lululemon Define Jacket (comes in a bunch of colors here!) | lululemon All the Right Places Crop (pant version here) | lululemon Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve Crew (short sleeve version here) | luluemon Stay Hot Keep Cold Bottle (comes in so many colors!) | Uplifting Scrunchie Bow (doesn’t crease hair or cause breakage)
I’ve gotten a ton of requests for my fitness routine in the last few months. I, like everyone else, am on the hunt to mix it up in 2019 and find something that WORKS for me! I’m not really where I want to be so I’m eager to make some changes. Here’s what I’ve tried and here’s what I’m planning for 2019! I also linked what I usually wear for each activity from lululemon.
I tried several different workouts over the years. Nothing has stuck and so much of being fit has to do with what you’re eating. That’s why I shared some healthy meal ideas last week! Every time I share that I’m trying a new workout on Instagram, I get asked to compare so I hope this helps anyone looking to mix it up!
I’ve ALSO tried several different workout brands and I always come back to lululemon. I just love the brand and feel like the quality of the items is something that’s hard to find elsewhere. The pieces fit me so well, last for years, and the customer service has been downright impressive. Sure, I’ll find a piece or two elsewhere every now and then but most of my workout wardrobe is from lululemon. My most worn items are the All the Right Places Crop, the Power Y Tank, and the Define Jacket.
PS. If you have a man in your life, he needs the Commission Slim pants for work! Trust me. They look like business slacks but without the hassle of dry cleaning AND you can send them through the washing machine. If you’ve watched Instagram Stories, you know that Matt wears these every day of the week. He says they are so comfortable and they are so low maintenance it makes your life easier. He’s even worn them to a black tie wedding – that’s how good they look!
Barre has been my favorite workout by far and the one that I stuck with the longest. I did Pure Barre for 3 years in LA and 2 years in Chicago. For my body type, I feel like barre is the best fit because it focuses on slimming and toning the muscles. When I lift weights, I tend to build mass/muscle but not in a cute way. It just looks bulky. So, I personally really enjoyed that the heaviest weights in class were 5 lbs but most people used 3 lb weights. This worked really well for me and the small, controlled movements were the best for my body type.
From a logistical perspective, I liked that I didn’t get super sweaty after every workout so I didn’t need to wash my hair. We’ve also lived within 4 blocks of a Pure Barre for the last 7 years so it was very convenient. I also really like the music in the class and always found some new songs to listen to.
Note that with most classes, it depends SO much on the studio and the teachers. There is some level of consistency given that each studio is franchised but I’ve found the teacher makes or breaks the class! Ultimately, I stopped Pure Barre in Chicago for 2 reasons. I felt like the teachers weren’t as into it as the studio I went to in LA – they were way less hands on and just did the routines from corporate on repeat. I also stopped seeing results which is understandable since I did it for so long.
I am going to try a month of The Barre Code in a few weeks to see if it’s better. I did some research and it sounds like they have multiple types of classes at one studio (barre, kickboxing, bootcamp). It sounds like a great option for me!
I know everyone swears by BBG and I think it is a great plan. Admittedly, I have yet to make it more than 10 weeks into the program. Conceptually, it’s great and you can do it on your own terms so if you have a busy schedule and want to work out when you want to work out, this might be an option for you. I get bored easily which is why I ultimately stopped doing it.
What I DO think would work for me is if I took some of the lifting workouts and mixed them in with other routines (like classes or cardio). I have the PDF and they now have an app which I think would make it more fun and more interactive. Maybe I’ll try this…
For a few years, I ran half marathons. Running was one of the best exercises and it really helped that my roommate at the time was also training. I burned so many calories and you could see it everywhere. However, it’s really hard on your knees. As someone with bad knees, this wasn’t sustainable long term. If you are blessed with amazing knees, I’d recommend training for a 5k to start! You can google plans to help you get up to your goal distance and pace! Some also include weight training which is where BBG might come in handy.
Every now and then I’ll go on a run but it’s usually on vacation since it’s too cold outside to do this in Chicago for most of the year! I love filtering the lululemon website for “running” to find the best items for me. I find their descriptions of every item (just in general) to be really helpful especially the description of the fabrics. I love all the pants that have the feel labeled with Held-In and Hugged!
4. Orangetheory Fitness.
I started OTF about 6 months ago and expected to see a huge difference in my body because of the intense cardio. However, I haven’t really seen much of a difference visually. I definitely think I’m stronger and my resting heart rate has decreased because the class focuses on getting your heart rate up into the “Orange Zone”. I like that the atmosphere of the class is upbeat and I always leave feeling pretty accomplished. If heart health is your major concern, OTF would be a great option.
Here’s what I didn’t like. As I mentioned above, I’ve built bulk in ways that I’m not a fan of. My arms are a lot thicker without the cute definition most girls have! I also feel like there are too many arm days for me. The arm days always leave me with a ton of tension in my back and contribute to an increase in headaches. I know that stretching is important as well as form. I’ve focused on both and it doesn’t help!
After going for 6 months, I feel like it’s pretty expensive (there’s a higher membership fee for that studio) for something that I could replicate elsewhere for way less. I think it was helpful to go for a few months to get the idea but I think I can do the same thing at the gym in our apartment building for free. The challenge will just be for me to monitor my heart rate closely so I can get it into the “Orange Zone”.
I also had a really bad experience with our local studio so I will probably stop going after my membership ends. Again, I think there’s a huge benefit to being part of a studio that is part of corporate but the studio owner and teachers at the studio can make or break your experience! If you try OTF, also be warned that your 6 month membership turns into month to month afterward unless you cancel at least 30 days in advance in person. When Matt and I tried to cancel, we started getting the feeling it was a bit of a scam because of all the hoops they make you jump through to cancel. One of the employees even told Matt he had to give 60 days notice at one point!
I know that people live and die Soul Cycle (and similar spinning classes) but I just can’t. I personally hate the workout and leave with my butt hurting immensely. I’ve tried so many different brands of spinning over the years. I just really don’t like the workout! It’s great cardio but my butt hurts way too much.
I haven’t tried ClassPass yet but I’m thinking about it in 2019. What I’m noticing now is that it’s really important to switch things up. In the past, I’ve tried one type of class at a time and just done an unlimited membership so I could go to as many classes as I want. I have a feeling this is why I ultimately stopped going so I’m thinking ClassPass might be the best option for me since I get bored so easily! When you’re cross training like this, I usually find the “training” filter on lululemon to be the most helpful for what to wear!
This is also part of the routine I’ll be continuing in 2019 (and I’ll be sharing workout ideas with you guys)! Since we live in a high rise, there is a gym in our building so this is essentially free for us. I’m very grateful for that. I’m going to do a combination of videos I’ve found on Instagram, barre moves, OTF leg workouts, and cardio. My plan is to tailor my workouts to my problem areas!
What workouts have you tried? What has worked best for you?
*This Collaboration was sponsored by lululemon and Shopping Links.