (“treads” as they call them there). In most classes you stay on the treadmill for 25 or so minutes then switch to rowing and weights, but some days we switch back and forth doing ten minutes on each to mix it up. He asked if I had any questions, and told me since it was my first time I could choose if I wanted to start on a treadmill or in the weight room and they would reserve a spot for me. Everything was very low pressure and laid back which I appreciated because I was already nervous!

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Everyone stays out in the hallway/waiting area until time for class. At that time, the instructor comes out and explains what we are going to be doing that day. Then they go over any promotions or orders of business that need to be addressed, and then they head back into the studio room, get their headset on, and high five everyone into the room.

I like to start on the treadmill first, so I hopped over there and started warming up. Orangetheory has big TV’s up on the wall with everyone’s heart rate, calories burned, and splat points. Splat points are what you earn when you stay in the orange and red (two highest zones). You get one point for every minute. that you stay in said zones. The zone below orange is green, which is a fat burning zone. They encourage you to stay in orange and green the most, with just a few minutes in red.

Presentation is everything! Domino Arts does it for you.

(photo credit: Orangetheory fitness, used with permission)

I also learned that on the treadmill they would use three terms I needed to learn: base pace, push pace, and all out. The instructor calls out intervals such as “push pace for 90 seconds” and then “drop to base pace for 30 seconds” so it’s important to know what these mean for you.

Base pace is your steady pace whether it be power walking or jogging that you could just keep going at for a long time. I think of it as a warm up and recovery pace. Push pace would be closer to a race pace for a longer distance race in my mind. Something difficult but not absolutely killing you. All out is well….all out. Hard as you can sprint or power walk (power walkers typically use a high incline here.) The changing up of the speeds and inclines keeps me from getting bored, as does knowing I will only be there for 25-28 minutes each class.

Presentation is everything! Domino Arts does it for you.

(photo credit: Orangetheory, used with permission)

In the weight room, everyone got a station that has a bench, bosu ball, ab roller device, TRX straps, and free weights. The instructor showed us each exercise we would be doing (they were also on the TV), as well as how many reps we would be doing them for, or how many rounds. A lot of times in between rounds we would row 300 meters, etc. to change things up. I also like that they tells us how heavy or light we should go on weights depending on what we are doing that day. Everyone goes at their own pace with their own weights, so people of all fitness levels can be doing the same workout which is awesome. My instructors have always been good to correct my form or tell me I should be using a heavier weight. They truly seem to care about us working out properly and not just saying cues they are told to say.

At the end of the class, our trainer led us through a quick stretching session, and then the TV’s showed us our calorie burn, splat points, and how many minutes we were in each zone. We were also immediately emailed a copy of that information which I love having!

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After my first class was over, the guy that showed me around beforehand came in and asked me how I did, and if I had any questions. He then went on to explain the pricing structure to me, packages, and purchasing a heart rate monitor. There were three levels of class packages at my studio:

-4 classes for month

-8 classes per month

-unlimited classes per month

You can also purchase a “pack” of classes to use within a certain amount of time, and there were drop in rates as well. Another cost that you need to factor in is the heart rate monitor. I bought the wrist strap kind and it was $99. A lot of times they run specials, and I was able to take advantage of a mid month special where I purchased my package of classes and heart rate monitor in a bundle with a free hoodie as well as some extra classes to use that first month.

A couple of things to note:

-There is no childcare at OTF, which would be an awesome addition!

-I would not recommend doing OTF 5 days a week, but that is solely my opinion. I go twice a week, and push myself REALLY hard. There is no way I could go for that many days without completely tearing my body down. I would say 2-3 days max if you are giving it your all out effort. (also going on consecutive days is super hard!)

-Be sure to bring a water bottle and towel. You will sweat a ton! My studio had a place to refill your water bottle which was helpful as well.

-My studio had lockers where you could put your keys, jacket, phone, etc. while you workout. There  also was a shower and bathrooms.

-If you want to start on the treadmill, get there early. At my studio everyone crowded around the door to get to the treadmills first (very annoying, I wish they would just hand out numbers as you walk in)

-Classes can fill up fast depending on location. There is an app you can download to sign up for classes, and if one is full you will be put on a waitlist. At my studio, if you don’t cancel at least 8 hours before your class time, you will lose the use of one of your sessions that month, unless it’s an emergency. Good motivation if you ask me!

-You can go to an OTF anywhere in the country once you sign up! This is great for those that travel a lot, or if you have a studio near your office and also one by your house. I love this idea!

