Cycling your Workouts

July 10, 2020

Cycling your Workouts

Cycling Workouts

Switching up your routine and beginning cycling workouts is ultimately an individualized task. However, there are some things to take into consideration when deciding on how, when, and what workouts to cycle to keep a consistent routine. For me, the most important thing is to set personal goals. For example, are you focused on optimizing fat loss and building muscle? Are you trying to improve upon a specific muscle group such as shoulders, chest, or legs? Once you determine the area that needs improvement then determine what are your weaknesses. Do you tend to train the upper body more than legs or vice versa? What are your single rep maxes for each body group? Are you strictly barbell shoulder press, bench press, deadlift, and squats? This concept of doing the same workouts every single day will only get you so far. Whether you are new to working out or having been doing it for years; cycling and rotating body parts helps with rest, muscle repair, as well as muscle building. We need to grow, learn, and step out of our comfort zones in order to become whom we wish to become. Asking one’s self these questions is exactly how I started with my workout routine, which helped me remain consistent. I could execute and achieve my goals plus see improvements. 

For as long as I lifted weights with my husband, Bobby, I have always worked out like a bodybuilder. We always did chest, back, shoulders, and arms. We hardly ever did legs for whatever reason! Lifting like this never benefited my body other than building strength and developing a bulky figure. I loved the idea of being able to put up heavy weights as a girl! At that time that was all I was focused on with the misunderstanding that I didn’t need as much cardio. Inside, mentally and emotionally, I hated the way I looked day in and day out. These workouts consisted of exercises that we would perform three to four sets of eight to ten repetitions, and longer rest periods. For me, I hardly ever sweated during these lift exercises.

As I had mentioned in previous blogs, I was introduced to CrossFit over the summer of 2018. What I loved about the classes was that everything was structured around specific muscle groups to optimize your workouts. For example, there was always a fifteen-minute warm up, a learning portion, and then into a strength workout. Once we completed all of that then we ended with a WOD also known as a workout of the day. Doing workouts such as this have completely changed my way of working out. I wasn’t trying to max out every set or go as heavy as I could for only a few repetitions. I learned and improved my lifts with each class that I was able to carry back into the regular gym. From then up until now my workout style has been constantly changing and improving. This is due to optimizing more practice and the lessons I incorporate into my workouts.

I am one that is constantly moving. I hardly ever sit down in a day as Bobby would refer to me as “zooming”. I got even more intense since I switched to a ketogenic lifestyle as my energy is a high like no other. While working out, I realized I just needed to move and sweat so that has become my ultimate goal. So, what I have been doing is more of a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that is a mixture of bodybuilding and CrossFit. 

This Is How I Work out!

My goal, still at this time, is focused on weight loss. I have a goal weight set in mind that I will continue to work towards. As I said before, I like my heart rate up and sweating! I can still lift heavy shit on keto, and I do have my days of lifting but it is not every day.

For weight training, I typically split my days into upper body and lower body, or I’ll do a push pull workout. I try to do leg workouts three times a week more than I do upper body. I like to combine muscle groups such as chest and shoulders together, upper back and chest, chest and arms, or upper back and arms. For legs, I may have a day of posterior chain workout with lower back, or posterior and anterior chain workouts together. Whether I’m doing upper body or lower body workouts, each day does not always have to be a heavy lift day. Why do I like to mix muscle groups together? This helps me focus on explosive movements, while maintaining proper technique at the same time, and again just sweating and moving. My workouts as a whole takes me between forty-five minutes to ninety minutes long, depending what I am working on. My repetitions are typically between ten to twenty reps for three to four sets with minimal rest periods in between such as forty-five to ninety seconds. I do this so I keep my heart rate up and help aid in more muscular endurance. At the end of my workouts, I typically end with some type of finisher. My strength is my upper body lifts, so working on my lower body has been a goal for me over the last year. I am trying to rebuild my body composition into something more feminine, more tone, and yet still remain strong!

Here is an example of my upper body workout:

My warmup consists of foam rolling, stretching, and mobility work with resistant bands of the body parts I will be working. This warmup typically takes about ten to fifteen minutes.

  1. 5 Sets:
    1. Bench press x5 at 70% of 1 rep max
    2. Weighted dips off the edge of a bench x20 reps

Rest 90 seconds

  1. 4 Sets:
    1. Dumbbell fly’s x15 reps
    2. Walking planks x20 per side 
    3. Dumbbell reverse Fly’s x12

Rest 45 seconds

  1. 3 Sets:
    1. Seated Arnold press x15
    2. Cable fly’s x20
    3. Wall climbs x5

Rest 60 seconds

  1. Finisher: every minute on the minute (EMOM) for 10 minutes
    1. Barbell strict press x3 reps at 80% of 1 rep max
    2. Burpees x5
    3. Core: between 300-400 reps of ab work

Aside from weight training, I also do cardio every single day. I do either the Peloton Bike or the Stairmaster. The Peloton Bike is nice because I can choose which classes I want to take. I make sure I switch it up and not do the same type of ride each time. For example, Mondays I may do a HIIT and Hills Ride where Wednesdays I may just do a Hill Climb. On Sundays I usually try to do a low impact type of ride to focus on recovery. So, as you approach a plan for your diet and your workouts you need to evaluate yourself honestly. Learn what your strengths and weaknesses are, write them down, and put in the work. You may read my workouts and say to yourself “they make no sense”. That is okay if they aren’t right for you because these exercises work for me. As I have stated before, I am not a registered dietician, I am not certified as a fitness instructor, or go to school for sports and fitness. I am sharing with you what I learned during my weight loss journey, and found what worked for me and how I am optimizing it all. You won’t know or learn until you try something. So, if what you are doing is not working for you then perhaps making a change and becoming uncomfortable is what you need!