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June 13, 2020

Friday Favorites: Home Work-Out Essentials

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The other day my daughter gave me a new title: Crazy Workout Lady. And to be honest, she may be a little bit right.

blue athleta work out tank and black legging

I’ve always been a fitness fan. Starting in high school, you could find me in the weight room lifting “heavy” with my friend Jenny and all the guys. Okay, so maybe we had discovered that it was a great place to flirt, but we were 15… and did develop a love for the gym that I know we both still have (shout out to you, Jenny!).

While living in NYC & working in the fashion industry, I realized that while I loved fashion, I was never going to be the person that found my work important enough to warrant 10PM nights at the office & found myself leaving my “dream job” to get certified as a personal trainer. During the next 18 months working at Equinox Columbus Circle, I made some amazing friends, watched clients transform their fitness levels and became an early fan of Lululemon. I think that all the money I made went straight back to the Equinox shop in Lululemon.

Then there was the 7 year hiatus in regular work-outs while I rotated between pregnant, newborn, get fit, repeat and had 4 babies. I would go between 2-3 months of regularly exercising and then fall off for the rest of the year. Such is the life of a mama with little little ones in the home.

And, let me just say, if that is the stage of life you are in – then mama, you just enjoy each work out you can get in and do not even begin to beat yourself up when it doesn’t happen. Got it? Okay, good.

But now that my kids are all in school at least three days a week – or they were pre-Covid-times anyway – now I have been able to make workouts a regular part of my life again.

So, what does my current routine look like and what are my favorite fitness wear & gear items?

My Current Routine: Avenu In30 & Running

If you have been following along over the past year, you have most likely heard me talk, or more like RAVE, about my gym, Avenu, and trainer, Cassie. I work out religiously 3 days a week with Cassie – at Avenu until this past March and virtually via Zoom since coronavirus mixed life up. I have SO much great to say about Avenu. You can hear some of it here or watch this video where I share some thoughts in honor of Avenu’s birthday this past January.

On the days I am not at Avenu, I have gotten back into the routine of running again. I’ve been building up my distance and currently run 4+ miles 4 days a week. Sundays are purely rest & leisure.

So yeah, my little might be right, I am becoming a Crazy Work-out Lady. But my mental state is so much better thanks to that regular endorphin rush.

My Favorite Fitness Wear & Gear

So with all that working out, what are my must have items?

Let’s start with my hands down favorite combo – and the brand that ousted Lululemon for my personal favorite fit and style combo. Y’all I have totally converted to buying Athleta for all my workout wear. What started as a convenience due to them having a location close to my home has morphed into an online shopping addiction. I think one of the biggest reasons I have switched over is that their tops/sports bras fit me so much better. With the Lulus, the built-in bras also hit too short and never felt comfortable in the bust. I don’t have a long torso or anything but it was just never quite right. With Athleta, the fit is right on for me. And while I have a closet full of favorite pieces from them, my all-time faves are these leggings & this top. I am slowly collecting both in as many colors as I can… For reference, I wear small in both and feel that is very true to size.

So how about the gear? Well, since I have been working out via Zoom with Cassie, I have built out my home arsenal a little bit. But really, it does not take too much. Beyond the basics – a set of dumbbells and a yoga mat, the things that I find I use the most are those above.

Balance Pad

We do a lot of planks – side planks, plank walk-ups, plank rows… pretty much anything to make a plank harder, Cassie throws at me. We also do a lot of lunges with curls, overhead presses and more, plus plenty of kneeling core work. For all of that, the balance pad saves my knees and elbows. Sure, 16 year old me would scoff and call me soft – but I am no longer 16 and I don’t really care that I like some comfort in my workouts.

TRX Suspension

Y’all, the TRX may be my favorite piece of exercise equipment. I have not yet purchased one for my own home because I hope to be back in the gym soon, but I may break down and get one anyway. There is simply SO much that can be done on a TRX. If you are looking for a jumping-off point, Avenu has a TRX workout on their YouTube that you can follow along. In fact, they have tons of great free resources over there to check out.

Resistance Mini-Bands

Okay, another tool that can be used in so many ways. I’ve used regular resistance bands over the years and never felt much impact with them, but when Cassie hands me the extra strong mini-band, I know pain is coming my way – but you know, the good, feel-your-butt-sculpting type of pain. If you need some ideas for how to put this one to use, I found this full-body work-out using only mini-bands and body weight for resistance. I promise it doesn’t take fancy equipment to get your butt-kicked by a work-out.

AirPods

Yes, I consider my AirPods to be a critical piece of my exercise equipment. Music for my runs. Better audio for my Zoom work-outs. Streaming Netflix while I row. Basically, all my workouts include some use for my AirPods and I have been extremely happy that I have them for my home work-outs. I am sure there are plenty of people out there that can log a 5-mile run without anything to listen to, I am just simply not one of them. And no, I do not find that all headphones are created equal. My AirPods are truly the most comfortable headphones I have worn while working out ever. And I hear the noise-canceling ones are pretty magical for tuning out the kids…

So there you go, friends – my home fitness set-up for success. What are your must have fitness items? Drop me a comment below so I can add them to my fitness set-up!

XOXO

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