Last Week’s Workouts

Today is Monday, May 22. Say what?! How (no, really, HOW) are we heading into the last full week of May? It seems like 2017 just started last week and I was juuuust sitting down to write the first few posts of this here blog. Yet, here we are with Memorial Day a week away and summer right around the corner. Not that I’m complaining — 2017 has had it’s rough patches.

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Today begins Week 5 of the Tone It Up Bikini Series and as cheesy as it sounds, this challenge has been the light at the end of the tunnel for me on rough days these past few weeks. When I feel as if I’m being bombarded with negativity, it’s fun to wake up to the positivity of Karena and Katrina and now that I can escape with a good sweat and spend some time taking care of myself. That said, here’s how I escaped last week.

Last Week's Workouts

Sunday, 5/14/17:

The day before, my husband and I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Because I just CANNOT go to the movies without getting popcorn and Raisinets, I of course ate way too many of both. So Sunday, I completed K&K’s BodyLove Total Body Workout (with Jillian Michaels too!) and followed it up with an old school Bikini Yoga video from a years old challenge.

Last Week's Workouts

Last week’s meal prep was BEAUTIFUL!

Monday, 5/15/17:

I woke up EXCITED to workout Monday morning (I usually do). I completed Tight & Toned Core (that’s a burner) and Beach Babe 3 Beach Arms. I have decided that I really need to start “training for my training”, so I got in a very hot run of 3.2 miles that afternoon. A lot of my half marathon training will be completed when it’s hot outside, so it’s time I get used to being out in it.

Tuesday, 5/16/17:

It’s Tone It Up Tuesday! Today, I did two rounds of the new Booty Burn workout, as well as the 5 daily moves. The daily moves consisted of 3 rounds/15 reps of Kettlebell swings, Kettlebell squats, Kettlebell sumo squats, curtsy lunges, bridges. My lower bod was really feeling the burn.

Wednesday, 5/17/17:

Wednesday was such a fun day! I woke up for my #tiubootycall as I usually do. I decided to try out the only workout from Beach Babe 5 I hadn’t done yet — Sunset Sweat. It was pretty short and a great start to the day, but my real workout came that evening. I tried out CycleBar for the first time and completed a class with some other TIU girls from my area! Gotta love Instagram. 🙂

I was blown away by the whole experience. If you read my post last week on home gyms, you know it’s been YEARS since I’ve taken a group fitness class (much less spin). I forgot how challenging they can be. I had jello legs walking out of there!

Thursday, 5/18/17:

Rest day! I had intended a run for the afternoon, but learned I was tasked with working my school’s dance. Between set up, the actual dance, and tear down, I wasn’t going to have time, so I just made it a rest day.

Friday 5/18/17:

Karena and Katrina released another new workout today — TIU Flex Friday — an upper body circuit workout that gave me a serious shoulder pump and tricep burn. I followed that with HIIT Me Up from Beach Babe 4 and quickly appreciated my rest day from the previous day. My quads were definitely still feeling the DOMS from Wednesday’s spin class.

Saturday, 5/19/17:

By Saturday, I was good to go and hankering to hit the streets for a run. I did just that! I got in almost 4 miles after completing Sunshine Sculpt. I spent the rest of the day hanging out with my husband and working on my #sidehustle (lol).

Last Week's Workouts

I’m to 40 miles on my #100bySummer goal! #100bySummer goal by @amylynnntiu on Instagram

I’m linking up today’s post for #MotivateMe Monday with Salads 4 Lunch and Run Mommy Run!

How did you choose to sweat it out last week?

Things to Ask Yourself Before Cancelling Your Gym Membership

Have you thought about cancelling your gym membership? Home gyms seem to be THE THING right now. I, personally, workout at home (or run around my neighborhood) 100 percent these days. This was a decision my husband and I came to together to initially try and save money. Then we found out we were moving and with new commutes and significantly less free time, it’s the best option for me in this stage of life.

