My Weekly Workout Routine!

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Lately, I’ve had tons of people asking about details on my current workout routine! For those who don’t know, my hubby and I have embarked on a 12-Week Fit Challenge – you can learn more about it here. We are currently on the last stretch of our challenge and have had amazing results – which you can see here.

So, many of you have asked – “What do you do for your workouts?!”

Well folks, I’m going to tell you! 🙂

Seeing as fitness and exercise is such a HUGE part of my life, it wouldn’t make sense that I don’t share it! I hope that this can give you some inspiration and motivation to get moving too!

Alrighty! I work out at the gym 5-6 days per week. Yep, it is a lot, but it’s just become part of my day, kind of like work, or brushing my teeth! I always take at least 1 day off where I rest or do some pretty easy at-home exercising such as a workout dvd, yoga, or stretching.

I didn’t put any of the reps/sets for my resistance training because this really depends on what goals you are going for! Typically if you are looking to build muscle you will lower the reps and increase the intensity (lift heavier), whereas if you want to trim and tone, it’s higher reps and lower intensity! My sets and reps vary from 3×6 to 4×15… it just depends on what exercise I’m doing!

(Typically I’m doing 3 or 4 sets of each exercise with anywhere from 6 to 12 repetitions in each set, and higher reps for abs and calves.. because they can take the high reps!)

Mondays: Cardio Only 

This is usually an OFF day from any resistance training, but I still go to the gym and do 45-60 minutes of cardio. I change it up a lot, and once the weather gets a little nicer, I plan to take some of this cardio outside! Typically I workout on the treadmill for a portion, the elliptical, and the stairclimber.

Treadmill (15-30 minutes)

I will do a short warm up of a couple minutes at about 3.5mph and then run at a steady 6.0mph or do some intervals between 5.5mph and 7.5mph. (I’ll make sure to post some of the different treadmill interval workouts I do in the future!)

Elliptical (10-15 minutes)

To be honest, I kind of don’t like the elliptical, but I know it’s good for working upper and lower body so I suck it up and do it. I usually set it on manual and slowly raise intensity as I go. I also switch direction and move backwards once or twice for a minute or so!

Stairclimber/master/whatever you call it (15-20 minutes)

I LOVE this machine. I used to not like it, but I totally developed an appreciation for it, and also, knowing that my lower body is where I struggle the most for toning and definition, the stairs are where it’s at! I typically set the machine on the Fat Burner program (which includes a series of intervals) and set it at a level 10. (I sweat ALOT on this machine, it’s kind of gross, I seriously resemble 10 year old boy who’s just played dodgeball for an hour, but it feels amazing!!)

 

Tuesdays: Shoulder Shreddin’ + Abs  + Cardio 

DB Lateral Raises

Alternating DB Front Raises

Rear Delt Fly’s (oooohhh I loath these ones, I feel like a drunk bird attempting to fly with metal wings… BUT, this exercise sure builds those posterior deltoids!) 

1 Arm Palm-In Dumbell Press Alternating 

Barbell Push Press 

Abs: Hanging Leg Raises + Ab Crunches 

Cardio: 45-50 minutes – a mix of treadmill, stairs, and elliptical! 

 

Wednesdays: Lunging Leg DAY … a.k.a Kill-Me-Now Day + Abs

I usually don’t do cardio on leg day because my legs feel like a big bowl of jello by the time I’m done! It’s those walking lunges I tell ya!

Leg Press

Leg Extension 

Squats 

Walking Lunges (heavy… I’ve got myself up to using 70 lbs now which is awesome because when I started this program 40 lbs was really tough!!) 

Calf Raises 

Abs: Oblique Twists + Hanging Leg Raises 

 

Thursdays: OFF

… Haaaaallelujah! Yes, I love this day… If I’m feeling pretty beat from the week, I will just rest. If I feel I have the energy for it sometimes I will pop in a short yoga dvd at home or just spend some time stretching! Rest days are so important though, so I usually don’t do much!

