Hello! I'm home from Jamaica! You can expect a full, sunny blog post all about my adventure very soon (cheeky little teaser above) but for now, let's talk beach bods! I’ve had quite a lot of emails/messages recently asking what I do at the gym/what I’ve been eating etc. Whilst I have done quite a few blog posts about this kind of stuff before, it seems that there are still a few unanswered questions so today I’ve decided to do a little update. My last ‘what I do at the gym post’ was back in March and I enjoy writing these posts because it actually helps me see my own progress. I do change what I eat and what I do at the gym on a weekly basis and I wanted to share what I’ve been doing recently with you. Everyone seems to be working towards their Summer bodies at the moment so hopefully this will help give you some tips/allow you to join me on my fitness journey! I would also like to say that for me, the most important thing isn't weight, it's about feeling healthy and happy and that's truly the reason why I exercise and eat healthy.
Fitspiration: My fitspiration changes on a daily basis, but I do think it’s quite important to have someone in mind, simply for motivational purposes. Everyone is different and my fitspiration/ideal body type may be very different to yours, (there is no ideal/perfect body type, everyone is built/born differently) at the moment, I am absolutely loving Millie Mackintosh’s figure and she’s hugely inspiring for me when it comes to working out - I will never be able to get her figure and to be honest, being that slim probably wouldn't suit me or ever work for me as I'm not built like that but I feel like having a fitspiration is something that gets me through going to the gym, that last minute on the treadmill, that last squat, I just imagine that person in my head and it helps me to power through. I am also loving how fit and healthy Sam Faier's looks recently (see left). I’ve also found following lots of fitness Instagram accounts very helpful, I follow a number of them (if you go on my Instagram you can see who I follow) and they regularly post healthy recipes/amazing photographs of their abs/at home workouts. If I’m sat eating a bar of chocolate and then one of their juicy, nutritious recipes pops up, or, their lean abs, I decide to put it down and go on a run. For me, little things like that really help. Instagram is your best friend when it comes to fitness inspiration.
Gym Kit: I really believe that having good gym kit enhances your work out. I got a new gym kit this month and it’s made working out so much more pleasant, I actually want to work out now. Above is a photo of my usual gym kit, I thought I’d discuss this too as quite a lot of people have asked me what I recommend as gym kit/gym clothes. I got my bag from ASOS here and I absolutely adore it.
Trainers: I’m writing about trainers first because personally I think they’re the most important part of the kit. I’ve done exercise before in trainers which aren’t designed for exercise and aren’t supportive enough. Doing this put me out of exercise for months because it damaged my ankle/foot. I know trainers are expensive, but they are more than worth the money - think of your health!
- Nike Free Runs: I couldn’t recommend these trainers more, they make you feel like you're running on air. I got my brother to scope out the best trainers for me (he’s good with stuff like that) and these are some of the best apparently. So good, that I now have three pairs and I’m hoping to expand my collection – I want a shelf full of colourful running trainers in order to inspire me to get out and be active! I can’t even remember what I used to work out in before these, I feel like they’ve revolutionzed my life. My first pair, the turquoise and pink ones are from Office but they’re sold out now, you can get similar online here and here. You can get some identical yellow ones in the sale here. My other two pairs are both from SportsShoes.com and I highly recommend this site to almost everyone I speak to. Everything is extremely well priced and they literally sell everything, you could get your whole kit for less than £100 which is brilliant. ASOS have a great selection of Nike Free Runs here and some are actually in the sale. You can also get some pretty funky ones online at Selfridges here but obviously, if you're stuck, just head straight to the Nike site here as they have the largest collection and anything you could ever wish for.
Below you can shop some of my favourite trainers:
- Running bottoms: I am glued to a pair of Nike running leggings that I bought well over a year ago from a Nike outlet store in York. You can find similar ones to mine online here and they are well worth the money. I actually wish I bought more than one pair as I have pretty much worn these out but I'm sure they'll still last me another few months. I love them because they’re comfortable but tight, I can’t even tell that I’m sweating in them. I like to wear something tight when doing exercise that sucks me in, I’m not sure why, it’s just a personal preference.
