My Typical Workout

I have finally got round to signing up to the gym which I can use whilst I am in my final year at university and thought I would tell you about a typical workout. I’m excited to get back into the gym again but if any of you have advice on anything I should add in or how I could get more from my workouts I would love to hear!

I should probably begin by setting out what I hope to achieve from going to the gym. When I first signed up the guy setting my gym program asked me what my goals were and I simply said to lose weight but I realise now it goes a little bit deeper than that. I would of course like to carry on losing weight, particularly around my chest, stomach, hips (love handles really) and thighs. I also have worried in the past that I would get excess skin from losing weight so if anyone has any advice on how to prevent this then that would be great! I think losing weight at a sensible weight and doing a range of exercises and weights should help to prevent too much loose skin but if anyone is more of an expert please let me know!

I would also like to improve my strength at the gym, in particular building muscle in my arms. It sounds silly but I think I already have fairly big muscles in my legs (at least in comparison to my arms) because I was carrying around so much weight when I was a lot bigger. But there is still definitely room to improve, and I would like to lose weight on my legs and build my strength – particularly because I sprained a ligament in my knee this year and it still sometimes hurts or aches.

So with that in mind my current workout usually consists of the following:

  • Warm Up – Walking on an incline for at least ten minutes, usually increasing the steepness as more time passes. Before I came to uni I was slowly beginning to introduce running, running for one minute, then walking for two which was hard work but wasn’t as bad as expected – I was worried about how my knee would cope. I like to get up to 100 calories minimum in my warm up (I know they are only guides on the machine but it’s nice to have something tangible to measure a workout).
  • Weights – After I’ve warmed up I then used a number of weight machines, two that focused on legs and six that focused on arms. I would do 15 reps in a set and make sure I did two sets on every machine.
  • Cardio – I would normally always use the cross-trainer to get my cardio in. I like that you get into a rhythm and it wasn’t too intense on my knee. I would generally do 200 – 400 calories worth depending on the time I had.
  • Warm Down – Walking on the treadmill, beginning on an incline and slowly reducing the steepness until I am walking on flat ground at a slow pace. I would generally do around 50 to 100 calories for my warm down.

As you can see I like to measure my workouts in calories so I can have an idea of how much I have burnt. I would generally warm up for just over ten minutes, spend fifteen to twenty minutes on the weights, twenty minutes to half an hour on cardio and then ten minutes warming down. I normally always like to make sure I burn at least 400 calories in a workout with weights on top – thinking about it I have no idea how many calories doing weights burns!

I haven’t been to the gym properly now in over a month but am excited to get back into it and begin my usual routine. I think I may also get another program set to see if the trainers suggest any new machines to try! If you have any advice, comments or even good gym playlist recommendations I would love to hear from you!

Also let me know if you enjoyed this post because I may include more posts like it in the future! In the mean time you may also enjoy Five Easy Healthy Alternatives or my most recent Healthy Lifestyle Update!

Have a great day!

Healthy Lifestyle Update #6

When I look at old photos of myself, I can’t believe I let myself get that big and there is no one else or anything to blame other than myself. Whilst I still have a long way to go, I’m happy with the progress I have made and am determined to keep going. My end goal is still my graduation in 2017 which gives me roughly a year to lose weight and tone up.

After finishing my placement I had roughly a month off before I came back to uni and my eating and diet definitely suffered without a structure. Working each day meant I had breakfast, a snack bar, my salad for lunch and dinner each day and it was easy to follow. Going to the gym after work also became part of my routine and meant I was going three or four times a week. However as soon as I finished placement I got lazy and let myself have far to many days off from eating well and doing regular work outs.

I’ve been back at uni a week and as expected went out a lot so didn’t pay much attention to what I was eating. However I am back on track this week and will be signing up to the gym as soon as I get my student card through so should soon be feeling like I am making progress again soon. I’m worried about final year at university too. I’m not in uni regularly and instead have to manage all my work so I will need to be careful to ensure I don’t let uni work become an excuse to skip the gym. As long as I am organised and committed I should be able to work out regularly and get my uni work done.

I’ve also made a few changes to my diet after chatting to my sister and a couple of friends. I’ve begun reintroducing carbs to my diet and have bought brown rice, wholemeal pasta and couscous to have with my evening meals or salads. I don’t regret being strict with myself for the majority of my year because cutting out carbs, junk food, cheese and other unhealthy options did work. I think the shock did me good and going cold turkey stopped me slowly slipping back to my old ways. But that isn’t to say I haven’t fallen of the wagon a few times a long the way! I didn’t expect it to be plain sailing and I’m sure the next year won’t always be perfect either but I’m back on it, I’m back blogging and am excited to throw myself into the gym and carry on changing my body for the better!

