Let’s face it – sometimes we just cannot get to the gym. This is something that I’m contending with a fair bit at the moment. If you read my Midweek Motivation last week I talked about falling off the wagon with a new routine and the fact that I can’t workout in the mornings anymore due to my early commute to work. I still go Saturday & Sunday and I make myself go at least one evening midweek too. The rest of the time, though, between planning, paperwork, dinner, spending time with my husband and actually having an hour to sit down and rest it’s not easy to get down the gym much more than that.

So, it’s really helpful to be able to set up and work through a little circuit at home. Nothing too long or labourious, just a quick burst while I’m watching TV to get my heart rate up and keep myself active.

Last night we did a little circuit of 30 press up/ 30 sit ups / 30 mountain climbers (inspired by Alex Crockford’s Crockfit HIIT sessions) and it took less than 10 minutes.

Although it’s not as good as a full strength and conditoning workout a little burst of cardio/high intensity interval training makes me feel much fitter and generally better about myself! Put it this way – I don’t feel like I’ve slacked quite so much!!!

Ideas for things you can do at home without equipment:

Burpees//squats//sit ups//plank//push ups//mountain climbers//jumping jacks


That’s all for today! Remember to come back every Wednesday for motivation to get you through the week!

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Now that I’ve been working out consistently for 9 months now I’ve began to notice some progress in the weights I’ve been lifting. I’ve tried to progress my upper body weights slowly and most use lighter weights/more reps for this part of my body because I’m conscious of becoming too stacked in my arms and shoulders.

In terms of my lower body though I am constantly trying to up the weights which I squat to continue to tighten and build muscle mass on my butt! Booty gains is what it’s about.

So recently, the barbells I’ve been using o squat have become too heavy for me to actually lift above my head without help. It’s time to venture into the free weights area and stack up the squat rack. I’ve always  intimidated and ‘out of place’ as a female in the free weights area, so Paul showed me how to work it initially, but it’s essentially very simple. It allows you to safely squat weight levels which would be otherwise too heavy for you to lift.


A few tips for women thinking of using this kit:

  1. You are strong.  DO NOT feel intimidated by the meathead guys in the free weights section. If your gym is anything like mine it’s a male dominated environment and they may look at you like, ‘what you doing on our squat rack?!’ You have as much right to use it as they do.
  2. There is NO minimum weight which ‘allows you’ to use the rack. When you first start you may be putting baby weights on the bar, or even no weights (as the bar weights 20kgs normally). This is fine, you don’t have to squat 100kgs to be ‘worthy’ of the squat rack. Build up slowly.
  3. On the subject of slowly; take your time. Don’t get flustered and end up rushing and hurting yourself.
  4. Give it a go!! Why not?

Do you use the free weights section?

Virtually everyone would say they can’t work out without a super motivating playlist playing full blast in their headphones, am I right? Personally, I love working out to music. It gives me a rhythm, sometimes a distraction and always the motivation to push myself a bit harder. I wanted to share my ‘Ultimate Workout Playlist’ with you today because I love listening to it in the gym and I really feel the right music can make the difference between a mediocre and a kick-ass workout!

Warm Up:

  • Good Feeling – Flo Rida
  • In For The Kill – La Roux
  • Mr Saxobeat – Alexandra Stan
  • We Built This City
  • Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake
  • Sorry – Justin Beiber
  • Troublemaker – Olly Murs
  • Timber – Pitbull & Keisha

Main Workout:

  • I Love It – Icona Pop
  • Call On Me – Eric Prydz
  • Anaconda – Nicky Minaj
  • Down – Jay Sean
  • Get Ugly – Jason Derulo
  • Lose Yourself – Eminem
  • Tears – Clean Bandit feat Louisa Johnson
  •  The Girls – Calvin Harris
  • TINA – Fuse ODG
  • Partition – Beyoncé
  • We Built This City – Starship
  • Girlfriend – Avril Lavinge
  • How Deep is your Love – Calvin Harris
  • Don’t Stop the Music – Rihanna
  • Milkshake – Kelis
  • Domino – Jessie J
  • Run the World – Beyoncé
  • Bounce – Iggy Azealea
  • Temperature- Sean Paul
  • Pump It – Black Eyes Peas
  • That Power – Will.I.Am

Cool Down:

  • Cheerleader – OMI
  • Fight Song – Rachel Platten
  • Blame it on Me- George Ezra
  • Cold Water – Major Lazer feat Justin Beiber

 

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So the last time I posted I was 4 months into my ‘get fit for the wedding’ mission and had lost 2 stone and a dress size. Although I was happy with my progress, I still wanted to tighten up and improve my strength and fitness. I can now happily say that just in time for the wedding I achieved my target of shedding 2 1/2 stone and am now a size 8/10 UK. We had our beautiful wedding and I can look back on the pictures with confidence and pride dammit because I am so proud of myself!

How I did it.

TEAMWORK. I could not have done it without my now husband Paul getting me up in the morning and forcing me to go for runs! Whether it’s a partner, family or a friend, having someone to support you and achieve results with you is so helpful.

