Category Archives: workout schedule

5 Tips for Exercise Motivation

I’ll be honest. I don’t always WANT to jump out of my warm cozy bed an hour before I have to and jump around my apartment or lift weights. I know, crazy. Half the time, especially on weekends, this is my “motivational” thought process:

“Ugh, I sooo don’t want to workout today. I’m sore, I should rest. Even though I just had a rest day. I could do this tomorrow; I bet I’ll want to tomorrow.”

“I guess I could stretch. I have a little energy, just to stand up and stretch but so NOT for the whole workout.”

“Let me just turn it on. I’m not going to do it, I just want to see how it starts. Assess the situation.”

“Oh, okay that was fast, they’re warming up already. I guess I can do the warm up, that’s like nothing.”

“Oh, we’re already on to the first move. I could do that one. Let’s just keep moving, see how I feel.”

“Well, I might as well keep going, I need to shower anyway…”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I end up working out. Just put on your clothes, turn on your workout program, and before you know it you’ll be halfway through.

Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most.

Although this is what works when I really don’t feel like working out, it’s not the most inspiring, motivational, or reliable way to get me going most mornings. You probably don’t want to hear this, but the real “secret” to getting your daily exercise is to make it a habit.

Yep, yep, you’ve heard it all before. But guess what? There’s no “special secret” to getting in your workout (unless you count my energize pre-workout drink ;)), it is a conscious choice that you make every day. It can be easier, however, if you do it every day, around the same time- which is a habit. You know how it is, no matter what you’re trying to do, the more days you take off, the harder it is to get back into the activity.

I’ve put together a few tips to help you create daily exercise a habit. But remember you have to make the decision to do it every day, and every day you CHOOSE not to, you’re only making it harder for yourself the next day!

5 Tips for Exercise Motivation

1. Visualize Your Goals.

Whether you write them out or create an inspiration board, putting your goals up where you will see them every day can help to remind you of your bigger “why” behind each small step that you take to get there. When it’s Tuesday morning and your alarm is going off, it’s easy to forget the big picture- so visualizations of where you want to be and how you want to feel can help pull you out of bed!

2. Schedule Your Workouts.

Treat your workouts like a meeting with yourself- a non-negotiable. Unless you’re sick or injured, you’re showing up to that meeting at work, right? So why not have the same courtesy for yourself! At the beginning of each week put your workouts in your schedule, and be specific. If you don’t have a plan, it’s harder to visualize and easier to pass over for something else.

3. Prepare Ahead of Time.

If you’re going to get up early to workout, be sure to lay out your workout clothes and anything else you might need the night before. If you’re going after work, pack them together to take with you or leave in your car. These small steps of preparation not only save time, but they help to remove obstacles between you and your exercise routine.

4. Get Accountability and Support.

There’s a big difference between not showing up for yourself, and not showing up for someone else. We’re typically inclined to put in more effort if someone else is expecting us to be there or they’re going to check in with us later. If you can’t have an in-person workout buddy, consider joining a challenge group or pairing up with a friend to exchange workout schedules and check in with one another.

5. Include Other Positive Habits.

Working out is great, but adding in other healthy habits will make you more inclined to keep at it. If you’re eating healthy, getting lots of sleep, and drinking plenty of water, you’re going to feel better all around and want to keep treating your body well. Plus, what’s the point of all that exercise if you’re not eating well too? Remember, nutrition is 80% of the game!


What are your tricks to motivate yourself to exercise?

What’s your favorite workout class you’ve ever taken?

Hammer & Chisel Review {Week 1}

If you follow me on Instagram or my coaching “Like” page then you know that last week was my first week of The Master’s Hammer & Chisel, which is a 60-day workout program that focuses on building strength, endurance, agility, and power. The program has TWO trainers: Autumn Calabrese (best known from the 21 Day Fix) and Sagi Kalev (from Body Beast). All the workouts with “Chisel” in the name are with Autumn, and all the ones with “Hammer” in the name are with Sagi.

