I am super excited to share that this post is sponsored by Zappos and I am bringing you LOTS of good stuff in this post. I am sharing the workout routine that gave me a 6 pack (which I need to start doing again lol), why I hate the word diet, and how I stay motivated to keep up a healthy lifestyle, because sometimes, it can be a bitch!
One of my most requested things from you guys is to share my workout routine and what I do to stay healthy and fit. I’m gonna take that as a huge compliment, but I am not perfect and so many times I wish that I would put in more work, but at the end of the day I just love cheese too much. Working out and being healthy is one of those things that is fun to talk about it, but when you get down to it, it’s not super fun putting it into action. My fitness journey started pretty much when I went to college and I stopped playing soccer. I played premier soccer my entire life and never had to intentionally worry about working out because it was built into what I loved. When I decided not to play in college, that is when I knew I needed to get a plan in place. I have to be honest with you all though, my most coveted secret is high waisted leggings, they make the remains of my abs pop while everything else is covered up 😉 In this post I am going to be sharing workouts (at home and classes) that have worked and are currently working for me, what I eat when I am on top of my health game, and how I stay motivated to keep up with the routine.
Before we dive in, I am not an expert and what works for me, might not work for you, or it might be exactly what you are wanting! Being aware of our own bodies, how they operate, how they respond, and how they recover is very important to our own personal fitness journeys, and all of these factors are different for everyone. It is super important to acknowledge that we all have different DNA and some people have really lucked out in the gene pool and don’t have to work as hard to get their ideal body, where some people really have to dedicate a lot of energy and focus to achieving their fitness and health goals. Lucky for me, I have some pretty good genes (thanks mom), and I’m not saying that to be like “ohhh look at me”, I just don’t want you to be fooled. I don’t want to lie to you and say it’s super hard for me to stay “skinny” because the fact is my metabolism, right now at the age of 22, is pretty good. I always curse the day my metabolism goes to shit, but for now, I am lucky. There is nothing worse than having someone super small give workout tips because like WTF did they ever do? One sit up and they look THAT good?? It’s like people on skincare commercials who have perfect skin…like OKAYYY. No. So I’m glad we have that straight. BUT before you stop reading, I actually have put in a lot of work to my fitness and health goals, some seasons more than others, so I do have experience of getting super fit and being very healthy, even though I was blessed with good genes. Just because someone has good genes doesn’t mean they don’t ever put in work. Abs don’t just appear overnight and you aren’t born with healthy habits.
NO body is better than someone else’s and if you think that, I would suggest changing your perspective. I HIGHLY recommend checking out this article about body standards for women in different countries. Remember that maybe here in America we have this supermodel ideal in our heads, but when you go to a different culture they value very different types of bodies. Every body is beautiful in their own way, and I want to make sure that while it is important for us to make goals to be the best we can be (which I think is key), we shouldn’t allow society to create the “ideal” image of the “perfect” body in our heads because if we do that, then we have already created a goal that is unachievable.
AT HOME: My Personal Routine
My freshman year of college I lacked a few things, money, time, and space. I couldn’t afford expensive classes, let alone a monthly gym membership, I was busy with two jobs & classes, and I lived in a dorm. This created the perfect storm which flooded in many excuses not to workout. Eventually after a couple months of fighting the freshman 15, I made an effort to use the small gym that my dorm had, however you could even do what I did in your room at home. I focused on a couple things, cardio, abs, and butt/legs. Keegan actually created an ab routine for me that is super simple, but if you stick with it consistently, it works. I actually got a six pack from doing this routine after a few months. Man, I gotta get back on this because I am not doing this now. #RealTalk
You can always do more or less reps depending on where you are starting out and you can always add weight. I would start the workout with cardio, then would go into abs, legs, and butt because that was my area of focus.
Just choose your favorite form of cardio, running, biking, elliptical, walking etc. and make this your warm up. Do want feels right for you here. You can use this only for warm up purposes or you can also use this to improve your cardio.
I personally would jog for about 5 minutes then I worked my way up to sprinting a mile. After a month of doing this I was able to run a 6:45 mile. This is all dependent on your personal goals though, I love to compete with myself so I used this time to race myself.
