My Workout Routine(ish)


I'm linking up with Alicia and Rachel as part of their "Love Your Body" series. 

As you may know, one of the items on my bucket list is to be able to do a pull-up. I may love my legs, but these scrawny arms are pretty much useless for anything more strenuous than opening a can of Sprite.

I've been saying I want to do a pull-up for years, but as of yet I've failed to actually attempt to do anything about it. I don't care to be super buff or one of those women who enter fitness competitions. All I want to be able to do is a single pull-up. (Or, more specifically three pull-ups, as my bucket list states.)

If you were reading my blog last year, you know it was a huge year of running for me. Almost 900 miles and three half marathons + two full marathons huge. Total craziness. As 2014 began, I decided I needed some serious time off, and January and February were comparatively light running months with less than 50 total miles combined.

But then March hit, and I felt the urge to get back into a fitness routine. This time, I'm running but also trying to add in some more weights for muscle and toning, something I've never been serious about before. I want that pull-up this year. Having toned arms is a nice perk, but I also want to love my arms for their strength. I also plan on crossing a second item off my bucket list when I run a Tough Mudder with my brother in Dallas in October. I know I'll need strong arms to maneuver through a 10-mile obstacle course.

I'm calling this my routine(ish) because I honestly don't have a set schedule for my workouts. Right now I'm enjoying a more relaxed routine where I do what I feel like and kind of decide as I go. However, just to give you an idea, a typical week of running usually includes a run every other day with maybe two days back to back. 

Here's an example:

But then, sometimes I don't get a run in, and a week might go like this:
Womp. Womp. It happens.

So where do the arms come in? 
Well, let me tell you.

Starting at the beginning of March, I have been including 15-25 minutes of arms before or after every run. I use free weights at the gym sometimes, but what I really like doing is following along with one--usually two--of the following workouts on YouTube in the comfort of my apartment with hand weights I bought at WalMart for cheap. (They're like $3-5 each depending on what weight you buy.)

I'm hoping to work up to more weight so I can tone up my arms and add some muscle and finally be able to do a pull-up! These are, in my opinion, excellent workouts that really make my arms burn, and I can tell I'm getting stronger. The Sarah Fit Show (the first two videos below) has some awesome workouts for legs, arms, and more. I have been doing leg workouts as well, but the arms are really what I want to improve on.

(Also--shameless plug--I have a bunch more workouts pinned to my Favorite Fitness Workouts Pinterest board and my Fitness Pinterest board.)

Feel free to let me know if you've found any good workouts that will help me get my pull-up. I'm also doing pushups, and the videos below include some shoulder work as well. I know pull-ups aren't all arms.

Wish me luck! I'll keep you posted.
*If the videos aren't showing up on your ipad/phone, here are the links: 123

Click on the picture below to see how other ladies are loving their bodies this year!

*I am not a personal trainer or physician. This post is not intended to offer medical advice. Contact your doctor before beginning a fitness routine or if you experience pain while exercising.


  1. That's a lofty goal, but I know you can achieve it. I was actually in awe watching another lady in the gym last week doing 15 PULL UPS AT A TIME. She did 3 sets.
    Make sure that you're doing back/shoulder/chest exercises along with your arms as a lot of the pull up strength comes from those areas as well. Good luck and let us know when you achieve these!

  2. These are perfect--I've been doing some internet exercises and arms have been a big focus (until I tried on a swimsuit and realized my upper thighs weren't as nice as I remembered...). Good luck to you! I have no doubt you can do those pull ups!

  3. What a cool goal! Pull-ups are a bitch, soooo hard!
    Are you doing push-ups as part of your routine? I find they are great for building muscle and strength, and you see improvements quickly.
    I have no doubt that you will be able to achieve your goal, you're a fitness hero!

  4. Woohoo!

    Well, I already totally admire your workout schedule but I'm super excited about this new goal you have! You're totally going to get it and it will be AWESOME! Pull ups are SOOOOO tough and I've never been able to do them. Also, my arm strength is about at the same place as yours -- sprite opening strength, haha!

    -- Erika from America

  5. My pull-up bar is my arch nemesis! Every time I feel like I am going to own it, it reminds me that it's the boss. I can do a pull up if I sort of jump...I don't think that counts :( I hope you figure out the secret! Let me know when you do! ;)

  6. Hi! I'm stopping by from the Love Your Body Linkup :) I have never, ever done a pull up in my entire life so this is a really exciting (and ambitious) goal, in my opinion. I love the feeling of beginning new actions towards a specific goal, especially if that's a goal that I've had for awhile. You're off to a good start; good luck!

