Tuesday, August 15, 2017

My Home Gym

by Meghann on August 15, 2017

Recently Derek and I started making the conscious effort to tighten up our spending habits. We’re in the process of searching for a new house (that’s another post for another day…) and would like to fatten up our savings account before making a down payment. What does that mean? Less dinners out, more coupons at the grocery store, and cutting out some frivolous spending. While there is no way I would call my fitness memberships “frivolous” it was obviously the first big thing to go. I LOVED, LOVED all of my classes at Bar Method Tampa, but I could no longer justify the hefty monthly expense. My last class was bittersweet to say the least.

Instead of paying for fitness classes or a gym membership, I decided to build up my “home gym” and stick to some morning circuit training in my driveway. I already had a shelf full of old equipment that had been sitting dormant for years. My forgotten goodies included a set of kettlebells, light free weights, plenty of yoga mats (at one point it felt like every company was handing them out like candy), and some other odds and ends. I ordered a slam ball off of Amazon and pretty much called it a day. There’s still more I’d like to add to it (heavier set of free weights, jump rope, etc.), but what I have works great for now.

Back when I lived in Orlando, I would use the tennis court behind my apartment for regular mini bootcamp workouts. I tried to keep the habit up when I moved to Tampa, but I never stuck with it. Crossfit filled that void for a couple of years, but I quit when my first pregnancy ended abruptly and I wanted to give myself time to heal. That was back in 2014, and while I’ve jumped around other fitness initiatives since then, it’s been a while since I’ve made any commitment to circuit-style training. I took a cycle/circuit class at Camp Tampa about a month ago, which inspired me to get back into it. I hadn’t realized how much I had truly missed it.

After quitting Bar Method I did some barre workouts via YouTube, but I hated it. I’m just not a fan of working out in my living room. It’s cramped, my dog doesn’t leave me alone, I have to watch the sound levels so I don’t wake the rest of the house, and I’m easily distracted by other things that I could be doing (like dishes or dusting or picking up toys). There is AC, which is a big plus, but I just prefer getting my sweat on outside.

So after Camp Tampa, I made the commitment to go back to my roots and I’ve been enjoying it ever since. Everyone needs to find out what works for them, and it turns out old school training in my driveway is exactly what I needed.

My new routine is pretty simple. I’ve committed to working out four days a week. Two of those days are dedicated to pure running (3-4 miles at a time) and the other two include my circuit training.

On circuit training days I warm-up with a one mile run around my neighborhood before diving in. I hate doing the same thing over and over again, so my actual workout varies day-to-day. I take inspiration from the workouts listed below and then vary exercises based off of what I want to accomplish that day. (please note I am NOT a certified trainer, this is just my personal experience)

30-Minute Slam Ball Workout via Daily Burn
Dynamax Medicine Ball Workout for Maximum Muscle Power via Men’s Fitness
14 Cardio Exercises You Can Do With a Kettlebell That Aren’t Just Swings via Greatist
Full-Body Kettlebell Workout For Beginners via Onnitt Academy

I’ll generally select 5-6 strength exercises from the links above and then mix in some ab work and traditional body weight exercises (jumping jacks, push-ups, high knees, butt kicks, etc) and then repeat that circuit 3-4 times. Some days I’ll include a set of suicides or a lap around the block between each circuit. The whole workout (including warm-up) generally takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

I will say, I wish I knew people who lived around me to join in on (free!) workouts together. There are plenty of bootcamp style groups that meet around here, including some stroller stride groups, but most of them charge a fee to participate or meet at like 9am. There needs to be a local group that’s just other women (or men!) meeting to simply workout at 5am – no gym membership or whatever required. My friends and I used to have that when I was training for IRONMAN Florida, but we’re all in different places in our lives right now and live pretty far apart. I’ve put a few feelers out in local Facebook groups, but nothing had worked out. Woe is me, right?

So for now I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.

For cool down I’ve really been enjoying my new Body Back Buddy.

In full disclosure, I was sent the Body Back Buddy massage tool in exchange for a review on the site. I have to admit I was intrigued when I reviewed the photos and video online. What is this contraption and how can it possible feel good?!? Do you ever get those knots in the your shoulders after sitting at your desk all day? Turns out this thing is AWESOME for that. The trigger point precision really digs into the knot and the crazy shape of the Body Back massage tool actually works in your favor for hitting those hard to reach, awkward spots.

You can learn more about the Body Back massage tool here.

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