The other day I asked if you would like to hear more about my workouts, and there was a surprisingly large amount of interest. While I’m not a professional trainer, I have a lot of workout experience to share.
A little background…
I think I’ve always been the workout type. It was nothing my parents made me do, or that I felt I had to do. It was just always something I enjoyed. It started with karate, from age 7-11 and continued from there. In high school I played fast pitch softball + volleyball, which both came with a lot of conditioning and off season work outs. During my senior year of high school, we had the opportunity to take an advanced gym class, basically full of football players and a few girls. I jumped at the chance. Plyometrics + conditioning? Sign me up! At one point, I was bench pressing 130lbs, which I cannot even fathom right now.
From there was my college routine [Ohio State]. While my food choices may not have been the best, I worked out pretty steadily, 4-5x/week. I was pretty much a gym nut, lifting + doing cardio, with a little running outside. Running was never really my thing. Then, there was grad school [Univ. North Carolina at Charlotte]. Believe it or not, there was about a 1.5yr period where I did not workout steadily at all. Architecture grad school just did not allow me the time! At this point I was however eating healthier and learning about REAL food. About 6 months before graduation, I found Yoga One and fell in love with Vinyasa Flow - hot yoga.
After graduating + getting married, I also started running, which was pretty shocking. It was always something I despised. I started off running + walking, very slowly, and eventually worked up to running a 5k. Somewhere in that time period, I became hooked and trained for a half marathon 6 months later. I kept up with running for awhile, even after moving to Colorado, in September 2009.
Since living in Colorado my workouts have varied tremendously.
- HIIT [high intensity interval training]
- body rock
We started climbing + bouldering soon after we moved out here. I’m completely hooked on climbing, whether it’s just bouldering at the gym or actually getting outside. I love that we have climbing access, basically in our backyard!
Recently, I had my first outdoor climbing experience. I’ve bouldered outside numerous times, but had never roped up. I absolutely loved it!! So different from the climbing gym. Such a challenge, mentally + physically.
Last spring/summer/fall, I would say I was really focused on cardio. There was some lifting that I mixed in, but we didn’t belong to a gym at the time and had limited free weights at home. My focus was cycling, swimming [local pool] + dog walking. Swimming + cycling are both fairly new to me. I just started both within the past 1.5yrs. Swimming started off very slowly. It was extremely challenging to build up stamina, but so rewarding.
Cycling came a bit easier and before I knew it, I was riding all around Fort Collins. My typical rides were 1.5hrs, 3x/week. I became a cardio nut. I loved the feeling after completing a long cardio session and did not miss weight lifting at all. While doing all of that cardio, my appetite soared and I actually gained a few lbs. Not a big deal, but it made me think that I needed to vary things up a bit.
There was no dieting involved, but just a routine switch. We joined a gym, and I started lifting again. Winter came, so cycling slowed. This was about the same time that I began my detox, to figure out what was giving me GI problems. I didn’t experience weight loss during the detox and since eliminating gluten, I make sure to get enough carbohydrates from other non-wheat sources.
I mixed in cardio sessions [45min], with HIIT cardio [20min], and weightlifting. I lift with the intention to add weight + strengthen, not just maintain + tone.
For example, I typically do 3 sets for each lifting exercise. If it’s leg extensions, it would look something like this:
- 12 reps – Xlbs
- 8-10 reps – X+5lbs
- 6-8 reps – X+10lbs
In the past 6 months, I’ve gone from starting at 40lbs on leg extensions, to now starting at 65lbs and finishing at 75lbs for 8 reps.
During the past 6 months, my weight has stayed the exact same. [I check it a few times per month.] However, my body fat has dropped 4%! [checked twice in the past 6 months] My cardio craze was great, but just wasn’t doing it for me. With the added weight lifting, I feel much more balanced. And strong!
Somewhere in the midst of all of that, climbing fell by the wayside. It’s so hard to keep up with everything I enjoy doing! When you stop climbing, it’s easy to lose your strength, so it’s quite the challenge to start back up.
I started climbing again in June, and it feels great to gain so much strength back. In the past week, I started looking into the body rock workouts, as I’ve mentioned a few times. My weight lifting has since slowed, as I’m changing it up with the body rock workouts + climbing for now.
It may seem like I can’t make up my mind on what I like to do.
However, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It’s not really because of boredom, I just like change + new challenges.
If you haven’t fallen asleep at your computer, please let me know! I would love to keep posting on this topic.
I’ll be back in the morning with a new breakfast cereal combo that I can’t stop thinking about!