My Fitness Journey, Dealing with Injury, and My Current Training Schedule
As most of you know, I have been an athlete my whole life. I started playing sports competitively at the age of 5 all the way up until I was 22. After I graduated college in May 2014, I had a really hard time balancing life and fitness. Workouts and practice were always something that needed to be done and after college, I just wanted to take a break from all of it. I moved to a new city (Charlotte, NC) and was eating out almost every day and binge drinking 2-3x a week. By October 2014, I had gained about 25 pounds. I finally had enough and I decided that I needed to make health and fitness a priority.
A friend told me about Kayla Itsines’s BBG guide so I started to follow that program. I absolutely loved the guide and within 3 months I was back to my original weight. The guide is a lot of plyometric exercises 3x a week mixed with low intensity steady state cardio 3x a week, for those who aren’t familiar. When I started to get a little bored of the BBG guide, I started to run more which is when I also really started to develop a love for running (which was crazy because I used to HATE it). I did this for about a year, and two years ago today (November 14. 2015) I ran my first half marathon.
For the next year (November 2015-2016), I became a cardio queen and my workouts were focused solely on running half marathons and BBG (plyometric training). Unfortunately, running and jumping around like a crazy person with little mobility or strength training can only lead to one thing…injury. I ended up injuring my knee pretty badly and was told a.) I needed surgery and b.) No more running. For me (cardio queen) this was terrifying news. My initial reaction was panic: How am I going to stay in shape without running? What am I going to do? Am I going to get fat?
At this point in my life, I was living in Arlington, VA (I moved there briefly from June 2016-March 2017). I didn’t really know about any gyms in the area but I did know that a MADabolic had recently opened up down the street from me. I was familiar with them because they were based in Charlotte, NC and I had been to a few classes prior. For those who don’t know about MADabolic – they are an innovative interval driven strength and endurance based program. I started going to MADabolic in Arlington religiously after my knee injury. I talked to them about the issue and they helped me to modify any jumping exercises or exercises that caused my knee pain for the first few weeks. Within 3 months of no running and training there, my knee pain diminished. I actually gained more lean muscle and NO I didn’t get fat or get bulky.
With the help of my friends at MADabolic, I’ve learned how to nourish my body and how important food is for fuel. I’ve learned that there are other ways to get fit without running myself into the ground. I’ve learned that lifting weights doesn’t make you bulky. I truly love the program and believe 100% in it. I love that no two days are the same and I love that we aren't going 100% max effort every single day. We don't focus on how many calories we burn during a class or who is lifting the most weight.
Below is a routine idea of my training schedule. I always have one day of complete rest, either Wednesday or Sunday, and I like to throw in random workouts to switch it up but the one thing the does stay consistent is MADabolic.
My weekly workout schedule:
Wednesday: Off or Yoga
Friday: MADabolic or Random Workout (barre, spin, etc)
Sunday: Off or Yoga
Moral of the story: sometimes bad needs to happen before good can happen. If you’re going through a tough time right now whether it be dealing with an injury or health issue, know that things do get better. If anything, sometimes these bad things happen for a reason. I truly believe that my injury has led me to where I am today for a reason and looking back I’m thankful for that injury. Because of it, I decided to try something new.
You can choose whether to let your injury own or define you or you can choose to use your injury as a learning lesson and to help you grow. I don't know about you, but I'd choose the latter every single day.