I always get so many questions about my workout routine and I’m always happy to share what works for me with anyone who asks! I definitely have my favorite workout programs that I use but I’ve learned over the years that you have to find what works for you AND more importantly something you’ll look forward to and you enjoy doing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I wake up and say “Damn I cannot wait to workout today!” But for me its something that makes me feel good, keeps me sane and keeps me looking good too!
For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed fitness and being active. Growing up in Wisconsin as a kid we were always outside – yes even in the cold winter months! We didn’t come inside until we heard the dinner bell! My family always had a membership to the YMCA and if we weren’t there we were participating in some sport after school. So I guess it’s just always been a part of who I am. I never really even considered it exercise, it’s always just been a part of my life. From ballet class, to horseback riding, to aerobic classes (for those of you who remember what those are) you name it, I did it.
After college it became somewhat of an obsession for me and cardio was always my go to workout. It allows me to de-stress and honestly back then I was more into burning as many calories as possible so I could eat more or burn off that White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha (which did you know is actually like drinking a Big Mac?!) I gradually added in some weights to my workout routine but after an hour on the Stairmaster (I know total overkill right?) I just didn’t have the desire to do another 30 minutes of weights.
I wasn’t really getting the results I wanted by “killing myself with cardio” so that’s when I tried some different workouts and I started doing Beachbody DVD programs at home. I’ve never been a big fan of going to the gym – time wasted driving there and back, dirty equipment that could probably grow all kinds of nasty bacterial cultures, (I actually got really sick once from the dirty floor mats at the gym -YUCK!) So when I started working out with DVD programs things changed for me. I had more time to dedicate to my workout so I wasn’t rushing and I could do it whenever I wanted and not have to worry about what time a certain class started. Along with Beachbody I’ve tried a few other programs that were available online that I could do at my own pace. Eventually I came up with several different workout programs that have become part of my fitness bible that work for me.
So today I want to share one of those with you. This is probably my favorite workout as it gives me the cardio I crave and the sculpted muscles I want. I think it’s important to understand how your body works and reacts to certain exercises. For instance, I’m 5’3”, short waisted, large chested, broad shouldered and tend to have bulkier muscles. Any time I try to lift heavier weights I bulk up like the Incredible Hulk. So I’ve learned that for me, nothing over a 15 lb weight is really necessary. P90X made me look like a football player which is NOT what I was going for. (That being said I know many people that love that program and it worked well for their body type). My muscles are already naturally compact so I needed something that was going to make them longer and leaner. I found a workout program that married cardio and ballet and I was hooked!
I’ve kind of morphed it into my own workout from what it was but here’s a brief overview of what it consists of. The great thing is you can create your own version of exercises you like and just do intervals. I write them down on a piece of paper (I do 5 cardio intervals of 1 minute each and 5 ballet intervals of 1 minute each and I just list out however many I want to do so it equals 30-45 minutes.) I turn on some music, set my timer to 1 minute intervals and just GO!
Here’s a snippet of what this workout looks like!
1 minute each:
Jump Rope in Place (no rope required!)
Side to Side Jump Rope
1 minute each:
Plié with Leg Lift – Right Leg
Plié with Leg Lift Left Leg
Hips Sweep Right Leg
Hip Sweep Left Leg
(1 minute each of various cardio moves for a total of 5 minutes)
(1 minute each of a series of ballet moves for a total of 5 minutes)
Arabesque Right Leg
Arabesque Left Leg
Croisé Alternating Legs
Attitude Right Leg
Attitude Left Leg
The above would equal a 20 minute workout but if I wanted longer I just add in more exercises. Simple! If you’re someone who needs motivation and someone telling you or showing you what to do then this workout might not be for you but it’s what I like and what works for me. What’s a good workout program you like? I’m always looking for inspiration!
Photography by Madison Katlin