Tag Archives: working out

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?


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?

A Healthy 2015

Hi folks. Pardon the lack of blogging lately! 2015 is shaping up to be a busy year and I haven’t had much time in the evening to write.

It’s been almost a year since I finally joined a gym and started going every weekday morning and almost a year since I had to quit gluten. After I pulled my back during our 2013 move and dealing with some lingering issues sitting in a chair at work all day, I decided to finally prioritize my health in 2014.

To be honest, I started stretching my hamstrings because I could not even bend over my sink while brushing my teeth without pain. I had to lean my arms on the sink itself to support myself while bending over. I was bending all wrong!

For the entire year, I practiced proper bending whenever I had a chance. Every time I bent to load the dishwasher, fold laundry or pick something up off the ground, I really tried to consciously utilize my hamstrings instead of forcing my back to do the work.

At night, I made extra effort to hold a strong stretch for 10-20 seconds while brushing my teeth. Slowly, slowly, I could reach a bit further until I finally touched the ground; First with my fingertips and now with my entire hand.

I have to say… I feel surprised, proud and impressed with my results. I could never touch my toes as a child, even in gym class at the age of 8, so to be able to put my entire palm on the ground really astounds me! I’m not sure if it is the gym, the gluten free-diet or both in addition to the stretching, but I’ll keep it up!

I plan to work more on my flexibility in the next year to improve it even more. Let’s see where I get by 2016!

Can you touch your toes?

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?

Zürich Gyms

I have been faffing about looking for a gym for several years now. After some back trouble following our move and evaluating my horrible posture sitting in a desk at work all day, I thought I should start taking fitness more seriously.

The truth is, I am terribly out of shape. I may be on the low end of the BMI scale, but I have no muscle mass, my flexibility is awful and my endurance is pitiful.

I have many excuses why I should not join a gym. There are none in the town I work in, so going during lunch like Kay isn’t an option. I’m worried that going in the morning is impossible and going after work will ruin my already pitiful social life. I like life right now.

I’m worried that if I gain more muscles I will start eating more and it will increase my grocery bill. Or I’ll lose weight and have to buy new clothes. I’m worried that whenever we move and have kids or whatever happens, I’ll just stop exercising and it will all have been for nothing… except a drain on my bank account.

If I start going to a gym, I’ll have to organize showering, changing clothes, and doing my hair and makeup before work outside the home. I’ll also have to organize how to keep my pack lunches cold because I normally just stick them in my purse for the ride to work. I’d have to organize a gym bag and shoes and workout clothes.

That sounds like a lot of BS. But I realize that I do need to start taking my health more seriously and that I am too much of a wimp to run every day or swim, especially when the weather is awful so much of the year. If am I going to commit to exercising regularly, I’m positive that I need access to a gym or it won’t happen.

TMLSS: I’m lazy and gyms are expensive. Here are my options:

Migros Fitness Park

Annual Membership:  1200CHF ($1341)
Opening Hours:
Weekdays: 8:00 – 22:00
Weekends: 9:00 – 20:00
Locations: Zürich city center, old town

None of the Fitness parks are in very convenient locations to public transportation. They are in good spots if you would live by them, but for people coming through Zürich they would be difficult to walk or take a tram to quickly. The best part about them is that they are open so late on the weekend. 24H gyms do not exist in this country.


Activ Fitness

Annual Membership:
1Y – 740CHF ($827)
2Y – 1280CHF ($1430 or $715 a year)
Opening Hours:
MWF: 09.00 – 22.00
TR:  6.30 – 22.00
Weekends and Holidays: 09.00 – 18.00
Locations: Zürich Central, Tiefenbrunnen and from Jan 31, Oerlikon

Activ fitness would be an all right option, but they are only open early two days a week. 9:00am is a bit too late to go to in the morning, even for locations that are closer to my workplace. I mean… I have to be at work at 9:00!

The central location is not that convenient for me in Zürich because it is not quick to get to from the main train stations. Really, every minute counts in the morning and a 5 minute walk vs a 15 minute walk is a huge difference, especially if it is a raining. Walking through the busiest part of the city with trams, buses, cars and people on the roads among the elements does not make the gym sound more attractive…

But Active is opening a new gym in Oerlikon at the end of this month. Shame is just that it is also going to have the same hours as the other gyms.

