comfortable in my strength.

Another lovely summer week done and dusted.  I find it so hard to stay motivated on Friday afternoons when the weather starts getting beautiful.  Anyone else?  The perfect weather is making for some awesome dog walking sessions and a lot of sweat from just stepping outside which reminds me oh so dearly of my time spent in humid, hot Houston.  The change in weather has also caused me to change my workout focus, and honestly, I think it’s for the better.

When I first started Kayla Itsine’s BBG in February (wow.  I have been doing this for a long time.)  I loved that I could do the workouts from the comfort of my living room.  I would put the workout up on my TV screen, blast some music, and get to jumping and sweating it out.  There was something about being able to blast the music and be surrounded by comfort of my own home that I just loved.  Only once in my entire 12 weeks did I take the BBG over to the gym and it was Week 6 when I had to do Legs & Cardio and I needed a little bench to do split squats.  I had avoided doing my workouts at the gym previously because I didn’t want people to stare at me jumping around, flailing, and for them to watch me struggle to accomplish even one push-up.  I did my Week 6 workout that day and I hated it.  I hated the whole feeling of being there and people being around me and me not being alone in my comfort zone.  I felt like everyone was staring at me and critiquing my potentially improper form and thinking “Oh, she should be doing this instead of that” or “Why isn’t she trying harder”.

Enter BBG 1.0 Round Two.

  image2

I have only done one BBG workout outside this time around and I didn’t even like it as much as doing it at the gym.  My confidence in working out has increased immeasurably.  Before starting this program, I would go to the gym and run, elliptical, bike, anything that could take my mind away and give me the opportunity not to think about anything while pumping my heart rate up, up, up.  I wasn’t strong necessarily, but I felt good about working out daily.  When it came time to start this program, it really opened my eyes to how important strength and resistance training is.  I started caring more about how many push-ups I could do properly without modifying.  I started caring more about the DOMS (delayed onset muscles soreness) I would feel the day after I did legs.  I started caring more about feeding my body to fuel a workout rather than feeding it the bare minimum to be alive.

Now when I go to the gym to do my workouts, I feel so comfortable.  I am friends with one of the trainers at my gym who always sees me coming now and prepares a bench for me and cheers me on as I’m sweating it out.  He constantly tells me I’m making everyone else look bad and I love it.  I feel like I am finally comfortable in my strength.  I can do things now that I never thought possible and I like to challenge myself.  This was the first week when I was doing a workout at the gym where I just felt like I was dying.  I kept stopping and breathing and going again, but it didn’t even occur to me that someone could be watching or judging or even caring for that matter.  It only occurred to me that I had to finish.  I had to fight through those 30 minutes and get to the end as a champion.

It only mattered to me and no one else.  And that’s how it always should be.

-sj

whirlwind weekend & the best online workouts.

This weekend was a busy one.  I felt like I was constantly in motion whether it be in a car or on my own two feet and I am so happy to be in one spot today.  This weekend, my boyfriend and I headed up to beautiful Cohassett, MA to attend his sister’s wedding.  The drive wasn’t an easy one and took a whole heck of a lot longer than normal, but the festivities were by far worth it.  It was a great time had by all filled with food, family & friends.  Even with all of the distractions, I still held fast to my rule of never going more than two days without working out.

I woke up early on Friday anticipating our long drive and got my workout in.  I did Kayla Itsine’s 1000 rep challenge which basically consists of 30 reps of a whole slew of different exercises.  You time yourself and see how long it takes you to get through all of them.  I was a sweat bomb by the end of it, but it felt amazing and I really felt it the next day.  Saturday was my day off, but I went on a couple walks with my boyfriend and spent a heavy part of my day on my feet helping run errands.

Sunday was a different story.  I knew I wanted to get some working out done, but just could. not. get. myself. to. do. it.  I didn’t want to go for a run at all and there was no gym at the 250 year old inn we were staying at, so that put a bit of a damper on things.  Although I lacked motivation, I did have time.  So, as I sit in my empty hotel room, I brainstormed what I could do.  Then, I stumbled upon FitnessBlender on youtube.  It was perfect.  I queued up a Cardio Kickboxing/HIIT video and started to get to work.  I really got in the zone and my heart rate was pumping.

 image2

After an hour of playing around with videos and getting my burpee on, I was a sweaty mess and ready to wedding it out.  I was so proud of myself for just getting it done.  None of the exercises I did required any weight and I did them in probably a 6 foot by 5 foot area, so space was minimal, but I got it done.  I highly recommend perusing the internet when you need motivation.  Somedays you just don’t want to go to the gym and I find that doing free videos online can be just as sweaty if you put your all into it.  Some of my favorite online workouts include:

  • FitnessBlender
  • Fitsugar (they have a whole range of different types of videos from dance to HIIT to yoga)
  • Blogilates (this is a great one for pilates and core strengthening exercises)
  • Yoga with Adriene (by far and away my favorite yoga instructor on youtube)
  • Greatist (they feature a workout of the day everyday that are great to do anytime, anywhere)
  • Buzzfeed (you probably didn’t know they had workouts on here, did you?  check em out, they’re awesome)
  • Toneitup (some of these workouts are better than others, but overall, they’re pretty fun)

I love to mix and match a couple of these to get a full workout in.  Monday was a whole different story.  I was exhausted from dancing the night away, so I took to walking around the Rutgers campus for a solid hour and some and called that my workout.  I listened to my body and new that this is what it needed and felt so refreshed after.

Today, it was back to the grind.

image3

I headed over to my beloved gym (where I was greeted by one of my favorite trainers asking me where I’d been the past couple of days because I was missed #gymratproblems) and pounded out BBG Week 5 Legs & Cardio.  It felt so good to sweat and get really moving.  My heart rate was pumping throughout the entire thing and I feel so clear headed now that I’m back in the game.  Also, for no reason, jump lunge actually didn’t kill me today.  Feeling that progress keeps me going.  I hope you all had a great weekend too and share some of your favorites in the comment section!!

-sj