Tag Archives: gym

Weekly Workout Plans

My daily workout plan has changed a fair amount since my local gym changed their hours to open early on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. In the end, it is easier to get ready in the morning at home rather than the gym. I don’t have to worry about packing my lunch in a cooler or wondering if I missed a key piece of my wardrobe for the day.

2014: Before the gym times changed, I was headed to Zurich every morning. Monday was spin class, so I did strength training on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and on Wednesdays and Fridays I generally did my running. But if I wanted to, I could mix it up depending on how I was feeling and do running, elliptical, or whatever I felt like any day. The gym was always “there” for me.

2015: Since January, my local gym’s early opening on some days throws my schedule off. They don’t offer morning courses yet, so Monday spinning is gone. I also decided to switch to strength training on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays so that in the spring/summer I could stop running at the treadmill in the Zurich gym and start running outside, spending all my time in my hometown.

I do love getting ready at home every morning with Kay, but sometimes I miss my spin class and if it’s bad weather on Tuesday or Thursday, I don’t want to run in the rain! And it rains quite often here…

But after a year of working out, my workouts still look pretty comparable:

Strength training:I used to have a slower start up running in Zurich, but now I just jog to my gym and then spend the last 15 minutes doing different stretches and core exercises. My heart rate tends to bounce around a lot during weight training.

Spinning:My heart rate also always changes a lot during spinning, but generally it’s a lot higher overall than weight training. I have missed the good cardio workout from spinning, so I am trying to incorporate it into my schedule on Mondays again.


My running is also changing a bit as I start branching out to the real world. Running outside is a bit scary for someone who started on the treadmill. There’s so much going on! It’s definitely easier to push myself harder on a treadmill and know what I am doing, but I am enjoying getting used to running outside and Kay and I have finally been able to go on a run together.

Generally, on the treadmill my heart rate takes a constant climb:

Whereas outside, my heart rate bounces up and down a bit on hills and elevation changes:

Sometimes five days does not seem like enough time to do all my sports. Only two days for running, two days for strength training and one day for spinning. I would love to see the results from three days a week strength training, five times a week running, and two days of biking, but I’m sticking to my 5X a week gym routine, so that’s not happening. 😉

What is your gym schedule like? How do you like to mix things up?


Workout Criticism

When I switched from my skinny-fat, non-fit life to working out every single workday, I was surprised how much criticism I received. Friends and colleagues were sometimes downright outraged by my new endeavor.

“Five days a week is too much.”

“Exercising every day is bad for you!”

“It’s not healthy!!”

These are some of the things I heard over and over from good friends, even months after I started my routine. Honestly, I was surprised. Exercising weekdays is unhealthy? What? What about all those doctors who tell you that you should get a minimum of 30 minutes exercise every day?

One person even insisted that her doctor told her she should not exercise more than 2-3 times a week and never more than one day in a row. Others just told me I was doing too much, that it was too much for my body and that I should think about decreasing.

I had to ignore all of them and brush off their demotivating comments. Maybe they want to justify their own workout schedule. Many people in Switzerland do only workout 2-3 times a week. The trainers at my gym even expect that this is the normal amount because they know that usually people don’t have the willpower or time to come more often than that.

Usually trainers are surprised when I tell them I come five days a week, but never has a trainer told me that this is too much. Instead, they congratulate me on my good workout ethic! Never have any of my doctors told me that five days a week is too much and thankfully, Kay has never told me this either!

Kay is the one who inspired me to exercise daily because he was the one who was exercising every day at lunchtime originally. And by going to the gym every morning, I noticed that there are other people who go everyday too. I asked another woman at the gym if people also give her attitude for her gym schedule and she said they do all the time, telling her that it’s unhealthy to go every morning, but these same people will tell her not to workout too much while they themselves ride their bike to and from the office an hour each way. Doesn’t make any sense, does it? Meanwhile, my colleagues complain that they are not in shape or have gained weight with their 1-2x a week, or never, gym schedule.

I understand that some are intimidated by the idea of doing something every day, but there’s nothing heroic about doing 45ish minutes of exercise in the morning. I alternate weight training with cardio so that I’m never pushing muscle groups too much and I see nothing wrong with running, cycling or weight training every day. If I had to cut down to 2 days a week, I would be so limited with what I can accomplish.

I am proud that I have the will to get up and go everyday and I don’t need any negative Nancys trying to convince me otherwise!

Have your friends and family ever reacted negatively to a new, healthy choice of yours? How did you react?

One Year Gym-iversary

It’s hard to believe that one year ago I was heading to my first spinning class as I started my weekly morning gym routine. I honestly never thought that I could be a morning person, let alone a person who gets up early to work out. That was just not “me”.

