My workout routine| June 2019

Recently i have been getting quite alot of questions regarding my workout routine and also people wanting different workout schedules/programs.

And well, instead of answering everyone seperatly, i thought i might as well do an update of my workout routine on here.

Regarding workout schedules and programs, i don’t personally do them… even if i have taken courses regarding exercise and planning exercise routines, i am more focused on nutrition and feel more comfortable with health coaching and nutrition plans. So for workout schedules, there are plenty of amazing people out there who have more knowledge in creating workout programs!

So how is my workout plan at the moment? Well …. my workouts go in phases.

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Sometimes i have lots of time to workout, sometimes i have little time to workout.

Sometimes i have lots of motivation to workout, othertimes i have barely any motivation to workout.

Sometimes all i want to do is lift heavy weights and other times i just want to run.

And other times all i want to do is go for walks.

After a phase of just wanting to run and go for walks, i am now back into my strength training phase and just wanting to lift weights.

It is kind of nice to vary and to be able to do different forms of exercise. Just going to the gym and lifting weights X times a week for 10 years straight doesn’t appeal to me. I need some sort of variation in my workouts so that i don’t just do the same thing over and over as that gets rather boring.

Recently i haven’t actually had that much time to workout, so i have gone to the gym around 3 times a week and other days just gone for walks. But typically i try to go to the gym every second day, so around 4 days a week works well for me in my life right now. And the days i don’t lift weights at the gym i go for walks – usually, unless i have a long 8 hour work shift then i am often too tired, as i am on my feet working for 7 of the 8 hours.

So what do i do when i lift weights/strength train? Well, i still do the typical “body builder” type of training where i workout muscle groups. I do personally think that workouts life crossfit or functional training is the most optimal… where you work your whole body and do both strength and cardio in the same workout or movements. Those exercises and workouts are more beneficial for health and function…. training biceps and triceps isn’t exactly what you need in everyday life unless you have a job where you need alot of arm strength. But typically a “Body builder” workout does build strength and muscle but is also about aesthetics.

However my goal is neither to get stronger, i.e i don’t always press myself to max to get stronger. And my goal is neither to have visible abs and boulder shoulders…. i mostly just workout for health and because i enjoy it.

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So my workouts are very much based on what i want to workout that day… i don’t have any set program i follow. Typically though in a week i would do 1 back session, 1 leg session, 1 upperbody session (i.e shoulders, biceps and triceps) and 1 cardio and abs session. And do a warm up/run/cardio when i feel like it. The schedule and exercises i do vary.. but if i just workout at the gym 2 times in a week then i would do an upperbody and lowerbody session as i like to workout all my muscle groups in one week anyway.

So that is pretty much my schedule at the moment. During summer this will change as i may be out in the sun more doing runs or walks, or if i have long work shifts i may not workout at all due to time/energy levels. I don’t usually plan my workouts beforehand either… i plan my workout when i get to the gym.

However i do usually try to plan what times/what days i can workout at the start of each week. Somedays it is early sessions before school and other days it is late sessions after dinner, all depends on what i am doing in the day. And somedays i plan to workout after lunch/after school but have things to do or am too tired and then i head home instead. And somedays i sleep past my alarm and miss my planned morning workout… that’s just life.

I make sure that my workouts are based on enjoyment and because i want to do them and never force myself to workout, however i do make sure to get some fresh air and move my body each day (as long as i am not super sick or injured). But i don’t have any minimum time i have to workout, sometimes a 20 minute walk is enough.

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So there you see my workout routine as of May/June 2019 🙂

I do want to get into more functional/crossfit style workouts again, because as i mentioned i do think they are the most beneficial, especially for health. Not to mention super fun. And in the future i would like to run some OCR/obstacle couse races such as tough mudder. And also to begin running more often/regularly and not just have it as a phase thing.

I would love to know HOW do YOU workout? What’s your workout routine? 🙂

Working out in the morning fasted or in the evening fueled up?

I know I have touched on this subject before, but I wanted to write about it again. Working out… when is the optimal time?

Working out in the morning fasted or later on in the evening after eating several meals?

