How To Give Your Workout Routine A Shake-Up

…so you actually want to do it


If you can’t already tell from the titles of my last few fitness posts, for the past couple of months I’ve found myself in workout rut. ‘Fitness Motivation: Giving Myself a Kick Up The Rear‘ went up a month ago and I’m still trying to twist my leg round to give myself a boot in the derrière. Perhaps I’m giving myself a hard time, because I have managed to get myself down to the Pilates studios more days than I haven’t during the week, I’m just struggling to work up the energy to go back to the gym and pump some real iron. However this week I sorted out my schedule and have pencilled penned in the next two weeks of workouts that include a mix of resistance training and stretchy sessions at the studio and I’m actually quite looking forward to it. Here’s how I mustered it up…



Things can easily get stale if they’re repetitive. That’s why I’ve cooled it on my Hot Yoga classes, because the 90-minute routine was the same every time and I don’t like to to know what’s coming (because if I know it’s hard, I’m going to take this bit of the class eeeeassy). Since starting Reformer Pilates at the beginning of the year, I’ve also given a couple of other classes they run at the studio a go. This is the easy way to try something new because you know all the ins and outs of the place – like booking and etiquette and where the loos are – but you can try a new challenge, without it being too daunting. Lesson learnt: although Spring Wall Pilates might be slower paced, it’s f-ing hard.


Over the past year and a half, I’ve come to the realisation that I am in no way a ‘self-starter’ when it comes to working out. If it’s up to me to lug myself to the gym on my own and do a workout without anyone telling me what to do, I can guarantee you that I wouldn’t even leave the house. I need to put money on the table, book myself into a session; either with Paul my PT, or a Reformer Pilates one (where I don’t get the money back if I cancel last-minute) and know that if I don’t turn up I’m letting someone down and I’m out of pocket. It’s the only way that it works for me. So every two weeks I sit down at my laptop, sort out my schedule and book everything in; adding it into my diary like a meeting so it has priority.



My least effective workouts are those where I’ve dragged a mate along with me because I’m an easily distracted person who likes to fill any gap of silence without my nonsense chatter, however dragging a mate along with you makes workouts so much more fun. Plus it makes a new studio or class, a bit less daunting. I’ve been getting Mark to come along with me to a Reformer Pilates session once a week (he’s a good egg, but he actually enjoys it!), and it’s nice to have someone to have a debrief with after class and watching him do his stretch face in public means I have to hold in a laugh every time. That’s an ab workout in itself.


If all else fails then treat yourself to some new workout gear. Of course it’ll be the perfect outfit to show off down the local Tesco Express, because you’ll look like you’re on your way to the gym, but if you do actually go – give yourself a pat on the back. I realised whilst gazing at the crotch of one of my pairs of leggings that looks like it’s about two squats away from burning a hole as big as the Grand Canyon in them, that it’s been yonks since I invested in any new activewear. I can vouch that when you’ve got the gear, you still feel like you have no idea, but at least you can workout well knowing that your butt is lifted, your leggings aren’t sagging around the knees and your sweaty groin hasn’t permeated through.




RUNNING. Around two years ago, I had a year-long running phase where I’d run three times a week. Now it makes me laugh as I can’t jog for more than a minute without whining and cramping up. However if you fancy something free and want to get some fresh air in your lungs, it’s a good place to start. I used the Nike Running app to track my distance and see my improvements.

YOGA. Yoga is something that I’ve dipped in and out of over the years and I always find it a good way to de-stress, stretch and get a bit of a workout in. Stick on a Yoga With Adrienne video and you don’t even leave the house. But if you fancy a trip outside, give Hot Yoga a go and prepare to sweat so much that it looks like you’ve taken a shower.

PILATES. My current love. I’m all over Reformer Pilates because it is a great core workout and has a bit of resistance involved; although I think the real reason why I love it is because the teachers make every lesson different and are always throwing in new moves. I feel like it’s improving my flexibility too, which as someone who can barely touch their knees, let alone their toes – is big news.

SWIMMING. Too cold. Too wet. Constant need to wash hair is a right pain in the backside. Makes me so hungry that I feel the need to devour three McDonald’s Happy Meals afterwards. 2/10.

SPINNING. If you find yourself in London, then I always favoured a BoomCycle class with Bangs. Take a towel because you will feel like your face is melting off. Whilst there’s no denying that it’s a great cardio workout, I would supplement it with something else as it can get a little repetitive as you begin to feel like your legs have a whole mind of their own.

BOXING. I’ve done a Kobox class that made me feel like an absolute badass and I’ve done a couple of Muay Thai ones that I thought I was going to throw up during. SO. FRICKING. HARD. My mate and I were actually doing really well with Muay Thai, until about five sessions in when she tore something in her knee. Not for the faint-hearted. 6/10.

