Workouts

My Winter Workout Routine

December 11, 2013

Winter, in particular December, is always a time where people seem to find the best excuses to forget all about their gym memberships. Christmas parties, holiday shopping and baking cookies are clearly more important than any gym class, but  it’s still nice to do a little something every day, even during the colder months. I do realize that everyone’s motivation to exercise is a little bit different and some simply dread thinking about working out. I on the other hand am a bit of a gym bunny, working towards a new half-marathon PR.

Over the last year I’ve been able to design my workouts around training for half-marathons or triathlons, which means incorporating lots of running. I already have two half-marathons on my radar for early next year so whenever I hit the gym or go to a group class I automatically see that as preparation for the next race.

Today I’d like to talk you through what my winter exercise routine looks and I’ll highlight some of my favorite classes.

Winter Workouts

Don’t worry. I’m not as crazy as my workout routine suggests. I do give myself the occasional rest day.

I’ve designed my routine specifically for future races and triathlons. I plan to do at least one triathlon in 2014 so spin classes are a favorite right now. Since I already know that in the not so distant future I’ll have to run 21K I also aim to run around 15-25km per week, divided up into 3 days.

short run // {long} run // interval runs

During an ideal week I’ll do 3 runs, but most weeks I only do 2. Two of these runs are just normal runs, either outdoors when the weather allows or on the treadmill whilst watching Glee. A short run is anything between 4-6km and I like to pair it with either abs or arms & shoulder exercises. My long run should be between 6-10km, but is usually 7K. And then I do interval running on Sundays with a running coach where we do pyramids {running at different paces} and drills. The interval runs have really benefited me and I’ve seen an incredible increase in speed during my runs. I highly recommend this to anyone, whether it be a newbie or experienced runner!

spin // spin circuits

In preparation for an upcoming triathlon I find it essential to do spin classes. They are an excellent workout and there’s no way I’d get the same result of improved fitness if I just sat on a stationary bike without an instructor. The up-beat  music in addition to having an experienced instructor guide you through the class makes spinning incredibly fun. In addition to normal spin class I also do spin circuits once a week which, as the name suggests, is a combination of circuit training and spinning. You do shorter, more intense exercises like hill climbs, sprints or jumps which targets pretty much every single muscle group in your body.

performance circuits // circuits & abs //body conditioning

While I do enjoy running and cycling I don’t find it useful to limit exercise exclusively to cardio. Strengthening your core and arm muscles is equally as important. Circuit training and body conditioning will help you tone and build strength. Although you can easily design your own circuit workout, I do the classes at the gym. The stations are 1 minute each and the exercises, which can be anything from holding a plank, barbell lifting, squat variations or box jumps, really bring your heart rate up. If you want a little guidance on how to create your own circuit workouts here’s a list of blogs that offer great workout inspiration!

H.I.I.T.

When I first saw that my gym offers High Intensity Interval Training I almost freaked out. Although there’s absolutely nothing enjoyable about it whilst doing the exercises, there’s nothing that compares to it. I’m not going to lie, it’s one of the most intense workouts I’ve ever done. The way that it’s set up is 2 minutes of intense exercises {burpees, squat jumps, mountain climbers…you know, all that fun stuff}, followed by 30 seconds of rest. Each set is repeated 3 times, then we move on to the next set of exercises. In my gym the class is an hour long, but you certainly do not need to do this for a full hour to see results. Anything from 20-45 minutes will be plenty and you’ll feel like you’ve got in a great workout.

There’s a few DVDs that I can highly recommend that include H.I.I.T workouts:

 

P.S. If that was too much workout talk for you for one day, don’t worry! I’ll be back with a recipe on Friday!

P.P.S. I’m flying home in T-4 days. Woop woop!

 

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