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One Workout Away

You know that saying, “You’re only one workout away from a good mood?” I experienced that in a major way last Thursday. I was scheduled to teach BodyPump at the Y but I came up with a list of reasons why I didn’t want to teach and even sent out a last minute sub request.

1) I’m too tired.
2) I am too stressed about work and shouldn’t leave to go teach.
3) I have a headache.
4) I have social plans tonight and no time to get everything done, teach and make it out with my friends.
5) I’ve done too much CrossFit this week.

No one was available to sub my class so I sucked up my bad attitude, got my work and life stuff organized and headed over to the Y to teach BodyPump 83.

I walked into the gym and gave my co-instructor a hug and was almost on the verge of tears because of my general exhaustion and headache but then I looked up and saw 30 students ready to sweat and work hard and I realized that whatever I was dealing with didn’t matter. I was there to teach them and give them the experience they came for. And wouldn’t you know that by the time warm up was over and we made it to the squat track that I was smiling and my headache had dissipated.

When I took over teaching at the halfway point I was back to my normal, over enthusiastic self and remembered why I’ve shown up every Thursday for the past three years to teach BodyPump. It’s so much fun and a killer workout! I’m really digging BodyPump 83…especially back and hamstrings, lunges and shoulders.

Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish whether you really need a rest day or are avoiding working out for whatever reason. It’s easy to find excuses not to workout but would say that I almost always feel better mentally and physically if I can find a way to get it done (this is of course excluding scheduled rest days – those are good!). Getting through BodyPump last week totally turned my entire day around. I was so stressed about work and feeling overwhelmed and teaching put me in a totally different place. I walked in mopey and dragging and left smiling and full of energy.

Is this true for you too? Does working out elevate your mood and energy when you’re having a rough day?

And a few things to share from today…

Breakfast after teaching a yoga private was overnight oats and coffee.

I took a yoga class midday and it completely crushed my soul. I was ready to refuel when I got home for lunch. I sauteed Β chard with olive oil and then topped it with reheated ristotto. I mixed chopped artichoke hearts and leftover grouper and topped it with feta and added some sliced avocado on the side for extra fat/staying power.

A couple of hours later I had a peanut butter and banana protein shake. Sullie was very hopeful that I would share but she was out of luck!

I taught a circuit training class at the gym this afternoon and we did a little “Tabata Tuesday.” Since it’s all bodyweight exercises, I thought I’d share it with you guys. Tabata workouts are meant to be very high intensity. You go as hard as you can for 20 seconds, rest for 10 and then repeat for 6 or 8 total rounds before moving to the next exercise. So you would do all 6 or 8 sets of burpees before moving on to flutter kicks. Let me know if you have questions about any of the movements.

Off to teach yoga. I’m a little teaching machine today. Y’all have a good night!

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • Mickelle October 23, 2012, 6:12 pm

    This is SO true for me. Working out totally determines my mood for the day. I am actually having one of those days today and have to teach Booty Barre tonight, this post is just what I needed to read, thanks Jen!

    • Jen October 23, 2012, 7:41 pm

      yay! good luck and go rock it!

  • meghan@strugglemuffins October 23, 2012, 6:17 pm

    Love this! I feel like that’s always the way – the times you least feel like doing it, but suck it up and do it anyway, end up having the best results, mood-wise at least. Seeing your students ready to rock is always a game changer, glad it turned your day around πŸ™‚

    • Jen October 23, 2012, 7:42 pm

      i am always so inspired by my students. they seriously can totally change my attitude and get me out of my own head.

  • Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin October 23, 2012, 6:20 pm

    I completely agree that working out, especially the days I am trying to come up with any excuse not to, totally turns the day around for the better. Especially when I get home from work exhausted and grumpy, if I somehow get myself out the door for a run I don’t think there is ever a time I’ve regretted it.

    • Jen October 23, 2012, 7:43 pm

      i agree that running is such a good transition from work grumpiness to happy to be home and relaxed! it can just be hard to motivate yourself to get out of the door!

