Workouts: Lose the All or Nothing Attitude

by Jillian on January 19, 2012 · 7 comments

I will be the first to admit, I used to have an all or nothing attitude about working out. I had a set schedule every week and if I veered from it even the least bit, I would beat myself up over it. If I couldn’t get in an hour and a half per day, I would feel that it wasn’t worth going. In the last year, I’ve learned how wrong I was and made many adjustments to my workouts.

My schedule used to look like this:

  • Monday
    • abs (upper, lower, obliques)
    • 45 minutes on the elliptcal
  • Tuesday
    • abs (upper, lower, obliques)
    • 1 hour run (~7 miles)
  • Wednesday
    • abs (upper, lower, obliques) …you’re seeing this trend, right?
    • total upper body strength training (chest, shoulders, back, triceps, biceps)
    • 25 minutes on the elliptical
  • Thursday
    • abs (upper, lower, obliques)
    • 45 minute run, steady state
  • Friday
    • abs (upper, lower, obliques)
    • 3 mile run
    • total leg workout (glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves)
  • Saturday
    • abs (upper, lower, obliques) …you’re seeing this trend, right?
    • total upper body strength training (chest, shoulders, back, triceps, biceps)
    • 25 minutes on the elliptical

Yes, I did abs every. single. day. And you know what? My abs look just as good now without doing them every single day. I rarely did HIIT (high intensity interval training). I also didn’t switch my strength training up as much as I should have. I was in the gym for 75 to 90 minutes a day, sometimes more on upper body days.

When I started my new job in November of 2010, a lot of things changed. I was gone longer during the day and I would find that I was extremely tired of getting up extra early just so I could fit my planned workout in. It wasn’t until I started missing workouts because “I only have 45 minutes, I woke up late”, that I knew I needed to make a change.

I began learning more about HIIT workouts and how a 20 minute high intensity workout can be just as effective as 45 minutes of steady state cardio. I tried to incorporate these on Mondays and Thursdays and still keep some steady cardio in my plan.

Some of my favorite HIIT workouts are listed below:

Joe got me in the habit of doing abs. I mean, I have to look at this everyday.

IMG_0702

Six days a week times 30 minutes of abs is 3 hours of abs per week. Insane. I don’t have time for that. What was I thinking? I’ve changed my routine to do abs on days that I don’t do upper body or leg strength training. I also mixed up my routines for upper, lower, and obliques. For instance, since Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays are just cardio, I will focus on certain ab workouts each day. One day I will do core exercises like planks and stability ball exercises. Another day I will focus on mat exercises and another day I will do weighted ab workouts or use handlebars to do leg lifts. I cut abs down to under 1.5 hours per week. Big difference, right? And guess what, my abs look the same.

IMG_0708

Lastly, I was really stuck on my long run day. Tuesday mornings I would wake up dreading my long run. Ugh! I would drag my ass to the gym and think about how awful it was going to be and therefore my run would be awful because I already had a bad attitude. Now, I do not force myself to do long runs. Some days I just wake up and I am totally feeling a long run. I will get out there and do it and with a positive attitude because my body is telling me it is ready. The one time that happened, I ended up running the furthest I’ve ever run: 8 miles!

8mile

Some other things I did to switch up my routine are bootcamp classes and plans like Jamie Eason’s LiveFit.

This morning I mentioned that I woke up feeling like I could just  not bring myself to the gym. Well, you know what? After working for a few hours, I felt better and got the itch to get in a sweat session. I knew I didn’t want to spend a lot of time so I quickly remembered Tina’s tabata treadmill workout and combined that with my core stability ab workout. I was in and out of the gym in 35 minutes!

tabatatreadmill

source

I came home and had a quick protein filled snack.

IMG_0438

I’m loving the new Chobani apple cinnamon flavor! This was the first time I’ve tried it. I added some Erewhon brown rice crispies to it and it was heaven. I can’t wait to try the other new flavors, like blood orange!

IMG_0440

It’s pretty much apple pie filling, which knocks my socks off.

Anyway, if you feel like you are forcing yourself to the gym I encourage you to reassess your current workout schedule.

Remember:

  • a 20 minute workout is better than no workout at all
  • listen to your body, take rest days when needed
  • try new workouts so you don’t get stuck in a rut
  • don’t focus on quantity, focus on quality
  • do not beat yourself up over an unplanned rest day

Have you change your workout routine lately? What are some tips you have to save time at the gym?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Marilyn January 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Great picture of Joe. Wow !! I do beat myself up when I have an unplanned rest day. Have to work on not feeling guilty on those days. With my new heart monitor, I see I am burning more calories and working at a higher rate than I thought I was.

Reply

2 Chels R. January 20, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Rest days are so important! I’m taking one today :)

I’ve gotta try that new Chobani I heard it was good! :)

Reply

3 Jillian January 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Love rest days! And yes, the apple cinnamon is a must try!

Reply

4 Sarah @ newlyeverything January 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I just started a new job and my day starts very early. Since I’m on my feet all day I try to get extra boosts of exercise in. I try to take the stairs often and try to make my pace brisk when I’m running all over on the the hospital .HIITs have been a savior of me, I just can’t seem to log too much time on the treadmill these days. I also hula hoop with a weighted sport hoop for 10 mins in front of the tv whenever I think of it.

Making a date to try a new class at the gym is also great motivation for me

Reply

5 Jillian January 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm

It’s great to break up your workouts too. You can do a quick treadmill run in the morning and maybe some weights after work. The hula hoop idea sounds neat! :)

Reply

6 Lizzie August 17, 2012 at 11:11 am

I break up my workouts, sometimes, too- super quick run and then upper body or yoga later in the day. Spreading it out can extend the endorphin rush while giving you a bit of a nice rest period in-between. Such a refreshing post, Jillian!

Reply

7 janetha January 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm

That’s definitely my new favorite Chobani!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: