As I’m nearing 50 lbs lost to date, more and more people have been inquiring about my workout routines and meal plan, so first I’d like to share my current workout calendar. It’s the plan that’s helped me lose the past 10 lbs.
Working Out and Dieting vs. Just Dieting
As I mentioned in my previous post about Losing 40 Lbs, I spend a good bit of time each weekend planning out the next week’s workouts. Weight Watchers is the overall method I use to control my eating (I’ll get more into the specifics of what I actually eat on a daily basis in another post), but exercise is the way that I get my fat burning fires roaring to push my weight loss to the next level.
Weight Watchers claims you will lose .5 – 1.5 lbs of weight on average each week by following their plan. I’ve found that to be true. I can lose approximately 1 lb of weight without working out and sticking 100% to their plan. However, to get more than that, I have to layer exercise on top of the eating plans. More importantly, to get the muscle tone I desire, exercise is a must.
I’ve been skinny-fat before (you know, the kind where the number on the scale is great, but you don’t feel fit and kinda flabby), and I don’t want to go there again.
What Kind of Exercise?
Everyone has their own opinion on this. Some people love yoga and only do low impact, stretching type workouts. Others love cardio and get on the treadmill for long stretches of time. I don’t really have a preference – I like everything from swimming to weight lifting, Zumba and tennis.
When I decided to take responsibility for my health, I found a few individuals through fitness magazines that inspired me by their physiques. Personally, I like the way Jamie Eason and Amanda Latona look fit and muscular yet sexy at the same time. So I read up on the kind of training they do and have modeled my workouts after theirs.
This means that I primarily focus on weight lifting to build muscle and do medium to intense cardio sessions to burn fat. Lately I’ve been incorporating lots of stretching, too, since that’s an area I really need to work on.
The best part about finding inspiration from fitness models is that there are plenty of printable workouts written by them available through BodyBuilding.com. I can’t say enough about that website! Whatever your goal physique is, they’ve got what you need.
Sample Weekly Workout Calendar for Weight Loss
Here’s an example of what a typical workout week looks like for me. Keep in mind that I didn’t start out working out quite this hard. On Day 1 (January 17th, I believe), I thought I was gonna die when I did 30 minutes of cardio followed by 15 minutes of pilates. :=)
As proof this workout schedule combined with Weight Watchers works, here’s a comparison pic of me one week into my transformation compared to 40 lbs down:
And, no, I was NOT pregnant when the before picture was taken! In fact, I’m pretty sure I was sucking it in! LOL That picture was taken 7 months after my 3rd baby was born. 🙁
Ever since I reached the 15lb mark, I think I’ve basically worked out this hard every week except the three weeks when my husband was traveling and/or the kids were sick.
- Monday Morning: Kickboxing (50 min class) + Stretching (10-15 mins), then Live Fit* Arms (45 mins)
- Tuesday Morning: Elliptical Warm-Up (10 mins), then Live Fit Legs workout (1.5 hrs) + Stretching (10-15 mins)
- Wednesday Morning: Elliptical Warm-Up (10 mins), then Live Fit Shoulders (1 hr) + Stretching (10-15 mins)
- Wednesday Evening: Zumba (1 hr class)
- Thursday: Day Off**
- Friday Morning: Kickboxing (50 min class) + Stretching (10-15 mins, then Live Fit Back (1 hr 15 mins)
- Saturday Anytime: Day Off or Make Up Session for missed weight training this week
- Sunday Afternoon: Swimming (45 mins)
*LiveFit refers to Jamie Eason’s 12-week training program available through BodyBuilding.com.
**Thursday has become my standard day off each week because I find that giving 100% at the gym for four days in a row is unrealistic. I can give 100% for 2.5 or 3 days in a row, but when that fourth day hits, I’m pretty zapped and usually have lackluster performance. I like to take this day off to re-energize so I can give 100% on Friday mornings.
Hours Spent Exercising Each Week
The workout schedule above gets me approximately 8 hours of workout time in per week, give or take. Sometimes life gets in the way and I don’t get in my scheduled workouts, but in general I try to plan my week in a way that not many things can derail my plans.
I find that when I make fitness a priority, I never replace workout time with something that can wait, like a quick trip to Target or a TV show. My blog has also suffered because of this re-prioritization, but it’s totally worth it.
Best Time to Workout Each Day
As you can see from the example schedule above, I like to workout in the mornings. I find that my energy and motivation is highest in the mornings; however, I achieved my first 25 lbs of weight loss by working out primarily in the afternoon just after lunch or later in the evening (starting around 7 or 8 p.m.). I don’t think the time you work out is as important as simply being consistent about just getting to the gym.
The good thing about working out later in the day – you’re motivated to eat clean and in a way that fuels your workouts beforehand and less tempted to cheat afterward because working out suppresses your appetite.
The best thing about working out in the morning – the stresses of the day haven’t brought you down, so you’re A) less likely to skip a morning session due to being tired and B) you will be able to give A+ effort.
Workout Calendar After Weight Loss
I realize there will come a day (22 lbs from now, to be exact!) when I no longer have to maintain such a rigorous training schedule because I won’t have major weight to lose or a muscle base to establish.
At that time, I’ll re-evaluate and change things up. I imagine I’ll scale back on the combo high intensity cardio/weight lifting sessions and mainly do weight lifting with a couple classes sprinkled in throughout the week.
I hope you’re able to use my weekly workout plan above as a starting point for your own fitness calendar. Feel free to ask me questions about the sample schedule above. I love comments!!