How I Exercise

As you probably already know, fitness is a big part of my life. I am so passionate about exercise, that I decided to turn it into a career as a personal trainer and exercise instructor. I definitely haven’t always loved working out, and in fact I hated it until after I graduated college. I still have days where I really don’t feel like exercising (and when that happens, I usually take the day off!).

I exercise for many reasons: it makes me feel good, gives me energy and confidence and makes me stronger. Oh yeah, and I get paid to do it. To be a little more specific- my “workout” for the day is often teaching a group exercise class (or two). Currently, I teach at least 7 classes each week (all in the morning, except Wednesday): Spinning on Sundays, Spinning + Bodypump on Mondays, Spinning + Core Strength on Tuesdays, Bodypump on Wednesdays and Bodypump on Fridays. I often cover classes for other instructors, but never teach more than three classes in a day (and usually not more than two) and always have at least one day each week that I don’t teach any classes, period. I’ve definitely learned my limits of what my body can handle, and I’m not going to be a very effective instructor if I’m injured or over-trained.

Since I always teach two back to back classes on Mondays and Tuesdays, that’s the only exercise I do on those days. On the other days, when I teach just one class, I’ll usually do a little bit extra before or after class. For example, I generally get to the gym about 20-30 minutes before my Spinning class starts on Sundays and do a kettlebell/battle ropes workout. On Fridays, I’ll generally hop on the stairmill or elliptical for about 20 minutes after teaching Bodypump. Since I don’t teach until the late afternoon on Wednesdays, I’ll usually do a quick cardio workout right after I wake up- because I definitely prefer to exercise in the morning. I generally do some type of functional/high-intensity interval training that takes no more than 30 minutes total. I call them “DIY” workouts, since I create them myself beforehand.

Here’s my DIY workout from yesterday morning:

I wrote this up the night before. I like to do that because then I can just get right up and start my workout. For this one, I did three sets of each exercise for 30 seconds, with 15 seconds of rest between intervals. I used an interval timer that I downloaded on my iPhone, which was definitely helpful!

This was similar to Tabata style workouts (20 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 total sets), which I love.

Thursdays are one of the days that I don’t teach- so I base my exercise on however my body is feeling. I’m usually pretty tired after 4 days of teaching in a row, so I often do yoga or take one of the dogs for an easy jog. Sometimes it turns into a rest day, or other times, if I’m feeling up for it, I’ll do a DIY workout or break out an exercise DVD.

The other day that I don’t teach is Saturday- and that’s my rest day. It took me years to accept the fact that my body needs a rest day. Back in the day when I exercised up to 3 hours a day and never took a day off, I would have been terrified to have a rest day. Now, I look forward to it (and sometimes take two!).

When I train clients at the gym, I prefer to use the same style of training that I use for my own workouts. I rarely take them in the weight room or use cardio machines. In fact, most of our workouts use little to no equipment. The equipment that I do use the usually includes a Bosu trainer, medicine balls, kettle bells and a TRX. I like to teach my clients exercises that they can do anywhere and don’t need a whole lot of space for. I also make sure that I balance high intensity cardio training with focus on balance, flexibility and core strength. My training style may not be for everyone (like my husband, who prefers to stick to the weight room), but I’ve gotten a great response from my clients, and that makes me happy!

Truth be told, my favorite forms of exercise don’t include anything that I’ve listed above. While I love teaching all of my classes and my DIY workouts, they don’t hold a candle to being outdoors.

To me, the best types of exercise include hiking, trail-running, cycling, kayaking, rock-climbing, etc. I don’t feel like I’m actually working out when I’m outdoors doing something I love- the calorie burning/muscle toning/core strengthening is just a bonus! And lucky for me, I married a guy that is just as passionate about the outdoors as I am. :)

(Photo from our honeymoon- which was 2 weeks of outdoor adventure in the Pacific Northwest!)

We love hiking and the outdoors so much, that we even (technically) got married while hiking and then celebrated our one-year anniversary by climbing two 14ers.

I’ve posted a few of my DIY workouts here, and will be adding to that list. I’m also going to start a series of posts that focus on my favorite “home gym” pieces of equipment one by one. Stay tuned…

What’s your favorite form of exercise? Do you use an interval timer app (if so- which one)?


  1. I really do love almost ALL forms of exercise. I just love movement, and feeling my muscles work together. I like to run, walk, hike, strength train and bike. I also use an elliptical sometimes, and incorporate yoga into my routine.

  2. we think and train alike, which means we really need to live closer… sigh

  3. I love how you guys are so active together! And I love how you’re so passionate about your new career. :)

  4. I use the GymBoss app and it’s great! I wish my husband liked exercising, but I still enjoy it alone – it’s my “me” time. :)

  5. I like running, kettlebells, and bodyweight type exercises the best — and I’ve been embracing the outdoors since living in CO. :) I use the roundtimer app.

  6. Just curious. I have a gym membership and use a lot of workouts that others have put together on blogs but how do you or would you go about deciding what body part to work and when to incorporate (and how much) cardio. Thanks :)

  7. You know, I don’t actually love working out. I mean I love the feeling after and the strength it gives my body, but I stick with it best when I have a race to motivate me. When I’m not “training”, I love active things like snowboarding and hiking, which don’t feel so much like working out to me.

  8. I think that’s awesome that you embrace the outdoors so much! I def love swimming & hiking when it’s nice out –not cold. Hah.

    And yep, MUST take a rest day now. I wish I could take 2…hah. I just sleep tons & foam roll like every day, so that helps.

    I love using a barbell. Love it. I love resistance tubing too.

  9. I love tabata-style workouts, too! They are just so do-able mentally and physically. I love having that little break.

  10. I just recently accepted the fact that exercise does not have to be at the gym. It was kind of hard to do! It also does not have to be running 3 miles every single day. It can be little things and it can be FUN! :)

  11. Yep, I agree – the best workouts take place outdoors! I’m hoping to take my clients outdoors for workouts here come spring and summer :)

  12. Swimming is my absolute favorite workout…which makes it unfortunate that there are no accessible indoor pools here in my little hometown. And so I let Jillian and Bob boss me around. :)

  13. Kat Cuttitta says:

    Hiking! Sometimes I just need to go get lost in the woods with my dog for a while :-)

  14. Currently, running is my favorite workout, but now that it is so cold and scary outside (I think I am allergic to temperaturs under 45 degrees) I’m starting to feel the ‘old way’ of lazily ellipticaling creeping back into my comfort zone. I shook things up this week with a R.I.P.P.E.D. class at my gym which I enjoyed! I always love hiking when it happens, but for some reason–and despite the amazing trails where I live–I never seem to take advantage of that.

    I need you to come kick my strength training in gear!

  15. I love outdoor workouts… and tabatas! I would so love to have you as my trainer!!


  1. […] can find some really great apps that help control and plan home workouts. I have a few different timers (and most often use the Tabata Timer app) that I mostly when I’m traveling and have to do […]

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