Crunches x 30
Reverse Crunches x 30
Russian Twists x 30 (I like to use a 10-20 lb weight for this)
V ups x 15
Plank 45 seconds-1 minute
REPEAT x 4
Butt & Leg Routine:
Squats with weight (I like 30 lbs) x 30
Sumo squats with weight x 30
Explosive Lunges x 30
Fire Hydrants x 30
Bridge x 20
AT HOME: Kayla Itsines BBG Program
If you are looking for an all in one program (workouts, meals, support/encouragement, & community) that works the BBG program is the guide for you. If you can stick with it, you and your body will be amazed! Highly recommend if you are looking for something more structured. If you don’t want to pay for the subscription, you can always search on Pinterest BBG workouts and meals and you’ll get a bunch of options.
CLASSES: The Trifecta
Right now, I am into classes and having someone keeping me accountable. It’s helpful to me to really follow through a workout when I am paying for it. If I schedule a class, knowing I am paying for it, I will always go. There are so many classes out there but these are my three favorites that I like to do together since they are totally different forms of workouts. I am calling this the trifecta because there are 3 classes that are all so different that focus on different aspects of fitness but compliment each other very well: SoulCycle (cardio & wellness), Orange Theory (interval training; strength & power), and Pilates (lengthening & toning). Each class is not limited to those descriptions and you don’t have to do all three, they are all very effective on their own, just depends on your goals. If you are a workout class junkie, try doing all three!
You guys know I am obsessed with Soul. If you don’t know, SoulCycle is a “45-minute indoor cycling class that features high-intensity cardio, muscle-sculpting strength training, and rhythm-based choreography” but not only that it is “a powerful mind-body experience” (SoulCycle). I love it because I get my cardio, I get my leg and butt sculpting, some arms and abs toning, and not only that but it very much triggers your soul. I leave feeling inspired and refreshed. Right now, this is my favorite workout. I am thinking about hosting a class (means a free class for you), let me know if you’d be interested in coming!
Orange Theory: Interval Training
For all my competitive people out there, this is for you! Orange Theory is a “1 hour, full body workout, focused on training endurance, strength and/or power” using “Heart Rate Based Interval Training, which burns more calories post workout than a traditional exercise” (Orange Theory). You wear a heart rate monitor that tracks everyone’s stats on screens throughout the studio, which I love because this promotes competition, and I’m one competitive gal. The workout consists of treadmills, rowers, and weight room and you continue burning calories for 36 hours after the workout. I love this because there is a big focus on building muscle and sculpting your body.
The Pursuit: Lagree Pilates
The Pursuit is a Lagree Pilates studio that focuses on muscle endurance while leaning and lengthening the muscles, which for my body is what I like to work on the most. After years of soccer (plus the build of my body) I am pretty “stocky” with larger legs and butt in proportion to the rest of my body. Lagree Pilates is a specific type of pilates that has a different machine, pace, and muscle focus than normal pilates. You can read about all of the differences between Lagree Pilates and normal pilates here. Do not underestimate this because it is hard AF. My muscles shake the entire class because it’s so hard. Highly recommend if you are looking to tone and lengthen your body.
Diet, Food, and A Day In The Life of What I eat
*Again, I am not an expert nor am I a nutritionist. I am sharing what works for me and my personal opinions.
Okay I HATE the word diet, I honestly don’t even know why I called it that. For me, saying I am on a diet brings a negative connotation and quite frankly makes eating healthy even harder. For me, evertyhing is about mindset. The way I look at it is that it is not a period of time in which I am forcing myself to eat healthy, but instead I am choosing a healthy lifestyle. Am I saying I don’t eat unhealthy food? Hell no. I can’t live without cheese, wine, pasta, and bread! What I am saying is that everything is okay in moderation. I personally think diets and having the mindset that you are “on a diet” can easily turn into unhealthy habits or even an unhealthy addiction. I look at food as a means to fuel my body. A common question that is asked when comes to nutrition is do you “live to eat” or “eat to live”. Honestly, a lot of times I am living to eat HAHA. Don’t take this too seriously, but it is a good little question to ask yourself as a check in.