  • jennyv October 23, 2012, 6:38 pm

    Tabata is deceivingly hard (unless you’ve done tabata workouts before, then you know it’s painful!) I’m sure those push-ups at the end were tough after starting off with burpees too. πŸ™‚

    • Jen October 23, 2012, 7:43 pm

      they were definitely exhausted at the end!

  • Trish October 23, 2012, 6:46 pm

    Working out DEFINITELY elevates my moods. That’s one of the reasons I do it.

    And I have to say I don’t like Tabata workouts. when I first started with crossfit my arms would swell from push up tabatas, to the point that it wasn’t comfortable to hold the phone up to my ear – I had to use my right hand to hold the phone to my left ear. I don’t like it when a workout leaves me so sore that I really have trouble doing anything effective (especially when there’s nothing good on TV).

    • Jen October 23, 2012, 7:45 pm

      it’s so interesting to me how people vary with the workout intervals they like. i have some that beg to do tabata and hate doing 60 seconds on. it totally depends on the person…some people are better at short bursts and others prefer longer more sustained intensity.

  • Brooke @ sweats & sweets October 23, 2012, 7:29 pm

    I find that working out when I don’t want to the most always cheers me up immediately after. Thats the only time I feel the effects of a great workout on the mood. I love it. The natural remedy to cure the blues.

  • Claire October 23, 2012, 8:00 pm

    Such a great post. I am 26 weeks pregnant and have a very full yoga teaching load and some days I can’t be bothered! But the energy in the room and my awesome students never fail to make my day. I try to get my own practice or a workout in before hand so I have that boost. Love your blog, thank you.

  • Danielle October 23, 2012, 8:09 pm

    Oh my goodness…what do you mean the yoga class crushed your soul?? I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced that!

  • Parita @ myinnershakti October 23, 2012, 8:25 pm

    I feel so proud of myself when I workout and my heart and soul aren’t into it. It’s a feeling of overcoming my own mental block and just sheer accomplishment. But I agree that scheduled rest days are most welcome!

  • Paige @ The Balancing Act October 23, 2012, 9:25 pm

    You bet…Workouts can totally turn my day around! What I’ve been focusing on lately is not beating myself up when I go into a workout hoping for a pick-me-up and then end up struggling through the session. I tell myself that I’ll only let workouts make my day better, not worse! So I think, “Hey, I gave it my best when I could have just given up.”

    I’m going through some injuries now but can’t WAIT until I can finally do Body Pump again! Release 83 sounds really fun.

  • Lauren K October 23, 2012, 10:08 pm

    Well, I didn’t know you were posting about this and I felt that way today. I was feeling super lazy and wanted to just eat candy and drink wine. Turns out yoga was needed and a perfect break before the wine and candy!

  • Courtney @ Cookin Up Life October 23, 2012, 10:56 pm

    It totally will boost my mood πŸ™‚ And when I don’t do my regular Crossfit schedule (4-5 days a week) I feel weird… I like soreness ha! Have a great Wednesday!!

  • Jess October 24, 2012, 6:12 am

    I *always* feel better for a workout, specifically a run. Exercise is crucial for me with regard to managing severe depression, anxiety, and a chronic binge eating disorder. Without it I fall apart, I cannot concentrate or function, and I will literally spend the whole day in bed in tears unless I get in a workout first thing as a mood booster. Running surpasses all other types of exercise for some reason, but I love a good Body Pump class too (Body Attack is my favourite Les Mills class though).

    We actually like the same tracks in 83 – shoulders and back are absolutely brilliant this release, and I love the plyo elements of the latest lunge tracks. Not so keen on biceps and triceps though, and the chest track is really dull compared to the last release. Oh well, can’t win ’em all – at least I know I have shoulders to look forward to at the end!

