A little over a year ago, I talked about investing in myself and how consistent workouts would be part of that. In the short term, I wanted to get myself together for a trip to Hawaii. In the long term, I wanted to be stronger, more flexible, and increase my stamina. I fully implemented my fitness routine last February and haven't looked back since then. The results have been real and many of y'all have commented on my commitment and resultant physique on social media. So, today I'm getting into what my fitness routine entails, how I feel, and changes I plan to make going into year two. *As a disclaimer, I'm not a fitness professional, nutritionist, or doctor. Just sharing what has worked for me.
My Weekly Fitness Routine
Four to five days a week, I'm at Inner Me Studios taking some form of a group fitness class. If you follow along with my Instagram stories, you know I'm there all. the. time. I grew up dancing and never had to necessarily watch my figure up through college so working out just for the sake of sweating and completing reps did not appeal to me. I crave variety and artistry in movement and taking a variety of fitness classes keeps me interested and gives me an outlet. It also keeps me in shape! Right now, during an optimal week, about 30% of my workouts are lower impact/intensity like yoga, pilates, or sensual dance, 20% are cardio focused like spin and the other 50% are higher impact/intensity like HIIT, circuit training, and fast-paced dance.
In addition to morning and evening classes at Inner Me, I try to fit lunchtime workouts into my schedule a few days a week. I'm blessed to have access to a full gym and yoga studio at my office and typically take a yoga class or complete a burst of cardio followed by strength sets during the lunch hour. Here's my strength and cardio combination, for those interested:
Lunchtime Workout Combination
I start with at least 30 minutes on the StairMaster, broken into slow/heavy intervals, moderately-paced intervals of active rest, and very fast-paced intervals followed by three rounds of the following:
- Triceps dips - 20
- Weighted squats - 25
- Front lateral raises - 15
- One-minute plank
- Complete bicep curls - 20
- Kettlebell swings - 20
- Side lateral raises - 20
- Straight leg dead lifts - 20
- Bicep curls to overhead presses - 20
I didn't go into this part of my fitness journey with any specific numbers in mind so I don't have a starting weight or other measurements to share but I can definitely lift more, run for longer, and am more flexible and open in my yoga practice. My clothes fit nicely, too. 🙂 Over this next year, I want to learn more about nutrition and ensure that what I eat complements my workouts in support of my goals. I also see the types of workouts I do shifting over time in order to focus more on building strength and toning. If you're wondering whether group fitness classes will be a fruitful addition to your fitness routine, here are some considerations.
Pros and Cons of Group Fitness Classes
- Small classes with attentive instructors are helpful to establish form but you don't want to get too dependent on external feedback to know when you're doing things correctly.
- Classes provide built-in accountability but, if you're easily distracted, they might not be for you. I don't look to my left or my right--just at the instructor and myself in mirror.
- Set class times can provide the structure to help you set up routine but you still have the exercise the discipline to show up to them, especially the early morning ones!
- Your schedule and fitness priorities tend to shift over time so it's important to build a fitness routine that has the flexibility to fit more than just one moment or mood. Figure out how to work yourself out outside of classes. Otherwise you might feel like a slave to the schedule and your progress will stall when you travel or get particularly busy. There are times where I'm taking six or sever classes a week and times where I can only make two or three. I try to maintain the same activity levels either way with sweat sessions at home, fitness events, or at the office.
- The variety of classes at Inner Me allows me switch up my schedule and try new things to maintain my interest and help me avoid burnout.
- If you crave a creative outlet, classes like Zumba, spin, and different styles of dance will appeal to you. As a former dancer, I view my body as an instrument and the dance classes at Inner Me allow me to play it!
If you've made it to the end of this post, you're the real MVP. Let me know what your fitness goals are for this year in the comments. Thanks for reading!
P.S. More reading to get you right:
- Corporate Health Hacks
- How to Set Up Your Fitness Routine for Success
- Meal Prepping 101
- Workweek Meal Planning Tips