I also love that there is no time commitment when you sign up, it just goes month to month. If you ever want to quit for awhile then pick it back up later, you can. I have been going to OTF for a month now and I am really enjoying it! I still miss my boot camp class like crazy, but this has been a pretty good substitute for me. I still feel like I need to do one heavy lifting strength training session a week and one run, but this class is great for intervals, endurance, and to work up a great sweat!

QOTD: Have you ever tried Orangetheory? What are your thoughts?

December Goals 2016

It’s the last month of the year! (Insert happy and sad face all at the same time.)  Did you make any big goals for the year? How are you doing with them? What about your November goals? Am I asking enough questions? I’m going to be honest, with the move last month, I didn’t have much time for anything else, and my goals kind of got forgotten about.

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As a refresher, here were my November goals:

1.) Get the house ready for moving: A- Ready or not, it got moved! I didn’t get to comb through everything I wanted to and purge/donate/sell, but I did get most of it done and have only had to get rid of a few things while unpacking boxes. Pretty happy with this one, but also wondering how we have accumulated so much stuff over the past ten years?!

2.) Workout consistently without boot camp: B- Meh. My last week in Mississippi, I did HEAT class and went for a run, but it wasn’t my usual intense 5-6 days of workouts. While I was on the road, I did two hotel gym workouts, and I worked out yesterday in our new neighborhood gym…but I need to get on a schedule and get more consistent. I’m considering starting Orange Theory. Thoughts?

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3.) Get Bella groomed before we move: A+ Bella got a haircut and looks so pretty! One less thing to worry about for awhile. Check!

4.) Change our address on all the things: C- I got our mail forwarded and have changed some of the things, but there are still SO many more things to change address on. I think this will be one of those things I will be constantly doing for months, and doesn’t really get changed at one time (at least that’s what I keep telling myself to feel better mmkk?)

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Moving on, here are my December goals:

1.) Get unpacked: Y’all, we have a lot of boxes to still unpack and go through. A LOT. I think they may be growing at night while I sleep. I am trying to not get overwhelmed and take it one box at a time, but it’s hard to not want everything in it’s place right away.

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2.) Be intentional and present this Christmas season: We have a lot going on this month especially with being new and trying to get settled in, but I don’t want to “miss” Christmas. Emma Kate is starting to understand things about Santa, the tree, etc. and I don’t want to fly through this special time. I mean, we still have so many Christmas movies to watch.

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3.) Get into a workout routine: We haven’t decided what we are going to do yet as far as joining a gym (again, maybe Orange Theory?), so for now I will be running and working out in our neighborhood gym. However, I need to get into a routine and be consistent. I have worked too hard to go backwards.

Are you having a hard time keeping track of your goals or reaching them each month? I have found that printing them out and keeping them in front of me either on my refrigerator or mirror helps! Check out my free fitness and other goal tracking printables here so you can download and print for yourself!

QOTD: Did you meet your November goals? What are your December goals?

October 2016 Goals

Hey guys! Already into another month! I must say, even thought it’s October it doesn’t feel very fall-ish around here. We had a couple of days of temps in the 80’s, but otherwise we are still in the low 90’s with the heat index. This however hasn’t stopped me from using my pumpkin spice coffee creamer and burning my pumpkin candles!

As far as goals go, I feel like the past few months have been difficult to really discuss because I was keeping our big move a secret. But now, I can share more about my goals since the cat is out of the bag! Let’s take a look at my September goals before seeing what I want to accomplish in October:

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1.) Stick to what I have been doing: A+ I am SO proud of myself for how well I have been sticking with my workouts and healthy eating this past month. I went to boot camp 4 days a week, HEAT once a week, ran stadiums every Wednesday (except the day EK was home sick), and ran 2 out of 4 Saturdays. I have been rewarded with feeling great and losing another couple of pounds. I am down 8 pounds since the end of June! I plan to share more about this in a body after baby post that will either be up at the end of this week or the beginning of next week.

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2.) Make cupcakes for Emma Kate’s birthday: F Yall I really dropped the ball on this one. Emma Kate’s birthday was on a Saturday, so that meant I needed to bring cupcakes Friday. That week was super hard for me as we were dealing with some things having to do with our store, and I just did not have it in me to make cupcakes from scratch. I still brought treats for her class, but they were store bought. Womp womp.

3.) Start walking Bella again: B+ On the days it has been cool enough to do so, yes we have walked. As I said before, it’s still really hot here and I don’t want to burn her feet, but we walked twice this past week when the weather was nice. This will become more frequent as the weather changes!