(Sunrise in Zurich)

Now here I am on the other side of a whole year of waking up at 6:05-6:15am to get to the gym for 45minutes to an hour of exercise before showering and heading to work. I’m not going to say it was easy to do it everyday, but deciding to work exercising into my schedule with no excuse but to go every morning turned it from a question to a part of life.

It changed my lifestyle: When my muscles started slowly growing, I became excited to go to the gym and “work” on my goals. I also stopped staying out past midnight during the week not only because the trains stop running, but because I’d be feeling it at the gym the next day.Exercising every day forces me to prioritise sleep. I need my sleep if I’m going to do anything productive at the gym and it’s too depressing and painful to be at the gym while I’m tired, knowing that I don’t have enough energy to do much. I also won’t allow myself to slag off the gym if I had a late night because Kay will be getting up then anyway, so off I go. No excuses!

People told me it was too much, but for me, it feels just right. Because working out is a part of every workday, I cannot decide whether or not it’s worth skipping some days or not. An everyday schedule also gives me the opportunity to have a balanced mix of cardio and strength training with cycling, running, machines, lifting weights and stretching.

Also, I’m not going to lie, a year of solid gym work definitely makes a difference in body toning. Like… I have some muscles now. When we went to Australia, Kay pointed out that some lady was checking out my arms while we were waiting in immigration in Zurich. People at work notice them. They aren’t nonexistent anymore! 🙂

I’m looking forward to seeing how my body develops in the next year, from stretching to cardio and strength, it is definitely making changes slowly, but surely! And moreover, I feel like working out is improving my overall health.

Running for the train is a breeze and for the first time on our trip in Australia, I was keeping up with Kay on a moderate incline and he commented how he was impressed because usually he’s miles ahead of me. Even when we went cycling together, Kay felt like he noticed a difference in “new Katie” vs “old Katie”. Old Katie would have gotten off her bike and walked up certain hills. New Katie pushes through. 😉

Do you work out regularly? What’s your biggest motivation to get out there and do it?

2014 Exercise Goals

Today is officially one month since the start of my gym membership!  After one month of waking up early and heading to the gym before coming in to work,  I thought that it’s appropriate to share my status and goals for this year.

Strengths: Waking up early to work out, walking, overnight mountain hikes, Via Ferrata
Intermediate: Climbing, Running, Elliptical
Weakness: Zumba, Lifting, Cycling, Yoga, Stair climbing, Inclines in general, Flexibility

Favorite workout programs: Spinning, because it pushes me so hard
Favorite Gear: My Adidas sports bra, all my dry fit shirts, heart rate monitor from Adidas
Favorite App: miCoach by Adidas

Pace: 11:15-12:30 min/mile depending on how long I run

Goals Working Toward:

  • Maintain a minimum of 210 Minutes of exercise a week (30 min a day) by working out mainly M-F mornings before work
  • Build endurance so I am not even fazed by stairs, let alone long hikes or runs
  • Strengthen back muscles for improved posture and lessen back pain,
  • Strengthen abdomen (lazy gut) for better digestion and boost my bikini self esteem
  • Strengthen lungs for improved general health and strengthening immune system
  • Strengthen legs specifically so I can manage stairs, inclines and hikes better
  • Lower my running pace eventually to under 10min a mile
  • Work on flexibility later on by introducing yoga and/or diet change
  • Finish a second climbing course and go more often in the summer to the mountains

Current schedule:
M: Spinning class – 55-60min
T: Weight Routine – 30 min, Elliptical 15 min
W: Running 6-7k – 45 min
R: Weight Routine – 30 min, Elliptical 15 min
F: Running 6-7k – 45min

It was just a fun survey to fill out, but I’d be interested in hearing your goals and progress too! I’m still really a total n00b at exercising and all of my strengths are loosely defined. They are just my “personal” strengths, but I aim to shift those in the next year!

Do you think it’s important to set goals for exercising? What are yours?


Today I woke up early enough to catch the 6:30 train and get to the gym on time for the start of spinning class at 6:45am. I told Kay I was feeling pretty nervous because it was my first class and it would be all in Swiss German.

It definitely was kind of terrifying at times, because anything new in a foreign language always freaks me out a bit, no matter how long I’ve been here. And indeed half the time I was either too tired to really understand what the teacher was saying or I didn’t really get what his Swiss German meant exactly… but he was very nice and showed me how to set up my bike and gave me some tips during class to try and make sure I wasn’t making any incorrect movements.

I almost thought I wouldn’t make it at times and wondered in some moments if each “Nochmal uefe!” (Up again!) was some variation of never-ending hell, but I persevered. I sweated like I haven’t sweat in months and I made my muscles nice and sore.

Kay was proud I made it through the whole spinning class when I texted him later and that I even have the willpower to get myself to the gym that early in the morning. And I have to say, there is something really satisfying about going to work at 8:45am and knowing that I am the only one in the office who has worked out for an hour already that day. Huzzah!