Shop my look: Tee, Leggings, & Sneakers (p.s.- New Balance Fresh Foam are by far my favorite running shoe on the market! Highly recommend! )
It’s finally here.. the post you’ve been waiting for, ‘fitness talk’!!! Get ready, because we’re covering it all today! From my most asked questions, exercise routines, tips, diet, and more!!! Grab a comfy seat and settle in! This post is a long one!
Like anything in life, you’ve got to start somewhere! So gradually over time I started adding pieces of equipment to my home gym. I started out with a small weight set and an ab roller, then got my ball, followed by my treadmill. For Christmas Clint got me the Peloton. Then for my birthday he got me the home gym, workout bench, weight sets, dumbbell racks, and floor pads.
My overall goal was to have a home gym that kept me from driving to town every day. When I lived in the city it wasn’t that big of a deal. In Atlanta and Lexington I’d walk to my gyms and consider it my warm up. But since we moved to Paducah my gym is about 17 minutes away. Just getting in the car and driving to town, for 35 minutes on the treadmill and couple rounds of weights got old. So I kept telling Clint I wanted something that was more accessible. This space and my equipment was an investment up front, but totally worth it in the long run! I’m not going to lie, I’ve gotten really spoiled by just walking upstairs, hopping on the machines, and knocking out a quick work out. There are still days that I go to the gym (probably twice a week) just to use other weight machines and for the change of scenery. Investing in all this equipment has been a process but it allows Clint and I to work out according to our schedules and whenever we can squeeze it!
How did I decide on my equipment? Well for starters, let’s talk about my treadmill! I choose the Proform for 2 reasons.. 1. it was affordable, 2. it got good basic reviews. At the end of the day, a treadmill is a treadmill. This one has a stow feature where I can put the belt up while I’m working out for more space (which sold me on it too). It also has a space where I can put my iPad, phone, or nook. It comes with built in wifi, a touch screen, iFit, and programmed running routes. Some days I’ll run a trail, others I’ll run the sidewalks of California.
As far as my home gym machine goes, Clint chose it for me and it’s exactly what I wanted! You can do 15 exercises on it.. from abs, to arm, and legs, it provides a little something for every muscle group. (I’ll show you more throughout this post). Beware, if you order this off Amazon you will have to put it together. I don’t say that to scare you out of buying it but just to warn you! Clint and I both spent a couple hours working on it! All worth it though!
If you’re looking to start out small I suggest investing in some weights, gliders, bands, an ab roller, and jump rope! These are all things that can help you tone your muscles and get in a workout, all in the courtesy of your own space. I’m linking some options below!
So many of you all have asked about the Peloton? Do you like it? Is it worth the money? Is it just cycling classes? well.. YES to all those questions.. but let me explain more! I’m obsessed with my Peloton! and I don’t say that lightly! One of my New Years resolutions was to ride 200 times before the end of the year. I’m already a 1/4 of the way there! Some days I’ll hop on and ride in the morning, others I might ride at night! Depending on how I’m feeling each day I’ll select a 20 minute, 30 minute, or 45 minute class. Most of the time I’ll do 30 minute intervals and arms ride. I like the rides that incorporate arm movements because it gives me a breather during the ride and it makes my arms burn (in the best way!) Once in a while I’ll try to do a live class and compete on the leaderboard. With every ride I always try to set a goal, whether its 6 miles, 13 miles, 250 calories, or an average output. I’ll admit some days are better than others, but even the smallest thing counts!
Not only is the Peloton live and recorded cycling classes, the Peloton app has a wide variety of other classes (running, strength, meditation, yoga, stretching). The 10 minute core ones are my favorite and some of my girlfriends and I like to do the 15 minute HIIT ones! At night I’ll do a mediation or yoga class! Whatever type of physical activity you like, I guarantee you Peloton has a class for it!
If you’re thinking about investing in the Peloton I say do it for all the reasons above!
Weekly Workout Routine
It’s hard for me to lay out an exact workout plan since I don’t follow one entirely.. I do like to spread apart my cardio and my muscle groups throughout the week. This helps give your body time to rest and recover. I try to workout 4-6 times a week. It honestly just depends on my schedule, my traveling, and shooting!
