I used to think I was the kind of person who hated being stuck in a routine. Waking up to be at work at 9am everyday, and then not having any free time until 7pm. Now, without that big chunk of my life planned for me, I can see the benefits of both sides. It takes a lot to stay focused and productive when you’re purely on your own time, let me tell ya. But during this lifestyle shift, one thing that hasn’t changed for me is my workout schedule. I’m a morning person without a doubt. Working out has got to be the first thing I do to start my day, or else it’s most likely not going to happen. Blame it on my busy schedule, blame it on my biological clock, blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol, but I have a very hard time motivating mid or end of day. This one fact forces me to keep a set exercise schedule for myself (as in 7am or bust), and it gives me that bit of structure I need to focus the rest of my day.
Based on my experience, I will say if you know what works for you, plan your schedule around it. Put yourself and your health first, and get your ass in gear, because it’s totally worth it.
- Are you better in the gym in the morning? Let your team at the office know you’ll be in 9:30 everyday and stay an extra half hour on the back-end.
- Better at night? Sign up for a class after work at your gym to keep yourself motivated.
- Or when you get home change IMMEDIATELY into your workout clothes and turn on that workout DVD so you don’t throw off your game by walking into the kitchen and suddenly find yourself scarfing cereal and then skipping your workout (the habit that totally kills all chances of me working out after a day at the office).
When I was in Costa Rica last week our meetings started with a 7am breakfast everyday. Holy. early. batman. This brought me back to my old schedule of going to bed at 9:30pm (they called me grandma Mel) and waking up at the buttcrack of dawn to get a workout in. I remember being on the phone with my boyfriend one night–a night I was completely exhausted from all day meetings–and saying, “Do I want to wake up at 5:30am and kick some ass? Or sleep an extra hour?”. I chose 5:30am, and I was glad for it. I hit the very small gym for a 12 minute routine, and felt great the rest of the day.
Here’s the routine I did at the gym–something I could’ve easily done in my hotel room, also.
6 minute jog on the treadmill to warm up, then an interval training routine. 50 seconds of each exercise listed below in a row, with 10 seconds rest in between each one (one circuit takes 6 minutes flat). I completed the 6 exercise circuit twice. On each 50 second interval, I pushed as hard as I possibly could. That’s how you can make 12 minutes so effective–you give it your all, and give your body something to push against and work up to. See the 12 minute workouts page for more info.
1. high knees (as fast and as high as possible–keep count so you push harder each time)
2. press ups (these are push-ups with your arms pinned by your sides, working your shoulders and triceps more heavily)
3. jump squats with a 15lb weight (works great without the weight, too)
4. V-ups (abs baby!)
5. high knees
6. jump lunges with a weight
Stronger Than Chocolate Challenge Update
OH MAN. We are currently at the beginning of week three of the Stronger Than Chocolate Challenge (a challenge where me and 9 readers attempt to not eat chocolate for as long as possible) and the competition is getting stiff! Remember on day five of the challenge when I told you I was finally over my cravings? Well, that was a false alarm (bummer). I’m not sure how I had such a strong hold over chocolate that day. The only thing I can think of is that I happened to be hungover, so maybe my appetite was just off in general. But the truth is I still think about chocolate everyday. Not chocolate in general, but one specific piece of chocolate that I know is in my cabinet which has been haunting me since the very beginning–a Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cup. I was driving home from personal training class this morning and I thought of it. The physical reaction I still get is insane. The back of my throat kind of lurches forward in a “give it to me right now” kinda way, and I get a little restless. Addiction? I think it’s very possible I truly have one.
None the less, I’m talking to you as the proud record holder (my personal record, that is) of 14 days chocolate-free. That’s two whole weeks that I’ve
cried not eaten my most favorite food on the planet, and I’m not alone.
Here’s the standings of the Stronger Than Chocolate Challengers as we move into week three. There are three remaining challengers, four if you include me:
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where I answer the most frequently asked question I’ve been getting, “Why are you doing this to yourself?”.