A year ago today, I had just finished an eight-week workout challenge that involved a short 30-minute workout three days a week. I noticed a big improvement in my strength and endurance, and three days a week felt easy. I was crushing those workouts, using heavier weights, and feeling great. So it felt like the perfect time to up my workout routine—and that’s when things got interesting. The next thing I knew, it was June 2021, and I had successfully completed five to six workouts a week every single week. Before I knew it, it was December, and I had logged over 250 workouts in my activity tracker. And I’ll be honest, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.
Obviously, developing the habit of working out made a huge difference in my ability to keep it up this year, but finding ways to keep my workouts interesting and enjoyable made me stick with it on the days I’d really rather keep watching TV on the couch. The first thing I relied on was Obé Fitness. Obé is my favorite streaming fitness app because the classes are so fun and varied, the energy of the instructors is infectious, and it’s pretty inexpensive. Here’s a peek at my workout routine and how I used Obé to get in the best shape of my life.
My Workout Routine
Over the last year, building a routine took some time, but now that I’m ahead of it, I’d say that’s what kept me accountable the most. In a typical week, I’d weight train at the gym three times a week, do one other strength workout at home, one cardio workout a week (like a short HIIT class, dance, or a long walk), and one yoga class a week.
Earlier in the year when we were still in lockdown, obviously, I was doing all of my workouts at home. I utilized Obé’s live class feature and took five classes a week. I’d start my week with a pilates class, then do strength on Tuesdays and Fridays, sculpt on Wednesdays, dance cardio on Thursdays, and yoga on Sundays. And when I could, I’d take a long walk on Saturdays.
How I Kept It Interesting
1. Tried New Classes
Unlike prior attempts at developing a workout routine, I had variety already built into my routine. I wasn’t expecting that I would go lift weights at the gym five days a week and never get bored. Instead, I made a point to constantly try new workouts. Obé offers a plethora of different classes and is always adding new ones (they recently added stationary bike Ride classes as well as Jump!), and I made it my mission to try every single one.
Some, like pilates, became staples in my routine. Pilates was so hard, but it made me feel strong in a way that no class ever has (and it made my abs sore every single time). Others, I only did once or twice (looking at you, Bounce—the mini trampoline class that kicked my butt).
Classes weren’t the only change I made. I definitely get in the habit of thinking that my workouts have to be a 30-minute class or gym session to “count,” entirely forgetting all the exercise I do just living in a city and walking everywhere. I like to go for a long walk at least once a week, and I started thinking of that as an opportunity to work out. This made me pause and remember to rest more because I realized I was active so often, but it also became a standard workout in my routine. I look forward to my Saturday morning walks around the neighborhood.
2. Leveled Up When Necessary
After a few months of working out at home, I was starting to feel a little bored. Instead of giving up, I realized that I was probably ready to level up the intensity. Immediately, I went up in weights and felt an immediate difference. My workout was challenging again, leaving me sweaty and sore (in the best way).
But I also found other ways to level up. I added ankle weights to my sculpt classes and wore them on my walks. And I started modifying in classes. Obé’s instructors give great ideas for making your workouts a bit more manageable or more challenging, and I’d always leaned somewhere in the middle. I started occasionally opting for the modifications, whether it was to make it easier on my wrists or to engage my core more. This made my workouts feel more exciting and interesting because I was always trying new things.
3. Switched Up the Music
I pretty much always listen to the same music during my workouts, or I’ll just listen to whatever is playing in the background of a class. But after a while, this stops being fun and motivating. After a yoga class with Beth C. on Obé during which she has you stand up and dance around to ’90s punk rock, I knew that I needed to change it up. I opted for a slew of different workout playlists that ranged in genre. I’ll always go back to my rap/hip hop, but having some options made me excited on the way to the gym.
I also started working out to podcasts. I never thought I could possibly feel motivated working out while people were talking, but somehow, it works. Instead of motivating me to push harder and further, it gets my mind off of it. I’m too busy paying attention to the pod that I’m not thinking about how much longer the workout will be and when it’s over. This works best for long sessions on the treadmill or stairmaster, 12-3-30, and setting your own yoga flow.
4. Invested in New Workout Gear
Because I would be working out from home, I had to give myself a studio-apartment-sized at-home gym. I invested in a good mat that I could do everything from planks and Russian twists to Warrior 2 on. Then, I added a few dumbbells to my repertoire. As time went on, I added a few more: a small set for pilates and cardio boxing, a higher weight as I got stronger, and a kettlebell. As I started doing more classes, I got excited for new items to make workouts even more enjoyable, like getting a barre ball, resistance bands, and ankle weights. Before I knew it, I had a whole at-home workout station that I was actually excited to use.
5. Changed My Scenery
I would be remiss to say that I did start attending the gym halfway through the year, which was an investment in my journey as well. This made me ultra-motivated to work out after such a long time of being inside. I’d walk in and be excited to try a new machine or station every single time. Then, I started attending a few studios once or twice a month.
But it wasn’t all the gym and in-person classes. When I wasn’t feeling a typical workout on my bedroom floor, I’d go to the living room and take a dance class from the TV. I’d take a walk around the neighborhood. In the summer, I even went and did yoga on my rooftop a few times. One of the biggest ways to keep working out interesting is to make it a fun activity rather than a chore. The one constant of my workout routine has been Obé classes because I can easily make it work for me and my needs. I can take a class from my bedroom, my rooftop, my parents’ backyard, a hotel—you name it.
Ready to try Obé for yourself? Use code TEG2for2 for two months of Obé for just $2—offer valid this month only!
This post is sponsored by Obé Fitness, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.