I seem to think of the greatest things to blog about when I’m at the gym. Of course, I don’t have anything with me to jot them down, so I forget them. Le sigh. But I vaguely remember what I thought of last night: workout stuff.
1. While I was on the treadmill last night (only did 20 minutes of intervals) I thought of how I used to ONLY do cardio in college. In fact, right after volleyball ended my freshman year, I was doing 2 hours of cardio a DAY. I was exhausted all the time, had no muscle definition, and was starting to lose hair. (Fast forward through xmas break and I gained it all back). My point is, quantity isn’t quality. Hell, I am now in the best shape of my life and I only do about 30 minutes of exercise a day. I LISTEN TO MY BODY. NOT MY MIND. What do I mean by that? Well, I don’t go in to my workout thinking “ok, I’m gonna get an hour under my belt” Then, 40 minutes in, when my knee is hurting or whatever, I push through it to reach that 60 minute mark, and before you know it, I have an injury. Nope. Not anymore! I give my ALL in a workout, and when my body tells me it’s done- it’s done! No more “3 more minutes”. I also used to have the mindset where if I didn’t have a solid hour (with cushion time on either end) there was no way I can get in a good workout, and I would forego the gym (insert 200 lb Jen senior year).
2. That said, my workouts aren’t mindless. Before, I would get on a piece of gym equipment and turn off my brain until I saw the time reach a certain number. Well, um, if my brain is asleep during the workout, then surely my body will be as well. Now, I really think about the work I’m doing. Pushups are no longer a threat- I concentrate on form and give it my all, whether it be 6 in a row one day or 14 in a row another day.
3. REST IS IMPORTANT. Can’t stress it enough (even though I still feel guilty on occasion when I have rest days) I generally workout 6 days a week, but sometimes that 6th day is so hard to get through. youknowwhatimean. A few months ago, I started taking back to back days off- with maybe a set of abs or arms if I was bored in front of the TV. Guess what? I saw results! My metabolism started getting more regular, I was being more mindful of keeping a balance diet (still eating treats and hamburgers, obviously. Oh, and drinking) But I was just more AWARE. And that first day back to the gym after 2 rest days is MAGICAL. I can fly on the treadmill and plow through a strength workout. It’s glorious. My body and my mind are in a better place to get cracking on the next week!
4. CHANGE IT UP. Another thing you’ve probably already heard, but I am applying it to my situation. Prior to the big move, I had my weekly workouts pretty much set. I was a regular at a billion classes, taught another billion, and had a go-to workout when I wasn’t in a class. Lots of stress on my bones and my muscles, and on top of working full time and being in school- I should have taken more me-time then gym-time. Hindsight is always 20/20. Now (graced will a blank schedule 24/7) I have the freedom to change my workouts. I take ZERO group classes, I do lots of at-home workouts, I joined Best Body Bootcamp, started researching new exercises, intervals, etc. online, and implemented them in my workouts. My off days have switched from mid-week to weekend and back about 409257329 times. I spin, run, row, do body weight cardio and strength, tabatas, circuits, pyramids, steady state, endurance, you.name.it. I don’t plan my workouts in advance. I don’t want to go to bed on a Tuesday night stressing that I have an arm-heavy workout the next day or that I have to run or whatever. I usually decide my workout about 5 minutes before I actually do it. AND IT’S AWESOME.
5. Don’t pay attention to the number on the scale. Ok, well that’s a tricky one. And there are many arguments for either side. But I am explaining mine! Ok, maybe it’s not the number on the scale thing, but it’s the size on the tag of your clothes thing. A year ago (July 2011) this is me at about 165lbs (5’11).
And here I am now, same height, different weight (145), and I still fit into all the same clothes in my closet. See: same shorts.
The clothes in my closet vary in all sorts of sizes- from 6 to 14, and I still wear all of them. It depends on the manufacturer (and letsbehonest the size whatever jeans that are your go-to’s have stretched out, so……) my Lulu’s range from 6-10 because they vary in fits. Does it piss me off? Not anymore. Those red cords I recently bought are 12s and I don’t care cuz I LOVE EM. And they’re comfy. AND RED! I bought a pair of tribal leggings that went according to my height and weight, and when I got them, I couldn’t even pull them over my hips. Mad because I really wanted to wear them. NOT MAD because they were stupidly sized and it is what it is.
Well that was a mouthful.
THAT SAID. I made fudge.
If you’ve never made fudge with fluff, then you’re missing out. It’s what my mom always uses and it’s THE BEST.
And I have plans to drink a bleu cheese olive martini tonight. And steak.
And Layla plans to park in on the couch.
The biggest thing for me is that I get bored and burnt out if I do too much of one exercise…ie: I get burnt out on a training plan after training for a half marathon. I find with CrossFit because it varies so much each class, I never get tired of it. And it always kicks mu butt! Hope you have a great weekend and Christmas 🙂
Totally agree with you. You can be the same number on the scale and wear the same clothes but have a COMPLETELY different body composition. I also think that Lulu is stupidly sized. I mean come on…only very sick people can fit into those skin tight extra smalls.
That fudge looks amazing. I love fudge. Lots of other things too, but I don’t often get good fudge.
I like what you say about workouts. I’ve been doing a lot of cardio over the last little while, and I’m a bit burned out. Starting to get into more core stuff.
I love this post, Jen! I could learn to listen to a few of these lessons!
Hot damn you are tall! Like supermodel tall 🙂 That’s hot!