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College Fitness Update

image via jess's post on how to stay fit during the fall and holiday season!

A reader requested I share an updated workout routine, but I want this two be more of a discussion today than just me ranting on about what I like to do at the gym. What are your favorite workouts and how do you stay motivated to get in a good sweat? I'm chatting about my typical health and fitness schedule but I would love some inspiration from hearing yours!

I have been into running since high school and I try to run as much as I can each week. I personally think it's fun to push myself when it comes to pace and distance. On a typical week, I run 3-5 times and go anywhere between 2 and 6 miles each time I run (but I would never run 6 miles 5 times a week... 6 miles in general is rare!). I long all of my runs on Under Armour's "Map My Run" app and I average 8-15 miles per week; how far I go just depends on how I am feeling and how much motivation I have!

The gym at my apartment could not be more convenient. The gym is located one floor below me and it's open 24 hours a day, every single day. I am definitely going to miss that next year when I move into my new apartment! Madison is such a beautiful campus and city in general that it's not hard to enjoy a long run on the lake or on one of the city paths. Even at home there are so many beautiful running spots so it's never a bore to run outside.

In addition to running during the week, I am part of an all-girls workout club called CHAARG. You guys might know of it; CHAARG is on a ton of college campuses (see the full list here!). I originally thought I would be more devoted to CHAARG, but sometimes the events interfere with my schedule. Nonetheless, I still try to go to my small group workout every week and I love that there is a different workout for the whole club once a week that members can sign up for. The workouts are all in collaboration with a fitness studio in Madison, so I've gotten to try things like an OrangeTheory class and Pure Barre! Although I don't actually do a ton of workouts with CHAARG it's still fun to be in a community of girls with fitness goals and motivation to exercise.

On a typical trip to my apartment gym I will run a few miles and then do 5-15 minutes of little exercises like planks, sit-ups, squats, arm exercises with dumbbells, etc. I actually surprised myself last night and managed to hold a plank for 2 minutes and 20 seconds!!!! I was so excited about it, haha. That said, my workouts really aren't that intense, and I rarely feel "challenged" while I'm at the gym. That's part of why I want to talk to you guys about this today: how do you challenge yourself at the gym? How do you motivate to make a workout a good workout? I want to get into a workout regimen that makes me feel like I can expect to see results and to see progress, but I just don't even know where to begin!

I was surprised on Insta Stories a few weeks ago when a majority of you said you're in college or interested in college content, so I have a feeling a lot of you can relate to the desire to fit in good workouts at college! What are your best tips? What's your routine?

PS: If you're interested in what I eat at college, you might like this post


  1. Hey Fran! That's so nice that Madison is a beautiful place to go running and exploring while working out. I've always had trouble keeping myself motivated while at the gym, but I found that I always push myself to the limit when I'm in karate class or water polo/swim practice. That's why I started doing the Kayla Itsines workouts because it gives you an exact plan of what to do and how often during the week. I did it over the summer and saw definite results, not just in how I look but in what I could accomplish in a workout, because the plans get progressively harder. It's set up as 4, 7-minute circuits so you push yourself hard for those 7 minutes and then get a break. It's also a good introduction strength training because the exercises are easy to learn and don't require a lot of equipment or space! Hope that helps.


    1. I have heard great things about the Kayla Itsines workouts, too. Maybe I'll have to give those a try!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. That club sounds really fun! I have a hard time motivating myself to go to a physical gym, so I end up doing a lot of at home workouts. I love the HIIT workouts from Blogilates because they're short but intense. I usually do about three 10 minute videos and by the end I'm exhausted. They've really helped me to improve my endurance when running. It sounds like you could do one of these workouts in the time that you normally do a workout at your apartment. I also love doing hot yoga classes. I've seen better results from one month of biweekly yoga classes than months of working out at the gym. Good luck :)


  3. Fran, love the post! I wish CHAARG was at my school! I try to go to the gym on campus everyday and I typically run 4 miles with an incline. Since I do this daily, sometimes I aim for a 15 min pace, sometimes a 12 min pace. An addition to this, when I get back to my room I do some ab exercises and squats. Good luck!
    xx, Lauren |

  4. love this, thank you for the post!! I use nike run club to train (training for a half marathon right now, yikes) and the nike training club app too. I'd totally recommend it, it has built in workout plans and they can be really challenging!


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