Beachbody The Master's Hammer & Chisel

I knew I wanted to try out this program back in July when I first learned about it at Beachbody’s Summit, and I decided to save it for January and February so I could go all in, nutrition-wise. Since each week of the calendar is completely different, I’ve decided to review each week on its own. Plus gives me accountability because I’d rather not say I skipped a workout!

Beachbody Summit Hammer & Chisel

Week One of Hammer & Chisel

Monday- Chisel Balance: A total-body scorcher that taps into your strength and endurance with killer stability and core training.

Oh. My. Gosh. What an intro to the program. This one had me SO SORE and I loved all the balance moves. 

Tuesday- Hammer Plyometrics: Fire up your fast-twitch muscles to develop force, speed, and power with total-body jump training.

I hate plyometrics. The jumping. BAH. It’s hard. But I was shocked I was able to do most of these moves with them. It was tough but I’m glad I did it! 

Wednesday- Iso-Strength Chisel: Full range-of-motion moves and isometric holds build strength and chisel fat for your leanest physique.

AHHHHHH. This one got sooo tough near the end. Holding a position for just 10 seconds seemed like forever! I liked this one!

Thursday- Rest Day 🙂

Friday- Iso Speed Hammer: A tempo-style workout that focuses on eccentric lifts help you shape lean muscle and build unprecedented strength.

Not gonna lie, this wasn’t my favorite workout. They were going too quickly for me to keep up. The next time it comes up in the schedule I think I’ll just pause and do the moves at my own pace – which they suggest if you feel their pace is unsafe for you!

Saturday- Chisel Endurance: Improve endurance by sustaining tension with moves that target your slow-twitch muscle fibers.

Ouch. Haha, another tough one! I think I like the Autumn workouts the best, so far. We did two rounds of the same moves and my quads were on FIRE! Luckily she kept the breaks short so you didn’t have time to think about stopping!

Sunday- Total Body Hammer: Power through pyramid-style sets to rev up metabolic burn long after your last rep.

Ahhh this was tough! This workout was much more like Sagi’s Body Beast program and I used heavier weights to challenge myself. But I LOVE weight lifting! I feel so good afterwards.

Hammer and Chisel Week One

Hammer & Chisel Nutrition Plan

*Personal Note:

Remember how I said I pushed off starting this program until January so I could go all in? That’s because if you want to take the nutrition 100% seriously, that means no sugar and no alcohol. It’s important to remember that you don’t HAVE to follow the plan exactly and if you need to build in treats, then do it! Especially if you struggle with any kind of eating disorder or may be triggered by the “all or nothing” mindset.

Personally, I struggle following nutrition plans in the name of balance and mental health, but really it ends up being an excuse to use food as an emotional crutch. This program is a test for me and that’s why I’ve chosen to go all in. And yes, it’s hard. But if you want to give it your all, that means it WILL be hard.


So back to the plan.

What I love about this plan is that you can change it based on your goals. You answer a series of questions including your gender, weight, and general daily activity, and then you choose whether you want to focus on leaning out or whether you want to focus on building muscle.

From there, it ends up being very similar to the 21 Day Fix since it is a container system, rather than calorie counting. Each food group is color coded and you’re given a list of appropriate foods (for example, yellow = carbs and blue = healthy fats). You’re then given the number of each colored container you should eat in a day.


When you first receive the containers they seem shockingly small. I actually laughed out loud. But you’d be surprised when you fill them up and then dump them out just how much food it is on your plate. They offer tons of recipes in the plan, but you can also go to Pinterest and find thousands more.

So far so good – I have stuck to the plan! I have definitely had some weak moments where all I wanted were some M&Ms or Cheerios, but I’m hoping as time goes on those cravings will become fewer and far between!


Have you ever followed a workout plan? What was your favorite?

What were your workouts last week?