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Oh October. You are going to be quite the challenge for me. This is going to be an odd month because I will be gone 4 days this week, and also a week at the end of the month when we take Emma Kate to Disney World, so I won’t be home as much to do things in my normal routine. But that’’ absolutely will not stop me from trying to meet some goals!

1.) Not gain weight: I am a realist, and I know it will be very difficult to lose more weight this month with two trips. I absolutely plan to indulge at Disney and on my trip week, but I also plan to keep up with my workouts, so I will be happy to just maintain this month.

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2.) Get organized for Disney: We check in the 26th but are leaving on the 25th, and other than some dining reservations and some fastpasses, I haven’t really done any organizing or preparing for our trip. I know it’s going to sneak up on me, and I don’t want to forget anything important especially since it’s Emma Kate’s first trip.

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3.) Sell our house: Yall, this is a big one. We are praying so hard about it. We really, really need our house to sell like…yesterday. I’m starting to get discouraged, because we are running out of time. I know there isn’t much I can “do” for this goal, other than pray really hard and try and spread the word. If you are looking to add to your prayer list, we would appreciate all the help we can get!

Are you trying to reach your goals but struggling to remember them or make them actually happen? Check out my FREE exercise and goal tracking printables!

QOTD: What do you do so you don’t gain weight on vacation? Do you have any October goals?

Overall Health and Wellness Tips

Overall health and wellness tips:

1.) Drink Water: I have harped on this several times on my blog, but water is SO important yall! It helps keep our bodies running smoothly, helps flush out toxins, clears our skin, and keeps us feeling full when we want to grab a snack. I shoot for eight glasses a day, and more on days that I do hard, sweaty workouts. Go grab a glass right now!

2.) Wear sunscreen: Spring is here, and if you haven’t already started wearing sunscreen (tip: you should wear it year round), then you need to start ASAP! Make it a part of your morning routine especially on your face! I also am careful to remember to put it on the backs of my hands. I know when I am driving my car they take a big hit on sunny days. Also remember sunscreen expires! If you have a bottle that has been in your cabinet for four summers, I would toss it and get a new one.

3.) Workout: This one is pretty obvious, but how often are you working out vigorously? Walking is so SO good for you, but if you aren’t getting your heart rate up or working up a sweat, you may not be doing your body as much good as you thought you were. A heart rate monitor can help you gauge your workouts. Shoot for five workouts of 30 minutes a week, or four workouts of 45 minutes each, but also walk as much as you can every day!

4.) Healthy eating: You may have heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen” and it’s so true! I know people with great abs who never do a single crunch. There are so many other great workouts that work your abs, and more importantly, it’s what food you are putting into your body. Take baby steps and try cutting out soda and unhealthy snacking during the day and instead drink water and eat snacks like almonds, Greek yogurt, an apple, or string cheese.

5.) Tooth health: This one doesn’t get mentioned as much as it should. Keeping your teeth healthy and strong is SO important for your health! I brush my teeth twice a day, and (try) to floss every day. (Full transparency, I don’t always floss every single day. Working on remembering!).

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Also, strengthening and repairing your weakened enamel is really important. Think about how a moisturizing lotion can replenish your skin. A toothpaste can replenish vital minerals for stronger enamel.

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I have been using Colgate Enamel Health Mineral Repair Toothpaste morning and night, which does just that. It helps absorb things like natural calcium and, with continued use, can help protect against sensitivity and cavities. (Not to mention it makes your breathe smell great!)

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We all get 24 hours in a day, and doing the above five things don’t take a very long time, but yet can have lasting effects on your health for many years to come. We only get one body, so let’s all take care of it the best way we know how!

QOTD: What is one of the five things I mentioned above that you struggle with?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

June 2016 Goals

I know I am a couple days late, but happy June! I am going to tell yall right now this is going to be a CRAZY MONTH for me because of some family things I’m not at liberty to discuss now, but I am still committed to reaching my mini goals. But first, let’s see how I did in May.

1.) Sell items in the garage: A- I’m pretty proud of this one! I got rid of 90% of the stuff in the garage. I sold a few things, and the rest I donate to Vietnam veterans. It felt “cleansing” to get rid of that stuff and not have it clutter up my garage!

2.) Clean up my closet: A- I put all of my winter clothes in bins on the top shelf of my closet, and even went through my things and pulled out items to donate with the stuff in the garage. I still have way more clothes than I need, but it’s a start and I am proud of my progress.

