Does anyone else feel like the world is ending? We had serious, catastrophic flooding last year in South Carolina. Then more rain. And both my mom and a friend texted last week saying they were taking shelter because there was a tornado warning. In San Diego. San Diego. California.
The first thing that comes to mind in severe weather is…wait, when am I going to run? When the streets have become rivers and tornados are chasing you down from the clouds, it’s unfortunately not the time or place. I’ve become reliant on a gift my husband gave me for my 27th birthday–my own spin bike–so I never have to leave the house.
It was a particularly gross, rainy Charleston day when I decided to switch up my normal at-home spin routine with some circuits. I can’t believe my spin bike still works, I use it multiple times a week and was attached to it my entire pregnancy (along with about 30 pounds). This bike is the reason for my sanity.
My usual spin workout is contained to the bike itself, but I’ve been trying to incorporate more strength training to protect my arms and back from the tolls of motherhood. And biking for 45 minutes straight can get kind of tedious, even if you’re using your “workout time” to really just catch up on Parks and Rec.
I was inspired by a Tabatas class I used to take at the Navy gym while “looking for a job” when we first moved here (I had SO much free time back then, I can’t even begin to remember what that was like). Tabata is interval training: push yourself, rest, repeat. I’ve done strength training tabatas and a cool tabata spin class, but this Navy class will always win. The teacher was a fellow Navy wife and personal trainer who was used to working with the sailors. She would set up about 6 different stations around an old, grungy building on base–burpees, push ups, bike sprints, ropes (I don’t know what that’s called?), floor ladder climbs. Every week was different and every workout got harder. Tabatas were the highlight of my week, mid-Wednesday morning, where I could be sort-of-social and use it as an excuse to rest the rest of the day. And then the Navy sent her to Hawaii.
- Spin bike – I highly recommend this one. It’s not very expensive and it’s incredibly durable.
- mat or carpet
The workout: 1 hour
- 5 minutes steady warm up at a comfortable pace with medium resistance
- 5 minutes jumps (jumps are where you switch between standing and sitting while pedaling. I usually stand for a count of ten and sit for a count of ten)
- 5 minutes hill climbing (standing or sitting, I prefer standing in a run position and increasing the pace every minute)
- 1 minute burpees (jump down into plank, jump back into a squat, then jump up towards the ceiling)
- 1 minute mountain climbers
- 2 minutes bicycle sit-ups (alternate your left arm towards your right leg and vice versa)
- 1 minute tricep dips on the floor or a chair
I’ve played with a few different variations of this workout until I got it right (and decided 3 total minutes of burpees is all that’s humanly possible). I wanted to focus on targeting different muscle groups through isolating the arms and the abs–I personally like the burn-out feeling that comes with putting a lot of work into one muscle group. This workout is intense, but starting each unique bike portion with 5 minutes of steady biking allows for some rest in between each set.
I used to think I could never get a good workout at home because I had no one to hold me accountable. Workout videos have made a huge difference, but finding a space designated for exercise helps compartmentalize the rest of my household responsibilities. It’s also a huge time and money saver when I can run upstairs for a quick workout while (if) the baby naps or (if) my husband is home.
*Keep in mind, I am not a personal trainer. The workouts I share are crafted from years of experience as a runner and fitness enthusiast and work well for my lifestyle. I’m sharing them because I hope to inspire people to get out of their normal routine or find the time to fit working out into a busy schedule. Consult a physician before attempting anything new.*