There are a number of commandments we’re told to worship in the gym, but there’s one in particular that everyone loves to preach about: “you shall not skip leg day.” While there’s nothing wrong with matching your muscle groups to certain days, I am a huge advocate for mixing it up, which is what I did today. In fact, I created my own commandment: “when in doubt, you shall flow it out.” In other words, if you’re stuck on where to start in the gym that day, I figured out a formula that’ll help you find your flow.
First, choose an easy form of cardio that you can vibe with for at least 10 minutes (maybe it’s the elliptical, the treadmill or even the stationary bike). During this warm-up, offer yourself two options: continue with cardio at a medium to high intensity for at least 20 minutes, or pick a piece of weight training equipment (machines, free weights, etc.). By this point, you’ll most likely be listening to what your body wants without even realizing it! Tune into that little voice. When you make your choice, focus on absolutely crushing it. Now there are TONS of feel-good endorphins pumping through your system, so let them flow you toward whatever makes you think, “Yeah, I can conquer that too.”
I know I sound ridiculous—and that’s OK with me, because guess what? It totally worked. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into the gym and said to myself, “Ha yep, not feeling it today. I should just leave before I embarrass myself even attempting to do that… um… whatever that machine is called.” Or I’ve walked in at peak times only to find out every treadmill was taken; then I would take that aimless, defeating walk around the other areas, panicking about a plan B. No one wants to go through that!
When you follow this formula, not only do you can get to know your body better, but you can also use it as a planning tool for future workouts. Here’s how I flowed it out today:
- 10 minutes on the rowing machine
- 30 minutes of treadmill running intervals
- 5 x 15 reps on calf press machine
- 3 x 15 reps on ab machine
- 4 x 12 reps dumbbell bicep curls
- 4 x 15 reps (each side) dumbbell side bends
- 3 x 12 reps dumbbell shoulder press
- Stretching for cool down
I bounced around a bunch of different muscle groups so I could work one while resting the other, which saved me time while keeping up my heart rate. It was so much fun to do a little bit of everything!
I challenge you this weekend to free yourself of a rigid routine and try flowing it out; your body, mind and imagination will thank you! Happy Labor Day Weekend!