To start off, I am the type of person who likes to work out in the morning and most often fasted i.e before breakfast. This is something I have done for several years so I am used to it as well as it suits my lifestyle. I.e I wake up, drink some coffee, do some online work and then go to the gym, workout and start my day. And then I’ll be in school studying or in lectures until 3-5pm and then home to meal prep and by then I am so tired so I just wna tot lie in bed….. so working out in the morning suits my lifestyle. But recently I have instead been working out in the evening… for numerous reasons. Either I have had 8am lectures which I have needed to go to, or I have felt too stressed with school work so have just wanted to start at once so haven’t prioritized the gym in the morning or I just didn’t have the energy or motivation to workout in the morning… then instead later in the day I will feel energetic and motivated and want to go to the gym. And I must say… it is a huge difference working out in the evening after having eaten 2-3 meals before hand. I feel more energetic and like I can keep working out…. I do admit, the sun and warmth makes a difference as well. During the winter when it is dark and grey the last thing I want to do is leave the house in the afternoon and feel far less energetic.

The one problem with working out in the evening is that it doesn’t always happen… i.e I know that if I workout in the morning I 1) am filled with energy for the day/morning& feel more focused, 2) My workout is done for the day and I know that I can do whatever for the rest of the day i.e if I decide to go out with friends or do other things I don’t have to prioritize the gym, 3) Stomach ache won’t prvent me from going to the gym…. You know sometimes after eating several meals the bloat kicks in or I eat something that gives me a stomach ache and then I can’t workout, so working out in the morning also means that it is done and if anything comes up throughout the day such as stomach pain or extra school work it won’t affect my workout.

So… when is the best time to workout? When you can fit it into your lifestyle. Whether it is 30 minutes on your lunch break or 45 minutes while watching tv in the evening or in the morning before you begin work or school.

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The best is to eat something before hand so that you have energy for your workout. Or if you workout fasted in the morning then make sure to eat a big meal the night before so that that energy will fuel you during your workout the following morning.

And no, fasted cardio is not better or better for fatloss than non fasted cardio. You still burn the same amount of energy and even if your body uses more “fat” when doing fasted cardio, it will not make fatloss higher the rest of the day or over a longer period of time, because once you eat carbohydrates you body will use that glucose for energy i.e burn glucose.

It is like when people say “eat fat to burn fat”… basically if you eat a lot of fat, your body will use that fat you ate for energy… so it is not your fat stores, but it is the fat you eat that you burn making you technically burn more fat, but just the fat from the food. If this makes sense.  I.e eat a lot of carbs and your body will use a lot of glucose, eat a lot of fat and your body will mostly use the fatty acids for energy.

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What about which workout form to do? Well the best form is the exercise you enjoy. However I would recommend everyone to do some form of resistance training or strength training because having strong muscles is so important, especially the older you get. Not only will it make you stronger it can also help with posture and if you fall when you are older you are less likely to injure yourself because you have muscles that can support you. So even if you can only do body weight exercises that is still great and a way to work your muscles and build strength!

If you have any more questions about this topic, don’t be scared to ask 🙂 

Questions – exercise, moderation with food, perks of living on my own

Good morning everyone 🙂 I have been rather slow at answering comments recently, so thought i would just answer a few in a post instead incase others have the same/similar questions 🙂 If you have any questions comment down below and i will try my best to reply!

I was wondering – what sort of exercises do you do to strengthen your core? How long does it take for them to take effect? Is there a web site you can recommend that could give me further information and examples of exercises? 

I have only just started “again” to focus on core workouts, otherwise i have just sort of done the same 3 core workouts the past while which is hanging leg raises, an oblique exericse with weights & crunches with weights/in the cable cross machine.

Doing core work is one of the easiest to do at home and also easy to just throw in a few core workouts in the middle or after another workout. So i am trying to do 1 focused session of core workout and then doing a few core exercises after 2 other workout sessions. My goal isn’t to get abs or visible abs, but because i have a rather weak core because i haven’t trained it… and just like with all muscles, if you want them to get stronger you have to train them. And how long it takes to see/feel effect? After just the first and second session i felt myself being stronger in the core workouts i.e could do more reps or use more weights. However it is always like that in the beginning…. you get strong quickly/see improvements and then it slows down over time as your body adapts.

I don’t use any sites for my core workouts as i already know alot of them form all the years in my gym. But bodybuilding.com has a whole bunch of exercises for different muscle groups you can look at:)

 

 

Do you follow a work out “routine” each time or do you just do what you feel most like doing on the day? How long do you work out for ?

No i don’t follow any workout routine, neither for muscle group or exercises. It depends on how i am feeling. Of course… if you want to improve alot or work towards a goal this isn’t the best form of training because 1) if i am tired i am not going to push myself as hard and 2) it is easy to just do the same exercises over and over and stay in your comfort zone. So if you are working towards a goal or want to see alot of improvement i would recommend a training program that pushes you each time and so you know what you are going to do and just do it…. But for me, i just make my plan when i go to the gym 🙂 And how long i workout depends on how much time and energy i have…. sometimes 40 minutes other times 90 minutes (though that can include core workout and stretch at the end)!