3.) Boot camp 4 times a week: A- I had one week where things were a bit crazy and I only went twice, but other than that I have gone four times every week, and we just started a new two months session. I am getting so much stronger, and have been able to add more weight to the bar when I squat which is so rewarding.

4.) Keep a running base of 6 miles: A+ Done! I ran six miles two weekends ago, and the other weekends were 5 milers and 4.5 milers, so I would call that a win! (By keeping a running base of 6 miles, I had no intention of running 6 miles every weekend, just at least once a month.)

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June goals:

1.) Clean up my work closet: We have a large closet in our bonus room that I have filled with all things related to Disney travel. I have papers, brochures, trinkets, books, etc. and it’s kind of turned into a hot mess up there. Time to clean it out and organize!

2,) Cook one new recipe: I’m going to be realistic here. As I said, June is going to be crazy busy so one new recipe will be a big step for me!

3,) Workout 5 times a week: Again with the busyness about to unfold, I need to stay strong with my workouts and not make excuses.

4,) Run at least once a week: If I’m going to slack on a workouts, it’s going to be on the weekend when I am supposed to run. I just need to stay focused and put action steps in place to set myself up for success in this department.

Free fitness and goal tracking printables

Last month I was really successful with my goals, largely in part because I printed out my fitness and goal trackers to help keep me accountable. Being able to see them every day helped me to remember to get things done. It also made me feel really good about myself and confident when I was able to achieve something!

If you have not signed up to receive my free printables, now is a great time to start! It’s the beginning of the month so there is plenty of time to set a couple of goal for June. Let’s get moving!

QOTD: What is a goal you have for June? Any good healthy recipes I should try? (Preferably chicken related).

More than Running

I started going to boot camp classes 3-4 times a week last November. I had several reasons for jumping out of my comfort zone, and I ended up getting SO much more out of it than I planned.

As a runner, I was in a rut. I wasn’t getting faster, I kept getting hurt, I was getting bored, and still had not lost all my baby weight despite running 4 times a week/approximately 20-25 miles a week. Sound familiar to anyone? I’m guessing it does.

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(Me last March at the LA marathon expo. I was too embarrassed to show this photo after it was taken. I had been MARATHON TRAINING but was still not dropping my post baby weight. This was 5 months post partum.)

I had “lifted weights” in the past (you know, the little 5 pound dumbbells) and worked out on the weight machines occasionally at the gym before calling it a day, but that was the extent of my “strength training”.

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I had QUITE the rude awakening when I went to my first week of class. Clearly I had not been pushing myself hard enough, and while it was very tough, it felt SO GOOD to work hard, lift heavy things, and get stronger and leaner.

We do everything from box jumps, to sled pushes, to sprints, to squats with the bar and weight, to TRX, to the rowers. It’s DIFFERENT every time, and I’m constantly sore which is not a bad thing. Part of the price you pay for boot camp includes getting tested on their super high tech body fat machine periodically. Not only was I losing weight, but I was GAINING muscle mass. I eventually stopped losing weight but have still been gaining muscle, and that is fine by me. This next session ends next Friday, and I can’t wait to do the test again to see where I am now (I haven’t done it since January).

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The most surprising but yet welcomed change has been in my running. Yes, we do some running in boot camp but never over a mile, or we may do some sprints, but nothing long distance. However, with me only running one day a week on my own, maybe every other week I will run twice, I am GETTING FASTER.

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Let that sink in. I went from running 3-4 times a week to 1-2, but yet I AM GETTING FASTER. I have more endurance, my body is overall stronger so it can withstand longer distances at a faster pace, and I just FEEL better when I am running, like I can hold myself up better. I don’t get winded as quickly, and since I have cut back on the frequency, when I am running I actually ENJOY it now. I’m very close to my PR’s in every race distance from pre-baby, and I know if I keep at it and get healthy (I’m talking to you, right hip!) I will shatter them all soon.

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Why do I tell you all this? Because I don’t want you to wait as long as I did to get strong to benefit my running, and my health in general. I used to get so frustrated with my lack of motivation, lack of progress, and general “softness” of my body, but now I am proud and strong, and it’s such a great feeling. It’s great to be a runner, but my advice to you is don’t JUST be a runner. Try really really hard to add in at least 1-2 days of REAL, HARD, kick your butt strength work, and I promise you will see improvements all across the board. If you have any specific questions about things I have been doing let me know!

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QOTD: Do you strength train? Have you noticed a difference in your body or your running?

