By Anna R
My name is Anna. I´m a third-year college student who spends most of her time studying and working. But when I´m not in the classroom or at the office, you can catch me in the gym most days. Working out is something that I’ve considered to be my favorite hobby for a couple of years now. Before I get into my routine and what I do, let me also say that working out isn’t about punishing yourself, but it’s about finding what you enjoy doing! Whether it’s running, kickboxing, lifting or biking, it’s okay to take time to explore all the different possibilities to see what drives your passion to workout.
What I do
My typical routine includes a mix of HIIT (high-intensity interval training), lifting, running and stretching. I aim to work out four to five days a week, making sure I listen to my body each day to adjust my workouts if I need to. I allot one day to upper body, one day to lower body, and the other days to full body. My workouts are in the morning, around 6:00 AM. It’s perfect because there’s no one else at the gym and I can have free reign over the machines!
Starting each workout
I begin with some stretching, focusing more on whatever group of muscles I plan on targeting that day. Once I’m done stretching, I do a few rounds of body weight exercises (pushups, squats, burpees) to increase my range of motion and make sure my muscles are moving and grooving! After that, I’ll begin the most intense part of my workout which is usually weightlifting.
Side note: Please start small and work your way up! Don´t get hurt and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it :)
How I lift
I usually start on my lowest weight (whatever weight you can pick up easily but with a little resistance) and I work my way up from there! Once I´ve reached my maximum weight, I´ll work my way back down to the lowest weight. I normally do this with squats, deadlifts, curls, glute bridges and bench presses, making sure to pay attention to each move I´m doing to make sure I´m getting the most out of each rep while staying safe.
The second half of my workout
Once I´m good and sweaty from lifting, I move on to the second half of my workout, which is either HIIT or another form of cardio. HIIT workouts are great for a quick workout because it´s 30 seconds of all your power, followed by 10 seconds of rest. For example, when I do HIIT burpees, I´ll do 30 seconds of as many repetitions as I can do, followed by 10 seconds of rest, and I´ll repeat that 5 times. I usually pick four or five exercises to do for HIIT. If I´m not already sweating from lifting, I´m practically a puddle after HIIT!
If I´m feeling in the mood for a lower intensity cardio, I´ll usually do the stair climbing machine or run on the treadmill. What I find most helpful is to find a pace you could carry a small conversation at without feeling too out of breath, this helps you go for a longer period of time without collapsing from exhaustion. Typically, I do this for thirty minutes! After I´m all done and I feel that I´ve accomplished my workout goals for the day, I´ll go stretch again before I go back home.
Changing it up
Some days, I´ll do a full kickboxing workout or a rowing machine workout. Why? Because I like to! Remember, while it´s good to have a routine you´re able to stick to, it´s still beneficial to try things a bit outside of your comfort zone. Finding new ways to sweat is a great way to learn some new skills, work new muscles and maybe even make a new friend or two! A good gym buddy can make a world of difference for those early morning workouts.
Thanks for listening! Don’t get moody, shake your booty!