Another thing is that there are so many theories out there about what you should and shouldn’t eat. Paleo, Keto, Whole 30…these are just 3 examples and what works for one person may not work for the next person. For me, I tried Keto and it didn’t work well for me, but I know many people who swear by it! Just do your research and consult a nutritionalist because these “diets” are not may for every body type. Make sure you are choosing the best thing for your body.
WHAT I LOOK OUT FOR IN FOODS:
For me, there are 2 things I look out for: sugar and saturated fats. These are things we know we DO NOT need so when possible I limit my intake amount. It is important to get sufficient amounts of protein, healthy fats, and carbs however this vastly changes from person to person and what you are trying to achieve. I always make sure I am choosing non-processed, organic (for most things), non-GMO, and/or grass fed foods when I can. Do I sometimes buy meats that aren’t grass fed? Um yes because grass fed is expensive, but I am conscious about what I am putting in my body. These are just a few little tips that I like to think about when grocery shopping.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF WHAT I EAT:
As of recently, intermittent fasting has become all the rage, if you don’t know what it is, you can check out this article. Turns out I have been doing this for a good majority of my life. Basically it is just a pattern of when you eat, so for me I actually don’t have my first meal until about 12 or 1pm. Below I am sharing what my current eating schedule is like.
Lunch (12-1 pm):
Turkey meatballs, zoodles, and tomato vodka sauce (one with a lower amount of sugar). I actually find all of these things at Trader Joe’s and it has been my jam recently. I also like to cut up an onion and other veggies to add it into the sauce. This is super quick, I usually can make it in 5 minutes.
Dinner (6-7 pm):
For dinner I always have a protein, a veggie, and a grain. I love lean grass fed steak, roasted brussel sprouts, and brown rice.
Dessert (on occasion):
Halo Top ice cream, I love the mint chocolate chip flavor.
How to Stay Motivated
Honestly, this is a hard thing. I battle with this all the time and for me I workout & eat really healthy in phases. If I am going to do it, I am all in, no excuses. I don’t like to half ass things so when I set my mind to it, I try really heard to stick with it. Here are a few tips that help me keep it up.
BUY CUTE NEW WORKOUT CLOTHES
I mean, this is obvious right? Nothing wants to get me to work out more than a fresh new workout fit. I recently started getting into PUMA’s workout attire and I am loving it! I just ordered a bunch of stuff off of Zappos and I mean…how cute are the sneakers?! Guys, I’m living in these. Seriously, we love. You can shop everything here.
Shop my look:
START ON MONDAY
This for me is major. If I am coming from a period of time where I really am not working out and eating healthy, I always like to reset starting on Monday. I know you can always start any day, but for me, mentally, I love a week with a clean slate and it totally just sets the tone for my week ahead.
REST ON THE WEEKEND
I hit it hard and really healthy Monday-Friday and on the weekend I rest and allow myself to a “cheat meal” or two. I don’t go crazy, but I let myself relax and not worry too much.
SET GOALS AND REWARD YOURSELF
If I don’t have a goal in mind, it’s hard for me to follow through and continue working out and being healthy. I will set weekly goals, monthly goals, and longer term goals and often I need to be able to quantify the goals. For example I can’t make a goal to just “look good” but rather, “make a mile under 7 minutes in two months” or “be able to do a 3 minute plank in a month.” When I make those goals I reward myself.
FIND SOMEONE TO KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE OR INSPIRED
Often times I need someone to remind me or inspire me to stick with it. I like to have a workout buddy or friend that is doing the same thing because I am competitive and if they are keeping it up it makes me keep going as well!
DON’T LOOK FOR PROGRESS
How many times have you done an ab workout and go to the mirror right after and look for progress?? LOL I do this often and it ends up hurting me more than helping me. I like to think of working out and eating healthy as my lifestyle, not a means to have a hot bod. A few weeks in I surprise myself because I start to see progress. Once I finally see progress it motivates me even more to keep going.
Thanks for reading y’all! Would love to hear what works best for you xx