Many workout routines have come and gone in my life. As an ex- cheerleader/ wannabe- yogi/ former cardio enthusiast, I have tried various approaches to getting fit, but I never experienced the benefits and results I began to see when I started lifting weights more consistently.
As of now, I am using an app called JEFIT to store my workout plan as well as tracking individual sessions. If you’re not like me/ don’t have a boyfriend who took a personal training certification course and made up a plan focused on your specific goals (bless), then you’re still in luck! The app contains various pre-made plans ranging from specific aesthetic goals to overall strength training, as well as individual workouts focused on certain muscle groups. I would highly recommend trying it out. The app is laid out in such a way that it feels like a to-do list. My compulsion to complete to-do lists combined with the app’s ability to hold all of my info and records has been a big factor, I think, in me actually staying on track with the plan and not skipping the parts I don’t like. If you don’t have access to that app or don’t prefer to bring your phone to the gym, I used to find plans on bodybuilding.com and they were great as well!
This is my current plan, but I reevaluate it every month or so (whenever I feel like I need to do something new to challenge myself again). Basically, I follow this for 3-4 days out of the week, and then I sometimes add cardio or other activities in on the side. It’s working well for me in terms of gaining strength, but I do want to go to the gym more frequently just because it improves the quality of my days (#endorphins #seratonin). Here you can also get a sense of what the app looks like.
Other things I do to stay motivated and make the most of my workouts:
- Supplements: I don’t always use preworkout, but when I do, I definitely notice a difference in my focus and in how strong I feel. It isn’t a good idea to rely on supplements, but if you’re a fellow caffeine addict and would drink coffee prior to a workout anyway, you might find swapping this out to be effective some days. I personally have always used C4. I also use the Cellucor BCAAs sometimes, which help with recovery.
- Inspiration: I get most of my “fitspo” by following people on Instagram and YouTube who make fitness a big part of their lives. Some of the people who inspired me to lift weights originally are Nikki Blackketter (And Christian, RIP to their relationship, if you know you know), Reese Regan, and Lynette Marie. I’m currently also obsessed with Whitney Simmons and would love if she would be my best friend. These people inspire me because they are other women who are into fitness and lifting, which is just ever so slightly less common among women than men…
- Water: you know you need it, but I bet you never knew you needed this water bottle 😉 It has helped me drink so much more water!
- Food: now I could write a whole saga about my relationship with food over the years, but at this point I think it is the healthiest it has been, which has resulted from me putting far less focus on it. I follow a vegan diet and while that’s not inherently healthy, it does eliminate many unhealthy things from my “menu.” I honestly just eat what I want, which usually just happens to involve fruits/ vegetables/ Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos, as well as making sure I eat enough, and I wouldn’t change that unless I had a very specific/ competitive fitness goal.
- Protein: my regular diet would provide enough protein to be healthy, but since one of my goals is gaining strength and I don’t eat meat, I sometimes use a vegan protein powder. My favorite is the Garden of Life cacao powder, but I will settle for their other varieties. I also love the brand PEScience but I haven’t tried their vegan products yet.
- Yoga: as I was telling my hair stylist the other day, I prefer to go to the gym for a workout and go to yoga for my mind/ soul (she agreed). I just wanted to throw this in there because it isn’t a big part of “burning calories” or “getting strong” for me, but when I do yoga it leads to increased focus in every part of my life, including at the gym.
- Foam rolling: okay… This is painful. And I often don’t actually do it because it’s painful. But I know that I should, and I thought maybe putting it on this list would inspire me to.
- Mindfulness: this isn’t something that’s usually included in peoples’ fitness routines, but it is so important. I could go into the gym and robotically complete a workout without gaining much from it at all. When I mentally focus on the specific exercise I am doing and the muscles I am using, I end up feeling sore the next day and I know that I’m actually getting something out of the time I spent at the gym. For me, a big part of this is making sure that, when I go to the gym, I have plenty of time and don’t need to feel rushed. Then, instead of thinking about the 284017 things I have to do that day, I can focus on exactly where I am and what I’m doing. Bonus points for the fact that this is kind of an exercise in meditation as well.
- Music: these are my current favorite playlists to listen to on Spotify while working out:
That’s pretty much it! I just try to make working out fun, because the benefits I get are definitely fun. It’s easy to listen to that lazy voice inside of your head, but by overcoming those challenges I have grown to genuinely enjoy following a consistent routine and living a healthy lifestyle where I feel like I am constantly improving.
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