Once I was that person that said I would never go to the gym because it’s boring and why would you like going to the gym. Well, I’ve come a long way since then because now I go to the gym about two to three times a week. But how did I start working out in the gym? Why do I go to the gym? And what type of workout do I follow at the gym? All of the questions will be answered in this blog post PLUS I am sharing my favorite exercises in a workout schedule for you to try in 2020!
So, let’s start at the beginning. Because how the heck did I go from not wanting to do to the gym, going two to three times a week? Well, just after I graduated, I felt like something had to change. While I was studying, I gained a lot of weight (guessing because of stress and lack of exercise incorporated in my lifestyle). Elba and I signed up for a gym and just started working out. It took me some time to get used to it and because this gym didn’t have any extra’s, we transferred gyms. This was the best decision ever because we got help making a workout schedule and made goals to work towards. I learnt so much from this and it made excited to workout. I even started researching different workout moves and started to make my own schedules. After finishing a workout, I feel so much better. It’s a hard feeling to describe but I feel like I have more energy and feel better than before the workout. Whenever you get into a routine, you’ll start to miss working out and feeling your body needs it.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High intensity interval training or HIIT is defined as short, intense, unsustainable bursts of physical activity, paired with intervals of quick rests. This type of intense training causes a sort of metabolic disturbance which can result in the body burning calories at a higher rate up to 48-72 hours later. HIIT can also increase metabolism, reduce insulin resistance, improve cardiac function, produce faster gains in endurance levels than steady state cardio training and can be an effective way to recruit/build type 2 fast twitch muscle (source: Fitness Blender). Why do I like HIIT the best? I’ve tried only cardio and this did made me lose weight but I didn’t gain any muscle. With HIIT I am using mostly body weight but also smaller weights and resistant bands to actually gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. I think HIIT is a real game changer.
2020 workout schedule
Over the past year I’ve really discovered my favorite exercises and have made a little (not really little) workout schedule with those! Every couple of months I change up this schedule and it really depends on the day if I actually follow the whole schedule. So, give your own spin on this workout schedule to make it to your liking (lighter/heavier weights etc)!
Sit up || 10 x || Super simple, a sit up. You can do a sit up different ways and I like to do mine completely getting up, stretching my arm all the way up and slowly go down again.
Scissors || 20 x || Lie down on your back, put your arms next to you, straighten your legs and lift your legs (alternating) to the ceiling. Keep your core engaged the whole time.
Russian twists || 20 x || Sit up, lean back a little bit, keep your legs bent and lift them up from the ground. Use your arms to do the movements from side to side. And since this is an ab exercise, keep your core engaged. I like to do this with a weight to make it a little bit harder.
Leg raises || 10 x || Just like the scissors, straighten your legs, lift them both up the ceiling and let them slowly back down the ground. Don’t touch the ground just yet and lift them up again. Just like every time, it’s important to keep your core engaged and you’ll definitely feel this.
Step up || 10 x || Grab a bench to the height of your liking (I like to step up onto a higher bench to make it more intense) and step up with your right leg, step beside it with your left leg, use your left leg to step down and place your right leg beside it. And now the other way around!
Banded quick side steps || 30 sec || For legs and butt I always love to use my resistant bands. You can use a band for this to make your muscles work even more. Just go into a squat position and step quickly from side to side.
In & out squat jump || 20 x || To get the heart rate up even more, it’s time to jump a little with in and out squat jumps. I think this exercise speaks for itself, right?
Toe taps || 30 sec || Grab a low bench, place one foot on the platform and jump to alternate in between your right and left foot. You don’t have to put your foot in the middle of the platform, just on the edge of it.
Upright row || 10 x || Take two dumbbells of 5 kgs or a barbell, keep them before your legs and lift them upright to your collarbone. Make sure to grab the dumbbells or barbell overhand.
Side dumbbell raises || 10 x per side || An exercise you can do standing up or sitting down. I prefer standing up. Keep dumbbells of 5 kgs next to your body, lift the weights up (until shoulder height) and slowly lower them back down again.
Overhead tricep extension || 10 x || To have more control, I would suggest doing this one laying or sitting down. You’ll also need two dumbbells again. Raise the dumbbells above your head and slowly lower the weights back behind your head. Then move the weights back up to the starting position. It’s important your upper arms should remain in place throughout the exercise.
Push up || 10 – 15 x || Everybody knows them and most of them hate it. Well, I don’t blame you if you do. I only like to do a push up on my knees, otherwise I can’t do more than two. So, do a push up however you like to do it. Make sure you keep your core engaged and your arms underneath your shoulders.
Glute bridge raises || 20 x || Go and lie on the floor face up, with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Now just lift your hips off the ground and keep your core engaged and make sure to squeeze those glutes really hard. Use a weight on your hips or a resistant band to make it harder.
Fire hydrants || 10 x per side || My fave: the fire hydrants. I can already feel my glutes burning when I think of this exercise. Get on your hands and knees, lift your right leg to a 90 degree angle and lower to your staring position. When repeating it a couple of times, you will definitely feel this one!
Donkey kicks || 10 x per side || When you’re finished with the fire hydrants, immediately start with the donkey kicks. Raise your left leg behind you into a 90 degree angle and go back to starting position. Keep your foot flexed to feel your glutes squeeze together.
Frog pumps || 10 x || Kind of a variation on the glute bridge raises. You’re actually going to be doing the same, but this time keep your legs in a diamond shape.
Sometimes I skip some steps in my schedule. Some days I feel more like doing my glutes and other days just arms and legs. So, that’s why I also have some extras I like to do in the gym. For example:
Incline treadmill walking || 10 min || 7 incline || Walking on the treadmill might seem boring but 10 minutes is over before you know it. To make it harder, I like to put mine on 7 incline and 5 speed. Just put on an episode of Friends and it will be more enjoyable and feel good as well.
Cross trainer || 10 min || Don’t feel like the treadmill but want to do some cardio? Go for the cross trainer. Keep up a normal speed but make it header by speeding up for 30 seconds before going back to normal speed. This will get your heart rate up even more.
Don’t forget to warm up before your workout and cool down after. As a warm up, I cycle to the gym and sometimes I even do yoga before my workout. This way you make sure you don’t hurt your muscles and prevent injuries. To start working out, definitely get some cute sport clothes. This will make it a lot more fun! So, that’s why I’ve made a list of my workout essentials, which you can find below. Are you ready to get fit in 2020? What’s your favorite workout to do?