Today I'm finally sharing my shoulder workout. Several of you have asked to see what I do when I workout, which is super flattering so thank you! I'm no pro but have been lifting heavy weights for about a year and a half. Prior to that, I was all about classes and cardio but for the first time in my life, lifting weights has shown me that you can change your body through exercise. It's amazing to see little muscle slowly starting to pop (under a little layer of dessert, albeit!) after all the hard work.
I'm no expert, but with the help of my boyfriend, a few friends and various fitness apps and YouTube videos, I've learned quite a bit. I also wanted to show you how you can do this workout without a gym membership but with some simple free weights you could purchase for your home.
Finally, I aim to do five different exercises, for the specified body part, and I aim for three sets of each with 10 reps. Remember, form is most important so if you're losing form, your weight is too heavy. It's better to have great form with a slightly lower weight to build your muscles and avoid injury--as time goes on, you will be able to lift heavier.
When I'm doing push-ups on a regular basis, I can do as many as 12 in a row... however, when I'm slacking, 5 from my toes is a struggle! My suggestion is to always start from your toes, even if it's just one, you did it! From there, you can go down to your knees and finish your set. Remember: something is better than nothing.
Don't be afraid to lift heavy weights. Yes, you will build muscle, but the only way to toned muscles (besides what you're eating) is to build them. I find heavy weights give me the best results. One of the best pieces of advice I read was that by the 7th or 8th rep, you should be having a hard time finishing your set--ie. a few grunts and funny faces are actually a good thing! So don't be afraid to push it 'as hard as a man would'.
Planks are my nemesis! They are so brutal, yet are really a total body workout. I often do these in between sets to 'super set' my workout (i.e. keep the heart rate up). Set the timer on your phone and set a goal. For me, it's at least one minute, but you can do more or less and work your way up.
When I was in Barbados, one of my friends and I did a 'Plank Challenge' where we planked everyday, twice a day. We started with one minute, and added 10 seconds each day. It was killer but after that minute and a bit is over, you feel pretty darn good and you can feel a little more confident in your clothes (or swimsuit!).
Photos by Serena Rivard.