 

Fridays: Building Back & Biceps + Abs + Cardio 

This workout usually takes me the longest.. I tend to be at the gym anywhere between 2. 5 to 3 hours… depending on how much I dilly dally. It’s a long one, but just seeing how much I’ve built my upper body so far makes it all worth it!

Lat Pulldowns

Chin Ups (assisted, I use about 60-75 lbs assistance) 

Bent Over Row (I use dumbbells) 

Supermans 

Alternating DB Bicep Curls

Barbell Bicep Curls 

Preacher Machine Curls

Abs: Ab Crunches 

Cardio: 45-50 minutes – a mix of treadmill, stairs, and elliptical! 

 

Saturdays: Chiselin’ Chest & Triceps + Abs + Cardio 

DB Incline Chest Press

Seated Chest Press 

Pec Deck

Overhead DB Extension

Cable Rope Pulldown 

Tricep Dips (I use a bench, and first began with my legs on the ground, now I’ve increased my intensity by having my feet up on another bench, next I plan to use a stability ball for my feet!) 

Abs: V-Sit Holds

Cardio: 45-50 minutes – a mix of treadmill, stairs, and elliptical! 

Sundays: Hamstrings & Calves + Abs + Cardio 

Lying Leg Curls

Kettlebell Swings 

Weighted Hip Thrusts (these are mondo difficult but you can totally feel it building those hams and glutes!) 

Variations of Calf Raises/Calf Press 

Abs: V-Sits

Cardio: 45-50 minutes – a mix of treadmill, stairs, and elliptical! 

 

And that’s it! My weekly workout routine!

(Note: I added in some variations to some of the regular exercises I do, so it changes a bit from week to week)

It’s pretty intense, but I have to say I love it! I look forward to my workouts (most days… there are of course those days that I want to run as fast as I can in the opposite direction from the gym… but it’s mind over matter, and once I’m there, I’m happy I pushed myself to go!) and feel awesome after every one!

Having this consistent routine to follow has truly made a world of difference. It’s crazy how for years I worked out regularly but didn’t follow a consistent routine, and thus I saw close to no gains or improvements, then 3 months of this, and BAM!! THERE’S my quads, biceps, shoulders, and abs finally showing! With this routine my body has time to recover, my muscles can build and get stronger without being over worked, and I finally have BALANCE!

My wonderful trainers (from Excel Fitness & Nutrition) who built this plan for me (with some slight variations), have been awesome! When I first started I had a bajillion questions about exercise form, how to do the exercises correctly, intensity, etc. and they were super supportive and helpful!

 

If you have any questions about my routine, let me know!

 

Christal

Nutritionist in the Kitch

 

Author: Christal Sczebel

Christal is the creator of Nutrition in the Kitch. She's a Certified Nutritional Consultant, twice published author, gluten and dairy free recipe developer, food photographer, speaker, wife, and mama. Christal loves good food, all things wellness, and loves to travel. Her wellness philosophy is centred around balance and sustainable health, life's way too short for boring diets and restriction!

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  • Hey Christal, what an amazing transformation! That’s incredible. I was considering giving you’re workout a whirl, but (as you mentioned) am determined to use proper form. Do you have any websites you’d recommend that demonstrate your moves?

  • Hi! I would like to do your workouts and was wondering about how long it takes you to complete all of your workouts? I’m currently in school and only have about an hour to two hours to workout, sometimes even less. Thanks so much!

    • Hey Mikayla! Typically because of the high amount of cardio workouts take about 2 hours – but since we have finished our challenge I cut down my cardio to 30 or 40 minutes instead – so now my total workout time is closer to an hour and a half as long as I get through it without dilly dallying! Lol

    • Hi Elishab! I tried p90x once and it was pretty good but I never stuck with it unfortunately, I just don’t think I had the level of dedication needed at that time in my life!

