A MUST: Mixing up your workout for real results (plus IVY PARK baby!)

Hi Guys!

Writing on WORKOUTS + FITNESS TODAY and wearing IVY PARK in honor of LEMONADE


But, since I got back from my trip this weekend I am 50 shades of SOFT, and I’ve been easing back into working out. Muchas treats and wine.

I feel a renewed sense and belief in REST after a few days off, but also in the importance of mixing up your workouts to get the results you want. I've realized I definitely hit a plateau! 

Thinking back to the trip I had in March. In Vietnam I truly rested. I did no weights, and nothing more than biking casually, and some light stretching in my room (aka stretching out my pants because I ate so much). Plus, I got like 450 minutes of Thai massage if that counts.

It felt good to let my body be, and actually to be less hungry than what I am normally working out so much. If I always go hard it’s also hard to sustain.

As with anything, balance is key. If its working out 3x a week never taking time off, and that works. Cool.

Or if it’s going hard all the time, 6+ workouts a week, then taking a complete week off, cool. As long as you’re moving!

^Justin says 'no' to the ninja pose. Can a girl live?

Mixing up my workouts is a relatively new thing for me since ClassPass. I started working out in college, and would glide on the elliptical for like 20 minutes reading People Magazine or having full on conversations with my friends, wearing a running skirt the whole time. Literally TRYING to avoid breaking a sweat. 

Then it evolved to hot yoga, spinning and now everything under the sun. CrossFit, yoga (hot, vinyasa, hatha, kundalini…) spinning, pilates, circuit training and random classes like dance, ha. It’s been an absolute game changer for how it’s made me LOVE working out and look forward to trying new things.

Let me know if you need any suggestions in Chicago, NYC or L.A!

Benefits of mixing up your workout:

  • You’re not bored. THIS IS SO KEY to lasting and sustainability with working out. Making sure you aren’t bored and you don’t dread it. Then you’re way more likely to workout and CONTINUE to workout in general.

  • You can try new things friends. Truly underrated are my ClassPass sister friends and the fact that we hit each other up every week to workout together. We can hang out, get dinner and workout, but more importantly do something fun and new, together. If you’re trying a new class and you don’t want to look stupid do, it with a friend, it then becomes fun.

  • It keeps your muscles “guessing’. Your body gets used to working out, and the benefits you see from working out can plateau if you’re doing the same thing. That’s like, when you start a workout, become obsessed, see results but then at a point it, stops giving you those results. PopSugar writes,

Adding variety to your workouts will keep your exercises from becoming ineffective. If you run at the same speed on the treadmill everyday for 20 minutes, your body will eventually hit a plateau. You will still be burning calories, but you'll need to increase your resistance levels or speed if you want to really maximize results. This is why personal trainers always push their clients to do more reps each workout session, because it helps boost their metabolism and as your strength and endurance grows, so should your workout.
  • Increased physical performance benefits seen in your body. By doing workouts like yoga, with other things like circuit training, you’re going to see a better ability to adapt and increased overall physical performance in your body. It’s like, you’re checking all the boxes. I've personally noticed greater body awareness, coordination and balance.

  • Weight loss. Oh yes, weight loss. Keeping your body guessing, you’re going to burn more calories because it’s not the same every time. Jillian Michaels preaches,

The Truth: To continue to challenge your body and improve your strength and conditioning, you need to switch up your day-to-day workouts — and try something new each month.

Ways to mix it up:

Get ClassPass. Game changer, I wrote about ClassPass here and here, and how it’s been awesome for me. It’s a little over a hundred dollars a month, and you have access to most gyms in your area. Unlimited classes, at a limit of three classes per one gym. Completely worth it, from my perspective taking into consideration classes nowadays are like $25-$40 dollars a class.

Have your friends all pick one class a week to try together.

I do this ALL THE TIME. The best sort of multitasking! 

Mix it up in your house, with things like the Bombshell Body Guide or online workouts via YouTube. Nowadays we have such access to the internet and ways you can do workouts at home, without even being embarrassed in a new class. I will get inspiration from workout chicks like Buff Bunny (it’s a weird obsession I have with her, ha. She’s so cute and funny and LEGIT) to mix up my lifting routines. 

Another good way to mix it up at home - is by using the TKO Jump Rope. It's super cheap, but high quality, and I'll use it to jump rope outside for 10 minutes, about two days a week. It's nice, because by the time you don't want to workout, you've already burned about 150-200 calories. I literally walk out my door, and do it before I run to warm up. I love the TKO ones because the grips are soft, and it's just a really nice jump rope that lasts.

Something else you can do to mix up your workout is get a heart rate monitor. The one I have is Beets Blu and it's comfortable, accurate and super affordable. 

Often seen in classes like Orange Theory and Circuit Works in L.A. it’s a good way to keep track of how much effort you’re ACTUALLY putting in. I mean, we’ve all gone on auto pilot with lackluster enthusiasm, droning through class watching the clock and praying for the ‘laying down part’ (could just be me). But a heart rate monitor can tell you when a workout was actually worth it, or how many calories you burned. Beets BLU sent me a heart rate monitor, that has an app that you can connect with it to monitor your progress. If you’re looking for a sport one, that’s super accurate because you wear it near your heart, you should definitely check out Beets Blu.

From the Greatist on the importance of Heart Rate Monitors, 

If there’s one accessory in particular that’ll get your fitness game on fleek, it’s the heart rate monitor. Not to knock colorful headbands and puny tank tops. (because we’re all for a little fitness flair!), but these gadgets go beyond the cosmetic and may help your overall fitness.

Case in point: Using a heart rate monitor may help you find your running sweet spot (aka your ideal training pace) and prevent overtraining. (More on that below.) Plus, gadgets that monitor heart rate are relatively affordable compared to other schmancy fitness trackers, so there’s plenty of value. Best of all, it's pretty easy to use: Simply strap the heart rate monitor on, connect it to an app or a watch (the monitors themselves often won’t have displays) and get your sweat on. These days, there are even “strapless” heart rate monitors that pick up your pulse from your wrist.

Okay so now that I shared my weird obsession with Buff Bunny and making my friends workout to hang out with me, YOUR TURN. What are your favorite workouts and ways to workout? Anything you do to make sure you’re keeping it fresh? Have you hit a plateau? 

Also if you’ve used a heart rate monitor, what’s your experience? I loved using the Beets Blu to remind myself how much I was really working out. As an example, Pilates, not much of a heart rate pusher, as spinning is, but I caught myself pushing myself more.

Always love catching up with you!