NUTRITION. It’s 80% of results blah blah I used to shudder when I heard things like that because I LOVE FOOD and I cannot survive on celery. But me and Paul but real effort into cooking meals that were balanced, healthy and tasted good. I’m lucky because he’s an excellent cook but to give you an idea, there is such thing as healthy; pancakes, pizza base and even bread. It’s about balance. We cut out refined sugar completely and focused on whole gain carbs, upped our vegetables and ate more protein than anything else. The rest was easy.

CROCKFIT PLAN. This was the biggie. This is what I can put down to me achieving my results this time when I failed so many times before. Alex Crockford is a personal trainer and fitness model (we both worked with him back in the day) and he has recently released his own ‘Crockfit Fitness Plans’ for Men & Women.  The plans are 12 weeks long, but can be continued after, and aim to shock the body and get the results that everyone wants. It takes commitment, but we followed the workouts religiously 4 times a week and the rest is history really. You can check out his plans here.

BECOMING AN EARLY BIRD. I cannot workout after a full days work and I never have been able to, that’s where I have always fallen down. I just can’t bring myself to go when I’m tired. So, we started going at 6.30am 4 days per week. At the beginning, it was hard, but now I love it and the feeling of going into work at 9am having already bossed a gym session is super addictive.

CUT OUT DAIRY. I know I said we eat a balance but that is one thing we have cut out completely, firstly because of it’s fat content and secondly because of some of the negative effects of lactose. We have swapped to almond milk and plant based products and have got on really well with that.

COFFEE. Black coffee is allowed so we swapped tea, juice, squash, pretty much everything we cut out for a bad boy black coffee. It gets easier the more you drink it.

Results.

STRONGER.

SLEEPING BETTER.

FEELING HAPPIER AND MORE ALERT.

CONFIDENCE & WELLBEING.

LOVING EXERCISE AND FITNESS.

HOWEVER.

Now comes the tricky part. The wedding is done. I’m back to full time work. It’s summer, there are parties and gatherings and dinners everywhere I look. Temptation is everywhere and maintenance is so key to fitness! I am always growing, trying to improve and get better. So my journey has only just begun!

xox

  Body transformation journeys are extremely personal. I want to put this up, mainly because I am proud of my achievements so far and I want to continue to motivate myself and hold myself accountable for my results, however I am a bit nervous about posting pictures.

First thing to say: this is not a “weight loss” journey, which is why it is not named as such.  Weight loss has been a nice bio-product of me changing my lifestyle, hopefully for good. I have now been on this journey for 4 months, there have been ups, downs, alterations and compromises, but overall I am feeling like a new person.

I just want to point out that this is my journey, these are my views and my choices, I am in no way preaching as to who needs to lose weight or that certain things are good or bad. It’s how you feel that counts and I truly believe that.

Let’s rewind to December 2015. This was when I decided something needed to change. I was gaining weight and struggling to fit into my clothes and therefore struggling with confidence and self esteem. I was suffering with insomnia which has been an ongoing thing and most of all I was just feeling generally unfit and rubbish. Something had to give and I think a looming wedding was enough to push me to really change my lifestyle.

I hit the ground running. January 1st I joined a gym, I cut out carbs (completely) and began a totally “paleo” diet.  Essentially, all I was eating was meat, fish, eggs and nuts.  I started going to the gym 3 times a week for cardio and a bit of weight training. It was tough, but in the first 6 weeks I made a huge amount of progress and I found it motivating.

However, by month two I had plateaued. And I was miserable on the paleo diet! For me, it was just too restrictive. So Paul and I had a chat and decided that we would lax off slightly on the diet front.  We now eat our version of a “healthy” diet, only putting things in our body which are as natural as possible and free from artificial ingredients. We have reintroduced brown rice for example, and rarely a bit of wholemeal pasta. I have found this change really helped me to maintain the diet plan and stopped me from giving up.  I now love what we eat.

At this point I also wanted a shake up in my workout routine. I was getting bored and didn’t really know what I was doing! So Paul and I contacted a friend we used to work with who is a successful personal trainer who develops and sells body transformation work out plans.  Alex Crockford’s “She-Fit” programme costs £50 for an intense, 12 week gym and fitness programme which is sent to you in document form.  The programme requires 4 resistance workouts per week plus cardio and works in cycles so the workout changes every few weeks or so.  I am now 5 weeks into this programme and I can honestly say it’s changed the way I feel about the gym! I now look forward to getting up at 6am and sweating it out for an hour!

 

So this is where I’m at now, 4 months in. I’m really pleased with my achievements and I’m proud of myself. I’ve lost a dress size and 2 stone but it’s more about what I’ve gained that I’m so pleased with. I’ve gained confidence, a low of exercise rather than a dread of it, a healthier and more positive outlook on life. I’d even go as far as to say that I’ve seen a reduction in anxiety and I’m sleeping better.  I know making changes like these won’t solve all problems, but I’ve certainly seen many of mine improve drastically. I would recommend a lifestyle change to anyone, even if it’s just baby steps.

Let’s see where the next 4 months takes me!

xox