Back in February, I shared the first post in my Fitness Series with Equinox Seaport and 10 weeks later, I'm sharing my progress. When I sat down with my personal trainer, Niles Sturtevant, in January, we had identified the following goals based on my pain points and the areas I wanted to improve:
- Increase lean muscle mass
- Target a more well-rounded diet
- Balance workouts to include strength and conditioning
The last few months have been filled with a lot of hard work but I can honestly say it has been worth every exhausting, limit-pushing minute. As someone who always gravitated toward cardio and ran from lifting any kind of weight, I have completely changed my perception of strength and wellness and what it means to be "fit." I have always struggled with a balanced workout for fear of looking ridiculous lifting weights and simply just not knowing what I'm doing, so when we started my sessions with weights, it was very intimidating. But, Niles created a plan that would increase my strength over time while also pushing me out of my comfort zone.
Below I'll walk you through what a typical 60-minute training session looks like. From warm-up, to strength and conditioning, this is a quick snapshot of what we've been working on. Not pictured, my usual messy bun, exhausted face, and uncoordinated outfit. Thanks to Charlotte Murphy from Salon Mario Russo for making me look put together for these photos!
First and foremost, warming up was never part of my routine. Growing up as a competitive figure skater (fun fact for those of you who don't know that!) I have always been into working out and it typically came easily to me. Skipping a warm-up never really had ramifications but since these sessions have been focused on weight lifting, I've realized the importance of warming up. So, for the first 10 minutes, I start with foam rolling and active stretching incorporating planks and lunges.
Next, we move to a kettlebell exercise. We usually focus on a movement that works both the legs and arms. The great thing about kettlebell exercises are that you can do them from home (I would recommend purchasing this Kettlebell) or at your local gym. However, form is super important so I would recommend working with a trainer first or watching some videos to make sure you are activating the right muscles.
Here's where I've really surprised myself. After our first few sessions, I have to admit that I thought I made a mistake by making one of my goals adding lean muscle. As someone who has always been picked on for being "scrawny," I never thought I would be able to lift anything let alone the weights we have graduated to over the last few months. Granted, we did not start here, but by incorporating deadlifts and squats into my sessions every week, I have become so much stronger not only in my legs, but my core as well (something I have always struggled with).
Last and certainly my least favorite, sled pushes are literally the death of me but admittedly the most gratifying. While Niles might look innocent, he is a tough trainer and never lets me quit. There have been so many times when I've said "I don't think I can do that" and he pushes me to get it done. I've always heard fitness instructors say your body is capable of more than you know and I have definitely found that to be true. It just takes going the extra rep, sprint, or lift to realize it.
After 10 weeks of training, I am up 3 lbs in lean muscle, have focused on eating a more balanced diet to include more protein, and have definitely seen the positive impact on my body. Whether it's noticeable to others or not, I feel stronger and healthier and at the end of the day, that's what really matters. Over the next 6 weeks, Niles and I will be focusing more on exercises that lengthen muscles and conditioning through high interval circuits. Check back here for a round-up of those workouts in the next month!
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the participating companies.