the day to day | workouts

It has been a few weeks since my last day to day post and even longer since my last workout post.  The day to day series started as a way to document different aspects of my daily life.  It was meant to give you a little history into how all of this came to be.  Since the start of my blog my focus has been always evolving.  It started to avoid boredom while unemployed, to learn photography, to document my cooking adventures, to share my daily meals, and to talk about my workouts.  While I still do all of those things intermittently, my main focus is now on photography, recipes, and sharing the enjoyment I find in food. 

Just as it says in my header, “create. photograph. eat.” 

photo 1

With that, this will most likely be the last “official” workout post you see.  I will still share our outdoor adventures [snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.] but nothing too formal about what I do on a daily basis.   Being active is a part of my daily life.  It’s like taking a shower or eating breakfast.  It just happens and keeps me balanced and calm.  So if you wonder what I’m doing on a daily basis, this is it.

  • My workouts change with the season.  Well, maybe bi-yearly.  In late spring, summer, and early fall I crave longer stints of cardio.  Mainly cycling outdoors, as I no longer run from a foot injury that still haunts me from time to time.  Chris and I enjoy cycling and try to get out for a long ride together once a week.  Beyond that, I try to ride 2-3x per week.  1 of those workouts will be HIIT [high intensity interval training] workouts on our cycling trainer. 
  • In the winter I tend to enjoy lifting more.  While it seems funny during the winter months, I try to focus my cardio outside and make it less formal.  I keep the dog walks more rigorous [helpful if there is snow to trudge through!], snowboard about once per week, and snowshoe whenever possible.  I supplement with the bike trainer 1-2x per week.  I just started snowshoeing last winter and absolutely love it.  More than hiking!  Definitely looking forward to getting out in the snow even more this winter.

Here is an example of one of my HIIT workouts:

  1. bike warm-up 2-4 minutes
  2. 1.5 minutes at about 60% on medium resistance
  3. 30 seconds at 80-90% on the same resistance
  4. repeat 2+3 for a total of 3 rounds [6 minutes]
  5. hop off bike: 15 pushups – 10 ab rollouts with ab wheel – 12 knees to chest ab crunches hanging from doorway pull up bar – 10 tricep dips with feet elevated and hands behind on a low table
  6. 1.5 minutes at about 60% on medium resistance
  7. 30 seconds at 80-90% on the same resistance
  8. repeat 6+7 for a total of 2 rounds [4 minutes]
  9. hop off bike: 15 pushups – 10 ab rollouts with ab wheel – 12 knees to chest ab crunches hanging from pull up bar – 10 tricep dips with feet elevated and hands behind on a low table
  10. repeat steps 2 – 9 for one more full round
  11. cool-down 2-4 minutes

total workout time [without warm-up + cool-down] = appx. 26-28 minutes

photo 2

Other current facts about my workouts:

  • I lift about 2x a week at home. 
  • I have 10lb, 15lb, 20lb, and 25lb dumbbells, but no bars or benches as we’re extremely short on space.
  • In the winter I lift 3x per week and get outside for cardio as much as possible.
  • my home gym: workout mat, yoga mat, balance ball, pull-up bar, ab wheel
  • I walk the dogs at a casual pace about 6x per week for an hour total [30 minutes per dog]. 
  • Typically, I take 1 full rest day per week and 1 day where I only walk the dogs.
  • Many days my only cardio ends up being a more rigorous dog walk.
  • I do an ab workout about every other day consisting of about 4-7 different moves.  I’m always changing up my ab routine which I have found to be very beneficial. 
  • My favorite current ab move is holding plank for 10 seconds then resting for 3 seconds, repeating for just over 1 minute.  I’ll do 3-5 sets of that and be burning by the end.  [Thanks to Gina for this one!]
  • I incorporate a lot of pushups into my workouts.
  • I do a lot of assisted pull-ups by transferring some of my weight to a chair placed directly under my feet.  I change the grip positions to work different muscles and typically do about 3 sets of 8 reps, 2-3x per week.
  • I can currently complete 3 chin ups [palms facing you] and 1 true pull up [palms away from you].
  • I’ll typically lift two body parts in one day and do about 5-6 moves for each.  ex: biceps + shoulder, back + triceps, etc.
  • When I’m short on time I rely on dog walks, pushups, pull-ups, and abs – happens frequently!
  • I don’t focus on weight or percentages, but have found that my comfortable-to-maintain weight fluctuates between 130 – 135 lbs.  -- I’m 5’4”
  • My upper body is much more naturally lean + toned than my lower body.

Although I incorporate quite a variety into my workouts they are kept pretty informal.  I have no set routine.  Things change daily and I never plan what my workouts for the week will be.  This is just what I have found to work best for me.  My thought process may go something like this…

- what did I do yesterday? cardio/abs/dog walk – okay, today will be dog walk + lifting – what body parts did I lift last? biceps + shoulders – okay, today I’ll lift chest + back

No real science behind my strategy except for these few things:  I don’t lift two days in a row.  I never do HIIT workouts back to back.  If I have the chance to do an informal workout like hiking, biking, etc. that will always be chosen over working out at home.  I walk or bike around town instead of taking the car as much as possible.

photo 3

This past winter I completed the first 2 phases of Jamie Eason’s Livefit program [just the workouts, not the eating plan].  It was fairly hard to complete at home with only dumbbells.  I also found it pretty boring.  Not saying it was easy, definitely not, but it was just too regimented for me.  What did I like about the program?  It got me to change up my lifting routine and figure out numerous new moves to do with dumbbells at home.  I was constantly checking Google for dumbbell modifications which got me out of a major lifting rut.

Swimming was part of my weekly routine for about 1.5 years, but I slipped out of it this past winter.  I’m hoping to get back into swimming 1x/week sometime soon.  I absolutely loved my time in the pool.

This is not meant to be advice on how you should workout.  It’s just meant to show you my workout mentality.  Basically, I have no set routine and am always changing things up. 

photo 4

Like I said before, to me, working out is like second nature.  I do what feels right that day, focus on staying active, and most importantly enjoy what I’m doing.

Now let’s get back to the food, shall we?


…photos are from our recent trip home from the wedding through Rocky Mountain National Park…