  7. Awesome goal! I'm in the same boat- super strong legs, wimpy everything else haha. Last summer I made a goal to get my abs in shape, and they were actually starting to look pretty good... And then came pregnancy #2! Maybe I'll have to join you and work on my arms for now :)

  8. I love that this is a goal for so many women! It's a good one for sure! I have no doubt that you'll be able to do it with consistency...because that's the key, there's no secret other than hard work :) 2014 - the year of the pull up!

  9. I had basically never done more than one pull-up (one very, very challenging, very wiggly and arduous pull-up) until I rowed in high school. Boom, 7 pull-ups and I felt like a champ! Since then my arms have remained rather large but not exceptionally strong, and pull-ups are a distance memory. Thanks for providing links to these videos; I don't always enjoy exercise videos but when they come with a good rec I'm much more likely to try them. This seems like an excellent reason to dust off my weights and add something new to my routine!

  10. Arms have ALWAYS been my weakest point. It only changed when I started alternating run days and circuit training/pilates/yoga days. I wish I could do a pull-up too.

    And thank you so much for sharing the videos you're using! When it comes to arms, I especially like Circuits 1, 3 and 4 of Jillian Michaels' "No More Trouble Zones" DVD.

    Also, climbing is an awesome way to get stronger arms...

    Good luck with everything! :)

    1. Excellent! Thanks for the links, Charlotte. I will definitely check these out.

  11. I love this. I HATE my arms. Totally gonna check out those Youtube videos and go lift my baby or something... ;)

  12. Or you could just have a baby that you have to lift 1054 times a day, that would help too... Haha. I would also love to be able to do unassisted push up(s). Thanks for the vids, will give them a go. I am forever on a mission to loose the wings!

  13. You can do it! I'm also trying to do unassisted pull-ups! When I hustled at the gym, I would use the machine for assisted pull-ups, which was always awesome because you could start small and keep going from there... now I have one of those bars in my house and I make a habit of using it every time I walk by. Started off with one, then two, (going up, letting my feet touch the ground, going up again) and it's amazing how quickly our bodies can build strength!

    Cheering you on! x

  14. This is such an easy, realistic way to build up your arm strength- I love it!

  15. I love it and love this link up! All you ladies are so wonderfully positive and inspiring! Thanks for providing a little blog-land pick-me-up, much needed on this Monday. Now I'm going to use what's left of the daylight and go for a run!

  16. A good goal to have! Strength is about so much more than having good-looking arms. I love, love, love the way my body feels when I'm working hard and pushing my muscles' limits. Best of luck with the strength routine!

  17. I can do one pull-up. Maybe, maybe two....but definitely not three. Pull-ups are hardly than they look. I'm so shocked when I watch my husband jump up on the pull up bar and do a bunch seemingly effortlessly. But his arms are like 2.5 times the diameter of mine and I certainly don't want that. :P

  18. I think my new fitness goal should be to do pull-ups as well. I have ZERO upper body strength, and while I've been working on cardio a lot, I've definitely slacked off on the weights! Thanks for the motivation, also going to stalk your Pinterest boards now too :)

  19. Love the arm workouts--I need to lose the batwings for sure!! Also, I just found your blog, and love it!! I read through all your budgeting posts from last year and WOW. Truly amazing!! My husband teaches the Dave Ramsay course at our church and so I am familiar with and follow alot of those ideas--but I love how you lay it all out there!! new follower:)

  20. You can totally do it! I would work on some back exercise too like some lat pulldowns or a military press. They will build your back to help your arms pull you up.

  21. I have bicepts and I can't do a pull up! I feel like such a weakling. I know I have strength but not pull up strength. My husband says the only way I'll probably get it is to actually practice pull ups. Even though I can't actually do one. I have yet to do that yet though.

  22. That pull up victory WILL be YOURS this year! I know it. I like the look of those YouTube videos. I'll have to check 'em out with some weights. (Or a Sprite in each hand...that would work, right? :))


  23. a friend sent me a utube video of a sarah a while back, but it was clipped, and i had no idea she had a whole show - eek! i'm kind of excited to get started on her workouts. and i had *no* idea you ran that much- you need to call up nike and get a sponsorship - that's so inspiring :) also, i'm digging through you fitness pins right now.

  24. Oh gosh...I couldn't do a pull up to save my life. I'm pulling for you (no pun intended)!

  25. Ok, so I don't know if I can explain this in writing BUT remember those bands you got to review? You can use those for resistance. Heck, here is a youtube link:

    One of my goals before I leave crossfit is to do a pull-up before I leave. I can do them with bands but not solo YET =)

  26. I have to give you props for tackling this. I can't do a pull up, and I'm more like you- I just lack upper body strength. Yoga has made me stronger, but I still couldn't do a pull up. I know you'll make it, and I'm excited to hear all about it when you do! Also, thank you for linking up with Alicia and me! So glad to read your unique take on the topic. :)

  27. fyi, running with a large strong dog is EXCELLENT for arm strength, especially when there are squirrels around.


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