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Things to Ask Before Cancelling Your Gym Membership

This wasn’t a decision I took lightly. In fact I fretted over it quite a bit. This was because, a few years ago, I would NOT have been able to make it work. But I promise I tried! I bought P90X and Insanity and I was READY. But I hadn’t made the mindset shift at that point and most days, sitting on my couch was much more appealing than working out in front of it. For that reason, I got back into the gym because group classes and unlimited cardio machines were my greatest motivation. However, life is full of ebbs and flows, and as the years passed, I flowed into a different state of mind and decided to give it another go. It didn’t hurt that my in-laws had recently handed down their unused treadmill either. Do you have workout equipment collecting dust?! I’ll be glad to take it off your hands. 😉

Because driving to the gym in the dark for my early morning workout was basically second nature, I really had to take a step back and explore whether quitting the gym would be the right choice for me. I asked myself a series of questions, and there were some biggies that really helped sway my decision. I suggest asking yourself the same questions if you’re on the fence about making the switch to home workouts.

1 // Will this motivate me?

This was the biggest decider for me! I had been accustomed to trekking it to the gym each day for such a long time. When I was attending group classes regularly, it was the highlight of my day. However, after moving to start my teaching career, group classes were no longer an option. When I found myself craving the dark and quiet of my living room at 5 a.m. as opposed to a crowded a weight room, I thought it might be time for a change. I decided, yes, this DOES motivate me! I look forward to my workouts each day and love being able to walk into the next room and immediately pour myself a cup of coffee. Being fit and healthy is at the top of my priority list, regardless of if I’m working out in the living room or in a gym.

2 // Does this align with my goals?

Obviously, I don’t believe you have to have a fully equipped gym to have a great workout or get super fit. I mean, hellurrr… Melissa trained for a bikini competition completely from home using 20 lb. dumbbells! But for some people, that may be a necessity. Ask yourself if you’ll still be able to reach your goals without four different cardio machines and a squat rack at your immediate disposal. Additionally, if you’ve recently signed up for a distance race, you will soon be spending less time in the gym anyway.

Working out at home is a lot more fun when you’re accountability partner is this cute.

3 // Do I have the right resources?

This question goes hand in hand with #2. For many people, they want specific equipment to reach specific goals. Depending on your budget, you could go all out and build an entire gym in your garage with a squat rack, olympic bars, etc. For the person who just wants to maintain fitness and be healthy for life, home gyms can be great options. I have a hand-me-down treadmill*, a few sets of dumbbells and kettlebells, and a few resistance bands. For the most part, I do the exact same workouts I did when I worked out in a gym. I’m still in great shape and I break a sweat every morning and I don’t even have to brush my teeth (although I do, I promise!).

*My husband mentioned that it would be worth asking if the significant other in your life would be willing to move your treadmill for you. 🙂 As you can imagine, moving a treadmill can be QUITE the undertaking.

I’m linking up for Wild Workout Wednesday with Nicole, Annemarie, and Jen!

Have you considered cancelling your gym membership? What was the deciding factor (or distractor) for you?

Last Week’s Workouts

Last week turned out to be a lot more busy than I anticipated. Or maybe I was just a lot more lazy than I anticipated? I guess we’ll never know.🤷🏻‍♀️ Either way, I was pretty silent and for the first week all year only posted once. Whoops.

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Last Week's Workouts

At the beginning of the week I got in a lot more walking than I usually do due to state testing and active monitoring. #teacherlife It went by pretty quickly though, so I didn’t mind too much! I allowed myself a nice reset over the weekend, and even took in a movie with my husband. This week, I’m looking forward to more great workouts and getting that much closer to summer break! I would be lying if I said summers off was not one of the reasons I decided to become a teacher. Obviously, it’s not the only reason, nor is it the biggest, but it sure is nice to be able to have that built-in work-life balance aspect!

Anyway, let’s get into last week’s workout journal! If you’re interested, you can get all of these updates in (almost) real-time by following me on Instagram, @teacherfit.jess!

Sunday, 5/7/17:

Last weekend we traveled home for our nephew’s first birthday party, so obviously there was cake involved. Due to that, I wanted a little more intensity than my typical Sunday yoga routine. I chose to do the HIIT Abs routine with the Tone It Up girls and Jillian Michaels, followed by this 15 minute yoga flow. It was the perfect balance of strength and stretch.

Monday, 5/8/17:

I kicked off the work week with some HIIT! I love doing that. Specifically, I did one of the new Bikini Series workouts, Sandy Sweat HIIT, and the 5 Daily Moves, which were all HIIT based. After getting to work, I did four hours of “active monitoring”. This means I walked around in circles and weaved between rows of desks for four hours straight.

