Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My Workout Routine & Favorite Exercises

Southern Curls and Pearls workout
Sports bra workout tank
Best Nike tennis shoes for running

Zella workout brand

Southern Curls and Pearls fitness plan
 neon sports bra (wearing size small) // striped white tank
cropped leggings (wearing XS, comes in several patterns) // Rayban sunglasses (on sale!)

 Today's post is one that I've been meaning to do for a while. Last week when I asked for Q&A questions, you guys had so many just on my workouts/workout routine that I wanted to dedicate an entire post to it! Here were a few questions asked by readers:

*What is your workout routine and how often do you workout??
I go to Pure Barre three times per week and then do a few short workouts on my own throughout the week (whenever I can fit them in.) My favorite workouts to do on my own are HIIT workouts on the treadmill.

*What is Pure Barre and how hard is it?
Pure Barre is a 55-minute workout class that uses the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements. They are the hardest workout classes I've ever taken in my life! Each class is split into sections: warm-up, thighs, butt, abs and arms. The point is to work the muscle to exhaustion, so you'll find that your muscles shake throughout class (that means you're doing it right!). There is definitely a learning curve associated with Pure Barre... for the first couple classes, the teacher had to correct me what felt like a billion times, and I would walk out of class feeling like my legs were jello. It does get easier the longer you've been doing it, because your muscles get stronger. Pure Barre is the only workout class that I've really seen results from. After just three classes I saw definition in my abs, something that I've never gotten from any other workout class. My butt has also gotten bigger and is more "lifted." The reason I love Pure Barre is that, unlike other programs, t it works to develop long, lean muscles like a ballerina. 

*What do you wear to Pure Barre?
Pure Barre requires that you wear pants/leggings that come below your knee. This pair of leggings is my favorite pair in the world - I have a couple pairs and I also wear them in the fall/winter with oversized sweaters. Pure Barre also requires that you wear socks - this pair has little grippers on the bottom that make it much easier to workout since you're on carpet the entire class. Trust me you will want them when you're planking and doing push-ups! I throw on a sports bra and top combo to complete the outfit. I never wear makeup to class (you're just going to sweat it off! Plus it could clog your pores) and I usually braid my hair, which is better for it than pulling it into a tight ponytail.

*What exercises do you do for your thighs and legs? Are there any exercised to keep your legs toned but not bulky?
There is a whole section of Pure Barre class that's dedicated to thigh work, but I don't do any special thigh workouts on my own. A lot of women really love spin classes, but I actually think these types of workouts can make your thighs/quads/butt bulky. Spin classes also hurt my knees so I stay away from them! I think the best workout for toned legs is actually running. I love to go on a run at least a couple times per week, whether it's jogging a couple miles in the early morning, or hitting the treadmill in the afternoon. 

*What are your favorite exercises to do on your own?
I mentioned HIIT workouts on the treadmill - these are amazing if you are short on time but still want to get a good workout in and boost your metabolism for the next 24 hours. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training and involves running really fast for one minute, then walking for one minute, then running again. Here's a typical HIIT workout for me:

Minutes          Speed         Incline
0-2              4 mph           1.0
2-4              6 mph           1.0
4-5              7 mph           1.0
5-7              4 mph           1.0
7-8              8 mph           1.0
8-10             4 mph          1.0
10-11          8.5 mph        1.0
11-13          4 mph           1.0
13-13:3       9 mph          1.0
13:30-15       4 mph         1.0
15-15:45     10 mph          1.0
15:45-17        4 mph         1.0
17-17:30        9 mph         1.0
17:30-20       4 mph          1.0

If it's your first time doing one of these types of workouts - take it easy! Your body has to work up to this. I also like doing planks for one minutes, sets of push-ups, tricep dips and calf raises. 

