T-1 Month: In the Gym

Gym Workouts

Whether it be vacation, a photo shoot, or in my case, my wedding daywe all turn up in crunch time to make sure we’re looking and more importantly feeling our best for a special occasion. While health and fitness is a lifelong journey and there truly is no finish line I’ve got some tricks up my sleeves to get in tip top shape to feel confident for any milestone.


First, you’ve got to define your prep period. A month may not be enough time to get your body in peak shape, but for others a month may be too long. My sweet spot is about five weeks. Any longer than that and I find myself hangry, discouraged and completely over it. Any shorter, and I’m left thinking, “if only I had five more days!” Only you can discover the length of time it takes your body to respond to a new workout routine or diet so play around with it to get it right before crunch time!

A two-part situation, there are two domains that need to be carefully calculated: the gym and the kitchen.

Part I. The Gym

I don’t typically follow a set plan week to week when I’m working out training for life, but rather make a point just to sweat. Whether that be an intense lifting session for a half hour, a group exercise class or 25 minutes doing intervals on the treadmill, I don’t discriminate just as long as it gets done. But…when I’m getting ready for a gig, photo shoot, or said wedding, it’s another story!

Monday: Leg Day. I hate my legs and they will forever the bane of my existence. The first area of my body to gain weight, home of hamstring cellulite and literally a pain in the a** to tone. I can’t even. I dedicate a full workout to them in an effort to see change. One of my go-to workouts is four rounds and 12-15 reps of these five drills. I do each drill back to back and when I’m finished with all five will rest for a full minute. I grab water, reset my form and get back to work. By the end, my legs are on fire and I’m hobbling back to the locker room.

  • Deadlifts
  • Bulgarian Split Squats
  • Goblet Sumo Squats
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Squat Jumps

Tuesday: Metabolic Conditioning. Gets my heart rate up and incorporates several elements of strength.

Repeat this set twice with minimal recovery between drills and sets.

  • 60 Seconds of jump rope
  • 20 Squat jumps
  • 60 Seconds of jump rope
  • 40 Walking lunges
  • 60 Seconds of jump rope

Repeat this set three times with minimal recovery between drills and sets.

  • 10 Burpees
  • 20 Walking planks (10 on each side)
  • 30 Mountain climbers
  • 40 Single arm rows (10 on each side)
  • 50 Bicycle crunches

Repeat this set three times with minimal recovery between drills and sets.

  • 10 Tuck jumps
  • 1 Minute plank
  • 10 Burpee tuck jumps
  • 1 Minute plank

Yes, all three of those sets make up ONE Tuesday morning workout.

Wednesday: Pilates. The perfect compliment to all my strength training is Pilates. If I’m feeling myself I’ll go for two sessions in one week. You can re-visit this post to find out why.

Thursday: HIIT and Abs. As the weekend approaches I’m really ready for a good sweat fest and this one gets the job done in no time. I don’t even have time to get bored on the otherwise dreaded hamster wheel because it goes by so quickly!

  • 30 second sprints as fast as you can go, followed by 30 seconds of rest
  • 3 sets of 15 of hanging knee raises to smash ze abs.

Friday: Upper Body. Unlike Mondays, I live for Fridays. My upper body gains muscles and tones up so quickly proving once again, that everything in life is truly a trade off and you can’t have it all. And as the saying goes, once you see results you become addicted. Like Monday, I have a go-to workout. This time doing three rounds, 12-15 reps of these eight drills. I do each drill back to back and when I’m finished with all eight will rest for a full minute. I grab water, reset my form and get back to work.

  • Single arm rows
  • Narrow rows
  • Chest Press
  • Push Ups
  • Triceps Dips
  • Hammer Curls
  • Lateral Raises
  • Shoulder Press

Saturday: Shred415 Total Body Workout. One hour. Kick ass trainers. And I usually see a friend or two. It’s the best way to start the day and sets the whole tone for my weekend.

Sunday: Vinyasa Yoga. Active recovery and stretching, does your body good.

For me, I don’t take a full rest days when I’m in the midst of prepping for something big. Yoga is enough for me to feel fresh and avoid injury. Your body may be different and everyone has a different limit for training and a fine line for over training. You have to listen to your body to find out what is right for you. Like anything, to get what you want you have to leave your comfort zone. But when you get there…you’ll be so happy you stayed dedicated and committed.

Kate Hiipakka

Stay tuned for what goes down in the kitchen…although I’ll warn you. It is NOT a pretty sight.

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