Muscle Matters

Odd post name, eh?  I have a couple muscle matters worth a mention.  I haven’t done a ton of research on this or anything, but these general rules work for me.

Oh… and I also sprinkled in a few pictures from yesterday for shizzz and giggles.

Leia

Leia loves the belly!

1. Take a week off a couple times a year (along with regular rest days as needed throughout the year).  While on vacation, I didn’t pack a sports bra, running shoes, or the like.  Crazy, right?  Not really. 

I take a week off every year for vacation, and I generally take a week off in the winter too, often Christmas.  I think it’s beneficial for your mind and your muscles to get a little R&R.  You really don’t lose much speed/strength in a week, so coming back isn’t too hard.

Note: If I travel for holidays or vacation between those week-long rest periods, I try to squeeze in travel-friendly body-weight workouts, hotel gym sessions, and/or whatever I can fit in my schedule.  

Though I wore myself out on my vacation last week, the R&R idea was still there, and I’m feeling recharged this week.

lasagna

Leftover lasagna made my day.

2. Change up your workouts to (a) make sure you adequately work all your muscles, (b) keep your muscles guessing, and (c) stay motivated.  Some people change their routine on a daily basis, and that’s great.  I change mine every 4-6 weeks, and that works well for me.  This gives my body time to see progress, usually in strength or cardiovascular endurance gains, and then I change it up before I get bored.

I also think it’s important to regularly change up your cardio.  Some days might only be 20 minutes, but that’s okay – especially if they’re 20 super-sweaty minutes.  Most of my cardio sessions are 30 minutes in length, but I change up the type of cardio and the intervals (ie: length of interval, hill climbs, resistance, speed, etc.)  Other cardio sessions should be longer and more steady, generally 45 minutes or more.  (Note: Steady workouts should still get you out of your comfort zone!)

workout

Women’s Health Magazine Workout

With that said, I’ve started a new routine.  I found this Women’s Health Magazine workout, and it suits my current workout needs.  I only needed to modify one exercise for the 2nd trimester, so I think I’ll keep it up 4 weeks or so.

The workout is available on WH’s website, but if you want it, you have to enter your email address, just FYI.  Also, I think it’s funny that I’m doing a “Bikini Body Workout” right now.  Ain’t nobody wanna see this in a bikini!  ha.

My new 4-week schedule: Monday- elliptical & bikini body, Tuesday- walk & Tracy Anderson, Wednesday- elliptical & bikini body, Thursday- rest, Friday- any cardio & bikini body, Saturday- walk with the hubby or spin class, Sunday- rest.  I had to add in an extra rest day on Thursday, but I’m totally okay with that.

  • Tell me about your workout routine rules!

 

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16 Responses to Muscle Matters

  1. I agree! Taking a week of somewhere in the year helps me relax and remember that I won’t shrivel up in a week, haha.

  2. I totally agree about taking weeks off a few times a year – it’s so nice to just take a complete break and recharge our bodies.

    One of my other rules is that I don’t run two days in a row (although I guess that didn’t help me much because I got injured anyway haha).

  3. I love taking a workout break – I didn’t do any strength training while I was on vacay last week, and it was kind of nice to feel a little challenged after picking up the weights again. Although, I think my legs became more muscley from climbing up and around mountains.
    My summer workouts change drastically too – I ditch my workout vids in favour of anything outdoorsy – running, cycling, walking – I basically only use my car to go out of town in the summer.

  4. When I’m really into working out/training I hate the thought of taking time off. Then my body asks for it and it feels amazing!
    By the way, I think pregnant women in bikinis are the absolute cutest!

  5. Lindsey says:

    Right now it does not have too much variety due to being pregnant but typically my workouts are 5 days a week, one day prenatal yoga class, 3 days gym (30 mins cardio and 30 weights) and one day of running or a prenatal workout DVD.
    I agree taking longer rests are so important! I have not taken any workout clothes on a few trips to avoid the temptation too. Right now I am not too inclined to take a break since I know in coming months I might need them more so figure to keep going while I can.

  6. Workout breaks are so necessary – because I focus on lifting heavy, I generally take a week-long break every 3-4 months. I actually took two weeks off over Christmas, and I think it was great for both my body and mind.
    I’m glad you found a fun new workout routine for you! I’m just doing my own thing right now, but I want to find a 4-week program of sorts for August to mix it up a little.

  7. I totally agree- after a week you can come back feeling really strong. I’ve been trying to work in more cardio than i usually do, and ive been feeling my muscles burn in places i had forgotten about. keeping your muscles guessing is always a good thing!

  8. For my workouts each week I try to incorporate in 3 days of cardio, 1 day of yoga, and 2 days of strength training. I really like the routine/balance that I have going on right now when it comes to working out!

  9. I think changing up workouts is really important for both boredom and to help strengthen and condition muscles. I’m not the best with taking long weeks off but I do take at least one or two days off every week.

  10. Lisa says:

    Great post – I think it’s so important to allow our bodies to rest occasionally. I take my rest days or weeks seriously, because I know how much stronger I’ll feel after.
    I’m glad you’re loving your workout routine at the moment and you found something that works for you.

  11. these are great rules! My big one would be to listen to your body, but don’t make excuses. If you legit need a rest day, take it. If you’re making excuses, push through it because you never regret a workout! AND if you’re in a bad mood, go to the gym. Works every time.

  12. Michelle says:

    Uh – no – everyone wants to see a cute pregnant lady in a bikini (no shame in that game!)… Nobody wants to see a postpartum lady in bkini though! Lol.

  13. Nikki says:

    Well I guess the fact that I took a week off last week was for the best! Actually, I do feel better!

  14. Love this, great ideas.

    I totally take at least a week or 2 off a year- your body needs it.

    I also have the rule for myself of not always working out at the same time every day. Good news is I never violate this rule because I never have the same free time every day. I like that I am able to workout at different times and be adaptable when things come up!

    If I need a rest day I take it without guilt. BUT I cannot take a rest day the day after drinking (hangover is NOT an excuse, good thing is I rarely drink), and cannot take a rest day if it’s because I did something the night before. I.E. drink, stay up late, eat like crap—those are not valid excuses. If anything they are more reasons TO workout!

  15. I can’t remember the last time I took one day off. LOL I don’t think I could manage a week ;)

  16. I like to work on a schedule close to yours…I like to have some structure in place but then I like to change it before I get bored and start to dread a workout…because that’s never fun for anyone!!

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