Although I walked in my college graduation just a few weeks ago, I still have three summer courses to knock out before I can “officially” have a diploma. Summer school is very compacted and requires the hour drive to Knoxville every day. My boyfriend TJ recently got a new job at my university so we carpool everyday. He has to get there earlier than I need to be in class, so I spend most mornings from 7:15-9ish in the student recreation center (TREC). I may have mentioned before, but TREC is gigantic. It is three floors and takes up a huge chunk of campus in an effort to keep 27,000+ students happy and fit.
I have never ever been one of those morning workout girls. I like to get my walks/runs/weight sessions in after 3pm. Well, consider me a convert. I love getting to the gym early and getting in a perfect sweat that lasts me all day. TREC has about 12 fitness studios and if they are not being utilized for a scheduled class then students can “rent” them for as long as they need for personal workouts. These are huge rooms and have great equipment like dumbbells, punching bags, steps, Bosu balls, and a lot more. Since I sort of like to work out in private, I usually rent a room and spend my morning workout session in there.
When it comes to the gym, I never know what to do so I normally just do a bunch of random things that probably don’t go together yet I always leave feeling like I work hard. Monday I spent quite some time on the punching bag doing some moves that I learned in kickboxing class. Punching a real bag is way better than the air punch. Boxing is an intense cardio session. I also spend time doing 100 jumping jacks and 100 crunches each time I’m in there. A lot of people will say that crunches are stupid and don’t work, but they are a surefire way for me to feel a burn when I’m doing “ab work” so I always make sure to include them.
Since the room is so large I will often do weighted lunges the length of the room then jog back. The dumbbells are great also because I can always put them down if the weight is too high. With weights I do various reps of bicep curls, hammer curls, shoulder press, upright rows, tricep kickbacks, and shoulder shrugs. I also set the timer and will do mountain climbers for one minute then do “box jumps” on the step. Again, maybe not the world’s best exercises but it works for me. Next week I plan on writing down every rep I do so I can share with y’all.
On Tuesday and Thursday morning there is a morning spin class that falls during my gym time. Those mornings I will go to one of the fitness studios and get a warm up in then head over to spin. I’ve had some horrible experiences the last three times with spin class thanks to very strange instructors, but I’ll save that for another post. Regardless, spin is an amazing workout! I bought my Momma a Polar heart rate watch for her birthday two weeks ago and this morning I used it during Spin just to keep track of my heart rate and sort of gauge how many calories I burn during a typical class. Today I hit 407, which isn’t too shabby for a 45 minute class.
Although I am not a big fan of summer classes or getting up at 5am everyday, I am thankful that I have that opportunity to get in roughly 2 hours of morning exercise that I would not have if I did not carpool with my boyfriend. Being on campus early forces me to sweat it out and start the day off right. Morning exercise has also been a tremendous help in fighting food cravings.
So that is a peek as to what my workouts have been like lately. One of the greatest things about it is that while yes I am actively losing weight and trying to be smaller, I am working out because I genuinely love it and I love the way it makes me feel. I can’t even tell you how nice it is to workout and not worry if you are going hard enough because you are worried about losing weight. I’m working out to feel good which I know will eventually lead to looking good.
Are you a morning workout person? How do you take advantage of gym time?