We all know that exercise is an important part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Sometimes though, it’s difficult to decide how to begin a workout routine. Other times, we get comfortable doing the same routine and need some inspiration or a push to try something different. Either way, I’m right there with you. That’s why today I thought I'd share a real-life peek into what a workout week looks like for me. While my workout routine is not identical to this one every week, it gives you a good idea of how I train my body on a “normal” week. My hope is that it will provide guidance or inspire new ideas you haven’t tried before! Enjoy!
Monday: Strength Class at My Gym
If you belong to a gym, taking a strength-based class can be a great way to introduce weight training into your weekly routine. Classes help relieve the pressure of having to figure out what to do, and provide guidance and instruction to get you started. If you’ve been in a well established workout routine, maybe you’re like me and love to be pushed a little harder than you might on your own.
Tuesday: Tempo-based Cardio
I’ve written about this style of workout before and it's truly still one of my favorites. I always look forward to this day in my workout schedule. I enjoy it for several reasons. Honestly though, the predominant reason I love this so much is that it’s worship for me. I always workout to worship music. With this style of workout in particular though, I'm really able to get lost in the words and inevitably my body follows my spirit. My workout simply ends up being the physical response - the outpouring - of what’s happening in my spirit. I pray you’ll try it!
(I love the Jeremy Camp station on Pandora for this workout)
I use my elliptical machine for this type of workout. I perform exercise on the highest resistance setting (adjust to your appropriate fitness level) for 45-50 minutes. The workout is as simple as it sounds. For the duration of the workout you simply keep your pace in step with the tempo of the song. When the song beat is fast you increase your pace, during slower paced songs you back off and keep a slower steady speed. Trust me, you’ll be so focused on listening to the songs and the beat that your workout will fly by!
Wednesday: Rest Day
Rest days are so important and, honestly, they are hard for me. Rest days challenge me to surrender my motivation and my body to the Lord and keep exercise within healthy boundaries and limits.
Thursday: Shoulders and HIIT
There are so many great workout plans available to you right here on Dashing Dish! If you haven’t already, I’d encourage you to take time to look through all of the resources here to help guide you to a good strength plan. I also really like Workout Labs – they have TONS of really great, easy to follow strength training plans. This is an example, and the exact shoulder workout I performed.
When I combine strength and HIIT (high intensity interval training) I like to perform it along these lines:
- Strength exercise #1 (12 reps)
- Strength exercise #2 (12 reps)
- Repeat for three sets
- Five minutes of HIIT (this looks differently on different days), this day I did five minutes of high speed running (not a full out spirit but fast enough to be super ready to stop at the end of five minutes.)
Then, repeat with the second set of two strength exercises and repeat 5 minute run. I do this for a total of a 1-hour workout.
(Cautionary note: HIIT training is an advanced style of exercise and should be done carefully and cautiously. If you are new to exercise or concerned about health risks, seek professional advice before beginning this type of workout.)
Friday: Leg Day and Spinning Cycling Class at my Gym
I love weightlifting, but even I am susceptible to falling into workout ruts. That's why I love working with a trainer who specializes in strength training. There is always someone who knows more than you do. If you're willing to learn from others, you can apply their gift of knowledge to help yourself improve. I love love love learning from others, and sometimes just having someone hold you accountable or provide a fresh new routine is all you need to get re-motivated. Alyssa from Mom on the Move is an amazing trainer who I personally recommend. I work with her myself. Her knowledge and experience help provide wonderful, easy to follow strength plans.
My leg day exercises usually follow plans that look something like this Dashing Dish Advanced Leg Pyramid Workout or include things like squats, lunges, and dead-lifts laid out in my training plan from Alyssa.
I follow my strength session with a cycling class at my gym (or these Treadmill Sled Pushes that Alyssa introduced me to. Wowza yowza these are hard, hard, hard! And hurt SO good!). It’s a great way to really fully fatigue my legs. I love it.
Saturday: Rest Day
Because of sports schedules and my kids activities, Saturday usually requires a rest day. It’s a great day for me to refocus and enjoy my family!
Sunday: Full Body Strength and Stairs
For my schedule, heading to the gym in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday's works great. I’m done with a great workout and home before my family even wake up.
I perform a total body strength session similar to this Dashing Dish Advanced Full Body Workout, followed by 45-minutes of worship music, and what I can “stair therapy” on the stair machines at the gym. I love this time. The gym is empty. It's quiet. I put in my earbuds and just fill myself up with praise music. It’s truly a highlight of my week!
I hope this glimpse into my own personal workout style has helped motivate you in yours! - Sarah Shaffer