Animal Print Overload + Sweaty Gym Stories
(Note of disclosure: If you don't like reading about working out and all that stuff, then you should probably skip the rest of this post until the very end...)
Moreover, this was the fourth day in a row that I had worked out this week and I plan to sweat it out for at least two more days... For the past two months since returning from Asia, I've been turning it up at the gym with an varied schedule of lifting and classes such as spin (and now bootcamp). The main motivation for this insanity? The awesome inspiration gained from my highly disciplined and extremely fit friend Tia! For instance, we started waking up at around 5:10 am on weekday mornings to go for two hour workouts consisting of weight-lifting (squats, deadlifts, Bulgarian split squats, horsekicks, rows, step-ups, etc.). Then we started adding in weekly spin classes each Sunday morning with another fit friend. Most recently, we added boot camp to the list as we felt that a good dose of HIIT was needed for our weekly routine.
What exactly is HIIT? This high intensity training consists of intervals of mostly body weight exercises and sprints with only minimal breaks in between. Our boot camp instructor also would create little "sets" of three exercises that we would do over and over for three minute periods (ex. Russian twists, V-ups, leg raises). This type of training can greatly increase your overall strength and cardio endurance within the most efficient time span-- our tiring workout was over in forty-five minutes instead of our usual two hours.
I've been working out for years in the gym but never before had a dedicated workout buddy to push me harder, further, and faster into exercises like this. Previously, I was used to working out solo and usually chose running as my main workout regime. While I reached pretty decent levels with my running (my best time for the annual 10 km Sun Run was 45:06), I felt like I had reached a plateau and needed something new to motivate myself.
So how do I motivate myself to keep on track? Here are some tips in no particular order:
- Sleep more. I now tuck myself into bed by 10:30-11 pm to ensure that I get my nightly minimum of 7 hours. If I accomplish a healthy sleeping schedule, I don't feel more fatigued during the day than I normally would (even after an early morning workout).
- Drink more water. Everyday I make a point to guzzle down a ton of the good stuff; staying well hydrated means that you function better, flush toxins out faster, and can work out harder at the gym. This usually means that I carry a water bottle everywhere I go (and lose a lot of bottles due to my forgetfulness).
- Work out earlier. While this may seem like the hardest thing to do, waking up earlier and working out first thing in the morning is actually easier than hitting the gym after a long day of work or school.
- Eat better. I am a practical person (and am also a hardcore foodie) so I know that I can't eat completely healthy without going crazy! As a result, I try to stick with the 80/20 rule: eighty percent consists of healthy, unprocessed food and twenty percent is dedicated to delicious food (brunch, meat, carbs, etc.).
- Stay positive. No one ever became a champion weightlifter or Cross Fit maniac in one day. Stay humble, learn the correct form for your exercises, and work your way up steadily (don't jump up weights too fast and risk serious injury).
- If possible, find a good workout partner. After years of working out alone and becoming jaded from many failed gym buddies, I was starting to think that I would be #foreveralone in the gym. However, I was proven wrong when I reconnected with my bestie and found that we were kindred souls in the killing-ourselves-working-out-everyday department.
Coat // Ever New
Top, necklace, & headband // Forever 21
Leggings & shoes // H&M
Bag // Marc by Marc Jacobs
If you actually read the above text, I want to thank you specially for being such a trooper and for putting up with my overly-enthusiastic self (I think I'm still pumped up on an endorphin rush after my workout).
Back to the actual photographic content of this post, I wore my favourite animal print coat with a tiger-print turban/headband from a Forever 21 in Singapore. I also was able to wear this lovely blue necklace from the Forever 21 in Las Vegas (I like to Forever-21-hop). Also featured is my favourite phone case from Malaysia-- while I love its transparent Chanel-inspired design, I keep breaking the gold bits off and having to re-glue them back on...
Well that's my spiel for today: what have the rest of you been up to lately?