The Gym Diaries (because I keep getting asked for it, lol)

“Thick thighs saves lives” Tempo, by Lizzo

So as a blogger I’m learning the more popular posts receive the most comments OFFLINE and not in the comments section.

Please know that if you have a specific question, someone else probably does too. Your direct questions to me could be asked openly on this blog. It takes a lot to embarrass me. If you’re feeling shy about your questions, cool. No worries. I would never divulge my reader’s private questions or comments. I received a multitude of questions requesting specifics based on this blog, Health Goals and thought it best to create a more detailed account of my gym activities. I will do my best to log the majority of my activities including machines used, reps, duration and so on.

Shoutout to 24 Hour Fitness my longest held gym residency. 24 Hour Fitness has everything I want and nothing I don’t. All pictures feature equipment from my gym that I use several days a week. Additional thanks to Ryan, manager at the William Cannon location, for being cool with that! Check them out: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter

***I am not a health and fitness expert!!! I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, these are the activities that work for me and my body.***

Attendance: 3 days a week, usually Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I like a break in-between sessions.

Duration: 80-90 minutes per session. I prefer a longer workout than going to the gym several days a week at shorter times. I find this pattern better suited to developing my stamina and endurance.

Top two questions: What are you doing for your glutes? What are you doing for cardio?

The glutes. What I do is not meant to target just the glutes. I make it a point to exercise my hips as the hips are the center of individual gravity. The stronger your hip mobility the greater your achievements in your physical competence. The butt, thighs, and lower back all tag along for the ride.

Not pictured: banded clamshells and banded donkey-kicks, I perform about 60 each. Sorry guys, I got two hands and one camera.

1. Banded & Weighted Hip Thrust (35 lb weight, 100 reps)

I use the Gladiator band. Purchased on Amazon.

– Put on resistance band. I prefer mine above the knee and below mid-thigh.

– Starting position:

35 lb weight resting directly across the hips.

– Thrust up. Feet further out or further in provide different levels of resistance. Sorry y’all. I’ve told you I’m a writer not a photographer, right?




2. Hip Abduction (225 lbs, 100 reps)

Push outwards with thighs and knees.
Push outwards. I’ve worked my way up to 225 lbs. Do not start at that weight.

3. Hip Adduction (225 lbs, 100 reps)

Push inwards with thighs.
Push inwards. I’ve worked my way up to 225 lbs. Do not start at this weight.

Cardio. Say hello to the grownup version of the elliptical, Open Stride AMT (Adaptive Motion Trainer) by Precor. I’m 5’9 female with an old knee injury. An elliptical never suited my height (longer stride) and running is out of the question. The AMT is perfect and provides for nearly all of my cardio needs. My average session is 50 minutes 2x a week, and 30 minutes 1x a week.

I worked my way up to an incline of 5 and an intensity of 11. Do not start out at those levels. You’ve been warned.

Calf structure. My legs developed their current definition largely in part due to my cardio efforts but also banded squats (not pictured) and…

1. Calf Raises (105 lbs and no set reps, I stop when I can’t take it anymore)


2. Leg Curls (85 lb for both legs and 40 lb per individual leg, 80 reps total)



I didn’t receive any questions about arms. Considering my arms are not my strength area it’s probably for the best.

I believe I did get a question regarding my shoe preference. Support and stability are key features in any athletic wear and for me there is no better fit than Hoka One One. I switched to Brooks for a few months and while they are light and agile, the Brooks line proved less than stable and I paid for it with shin splints and general foreleg discomfort.

Okay, I hope this helps. Please keep in mind, I’ve been with my gym for two years now…I did not jump into these duration and intensity patterns, I developed them overtime. I used to have very different routines, some I’ve kept, others I’ve discarded. Something either benefits you or it doesn’t. These things work for me and may not work for you. You are the best judge of your body, and its limits. Always.

Christina Schmidt, MA