Hey! I have a question about fruit. Of some reason I always overeat it, like I can’t get enough. I just love fruit so much and don’t feel satisfied with it… For me it is like the same problems some people have with candy. I can never just eat “one fruit”, always end up eating LOTS of them. Do you have any tips on how I could get back to eating fruit in a normal way?

Just like with all foods – moderation is key. So even if fruit is a great fruit, overeating it isn’t a great idea. I had a period where i could eat 1kg apples in one sitting or eat 5 bananas at once, just because it was soo good, but wasn’t filling. And my best tip is to

  1. Look over what you are eating the rest of the day. Are you eating enough carbohydrates? Are your main meals filling you up? Are you eating a protein source and a fat source with all your meals?
  2. Are you going too long without eating which makes you very hungry?
  3. Do you have alot of sweet cravings/tired?

I would suggest maybe increase the amount of fiber rich carbs, protein and fat you eat in your main meals. Maybe you are lacking energy or carbohydrates? Also can you eat fruit with something else if it is your snack? Maybe add some peanut butter with the banana or apples… or add some nuts with the fruit, or maybe make a fruit salad and top with some yoghurt and seeds, or what about making oatmeal and topping it with fruit?

Fruit is delicious, it is sweet and gives you a quick source of energy as well as vitamins and minerals. The fructose can make you want more of it… just like other sugar rich foods, it can be hard to eat just 1 serving. But eating more in your main meals and having fruit as part of your meals or snacks and not the only thing you have as a snack might help 🙂

What are your favourite podcasts? (in english) 

I don’t actually listen to any english podcasts, so i can’t really help you there, i am sorry.

What’s the best and the worst with living on your own?

Hmmm… there are so many positives of having my own place. Just knowing that no one else is home when i get home. Not having to adapt to anyone else. Being able to make food whenever i want. Not having anxiety/worrying that there will be friends of a roommate over. Having the place cleaned 90% of the time. Listening to  music, podcasts and series without earphones. Not worrying that my 10 alarms in the morning will annoy a roommate. And so many other things!!

The worst….? Hmmm, not so much so far. The worst is maybe that the apartment is rather small so just the tiniest of mess makes the whole apartment look messy and also that even if i only use a few dishes each day (apart from when i meal prep!!), it feels like i am constantly washing the dishes. Otherwise i guess it is just my neighbours who seem to just stomp around all evening and sounds like they are constantly rearranging their furniture – i have no idea what they are doing, hahahah.

Just a few random questions i have gotten recently 🙂 Feel free to leave a question or comment if you are wondering anything or have any topic requests!!!

Trying a new gym – gym anxiety?

Along with my move of apartment i have also started going to a new gym. It is not a new gym brand, just a new location that is closer to where i live.

It is strange how i have been going to the gym c.a 6 years now and strength training 5 years… but still, whenever i try a new gym i feel like a newbie and like i have never been to a gym before.

I know i am not alone in feeling this way – many people hate going to a new gym, no matter how many years you have been going to a gym.

Trying to find where all the different equipment is, finding the lockers and the bathroom. Wandering around, looking lost even if you know exactly what you want and what exercise you are going to do, you can’t find the right equipment or location. Or maybe the gym machines are different to the ones you usually use and you can’t figure out how the new ones work, so you can’t adjust them accordingly. Yup, it can be frustrating, embarrassing and cause anxiety. It does for me anyway.

 

I have previously written some posts about gym anxiety: HERE and a post about being new to the gym/gym etiquette HERE

The first time i tried the new gym location there were SO MANY people. Granted, it was after Easter so i guess there were alot of people trying to burn off the calories as usual after holidays. So the first time i went to the gym location i felt flustered, awkward, anxious because i couldn’t find what i was looking for, the gym area was smaller than i was used to and it felt like people were standing 2cm away from each other. So i left thinking, “I am not going back to that location. I will just travel further each time i workout to my regular gym location.”

However… this is how i always feel. I like the comfort of my usual location, the “normal”. But i remember when i first tried the closest gym location where i lived at previously, i felt the same and left thinking the exact same thing that “nope, i am not going back here”. But then i went back and soon it became my favourite gym location.