Tuesday, 5/9/17:

On Tuesday, I had four more hours of “active monitoring”, but also got in another early morning workout. I did a total body routine called Sunshine Sculpt, another perfect balance of stretch and strength, followed by two miles on the treadmill. After school, I got in another round of Sunshine Sculpt to end my day.

Wednesday, 5/10/17:

Wednesday morning called for some upper body work using BeachBabe 5 Arms & Abs. Afterwards, I did about 15 minutes of some treadmill HIIT to add to my #100bySummer total.


Thursday, 5/11/17:

I absolutely LOVE getting my workout in before the sun rises. But… I also love sleeping in on Thursday mornings! That afternoon, I came home to HIIT the Beach from the BeachBabe 5 series and did the 2016 TIU Bikini Series Arms & Abs workout. It was about five minutes long and I just tacked it on because I was feeling a little something “extra”. 😉

Friday, 5/12/17:

Friday morning I was back on my grind with the Total Babe Workout, again from the BeachBabe 5 series and Tone HIIT Up, a HIIT workout from a previous challenge. It’s a major #tiugirlproblem that once you drink the koolaid, you have an exorbitant amount of workouts lying around (or using up Google Drive storage😜) and not enough time to do them all.

Basically, these posts are just a lot of PWO selfies.

Saturday, 5/13/17:

My ideal Saturday workout is a nice run before it gets too hot (we’re already having highs in the 90s here!), so that’s exactly what I did. I hit the streets for 3 miles after a quick body weight booty workout, Bombshell Booty. I polished off my workout with a few ab exercises and called it good.

As of today, I’m up to 30(.9) miles for my #100bySummer goal! Will I make it?! #100bySummer tracker by @amylynnntiu on Instagram

I hope you have a fantastic week! Get your sweat on, eat like you love your body, and enjoy this beautiful life. ♥

Last Week’s Workouts

It’s Monday and that means I’m back for another recap of my workouts from the previous week! Today begins a few days of state testing for my students and many, many others across Texas. I’ll be getting in four hours of “active monitoring” while my kiddos strut their stuff and show what they know. We’ve been working up to this since August and I’m proud of them already just for trying their best.

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Last Week's Workouts

To take my mind off some of the *stress* and *pressure* of standardized testing, let’s talk about something a little bit more fun — like the workouts I completed last week. 😉 This was Week 2 of the Tone It Up Bikini Series, so how did I fare? Let’s see.

Sunday, 4/30/17:

I love doing yoga on Sundays, so I used the Tone It Up Beach Babe 4 videos to create my own workout. I completed a cardio flow followed by a flow using the kettlebell. It was the perfect balance of stretch, strength, and elevated heart rate.

Last Week's Workouts
Monday, 5/1/17:

I started off the month of May with some serious HIIT! I did Beach Babe 5’s HIIT the Beach (the same one from last week!) and the Tone It Up 5 Daily Moves. Today, those consisted of 3 rounds of 15 reps of bridges, curtsy lunges, stationary lunges, kettlebell swings, and kettlebell squat-to-press. My booty was feeling it for days.

#100bySummer tracker by @amylynnntiu on Instagram

Tuesday, 5/2/17:

For this week’s Tone It Up Tuesday, Karena and Katrina uploaded a new workout to YouTube called Totally Toned. It was a total body routine and you already know I love total body workouts! I followed that quick workout with 2 miles on the treadmill. When I was closing up the treadmill for storage something went flying and I thought for sure I had broken it. However, my awesome husband fixed it for me, so we’re back in business. 🙂

Wednesday, 5/3/17:

I tested out another new workout from the Beach Babe 5 series, Tight & Toned Core. It was a nice, equipment free break, but still buuuurned like crazy. I also did HIIT Me Up from the Beach Babe 4 series for another 1.5 miles of cardio toward my 100 mile goal!

Thursday, 5/4/17:

On Thursday, I slept in (until 5:15!) and fit in an afternoon workout. I took Pippa out for a run and thankfully, she did much better than she did last time. 🙂 When we got home, I did the Tone It Up Daily Moves, which were upper body focused. I completed 3 rounds of 15 reps of curl-to-press, upright rows, plank tricep kickbacks (these are hard!), bridge chest flys, and cross body hammer curls.

