Before you start ask Pilates instructor course about their training, and know that well-known fitness training organizations. Let me start out by saying that I am an average young professional girl: active, intelligent, mid thirties and frustrated with aging signs in my body. Knowing I needed to kick up my exercise routine a notch – in order to keep the body I have & lose some weight – I set out to find my perfect fitness routine.
If you are like me, going to the gym with sweaty people you do not know, or feeling tortured on some training program for a race you do not want to run, is a last resort. I knew that home exercise videos, although convenient, didn’t keep me motivated or feeling truly worked after it was finished. Fed up by my choices, I decided to mix it up and try things I had never done before.
My first adventure was pilates reformer class. I started going three times a week and never felt more worn out and and strong after the classes. I had completely stopped doing any cardio after being told by my teacher (with a to-die-for body) that all she did was pilates. Within four months I started feeling better than I ever had about my muscle tone, but I was not slimming down. In the past, running had been the thing that kept me slim, but I hated it, and wanted to avoid going back to my typical four mile runs, three times a week.
There was no question that I needed something more than pilates. With some creative brainstorming, I decided I always wished I had taken dance, but as an adult I felt intimidated about starting. That is when I found pole dance fitness. This was a blast! I added this in with my pilates twice a week, so was taking a total of five classes a week. Six more months passed and I was strong and having fun with exercise for the first time ever. The problem was – I was spending $260 a month, and not slimming down. The pole fitness felt like it was doing very similar things for my body as pilates was.
It was time to try something else and I knew cardio would have to be a big part of that. I went back to running, but added two days a week of a twenty minute strength training routine. I was bored, but I was also getting better results – still not the results I wished for. There had to be some better way to keep motivated, I thought, and get the body I was determined to have.
Once again I bailed on the running and started something new, yoga. I had done a few few classes here and there, but never stayed consistent. I started going three times a week and doing a couple small runs a week. Yoga ended up being a something that changed my way of thinking about fitness. It was encompassing of all health. I started to notice and ask new questions. How are my internal organs feeling? How is my mind set today? Does my energy feel blocked? It presented a broader vision for me, but I missed moving and panting. Even though my legs were getting more shapely, and those small details that are enviable in stars bodies were starting to appear, I needed to burn more calories and move more to get what I thought my body needed. I was not losing weight.
Again I went on to another approach. I finally felt that I had a good base of exercises I was either good at or liked. Why not incorporate all of these things and come up with a routine that worked for my body and mind. If I mixed it all up and did certain things on certain days it would just confuse me, so I had to make a routine that had it all. I purchased some weights, bands, blocks, an exercise bike (another element incorporated because of a knee injury), treadmill, balls, you name, it I got it. Once I had all of my exercise supplies, I sat down and mapped out my routine. It would have to combine running, biking, yoga, pilates, and some strength training.
I can honestly tell you that I have found my perfect mix and match of exercises in routine I have been doing for four months, and have never looked or felt better. I had read in a couple of fitness resources, that doing cardio intervals for twenty minutes (one minute of hard running and 2 minutes of mild) gave better results for slimming than forty minutes of consistent running did. Also, dividing your cardio into two segments with a break in between (20 minute – or an hour if you are still working out) was supposed to give you better results. The other factor I put into my routine had to do with another important tip I learned in my experiments – doing cardio after strength training allows your body to burn more fat.
So after two years of trying new exercises and broadening my skills, I will share the routine that has done wonders for me:
Ali’s Routine: (3 or 4 time a week – sometimes I’ll play tennis, hike, do a long run or a regular yoga class as well, but I consider them bonus exercise.)
-20 minutes of cardio intervals (bike or run – 1 minute hard, 2 minutes mild) with a 5 minute gentle warm up before
40 minutes of mixed yoga, pilates and strength training (if you like videos, I have found Yogalosophy is a great hybrid that does just that, and will go through each muscle group). I try to change it a little each time and incorporate new things to trick my body.
-20 minute cool down cardio – run or bike with intervals of gentle and mild exertion.
I hope this routine works as well for you as it has worked for me, & thank you for letting me share.
Allie Kay – Creative Fitness Experiments
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