Believe it or not, there once was a time when I was ripped.
I know that sounds braggadocious, but I mean… I feel proud to say that because I worked really freaking hard for it. From 2009-2014, I took (and eventually led) an amazing outdoor boot camp class by Shark Fitness. (If you are from the Saint Louis area, PLEASE look this up and give it a try. You will hate me for sure, but you will eventually love me.)
“Outdoors you say? Sounds delightful!”
Well, it’s not. It sucked so bad but in such a good way. Shark Fitness is a personal training style class that uses resistance bands and your own body weight to help you build endurance and muscle. The class is an hour-long and you quite literally never… stop… moving. Between sets, you’re running. When you stop running you’re jumping. Then you’re on the ground for abs. Most nights I’d head home with my arms visibly shaking as I held them up to the steering wheel. A few times I even vomited mid-class from the exertion. (As Keath says, eat a banana before class… it tastes better coming back up.)
But sadly, my time at Shark Fitness ended as work and life responsibilities blocked me from the times the class was offered.
Someday I vow to return…
Until then, it’s important for me to stay fit anyway that I can. I’m going to be really honest in that I’m not as active as I was during that time of my life and that I’m not able to work out as much as I did. It’s simply unrealistic for me (kudos to those who are able to make it more of a priority and stick to it) with one kiddy who is going through a growth spurt/sick and keeping us both up all night and with a job to attend all day.
With lots of talk in my life as of late around working out, I want to share several workouts and sources for busy, on-the-go folks. It is still possible to be toned and fit without having to set foot in the gym.
Um… girlfriend is RIPPED. Kayla is thin, but she’s FIT thin. Her workouts are, thus far, the closest thing I’ve found to attending my Shark classes. For $20/month, I have access to weekly resistance-style workouts dedicated to three major areas: Arms/Abs, Legs and Full Body. On top of the resistance workouts, I can choose to challenge myself with the weekly challenge and add in spurts of cardio where I can. The Sweat app also includes a meal planner to help those seeking to pair their effort with a healthy meal.
There’s this common perception that if you lift weights you’ll bulk up. This is simply not true. But there’s also a perception that if you do resistance training, you cannot gain defined muscles. Again: false.
When not attending Shark Fitness classes on the weekends, I would head to my local gym for three rounds of Spartacus (as C.D. and I affectionately call it). Crafted initially for the show of the same name, this workout took off when men (and women) saw how ripped the actors were. These circuits combine focus areas to create a full body workout in one session. Plan to sweat and groan with soreness when walking around in the days following this workout.
For those who prefer DVD workouts that you can pop in and follow along with, you need to grab the Insanity videos. These videos are some of C.D.’s favorites for the nights when he can’t make it to the gym. Most workouts last roughly 45 minutes and are sure to get your heart racing. All you need is: you, yourself, and… you? (Not sure where that was going.) No free weights or bands are required for you to sweat it out in the comfort of your own home.
I’ve followed Cara, a fashion blogger, on Instagram for some time because I love her sense of style. After delivering her second son, she made fitness a priority and started working out more consistently. Take one look at her photos and you’ll see how much her dedication has paid off. Cara frequently shares quick video clips of her circuits to inspire you to move. These short videos are great for encouraging you to get moving––even if it’s only for five minutes.
If you decide to join me in kicking your own a$$, let me know which workouts you’ve found to be the most killer.