Summer Workout Regimen and Beauty Staples

Hellllooooo! A lot of you have been asking me what my workouts have been looking like this summer, so I thought I’d share. Many of you would be surprised to know I only exercise three days a week, maximum four. Maybe my Instagram is slightly misleading, but I personally need rest days in between workouts, and have never been able to do the daily exercise thang. Plus, sometimes I like having nice hair. I feel like if I exercised daily, I’d be a perpetual mop head, and that’s just not a good look. Clean hair trumps everything.

Monday mornings I do Body Pump. Pump is a Les Mills full body workout, using weights and a barbell to work and isolate each large muscle group. Each track corresponds to a different muscle group, and if you don’t leave shaking, you’ve done something wrong. I love being able to take a Monday morning class because it sets the tone for the week, and encourages me to make better choices.

Tuesday mornings I do a barre class. Last summer I was running, but my old lady knees don’t permit this as often anymore. I’m just not willing to sacrifice my joints and injure myself. I love running, but I fare better with low impact exercise that doesn’t wear on my body as much. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m loving barre. It targets all the small muscle groups I never activate, and it forces me to work on my core, which I despise. Who knows, maybe at the end of this summer, I’ll have amazing, toned abs (no I won’t).

Thursday mornings I take a spin class. Obviously. I could never not incorporate spin into my week. I’d go through crazy withdrawal. I need those cardio-induced endorphins, and I need to be in that electric atmosphere.

So that’s all. Just three workouts per week that I feel maximize my productivity and leave me feeling mentally stable and energized. I love not having to exercise on the weekend and leaving it free to be present with the kids.

I also wanted to share my summer beauty staples with you, because I made a little trip to Sephora the other day.

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This is Too Faced’s Sun Bunny bronzer ($38). I have quite the tan going this summer from being outdoors a lot (which is rare for me because I usually go from hella pale to red real quick and rarely in between), and this bronzer really accentuates my facial tan. I also have to apologize to my best friend here, because I know she’s going to yell at me for tanning. LB, please know I’ve been wearing sunscreen lately and I haven’t been sitting out (ok I have), so please don’t yell at me. Aaaaanyway, bronzer is always > blush in my books, so get this one because it’s the perfect shade.

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This is Urban Decay’s All Nighter makeup setting spray (travel size is $19). We all know I’ve dubbed this summer the summer of “midlife crisis,” and I’ve been partying a bit (a lot), so I need something to lock in my makeup so I don’t look like a hideous troll by 11 pm. And this shit works. Once you’ve put on your face for the night, spray it in an X motion (close your eyes, because this dummy didn’t and umm yeah it stings), and once it dries, you’ll have makeup perfection until last call.

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And then the next day, you’ll need this little baby here. This is First Aid Beauty’s detox eye roller ($32), and if I could, I’d slather this all over myself to detox after a rough night. But alas, it’s just for eyes. I love all things First Aid Beauty (shout out to my former student Jason for hooking me up with the moisturizer), because the entire line is super hypoallergenic and I am the most delicate flower in all the land. This eye roller helps depuff and make me look slightly less of a hot mess than I usually do. Key words, slightly less. I still look forever exhausted and zombie-like, but hey…I try.

Focus On: Les Mills RPMā„¢

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I get asked a lot of questions about the spin class I go to, so I thought I’d share a little bit about it in today’s blog. I took my first Lesmills RPM class exactly 10 years ago, in 2008. At first I found it incredibly intimidating, and I had to stop periodically to catch my breath, but it’s the kind of exercise that if you persist with it, it becomes easier over time.

An RPM class is typically about 50 minutes. Track 1 is a warm up track where you’ll do a few short, light races seated in the bike to gently raise your heart-rate. Track 2 is a pace track, where you do a bunch of seated race work to really ramp up your heart-rate. At this point you’ll be itching to get out of the saddle, and track 3 allows you to do just that. You’ll do some seated *and* standing climbs, and use the resistance knob to challenge yourself and make the bike heavy. Track 4 is a race track, where you’ll once again be seated on the bike doing a series of very fast races. Track 5 consists of very challenging interval training, where you’ll be at peak cardio intensity, both in and out of the saddle. Track 6 is another race track, and track 7 is a hill track, mostly out of the saddle. Tracks 8 and 9 are cool down and stretching. This may all sound daunting, but I can assure you the 45-50 minutes FLY by. Instructors recommend that you only do about half the class when you take it for the first time, but most newbies stay the entire time and live to tell the tale.

Sample tracklist:

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(Photo Source)

RPM differs from some of the more freestyle spin classes out there, in that it’s extremely prescribed and the moves are choreographed to a setlist that can’t be altered. The new releases get progressively more challenging, but the music is infectious, as is the atmosphere in the studio. For me personally, there are several reasons why it’s an incredible workout:

  1. Less knee strain than other forms of cardio, like running and the StairMaster. My joints are in rough shape because I’m old af, and I can’t run much anymore. Spin is a more gentle alternative.
  2. The aforementioned infectious music and atmosphere. I’ve really never felt anything like it. The endorphin rush is addictive, and I’m actually able to practice mindfulness during this time, because I’m totally present, feeling the sensations in my body, hearing the sounds blaring from the speakers, etc. I leave feeling calm, centered, and blissful.
  3. The calorie burn. I often wear my Polar heart-rate monitor in class, which is a chest strap and very accurate, and I tend to burn between 400 and 450 calories in 45-50 minutes. This is more than any other form of cardio I do.
  4. The singing, hooting, and hollering. I’m here for all. of. it.

Tips and modifications:

  1. If you think RPM is something you can see yourself doing often, I 100% recommend investing in cycling shoes. I got mine for about $100, and I could never go back to putting regular running shoes in the top part of the pedals. The cycling shoes give you a sense of security, as you’re clipped in, and they really intensify the workout. You have to engage your quads more to pedal, and the resistance feels more difficult. Some people also like to invest in padded shorts because sometimes the bike seat feels a little..err..chafe-y, but they’re not necessary imo.
  2. If you have a bad back, raise the handle bars to match the height of your seat. Back strain from spin is no bueno.
  3. You control your workout. If you’re feeling strong, ramp up the resistance. If you just want to get a feel for the class, leave the resistance light. Pace your speedwork. Sometimes I go a little too hard in the warmup, and my heart-rate accelerates too quickly, so I burn out fast. Always go at a pace that’s comfortable for you.

Aaaaaand if you’ve made it all the way to this point in my post, 1. kudos for reading a novel, and also 2. I should probably mention I’m not a trained professional…yet. So please use caution if you do attempt to take a class, or better yet, wait until I’m accredited and employed and take mine!