I’m not going to lie, sometimes I wonder if these posts are helpful or interesting since they don’t include a ton of workouts anymore. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked out 5+ days a week and while I love working out and believe fitness will always be incredibly important to me, I feel like my headspace surrounding fitness has shifted a lot. I could write a looong post all about this — and I feel like I summarized a lot of my thoughts in this post about Fitness in my 20s vs. Fitness in my 30s — but I guess I’m trying to say that while these posts aren’t workout-heavy, I hope they help show some of you out there who may feel like fitness has to be all or nothing that you don’t need dedicate hours to your workouts every day to reap the benefits of exercise both from a mental and physical perspective.
I’ve been averaging three (sometimes four) workouts a week for a while now and aesthetically don’t feel like I look much different from the time in my life when I was working out much more often. My kids keep me active and on my feet seemingly all day long and that lifestyle combined with three (or four) strength sessions a week is something I feel is working best for me right now. I love the workouts I do and this less-is-more approach to fitness is my jam in this phase of life with three young kids and work-from-home life to juggle.
I’d love to hear from any of you out there who might have experienced similar shifts in your exercise routine. Has your approach to fitness changed? Are you working our more or less than you were 5 or even 10 years ago? I’m curious and am considering diving into this a little deeper in a future post if it might be of interest but for now, here’s a peek into last week’s workouts!
Week of Workouts: August 2021
Monday: Total Body Pyramid Workout
I began the week with an early-morning garage workout that looked a lot like the above total body pyramid workout. I actually swapped out a few of the more intense cardio exercises for heavier strength exercises and lowered the rep count so it was a little different but it was still a pyramid-style workout. In case you’re curious, here are my substitutions: Heavy deadlifts in place of the tuck jumps (15 reps), overhead press in place of the mountain climbers (15 reps), triceps extensions in place of the jump rope (18 reps) and low rows in place of the skaters (12 reps per side).
The format of the pyramid workout looked like this: I worked my way up the pyramid completing the five exercises listed in the 20 reps section before moving onto 40 reps section followed by the 60 reps section. And then I went back down down the pyramid and completed the 60, 40 and 20 rep sections in reverse order.
Tuesday: 3 Mile Walk
No traditional workout happened for me on Tuesday other than a 3-mile walk with Ryder and Rhett while Chase was at kindergarten!
Wednesday: Leg Workout
I did an early morning garage workout on Wednesday morning inspired by a Burn Boot Camp leg day workout I streamed from my iPad. I love the fact that Burn offers new workouts six days a week and have been regularly using their streaming option since early 2020 when everything shut down due to the pandemic. Though I miss the community, trainer and access to additional weights and equipment, one thing I’ve loved about doing Burn workouts from home is the ability to swap out exercises and do my own thing if I feel like changing the protocol a bit. That’s exactly what I did on Wednesday morning and my rendition of the workout is featured above in the graphic. I actually changed three of the main exercises and changed the way I did squats. In the Burn online workout, they began with heavy squats before each exercises (15 in the first round, 12 in the second and 8 in the last). This ate into the time I spent doing the exercises in the workout so I did 10 heavy squats in round 1, 10 lighter squats in round 2 and bodyweight squats in round 3 before moving onto the designated exercise. It was a squat-heavy workout and I was definitely sore the next day!
Thursday: Upper Body Workout
On Thursday, I streamed another Burn Boot Camp workout during Rhett’s morning nap and followed along with the upper body strength session as Ryder played next to me in the driveway. The workout was similar to this upper body session I previously shared and focused on biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest and back. The only thing I changed was the TRX rows which I swapped for single arm rows.
Friday: 2 Mile Walk
My sister and her family arrived in town on Thursday afternoon and since they love walking as much as we do, a lot of little walks have occurred over the course of the past few days. On Friday morning, after Chase’s kindergarten drop off, we got the babies down for their naps and left their monitors with the dads (they’re both working out of our house right now) so we could take Callie and Ryder on a 2-mile walk around the neighborhood. The walk included a stop at a park for some playtime on the swings and was a particularly lovely walk because temperatures dropped dramatically and it was in the low 70s and sunny!
Saturday: 3 Mile Walk
We kicked off the day on Saturday with a big ol’ family walk around the neighborhood. We were quite the crew since my sister and brother-in-law and their dog and two girls joined us. There were a lot of bikes, strollers, kids, water breaks and snacks on this one!
Sunday: 4 Mile Walk
Rhett was up before 6 a.m. and wouldn’t settle back down after I nursed him so we were up briiight and early on Sunday. The big kids were awake by 6:30 a.m. and since everyone was ready to rock soon after the sun came up we let the kids stay in their pajamas and did a “jammie walk.” We covered four miles as a family and it was a nice way to kick of an otherwise eeearly morning with the kiddos.
Question of the Day
What does your exercise routine look like lately? Has it changed a lot in the past 5 to 10 years?
Kristin S says
Julie, I really appreciate this post. My gym is still struggling through the pandemic. Masks, no masks, masks. Fans, no fans, fans! Most classes still aren’t back. I miss good group fitness. I feel like I’m wasting money with my membership. SO, when you post these, it’s super helpful for me to fill in the holes my gym isn’t providing. Also, variety!
It’s such a struggle to navigate right now — I get that so much. Thank you for your comment and I’m so glad these posts are helpful to you!
These posts motivate and inspire me so I love them!
My workouts have changed 100%. Pre kids I was at the gym 5 mornings a week with intense spin classes & strength training. Fast forward 4 years, 3 kids, and a full time job. Now I still get 5-6 home workouts done but they have shifted to lower impact, functional strength with heavy core focus. My workouts now are less about “crushing it” and more about being able to keep up with my kids 🙂 I prefer heavy lifting but with covid and 3 kids home workouts are what we do.
