Working out is so much more than a physical activity for me. I have been fortunate that in my life the only times I have really had to work out in order to lose weight have been postpartum. I know that it is not easy as I gained about fifty pounds with my oldest and around forty with my youngest. I worked my butt off to lose all the baby weight and return to pre-pregnancy weight. So, for those of you who work out because you need to lose weight, I do feel you.

However, for me, working out has a lot to do with my mental health maybe even more so than physical. Of course, I would be amiss to say I don't enjoy the physical benefits. I lift weights and do cardio to gain strength, tone my body, keep up my cardiovascular health, endurance and maintain my weight where it is currently.

Exercise is my anti-anxiety drug helping to keep my stress and anxiety in check and largely at bay. It's working and I love it. I crave it. When I exercise I feel better both mentally and physically. I am less anxious. I am less stressed. I actually enjoy waking up early at 5am and starting my day at the gym. It sets the tone and my mood for the hours ahead and I am a better mom, wife, friend, etc because of it. My family knows the importance of my workout schedule and I have made this one of my priorities in my daily life. I love it and even when the workouts are as tough as Grit was this week, I still look forward to my time at the gym.

That being said, how did this week go as far as my workouts? If you've been reading weekly, this was a pretty typical week as far as my Monday-Friday go...strength training Monday, Wednesday and Friday with Bodyflow, Yoga, ab work, and cardio in between. I mixed things up a little on Saturday trying Yoga at a new studio here in town and it was a fun change of pace.

The yoga class was held at Hatha Yoga & Fitness, a really neat fitness studio that opened recently here in Champaign-Urbana. They offer a variety of yoga as well as barre and hiit classes. In addition to group fitness, the studio also has a pretty large area dedicated to personal training. They also have Woodway treadmills (my favorite treadmill!) and Peloton bikes. I love to see places like this pop up in our town. It reminded me of some of the boutique fitness studios I have been to recently while traveling. The studio had an event on Saturday called Poses and Mimosas. One hour of yoga followed with mimosas and shopping after class! How can you not?! I hope to try out more classes and events at Hatha in the future.

Bodyattack/Yoga (Poses & Mimosas)
Rest Day
Bodyflow/Chest & Back
Intermediate Yoga
Biceps, Triceps & Shoulders/Grit

If you are curious, here is my weekly strength training routine from Monday, Wednesday and Friday:

Chest & Back
Chest Fly Machine, 3 sets of 12, 50lbs
Lat Pulldown Cable, 3 sets, dropset; 12 reps 40lbs, 10 reps 50lbs, 8 reps 60lbs
Barbell Chest Press, 3 sets of 12, 35lbs
Single Arm Wide Row Cable, 3 sets of 12, 30lbs each arm
Pushup with Shoulder Taps, 3 sets of 12
Single Arm Chest Press Cable, 3 sets of 12, 30lbs
7 Minute Workout Upper Body/Abs

Hip Abduction Machine, 3 sets of 12, 50lbs
Hip Adduction Machine, 3 sets of 12, 50lbs
Glute Machine, 3 sets, dropset; 12 reps 70lbs, 10 reps 90lbs, 8 reps 110lbs
Elevated Pulse Squat with Dumbbells, 3 sets of 15, 12.5lbs
Laying Glute Raise Barbell, 3 sets of 12, 40lbs
Lunges with Deadlift, 3 sets of 12, 10lbs plate
7 Minute Workout Legs

Biceps, Triceps & Shoulders
Dumbbell Overhead Press, 3 sets of 12, 15lbs
Dumbbell Biceps Curl, 3 sets of 12, 12.5lbs
Dumbbell Triceps Extension, 3 sets of 12, 20lbs
Dumbbell Lateral Raise, 3 sets of 12, 10lbs
Dumbbell Seated Cross Body Curl, 3 sets of 12, 10lbs
Triceps Dips, 3 sets of 12
Cable Cross Body Upright Row, 3 sets of 12, 20lbs each arm
Barbell Wide Arm Bicep Curl, 3 sets of 12, 25lbs
Cable Single Arm Tricep Pushdown, 3 sets of 12, 20lbs
Dumbbell Around the Worlds, 3 sets of 12, 7.5lbs
Barbell Close Arm Curls, 3 sets of 12, 20lbs
Cable Tricep Overhead Extension, 3 sets of 12, 20lbs

What did you do this week to move? How are you improving your physical and mental health?