I probably sound like a broken record, but this week was a fun workout week! When you love your time in the gym as much as I do, workouts are always fun! Well, okay, let me be real, they sometimes are more fun after the fact once they are over and not in the moment, but you get the idea.

This week I had my personal training at Pursuit Fitness & Performance Institute and I am still feeling the burn! If you read my feature post on Pursuit Institute, you know a little bit of how my training session went but suffice to say it was the perfect session that tied everything together based on my initial fitness consultation and the assessments that followed. As a runner, I needed assistance with a warmup that I could do anytime but mainly on the days that I'm heading out for a training run. Rather than starting out cold, I now have a pre-built warm up including ladder drills that I can do to get my legs moving forward and laterally as well as some dynamic stretches that I can use to actively prep for activity. I did that warm-up before my Thursday training run and maybe it was placebo but I could already feel improvement in my run. My legs felt prepped and more ready to run following a brief warm-up rather than heading out the front door cold and immediately running.

My session also included exercises to address to the lack of strength that I have predominantly on my left glute as well as exercises to help me work towards my goal of completing a pull-up. What I am still feeling the most however is the focus work I did on push-ups. More often that not, I fly through push-ups going through the basic motions but in the training session, I worked on focusing in, feeling like I was pushing and pulling the floor beneath me and as a result I am still sore today! When you put intentional focus on the muscle you are working, you don't have to do as many reps making your workouts more efficient and productive but also working the muscles much more than just going through the motions. And, well, those jumping pull-ups...I still feel them too!

Because of my personal training session being on Tuesday, I mixed up the rest of my strength training a little bit throughout the week. I took Monday off and ran instead, did core abs on Wednesday instead of legs and typical Biceps, Triceps and Shoulders on Friday. I tell you this because its nice to know you can flex your workout routine week to week and thats actually a good thing. It keeps your body guessing and makes things a little less predictable. I still had just as great of workouts by changing things up a little bit. In my training session I also worked a few exercises to failure on my last set. Failure meaning as many reps as possible before form fails and/or you cannot complete another rep. I implemented this idea into my Friday strength training and I love it. It gives a nice benchmark for performance and gives you a solid number that you can work on improving the next time you do that exercise.

Half-marathon training is chugging along. I cannot believe I only have five weeks to go, it is getting real! Thankfully the weather was pretty amazing this week and I was able to do 2 1/2 out of 3 runs outside (check my Instagram on the reason for that 1/2 part). Outdoor running is definitely my preference! Not only is it more fun but it also helps train better when running in different outdoor conditions and elevation/pavement changes.

Full details on Wednesday and Friday's strength training sessions:

Core Abs
Cable Rope Abs Crunch, 2 sets of 10, last set failure (15 reps), 30lbs
Oblique Abs with Kettlebell, 3 sets of 10 each side, 8kg
Leg In & Out on Bench, 3 sets of 10
Captains Chair Abs, 3 sets of 10
Exercise Ball Crunches, 3 sets of 10

Biceps Triceps & Shoulders
Cable Tricep Pushdown, 2 sets of 10, last set faiure (16 reps), 30lbs
Cable Single Arm Cross Body Upright Row, 3 sets of 10, 25lbs
Single Arm DB Bicep Curl with Isometric Hold, 3 sets of 10, 12.5lbs
Tricep Kickbacks, 3 sets of 10, 10lbs
Pike Shoulder Pushups, 2 sets of 10, last set failure (17 reps)
DB Hammer Bicep Curls, 3 sets of 10, 12lbs
Cable Overhead Tricep Extension, 3 sets of 10, 20lbs
DB Arnold Press, 3 sets of 10, 9lbs
Cable Single Arm Cross Body Bicep Curl, 2 sets of 10, last set failure (19 reps), 10lbs

How have your workouts been this week? Don't forget to make you a priority these last few weeks of 2018. Whether its ten minutes or 60, make a little time to move and sweat. You will feel better physically and have less stress! Speaking of a little stress...can you believe Christmas is next week!? I'm beyond excited and despite a few last minute to-do's I'm not really feeling the holiday stress. I credit a lot of that to my time in the gym, eating mostly well (you know I'm enjoying my Christmas cookies and holiday brews!), staying present and mindful. If you need a little help with exercise ideas and ways to be more mindful, check out my 12 days of Fitmas Health and Wellness Challenge. It's never too late to join, I'd love to include you in the festive fitness fun!

Happy Holidays friends!!