Why I Loved the 21 Day Fix

I’ve mentioned a couple times here, and many times on Instagram, that I’ve been participating in the 21 Day Fix, which is a Beachbody program with workouts and nutritional guidelines. Because I really enjoyed both the program and the challenge group I participated in, I thought it would be great to review it here on the blog!

So what is the 21 Day Fix? It’s a program that lasts for 21 days (shocked?!) where you follow their workouts every day and then also their nutritional guidelines, which are based on food type and portion sizes, so there’s no counting calories or macros or anything confusing like that.


There are 7 workouts that come on two DVDs – one for each day of the week – and each workout is only 30 minutes long! I loved this because I could do it in my apartment each morning and it was a lot easier to convince myself to workout for just 30 minutes.


For food, based on your height, weight, etc, you’re put into a container category and each category gets a certain number of containers. The containers are color coded based on food group (for example, green = veggies, red = protein, and so on). That way you can keep track of how many containers you get per day in each color and you’re encouraged to spread out container types so that for each meal you have veggies, protein and a healthy fat.

When I first opened the box and looked at the containers I laughed. I thought is this a joke?? I’m going to starve to death – they looked TINY!!!! Once I started to actually fill them and then dump them out on my plate, however, it turned out that they weren’t as tiny as I thought. I actually didn’t even eat all of my containers for several of the days because I wasn’t hungry enough!

You can also re-adjust as needed based on your own needs. For example, right before I started the Fix, my doctor told me to add in more coconut oil, so I did. Although this may have kept me from losing more weight, doing what you need for your own health issues is far more important!

And although there is no sugar or alcohol on the program, three times per week you can trade in your yellow containers (carbs) for treats! That way you don’t feel deprived and you’re still sticking with the program.

So what were my results? I didn’t get the extreme results I was looking for, although I did lose 3 inches over all (I don’t weigh myself). I considered this a serious success based on the fact that I have been dealing with some health issues that have drained me of all my energy and caused me a lot of stress – both of which would normally have caused me to gain weight over this past month.

BUT my favorite part of doing the fix? Participating in the challenge group! When you join Beachbody you have the option of having a coach and participating in their challenge. The challenge group is set up as a secret Facebook group and you check in each day with how you did on nutrition and workouts, as well as other things like sharing goals, recipes, encouragement, etc. It was checking in with the group every day, as well as getting assigned a success buddy, that motivated me to stay on track with the program. I loved that I felt like we were in this as a group and I loved being able to encourage others and also reach out when I needed help and encouragement as well.For you, McKenna. Cause you always listen to me and you never judge me even though I'm divergent and I can't be controlled #bff

I actually loved the concept of the group and coaching so much that I signed up to be a coach! The whole reason I started this blog in the first place was to be someone who was relatable to other women and to be able to reach out and help other people on their own journeys – and that is exactly what a coach does.

If you’re interested in joining one of my challenge groups (you can either buy a Beachbody challenge package to follow along or just join for free and see how you like the group) shoot me an email at so we can chat and see if it sounds like the right thing for you. Or if you just want to try a program like 21 Day Fix or Piyo, which I also loved, without the group then that’s fine too!

I’ve had a great experience so far with Beachbody and would love to share it!

P.S. this got so long I didn’t get to mention Shakeology… AHH for another day!


Do you like the idea of having a challenge group to keep you motivated? 

What kind of workout program are you doing now? 

Weekend & Workout Round Up

Hey everyone!

What do you think of the new header? I randomly decided last night to finally put up my new header, but I might change the whole theme as well… Haha and also beware that I have a holiday version of this header that I might put up later today!

I had a really busy weekend, yet managed to take very few pictures… Skeeball on Thursday night, then Saturday I had a brunch potluck with the Chicago RUnning Bloggers, and then a Holiday Party Saturday night with a couple girls I knew and a great new group that I met that evening. I also played Cards for Humanity for the first time and won by a landslide! Haha I really enjoyed it. Sunday was the Rudolph Ramble 8K, which was… rough. Snow-covered paths do not make for good running!