Friday, 5/5/17:

Friday, I tried out yet another Beach Babe 5 workout — Bootylicious🍑. (Yes, sometimes I feel ridiculous writing/typing/speaking their workout titles.) Additionally, I did the K+K HIIT workout from Karena and Katrina’s Look for Love/Body Love series. If you can’t tell — I love quick HIITs of mixed strength and cardio work.

Saturday, 5/6/17:

Our nephew’s 1st birthday party was this weekend, so my Saturday workout was cut a little short so we could get out the door! I did a 30-minute Beach Babe 5 workout, 30 Rep Challenge. Think 30 reps of every exercise using a variety of weights. I can totally see how this workout can be used to build strength because you can use whatever weight you want to get those reps in! Except for push-ups. I am awful at push-ups and I definitely didn’t get in 30 reps.

This week, I’m looking forward to Week 3 of the Bikini Series with some extra walking, thanks to active monitoring. I always get my steps in early on those days! Are you filling your schedule with any new workouts this week?

May Goals + an April Recap

April was a complete whirlwind! Am I the only one? I feel like no sooner did I sit down to write my April goals than the month was over and done with. To be honest, April was the worst month of 2017 so far (for me anyway). Most days I felt completely out of balance and let the stresses of life take over. Realizing that, April wasn’t a successful month for reaching goals. But! I still think there’s value in looking back and learning from the experience.

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It’s already May… But this is my favorite meme of all time!

April Goals

ONE // Drink 100 oz. of water daily

Grade: B-

Most days I did pretty well at this, but there’s definitely room for improvement. Weekends are always when I seem to be less hydrated.

TWO // Run 2x/week to keep my running base up between now and half marathon training time

Grade: A-

This I accomplished! Although I didn’t keep up with the mileage per runs that I was hoping for, I still got in regular runs. I will work on keeping my mileage up better in May!

THREE // Track meals in MyFitnessPal at least four days a week

Grade: F

I did fantastic with this in March, so I thought it would be a great goal to set for April… And then stress hit like a ton of bricks and suddenly, keeping track of every single bite wasn’t as important. For the last few weeks, I’ve been eating more intuitively as opposed to counting every calorie and gram and actually feeling great.

FOUR // Send off the thredUp bag

Grade: F

Didn’t happen. The bag is still sitting in my kitchen chair where it’s been since it arrived.

FIVE // Read. A. Book.

Grade: F

I read one chapter in the pedicure chair one Saturday afternoon. Does that count?! 😉

May Goals

ONE // Run 2x/week and begin to increase my mileage again

This is a repeat from last month, as you can see above. Additionally, I want to complete 100 “miles” of cardio by the first day of summer! I don’t anticipate running every single one of those miles, so I’m counting HIIT towards it as well. 10 minutes of intense cardio = 1 mile

#100bySummer tracker by @amylynnntiu on Instagram

TWO // Leave work most days by 4:15

I had my LAST day of tutorials for the school year yesterday, and hopefully my last day of leaving at 5 p.m. I go off duty at 3:45, so there’s really no reason for me to keep hanging around much longer. 😉

Leaving work at 4:00 on Monday. YES.

THREE // Eat clean 90% of the time

In the next couple of months, I want to clean up my diet quite a bit and work on losing some fat. In the last couple of weeks I’ve had some of the most consistently clean days I can remember having and I’m so proud of myself! When you build up momentum and see little successes, it makes sticking with something a lot easier.

FOUR // Lose 3 pounds

This goes hand-in-hand with goal #3 and is part of a long(er) term goal. Honestly… I know numbers don’t mean that much, but sometimes a particular number on the scale is still nice to see.

FIVE // Catch up on house cleaning 

Since I want to be leaving work earlier this month, I want to use that time to get caught up on some house cleaning! I’m not a weekend cleaner. I’d rather do a few small tasks each day than everything all in one day. This week has been successful thus far — I swept the floors on Monday and vacuumed the carpets yesterday. But the true test will be whether or not the dishwasher gets unloaded this afternoon. 😉

Are you setting any specific goals for the month of May? I’m linking up for Wild Workout Wednesday with Nicole, Annemarie, and Jen!