Fitness, working out, workout for November and December

 
 
weight-lifting-1284616_1280.jpg
weight-lifting-1284616_1280.jpg

Fitness has always been something I've been interested in. Fitness Father and Buff Brothers have those titles for a reason.

In our backyard, we have a gym set up on our back patio amidst a brick fireplace and a basketball goal. That was where I lifted my first weights back around the age of ten. I started playing basketball shortly after and for several years went back and forth between weights and running in addition to playing competitive ball. After basketball ended in highschool, I slacked off from working out, maybe doing weights once a week or every two weeks. It was a pathetic attempt at keeping in shape and I quickly lost my running speed and endurance and strength from lifting.

During cosmetology school I went back and forth with running miles and lifting weights either early in the morning or late in the evening after school, but I usually gave myself some excuse and eventually started dropping off from that. It wasn't until I had gained a bit of weight that I realized that I could no longer fit into half of my clothes. I buy a ton of clothes so to have my wardrobe depleted so much made me reevaluate how much time I could make for working out again.

I applied for a gym membership and began going early before school began to make sure that I would workout every day. I chose to lift twice a week, usually Monday and Thursday and then run miles or run sprints and do an added ab workout Tuesday and Friday. Wednesday and Sunday are my usual days off and if I'm feeling up to it, I'll add Saturday as a running day too. I make sure that I'm lifting twice a week and running twice if not three times.

They say that you are supposed to switch up your workout frequently so that your muscles don't get used to the same repetitive motion. I try to switch up mine anywhere between two months and one and a half. Starting in January, I want to switch to a few exercises added to a huge 8 Week Body Transformation challenge I found on Pinterest. You can find my workout Pinterest board here.  But for the months of November and December, I wanted to document as well as share with you what I have been doing. It usually takes me roughly 45 minutes to complete this weight workout and about 20-30 to do as much running as I want with a 5 minute ab workout stapled to the back of that on my off days of weight lifting. 

  • 3 minute warmup of a fast jog on the Treadmill or the stair climber

  • Single Leg Squats: I use 27 1/2 lbs dumbbells for each hand and get a bench to rest one leg on while squatting on the other. I kick my resting foot out quite a bit because I'm tall and it will make me go down farther since I have more room to "sit" in my squats. Make sure your knees don't go over your toes and sit like you are sitting in a chair before focusing on your glute and your hamstring to pull you up. Also, make sure that your knee doesn't bend inwards at any point but remains with the knee facing forward. 2 sets of 10 on each leg.

  • Tricep Extensions-I use a 15 or 20 lb dumbbell. First, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold the dumbbell in both of your hands. Lower it behind your head. Don't let it drop below your shoulders. Lift it until your elbows have almost locked and then lower again. 2 sets of 10.

  • Leg Press-I typically do 115 lbs with this. I go slowly and I don't let it drop to a position where I have a break during the reps of 10. 2 sets of 10

  • Leg curl-I do 115 lbs on this one and repeat what I did with the leg press. 2 sets of 10

  • Adductor machine-This is that awkward inner thigh machine that you are always thankful it faces the wall because it literally conjures up nothing but blushed cheeks and the most awkward lift of all-opening and shutting your legs repetitively. I use 130-145 lbs depending on how good I feel that day. 2 reps of 10

  • Lunges-similar to the squats, don't go over your knees and try to sit down with each lunge. Don't let your knee stray inwards, but keep it facing forward. I try to do wide lunges and go out farther so that I'm forced to use my glutes and hamstring to pull myself up on each lift, careful not to knock my knees into the ground. I do 27 1/2 lbs dumbbells in each hand. 2 reps of 10

  • Lat pulldown-keep your back straight and pull the bar down to your chest, making sure not to lock your elbows on the release. Focus on your lats (the wing muscles underneath your arms, located on your back) with each pull down instead of working your arms. These are the muscles that lift you during pullups. I do 30-35 lbs to really focus on my form. 2 reps of 10

  • Single leg deadlift-I can use a machine or a single dumbbell for this one. When using the machine, the instructions will be on the machine and I use 50 lbs. When I'm balancing with a dumbbell, I use 20-30 lb dumbbell. For those who have done ballet, this is a ponche. For those of you who haven't, start by keeping one leg straight and your back straight while you lean forward with the weight. The dumbbell needs to be in the hand on the side of the stationary leg. Then, like one of those tippy birds, let one leg (it can be bent) release off the floor and keep your balance on one leg. When your leg is horizontal with your rear, flex your stationary leg and slowly draw back up to a standing position but don't let your bent leg touch the ground. This will build the hamstrings, helping with running, sprints, butt definition and that pesky thigh fat. It will also help with heels, ladies. 2 reps of 10

  • Tricep press down with ropes-there was no easy way of explaining this but for those of you who know, stand with your legs shoulder width apart and bend your knees slightly and lean forward with a straight back. Pull the ropes down from the machine and when you reach your hips, fan the ropes out. It should burn along the backside of your arms-a.k.a. your triceps. Then slowly bring the ropes back together and release to bring it back up to your chest and repeat. I use 30-40 lbs. 2 reps of 10

  • Plank 1 minute- keep your glutes down, your back straight, your feet shoulder width apart and flex your abs, glutes and legs.

  • Side plank 30 seconds on each side- shift from the plank position to your side and bend your arm so that your elbow and wrist are flat to the ground. I stack my feet on top of one another or you can stagger them side by side. Keep your body straight.

  • Plank 1 minute

  • Dips-I cheat by using the machine that takes off weight because my upper body is absolute trash as far as strength. I try to take off only 40-55 lbs and try to dip down until my elbows are horizontal with my shoulders. 2 reps of 10

  • Calf Raises-I use the leg press machine for this one to get maximum weight. I place three 45 lb plates on either side of the machine for a total of 270 lbs and set the machine to give me enough room to bend my knees slightly and push until I am almost at my toes-demi-pointe for you ballerinas- and then bring it back to where my knees are slightly bent and my feet are flat to the weighted board. I do 3 reps of 15

If you are unsure from my explanation or just have never heard of some of these exercises, feel free to Google them or look them up on Youtube. Tons of people use Youtube for tutorials on exercises and I have done that in the past when I wasn't sure. Be careful of people's form and be safe. If you want videos or pictures describing these exercises, comment below!

P.S. I'm not a personal trainer nor am I qualified to give out advice for things. Just an amateur with a personal trainer brother and a dad who studies it and teaches all of us kids since we were babies. 

xoxo, Char