Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lacking Motivation + Fast 'n' Sweaty Strength Circuit

I've been having a hard time motivating myself to work out the past few days. While I normally love to sweat (despite being lazy), I have a few theories about why it's been tougher to get myself moving. The weather has been rainy on and off every day since my Friday run. I have to drive somewhere if I don't want to run down my road, which has no sidewalks. I often have trouble motivating myself when I'm doing a gym workout and not taking a class. I hate the treadmill for anything but speed work. And Sourabh arrived on Sunday evening, so I've wanted to spend some time relaxing with him, since technically this time in Washington State is my "vacation."

what can I say? I just want to curl up like this guy 
However. I tapered before my New Year's Eve half-marathon and then had a week off after it, resting to rehab my left IT band and right hamstring, only taking a yoga class and doing a 2 mile run. At this point, that's 2.5 weeks of minimal activity and I have a solid goal for the NYC Half in March.

While I'm not pushing myself to get intense workouts in this week, I really need to remember that a few minutes of working out makes me feel much, much better, and I don't want to lose any more fitness than I already have from 2.5 weeks off. Spoiler alert: as I learned last night after completing the below circuit, I've lost a lot of strength.

I mean c'mon, don't you want to snuggle with Fritz rather than drive somewhere in the rain? 

Right before dinner last night, realizing I didn't want to go another day without getting a strength workout in, I put together a quick circuit that would hit the main muscle groups. I didn't want to find my parents' weights, so I just used body weight exercises that can be done anywhere.

This circuit can be done in 15 minutes if you do it two times and 30 minutes if you do it four times. Doing it twice and pairing it with 30 minutes of cardio (perhaps a spinning or treadmill speed workout?) gets you a complete 45 minute workout.

Try to complete as many reps of each exercise as you can in the 1 minute. For extra motivation, have a piece of paper and pen with you and keep track of how many reps you complete during each minute, then try to beat that number the next time through the circuit!

Take a 10-30 second break in between exercises if necessary, but try not to rest until you finish the circuit. That will keep your heart rate up meaning you'll burn more calories!

Unsure of what any of these exercises are? I found some great YouTube videos to help!

Sumo Squats (hits different muscles than a regular squat!)
Moving Plank
Tricep Dips
Push-Ups (demonstrates both modified knee push-ups and regular push-ups)

By the way, I love moving planks. The exercise is like push-ups and planks got married and had a beautiful, evil child who's here to tighten your core AND give you killer arms. If you do nothing else, watch that YouTube video and add it to your next strength workout!

Do you go through periods of feeling unmotivated to work out? Do you have any favorite strength exercises?


  1. Re: "The exercise is like push-ups and planks got married and had a beautiful, evil child who's here to tighten your core AND give you killer arms."

    This made me laugh, heh.

    Lately, I definitely feel like I don't want to work out. I ask myself things like, "why am I doing this?" And all I keep thinking about is food. Seriously, I'm so damn hungry all the time, lol.

    I used to do home yoga exercises. Mostly for my lower back since I had injured myself. And yes, YouTube is a great teacher :-) I'll have to get back to doing some core strength training, maybe even using this routine. Just gotta find the motivation.

    1. I think colder weather definitely triggers a "feed me" feeling! Although I'm not sure how cold it's been in CA...

      This is a great quick routine since it hits most of the body areas you want to hit in a strength workout, and I think it would work for a man, too, since it's all about how many you can do in a minute rather than a certain number of reps. Let me know if you try it out!

  2. The weather definitely affects my mood and whether I feel like working out. Warm, sunny days make running a no-brainer, but cold, rainy conditions call for more motivation. (Although I'll run in just about anything to avoid the dreadmill!)

    1. Same! I can do 3 miles on a treadmill, but any more than that and I just want to end it all. I'm not sure why I hate it so much!