So i decided to go back, and have tried the “new” gym location 2 more times and am beginning to like it alot more – especially now when there aren’t so many people. It is closer to home and more convenient than having to travel into the city each day so prefer going to the one closer to home, also realising that it has some gym equipment which my regular gym doesn’t have.

It is always the initial anxiety and nerves of being “new” – even if i know what i am doing. It feels like everyone will look at me and think, “wow, who is she… i have never seen her before. Does she even workout?”. I feel like i return to the 16 year old insecure me who began working out and had no idea what she was doing. However, once i actually begin working out my confidence comes back and i just zone everyone out. NOT TO MENTION that i am pretty sure no one even notices if i am new at the gym or not. And everyone is so focused on their own exercise and workout program that they don’t have time to focus on what anyone elses is doing.

So… my advice to all of you. DON’T be scared to try a new gym or new form of exercise. It may feel scary and anxietyridden at first, but it will pass. Also – give it a few times… don’t decide after the first session that you don’t want to go there/do it anymore… instead give it atleast 3-4 chances and if you still don’t like the form of exercise or exercise location – change. But give it an honest chance first.

I know that if i had listened to the anxiety of first starting a gym or trying a new gym i would never go to the gym right now. Instead i would most likely just be out running or walking because i would be too anxious to go to a gym and feel awkward or anxious.

Also trust me… nobody notices or cares – everyone is so focused on themselves.

However making a plan, having a good playlist and just trying to rock some confidence can help if you feel very anxious!!

Recovery question – exercise addiction/overanalyzing/always counting calories or exercise

Hi Izzy,
I have a question since I know you suffered from a severe exercise addiction when you had your ed. Im still not fully recovered, but I’m weight restored and live a normal life so I guess I’d say Im very close to recovery. However, I also had a very serious problem with excessive movement when I was at my worst stages in the illness. Today I’m quite sedentary since I study full time, and I don’t get anxiety for moving/not moving, but the problem is that I still think about how/when/how much I move and will move almost all the time!! I don’t know why because I doesn’t make me move more or less, it’s just like I’m always analyzing it even though it makes no sense at all and it’s completely unnecessary.. Its like “Now I’m sitting down, now I’m standing, now I’m walking, now I’m dancing etc..” and it is so frustrating and I just want to be normal like I was before my ed when I never had a though about the daily movement. Was this ever a problem for you? If so, how did you stop thinking about your movement?

Hello,

First off i am so sorry it has taken me so long to reply to your comment. Maybe you have managed to find some tactics that have worked for you to overcome this problem.

I never struggled with this exact problem, however i did have thoughts like “i am not moving/exercising enough”, i would compare my exercise/movement to others, if i saw others moving when i wasn’t i would feel anxiety – example if i was sitting on the train and i saw people standing i would begin to feel very guilty and anxious – as well as just trying to move as much as possible. At my worst i did count the hours i was activity and the hours i was still/sitting each day and only allowed myself X hours each day to actually sit or rest.

Your problem sounds alot like how i was with calorie counting…. i was always counting calories in my head and would count the calories of other people’s food as well as my own food. I did reach a stage where the amount of calories i guesstimated my food didn’t bother me, i.e whether it was 300kcal or 600kcal didn’t matter, i would still eat it… but i couldn’t stop counting. It was frustrating… to not be able to get rid of those thoughts or stop constantly counting calories… always analyzing.

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However, i no longer do that and only ever talk about calories in food if i am asked questions regarding it or if someone asks me to guess how many calories are in their food (because they know i study nutrition. However i usually answer that it really doesn’t matter how many calories are in their meal.) So i believe that you can overcome that analyzing of exercising and moving you do everyday.

My best tip is to try to focus on living life and doing things you enjoy each day. The more you focus on living life or working on projects, school work, doing hobbies you enjoy the less time you have to sit and think and analyze. The more you focus on life, the less time and space your eating disorder thoughts have to take up.

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However, it might be at the end of the day that the analyzing thoughts creep in and take up your time. Then i would suggest maybe 1) writing or journalling, 2) maybe reading a book – something to distract yourself so you don’t just think. But also 3) maybe ask yourself why you analyze your exercise/movement everyday…. what does it give you?

