Tag Archives: workout

Why I’m not running GEAR 10K this weekend

bespakAnyone who has read my blog for a while will know that I am a bit of a health and fitness freak. I’ll never been that girl who denies herself a treat or refuses to go out for dinner, or checks the calorie content in everything she eats, but I love to keep fit and eat well. I am that girl who loves her vegetables, prefers to drink water instead of tea or coffee and who feels rubbish if she hasn’t been for a good workout. But at the same time, I love a cheeky Nandos, I love cocktails and I can’t live without cheese. So it all balances itself out.

Two years ago, I was probably the fittest I have ever been in my life, when my personal trainer friend took me under his wing and decided to turn me into an athlete. I trained every other day with running, swimming, weights and loads of cardiovascular exercises to push my body to the limit. I taught myself breathing techniques, regularly did pilates classes and worked on my flexibility. All this training had me at the peak of fitness and I felt amazing, I had given up drinking for a while and was feeling good and looking good. As a target, I signed up for the 10K run in my home town – GEAR – and began extending the distances I was covering. Finally, after months of training, the day arrived and I was ready after an energy-filled breakfast for action.

I was running on behalf of the newspaper I work for as part of a story I was writing, but was also raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust after my boyfriend’s cousin was diagnosed with the condition. I managed to raise just under £300 which I was quite proud of, and it gave me the motivation needed to complete the run. That doesn’t mean it was easy at all though – it hurt and at several points I didn’t think I would make it round, but I did in 63 minutes which was far better than my time in training so I was very happy. My boyfriend also ran and made it in a great time – so we kicked off the celebrations at a birthday party before heading to the pub and out on the town. Sitting around and then dancing all night was not the best combination and I could already feel my limbs seizing up.

The next day was agony, trying to get up and down three flights of stairs each time I needed the loo or a drink was awful and my body has never hurt so much all over. But it was worth it, I was so proud that I had done it. Last year, unfortunately we were away on the day of the run so we couldn’t take part, because I would have liked to have tried to beat my time. Sadly, now it has been two years and I just can’t seem to get motivated enough to run competitively again. I seem to remember the pain of the next day all too well! I am still keeping up my health and fitness, eating well and going to the gym three times a week, drinking plenty of water. I also run often at the gym, but I just can’t seem to tie myself down to a goal of completing an official run, perhaps because I have completed this one the once, now I need a different route. I’m not really sure why, I just know that I won’t be running the GEAR this weekend, and definitely won’t have the chance next year as I will be on my travels. Maybe I just don’t have that competitive edge, but boyfriend certainly does and is running this weekend so I will be going along to cheer him on and it helps me kill two birds with one stone if I work while I am there and interview people for Tuesday’s paper!

How competitive are you when it comes to running? Do you have any targets coming up?

Blowing the trumpet for boxercise

Last night, I braved the cold and headed to a boxercise class all by myself. I’ve tried it once before and loved how it was a full body workout that left me a wobbly mess with jelly legs after. But the friends that came with me weren’t as keen and decided not to go back which put me off. But I’ve spent so long waiting for friends to get together for classes or to organise things like this that I finally gave up and took matters into my own hands. Plus I figured that if I’m not with my mates, less time will be spent gossiping which means more time to throw punches!

Well, I absolutely loved the class. It was for ladies only and luckily for me it was an unusually small class which meant I had a chance to chat with the instructor and really try all of the exercises. This session was spent working on different stations for four minutes apiece doing exercises like lunges, crunches, press ups, then variations of punches, squats and the rest. It was great and gave each part of your body a great workout until you started to feel like a jellied mess, then you promptly moved on to the next station.

I’m hoping I’ll be able to tag along on the last two classes of this 10-week programme, and then can pick it up again in the new year by signing up for a block of 10 sessions. It will be great to work out in a different way to my usual gym sessions and swimming, and will help build more muscle/tone up different bits. It will also be nice to have the commitment of going to a class, and doing something by myself. Plus it’s lost of fun and great stress relief to punch things while listening to the Vengaboys! Definitely planning on going back, and would recommend this to anyone who wants to burn some serious calories, likes to feel as though they have really worked hard and enjoys the atmosphere of a class rather than solo workouts.

Looking forward to getting back on Boxercise again tonight!

I’ve never been able to stand girls who just want to be skinny, I’m all about the toned look and strength building. My proudest moment in my gym was being the first female to stack the leg press and although others can just barely do it now, I have status at the gym because I am known for this. I am that girl that the blokes refer to as a ‘chick with a dick’ because they are jealous that they can’t keep up. I storm every bloke in the gym when it comes to ab work and I love every second.

Workouts are a huge part of my life and I’m always looking for new inspiration and new exercises to try. Unfortunately, I am always struggling to find someone who will go to classes with me! I work out at my gym at least three times a week, a mixture of cardio, swimming and weights with plenty of ab work. I have previously joined pilates, bokwa, powerhooping and pole dancing classes – all of which I enjoyed but had to leave for various reasons, the main ones being the classes became too easy and I didn’t feel like I was getting the workout I needed, and my friends just didn’t want to continue.

