Last week’s workouts + tips from my trainer for training smart

October 6, 2016

Hey! Happy Thursday, my friends! I’m coming to you a bit late today. My morning slipped away from me. But I’m popping in to share last week’s workouts (wayyyyyyy behind on posting this). I’ve been asked to give a bit more detail on my workouts and to talk about why I structure things the way that I do. I’ll try to explain that below.


I’ve written before about why I plan my workouts in advance. Typically, I’ll spend time on Sunday evening outlining my goals for the week ahead. I aim for two Orangetheory classes per week (I wish I could do more, but my schedule is tight) and I try to lift three days per week. Since we don’t know in advance what the strength portion of each OTF class will be it can get a bit tricky when planning my additional workouts at the gym. Fortunately, I never feel like the strength work is so great that it will hinder my time outside of class. We bounce around a bit in class so it never feels too taxing on my muscles. Of course, it would be great to know what muscle groups we will be focusing on ahead of time (just sayin’). These days yoga is a once a week thing and the other day or two is either REST or a walk with the girls.


All this being said, if my workouts don’t turn out exactly as I imagined them, I don’t worry about it. I just do what I can. And some days I will choose to do something completely different if that’s what my body is telling me. I’ve learned that pushing myself to do a workout simply because that’s what my program says could lead to an injury, exhaustion, or just resenting my workouts.


Last week’s workouts



Tuesday – early morning workout at home

Dumbbell + stability ball workout

A Fit Mess

I used 15 # dumbbells for most of the exercises since that’s the heaviest weight I have at home. Clearly, I need to add a few 20-25 pounders to my home gym. If you find that your weights aren’t challenging enough (your last few reps of each set should always be tough) then try slowing the movement down or increasing the number of reps.

Wednesday – German Body Comp workout (with modifications)

I should really dedicate an entire post to German Body Comp training. I was first introduced to GBC through the training principles of Charles Poliquin. It’s my ideal workout because it combines multi-joint movements with high-intensity training. You typically alternate upper and lower body exercises with very little rest in between. GBC training is often used by people who want to build muscle and lean out, making it a popular fat loss program. You can learn more about this style of training here.

My GBC workout: 

4 rounds:

  • 15 DB squats (I used 40#)
  • 15 one-arm DB row (20#)


4 rounds:

  • 15 back extensions on the bosu ball
  • 15 standing shoulder presses (20#)


4 rounds:

  • 15 leg presses (medium stance)
  • 15 flat bench presses (I got up to 50# total)


4 rounds:

  • 15 calf raises on leg press machine
  • 15 TRX knee tucks


Run 1 mile (to shake out the legs)







Sunday – back + abs supersets

A Fit Mess

3 rounds of each / 15 reps per exercise unless otherwise indicated (I didn’t write down any of my weights – sorry!)

  • lat pull downs
  • underhand cable pull down


  • 1 arm DB row
  • stability ball pull-ins


  • standing cable row
  • v-ups


  • bentover rows
  • mountain climbers (40 total)


  • bicep curls
  • dips off bench


  • overhead tricp extensions
  • mountain climbers (40 total)


  • DB pullover on bench
  • bicycle crunches (25 total)


Over-training or under-recovering?

Last week I felt great physically. It’s been really busy at work and there has been a lot going on for me from a personal standpoint, but exercise has always been something that has helped me deal with stress and anxiety. It shifts my perspective and can bring me out of any bad mood. But lately, I’ve noticed that I’ve started to feel a bit down after my workouts. This is something I hardly ever experience, but it’s been so noticeable that I wondered if it could be due to over-training (although the level/intensity of my workouts has not changed).


I asked my resident personal trainer what he thought of this. Here’s what he wrote (yes, we have a lot of conversations via email and text):


I think it’s common (especially for women) to over do it.  I wouldn’t say you are over-training as much as under-recovering.  Training hard but also smart … as per our most recent discussion on your training plan you’ve been following.  I would add in some carbs surrounding your workouts (before and after) while keeping your other meals of the day more protein and fat focused.  Maybe try giving your muscle groupings 3-5 days between workouts for awhile and see how you respond to that level of recovery as well.  PS: Good gut health / bacteria is key as well due to the fact that almost 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut lining.  Pro-biotics are very important for mood … you know all this. Matt


I know, I’m super lucky to live with such a knowledgeable guy. I’m going to follow Matt’s advice and try to pay more attention to my diet (timing my carbs) and spacing out my muscle group. Again, this can be tricky with Orangetheory, but I’ll try to work around it. I’m hoping this will all pass quickly.


What have your workouts looked like lately? 

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