Thanks for the inspiration, Julie! I saved the leg day workout to try soon! I’d LOVE some tips on encouraging kids to play independently while you work out. I have a 15 month old and she is all up in my business every time I try. Definitely adds some extra resistance training. 😅 How did your teach the boys that it’s a special time for you?
Yes! Please do more in-depth post on this! I was just talking to another mom about the shift in fitness (I have a ten month old) and grappling with that change but also trying to embrace it. And how to figure out ways to combine childcare with exercise! More please!
I absolutely love these posts! I love the workout ideas, but also the very realistic view of health and fitness as a parent (or maybe just in a busy lifestyle!). I also love seeing mamas who workout daily, but really don’t think it’s realistic for everyone.
I have 3 little boys and am pregnant with baby 4 and have discovered that I just don’t love working out while I’m pregnant. It used to bug me, but I’m realizing my body does well with lots of walking, chasing kids, and the very occasional dedicated workout while pregnant, and that’s ok, too!
I’m sure as my kids get older things will shift again, but this works for now!
I’m the same way! I tried to workout through all my pregnancies and I just felt worse afterwards. I think staying active and chasing three other kiddos is plenty!
100% my workouts have changed in the last five years. Then I was pregnant with my first and had all the time in the world. Now I have a 5 and a 3 year old and a full time job outside of the home…agree with you that the days I’m home with my kids feel like an all day work out some days! I still love to run, swim, and do an at home workout, but I am thankful to be off the figurative (and sometimes literal) treadmill and prioritize what really matters. Thank you for this insight!
I would love a blog post on this, and hope there’s one in the future (I loved the 20s vs. 30s one as well). I appreciate you mentioning aesthetics and would really love to read more about that, While being strong, healthy, feeling good are all important aspects of working out, I also appreciate when we as women are vulnerable and admit to whatever extent comfortable the role that physical appearance and fatphobia play in our diet, lifestyle, and exercise routines. (Food Heaven and Diet Starts Tomorrow podcasts do great jobs of this as do others) I know many folks tend to avoid touching on fatphobia and diet culture, and it’s so helpful when people do talk about it. Workout-wise, I focus on mental health and doing workouts that I enjoy and that feel like a reward for taking care of my body, instead of punishment now.
This was a great post! My workouts have definitely changed a lot since having children. I used to drive to the gym 20-30 minutes away every morning. Now I try to squeeze in a 30 minute workout during naptime at home. I honestly feel healthier now in my late 20s from just being active at home with my kids than 5 days of week of slaving away in the gym. We walk a lot and play all day and by the end of the day I’m wiped out.
I agree with this so much! I feel like I’m on my feet more and moving more all day long now than when I was younger, too.
This post is the exact conversation I have with myself every week. I remember an ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ fitness challenge in college in which you worked out as many days as possible during that time. I worked out all of them. I’m now 35 with two kids, a full time job and working on my masters. I’m I’m lucky to get three thirty minute sessions in a week. I’m no longer a cardio junkie but pack a lot in thirty minutes of boot-camp style workouts. My daughter will often do some of my workout with me, play Legos on the floor or watch a show nearby. And it sounds crazy but I actually get up at 430 on workdays before a 12 hour shift on my feet to workout just once per week—it’s my only truly alone time and I don’t mind it at all since it’s just once a week. I feel so accomplished and alert for the day. Thanks for this post
Oh wow!! You have one FULL schedule, Holly!! I think it’ so awesome that you’re able to get in workouts at all — you’re definitely proof that you CAN make it work even with so much on your plate. <3
I like these posts. Out of curiosity- how long are your workouts typically? I have always struggled with consistency and… now is no different 🙂 I am training for a marathon and I love to run so I have no trouble motivating myself to do that but strength training has always been a different story.
I’m now in my early 40s and my feet (of all things) have been the things to bother me a lot so I have to be careful of how much running/ jumping I do.
Wow!! A marathon is no joke — you’re a rockstar!! All of my workouts are 45 minutes or less.
Courtney Wilton says
Yes! My workouts have completely changed in the last few years! I have been a member of the no days off, HIIT and over exercise team for years! I resonate with what you say around your body not looking that much different doing less now compared to doing more, since dropping down from 5-7+ workouts a week to 3 days of full body strength, I have grown muscle and gotten way stronger! Who would’ve thought rest days actually work haha! Being a mum also means less time and the more efficient a workout can be the better! I would love a post on how your fitness mindset has changed!
Yes to this!!! Isn’t it crazy!? I think back to all the time I spent on the elliptical when I was younger and just want to throw some dumbbells at myself. Haha!
Thank you for sharing these! I have done a number of your workouts in the past and they are HARD! haha Great motivation and I love that you embrace the flexibility of your workouts now and strive for balance. You inspire me to strive for the same! Quick question – when you do the burn boot camp workouts or do a workout on your own, roughly how long are the workouts?
Hi Megan! The Burn Boot Camp workouts are 45 minutes! When I do them on my own, they’re typically a little less because I can sometimes speed them up a bit, especially if it’s a workout I’ve done before and I don’t need to sit through the exercise demos.
Yes! I went from being a long distance runner who ran several maratahons to doing mostly yoga! It is what works best for me now, and that is OK! I used to not even consider walking a workout, but now I realize how beneficial it actually is. I find these posts encouarging, they are honest and REAL! I am a long-time blog reader, and while your blog has definitley changed, I still enjoy it. Mostly because, Julie, you are real and honest, and I so appreciate that. A lot of us out here are doing our best and can relate.
This means a lot to me. Thank you, Autumn!! And yes, I was the same way about walking — now I truly believe it’s one of the absolute best things you can do for your body.