¾ Running Bottoms/Capris: I also have some tight, lycra Adidas running bottoms, these are ¾ length and I really like the material of these, they’re thinner than my Nike leggings and I’d probably say a little bit more breathable.
Shorts: I was always too scared to wear shorts (particularly because it means you need to shave your legs before the gym) but I started wearing my Adidas baggy pink shorts (also bought from an outlet store in York but similar for cheap here) about three months ago, when I became a little bit happier with my body (after a lot of leg work haha). I do feel like running in baggy shorts is so much comfier, you feel so cool and free, it’s really nice to run in them and you can see your leg muscles working really well, much more than when you’re wearing running leggings. I absolutely love these ones here (only £18.00) from ASOS. I recently also took the plunge, after being inspired by many Instagrammers pulling them off so well, and got some gorgeous Nike tight shorts from SportsShoes, I decided to get the tight shorts because they’re exactly the same as my Nike leggings but shorter, so I guessed they’d suck me in whilst running. I haven’t dared to wear them to the gym yet but I do like to wear them when exercising around my house. Again, SportsShoes do really good shorts at great prices and at the moment, ASOS have some amazing ones in the sale here. I do prefer working out in shorts now, it makes me feel a lot more free and comfy but obviously that's only in Summer!
A round up of my favourite running bottoms/shorts:
- Zaggora: In my first ever fitness post, I talked about how much I love Zaggora running bottoms. I do have a few pairs of these but I have stopped wearing them simply because I feel like they make my thighs look huge. They’re worth it though because they do make you burn more fat as they make you sweat more, so well worth looking into but personally, I just wear my Nikes now!
Sports Bras: I personally wear sports bras from Adidas, I have my eyes on some new ones actually from Nike but this has done a really good job. It sucks me in brilliantly and means that my boobs don’t budge when running. I’ve gone to the gym before and forgotten to put this on and literally not been able to do anything because my boobs wobble too much and it hurts (too much detail? Sorry). Again, I got this from an outlet store for around £10.00 and it’s lasted me well over a year as a nice sports bra/crop top. I don’t know how I’d live without one now. The durability/quality is amazing. Similar here online.
Some amazing sports bras below:
Some amazing sports bras below:
- Sports Tops: I like to just wear any old baggy top to the gym, I don’t have any specific gym tops, I just wear any baggy t-shirt over my sports bra. I often wear my black Beyonce tour t-shirt, a black MTV slogan vest, or a white slogan t-shirt that I have. They’re all baggy just because I feel more comfortable in them and find them much more breathable/cool.
Sports tops below online:
Remember though, there are no rules when it comes to gym kit, I’m sure you can get good gym kit which is cheaper, I personally just have always worn Nike/Adidas and I was asked to talk about what I wear.
I wrote a post all about what I’ve been eating to get in shape/stay in shape which you can read here.
Matcha tea: obviously, drinking lots of matcha tea, I usually drink this one from Selfridges here which is the cheapest I can find but when I go to cafes I always order the teapigs one.
I thought I'd add a little kind of, discussion about what matcha is because it's quite a new thing but it's so worth investing in some and I personally swear by it. Don't bother wasting your money on tea detoxes and stuff, just drink matcha and have a healthy diet. Everyone knows how good green tea is for you, but matcha is basically super green tea. It has 137 times the antioxidants of standard green tea, 70 times the antioxidants of orange juice and 9 times the beta carotene of spinach. I actually read somewhere that beta carotene makes you tan more when you go into the sunshine, so maybe that's why I went so brown this year on my holiday?! Basically, matcha tea is a superhero, if you drink it before going to the gym too it boosts your metabolism so you burn more calories naturally. It's all completely natural, just like green tea so it's perfectly fine for you to drink. You can buy the teapigs matcha set online here and you can get 10% off anything on the teapigs site (apart from matcha I'm afraid! Using code: em). Oh and the new matcha tea drinks from teapigs are possibly the nicest things ever (the apple and elderflower ones are my favourite and they're only £1.89! in comparison to the £3.50 that you pay for sugary bottled smoothies in supermarkets. I just wish I could find them around rather than having to get them online.