Trying to change your thoughts. This is the most important, just like when it comes to eating disorder habits or behaviours, you need to change them…. you can’t just mask over the problem or try to distract yourself. But actually change the thoughts…. which does take time and only YOU can do it. Each time you begin to analyze/think about your exercising and moving, change your thoughts…. think about something else. Maybe think about things you are grateful for in your life, maybe goals you have or what you want to do in the future/the weekend etc or even just counting sheep if it is during the night time.  It is like all negative thoughts or habits, the more you allow them to take up space – the more space they will take up. (Or even like negative or manipulative friends… give them your hand and they’ll take your whole arm. It is the same with intrusive thoughts.)

If i am honest, i am not fully sure how i overcame certain thoughts or mindsets. Somethings just happened naturally as i began to focus on life, example with the calorie counting. It wasn’t that i actively tried to change the thoughts… i just didn’t have time or energy to count calories. I had school work to focus on, i had friends and family, i had my blog to focus on as well as doing things i enjoyed. So from time to time  i would catch myself sitting at the table counting calories in the food my family and my self were eating, but i would just stop those thoughts at once. Overtime those thoughts stopped.

Some thoughts may never fully fade, however if they don’t control your life or impact your life negatively then it is often ok that they just appear from time to time. But it sounds like the thoughts you have take up alot of time and energy and i would recommend you try to work on them…. to atleast make them lessen and fade so that it is not an everyday analyzing.

I really wish i could give you better advice or some more concrete tips, but what works for people is so individual. And the mind and thoughts can be complicated. However i do believe that those thoughts and analyzing can fade and lessen even if they may not be completely gone forever (or maybe they will!!), you just need to work on changing the thoughts and focusing on other things in your life.

 

 

(If you struggle with always counting calories then i have some posts HERE [from my previous blog] which might help you.)

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Gym Etiquette for Newbies!

Continuing on from my previous post, gym anxiety advice, i thought i would share some gym etiquette for both newbies and oldies as a reminder!  There are just some things which you should keep in mind when going to the gym – just to make it a better place for everyone!

1) Put away the weights, bars and plates when you are done with them. Don’t leave them lying on the floor.

2) Wipe away your sweat after you…. and even if you haven’t sweated it can be a good idea to wipe the machine/bench after you!

3) Don’t stare at others. Of course, sometimes you look at others for inspiration and that is ok… but try not make it blatantly obvious that you are staring at them.

4) Don’t just sit on a bench or a machine for 15 minutes or hoard weights you aren’t using. This is for both guys and girls – many people take up a bench or machine and just sit there using their phone (don’t do that!). Also some people take 5-6 different sets of weights and occupy them for 30 minutes even if they just do 2 set. (And i know there is a thing called drop sets, but then maybe you can just take the weights when you need them instead of taking all the weights so no one else can use them)

5) This is mostly for guys – but don’t make too much noise. No one wants to hear you scream, grunt and huff every 2 minutes. It’s ok if you are maxing out on a few lifts, but hen you scream and grunt for the whole 60 minutes you are there then it is disturbing to others as well as can make it very uncomfortable for some people.

6) You may tune out everyone and everything when you are at the gym but it can be good to be a little aware of others around you so that you don’t end up walking or standing too close to someone else. Example if someone is doing kettle bell swings or deadlifts you don’t want to stand too close to them. Or if you see someone is doing a superset it can be a good idea to skip the machines they are using or give them some space if they need it. It is just common courtesy according to me. However it has happened far too often that people stand right infront of me when i am doing deadlifts even if there is plenty of other space for them to stand. Not to mention creepy men who stand 10 cm behind me when i am doing straight leg deadlifts, hip thrusts or deadlifts and that just makes me uncomfortable and considering i was the first one standing there it shouldn’t have to be me that moves.

7) Don’t interrupt people in the middle of their set. Maybe you want to ask how long they have left on the machine/weights, maybe you want to talk to them or maybe ask if you can use the machine inbetween their rest…. but wait until they are done with their set before talking to them. Also, don’t flirt with someone or try to hit them up… instead if you really want to flirt/talk to someone maybe catch them when they are leaving.

Also, don’t give unsolicited advice unless you are a qualified PT.

Just some tips and advice to make the gym environment for everyone! Of course there are other things such as using clean gym clothes and deodorant, not wearing too much perfume, wearing appropriate clothing, not using your phone too much etc but those don’t matter as much. But it depends on which gym you go to… i.e i don’t personally care if a girl workouts in just a sports bra or if a guy takes off his short, but if it was a 50 year old man at my gym who decided to just workout in shorts and no top i would be a little creeped out. But also sometimes people have SO MUCH perfume/spray on them that i can’t breathe and have had to move to another part of the gym/away from the person, and that isn’t really right. But these things might be obvious hopefully, haha!