So hopefully the next few months will see me writing about the progress I have made and maybe I will post more about my diet and workouts along the way? If you don’t follow me already, you can find me on Instagram at chinsnomore where I post a lot of my meals if that is something your into!

If you liked this post you may also like to read about my weight loss tips or five easy, healthy alternatives I use in my diet!

Healthy Lifestyle Update #3

March has been a good month and I’ve carried4 bags of sugar on taking steps to a healthier lifestyle.
My total weight loss is now 3 stone and 3 pounds which means I have hit my fourth bag of sugar. The other day I was looking through old pictures and I found two pictures of myself and my friend Alice, one taken in December 2015 and one from the middle of March. I struggle to see changes but I think it is one of the first times I have noticed and was proud of the slight changes my body has made. Whilst I have a long way to go, I was surprised that my face looks slimmer. Hopefully, as I continue my journey I will lose weight off my bulbous nose too!

My third month of a low/no carb diet is coming to a close and I am still fairly happy. Having a treat meal on a Saturday has become a regular thing and involves some type of bread or pasta which is usually followed by a night of drinking with friends. Whilst I have
managed to stick to my diet I have struggled to satisfy my sweet tooth this month as sometimes fruit just doesn’t cut it.

I have been lucky enough to team up with Weight Watchers and try some of their new frozen products. I’m quite strict on my diet and often just assume that anything sweet will be bad for me. However these Weight Watchers Whirls boast being only 75 calories per pot so I was excited to try them. I personally loved the Toffee and Vanilla flavour as I found it rich and creamy whilst my sister preferred the Strawberry and Vanilla Whirl because it was sweeter. I’m glad I have found something that I can enjoy when trying to avoid Easter Eggs and other sugary foods which I don’t have to feel guilty about or do a big workout to justify the calories.

At the beginning of the month I got home from work and decided to stop making excuses and go with my sister to her gym and sign up. I kept saying to myself that I would join eventually but realised that I had no justifiable reason to keep putting it off. Whilst I can’t say I love the gym it feels great knowing  you have done some exercise that day and I think it also improves my sleep. I got a programme set which was helpful to show me that I shouldn’t only be focusing on cardio but should also be using weights too. Each session of cardio is followed by various weight machines whilst my heart rate is still high and I have already noticed certain exercises are getting easier after just a few weeks of going.

Unfortunately over the weekend I hurt my knee so am having to have a week off from the gym to let it rest and get stronger. I never thought I would be annoyed that I can’t exercise but it is really frustrating because I don’t want my progress to slow down. I’m quite suprised with how my attitude towards the gym has changed. I thought I would be self-concious of looking stupid or sweating like crazy but from my first time going I realised everyone is there for the same reason. Who cares if my face is redder than The Incredibles’ super suits or I’m weezing more than Weezy the penguin from Toy Story. I think the gym can be daunting for a lot of people but go for it. Everyone is in the same boat and focusing on their own machine or exercises. If anything, people will be impressed you are doing something to improve your health and fitness.

See you next month for another update!

I was sent this product from Weight Watchers but all opinions are my own. 

Healthy Lifestyle Update #2

After the great response my previous post received, I decided to write a second healthy lifestyle update post. In January I lost over 10kg and when out shopping with friends I noticed big sugar bags that weighed 5kg each. I made my friend Hannah hold two and then told her that I had lost that much weight. It is crazy to hold that amount of weight in your hands and think that I was carrying that around every day. If someone told me I had to carry a bag with two big bags of sugar around with me all day I would refuse automatically but that is what I was effectively doing.

I had another weigh in today and my total weight loss is now 2st 10lbs (17kg) which means I have hit my third bag of sugar! The sugar bags help me to visualise the progress I have made as I struggle to see changes in my body because I see it everyday.

Whilst sticking to the 10,000 steps a day minimum I have also introduced some exercises that I do every day. I initially began at ten crunches, ten knee press-ups and a ten second plank. I have gradually been increasing these and am up to 35 crunches, 15 knee press ups and a thirty second plank. It was a shock to the system at first and my stomach muscles killed but I am pleased that I have been doing more and more each day. If anything, at least my puppy is enjoying the extra walks he has been getting!

Rufus

Some days have been hard this month where I wanted nothing more than to go to McDonald’s rather than eat some bland salad leaves but having jerk chicken or tuna steak has kept me on track. Realising I am in this for the long haul has shown me that I will need to keep switching up what I am eating week to week to keep me from getting bored and making poor food choices.
I’ve been playing around with a camera this weekend hence the pictures of the fruit and my puppy. I’m getting some practice with the camera as I will be taking pictures at work for our International Women’s Day event at work. I’ve been enjoying writing these posts and they coincide with a blogging event run by Basant She, one of the bloggers who took part in my Behind the Blog series. See you at the end of March for another update!