After doing the Couch to 5k program I became addicted to cardio and hooked on working out. Getting a consistent amount of exercise has changed my life in so many ways. I notice that my diet no longer dictates my weight; I can indulge without getting depressed. Also, my metabolism has changed, allowing me to stay fully energized and no longer needing caffeine to get through the day.
I prefer getting to the gym first thing in the morning, spending about one hour on cardio and weight training. I never do the same workout two days in a row, because it is important to let your muscles have recovery time. This is a typical workout week for me.
Cardio: At the beginning of the week, I like to ease myself into cardio activity by doing a low intensity and long duration workout on the elliptical. This would be about 30 minutes at a speed equivalent speed to a jog. For me this is usually about 4.5-5 MPH.
Weights: I like to work on one muscle group per day, rotating as they recover and are not sore anymore. My abdominal muscle exercises for day one include bicycle crunches and leg lifts. I do 5 sets of each exercise with 10 reps in each set.
Cardio: I like the cardio to be a little more intense on day two. I will move up to medium intensity but stay at long duration by running on the treadmill for 30 minutes or 3 miles.
Weights: My muscle group for day two is arms. My exercises include push-ups and bicep curls. I do 5 sets of 10 push-ups and 5 sets of 7 bicep curls with 15 lb. weights in both hands.
Cardio: Day three cardio is high intensity and short duration. For me this is 15 minutes at 8 MPH on the elliptical.
Weights: My weight training on day three consists of back and shoulders exercises, which are front raises and pull-ups. I start with 5 sets of front raises, 10 reps in each set. Next I do as many pull-ups as possible. This is usually about 4 pull-ups, repeated 3 or 4 times.
Cardio: Because my weights will focus on legs for day four, I like to take it easy on the cardio. I will again do low intensity and long duration exercise. This means it’s back on the elliptical for 30 minutes at a jogging speed.
Weights: Focusing on legs means getting a good range of calf and thigh exercises. I do 50 lunges and 50 squats, alternating between the two.
Cardio: Working my way back up to intense cardio, I will do a medium intensity workout on day five. This consists of a 30 minute run on the treadmill, amounting to about 3 miles.
Weights: I will repeat my abdominal workout on day five. This includes bicycle crunches and leg lifts. I do 5 sets of each exercise with 10 reps in each set.
Cardio: My day six cardio is the most intense of the entire week. I will run on the treadmill at about 7 MPH for 20 minutes. It’s always important to include a cool down walk afterward for about 5 minutes at 3 MPH.
Weights: My day six weight training repeats arms. This includes push-ups and bicep curls. I do 5 sets of 10 push-ups and 5 sets of 7 bicep curls with 15 lb. weights in both hands.
To reward myself for six great workouts I like to take a DAY OFF! This doesn’t mean sitting on the couch and gorging with junk food! I like to walk the dog, stroll through the park, go to a yoga class, or find something new to keep my metabolism in check.