And Now for Something Completely Different…My Workout Routine

*DISCLAIMER* I am not a professional trainer or athlete or anything of the sort. I’m just a regular person trying to be healthy. If you read anything in the post that is inaccurate/misleading/etc, PLEASE let me know and I will correct it ASAP!

“And now for something completely different…” – John Cleese, Monty Python

This series of blog posts is for posts that don’t really match the rest of my blog (i.e. they aren’t related to writing, reading, steampunk, etc) but that I wanted to post anyway. In this edition, I’ll be discussing my current workout routine.

I’m an engineer by day and a writer by night. That translates to a lot of time sitting. I used to attend at least 2 dance classes each week, which would get some movement in my schedule, but more recently it’s become only 1 class per week. So, a few months ago, I decided to join a gym.

The gym I joined is nothing fancy. It’s one of those no-contract, $10 per month gyms. But, it has all the exercise equipment I need, and even during the booming month of January I’ve been able to get on *most* of the machines I want whenever I go.

I keep my routine pretty concise, since most days I don’t have a lot of free time. But I figure a short workout is better than no workout at all!

I start out on the treadmill for fifteen minutes. I walk for 5 minutes, jog for 5 minutes, and walk again for 5 minutes. I’m hoping to gradually work myself up to running instead of jogging. The fact that I can even jog for 5 minutes straight is already an improvement over where I started, though.

After the treadmill, I move on to strength training on machines. I generally like to do one ab machine, one arm/upper body machine, and one leg/lower body machine. Because of my busy schedule, it’s rare that I get to the gym 2 days in a row, so I don’t usually have to worry about building in a “rest” day. However, if I do get to the gym 2 days in a row, I’ll usually just use the treadmill one of those days.

After using the machines, I hop back on the treadmill. Typically I’ll just walk for 10 minutes. However, I do wear a FitBit, and if I can get myself to 10,000 steps without spending *too* much extra time on the treadmill, I’ll make that my goal instead.

Then I stretch. It’s actually way more beneficial to stretch *after* you work out, rather than before. That’s because after you work out, your muscles and nice and warmed-up. If you stretch cold, you risk injuring yourself. I do pretty simple stretches, usually focusing a lot on my legs (my hamstrings are super tight because of dance!).

And that’s it! If I follow this typical routine, I’ll be at the gym for about 45 minutes. Even with my busy schedule, I can usually work in that 45 minutes several times a week.

Do you see something in my gym routine that could be improved? I’m open to suggestions! I would love to hear your gym (or other workout) routines, and any tips and tricks you have to offer!

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6 thoughts on “And Now for Something Completely Different…My Workout Routine

  1. Kudos to you for working out in spite of your busy schedule! Also I love that you save static stretching for the end of your workout – you’re right, that is much better for you. Looks like a great routine especially if it’s working for you for now 🙂 I would just say 2 things to you if I may. First, be careful not to get into too much of a routine. If you do the same thing over and over or don’t really have any specific goals it’s easy to get into a rut, which can lead to a plateau in fitness. And second, don’t shy away too much from strength training, especially if there are weights at your gym. It’s great that you are incorporating some work on the strength machines, a lot of women just stick to cardio because they don’t realize how important strength training is for their health and how much of a difference it can make in their fitness. But anyways, you’re doing great, keep up the good work!

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  2. Hi!

    That “rest day” is really important. Alternating days with cardio then weights is a great thing to do. A 45 minutes exercise session is good. I know some people who spend two to three hours in the gym at a time, I’d rather spend my time doing other things. Instead of using a Fitbit, I see how my clothes are fitting. That is my best indicator.

    I do my best to exercise 45 to 60 minutes, five days a week. That schedule isn’t always possible due to author visits, but most of the time I can stick with this. When I visit the schools, I use up a lot of energy. The exercise helps me keep up my stamina.

    Alternating types of exercises seems to help me the most. On Mondays and Fridays I take a yoga class. Our instructor’s nickname is Tilly, short for Attila the Hun, lol. Thanks to her I can now do a 3 minute forearm plank. I didn’t think that would ever be possible.

    On Wednesdays I take a Pilates class. Tuesdays and Thursdays I watch something fun, like back episodes of Glee, on my laptop while using an elliptical for the length of the program.

    I do this first thing in the morning, before breakfast. If I wait until the end of my work day I’d never exercise.

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    • That’s awesome! I’m so happy for you that you’ve seen progress – that always helps keep motivation up 🙂 I wish I could work out in the mornings on weekdays, because I definitely do have more stamina for that in the morning. Unfortunately I’d have to get up at an absurd hour to do so around my work schedule, and I’m just not a morning person 😉 So, I go right after work, before I have a chance to sit down and unwind lol.

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  3. Hey there, love the artcile and the willingness to make to the gym in January, haha. I’d suggest some sprints if you are able to do them. They are great for you and will help you burn many more calories. Also, you should check out the 4 hour body, by Tim Ferris if you haven’t already. Great book with amazing tips and workouts. Keep it up, 🙂

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