YouTube videos are also a great resource for workouts. My favorite videos (which you have heard me talk about before if you've followed me long enough) are the "8 Minute" series. 8 Minute Abs is an amazing ab workout, and I do 8 Minute Arms with a set of three pound weights for arms. I really like to utilize these when I'm traveling because they are short but offer a really good workout, and you don't need a lot of extra equipment.

*How do you keep your motivation on healthy eating and exercise on those days that you don't feel in the mood to workout?
When I don't workout, I notice that I have mood swings, low energy and increased anxiety. Working out helps with all three: my mood is better, I have more energy and less anxiety. This is enough to motivate me even when I don't want to work out!! (Especially the anxiety part: I hate getting anxiety and working out helps me feel so much better mentally.) Sure it can be hard to wake up early sometimes, but I always, always, always feel 100 times better after I work out. That feeling is what keeps me motivated!

Being active has been a huge part of my lifestyle ever since I was young. My parents put me in tennis, soccer, ice skating, dance and gymnastics, so I grew up being active. When you're adult, it's not as easy... no one drives you to workout classes or tells you what to do. You really have to find a routine and schedule that works for you and your body. Some of you may not like Pure Barre and that is totally fine - maybe boxing classes are a better fit, or joining a running club, whatever works for you and keeps you motivated.

I have found that the combination of working out while also eating fresh, whole foods and limiting processed foods is what really makes a difference in my body and is when I feel my best. At the end of the day, it's not really about appearance - it's about feeling your best, mentally and physically. This enables you to go out and conquer your world!

On another note, tomorrow is the start of the NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE! Check out my guide on how to shop the sale HERE and check back here first thing tomorrow for a very exciting surprise ;)



  1. Loved this post--I'm always looking for fitness inspo! And your work-out gear is so cute!

  2. Love your approach to healthy lifestyle! I also workout 3 times per weak, eat healthy and organic produce and I also think that the cute workout outfit is always a nice addition to the whole part of "making myself get up early" and go for workout. :)

  3. I highly recommend the 8fit app if you are unable to go to a gym, it's amazing!

    Kendal // Life With Kendal

  4. I'm loving the workout look! Pure Barre is seriously amazing and I've never liked workout classes!

    xo, Nina
    Law of Fashion Blog

  5. I like easy toning workouts for the days I don't go to the gym, a little something always helps and it makes me feel better!
    MariaOnPoint | Find me on IG

  6. Such a great post!

  7. I've been wanting to try a barre workout class for a while now, especially since I used to be a dancer! I'll have to give it a try this summer!
    -Angela & Amy

  8. Love this post! I've really gotten into running the past year and a half and am always looking for new workouts to change things up. Also, I have been dying to try Pure Barre! I danced growing up and this has always sound so interesting to me!
    Amy | Pastel N Pink

  9. Such great tips. I always love hearing about what others' workout routines are.


  10. Thank you for sharing! I want to check out the PB classes:P

    Shall We Sasa

  11. Love those leggings, the print is awesome!


  12. Love your workout outfit! My sister recently started Pure Barre and is loving it. I might have to give it a try!

    Carrie |

  13. I work at our local Pure Barre and LOVE it! So glad you hear you're a PB girl too!

    Cathy, your Poor Little It Girl

  14. I have just started getting into the habit of working out and eating healthy, whole foods, so I absolutely LOVED this post!!

  15. I'm considering signing up for some sort of class this year and hadn't looked into Pure Barre, so this is helpful! Great tips and cute workout gear! x

    Jen | affecionada

  16. What a great post! You're totally right that it's so important to do what works for your body! Barre classes area so awesome and really show you instantaneously where you need to work more! lol at least for me! Hope you have a great day! XO


  17. Great read and love you workout outfit! The neon sports bra is so cute #need ! Lol


  18. I keep on trying Pure Barre but for some reason can't get into it like my best friends have. But I have heard that you need to do it a few times in a row to really figure it out, so many I will try a couple times a week to see if that does the trick. Your sports bra is awesome!

