Not once did I ever think that I’d become that girl who genuinely looks forward to her workout classes. 2017 has been my year for really embracing fitness. My previous attempts tended to peter out by my birthday (that treat yo’self mantra is so dangerous) or I’d just be making half-assed attempts in my bedroom, dreaming of all the chocolate I’d be eating come after-dinner time. You know the deal.
I really wanted to join a fitness class this year; not only to try and get fitter but also to get myself out of the house on a regular occasion and speak to people that weren’t my dog. It’s now late August and I can confirm that I’ve been to regular Barre and Pilates classes every single week in 2017, except for my week away in Copenhagen.
Whilst that might not be a huge deal for some people, it’s really quite something for a girl that’d once happily lounge about on their sofa for weeks on end. So, with one of my long-term goals well and truly on its way to being achieved, I thought I’d chat a little more about the workout routine (and gear!) that’s working for me.
I’ll put my hands up here and say that I’m not wholly strict or regimented with my workout routine. It took me a good few months to establish what I did and didn’t enjoy and, in fact, the parts of my body that warranted more ‘help’ than others. Last year I was all about running and HIIT and this year I’ve realised that I’m more of a Barre, Pilates, yoga and HIIT girl. Everything in moderation – although I might still take up short distance running again…
A great tip to offer you is to try a mix of classes.
Many gyms or fitness studios offer your first class at a discounted rate and often it’s just one class that’ll make or break your decision. I remember being so nervous about my first Barre class that I thought I’d be sick but within the first 15 minutes of being thrust towards a ballet barre and given weights to handle, I knew this was the class for me. I find that classes keep me on track and really hold me accountable for my routine: nothing quite beats a post-McDonald’s sweat to remind you to attempt a healthier diet for the week ahead! What works for one person might not work for you though, so don’t despair and really try your hand at a few things until you’ve nailed it.
- Monday: 30 mins yoga + 30 mins HIIT
- Tuesday: 1 hr Barre class
- Wednesday: 5k dog walk (my daily dog walks are around 3k)
- Thursday: 1 hr online workout video + 15 mins yoga/breathing exercises
- Friday: Rest day
- Saturday: 1 hr Pilates class
- Sunday: Rest day
I have no idea how I’ve an entire drawerful of workout gear. I’m sure it’s partly because of my shopping enthusiasm but it’s also because it’s just more practical to own more workout wear. I certainly don’t do my laundry every other day: owning around 5 sports bras and 6 pairs of leggings just makes life a little easier. Some of my favourite places to pick up workout wear include Lululemon, Sweaty Betty, New Look, Outdoor Voices and ASOS, although I would also recommend browsing TK Maxx for bargain pieces – my favourite sports bra is from TK Maxx! On the whole, you’ll probably do well with a few medium impact sports bras (high impact for running, always), some mesh vests (for breathability!) and leggings.
When it comes to Barre class, I’d absolutely recommend a pair of capri leggings – the Lululemon Align pants are second to none – and some grippy socks – my faves are the Sweaty Betty ones. Most workout wear is relatively tight or close-fitting which is ideal to aid movement and allow your instructor to check your alignment and posture.