The Ideal Workout Schedule

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I get a lot of questions about my workout schedule:

How often do I workout?

What do I do for my workouts?

How often do I repeat workouts?

Do I do more cardio or strength based workouts?

Today I will share all of the above and more.

I’m going to share with you a workout schedule that will create maximum fat burning (and therefore, weight loss) for moms and females, in general. It took me a long time to learn how to workout smart. Most people think they need to workout long to change their bodies and lose weight. NOT. TRUE.

Learn from me – I learned the hard way – over many years. Let me save you a few years….

I workout 5-6 days a week, usually 6. I have done this for the last 17 years. But, before that I worked out 0 days a week for 19 years. Yes, 0. The difference in my body = overweight/obese (age 10-19) VS. superstar triathlete/distance runner (age 23-32) VS. super strong athlete, packin’ major lean muscle (age 30-36.) The difference in my head = awkward/uncomfortable/nervous/fearful/anxious/depressed VS. confident/happy/proud/outgoing/open.

My workout regimen has changed dramatically over the years. I started out running to lose weight. I ran everyday. Everyday I tried to run farther and faster than the day before. It was PURE TORTURE. But I didn’t know any better and I was too scared to ask anyone for help. So I just kept running this tortured life plan until I couldn’t sustain it any longer. Luckily around the same time, I had some friends talk me into triathlon training. From there I started training running, biking and swimming. Often I did two workouts a day. More torture. But this was frequently with friends, which made it much more fun and less torturous.

When I went to school to become a trainer I could not do one single push up. I had never lifted weights and I had no upper body strength. I was blessed with strong legs that had run and biked many hills, so my lower body was already strong. But my core and upper body were just a mess of mush.

I was forced to start weight training, so I could become a trainer. It changed my body DRAMATICALLY. It also allowed me to cut WAAAAAAY back on cardio and get SMALLER. Putting on some lean muscle really changed the shape of my body and gave me so much more variety in my workouts schedule – something I really came to cherish.

Today, I do more weight training and metabolic conditioning (weights+cardio+intervals) than anything else. I do little to no “cardio” – unless I’m going for a run with a friend. Or training for a half marathon – which honestly has lost almost all appeal to me – even though my first half marathon was probably the single most defining moment in my life. I used to workout for up to 2 hours a day – unless I did hot yoga – those days were up to 3 hours a day. Now I workout for about 20-40 minutes a way. I’m definitely leaner now than when I worked out 2 hours a day.

For the most part I do not separate out my “cardio” days and “strength” days. I lift weights in a way that allows my strength training workouts to be very cardiovascular intensive. I do this by do exercises that use many muscle groups at once and I minimize rest between exercises. That allows me to get cardio everyday without ever having to be bored out of my mind on an elliptical.

My “cardio” days are now focused on performance, power and speed – not just putting in my time for X amount of minutes or X amount of miles. My cardio is so much more fun and refreshing this way. It also allows me to burn WAY more fat than 45 minutes of steady state cardio. I only do this kind of cardio about 2 days a week, for 20-30 minutes – rather than the 6 days a week I used to do of long, boring cardio.

I rarely repeat workouts. I mix it up ALL THE TIME. When I ran the same distance everyday at the same speed my body never changed. Now I do something different everyday and my body is always changing – getting stronger and leaner and better able to perform at a really athletic level, which makes me feel STRONG, POWERFUL, CAPABLE, FULL OF BADASSERY.

If you could be leaner and lighter and smaller in 20-40 minutes a day, would you do it? If you could stop repeating the same boring workouts over and over, would you do it? If you could have variety in your fitness that was actually fun, made you feel strong and powerful AND gave you the best body of your life, would you do it?

Most of you would. That is why so many of you are doing SuperMom Workouts right now. Our SuperMom program is based on all these principles. The principles I have spent 17 years figuring out – wow – I guess you could say I’m a slow learner. It’s more that I’m stubborn. For years I thought fat loss was about more cardio. That’s why I did so much distance running. That’s why I ran a full marathon. But was I ever WRONG. In fact, I had my body fat % tested before I started marathon training and after. I GAINED FAT, LOST MUSCLE AND GAINED WEIGHT DURING MARATHON TRAINING. And I was not happy about it. The proof is in the pudding. Long, steady state cardio DOES NOT burn fat. It burns muscle.

Here’s what my workout week looks like now:

Strength based workout (with built in metabolic conditioning)
Full Body OR Lower Body Focus
Click Here for Sample Workout

Cardio Interval/Performance Workout – Treadmill Intervals (could be done on any cardio equipment OR running outside – I just like the treadmill pushing my leg turnover)
Sample Workout:
Warm Up x 5:00/Run HARD x :30/Walk x :30/Repeat x 10/Cool Down

Strength based workout (with built in metabolic conditioning)
Full Body OR Upper Body Focus
Click Here for Sample Workout

Cardio/Power Workout – Hill Repeats

Strength based workout (with built in metabolic conditioning)
Full Body
Click Here for Sample Workout

Body Weight Intervals
Click Here for Sample Workout


Source: via Sara on Pinterest

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Henriettae on February 27, 2012 at 7:03 pm.

I love this! You are getting me so motivated to continue my work-outs as soon as this cold/sinuitis/conjunctivitis gets its hands off me!
Oh, and speaking of which – I know I should not workout when I have a bad cold and sore throat – but where do you draw the limit on when to work out? A bad headache? Slight nausea? I’d love it if you could do a post on this, or refer me to one if you’ve already written one and I’ve missed it!


Sara Dean on February 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm.

You should NOT workout if you have an upset stomach/fever/body aches – flu symptoms. You can typically workout with cold symptoms, just back off and listen to your body as needed. If you’re struggling with breathing/head congestion/chest congestion, you may need an extra rest day, though. You can always try and if you feel horrible after 5-10 min, it means you need a rest day!


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