Which Workouts Work? – A tale of my workout journey

Okay, the title is misleading because it is a trick question. There are so many workouts in the world which is amazing that there are so many ways for people to get moving. Dancing, running, weight lifting, swimming, and the list goes on. But when people say “I tired BLANK workout or BLANK gym and it didn’t work” – it isn’t that it didn’t work in general, it just didn’t work for them. And that is okay! Everyone is looking for something different and everyone’s body needs something different. But also saying a workout “works” is completely objective dependent on what you are looking for. Do you want to lose weight, do you want to gain muscle, do you want to tone, do you want to maintain, do you want to just get moving, do you want to relax? I am not going to include, do you want to have fun because all working out is fun 😉 But honestly some people want to do something that doesn’t make them feel like they are working out but having fun and that is okay too!

For me – I am a CARDIO JUNKIE. Give me burpees or give me death should be my motto. And if any of you have read my Corepower post, I am not a yogi. Does that mean yoga doesn’t work? Absolutely not, it doesn’t work for me. I have tried many, many, many exercise classes and programs and eventually you find something that clicks. Does that mean I don’t continue to try new classes or gyms or look for ways to switch up my routine? Absolutely not 🙂 I am always looking for something new.

This is kind of how I wound up where I am now and how I found my favorite workouts.

It all starts about 5 years ago when I realized I was gaining a few lbs here and there from the college lifestyle – and let me tell you it had nothing to do with the binge drinking, late night eating, and lack of dedicated time to exercise 🙂 So I came home for the summer and decided to make a change.

I won’t promote this, but I went on a very restrictive diet, (1,200 calories a day) and spent hours a day tracking what I ate and when and what I could eat next for my allotted calories – AGAIN, this is soooo wrong and not the healthiest way to do anything – but I was 19, so we live, we learn. Just don’t you do it! I started doing the elliptical, and for someone who was once active and hadn’t really pushed themselves physically in awhile it worked. I would do an hour on the elliptical and then some weights and core while mixing in a BodyPump class, kickboxing, Zumba, spinning, and yoga. I wouldn’t say I was a group fitness junkie by any means. The only classes I started religiously going to were spin classes, for me it was just me and the bike and I loved it! Otherwise I preferred to workout alone, unless I could rope a friend into tackling a class with me. I was nervous and scared and shy about other people watching me – COMPLETELY NORMAL. But let me tell you, no one is watching you or concerned with what you are doing so don’t be scared and don’t let it deter you from taking group fitness classes. I continued to live an active lifestyle outside of the gym and lost a decent amount of weight that summer.

I continued this way for about a year and then I started to realize I was going to study abroad and definitely could not afford a gym. And from this point I had only been an elliptical runner not a treadmill or outdoor runner. So I said “let’s do this” and I started running, outdoors, everyday, 3 miles. I mean it helped that I had the biggest crush on my neighbor so I would run in hopes he was walking home from class and would invite me in for an afternoon drink 😉

So then I moved abroad and my 3 miles a day turned into 4, into 5, into 6. I had a really rough time abroad emotionally and running was my release. Mentally it allowed me to clear my mind, get energy, and focus on what mattered. Also it was amazing to watch all my friends gain weight from all the binge drinking and tapas they were eating and my waist was shrinking.

When I moved home I was thrust back into work and internships and the american lifestyle of go-go-go. It took me about 6 months to find my groove again of working out regularly and finding what worked for me. It is all situational- where you live, what your job is, what you are doing at the moment, and who you surround yourself with. So be patient!!! I have fallen off the wagon here and there, but you always find your way back up..  if you want.

I started at a cycling studio in Ann Arbor called Real Ryder and my friends and I automatically became groupies. If we only went 3x a week it was like we were missing out on something and there were “pregame rydes” and “hangover rydes” so it completely fit into our lifestyle. And I was back in the swing of things. *Side Note* yes that is the gym my dog Ryder is named after.

Then I moved… again… and switched things up again. I went back to the YMCA where I would run and do some weights, cycling, and do some circuits on my own. I was introduced into tabata and I was obsessed!!! I went to tabata and bootcamp as often as I could until it was time for the instructor training. I got certified in cycle, tabata, and bootcamp and started teaching classes regularly. I got into the groove of teaching that I kind of wanted something for me – a class where I could go and it wasn’t all these people who knew me or knew me as the instructor. So I stumbled upon Orangetheory Fitness. I tried a class at OTF and I was hooked.

A year later my routine consists of OTF 5 days a week religiously, 1 day of spinning, and then sometimes the intermittent long run (and by long I mean 7-8 miles so nothing crazy). Obviously there are other things mixed in here and there. I tried aerial aerobics, I try to yoga/barre lifestyle, and #bbg circuits and sometimes I just want to do my own thaaaaang. So find exercise that works for you! Maybe it is dancing, maybe it is strength training, maybe it is swimming. Whatever you like is perfect and it takes time! So don’t get discouraged.

WOW that was a lot longer than I was expecting. I was basically going to say – run, zumba, oula, tabata, bootcamp, bodypump, cycle, crossfit, orangetheory, yoga, barre, ANYTHING that gets you moving that you enjoy – do it!! But that was my ever changing fitness journey and you will find yours!

xx Mira


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