I dragged two friends along to boxercise with me once before but the combination of a creepy male tutor and high level of activity put them both off, even though it was the best full body workout I had taken part in for a while. I really enjoyed it and my whole body was in agony the next day. I really wanted to go back, but part of my love of exercise classes is the social side which lacks slightly if my mates don’t want to come along.

But I’ve given up waiting around for people to commit to classes, I just want to try something new, so I’m going along to test out a new ladies boxercise class tonight to see if I want to join the next round of classes in the new year. I’m really excited and can’t wait to really push myself. I’m just hoping that it does what I’m hoping and that I like the class so I can continue next year and do something all by myself. I’m planning on hitting the cheese boards and Christmas cake hard this festive period so it will be good to hit it hard in the new year, shed the excess pounds and build up some muscle ready for another summer on the beach!

What other exercise classes would people recommend? I would love to try some crazy ones such as the bikram yoga and others that are offered in the cities but unfortunately don’t make it to my small town..


Workout: Stronger, harder, leaner

Just got home after another epic workout. Treating myself to new gym clothes has really been an amazing motivation and I am killing it again at the gym – I have totally revitalised my workout and am loving it again. My body feels amazing now that it is really being challenged again. I love how good a really powerful workout makes you feel. I’m totally hooked on endorphins and I’m not ashamed to say it – there’s nothing like the buzz you get post-workout.

None of my friends are gym bunnies like me and none of them really understand why I enjoy going to the gym so much (I don’t think three workouts a week is excessive!) because they have never given it a real shot, but if they prefer to feel tired rushing around at work and sad when their clothes don’t fit like they would like them then fair enough! Personally, I like my body to be soft and yet strong, I like being able to run and lift weights without a problem. I like that my clothes fit the way I like. And I LOVE that I can pretty much eat what I want because my metabolism is so high and I rarely put on weight now, even if the majority of the time I prefer to eat healthily.


Too many people think the key to losing weight or toning up is actually just eating less when in fact, I actually eat more now than ever and yet weigh less because I am eating less junk and because I am working out to burn it off. My body is lean and toned and yet I enjoyed a huge Italian feast of tagliatelle with a sauce made of double cream, brandy, prawns and vegetables with two different types of garlic bread, wine and cheesecake for afters last night. It’s all about moderation.

My current workout is cardio heavy with plenty of weights and a strong core section. I do either a 20 or 30 minute interval run (depending on how much time I have) and usually run for either three or four minutes followed by a minute of sprint walking. This interval running is great for boosting my cardiovascular fitness and building up stamina – plus its also the most effective for weight-loss. I then move on to 20 minutes of interval training on the cross trainer at a high resistance level before finishing with ten minutes of fast-paced cycling.

I then move on to weights working the inner and outer thighs to strengthen my muscles for running and to help stop my hips from clicking so much. Reps of 12 and I try to move up a weight every few weeks. This is followed by the leg press (which I can stack) and I do various exercises on there including one-legged, pyramids and general lifting to mix it up a little. Doing these weights have really helped strengthen my legs for running without building any excess muscle, my legs are slimmer than ever!

I then move on to arms and use all the weight machines working my biceps, triceps, shoulders and core as I try to build up my strength in my arms. I stick to lower weights because I tend to build muscle in my arms (especially biceps) quite easily and although I don’t mind this, it makes the sleeves of my cardigan a bit tight!

Finally, I finish with an intense ab workout. Starting on the ball, I will do 25 oblique crunches on each side followed by 20 long arm crunches with a 7kg weight, finishing with 40 Russian Twists with the same weight.

After these, I hit the floor where I start with another 20 long arm crunches with the weight, 20 basic crunches followed by 20 reaching to my knees and another 20 reaching through my legs. Then I do 40 oblique twists followed by 20 crunches where I fully extend my legs and arms. Finally I do 40 more Russian Twists on the floor and then sit on a weights bench to do 20 leg extension crunches.

After this I’m usually a jelly mess and have to head home for a snack, today’s was a bit of brown, seeded toast with peanut butter.

What’s your favourite workout? Any tips to further my workout?

Challenging myself to workout harder with a treat of new gym clothes – with your help!

Can anyone suggest where I should head to buy some fabulous, but reasonably priced, workout clothes? I’ve been wearing the same ones for years and think it’s about time to treat myself to some new ones as an early Christmas present considering how much time I spend there. Am hoping that the clothes will help inspire me to be more adventurous with my workouts and they will also be helpful for when I start these new bootcamp and yoga classes with my friends. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be really grateful! Love the stuff on Sweaty Betty, but much too expensive now that my sister isn’t working there and can’t get me discount now! Hope you can help me, fellow bloggers!