IF you’re new to working out try some of these programs: BBG, Shortcut to Shred, Beach Body, or a workout app! If you’re winging it, here’s a peek at a schedule I try to follow:
- Sunday– REST DAY or Cardio (4-5 miles), Arm/Ab Day (It’s weird because some Sundays I feel like it’s rest day and others I like to get in my hardest workout! Just depends on how my weekend has went) If I can get up and squeeze it in before church I always end up feeling better!
- Monday– 30 minute cycling, followed Peloton HIIT videos/BBG (I normally meet my GF’s on Monday and do some workouts with them)
- Tuesday– 5-6 mile run, followed by Back, Biceps, & Traps
- Wednesday – REST DAY
- Thursday– 2-3 mile run, followed by Shoulders, Legs, & Calves
- Friday– 5 mile run, 5 minute Sprints (30 seconds on, 30 seconds off), followed by Chest and Abs
- Saturday – Peloton Cycling Class, 8 minute abs
- What’s your favorite workout? Right now it’s cycling on the Pelotion. However, I go through phases.. sometimes it’s running, there for a bit it was Barre, then yoga.. but running and cycling will always be my favorite! My favorite weight machine is the lat pulldown.
- How long did it take for you to see results? What work outs do you like for the best results? How often do you do them? I remember I started getting into fitness during my sophomore year of college. I slowly started running and doing the elliptical. By my junior year, in 2015, I was lifting weights more, dieting, and spending my spare time in the gym. I remember Clint was very into fitness during this time and he kind of wore off on me. He taught me how to do the weight machines and set up a workout plan for me. Anytime I had a fintess or food question I ’d ask him. He was like my personal trainer. He always was very supportive! It’s so important that we have people in our lives that motivate us and make us want to do better! Mine person is C.
- How do you motivate yourself to work out consistently? Tbh, I work out so I can eat what I want. I do enjoy running and getting in a good sweat, but I also like to eat. Plus I love starting my day with a work out. I feel like I’m more energetic and productive if I get up and my day started with a little me time and sweat sess. Don’t get me wrong though, some days are better than others! Just recently I went to the gym and was in there for maybe 10 minutes.. I had an off day and I was wasting time rather than be productive. I decided to take the day off and let my body rest.
- How do you find energy to workout? Some days I have a ton of energy others I can barely get out of bed. I just remind myself of how good I feel after I get a workout in and normally that will get me going! Drinking BCAA’s or taking a green coffee bean pill might also help boost your energy! – Oh and on nights that I eat a big meal with lots of carbs, I can always tell my energy level is better the next day! It’s like I have extra fuel to keep my body going!
- What advice would you give someone who is working on establishing a workout routine? Set goals and work towards them. I remember when I started running on the treadmill my first goal was .5 a mile at a 6.0 pace. Gradually over the years, as my heart got stronger and my cardio improved, I set new goals. Before you ever walk into the gym decide what you want to accomplish. Don’t leave until you do! And always remember, some days are better than others! Start small, grow big!
- What are your fitness goals? Right now I ’m trying to stay healthy and fit, so when I decide to do a triathlon or marathon I’ll have already done half the work.
Some people despise running, others love it. At first I hated it, then over time it became my favorite. I’ve found that running is the one time of the day that I dedicate all to myself, without distractions. While I run to keep a healthy heart, my endurance strong, and weight off, I also run because I like to test my limits. Over the years I’ve increased my mileage and decreased my time. I hope to keep making improvements on the treadmill so it can help with my outdoor running.
- When you are on the treadmill do you run the entire time or is it a mix of walking and running? I would say 90% of the time I run the entire time I’m on the treadmill. I’ve found that if I stop it’s hard for me to get back started again. I know people who like to run for 7 minutes, walk for 1 minute, but personally that’s just not me. And when I ’m nearing the end of my run, I like to turn up my speed and sprint a little bit! Really tops off my run with an extra heart pump and gets my blood flowing.
- How do you not get bored on the treadmill? I watch shows! When I run I consider it me time.. time to catch up Greys Anatomy, New Amsterdam, or whatever series I’m into. For long runs I’ll sometimes start a movie.
- Do you run everyday or recommend it? I probably run 4-5 times a week. 2 of those days are long run (4-6 miles- what I consider long), then other 2 or 3 are light jogs to get my heart rate up (approx. 2 – 3 miles). Running is always my warm up if I go to the gym. At home running or cycling may be my warm up followed by weights. I don’t recommend running every day. I think it’s good to give your body a rest and you won’t get as bored!
