Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How to work out in the circuit room

OK people. After today's workout, I had to write this post. Now, I'm no expert at working out--in any way, shape, or form. I'm just a girl who's struggled with her weight the majority of her life, has never been athletic, and is trying to get her ish together.

But, I am a damn good direction-follower!!! 

I first heard of circuit workouts when Curves became a huge hit many years ago (which feels crazy to say. I'm so old.), but back then I wasn't motivated at all to put any effort whatsoever into changing myself for the better and getting healthy. Fast-forward to 2013 when I joined Chuze Fitness here in San Diego, I discovered the circuit room, which you can read about here. I thought it was an awesome concept and really feel like I'm truly getting in a good workout every time I do it. 

However, I am getting really sick and tired of being cut in the circuit (see below), and seeing people wasting 30 minutes of their time in the gym because they're not doing it right. Again, I struggle with gym etiquette a lot and tend to just keep my mouth shut about everyyyyything. But this is my blog so I'm going to write about it. Here's how to get a workout in, in the circuit room. 

-Read the instructions. They should be posted on the wall. Or ask someone who works at the gym!!!

-It's designed to be a 30 minute, full-body workout. Therefore, if you're all done and look at your watch and see you've only workout out for 10, 15, or 20 minutes, you didn't do it right

-When you're starting on the circuit, you are supposed to pick any machine or cardio step to start on. To avoid cutting someone in line, which is extremely rude and inconvenient and disruptive to their circuit, wait for the current minute to go, then watch where everyone goes during the 30-second changing period. Then, pick a machine or cardio step that is open. This seems like common freaking sense to me, so I'm continuously baffled as to how this is so difficult for people to do. 

-PUSH. YOUR. SELF. The alternating minutes to the ones where you're doing a weight machine are designed...for cardio!!!! What a concept!!! Don't stand there and lift your legs up and down. Step up and down at a quick pace and get your heart rate up. Doesn't anyone remember good ole-fashioned 90's aerobics? Do something you remember your momma doing in front of the TV. She was getting her heart rate up big time. The time to let your heart rate drop is meant to be when you get to the weight machine, not when you get to the cardio steps. 

OK, that last tip is a bit personal. And I'm sorry. I understand everyone's version of pushing themselves is going to be different. But just think about the overall purpose of the circuit workout and ask yourself "am I doing this the right way?" If you don't feel like you're getting in a full-body workout, you're either doing something wrong in general, or you're not pushing yourself hard enough. It's not meant to be some easy-peasy copout to a real workout. It IS a real workout!!

Also, for me personally, I don't feel like the amount of actual cardio I get in a circuit is enough, so I start with at least 15 minutes on the treadmill, elliptical, bike, anything to break a sweat for an extended period of time. 

OK, off my soapbox I go. 

On a completely different note, this weekend consisted of a fun-filled, exhausting day of wine tasting with my mom, her friend, and my friend. Does anyone else think wine tasting is extremely tiring??? Anyway. It was a blast. And an absolutely gorgeous day. 

Here's the view from one winery: 

And the same view at sunset: 

Doesn't that just take your breath away? California really is beautiful. 

Here's a pic of my momma and me: 

My friend and me: 

We were super excited about wearing our hats,
courtesy of her boutique. I mean closet. 

And our little fabulous group:

Yes, my mom's shirt does say "drink up bitches." God, I love her. 

Here's also a pic of our little spread at the first winery. They had a fish-taco food truck, and we got some cheese and crackers from inside. And a bottle of their rose. 

It was a fun, fabulous, sassy weekend to say the least. I also go to lay out on our little patio area on Saturday with my sweet Winnie Pooh. She loves the sun just as much as her momma: 

That face!!!!

Ahhhh. Life is good. 

In all honesty, life is hard. Really, really hard. And I have some major struggles going on in my head and my heart right now. But I'm so thankful for the blessings in my life. And I'm thankful that I keep up on this blog and remind myself of those blessings on a pretty regular basis. Because going your entire life without recognizing the amazing things God has placed in it is just miserable in so many ways

Anyhoo. I'm currently obsessed with Carrie Underwood's Blown Away CD. I'm obsessed with her in general, but this CD is just amazing. One of my favorite songs on it is called "Nobody Ever Told You." Part of the song goes

Mirror mirror on the wallActing like it knows it allTells you lies of vanityIt doesn't care what's underneath
All hung up on the negativeDoesn’t have to be the way it isWish you could see yourself the way I do

I know, I know. I'm getting real deep this post. But I can't help it. Carrie Underwood does that to me. I'll leave you with a video of the song: 

That's all for now, loves. Happy Taco Tuesday!!!

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