Water: I have also been trying to drink lots of water, I carry a 1.5L bottle of water around with me every day so that I drink it to make my bag lighter. It also means I can monitor how much water I’ve drank as I like to make sure I drink at least two full bottles a day (I’m so bad at drinking water). Everyone knows how good water is for your skin, hair, nails so I really try to keep drinking it to flush out any nasty toxins.
Wholemeal: I have still stuck to only eating wholemeal things, I even found wholemeal spaghetti the other day! I personally think wholemeal pasta and bread taste just as normal as white carbs but they don't make me feel as bloated.
Healthy snacks: I’ve been trying hard to curb cravings so instead of reaching for a packet of crisps I’ve been eating cereal bars, (healthy ones, I liked Nakd bars, fully natural and you can buy cases of them for cheap online here) and crackers with some cottage cheese on top.
Bananas: I follow a girl on Instagram called Lonijane and she swears by eating bananas, my recent sweet, healthy, easy banana ice cream recipe was inspired by her and I’ve been trying to have at least one a day to energise me and keep me full.
If in doubt, just have matcha. There are no 'quick fixes', I personally only believe in natural things, healthy eating and good exercise.
I apologise if the above photo is inappropriate but I guess it's just like wearing a bikini and I feel it shows my progress, also apologies for how messy my uni room is. Yuck, so happy to be home now!
Work out: So now we’ve got that out of the way, I thought I’d give you a little update on what I’ve been doing at the gym. You can read my blog post here to find out what I used to do in comparison to now. Please note, I am not saying any of this is right, this is just what I do. You can see my most recent progress photographs above.
Cardio: 20-30 minute cross trainer session or 20-30 minute session on the wave machine: I like to start with this just to get my body going and I tend to do this as interval training, so a minute working really hard then a minute just casually running.
- 20 minute run: I’ve now added running back into my routine, I was told that a 20 minute steady run will help me get my abs to where I want them to be as it burns fat obviously. I run on the treadmill anywhere between 11.5km/h-15 when I’m sprinting.
- Somedays I do 15 miles on the wave machine (it takes me about 35 minutes and burns 700+ calories) just because I get a bit carried away on it and enjoy how toned it makes my legs feel afterwards.
I do mix all of the above up, it really depends what kind of mood I’m in.
After the cardio work, as I mentioned in my first 'what I do at the gym post' I move onto weights. Weights are something that I only introduced to my fitness about a year ago and I’ve seen such a huge difference in my body since introducing them. As mentioned in my previous what I do at the gym post, I still start by using the abductor and the adductor machines, I also do the leg press, after this, I now move onto a machine which does my back and the top of my arms. Everyone says that these kind of machines aren't as good for you as just doing free weights so I then grab some little dumbbells (I'm currently in the process of buying my own for my house so I'll let you know how I get on with that in my next fitness post) and do a few lifts for my arms and squats with them. After this, I hit the mat section. I time myself on my phone and usually do around 2 minutes on each activity, these activities include lots of different squats, lots of pelvic floor/glute training things. I may film it all one day for you all as it's quite hard to explain in writing. Generally I spend about 15ish minutes on the mat section and it’s my favourite part of the work out. I like to end it doing a wall squat for a minute or two.
When I can’t get to the gym, I’ve been doing a work out or two on FitnessBlender which I found on YouTube, it’s absolutely amazing and burns so much.
You can read my simple guide to getting fit and healthy here if you missed that one too as that kind of gives some really easy, basic tips and tricks, as mentioned, I am not a professional, this is just what I do, I do not think my body is perfect, far from it but it's nice to share real progress with my readers.
Please do share your tips in the comments below or your progress!
Lots of love, Em x
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