As a personal trainer I get a lot of questions about what an average week of workouts looks like for me. To be honest I don’t stick to a specific plan every week, but instead listen to my body. I strive to get an array of different workouts in every week rather than sticking to just cardio or weight lifting. I have always been a runner but I used to rely solely on running to fulfil all of my fitness needs. While it is still probably my favorite exercise for relieving stress and boosting my mood, I quickly realized that in order to achieve overall health I needed more than just running. I incorporated weights into my routine in my early 20’s, but I like so many other women would lift very light in order to not “bulk up”. And although there was definitely not much bulking happening there was also very little muscle growth either. As I have gotten older all of that has changed. Now I cannot wait to go up in weight and lifting heavy at low reps a few times a week has gotten me into my best shape. So what does a typical week look like for me? I try to workout 5-6 every week. I know this is totally unrealistic for many people and that is okay! I work out so much because like I said it helps with my mood, anxiety and stress levels. I truly crave exercise after a day off, but I know I am a bit of a freak. Honestly though you definitely don’t need to go to the gym every day but I truly recommend moving your body every single day. This is your temple after all. If you work at an office job 8 hours every day your body needs movement. Taking a quick walk or bike ride will not only help your body but also boost your energy levels for those long days. It is usually the days I don’t want to work out that I need it the most.
Monday: Monday’s usually are my day off. If you are crazy busy over the weekends I recommend not taking off Monday. For most it is a perfect way to jump start your week and get you in the right head space for the week ahead. For me I tend to train really hard on the weekends so by Monday I am ready for a day off.
Tuesday: By Tuesday I am ready to jump back in. I work at 6 am on Tuesday so when I get off I am pretty exhausted. I always bring my clothes with me to head right to the gym when I get off. When I am tired it is easier to motivate myself to lift than to do cardio, so Tuesday’s I tend to do 5×5 workouts. This would be 5 sets of a movement for only 5 reps each. For these I go heavier in weight so by the end of the 5 reps I am ready to be done. I always do functional movements so many parts of my body are working at once. These workouts should really burn out the muscle group you are working by the end of the 5 sets.
Wednesday: I work in the afternoon Wednesday so I head to the gym first thing in the morning which is my favorite time to work out. On Wednesday I have a bit more time and energy so I will do a bit more difficult of a workout. Usually these are comprised of a quick interval run or rowing machine intervals to start out. These get my heart rate up quickly while also helping my cardiovascular system. I love doing intervals because these short bursts of energy absolutely smash calorie burn and show a big difference in my body. After my cardio I will do more functional movements. This could be something like thrusters, cleans or lateral lunges with weight. I tend to do 2-3 movements of each my arms, legs and core for usually about 4 sets of 10 repetitions. Kicks my butt every time.
Thursday: It depends how I am feeling at this point, but on Thursday I love to do a mix of cardio and strength training. I usually choose a workout I am teaching for the week and set it up for myself. This will often be something like 10 moves for a certain time frame. Sometimes it will be 3 sets of 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest and others it will be tabata style of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. All of these movements combine both cardio and strength training. Moves could be TRX pull ups or push ups, squat jumps, airdyne, or slider pike ups with a push up. You can easily create your own movements and pattern for this with a similar set up. By setting the timer I hold myself accountable to continue to work even when I’m tired. After these I am quite literally dripping with sweat.
Friday: Friday’s tend to be a bit of a chiller day. By this time I am usually pretty spent so I choose a long run to break down acid build up and get my body moving. While they usually start off fairly slow and painful by the end I feel great and so much less sore. I try to do 4 miles and up on these days, I take it a bit slower especially at the beginning and try to just cruise and have some me time. This is probably my favorite day of the week. And then of course like all days, stretching afterwards.
Saturday: I work every other Saturday in the morning so after I am finished personal training I usually have a lot of motivation to push myself a bit. I stay after at the gym for an hour or so and very much do an instinctual workout. This could be moves we have worked on that day or a certain part of my body I feel I haven’t worked as much that week. I love adding jumps, battle ropes, burpees and kettlebell swings to the end of my workout to get my heart rate pumping. When I do these workouts I usually end up working out a lot harder than I expect to. I pick two movements and will do them back to back for 3 or 4 sets and then switch to a new body part. It is very much on the fly, but because I have a lot of movements in my memory I can easily do an hour long workout getting to every single part of my body.
Sunday: Sunday’s can be a little bit of everything. When it is nice outside my favorite thing to do would be to go for a long hike. This can be something challenging or easier. As the weather warms up I also look forward to swimming or kayaking these days. If it is not nice out and I am feeling a bit lazier I will put on a kickboxing video or something from Youtube. To be honest that is my go to any day I feel too lazy to go all the way to the gym. There are so many amazing videos on Youtube and I don’t have to leave my house to get a sweat in. Now that it is summertime though I will definitely be spending my Sunday’s outside!
As you can see my workouts change immensely through the week. This is not on accident. Changing up your routine not only helps to keep you in your best shape, it also helps to not get bored. I do my workouts based on the way I feel that day. No matter what I will usually work out 5-6 times a week but sometimes that means just a gentle yoga flow. I encourage not giving yourself too many days off and sticking to a plan especially when starting out until it becomes a habit. Working out is incredible for so many reasons and I believe every person should make it a priority. Put it into your schedule just as you would a work meeting, because I promise you it’s just as important.
You will see that I also don’t talk about a particular day dedicated to arms, back or legs. This is my personal preference and is different for everyone. I love to work compound movements that work many parts of the body at once, by doing this I think I get my best workout and feel my strongest. Experiment with different styles when you are starting out! See what works best for you and stick with it. Also you may notice I didn’t talk too much about stretching, while you may not see it mentioned, I still do it Every. Single. Day. I foam roll before and after every sessions as well as doing yoga and gentle flows throughout the week. This is SO important. I cannot stress this enough, take time to stretch, your body will thank you!
As with all of my posts I would love to talk more about this with you! If you are looking for a specific plan to work with or having difficulties sticking to a routine contact me and let’s set up an appointment to work together in finding your happiest, healthiest you! All of the love my friends!