Making a workout schedule

Happy Monday world. The day in which we all resolve to make this one a “better week,” especially after the overindulgent Saturday and inevitably lazy Sunday. Of course I did my share of overindulging- dinner at Green Street Smoked Meats on Friday night before watching Interstellar. I love the Texas BBQ theme, so cozy and yummm

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Las Palmas in Wicker Park on Saturday night, which was delicious, although I wasn’t a big fan of the Tempranillo wine (a bit sour for my taste). I had the Cochinita Pibil (sans the beans), and it was scrumptious. So tender and juicy

I would have included my own photo, had I remembered to take one after having that second glass of Tempranillo wine. I did attempt to take a picture at Nick’s Beer Garden, and here are the results:

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That was the blues band that was playing, except you really can’t see much in this half-lit, half-selfie. I say, when in doubt (or when inebriated) leave the photo magic to the pros.

The Mike Wheeler Band, playing that night at Nick’s (a different venue is pictured)

After a thoroughly lazy Sunday (I did work a little, to be fair, but I was on the couch), I started thinking about my workout schedule. I think most people who are not already accustomed to a regular workout schedule struggle with putting one together. I’m not a fitness professional, and while I do meet with a trainer once a week (most weeks), I think I have done a fairly good job of figuring out what types of workouts are best for me and how to time them correctly throughout the week.

Here’s a few simple rules I use to guide my workout schedule planning:

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for 20-30 minutes two to three times per week, but not on consecutive days

-cardio (for me, it’s running, but it can be cycling, elliptical, any cardio class, etc.) in between my HIIT workouts- typically one long, steady state run (45 min) and one short recovery run (30 min).

-walking to and from work every day (a little over a mile each way)

-one flexibility day (I’m working on making sure I incorporate this, but I’m not always super successful)

That means that a typical schedule could look like this:

Monday- HIIT

Tuesday- 30 min easy cardio

Wednesday- HIIT

Thursday- flexibility (foam roller, yoga, stretching)

Friday- HIIT

Saturday- 45 min run

Sunday-rest

Of course, work being unpredictable as it is, sometimes I can only do 2 HIIT workouts, or I can go on a nice hike instead of a 30 min recovery run. It’s important to do what feels good for you. Since one of my goals, however, is fat loss I try to incorporate as many cardio and HIIT workouts as possible, since these are most conducive to my goals.

HIIT workouts include moves that also build muscle mass, which is necessary to prevent injury. I used to be that girl that only ran on the treadmill five times a week. Then I really did a number on my hip flexor for not building proper muscle support and always working the same muscle groups. HIIT workouts have an “afterburn” effect (EPOC), increasing your metabolic rate (= burning calories long after your workout is over), also great for fat loss.

Some studies apparently suggest that an effective HIIT workout consists of 30-60 second bursts of all out intensity followed by a minute of recovery, done four times through. This is roughly the formulation I follow.

Some great sources for weekly schedules and HIIT workouts include:

  • Nike Training Club app– on the go, ready-made workouts that always, always kick my butt. And it’s free!
  • The Fitnessista– her entire blog is awesome, but here I’ve included a link to her Winter Shape Ups… Choose any one of these and there will be a schedule for workouts for a week, including HIIT videos. You can also just go to her general Fitness page for more workouts.
  • Tone It Up– these girls are great! You can also follow along their schedule, but they have a different formulation than the one I suggest above. Maybe this one works best for you.
  • Blogilates– these HIITs are killer. You’ve been warned!
  • Peanut Butter Fingers– this is a fun blog in general and it also has some great routines!
  • Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30– an awesome DVD, although, with all the free resources out there on the net, I doubt you even need to buy exercise tapes anymore.

If you’re a beginner, just modify. Do simple moves, like squats, push ups, planks, lunges with bicep curls for the 60 seconds, then rest, and repeat.

Get sweaty, guys.

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