It’s been awhile since I did a fitness post, so I wanted to touch base on what I’ve been doing lately and share some tips to get you through your HIIT/Circuit workouts!
So what I have been doing is much less strength conditioning and more circuits. This is what I did for the wedding and I felt great. I really enjoy weights, but with how off the walls my schedule is, I was finding it too hard to be consistent in the gym and I was trailing off towards the end of the week. I have now come to terms that it is 100% acceptable to only be in the gym 3 days a week. I was stressing myself out so much trying to get to the gym 5/6 days to train every muscle group.
I now instead am doing circuit training again. I tend to follow my Bikini Body Guide that I got a long time ago from Kayla Itsines. I LOVE this fitness program. I’ve said it before but I’ll says it again.. FREAKING LOVE IT. It is so damn hard but so damn rewarding. And since I’m looking to not spend every single morning in the gym, this is best option for me.
Now don’t get me wrong, only going 3 days a week is just as hard physically as 5 days. I am exerting MUCH more energy doing these circuits. If I am only there 3 days a week… you bet your booty I am going hard as possible. Kayla’s workouts are NO JOKE. Literally every time I find myself wanting to skip the last two circuits. But I push through knowing that the entire workout only takes 28 minutes. I also tend to do some extra things after if I am feeling up to it.
Those 28 minutes are the hardest 28 minutes ever. I think I only pushed while in labor with Penelope for 20 minutes and this is comparable effort wise.
I’m kidding. Kind of.. I always want to quit, but I found a few tricks that help me get through my circuits! See them below. Give them a try next time you’re at the gym and doing a circuit. And if you’re not familiar with circuit training (interval training), start with Pinterest or Kayla’s free 1 week app. Click Here to read more about the benefits of interval training. I think cardio gets such a bad wrap these days.. it used to be no one wanted to lift weights but now no one wants to do cardio because they don’t want to be a cardio bunny or something like that. Well cardio is important. And it’s the hardest thing to get yourself to do. Which is why I choose to do my cardio in form of circuits. It gets my heart rate up, I sweat like a pig, and then I also get to focus on muscle groups as well.
Ok I’m not a certified personal trainer… so I’ll stop talking about it BUT I will share tips below to help you get through those dreaded circuits!
- Doing hot yoga in Arizona and then doing more relaxing yoga here in Illinois has really helped me with my breathing. I used to just drown out the talk about breathing techniques at the beginning of each class BUT wow it is a game changer! You probably don’t want to be in the same room as me when I am working out unless you have headphones because I am super aggressive with my breathing. Annoying.. I know but not until you try it! Focusing on my inhaling and exhaling helps me to get the most effort out of my movements. I always think of it like this- when you’re going up for a lay-up, you hold your breath as you jump higher (I learned this in high school.. it has always stuck with me. JUDGE ME). So when I am doing my jump circuits or pushups, I always inhale for the movement I am exerting more energy on, and then I let out a big breath immediately after. It sounds stupid but when I focus on my breath my workouts go much quicker because I am not focusing on how I feel like death.
- With circuits, you tend to do more reps. This sucks because 24 reps of a workout seems like it will n e v e r end. To help me get through this mentally, I break up how I count. Sometimes I count backwards and the next set I will count forwards. Usually I split up my counting in half. For example, if it is 24 reps, I will count to 12 and then I will count to 12 again. Or I will count up to 12 and then start backwards to 1 again. I like doing this because it means my numbers aren’t going as high so mentally I feel like I am not doing as much. It is all a mental game when you’re going as hard you can for only 30 minutes a day!
- Push Yourself. That sounds like a no brainer, but I always want to quit my workout. Every time. But I always tell myself, “30 minutes out of your entire 24 hour day. Just push yourself and then you can do whatever you want.” It helps that now I am only in a gym 3 days a week because I tell myself I wont be back for a few days. I still do yoga or go on jogs during my days off, but I make sure I am going as hard as possible during those 3 days!
- Minimal Rest. The whole purpose of HIIT workouts is to get your heart rate up and burn more fat. This isn’t going to happen if you take a 30 second break after every workout. I have always been a “go go go” type of person in the gym so this is natural to me. But a lot of people want to stop and take breaks. Of course listen to your body, but also remember it is not supposed to be easy. It is going to be hard and it will hurt, but the quicker you go, the sooner you’re done. That’s my motto!
So give these tips a try during your next HIIT workout! I have linked a few of my favorite circuits below. Enjoy!