Yesterday I had decided it was leg day. I had spent the whole day psyching myself up for it and doing squats at my desk and looking up killer leg day workouts to try on my lunch break. I wanted to get excited about my workout and that isn’t always easy after a long day for me. Especially on Thursdays when I am extra tired. Now normally I just decide it is leg day and I walk into the gym, do a little bit of elliptical (basing it off of how I feel), do whatever weight machines relate to leg day and then go home. But I have noticed how useful it can be to have a plan and a set workout to go to the gym with, so I did and I placed it on handy dandy post it notes so I could stick it to whatever machine I was working on.
Having a plan made a huge difference. I didn’t waste time wandering or having my heart rate drop while I debated what machine to do next. I just popped in my headphones with the current hits station on Pandora and went to work.
Elliptical HIIT Workout:
Set 20 minutes on the elliptical timer.
5 minute warm-up at a moderate pace
30 seconds sprint- go as fast as you can
60 seconds recovery- back to the moderate pace
30 seconds resistance increase- bump that resistance up- I started off at 10 and by the last round was at 15
60 seconds recovery
Alternate between 60 second recoveries and 30 second either sprinting or bumping up the resistance or bumping up the incline (some times I did both to be honest just to add in some extra challenges) till you reach 6 minutes left of your workout (14 minutes in).
60 second bump up the incline and resistance and go all out for that last minute
5 minute cool down at a moderate pace
This workout was a lot of fun and got my blood pumping. I experimented a lot with alternating between my high intensity intervals being just sprinting on the elliptical as fast as I could and messing with the resistance and incline. The lady next to me was doing yoga type stretches while doing the elliptical and I had to keep myself from giggling. To each their own right?! Afterwards I got on one of those new stair stepper machines fully intending to do 5 whole minutes but gosh damn my legs wanted to fall off after 3 minutes. Not to mention I can’t seem to figure out how to use them right ever. Maybe I should try the older stair steppers next leg day!
Strength- Leg/glute Day…
10- Seated leg press
10- Seated Leg Curls
10- Leg Extension
10- Glute Machine (I am not sure what it is called, I just know you are in this awkward half plank position)
3 times with 30 second rests in between
20- Dumbbell step ups
20- Dumbbell Squats
3 times with 30 second rests in between
*Friendly reminder, wipe down the rollers when you do the leg curls machines. I got on and got someone else’s leg sweat all over my legs because they didn’t wipe the rollers down. Um gross! Yes your legs do sweat.
I had done all of these before except the step ups. I was a little worried about what I would use to step up since all the aerobic rooms with their steps were in use but I found a small box worked just as well. You know, one of those metal things that people hop on to. I had the husband place his foot on one of the metal bars for steadiness because we ALL know I am a major klutz and I got to stepping with my 8 pound weights in hand. By the 8th step up I was hurting but I pushed through because it also felt kind of great as well. Plus I vaguely mentioned something about needing to do more stairs.
I would call leg day a success, mostly because walking up and down the parking garages stairs hurt so good afterwards.
Afterwards we made some green smoothies to recover with and I made sure to down all the water to help prevent some soreness today.
These smoothies are pretty simple. I just throw some kale, spinach, coconut milk unsweetened, whey protein, flax seeds, strawberries, banana and ice into a blender for a few minutes. Makes for a wonderful after workout drink. Not to mention it gets me my greens for when I am slacking on eating the greens.
Yesterday was a success and I went home in a much better mood. I am learning slowly that I can leave my bad day at the gym. There is something utterly calming about working out on the machines and pouring down sweat. Just like there is something truly calming about swimming and listening to my own breath/splashes around me.
Today is chest/arms and a swim day. I am really looking forward to the swim part. Mostly because I get a treat of the steam room and hot tub afterwards!! Whatever gets me motivated right?? Who else is excited it is Friday and that this week is FINALLY over?????? I am already planning out some workouts for this weekend!!
What kind of smoothies do you make? How do you rock leg day? Any weekend plans?