We all have an idea of what it means to be healthy. Eat right, workout, live an active lifestyle within an increasingly sedentary society. Seems simple, right? What if you are doing these things to live that healthy lifestyle, but begin to lose the results? Change is then going to become the solution to your problem. It was for me.
Being a college athlete for four years, I was always doing mass amounts of cardio training, mostly on the tennis court. Hours were spent in high intensity competition or repetitive drilling. Weight training and HIIT workouts were also included in team workouts, however, cardio was the dominant exercise. If you’re curious what happens when you graduate from this lifestyle and try to establish a new routine, I’ll share what I learned in this time period about fitness.
I have always been dedicated to the gym, mostly going 6 days a week without fail. When I graduated this summer I continued going on 45 minute runs and doing very similar weight training, and I saw myself hit a plateau. My routine was stagnant. I’ve been doing personal training for two weeks now, a program I never associated with because I didn’t think I needed to be coached to workout. Let me clear this up. You can utilize some training sessions even if you’re a gym junkie.
By no means am I saying personal training is essential to meeting your goals, it’s just a challenge that will only bring benefits. I am doing all new workouts that test me in new ways, and, most importantly, i’ve completely switched my workout routine ratio of weights to cardio.
My former tentative post-graduation fitness routine:
- Cardio approximately 45 mins a day
- Weights 2-3 times a week
- Mat workouts (abs, glutes, etc)
- *to note: I was using primarily free weights just up to 10 lbs
- Cardio just 3 days a week for 20 minutes
- Mixing it up between the stair stepper, treadmill, stair runs outside etc
- Weights up to 4 days a week
- Every day is working different muscles
- legs, arms, back, shoulders, glutes
- Beginning at heaviest weight for true form and decreasing weight each set of reps
- Every day is working different muscles
- I try to incorporate a pilates or yoga class once a week, because stretching is key to preventing injury. I also love the relaxation part of these, given the strenuous nature of weight lifting.
I’m going to be 100% honest, I’ve never been pushed this hard in the gym with weights. Tennis was so heavily based on endurance and how long I could last during match points, I didn’t spend a lot of time on the machines. Now I spend most of my time on them.
The best part: There are only benefits. I haven’t found any reasoning to second guess the investment of personal training or the swapped routine. I have more energy because weight training fatigues only my muscles, instead of making me feel sluggish. My muscle composition is already improved. I’m learning a lot more about what my body needs from workouts, to better compliment my other healthy habits.
Another awesome part about all of this: I’m never bored. There are days I skip cardio because I don’t need it. At a certain point, cardio begins to take away the muscle you work so hard for.
muscle > fat
strong > everything?
I was careful with the second bold statement above, because there’s nothing “wrong” with anyone’s body. Everyone has different genetics. I just personally wasn’t satisfied anymore with just being “fit.” Because what is fit? I’m a person that functions off of constant improvement and balance (Libra issues). Now my gym routine is included in that as well.
It’s slightly uncomfortable at first to put my trust into another person to push me to get better results, but the truth remains that I didn’t know enough about what it takes to gain proper muscle composition. I wasn’t aware how helpful it was to keep a training journal to record progress and BMI updates. I didn’t know the potential of my own body. Someone had to tell me to stop running and get on the bench.
I’m not going to fully dive into the gender discussion about girls’ incessant need to complete cardio sessions, because I’m guilty for that blind reliance as well.
The women I admire most and follow through web content and Instagram lift weights on a constant basis. Weights are your best friend. Cardio is an accessory to weights. Looking at it this way has really helped me move forward.
Sometimes you need a little assistance separating myths from facts.
Effective this week, I’m going to be adding workout routines, gym gear posts, as well as on-the-go nutritious meals that I stick to on a weekly basis.
I’m really excited to be expanding my content and posting more regularly, and thank you so much to those who have already been following for more!
Comment below on your favorite workout, or your next fitness goal you desire most.
Thanks for reading! xx