Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor nor a personal trainer. I’m just sharing what works for me and how I like to train. This does not mean you should train this way or do what I do.
I wanted to talk about one of my favorite subjects today – fitness and update you all on my current workout routine. For those that don’t know me in real life (or just didn’t know this about me) fitness has been apart of my life for quite some time. I can remember being in high school (maybe even younger) and going to the gym with my family to workout. I’ve run countless 5ks and even 2 half marathons (which I did with my Mom). Fitness is just something that my family does. We’ve gone to the gym on countless Christmas Eves,Thanksgiving mornings, and other holidays. Every time I’m home I go workout with my brother or my parents. It’s just something we do as a family and I’m so thankful for that.
Lifting For Serious
It wasn’t until January of 2016 that I got serious about lifting and actually ventured into the free weight section (It isn’t scary, I promise. Just put your headphones on and do your thing.) I’ve done many different things from following a beginners plan (Bodybuilding.com has some great ones) to my most recent plan that I was following back in May (read about it here). While I liked some of the more Powerlifting style training, honestly it just wasn’t for me. It required bench pressing on a regular basis. While I just conquered that goal (read about it here), I’m not comfortable bench pressing without a spotter. Unfortunately, I workout alone most of the time so while I do bench press with dumbbells, using the bar just isn’t happening for me right now. I love doing compound movements (and definitely strongly recommend adding them to your workouts) it was getting to be too much squatting three times a week. I’m a runner and when I’m to sore (or tired) from my workouts to go for a run that doesn’t work for me for very long. I also just got bored doing the same workouts over and over again. I like to mix things up and following Stronglifts 5×5 wasn’t leaving me room for that. That’s what lead me to be more flexible
Current Workout Routine
My current workout routine is an upper and lower body split plus some core work. I also only train biceps and triceps once a week during one of my upper body days. I do this because I have found that I put on muscle easily (of course only when I’m eating in a surplus) and one of the places I put it on first is in my arms. So if I want to fit into my shirts I need to not train my arms as much plus a lot of the other movements I do also works my biceps and/or triceps.
Current Workout Routine: Lower Body Day
Usually I start leg day with squats (or hack squats), some days I do high reps with lower weight while other days I do lower reps with higher weights. Typically, my sets vary from 3-6 and usually 2-12 reps depending on how I feel. Then I move onto to leg curls, leg press, calf press, and some glute exercises. I typically do anywhere from 10-15 reps for usually 3 sets, sometimes 4 sets, for the accessory exercises. Side note – I’m quad dominant (as are a lot of women) so I don’t work always do leg extensions (a quad movement) as my quads get worked in some of the other exercises. Further, I low bar squat with a wider leg stance which for me means I feel it in my glutes and hamstrings instead of just in my quads. Sometimes I’ll throw in dumbbell sumo squats or lunges, honestly it depends on how I feel that day. For glute exercises I like to do glute bridges, single leg glute bridges, and sometimes glute kickbacks. I do usually work legs twice a week so my second workout I try to switch things up, either change the rep/set scheme or what exercises I’m doing. I like to keep it interesting and go by how I feel when I get in the gym.
Current Workout Routine: Upper Body Day
Basically everything else that I didn’t work on leg day gets worked on upper body day. I usually do 3-4 sets and 8-12 reps for each of these exercises. I typically pick two exercises to do per body part, but sometimes I’ll do three. Typically for back exercises I’ll do assisted pull ups, cable rows, lat pulldowns, t-bar rows, dumbbell rows, or barbell rows. For chest exercises I like to do dumbbell chest press, incline dumbbell chest press, or the pec deck machine. My favorite shoulder exercises are barbell should press, dumbbell shoulder press, upright rows, lateral raises either with a machine or with dumbbells, and reverse pec deck machine. When it comes to biceps and triceps I usually only do one exercise, 3 sets, and 6-10 reps. For bicep exercises I enjoy doing cable bicep curls, dumbbell bicep curls, and dumbbell bicep curls. When it comes to triceps, I like cable extension with the rope, cable press downs, and tricep dumbbell extensions.
Current Workout Routine: Core Work
When it comes to core work in my current workout routine, I usually do it on leg day. Typically I do leg raises, planks, and decline sit ups with a weight plate. I like to keep it simple but sometimes I will add in other exercises but typically not. I usually do 3 sets of 10 reps for leg raises and decline sit ups. For planks I typically do three planks for 30-45 seconds.
So what are my gym goals moving forward? Well my first goal is to always have fun at the gym and enjoy my workouts. I also have a goal of being able to squat with a 45 lb plank on each side (so 135lbs). I’ve got a ways to go on this goal but I’m working on it. I hit a personal record of 105 a while ago but haven’t been able to get back that high when I squat. I’m working on my form too and slowly increasing my weight. I also plan to run a 5 miler race at the end of October that I’d like to PR at. So I’ve started to add one day of running into my current workout routine and will slowly increase that until it is three times a week. I plan to stick to my current workout routine until I stop seeing results or just feel like mixing it up.
What are your favorite exercises at the gym? Do you have any gym/fitness related topics you want me to cover in another blog post?
Until next time!