CLUBBERCISE. This can only be described as dancing around a fitness studio in the dark clutching glow sticks with my Mum and her mates. Absolutely hilarious. I think I spent the whole time with a cheesy grin plastered on my face. A great one for beginners who want to get their general fitness levels up and for those who like listening to ‘Darude – Sandstorm’.

RESISTANCE TRAINING. This is what I’ve stuck to for the longest (despite my recent break!), but if it’s toning and fat loss that you’re after, nothing gets results quite like it for me. Here’s how I set myself a goal to actually go to the gym regularly last year and kept to it – read the post here. I think I might just wander over for a read myself too…

Photos by Lauren Shipley



  • Rachel

    Great post Anna – totally with you on mixing things up! I also find hot ‘Bikram’ yoga super repetitive and dull, have you tried hot vinyasa? Probably even more sweaty but more varied! Also Barre classes are my new love – I think they would be right up your street 🙂 x

  • I believe in mixing things up as well. I do yoga and the odd fitness class, but most of them online (Thanks to You Tube) and I try to be actrive in my everyday life, like cycle to work and back and all that.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • I completely agree with you about mixing things up – if I know what a class will be like, I get a bit bored. I’ve seen you mention reformer pilates a few times now and I’m really intrigued by it (despite the inevitable pain, I’m sure), I think I need to find somewhere near me that does a class.

    Rosie @

  • I really want to try boxing!

  • I might trying some yoga at some point in the future, it really appeals to me. I love doing dancing workouts because they have lots of different moves x

    Jenny | LuxeStyle

  • Getting new workout gear totally makes me want to wear it for a workout! I’ve gotten back into yoga within the past year and have so enjoyed it 🙂

  • I like competing with my husband for miles on the Nike Run app. And I am the same way about needing to actually pay for classes ahead of time so I’ll show up. I have been going to yoga once a week for a while and really like the teacher, having that consistency with one teacher is key for me. I recently just signed up for a running class so I could meet other people who were around the same (not great) fitness level as me, it’s been amazing! I’ve made some friends and learned how to run in a way that’s comfortable for my body.

  • HarrisonBeach

    Very tempted to start reformer pilates!

  • Great workout motivation! I’m doing a fitness challenge and documenting it

  • Very useful post 🙂
    Miki xx

  • Girl, I feel the same way.. it’s always a struggle! Going with someone is HUGE accountability for me and always helps. So does fun new workout gear!! Thanks for sharing your tips! I have been wanting to do reformer pilates since your Brooklyn vlog with Lily.

    xoxo Mollie

  • That top alone would definitely inspire me! x

    A Little Treat | Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  • I like the top and I never tried workout classes. I workout at home with Fitness Blender. I do really like Pilates and want to try reform Pilates.

  • I really need this…off to the gym I go! Needed some sort of kick up the butt and this was perfect 🙂
    F x

  • I’m trying to incorporate yoga more consistently and I love it! I really look forward to it but now as a result I’m slacking on weight lifting. Ebbs and flows, I’m sure in a few weeks I’ll say the opposite!

  • i definitely need to book it in, as i struggle and hardly have motivation to do it on my own!

  • Julia Lundmark

    Love pilates!!! I’ve been doing it for more than 3 years now and do a mix of matwork and reformer with pilates TRX and Barre classes thrown in for good measure. I also find changing up the instructors help with variation, everyone has their own touch and favorite exercises, some are more stretchy and some more hardcore and I need both.

  • I can relate to this post so much Anna! When I came back from Greece I really struggled to get myself back in the gym, it just didn’t motivate or inspire me any more. I set myself a new challenge and that seems to have done the trick… but if all else fails, new kit always works!

    Emma |

  • Great post. Just what i needed to kick myself and start exercising.

  • Julia Deutschen

    When starting Universtiy and moving to a different city, my workout routine got thrown over and I barely did any workouts. About 9 months later, I am trying to find my routine again and I currently love running and dance workouts as well.

    xx Julia

  • ella ryder

    great tips! I’d love to try boxing.

    Ella xx

    • Kath Cartmell

      These are NOT great tips. Cardio is the only way for weight loss and Anna does none.

  • Kath Cartmell

    Anna, you don’t do anywhere near enough cardiovascular exercise. You never have, apart from when you were running, and you looked really good around that time. Resistance training is all well and good but it needs to be combined with LOTS of cardio or you will just start to bulk up. To be honest you already have. Forgive me for my brutal honesty.

  • I’m a runner myself and even I struggle with motivation at times, between the treadmill and the trail it can be hard to get going even though it’s something I adore doing.
    I LOVE following the Yoga videos by Adrienne, amazing recommendation as she is such a pleasure to watch and learn from.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Emma xx