  19. HIIT workouts are the best!! Thanks for sharing all of that! You always look so fit.

    Sara Kate Styling

  20. As I've been looking for better workout gear, this post was amazing! Thank you for sharing :)

  21. Super cute workout gear! I keep telling myself that I need to start working out, thanks for the motivation.

  22. Thank you for writing this! I definitely need some inspiration to get back into a workout routine...

  23. Loved reading this! I started doing Pure Barre this summer and I'm hooked already! Definitely the hardest workout I've ever done but so worth it!


  24. Thanks for all the tips! I'm going to try your HIIT interval tonight at the gym, it's time to switch up my usual run!

  25. Love this workout routine. Thank you for sharing this and I love you workout leggings!

  26. Your workout clothes are SO cute! I especially love the way you brought out the lime green in your leggings with that sports bra!

    K & I have been wanting to try a Pure Barre class for SO long. We even purchased a Groupon for Cardio Barre & never went because we were too nervous to be shaky! Time to get over that fear & accept the things we cannot change ;)

    xo, B&K

  27. I love that bright sports bar! Great workout ideas, too!


  28. Awesome post ! Thanks for sharing

  29. Thank so much for sharing and the reminder on why working is so great! I totally agree on that anxiety point, helps me out too!. I use to go to Bar Method (same thing, different name) and I loved the workout! I will say for those looking for something to wear to classes like this I would recommend Marika leggings (plus you can find this brand at TJMaxx). My new obsession right now is bike riding! :-)

  30. Love this post! And I loooove your outfit <3 Thanks for the links... In fact I never heard of pure barre before. But it sounds like so much fun. Definitly will try this for my own :)

    Love, Lale

  31. Thank you for share your motivation with us! It was a great thing for me!
    Best regards!

  32. The bell sleeve dress and Vincent Camuto lace-up pumps! I LOVE the color of the dress!!

  33. Thanks for sharing- can't wait to try this workout!


  34. Thanks for sharing- can't wait to try this work-out!


  35. Love this giveaway and all your posts! Thanks for sharing!

  36. LOVE the leopard lace up flats, perfect for work and play!!

  37. I just stumbled across your blog and love it! I've always been too nervous to try Pure Barre. I think I need to, I'm just so painfully uncoordinated. Thanks for the motivation!

  38. Loved reading this. Please check out my latest fashion post called From Online To West London!

    Kisses xo | From Aliona With Love

    Instagram @alionawithlove

    Twitter @alionawithlove

  39. Love this! I used to figure skate when I was younger so I only knew how to work out for that. It took me a while to figure out my workout plan as an adult. I run a lot because I agree some of those other classes just make you look bulky. I would love to try either pure Barre or an adult ballet class.

  40. That workout sounds intense!!! I do the 30day fitness challenge by Alexa Jean which really workouts everything. I don't do too much cardio because my goal is to get my muscular however, I do want to try your treadmill workout. My latest post on my blog is what I do before, during, and after the gym :) Would love it if you would check it out <3 Hope you are doing well.

  41. In love with it all. Perfect fall transitional pieces

  42. I would love to buy the Tory Burch boots!

  43. I adore your style and tips! I am in desperate need of a new purse and wallet...oh, and the Tory Burch boots would be nice to have in my fall wardrobe! Thanks!!! :)

  44. Thank you for the great post! Can't wait for the sale!!!

  45. I would love to be able to buy all of this, but on a college student salary, it's definitely hard to do..haven't been able to buy new clothes for a year now

  46. I would love to be able to buy all of this, but on a college student salary, it's definitely hard to do..haven't been able to buy new clothes for a year now

  47. I'm always on the hunt for new workout routines & exercises, so I'm loving this post!!

    Jordan: The Teacup of Style
    Instagram: @teacupofstyle

  48. Thanks for sharing about the adhesive.
    I have one of those, but I just never think to wear them with regular stuff, I associate it with fancy party doing this, and for $16.99 totally doable! Thanks for workout routine.