My Fitness Story + Routine
I still remember the freshman year of high school days when I’d wake up with an immense amount of dread in me, knowing I’d be forced to run a mile later on throughout the day in gym class. Unlike many kids around me, my childhood was not centered around athletic activities or sports of any kind. It just wasn’t my thing, and honestly, I never thought it really mattered. I was always that super scrawny tall girl with giraffe legs and it left me feeling different from a lot of the people around me, but I never really cared much. It took until my freshman year of high school to realize just how out of shape I was, and that skinny did NOT automatically equal “fit” or “healthy.”
I ate like crap for a majority of my life knowing I had a fast metabolism, yet I still went on to struggle with endless body image issues when I first started high school. I got so caught up in wanting that “Victoria’s Secret model body” that I completely neglected my health and started becoming calorie-obsessed and measuring my waist everyday. I firmly believed the scale reflected how I looked on the outside, and developed quite an unhealthy relationship with food that would take years for me to fix.
Fast forward to the end of my freshman year gym class, after months of feeling inadequate in every way athletically, I vowed to myself to change my ways and to come back the next year stronger than before. That summer, I started working out 5-6 times a week, and although still calorie-obsessed, I slowly began to feel more confident. I only did very light cardio paired with some ab workouts for about the first year, and it took almost a year and a half to see any significant changes in how toned I was getting.
Junior year, I went vegan. Before you go calling me preachy, let me explain. I cannot tell you all enough just how much veganism changed me as an individual. Whether it was my relationship with food, my outlook on life, or my own self confidence, I owe a huge chunk of my progress to going vegan that year. I ate as much as I want, whenever I wanted, and became a hundred times more focused on my fitness than ever before. I’d say that was one of the biggest turning points in my life, and I am forever grateful for educating myself and giving it a shot despite the fact that veganism was practically unheard of in my high school (and I did receive a lot of shit for it from the entire world around me, because, you know, suddenly people cared about my diet!!!!!)
All sarcasm aside, I stayed vegan for about a year and a half until college
started totally screwed me over. I had a lot of personal issues going on my first year of college, couldn’t work out nearly as much as I wanted, and felt super stressed out and lost. I became pescatarian during the time I strayed from veganism, but in the past few months I’ve given up fish again and would say I’m about 90% vegan as of now (college still screws me up every now and then). Thankfully three years of dedication to my fitness didn’t disappear within that rough first year of college, and it was really easy for me to bounce back and get back to my usual level of exercise once I became dedicated again.
Now that I’m done rambling, I’ll finally get into my current fitness routine. Disclaimer: This is just what works for me, I totally get everyone has different abilities and skill levels, but personally this is where I’m at right now with my fitness. I usually do mostly ab work mixed with cardio, and some days I’ll do legs + butt or arms (but I hate doing arms so not too often, haha). Read on to see what a typical ab workout looks like for me!
Note: I’m only going to be sharing an ab workout on here today, as I haven’t been doing a ton of legs/butt/arms lately due to some injuries with my knees & shoulders (I’m a mess, I know). I’ve been toning it down lately with the leg workouts also because my thighs gain muscle waaaay faster than the rest of my body does & personally I don’t have the time or money to go out and buy ten new pairs of jeans, skirts, and other pants because my legs won’t fit…ANYWAY.
So here’s a summary of what a typical ab workout is for me. Obviously I don’t do this workout every time & switch up the exercises, but this was the one I happened to do the day we shot this blog post!
Here we go:
- I always need to warm up with some cardio before I work out lately, and it really gets me energized and ready to go for the tough floor work ahead of me. I like to really push myself on the elliptical and only do the legs portion of it for 10 minutes on level 5.
- I love doing incline work on the treadmill, so I’ll power walk at around 4.5 speed and start with an 8.0 incline, then go to a 12.0 incline towards the end of my workout. This really gets your booty & calves burning!
- Floor work time! I started off with doing 15 reps of sit ups with a medicine ball. Push the medicine ball up above your head as you sit up.
- Next I did 12 reps of V-ups. V-ups are my favorite ab exercise for sure. They work your entire core so well and get that burn going! Start out laying on the floor with your arms straight out behind your head, and lift your legs and upper body at the same time (like a V!) then crunch up and try to touch your toes. You can also google this exercise if you have no clue what I just said.
- Then I move onto in & out crunches, which also wore your whole core really well. Start off as if you’re doing a crunch, with your hands around your head. Only here, you want to start off with your legs bent at a 90 degree angle off the ground. Then, straighten your legs out and bring them down (DON’T TOUCH THE GROUND!) while simultaneously bringing your upper body down to the ground. Do this 12 times!
- The next exercise is also an in & out type of exercise. Start off sitting with your arms above your head holding a medicine ball. Then lift your feet off the ground, legs bent, and straighten them out while keeping your butt still on the floor. This requires a bit of balance & might take some practice first.
- Last but not least, I like to finish off the cycle with leg lifts. Lay flat on the ground with your hands near your side and your legs straight up in the air. Bring them down while keeping your back as flat as possible, and again, DON’T LET YOUR HEELS TOUCH THE GROUND and don’t simply swing your legs back and forth. The slower & more controlled you do this exercise, the more it will burn.
- Do the floor cycle 5 more times!
I finish off with some stretches, then make myself a yummy protein shake when I get home. My new favorite protein powder is totally vegan and tastes so good. I also take these plant-sourced minerals I got at Whole Foods and mix them with a glass of water just for an extra boost. You can find the protein powder here.
And of course, outfit pictures are a must, even in gym attire. These gym leggings were a recent purchase of mine and I’ve been wearing them on repeat. They really spice up your outfit, even if it is just a trip to the gym. This whole look’s details are linked down below! Also, let me know if you guys like reading these health/fitness posts & I’ll be sure to have more in the future.
Get the Look