I started working out when I was about sophomore in high school. I signed up for a gym membership and would go every morning at 6 am, before high school. I loved step class! Really any class. I was not part of a team in high school or a group. I tried out for high school basketball when I was a sophomore and made it to the last cuts. I was devastated. Only because I failed. Not because I didn’t get to play basketball. Basketball was just what I did, because that was what my siblings did. I had hustle and that was all, not a passion for it. I just really wanted to be apart of a group. I found my “group” later in life with group fitness. I felt apart of something even if I didn’t know anyone well and it held me accountable to a time to workout. Thankful I found out at an early age how important groups fitness was to my happiness and my personality type. I saw results. But about 6 years ago was when I really started to see the changes to my body and see some muscle develop.
I have a huge passion for working out and never have talked about it here, on my blog. Nor do I plan to talk about it often. But the number one asked question I have gotten is-“What do you do for workouts??” And “How did you build muscle?” So I thought it deserved a blog post!
Thank you Nordstrom for sponsoring this post
Personality Quiz to Determine the workout for you!
I think the key to physical fitness is to find what works for you! You might need to take a personality quiz to determine what would be best workout for you! For instance my sister has a “rebel” personality so signing up for a gym membership and being held to a time did not work well for her personality. “Ain’t nobody going to tell me what time to workout.” She does great with running on her own or doing a High-fitness class when she randomly wants to drop in! That might be you!
I have a “Questioner” personality. So once I question it and figure out WHY it is the best thing for me, I will stick to it! Plus I workout because it GIVES ME ENERGY! I don’t drink any caffeine and working out is my caffeine. I workout because of how it makes me feel after- HAPPY! I can motivate myself to get out of be in the morning just by thinking of how I will FEEL at the end of the day if I didn’t workout. I hate that feeling. ANY type of physical activity it AWESOME in my book. (I love Gretchen Rubin and her book The Four Tendencies….. you can take her free quiz HERE to help identify your personality type!)
Workout Tip- You will not see changes being comfortable. Your growth and body changes on those LAST reps or that last run that you are fighting to complete. Your body will change if you are consistent.
Consistency is KEY and creating a HABIT!
When we were in Hawaii we worked out everyday as a family. We mostly did short 20-25 mixture workouts in the condo. But were were consistent. We woke up and did it. Our kids joined in too. And Kevin’s Aunt Velda. One morning Kevin and I got to run on the beach while someone watched the kids. Physical activity is important and we like to show our kids we believe in that daily. It is part of our daily routine, just like so many other things.
I recently got a Fitbit about two months ago at Nordstrom! I have REALLY loved using it. My Dad has used one for years. I remember him always talking about his steps and beating Bill at work and “how the heck does Susie get all those steps?” Ha! You know that person. A Fitbit is actually a trainer in itself! I was in love with the pink band on the Versa Smart Watch. Plus I knew that if I bought it Nordstrom, with their awesome service I would be covered!
How I use the Fitbit–
Music- the Fitbit I got can store up to 300 songs, that I can listen to through wireless headphones when I go on a run!
Monitor Heart Rate- I always turn it on when I start a workout. It has been so fun to see how high I can get my heart rate up just by lifting weights at a higher intensity. I don’t worry over the calories. On average you burn about 100 calories for 10 minutes you put in, it can vary per workout but a good goal I set for myself is to get my heart rate up for 30 minutes a day!
Tracking your steps is a great way to get physical activity. On average someone walks about 10,000 steps a day. So setting a goal of 15k-20k would be a good goal. I don’t really track my steps, but I am aware of them. So on Sundays when I don’t go to the gym I try to get out on a walk or bike ride with the family.
Monitor Sleep- One of my goals is to actually get more sleep. I know sleep is so important to our health. I actually sleep while wearing my Fitbit. So I can see in the morning how many hours I got for the week and when I was in deep sleep. This is a great feature to correlate back to any health issues you might be having.
Track Calories and Water- You can use the Fitbit app to input what you eat and drink each day rather then having separate apps- it is all synched together
Coach Feature- I also LOVE the Coach feature on the Fitbit. If I want to get in extra abs, I select Coach, then go to 10 minute abs. It will show a mini demo of the movement then guide you through an ab workout!!! It is pure genius. I use this feature about 3 times a week when I want to do a little more. There is also a 7 minute workout. We have done this with our kids. They love it. We go through phases depending on how much soccer or cheer the girls have. But they love when I put them through a short workout before school or in the summer.
Message Alerts– I love that I can see a text or a call come thru on my Fitbit. So if Finn is playing with my phone or I leave my phone tucked away I can still see important message.
CrossFit is what I do about 6 days a week. I never get bored with it. It is different everyday, therefor keeps my body guessing. It works well with my competitive personality, I like trying to beat my numbers and also having others to push me. But I know many who do CrossFit that are not competitive and they still like it. I started CrossFit about 6 years ago. I bought a Groupon to try out a CrossFit near me and never looked back. If you are worried about starting I would ask around if anyone goes to one and they try it with them! (call your local CrossFit and find out what works best to pop in!). But I tell you what. I have been to many CrossFit gyms and ALL of them have been nothing but welcoming. It is part of their culture. Not only did I gain the most muscle and lost the most body fat after joining CrossFit I also gained some of my VERY BEST FRIENDS! No- we do not flip tires everyday. I think I have flipped a tire less than 5 times in all of those 6 years. The best thing is you can adjust it to what you can do. I workout with ALL different body types. One of my friends at CrossFit is 60 and he worked out for years, marathons and at a local gym. He decided to try CrossFit and he said his body changed, he weighs the same but dropped several pant sizes and also gained a lot of muscle. Change can be good and he learned that lifting weights is so good.