  • Wow, that is so impressive. What a workout! I was a huge gym rat for about two years and experienced huge weight loss, but wasn’t knowledgable in getting enough calories, etc., so I actually had to gain weight and started skipping out on the gym when it got colder out.

    I’ve been doing lots of yoga over the winter but have been missing out on that cardio and although some yoga gives strength, I feel like I need to do more. I have to say seeing the changes you and your hubby are going through is definitely motivating me to get back into it. I’m not going to the extent that you are (working almost full time and doing my masters), but I’m making it much more of a priority. This morning I did core/strength yoga, yesterday was cardio at the gym, day before that was cardio/strength… now I just have to stick with it and maybe design an actual routine!

    Anyway, thanks for the inspiration! That is so cool that you are really challenging yourself and seeing those changes. Keep up the great work and I appreciate you sharing!

    • Oh and also, since then, I’ve done a lot of learning about getting proper carbs, protein, fats, etc. So I’m not starting up blindly this time! And my goal is really just to tone up. I feel like I am healthy but could still be much healthier 🙂

      • Yes, the proper nutrition is SO important when it comes to being “fueled” correctly for exercise! You’re well on your way! If you ever have any questions, feel free to ask! 🙂

    • Thanks Amelia! Yeah it’s definitely ALOT of time spent at the gym right now – when we finish the challenge we both plan to keep our routine but tone it down a bit!! The consistency has been the biggest thing – I find my body is just loving it and I can’t believe the gains we have both seen in such a short amount of time! It’s good to listen to your body though and set yourself on a routine that you know is manageable and realistic for yourself! Keep it up! 🙂 Thank you for the feedback!!

  • How heavy do you go on your free weights (like for bent over rows, etc)? I find that i am not able to do near as much (as makes sense) but i also can’t find the right weight for me. It’s pretty difficult at this point to increase my weight and do more than 3-4 reps. Is it better to stay where i am at or should i settle for 3-4 reps at a heavier weight to build muscle? I don’t want to lessen my workout!

    • Bent over rows I do 30lbs each side right now… I’ve slowly worked up, I think at the beginning I was doing 20lbs. To find the weight that is right for you when working with free weights, it’s important you don’t try to lift to heavy and then sacrifice good form. You should be able to do at least 6 reps and be struggling at the last rep, but still able to complete the exercise. That is again if you are lifting heavier for muscle building. For toning you should be able to get to 12 reps and at the 11th or 12th be struggling, but not complete muscle failure.

  • Love your blog! Thanks for sharing! What a workout. When you say that you added the variations of some exercises does that mean that you don’t do ALL the exercises you listed? Confused about what you meant by that comment.

    • Hey Elizabeth! Yep, it sure is! By variations I mean that I work the same muscle group but with a different type of exercise – such as a leg press machine instead of squats, or a pec deck machine instead of incline dumbbell fly’s – I always do that many exercises just not always the exact same exercise! I hope that makes more sense! I should maybe clarify that more in the post! 🙂

  • Way to go Christal! So after your 90 days are over are you going to continue with this same routine? Or take a break? Or create a new routine?

    • Hey Kim!

      I’m going to keep it up – I think I will continue to build on this routine and add in some different exercises and variety, but I’m totally in the mode now and I understand the importance of staying consistent. I might tone it down a tad with the cardio and cut to about 30 minutes/day though, as 50 minutes is quite a bit and it means I’m at the gym for a couple hours every day!

      There will be no “breaks” though! 🙂

  • have you noticed that since you lift but are also following a special diet that your weight hasn’t really changed much but your BF% has? I am currently noticing this as I continue to go to the gym and do cardio and lift. My BF% has gone down just a couple percent but my weight has actually gone up about 4lbs and I hate it!

    • Yes definitely! The scale doesn’t move a lot for me after I lost that first 5 lbs, but my body fat % has lowered! I’ve tried to stop worrying about what the scale says, because I know my body is changing!