Full Body 20 Workout

Happy Wednesday friends! We have made it to the middle of the week, it’s all downhill from here, right? In the past 2.5 weeks I have been doing a lot less running and a lot more full body work, and I feel GREAT. Do I plan to keep running? Absolutely, but I just needed to change things up a big and wanted to get stronger more than I wanted to get faster…plus I knew getting stronger would help me get faster anyway, so it seemed like a win-win.

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I have been going to boot camp at my gym, but the time I go is not offered on Fridays and I don’t go on the weekend, so I have been coming up with things I can do at home instead and wanted to share one of them with you today. All of the below workouts can be done with just your own body weight so NO EQUIPMENT IS REQUIRED. If you aren’t sure on a move, be sure to Google it so that you are using proper form. I hope you work up a good sweat like I did!

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Also, thank you for all the congrats on six years of blogging yesterday in the comments and on social media. I appreciate you all so much. I know blogging can have ebbs and flows so I am thankful that I have such awesome readers that stick around. Stay tuned for things coming up in the next couple of weeks like a Christmas gift guide for fitness lovers, a giveaway, and more. Have a great day everyone!

QOTD: Which of these exercises is the most difficult for you? For me, it’s burpees!

Awesome Total-Body AMRAP

Awesome total-body AMRAP workout (& thoughts on high intensity exercise) - #fitfluential #fitness #AMRAP #workout

Hi fitness lovers! My name is Sarah Jane, ACSM certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor and blogger at The Fit Cookie. I teach different group fitness formats (I even taught Zumba for 5 years!), and one of the group fitness classes I teach is an AMRAP class. I created this workout for one of those classes tried it out on my guinea pigs students. It’s a tough one, but fun!

This workout is a high-intensity weights and cardio workout performed AMRAP-style (As Many Reps As Possible). Everyone spends the same amount of time working out but the number of rounds you complete is up to you. If you are slower, you might get through 3 rounds, if you’re fast, maybe 5 or 6 rounds. Push your pace but take time to sip water and maintain good form for every exercise. If your form suffers, reduce your weights or slow down.

Awesome total-body AMRAP workout (& thoughts on high intensity exercise) - #fitfluential #fitness #AMRAP #workout

For this workout you will need a set of dumbbells (I like starting heavy then dropping the weight as I get tired), a jump rope, and enough space to do reverse lunges and burpees.

Beginners do 10 minutes and work up from there. My class did this for 25 minutes – I was in the middle of my 5th set when the timer went off. 25 minutes seems short, but you need to make sure you are doing an adequate warm-up before the workout (preferably with some dynamic stretching) and a good cool down at the end. With those added in, you are looking at 40 minutes from warm-up to cool-down – definitely doable!

Try doing this workout one or 2 times a week for a little variety in your fitness routine. This one is high intensity, so I wouldn’t do more than 3 or 4 of these workouts a week. 25 minutes of this is plenty! Intensity and duration are related: the more intense your workouts, the shorter they need to be, and vise versa.

Awesome total-body AMRAP workout (& thoughts on high intensity exercise) - #fitfluential #fitness #AMRAP #workout

On a related side note, I have been reading about the 80/20 rule for workouts and fitness. Men’s Journal had a great article about this and I’m also reading about this in my RunFit study manuals. Here’s the idea: 80% of your workouts should be moderate paced, and 20% should be higher intensity (HIIT, AMRAP, sprint intervals, etc.). So if you’re working out 5 days a week, 1 of those days would be high intensity and the other 4 should be moderate/low intensity.

This concept seems to go against everything we are hearing these days! It’s all about push-push-push till you puke, but I can personally say that I have had burnout going 110% all the time! Not even elite athletes perform at their max for every training workout. It’s just not feasible for long-term performance.

What does that mean for you? Plan your workouts ahead of time and include this one as a high-intensity workout in your week, but don’t do this one every day and don’t feel like you have to keep up with other people at the gym to meet your goals. In fact, going 110% every day can make you a slower runner too, and hamper your fitness progress. Your workouts should be at varying intensities through the week, so high-intensity workouts are just a piece of the bigger fitness picture.

Awesome total-body AMRAP workout (& thoughts on high intensity exercise) - #fitfluential #fitness #AMRAP #workout

 

QOTD: What is your favorite type of workout?

How I Organize My Day

I have often had people ask me “how do you fit it all in?” when they find out I work three jobs (Orange Leaf, Travel agent, and blogger) and Emma Kate is only in daycare three days a week. Well first of all I will say, I DON’T fit it all in! Things are constantly having to be taken off my plate, because I am just one person and when I work too much I get sick. That being said, I am able to pack a lot of things into a day by keeping a schedule and trying not to have too much idle time perusing Facebook or playing on my phone. I decided to write a blog post with some general guidelines I follow in hopes it might help someone get organized.