Here are a few random pics from my weekend:

Lots of snow in Chicago!


Leftovers from the pineapple rice dish I made for the Running Blogger holiday potluck:


p.s. I made these lemon cookies (but subbed gluten free flour) for the evening party I went to and they were a hit! Thanks, Ari!

Our hats from the Rudolph Ramble:


Warming up after the race:


The new Walgreens in my neighborhood:


Molly also had a great weekend and got to play in the snow, here are some pictures my sister-in-law sent me that Molly wanted to share:

molly 7

molly christmas 1

photo 3

photo 5


Here is a look at last week’s workouts:

Monday: 3 miles + Purely Inspire Workout #26

Tuesday: 2.5 miles + chest weights

Wednesday: REST

Thursday: Purely Inspire Workout 17

Friday: 3 miles + abs

Saturday: Purely Inspire Workout 18

Sunday: Reindeer Run 8K Race!


And now this is what I have going on this week:

Monday: 15 min Purely Fit HIIT Workout

Tuesday: 3 miles + Purely Fit plank workout

Wednesday: 4 miles

Thursday: Purely Fit 20 minute Workout

Friday: 9 miles

Saturday: REST

Sunday: 3 miles


Did you have any holiday parties this weekend?

Any snow where you live?

Weekend & Workout Round Up

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend! I had a lot going on this weekend, which resulted in very little sleep. Let’s just say some napping definitely had to happen yesterday afternoon and a very early bed time. That’s the problem when you stay out late but still wake up at 5:30-6:00am and can’t fall back asleep…

Anyway, Thursday night I went out to dinner with some people from my skeeball team at a sushi restaurant nearby called Tanuki’s. It was really small but very cute and they had a lot of great looking things on the menu! Then it was off to skeeball and another loss (we’re not so great… some teams take it very seriously…) but fun with the team!

Friday was a little more low key, trying to get a bunch of stuff on my To Do list done and of course visiting Molly! Yep, she thinks she’s an ostrich.

weekend 22

My sister in law did send me this adorable picture of her with the Christmas lights! Love her.

weekend 33

On Saturday I had book club, which I’ll recap separately with a book review,

weekend 4

and then a party with some law school friends I hadn’t seen in ages. Lucky for me the party was literally a block from my apartment. Unlucky for me I didn’t go to bed until 2:30am and still got up at 8am to go to church on Sunday. While I was in church it started snowing and didn’t stop, so I certainly wasn’t going to leave my apartment! I did a workout inside, wrote some blog posts and watched way too much Pretty Little Liars… My friends have gotten me addicted! I tried to resist…


Alright, now on to workouts! First let’s take a look at last week’s workouts:

Monday: Purely Fit Butt & Leg Workout (So sore from this one!)

Tuesday: 3 miles + 20 min Purely Fit Low Impact Workout REST After my 8 miler and the workout Monday my legs needed a break!

Wednesday: REST

Thursday: 4 Miles got 0.5 miles into my run and my IT band started to hurt – I decided to take off running for the week. Did 3 miles on the elliptical and upper body weights.

Friday: 30 minutes of elliptical then back and shoulder weights.

Saturday: 20 minutes incline walking plus chest weights

Sunday: Purely Fit 12 min HIIT Workout + planks


And now here is what I have going on this week (please note all running is subject to how my IT band reacts…):

Monday: 3 miles (hopefully!) + Purely Inspire Workout #26

Tuesday: REST

Wednesday: 6 miles

Thursday: Purely Inspire Workout 17

Friday: 4 miles + Movember Minute Workout

Saturday: Purely Inspire Workout 18

Sunday: Reindeer Run 8K Race!


What did you do this weekend?

Anyone else getting snow?

Does your pet have any weird quirks?