Now, before I get into who inspired me to change my body, I want to give you some background on my workout routine prior to discovering this person.
I was going to the gym on a regular basis (about 5-6 times a week), simply lifting weights and sprinkling in the occasional cardio sessions. But let me tell you, friend, I WAS SO BORED and also was reaching a plateau in my fitness.
So I did some digging on the Internet and found Sarah’s Day, a health and fitness YouTuber.
She was the first person to introduce me to the most effective workout I did to change my body: HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training).
These super intense HIIT workouts seemed so different than the typical weight lifting sessions I was doing and actually looked, dare I say it, FUN.
So, I started to follow her workout videos. After about a month or so, I started to feel more comfortable with this style of exercising and began to write my own HIIT workouts!
In just 3 short months, my body changed A LOT. Here are the progress pictures down below!
Psst… Stay tuned for another progress picture A YEAR after doing these HIIT workouts 😉
The difference between these two pictures still boggles my mind to this day. This just shows that the most effective workoutthat you can do to change your body in such a short amount of time is HIIT!
I also want to say that my fitness goal was never to lose weight. I just wanted to become leaner and feel more comfortable in my own skin.
But in doing so, I ended up going from 130 lbs (the first picture) to 118 lbs (the second picture), and I’m pretty proud of that!
Now, let’s get into what my exact workout routine looked like!
MY WORKOUT ROUTINE THAT CHANGED MY BODY
Okay, now into the FUN STUFF!
Now that you know what type of workout I did to transform my body, let’s talk about my exact workout routine.
I want to start off by saying that HIIT workouts are extremely intense and require high energy in such a short amount of time, which is why I think this is the most effective workout. But, because it places a crazy amount of stress on your body, they are not intended to be done every single day.
So, I did HIIT 3 times a week with 1 weight lifting session. My workout schedule looked like this for 3 months:
Saturday: Weight lifting
Now, the weight lifting sessions would often fluctuate between Saturday and Sunday, but nonetheless, I made sure that I could include at least one in per week!
Another important factor to doing HIIT workouts is having an adequate amount of rest days. I believe that without this, HIIT can’t be as effective as it is meant to be. If you want to learn more about HIIT, you can check out this article on 10 easy tips on how to do HIIT.
At the beginning (I would say for the first month or so), each HIIT session was about 20-30 minutes long. I would be sweating up a storm (I know, gross but necessary) and could not go any longer because of how intense these exercise workouts were.
But, if you are looking at how to build muscle (and I mean lots of this), I would just try incorporating 1 HIIT workout and more lifting sessions per week!
So now that you know about my workout schedule, let’s move on to what exercise workouts I did!
Alright so now we know about my workout routine, let’s talk workout exercises!
Most of my HIIT workouts were a combination of bodyweight exercises, as well as weighted exercises.
But some days I focused ONLY on bodyweight exercises for my HIIT workouts, making them more cardio-based, and other days I focused on incorporating some weights, such as medicine balls!
Before you ask, YES, the bodyweight-only exercises would leave me SO SORE the next day (never underestimate these types of workouts)!
Also, at this time, I stopped having days dedicated to abs and instead, added some core exercises into the HIIT workouts! I think this helped me a TON in mixing things up since I tend to get bored easily from ab exercises.
As you can see, the structure of my workouts was very fluid, however, most of them worked my full body.
This was very different from my previous workout split when I was working out certain muscle groups on different days.
Now, you’re probably wondering, did I gain any muscle doing HIIT but only having one day dedicated to lifting?
And the answer to this is YES!! 100% yes!
HIIT is not only a fat-burning exercise, but it also is great for muscle gain! The trick to this is including some weighted exercises. You have to mix in some weighted exercises to build lean muscle.
Okay, now is the moment we have all been waiting for.
Here is a picture of me after doing HIIT for 1 year!
Let me go into detail with how I was able to achieve this even past the 3-month mark!
HOW I WAS ABLE TO KEEP GOING AND CHANGE MY BODY PAST 3 MONTHS
So once the 3 months had passed, I was really happy with my body, but I knew I couldn’t just give up now.
After the 3-month mark, summer was over and school was starting. The beginning of the school year is always SO busy and I was just getting into my junior year (aka a really hard year for most students).
That year, I was balancing being a full-time student taking the hardest classes of my life, working 20 hours a week, interning another 4-8 hours per week, and being on my sorority’s executive council.
So how the heck was I going to fit 3-4 workouts per week without feeling physically and mentally drained?
The answer to this, my friends, was F45.
WHAT IS F45?
F45 is a 45-minute functional HIIT and circuit training workout class that is meant to improve your strength and endurance!
My school had just added this new class to the on-campus gym (which also happens to be the place that I was working at during this time, making it a lot easier for me to go) and was encouraging all students to try it out.
So, I did!
And let me just say how much my life has changed since taking these classes.
This workout class helped me to not only keep progressing in changing my body, but it also helped me to maintain since I had already started my journey 3 months prior to my school offering this class.
F45 was basically the style of workouts I was doing over the summer, but now, someone was directing me through it.
The only thing I had to worry about was simply showing up for the class!
The best of both worlds, right?
So during this school year, I would do 3 F45 classes, 1 weight lifting session, 2 cardio kickboxing classes, and 2 tennis practices each week.
Wow, now that I’m saying that out loud, I think I sound absolutely crazy.
But here’s the thing: I LOVED IT.
I loved the feeling of accomplishment after each workout even though it was hard and tiring at times. This kind of motivation is what kept me going strong to stay fit while also transforming my body!
I’m not going to lie to you, there were weeks where it was extremely tough. Midterms and finals week, busy sorority weekends, hectic family get-togethers all were still on my plate during this time.
But I still kept going and want to tell you that YOU CAN TOO.
SO HOW CAN THIS HELP YOU?
By sharing this with you, I want to inspire you to work towards your health and fitness goals. If telling you my fitness journey helps and guides you through yours, then that’s more than I could have ever wanted from this post!
But I want to take it 1 step further with you and leave you with a FREE HIIT WORKOUT!
Yep, I’m going to be sharing with you the most effective workout that really changed my body!
Go ahead and try it out and hopefully you’ll be able to feel that sense of accomplishment I was talking about earlier that kept me going!
This one is going to be INTENSE.
So grab your towel and headphones to blast that workout playlist of yours because we are about to #shred! Great news about this workout is that it can all be done at home, no fitness equipment needed!
Round 1: 60 seconds on, 20 seconds off
Round 2: 45 seconds on, 15 seconds off
Round 3: 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off
Round 4: 20 seconds on, 5 seconds off
Round 5: 20 seconds on, 5 seconds off
Burpee with 4 shoulder taps
Plank (Here’s that exercises for abs)
Burpee with 4 squat pulses
Sit up with inchworm
180 jump squats
Skis with hop
Russian Twists (oh look, another ab exercise)
Star jump squats
2 tuck jumps into 10 mountain climbers
NOW YOU HAVE LEARNED WHAT THE MOST EFFECTIVE WORKOUT WAS THAT TRANSFORMED MY BODY!