- How do you get better running? My advice to you all is start small and build on that! If you can only run half a mile at 5.0 pace, that’s something! And something is better than nothing! I would also suggest running for a bit, then walking! If you really want to improve your cardio, do sprints!
Abs.. we all want them but I feel like they are impossible to get.. Mine come and go. Some days you can see my obliques, other days you can’t. It all depends on what diet I’ve been on that week or how hard I’m training my core. Here’s a list of my favorite ab workouts:
- Decline Crunch
- Decline Crunch x1 Russian Twist x4 (this is an ab killer!)
- Cable Crunch
- Smith Machine Hip Thrust
- Standing Oblique Cable Crunch
- Stability Ball Crunch
- Ab Roller
- 8 Minute Abs
- The Peloton, 10 minute Core classes (available on the APP)
I normally pick 2 – 3 of these exercises to complete on AB day. I like to do 3 sets, with 12 reps.
Arms, Shoulders, Chest, and Back
I’m finally at a place in my life where I’m happy with my arms. I used to hate on them all the time. I think I owe some of it to my Peloton. When I ride I do the arm classes. I use the 3 lb weights and I’ve found that it’s really helped with my toning! In addition to that I incorporate weight lifting into my weekly workout routine. Here are some of the exercises I do for my tris, bis, and shoulders.
- Incline Dumbbell Extension
- Cable Pull Down
- Tricep Kickbacks
- Dumbbell Extension
- Cable Lying Triceps Extension
- Cable Crossover
- Here is a good link for some Tricep Workouts!
- Barbell Preacher Curl
- Dumbbell Curls
- Incline Dumbbell Curl
- Barbell Preacher Curl
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise
- Barbell Front Raise
- Bench Press
- Decline Bench Press
- Push Up
- Machine Pe Fly
- Bar Lat Pull Down
- Rope Lat Pull Down
- Barbell Shrug
A lot of these exercises work the same areas! I would separate the back and shoulder ones for different days! I like to do shoulders with my leg workouts and my back, with biceps!
When it came to legs I use to be clueless. So over the past 2 years I invested time in researching what exercises were the best for toning (without bulking) and which ones I could see the best results with. Since your glutes are the biggest muscles in your body, I always like to activate them in some way during my workouts! I believe that if you keep that booty strong and toned, it helps you burn more calories throughout the day.. and keeps you looking good in those jeans! Here’s a list of some of my favorite leg workouts involving the machines and floor.
- Leg Extensions (shown in the last picture)
- Leg Press
- Walking Lunges
- Seated Calf Raise
- Standing Calf Raise
- Hip Abduction (great one for the booty) (2nd picture ^)
- Hip Extension (3rd picture)
Here are some questions you guys asked regarding legs:
- Is there a correct way to do squats? There is! Stand with your feet a little wider than your hips. Keep your toes facing front. Drive your hips back and sit into a squat position (I always say picture you’re going to sit in a chair). Make sure you keep your chest facing forward and focus on working those glutes as you stand up.
- Do you prefer free standing squats or weighted squats with the bar? I like doing weighted squats with a rack! I get more out using the bar and placing weights on the side. However, I like doing walking lunges with 8 lb weights in each hand. Those are great for the legs!
Diet & Sleep
I could probably write about book about how many times I’ve changed my diet, what works for me, and what doesn’t. But majority of the questions I’ve received cover all the things you need to know!
- What’s a typical day for you as far as diet goes? That’s a tough question. Every day is different. My diet normally depends on my workout. If I have an intense work out, my body is hungrier. If I do a light workout (maybe 20 minutes of cycling, or just some floor work), I feel like my doesn’t require as much. Some mornings I skip breakfast because I like running on an empty stomach, I know some people will not approve of that, but like I said, it’s what works for me. Others I might have a mini bagel or nutri grain bar before I go to the gym. For lunch I eat what’s in my pantry or in the fridge. I rarely eat a lunch.. I eat more of snacks. My biggest meal is always dinner. Clint and I like to sit down and eat together every night. After dinner I always have dessert.. always.. I treat myself and I’m not ashamed of it. Whether it’s girl scout cookies (like this week), a piece of chocolate, some ice cream, or jelly beans, I go for it. Sweets are my favorite and I always crave them after dinner. I work out so I can indulge!
