I can’t believe we’re a quarter way through December already! I’ve been so busy at work planning strategies and booking clients for the new year that I’ve been inspired to plan a little something for myself as well, in the form of a workout schedule. Tentative of course, since we all know how good I am at sticking to plans.
I was working with Whitney last week to come up with a workout plan to reach my goal of 16% body fat safely in 6 months. We can up with a weekly schedule, but I was just having a tough time sticking to it because of the order the muscles were worked and how a certain level of exhaustion affected me during the week.
For example, I only liked working legs on Thursdays because it gave me all weekend to recover, and the soreness didn’t kick in until late Friday. I preferred working my back out on Monday because I was starting the week fresh without all the usual back soreness I have from sitting awkwardly at work.
I was at the gym on Monday doing my usual back workout, when a trainer approached me with some pushup tips. He pointed out that doing wide stance pushups, like I was doing, only worked my chest and biceps.
For a better-rounded pushup, he suggested a narrow stance form, with my hands directly under my shoulders and my elbows tucked by my sides. I definitely felt the burn doing them this way, and after I completed my set, he showed me a row machine with three different grip positions that was guaranteed to give me a great back workout.
While I did a few sets, the trainer talked to me about some of my fitness goals. I told him what I had in mind, and he suggested I check out Kris Gethin’s 12-Week Trainer on bodybuilding.com. It’s a free plan, complete with nutrition and supplement tips that he said would get anyone in the best shape of their lives.
I visited the site, and after reading over the plan, I realized it would be way to intense and not something I was ready to tackle yet. That’s how I stumbled onto Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer, which I’ve seen a lot of bloggers doing. First off, I had NO idea it was absolutely FREE!
Phase 1 had too many rest days for what I was trying to accomplish, but some parts of Phase 2 really intrigued me. I loved the explanation of all the workouts and the printables you could fill out after completing each exercise.
However, since I’m not crazy about strict plans like this because, let’s face it, I absolutely can’t stick to one, I decided to merge everything I’ve been looking into these last few weeks into something completely customized to suit my needs.
I decided to pick the format of the Kris Geffith plan, the timing of Whitney’s plan, and muscle group combos from Jamie Eason’s plan to come up with something that would perfectly fit my needs.
Back & Delts
30 min rowing
Glutes & Hams
30 min treadmill
Arms & Abs
30 min elliptical
Glutes & Calves
30 min stairmaster
Chest & Shoulders
30 min HIIT
Glutes & Abs
30 min biking or swimming
Rest, yoga, or light outdoor exercise
So far, I’ve done Monday- Thursday, including the Arms & Abs series from Day 50 of the LiveFit Trainer Wednesday evening.
Instead of medium intensity cardio, I did HIIT cardio in the 10-20-30 fashion on the elliptical:
- 10 seconds at 90% intensity
- 20 seconds at 60% intensity
- 30 seconds at 30% intensity
Normally, I can stay on the elliptical for hours, but doing it this way made me ready to give up 24 minutes into it. With 6 minutes left, I pushed myself to power through and complete the workout. I have to say, although it nearly killed me and made my arms cry, I got through it feeling so proud and accomplished.
I love that every day is different, and I can constantly switch up my intensity with the weights and number of reps I do. I can focus on building strength one week, with high weight and low reps to failure, and building endurance the next week with low weight and high reps. This program can even be adapted for beginners by choosing a low weight and moving at your own pace through the cardio.
I’m really excited to keep going with this intense training program because I can already tell the payoff will be huge. It might hurt me, break me, and beat me down, but I’m excited at the thought of reaching my long-term goals and being in the best shape of my life.
What are some plans you have tried? Do you prefer to stick to a specific plan or do you like to write your own?
I’ve tried P90X but got bored after a week. I did Insanity for 6 weeks and saw incredible results, but had to stop for 5K training. I completed 7 weeks of Couch to 5K, which ended with me running my full 5K. I did Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred for about 3 weeks before realizing it wasn’t giving me the results I wanted, and I came to the same conclusion with Tony Horton’s 10-Minute-Trainer. Clearly, sticking to someone else’s plan hasn’t worked for me, but hopefully customizing my own will.