1.) Get a planner: I know a lot of people are into google calendars and such these days and while I loosely use that for some things, I really prefer to have something I can physically write in. It helps me remember to remember things better I think when I write them down and see them all working together in blocks for the days and weeks of a month.

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2.) Use the monthly blocks for “big” out of the ordinary things and the daily blocks for more mundane tasks. Let’s face it, the blocks in the monthly calendars aren’t that big, and no way could I fit everything I need to do in a day in them, so I use the monthly space for things like doctors appointments, Bible study, events at church, community events, dinners with friends etc. Then I go back and use the daily blocks to write in things like my workouts, going to the grocery store, etc.

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3.) Download the Any List app. We stumbled upon this app a couple of years ago and I LOVE it. Bobby and I have a shared list on it, and we use it for grocery shopping. No more losing your list in your purse or leaving it on the kitchen counter, and no matter where you are you can add to it, and it will show up for the other person as well. We add to our list whenever we think of something we need or if we run out of something, and then I will also text Bobby when I am on my way to the store and tell him he has ten minutes to add anything to the list. That way he can’t say “oh but you forgot xyz!” if it’s not on the list, it’s not my fault for not buying it. It has worked really well for us and makes grocery shopping a breeze. We also have a hardware store list, and you can make a list to share with some of pretty much anything you want. It’s a great way to stay organized on your phone when multiple people are involved.

4.) Don’t get sucked into social media. I know. It’s SO HARD, especially when you need to be on social media for a living. I have learned to limit my time during the day because a 30 second scroll can turn into a 30 minute rabbit trail. Don’t say you have never done it! How I combat this is by getting on social media for about 10-15 minutes every morning to see what I missed and to check on my blog, etc. Then after that, I try not to get on again until I’m eating lunch or going to post something, and even then I don’t linger. I have known some people who set timers for themselves. I have yet to have to resort to this. In the evening when I’m relaxing or watching TV, I allow myself to search and browse all I want. This way, I don’t get hung up during the day because I know I can “catch up” later that night.

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Bella likes to help vacuum the rugs. Not. She is terrified of the thing.

5.) Have a chore list. Ah, the ever messy house. It’s so frustrating, especially when you clean your kitchen from top to bottom in the morning and by the evening it looks like a bomb went off. Why even bother right? I have just started doing something that is helping me not be overwhelmed by the big/monthly tasks and keeps me doing some housework every day, but not all. In the morning I try to:

do dishes, make the bed, and do one load of laundry along with one daily chore. In the evenings, I do dishes again, clean off counters, and pick up toys.

The daily chores I do in the morning are one per day 5 days a week, and you could always double up if you have extra time. Monday: sweep/vacuum. Tuesday: bathrooms. Wednesday: dust. Thursday: mop. Friday: Anything undone like extra laundry, extra baby messes, random picking up, changing sheets.

On Saturdays I do a monthly chore such as: baseboards, clean windows, clean microwave and stove, trim bushes outside, wipe down cabinets, etc. I try to do 2 of these on Saturday if I can.

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6.) Plan a time to workout. If I don’t do it, it won’t get done, and since I much prefer to workout in the morning, I look at my week first to see what kind of workout I need to do that day (gym or home) and then decide how to plan things based on the “big things” on my calendar. For instance on daycare days for Emma Kate, I can change into my clothes before I bring her to daycare, then either head straight to the gym or back home to run. This way it’s done and out of the way and I already feel accomplished fairly early in the morning. It also gives me energy for the rest of the day. If I don’t add it into my daily schedule. IT WILL NOT GET DONE. I know this about myself so I PLAN AHEAD.

7.) Don’t sweat the small stuff. There are absolutely times my daily chore doesn’t get done or I skip a workout, and that’s ok! I just try to make it an EXCEPTION and not a habit. There are a lot of days I got to bed with my house a mess, but just knowing I have some guidance in place for the next day helps keep me on track. I like structure, but loose structure. I could never plan out my day hour by hour, because some things just take way longer or shorter than expected and I think I would stress out if I got off task, so my loose plan works for me. Good luck!

QOTD: How do you organize your day? Do you use a day planner?

PS- I am hosting a GIVEAWAY with some other fabulous bloggers on Instagram. We are giving away a Kate Spade purse, bangle, and $100! Enter before tomorrow!