- Meals? Any go tos? Peanut butter and banana.. always! It’s my favorite! Some times I’ll eat it on toast or make a sandwich, other times I just eat it plain. – my 2nd choice would probably be hummus and carrots.
- Do you count calories? I used to always count calories. From like 2015- 2018 I used my fitness pal like it was my dairy. This past year I’ve kind of gotten bad about entering my food log. And sometimes I don’t even want to know.. I just listen to my body now.
- Do you have just a high metabolism??? I swear you’ve been the same size since HS! – lol thanks for the compliment girl.. but I can assure you my weight has fluctuated. I could show you pictures where I gained the freshmen 15 in college. It was not pretty. Then around my junior/senior year I was thinnest I had ever been. Now I’m at my ideal, healthy weight. I used to weigh myself everyday but mentally it wasn’t good for me. So now I’ll step on the scale once a week, at the most. If I’m in the range I want to be in, I don’t fret! As far as my metabolism goes, I feel like I’ve gotten it to the point at where I want it. That’s not to say that I don’t work my a** off to stay fit and healthy. It doesn’t come easy for me, I really truly do have to work at it.
- We’ve all seen and obsessed over your snack drawer full of candy and chips! Just how do you do it and still not have to eat just rabbit food??! Y’all I’m not a healthy eater all the time! I like to snack… quite a bit actually. I stay away from fast food but when it comes to sugary carbs I just can’t say no.. granola bars, cereal, goldfish, chips, rice krispie treats, fiber one brownies, fig newtons, popcorn… that’s what I snack on.. oh and fruit, fruit gushers, and lime chips!!
- What’s your healthy food: bad food ratio through out the week( like are you healthy during the week and treat yourself on weekends I .e)– I would say I eat healthy 60% of the time. On the weekdays I tend to eat more because I work out harder. Clint & I’s dinner plans always influence my lunch. If I know we are eating big I like to save room, if I’m unsure about what we are having, I snack more. We always eat on the weekends so I guess I do treat myself then! Whether its a big dish of pasta, spinach & artichoke dip, or ice cream/a blizzard after, I tend to go all out!
- Favorite post workout snacks.. ^ see #2, smoothies, bagles, yogurt, or a granola bar. Literally almost any given day I ’ll eat one of these things after my workout.
- Do you drink anything specific before or after your work out? I used to drink BCAA’s before and protein after. Just recently I stopped because I wanted to give my body a cleanse. I do take a multivitamin daily though!
- Do you avoid any certain foods? I rarely eat fast foods. If I do it’s normally chickfila. I also don’t eat any red meat or pork. I’m honestly not a huge fan of meat.. I may have chicken once or twice a week, and a piece of fish. Other than that I eat more carbs and veggies than I do anything else.
- How much sleep do you normally get to work out as much as you do? I shoot for 7 hours. If I can get 7 hours I’m good. If I can get 8 I’m golden! I wear my fitbit every night to track my sleep. On average I get around 7 hours 20 minutes. Clint and I like to compare who sleeps more! I’ve found that the more peaceful I sleep, the better results I have in the gym the next day!
Overall take away from this section, Be Conscious.. of what you’re fueling your body with, your calories in vs. calories out, and your average sleep. Being healthy and fit isn’t all about killing yourself in the gym!! It’s actually like 20% gym, 70% diet, 10% sleep (at least that’s how it is in my book). Just do whatever you need to do to feel like your best self!! Being thin and fit is NOT what it’s all about.. it’s all about your overall well being and health! Set your own goals and work to reach them!
And I think that’s a wrap on today’s post! I feel like this is a subject that I could talk about forever! This post has been one in the works for quite a while! So many of you girls have requested it! I’ve done my best to answer all the questions I’ve received and lay out my weekly workouts and diet! As always, if you have any questions please feel free email me or shoot me a DM!
I’ll leave you all with some motivational quotes to get you pumped up!!!
- The only bad work out is the one that didn’t happen.
- Your desire to change must be greater than your desire to stay the same!
- If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you.
- Results happen over time. Not overnight. Work Hard. Stay Consistent. & Be Patient.
- Fitness is not about being better than someone else.. It’s about being better than you used to be!
- Once you see results, it becomes an addiction (AMEN!)
- When you think about quitting, think about why you started!