Do you ever wonder in the middle of your exercise session why you chose to show up and do the workout? Or maybe, it's even before you've began and are trying to find the motivation to get the workout going. It's occured to me plenty of times but popped up again this week when I did back to back classes of Grit Cardio and BODYATTACK. We were about 1/3 the way through Attack and I thought to myself, "Why I the heck am I here?! Why do I do this to myself?!" These classes are so hard, yet I always find myself coming back for more.

The answer, which I shared on my Instagram this week, is that I honestly love it and it helps me get my mind right. I might not love it through the duration of class, especially after repeated burpees, tuck jumps, star jacks or whatever else the instructors include in the class, but in the end, I truly do which brings me back week after week as well as multiple times in the same week. I feel a sort of high after participating in these classes. My reason for showing, in other words, my 'why' behind exercise, in particular group exercise is multi-faceted. I love the feeling of accomplishment especially being able to do something I didn't think I was capable of. I love the positive, motivating and uplifting environment that fills the studio. I love (and hate, but also love) to be forced to do burpees, tuck jumps and the like. I love being surrounded by like minded people all there to work on improving themselves for the better. Lastly, I love that a year ago I never did these types of classes. I was scared, intimidated and unsure of my own abilities to try them. Exercise and group fitness is contagious, fun, challenging, often times down-right crazy but all those things are why I continue to show up class after class, workout after workout.

What is your 'why'?? Your reason for working out? Mel Pridemore, owner of 6 Dimensions Fitness Coaching & Personal Training talked about this during her time at 5 Things and I've read about discovering your 'why' in many books lately. So, have you ever really thought about it? I'm also talking more than the fact that you want to lose five pounds, look good in your bathing suit, or have the desire to fit in the jeans you wore last year. Getting fit is so much more than physical results. What is your emotional connection to your workout? If, yes, in fact you really want to lose a few pounds, why is that? How will you feel after the weight is off? Spend some time digging deep and getting after your 'why'. Think beyond the more superficial or aesthetic aspects that are definitely icing on the cake but determine what is behind it for you mentally. Perhaps you want to prove to yourself that you are capable of reaching outside of your comfort zone, have the stamina to be able to chase after your grandkids or need help managing your mental health albiet depression, anxiety and/or stress. Whatever the case may be, keep that in the back of your mind the next time you hit the gym. If you are struggling through the workout, remember your 'why', know that you are capable of so much more and use that to help propel you towards the finish.

As for my workouts this week, they were the perfect blend of high intensity cardio (ahem, Grit and BODYATTACK) and strength combined with slower paced flexibility, core and balance training via yoga and pilates in BODYFLOW. I enjoy having the variety and varying extremes throughout the course of the week. For every challenging and intense workout, I try to balance it out with stretching and meditation helping to keep me grounded.

Strength training sessions this week were some of the best I'd had in awhile. I mixed things up adding a few new exercises to push myself along with supersets to add more intensity. I love searching Instagram to get new ideas and the incorporate them into my sessions which is what I did for Wednesday's leg day. My quads are still on fire thanks to those assisted pistol squats I picked up from Juli at PaleOMG! Keep reading for full details on my strength/resistance workouts for the week.

Back & Biceps
Lat Pushdown, 3 sets of 10, 30lbs
Barbell Closebody Slow-count Curl, 3 sets of 10, 20lbs
Dumbbell Incline Bicep Curl, 3 sets of 10, 12.5lbs
Dumbbell Single Arm Row, 3 sets of 8, 20lbs
Cable Elevated Single Arm Curl, 3 sets of 10, 20lbs
Cable Single Arm Lat Row, 3 sets of 10, 30lbs
Ball Cobra, 3 sets of 10
7 Minute Workout Core Abs & Back

Assisted Single Leg Pistol Squat into Knee Drive, 3 sets of 10
Banded Kettlebell Deadlift, 3 sets of 10, 8kg
Assisted Narrow Squat, 3 sets of 10
Banded Glute Raise, 3 sets of 10
Banded Abductor, 3 sets of 10
Banded Walks with Knee Raise, 3 sets of 10
Banded Bridge Pulse, 3 sets 45 seconds
Banded Wide Plank Taps, 3 sets of 10

Triceps, Chest & Shoulders
Cable Single Arm Tricep Extension, 3 sets of 10, 10lbs
Tricep Dips, 3 sets of 10

Cable Chest Fly, 3 sets of 10, 20lbs

Cable Single Arm Cross-Body Upright Row, 3 sets of 10, 20lbs
Halos, 3 sets of 10, 10lb plate

Cable Tricep Pushdown, 3 sets of 10, 30lbs
Chest Press Resistance Band, 3 sets of 20
Shoulder Lat Raise Resistance Band, 3 sets of 10

I hope that you have had a great week! I'm gearing up for a fun weekend that will include a special travel workout that I'm pretty excited about! I'll share more about that next week or you can follow my Instagram to check it out in real time!