Intercity Card: Migros Fitness Park and Activ together

Annual Membership:  1420CHF ($1587)
Opening Hours:
MWF: 8:00 – 22:00
TR:  6.30 – 22.00
Weekends and Holidays: 9:00 – 20:00
Locations: Zürich Central, Tiefenbrunnen and from Jan 31, Oerlikon

The intercity card offers many gyms in the price of one, but the only ones around Zürich are Migros and Activ, so it’s like having a combined offer for those gyms. It’s such an expensive card though and it doesn’t really help you out on the early morning timings, so for me, it’s not worth the crazy price.

Kieser Training

Annual Membership:
1Y – 990CHF ($1106)
2Y – 1690CHF ($1889 or $945 a year)
2Y – 2290CHF ($2560 or $853 a year)
Opening Hours:
Weekdays: 6.30 – 21.00
Weekends and Holidays: 09.00 – 18.00
Locations: Zürich Enge, Hardbrücke, Oerlikon

Kieser is pricey but they have great hours and good locations. The gym is open early enough that I could go at either location before work easily. It maybe closes a little early, but I honestly don’t think you would catch me staying at the gym until 10pm during the week and the weekend hours are decent.

I’m not sure if it is worth signing on for a 3 year membership to get the lower price though. That is a huge commitment!


Annual Membership:  699CHF ($781) plus a one time registration fee of 59CHF ($66)
Opening Hours: (depending on location)
Weekdays: 06:30 – 22:00
Weekends: 9:00 – 18:00
Locations: Zürich Bellevue, Wipkingen, Langstrasse, Badenerstrasse

I believe annual fee for Silhouette is usually around 1000CHF. They are having a special right now for an 899CHF introductory membership, but I can get a discount through Kay to have a membership for 699CHF. I’m strongly considering it because it is a great price compared to the others, but I am hesitating a little.

The Bellevue location has great hours, but the Wipkingen location is only open 9:00am – 9:30pm.  It doesn’t make a huge difference, but it’s nice to have options since Wipkingen is a bit more convenient to get to from home than Bellevue.

Update Fitness

Annual Membership:  690CHF ($771)
Opening Hours:
Weekdays:  08.00 – 9:30pm
Saturday: 09.00 – 17.00
Sundays and holidays: 09.00 – 14.00
Locations: None in Zürich

Yes, I know it’s not in Zürich, but this gym is so cheap! It also has a handy “stop card” for 90CHF that lets you pause your membership while you are away on holidays, which could be handy for people who want to switch to running and swimming outdoors in the summertime.

However it’s not really in the direction of work and it’s not open early enough to go to before work, so it’s out of the running. The weekend hours, especially Sunday, kind of stink though. It closes at 14:00? I would always be stressed to get up and get ready to go before it closed.


Annual Membership:
1Y – 1040CHF ($1162)
2Y – 1750CHF ($1956 or $978 a year)
3Y 2250CHF ($2515 or $838 a year)
Opening Hours:
Weekdays: 07:00–22:00
Weekends: 09:00–18:00
Locations: Zürich downtown, Zürich Oerlikon

The Zürich downtown location is sort of close to the main train station, but would probably be a time hog to walk and from in the morning on the way to work. The Oerlikon location is closer to the train station, but it opens slightly too late for me to go for an hour, shower and then get to work on time. It is also a bit too expensive for my taste.

I think Exersuisse is a gym I might have joined in Luzern if I worked there longer because it would have been convenient to have access to the Exersuisse locations outside of the Zürich region. For people commuting longer distances, it is worth looking up gyms with widespread locations included in the membership package. Not all gyms are cross-cantonal and not all gyms include membership access in the different cities.

My problem in deciding which gym to go to is that I cannot decide where it should be in relation to work and home.

If the gym could be close enough to work that I could go there during lunch, that would be perfect. But a gym like this does not exist, so if the gym is close to work, but not home… I would probably never go on the weekends.

I am guessing that it would probably work best to go to a gym that is closer to home so that I have the weekend option, but if the gym does not open up early enough then I cannot go before work, which also cuts down on how often I can go and for how long.

I thought of joining one vaguely close to work, but it was over $1500 a year, which I thought was a bit excessive since I still wouldn’t be able to go at lunchtime with the distance.

With all the options, I keep procrastinating on choosing!

How much do gyms in your area cost?