You get what you put into it. If you stay comfortable and lift the same light weight everyday, nothing will change. Try going a little heavier with the weights. Try being uncomfortable. I hear from trainers- and I believe it too “the most important part of your workout is the LAST REPS! When it is hard- push through to get two more. That is where the change happens.”
Examples of my CrossFit Workouts for a week-
Day 1– Bench Press 10×10 (I did 95 lbs and it took about 20 minutes) Then- 3 rounds- 15 calories on the bike and 12 man makers at 25 lbs (took me 14:10 minutes) *Plus 10 minute FITBIT Abs
Day 2– 5 rounds- 5 pull-ups / 5 toes-to-bar / 10 dumb bell snatch at 50 lbs (each arm) 250 meter row (took me 14 minutes) *Plus 10 minute FITBIT Abs
Day 3– 4 Rounds- 7 minutes each- as many reps as possible of- 5 push press/ 10 front squats from the ground / 5 burpees over the bar / 10 dead lifts (I did 95 lbs and got about 4 rounds in 7 minutes) (total time 28 minutes)
Day 4– 5k run (took me 23:28 minutes) *Plus 10 minute FITBIT Abs
Day 5– “Fight Gone Bad” (I love that Crossfit does HERO Wods- in remembrance of a fallen solider) Three rounds of (scored by reps) as many as you can per min. then move onto next movement: wall-ball (15 pound ball, 10 ft target) / sumo deadlift high-pull, 75 pounds / Box Jump, 20″ box / Push-press / Row for calories (I got 371 total reps at 55lbs- (17 minutes)
Day 6– 2 Rounds- 1 mile run/ 400 meter farmer carry (53 lb kettle bell) / 20 kettle bell hang clean at 53 lbs / 40 sit-ups ( took me- 39 minutes)
PS- This might look confusing and overwhelming, you learn the movements. The point was to show you- how everyday is different. And the amount of time I workout each day is different! I do a high-intensity workout for lower amount of time. I don’t spend hours at the gym. Neither does Kevin.
PSS- I want to bring up the cost of a CrossFit or a specialty gym membership. My mom said, that maybe a lot of people don’t do CrossFit or Orange Theory because of the price. They can be expensive. BUT! My good friend did not have a lot of extra spending money at all, but CrossFit was so important to her that she cut out any extra things so she could afford to go. I had another friend who would clean the gym as a trade for her membership. And another friend used to do that at a Yoga Studio. IF THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY!
This is a great workout! I do Orange Theory when I go to Utah in the Summer and the Winter for about 3 weeks each time. I love the break and change. You can guarantee a high-calorie burn on the Fitbit or the system they use at Orange Theory. My mother-in-law, who is almost 60, does Orange Theory about 3-4 times in the week. She loves it. If you are looking to loose weight I highly recommend it. And yes- for a crossiftter who can deadlift 350 lbs (me) I still can find heavy weights to build my muscles and feel the burn! Again, you will get back the effort you put into it! I have a good friend who used to do Crossfit and now does Orange Theory- she wears her own Fitbit watch and loves being motivated by it rather then wearing the heart-rate monitor they give you in class.
When I can’t get to a gym or need to stay home with my kids, I use Open Gym App. I have worked out enough that we can come up with a workout on our own. But I do love to look for new ideas. And if you want to workout from home an app is a great way to stay committed. I have paid to try many others and I really like that one best because it is varied and workouts that require NO Equipment. We did several of these while on vacation in Hawaii and a couple we said “that was harder than I thought” or “my legs are sore today!” You always love when you can “feel” things are working!
Family and Friends around me-
Kevin, 36- works out 6 days a week. He works out on his own at his training facility. He is the head Athletic Trainer for NYCFC (professional soccer club). He wakes up everyday around 4 am and heads into work and always starts his day with a workout. He has a long commute, but he never uses that as an excuse to not get in a workout. He makes-up his workouts but often wants new ideas so he goes to crossfit.com to look for ideas. He is consistent and is great at holding himself accountable to workout and push himself on his own.
My Mom, 57– she just started this year doing a Zumba class every Saturday. She LOVES it! I am so happy for her. She found some workouts on youtube that she can do at home too when she doesn’t have a lot of time.
Aunt Velda, 60– she does Crossfit too! And the days she doesn’t get to Crossfit she does weight training. She is a big believer in weight training for women, especially as you get older. I am all with her on that one! If you want to add muscle- you need to add in weight training.
“People quit too often soon before they see results and give up! Get your inner gangster on and just MOVE!” Aunt Velda
Let me know any other questions you have! If you missed it you can read “What I eat in a day” HERE.
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Kevin got me THESE shoes from Nordstrom for my birthday and I LOVE them- favorite shoe. I wear them running and while doing Crossfit!