    I don’t want to sound creepy but you are such a role model for me – I’ve been stuck in a field I hate for four years and I am weeks away from finally starting to train to teach Pump, and hopefully eventually spin and Attack as well. For once I am excited about something in my life and it’s been reading your blog (and also STUFT Mama’s) that has finally given me the push to change something in my life.


  • Holly October 24, 2012, 8:24 am

    This is so true “Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish whether you really need a rest day or are avoiding working out for whatever reason.”

    If doing the workout is going to cause me more stress and anxiety… I usually won’t. Or sometimes it’s that whole cliche “listen to your body” thing. I slept awful last night and it just was not in me to do a morning workout today.

  • Bess @ Bess Be Fit October 24, 2012, 9:23 am

    I just did BodyPump 83 on Monday for the first time…It was killer in a good way! I may try your tabata workout on Friday, I will let you know how it goes! Looks tough πŸ™‚ Have a great day!

  • Kerry @ Totes My Oats October 24, 2012, 9:53 am

    I totally believe in the whole “You are one workout away from being in a good mood thing” unless your body is in physical agony or something! Usually, I am so thankful I pushed myself to start a workout and feel great afterwards.

  • Suze October 24, 2012, 10:08 am

    Ah, it’s nice to nice to hear inspiring people have their off days too. πŸ™‚

    I’ve gotten pretty good at being on ‘auto-pilot’ when I get home and shift into time to work out mode. I found whenever I gave too much thought to working out (or sometimes anything really lol)- that’s when I’d get anxious and talk myself out of it. *So cliche* but I’m realizing with my personality, if I stay in the moment, not 10 steps ahead of myself mentally, I get more accomplished and feel so much better.

  • Melissa October 24, 2012, 10:41 am

    This is so true! I was feeling crummy last night & forced myself to go to BodyPump and I’m glad I did. Our instructor makes the class so much fun and she always tries to get everyone to push themselves. I felt so much better (and stronger!) after class.

  • Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes October 24, 2012, 12:51 pm

    Usually, when I feel too stressed/tired/lazy, those are the days I need to workout the most. There’s nothing like an endorphin-induced high to turn your day around. πŸ™‚

  • Erika October 24, 2012, 2:03 pm

    I keep seeing Tabata workout but I have yet to do one. I really want and this one seems perfect. So, if the workout is only 20ish minutes than is that all you do for a workout? I am use to taking classes that are an hour long. Also, what exactly are Broad Jumps – I think I can guess but want to make sure.

    When I don’t feel like working out I start anyways and usually end up being totally into it and feeling better, but if I’m still not feeling it 10 minutes into it than I will stop as it’s not meant to be that day.

  • Laura October 24, 2012, 2:42 pm

    Where all do you teach yoga right now? Would love to take a class of yours!

  • Lauren @YoungNester October 24, 2012, 5:49 pm

    I am right there with you! Working out completely determines how the rest of my day will go. When I switched from working out at night to working out in the morning, it was life changing. I still enjoy working out at night occassionally but the morning is where it’s at for me.

  • Sara October 24, 2012, 8:16 pm

    What is a good at-home substitute for pull ups? I have resistance bands and weights. This looks like a great work out to do at home either before work or when I get home and don’t want to leave the house again, but still want to sweat. Thanks!

  • Kelli Preston October 25, 2012, 11:31 am

    I could not relate more to this post. I had a rough morning yesterday and wanted to come home and sulk, but I was only a few blocks away from my gym, so I went. After my workout I was a new person. That workout totally turned around my day. I am bookmarking this post for the days I want to bid adieu to my daily workout due to a funk I am in.

  • Michelle D October 26, 2012, 4:11 pm

    Jen I can completely relate! Last night was my 5th Body Pump (83) class in six days due to launches in multiple gyms. One thing for sure, I know that choreography well! I, too, asked for a sub for last night’s pump class and had to put on my big girl pants and go for it. What a reward at the end. I even had that pep talk on way to gym in my head, reminding me that these folks are looking forward to their workout so snap out of it! πŸ™‚

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