Nothing Great Happens Inside Your Comfort Zone

Fitness is a huge factor in my life and helps me remember to really love myself.  Raise your hand if you are a woman, with kids, or without, who forgets to show yourself some love every now and then!  I’m pretty sure any woman reading this should be raising their hand, even if it’s only halfway up!

I try my best to workout at least five days a week, but sometimes with a toddler things don’t always go to plan.  If I had it my way each morning, I’d have my favorite breakfast around 8:30 a.m. – ENDORPHINS!  Don’t worry, I’d closely follow that with a real breakfast of scrambled eggs, with some avocado and a coffee the size of a big gulp!

There are definitely some days where I just can’t get out of the house quick enough to make the gym thing happen the way I’d like it to.  I remind myself that I live in a far from perfect world and if I don’t get to train the way I’d like that day, a little bit of training is better than none at all.

My mentality regarding how long I should be working out and what kinds of workouts I should be doing shifted a lot after giving birth to Gia.  Before our little firecracker arrived, I could literally go to the gym every single day, almost whenever I wanted.  After Gia’s arrival, that obviously changed and workouts needed to be efficient and intense, especially because I wanted my sense of fitness back.

Photo of Gia getting ready to leave the gym with me:


I worked out everyday during my pregnancy and even went to the gym the day I delivered.  I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t scared of losing my fitness after becoming a mom.  I remember a week or so after Gia was born I thought to myself that I would literally never be in shape again and I’d just have to accept that this was the new me.  (There was NOTHING wrong with the new me because every postpartum body is beautiful!)

Now I realize that I don’t need to associate fear with negativity, because nothing great happens inside of your comfort zone.  Part of my old comfort zone was having the ability to workout for over an hour, if I wanted to, and just take my time in the gym.  Nowadays my workouts are no more than an hour, and some days they are even shorter.  I make the most of my time spent in the gym, because when you have mom guilt and lots of baby clothes to fold at home you get in and get out!

On the days where Gia and I get out of the house slower than usual, or if she has slept a little later, I have one workout that’s my go-to.  It’s quick and effective, gets my blood pumping and makes me sweat.

Disclaimer:  I’ll do my best to explain this to you without the use of photos — I’ll be sure to update this post with some photos/video for those of you who aren’t sure of certain movements I’m describing.  (I’m definitely not claiming I’m a fitness expert, I just know what I like and what works for my body after being an athlete my whole life.)

Ashley’s Favorite Workout When Pressed For Time

This entire workout should be repeated 3 times.  

Equipment needed: Jumprope, box steps (like those used in a step class – should be 3 levels high), kettlebell (I use a 30lb kettlebell), floor mat or yoga mat and a jump rope.  I also recommend downloading the Tabata Pro app (it’s free!) to keep track of your time and how many rounds you’ve completed.

This is what the box step looks like, except it should be three high, not two:


Picture of the image you should see in the App Store when searching for Tabata Pro:


  • 2 minutes of jumping rope
  • Touchdowns – 1 minute, no stopping. (Stand on step, jump off into a straddle and prepare to squat down over the step and  jump back onto the step.  Should be done quickly with full range of motion, while alternating which hand touches the step.)
  • 30 seconds rest
  • Speed skaters – 1 minute, no stopping. (Stand with left foot on step and right foot on the ground.  “Speed skate” to opposite side of step, now with right foot on step and left foot on the ground.  Continue quickly alternating back and forth in skating motion.)
  • 30 seconds rest
  • Step overs – 1 minute per leg, no stopping. (Stand with left foot on step and take right foot behind your left side, over the step and tap the ground.  Continue by bring right foot back to starting side to tap and continue sequence.  Aim for 30 step overs for each leg.)
  • 30 seconds rest
  • Burpee box jump – 1 minute, no stopping. (Stand with step facing in front of you in a horizontal position.  Perform a normal burpee but with hands on the step instead of on the ground.  Once standing after completing the burpee, jump onto the step and repeat.)
  • 30 seconds rest
  • Alternating toe taps – 1 minute, no stopping.  (Lay on mat with feet in the air so you are in an L position.  Alternate reaching for your toes engaging your core and slightly lifting shoulders off of the ground.)
  • 30 seconds rest
  • Kettlebell swings – 1 minute, no stopping (Perform traditional crossfit style kettlebell swings, aiming for 20-25 reps.)

I’m sure that sounds a bit confusing without an example to look at, but like I said, I will work on posting that for you.  I can only accomplish so much in a day while in the process of moving and keeping a tiny human alive!

If you’re feeling a little frisky, or need an extra warm up to this workout, you can always start off with a 1-mile run for time before doing your Tabata style workout.  I do that on the days I’m not as rushed at the gym.  Your legs should feel like jell-o afterwards.  If not, you’re doing something wrong!  (This workout was adapted from a trainer of mine, Tony Quartini.  He is awesome and so funny!)

Let me know if you would like to see more workouts posted in the future (with videos/photos), and I’d be happy to oblige!

Fit happens one day at a time, so don’t beat yourself up….especially if you’ve recently given birth!!  🙂

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