Fitness Update

**Please consult a physician/professional before starting a fitness routine. While this may work for me, it may not work for you.**

Did you know that you use your shoulder muscles to take off your shirt?

Also, you have muscles in your tush that are required to sit on the porcelain throne?

I’m sure I knew this, but it’s also possible that I’ve blocked out that first leg of my fitness journey when I started in 2016. Now I really know this.

This week marked my first full week back to the gym since my hiatus over the last 6 months.

I think it’s safe to say that I’m an all or nothing kind of a person. Which, usually means I go overboard with my workouts and expect immediate results. I don’t really recommend starting this way, but for me, if I start slow, I can’t gain enough momentum to keep me going. One thing I have changed this time around is that I’m only going to the gym 4 times a week. I have also exchanged my typical 2-hour session into a 1-hour one (sadly, this is probably because I don’t have my sisters to talk to).

Here are my basic starting stats:

Height: 5’7″
Weight: 130 lbs
Waist: 27″

My starting goals:

  • Strengthen the muscles around my knee to help with pain from my knee issues
  • Firm and shape my rump so it doesn’t look like a saggy bag of flour
  • Drop a pant size so I can fit into my favourite Silver jeans again
  • Washboard abs – ok, maybe this is pushing it, but we’ll see
  • Form a solid cap on my shoulders
  • Strengthen & define my triceps
  • Learn/form better nutrition habits

Schedule I followed this week:

Monday – Chest & Triceps

  • 4 x 10 Chest Press
  • 4 x 10 Chest Fly (machine)
  • 4 x 10 Rope Pushdowns (SS1)
  • 4 x 10 Overhead extensions (SS1)
  • 4 x 6 Skull Crushers
  • 15 minutes Recumbent Bike (cardio)

Tuesday – Back & Biceps

  • 4 x 10 Pulldowns
  • 4 x 10 Mid Row
  • 3 x 5 Chin-ups (assisted)
  • 4 x 10 Cable Rows
  • 4 x 10 Cable Rope Curls
  • 4 x 10 Bicep Curl/Hammer Curl/Lateral Bicep Curl (Tri-set)
  • 15 minutes Recumbent Bike (cardio)

Wednesday – Legs

  • 4 x 10 Leg Press
  • 4 x 10 Leg Curls
  • 4 x 10 Leg Extensions
  • 4 x 10 Romanian Deadlifts
  • 4 x 10 Side Skaters (SS1)
  • 4 x 10 Single Leg Deadlifts (SS1)
  • 10 minutes Recumbent Bike (cardio)

Thursday – Rest (mostly because I work 12 hours)

Friday – Shoulders

  • 4 x 10 Shoulder Press
  • 4 x 10 Cheer Press
  • 4 x 10 Cable Rows
  • 4 x 10 Cable Pull Throughs (SS1)
  • 4 x 10 Cable Upright Rows (SS1)
  • 4 x 10 Front Raises (SS2)
  • 4 x 10 Lateral Raises (SS2)
  • 4 x 5 Around the World Raises
  • 4 x 15 Steering Wheels
  • 20 minutes Recumbent Bike (cardio)

Saturday – Rest

Sunday – Rest

My final thoughts this week? I’m trying to figure out what weights I should use. I didn’t want to overdo it by lifting the same weights I did 6 months ago, but I also didn’t want to shortchange my progress by lifting too light. With that being said, by the end of the week, I realized that I still had a lot of muscle memory and could lift close to the weight I left off at.

I also didn’t do any ab workouts this week because I was trying to get back into the swing of things first. Working my abs takes extreme concentration because I don’t have much feeling in that area and that makes controlling those muscles difficult for me.

The other thing that I stand by is that the right supplements can really make a difference. BCAAs will help with endurance and pain by breaking up the lactic acid that builds up in your muscles following a workout. When I drink water during a workout, it takes about 5x the water for me to be able to handle the same workout I can do with BCAAs (this is my favourite). The other sups I take are fish oil (I call them my happy pills because they help with my mood) and sublingual B12 pills (I have a B12 deficiency, so these help with energy).

All in all, it was a great week and it felt so amazing to get back into a workout routine. I’m always adding to my list of motivational phrases to keep me pumped, so if you have any that work for you, leave me a comment and let me know.

Gym Bag Essentials

Gym_Bag_Essentials_Pinterest

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that you can never be too prepared. When it comes to working out, it’s such a hassle if you’ve forgotten something that you really need.

Over the years, my essentials have evolved, but here are the items I currently couldn’t do without.

BCAAs
I used to only drink water at the gym, but I would find myself making multiple trips back to the water fountain to refill my bottle. Water alone never seems to quench my thirst at the gym. My sister introduced me to these BCAAs and they have made a world of difference in my workouts. My favourite flavour is white grape.

Music & Headphones
I used to use gym time as ‘sister’ time – which eliminated the need for music or headphones. Some days we would lift and chat for a few hours at a time. Now that I’m heading to the gym solo (which was always one of my greatest fears!), I find the need for some musical inspiration. I pop on my beats, press play on my Spotify playlist and get in the zone. I love my wireless headphones and dread the days when I find myself without them at the gym.

Deodorant
Maybe this goes without saying, but deodorant is definitely an essential for me. I can’t say that everyone at the gym has this view, but it would be great if they did. I always keep an extra stick in my bag for those workouts that require that little bit of ‘extra’ protection.

Protein Bar
I’m currently out of my favourite protein bars, but will be stocking up again real soon! My favourite bars are Daryl’s All Natural Protein Bars. I’ve never tasted anything so delicious and satisfying!
Bonus – their factory is located in Windsor, so I get to support a local business when I buy them!

Lock
Once I forgot my lock and I had to carry all of my stuff with me. Gross. I keep my lock in my bag always now. Goes without saying that it keeps all your valuables safe and secure in the lockers.

Gum
I don’t know what it is about gum, but I feel lost without it. I have a pack in my bag, purse, car, jacket, desk, etc. I just don’t like to be without it. My favourite gum is Excel and I tend to buy it in bulk.

Moist Wipes
I don’t like showering at the gym – public showers aren’t my favourite thing. I also don’t like getting into my car all sweaty. Keeping wipes on hand helps with a quick wipe down so I can drive home and shower in the comfort of my own home.

Elastics
Many times I start my workouts with my hair down. Y’all know what happens when things get real? A pineapple bun gets thrown on top of my head mid workout and gives me the oomph to kill my workout. I couldn’t do that without my trusted elastics.

Muscle Rub
I rarely use this actually at the gym, but I like knowing that it’s in my bag whenever I need it. I use doTERRA Deep Blue Rub and love it a lot! Brian actually loves it even more than I do!

Gym Bag
Maybe this is a given. I don’t know. However, I have such high expectations with my gym bags, so I’m including it in this post. I used to just throw things into my purse, but I kept forgetting essentials, so I went on the search for the perfect bag. Without getting into all the aspects of a perfect gym bag, I will tell you straight up that it has to fit nicely into the locker. I can’t stand squashing, forcing and slamming things to fit. Here is one similar to the one I use.

There are a few other things that I occasionally have in my bag such as a bag of nuts/seeds, feminine products, weight lifting gloves, makeup, Vibram FiveFingers, change of clothes, etc.

I find that when I’m physically prepared to workout, it’s easier to get in the zone mentally.

What are some of your gym bag essentials? Let me know in the comments below.

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.