Variety in the exercises and styles of training I do has always been key to my fitness routine. It not only helps your physical progress, but also helps to keep you mentally inspired and devoted to your training. It may seem tricky to find variety at home, but with a little inspiration and some useful tools you’ll be surprised how many different styles of training you can add to your week!
Here are my 5 favourite workout styles I incorporate into my week:
1. Running and sprinting at the park
Coming from an athletics background, running has always been a huge part of my life. I’m not a distance runner, so instead I have always incorporated sprinting sessions at least 1-2 times a week. Either at my favourite grass athletics track, or down the road at my local park, either way you don’t need anything apart from your body and some open space. Some of my sessions include; 10 x 50m sprints (walk back recovery), 6 x 200m sprints (2min recovery between), 4 x 400m (3min recovery between), and if there is an incline I also love to do hill sprints (10 x 40m hills). I also incorporate some bodyweight core and glute work at the end. What I love about these sessions is that I can take my 2 dogs Charlie and Willow with me so they can get their exercise for the day too!
2. HIIT workouts from home (freshbodyfitmind app)
Since I retired from elite athletics, bodyweight workouts at home have been a staple in my busy working life. What makes them even more appealing, is that if you have a collection of workouts you can do at home with no equipment, step-by-step guidance, and structured progression and variety, there is really no obstacle to doing a workout everyday. As a trainer, even I thrive when I have workouts planned out for me, and that’s what inspired me to create my first workout e-guide in 2015 to then developing my app ‘Fresh Body Fit Mind’ 4 years ago. Fresh Body Fit Mind houses ALL of the workouts I like doing from home including HIIT, strength, mobility, programs, and monthly challenges, all in follow-along video format. You can choose the length, intensity, goal, and area of your body you would like to work, so there is always a workout that can fit into your day.
I do a Fresh Body Fit Mind workout 3-4 times a week, in my living room, and yes following along to myself! Haha But seriously, it is convenient, effective, and easy. The best part for me is, I don’t need to come up with workouts (which is what I do for a job!), so I can completely switch off and enjoy!
3. Vitruvian strength sessions
2 years ago, I was introduced to the V-Form Trainer, by Vitruvian. Put simply, this is the dream strength training machine that is small enough to fit under your bed but can offer up to 200kg of weight resistance. I’ve always wanted a home gym, with a variety of weights, cables, squat rack, bench…everything, but I don’t have the space. This is why I love the V-Form Trainer, and why is plays such a big part in my weekly training. 2-3 times a week, I use the V-Form Trainer to focus on strength specific training and lifting, and because it focuses on eccentric training (muscle lengthening under tension), the workouts are tough but you don’t have to workout for long to feel all the gains. 15min per session and I can cover my favourite strength exercises like deadlifts, rows, squats, bench press, cable chops and heaps more, and I can see and feel the improvements in my whole body strength and tone. What I love most is that I can follow along to a workout, or I can build my own, and no matter what I choose, the V-Form Trainer adjusts the intensity of every rep I do depending on how I respond to the weight and how hard I want to push. No waisted reps, which means maximum strength gains.
4. Yoga/stretching at home
Flexibility is not only key to my recovery between workouts, but it is also essential for maintaining my functionality and safe movement. Stretching has always been a huge part of my physical fitness routine ever since I started gymnastics at 3 years old. I have experienced the benefits not only in the way I performed in sport, but also the technical aspects of my training and how that has helped me to stay injury free. Being mobile makes me feel good, and even the action of stretching helps relax my body and my mind, super important at the end of a hectic day! I stretch almost everyday. It might be for 10 minutes after a workout, 30min in front of the TV at night, or part of my yoga practise 2 times a week. I know flexibility training is usually the first thing to be sacrificed when we are low on time, but if most of us could go back and work on it after a major injury, chronic pain, or poor mobility, we would. It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to stretching and yoga and that’s why these are a huge part of my Fresh Body Fit Mind app.
5. Pilates at home
This is a newer style of training I have incorporated to my weekly routine, and surprisingly enough, it was influenced by the people using my app, asking for Pilates! As the requests started to roll in, I thought I would try it for myself, and I am so thankful I did! Last year I decided to get my Pilates teacher training qualification, which I think has not only taken my teaching to the next level, but personally, I have never felt stronger and more aware of my body. Pilates works on a closer connection to your inner core strength, and finer movements done slowly and with more precision. After a career in sport, I thought I knew how to move, but Pilates really showed me better movement with more control and stability. Pilates is now on my app and it is something a make sure to do at lease twice a week.
Example weekly training schedule:
- 30 minute morning Pilates
- 20 minute evening V-Form Trainer strength session, followed by 20 minute post workout stretching
- 30-45min evening Yoga/stretching
- 45 minute evening Fresh Body Fit Mind workout
- 15min post workout stretching
- 30 minute morning Fresh Body Fit Mind workout
- 30 minute evening Pilates
- 15 minute morning V-Form Trainer strength session, followed by 20 minute Fresh Body Fit Mind core workout, and 15 minute post workout stretching
- 45 minute morning Fresh Body Fit Mind workout, followed by 15min post workout stretching
- 1 hour afternoon sprint session at the park/track
- 30min-45min evening yoga/stretching