Looking to get some guidance from you as you’ve mentioned your love for the Pilates reformer.
I’ve historically done majority HIIT and circuit type workouts but have hit a bit of rut. I’m less interested in losing weight and more interested in toning and lengthening and for reference, don’t have a long and lean body type. But, I tried my first reformer class this week and it was awesome.
Does it make sense to be doing that 3x a week, yoga once and some cardio and weight class 1-2x a week? As I look through all gym memberships, I want to make sure I’m being cost effective and with what is going to yield results. I also realize diet is a huge piece of the puzzle.
Any insight is great.
You’ve brought up a few key points in your email so I am going to break your email into a few parts, as many of us struggle with these same questions.
I’ve historically done majority HIIT and circuit type workouts but have hit a bit of a rut.
This is one of the most common, and normal, road blocks people hit with their workout regimen. Usually this comes from boredom as your workouts are no longer stimulating or challenging. You’ve lost your motivation and you’re stuck but it’s a pretty easy fix and there are a few things you can do to find your mojo again.
1 – Try something new. Either pick a completely new activity, which is exactly what you have done with Pilates, or switch up where you workout completely. Finding a new challenge is a great way to add some exciement into your current schedule. You don’t have to completely revamp your workout regimen but even adding one new activity to the week will make things more exciting.
2 – Up the ante. Whatever you are currently doing, add a little more of a challenge to it. If you are a swimmer, maybe you join a master’s swim club. If you run, perhaps you pick a desination race somewhere and bring some excitement back into running. Maybe you create a challenge, or bit of a competition between you and your workout buddies. Just think of ways that will make what you are currently doing a little more exciting.
I’m less interested in losing weight and more interested in toning and lengthening and for reference, don’t have a long and lean body type.
The key word here is body type. We are all built differently. I always make sure my clients understand that their body is their body and to work to be the best that they can be based on the body type they have. Take a second to think about your closest friends and how different you all look. I have five best girlfriends. One is just 5 ft and petite, another has legs for days. Another girlfriend has shoulders I would die for where another has a gorgeous curvy figure. I am the tall athletic one. We all have features about ourselves that we love but we also have features that we would trade. The main thing is we are all healthy, fit and beautiful. So with that said, as much as you do Pilates and Yoga, your body type will never change. You will become leaner and definitely more “toned” but you cannot change your body type.
But, I tried my first reformer class this week and it was awesome. Does it make sense to be doing that 3x a week, yoga once and some cardio and weight classes 1-2 times per week?
There is a principle in the athletic training world, called the principle of specificity which implies that you need to make sure your training is specific to your goals. Now I say this all the time, but unless you have a very specific goal in mind, you are someone who focuses in one type of movement, such as martial arts, cycling, running or skiing (to name just a few) or you are a high level amateur or professional athlete, you just need to move and challenge yourself in ways that make you happy. There is no wrong way to move.
But to answer your question I would suggest no more than 4 intense workouts a week. By intense I mean those workouts where you give it your all from start to finish and they leave you exhausted. I would also suggest you keep your weekly workouts varied so you don’t risk hitting a rut again anytime soon. And have at least one recovery session a week in your regimen. If you were my client I would prescribe a week that looks like this…
Monday: HIIT to get your week started off right
Tuesday: 30 – 45 minutes of your own cardio that keeps you in a higher heart rate zone for at least 1/3 of that time and then a Pilates reformer class
Wednesday: A calmer yoga class. Something to lower the stress and anxiety that tends to come around mid-week
Thursday: HIIT of some sort, either in a class or on your own
Friday: 30 – 45 minutes of your own cardio again (or a cardio class like spin or dance) and a mat Pilates class or an intense, fast paced yoga class
The weekend: pick one day to go explore either on a bike or hiking. Grab some friends, or your partner, or both and find an athletic adventure of some sort. Make the weekend about getting outside and enjoying how fit you are on one day and then the other day just take it easy. An easy morning jog maybe or walk or just sit and relax with a big cup of coffee.
I also realize that diet is a huge piece of the puzzle
You saved the best for last. You are so right and I am not telling you something that you don’t already know when I say that diet is key. Now you don’t have to be on a diet or follow an eating plan, but just make good choices most of the time and make the bad choices when it really matters. I just arrived home from 2 glorious weeks at the cottage and I indulge there every single day. I am talking cheezies and Twizzlers daily, plus bottle after bottle of wine. But I work out every day while I’m there and I don’t beat myself up because I don’t eat like that all the time. So eat well and eat real but make sure you allow for an indulgence when the calories count.