I know that there are many people out there that are just like me. So many of us work all day building a career, only to go home to chase more goals, whether it is to be a competitive athlete, or to be as fit and healthy as possible. It's definitely not easy to balance, so I wanted to give my thoughts on how I manage to balance my life of work and workouts. I know my ways may not work for everyone, but I hope this can help anyone out there struggling with balancing this lifestyle.
How this all started for me was finding workouts that were fun to me. I started out with basic bodybuilding workouts. Honestly, I hated that. I enjoy fun, super-high intensity training and throwing tires around. Doing workouts like that slowly transformed into me doing the OCR, ninja-warrior, and CrossFit competitions I do now. Training for these competitions got into training outdoors, running, and finding CrossFit gyms that allowed me to do the high-intensity training I loved.
I work and sit all day, so I needed something that got me excited to train. I look forward to thinking about how I am going to train every day.
Sometimes it’s hard to keep my focus on my fitness if there isn’t a goal in sight. Having competitions and creating goals for myself has helped me stay focused. Before I started doing these competitions, I was just training for fun, but lacking purpose correlates to poor training. Goals and reasons for training fuels me going forward. Each session has a purpose behind it. I get to attack each session with passion. It keeps me on track when I’ve had a long day and would rather go home and sleep than train.
I may be unlike a lot of people in this sense, but I’ve never really had a problem turning on that switch every day to get excited every day. I drink a Kill Cliff Ignite before every workout and that does the trick. When I sit behind a desk all day, I just want to get out there and go.
For people that work all day. I think it's important to note that variety is important. Sometimes it’s an early morning workout, other times, I’ll sacrifice a lunch break to go run, swim, or do something active. It’s not healthy to always sit all day then jump into a 2-hour training session. Mix it up, and keep your body active!
I actually got standing desk this year. I even had to get a doctor to write a note so I could get permission to have it. With the explosive movements I do, my hips get abused. Standing at my desk really helps loosen my hips and allows me to move around more.
I have a framework that I follow. Depending on what events are coming up, I plug things in that are relevant to those events. Mondays are hard, heavier lifts with lower reps and usually a 30-minute run. Tuesdays are for chalk workouts. Wednesdays are my epic workout hyper training days. Thursday and Sundays are generally my recovery days, which I usually just go for a long run and stay away from weights. I end the work week on Fridays with some sort of odd carry and a 15-minute run. I love Saturdays because I usually get to do some sort of fun, hard training with my friends.
Each day I am doing something different and keeping things fresh. Doing different types of enjoyable workouts each day makes it that much easier for me to get excited about training.
Training outside in the Florida heat, it’s necessary to drink over a gallon of water a day.
I always meal prep or else I will forget to eat throughout the day. Sundays are when I do all of my meal prep. I stick with the basics. My breakfast usually consists of eggs, fresh veggies, and oatmeal. For lunch and dinner, it is more fresh veggies, chicken, fish, or steak, and sweet potatoes, beets, avocados, or whatever I’ve bought for the week! I’m very big on only eating real food. Basically, if I can’t pronounce it, I won’t eat it. Before training, I’ll have protein and some fats, usually. Leading up to a competition, my diet doesn’t really change that much, I just become more diligent with sticking to my meals. I will weigh out my food and make sure I have it with me. In the days right before, I usually will increase my calories and make sure I’m getting extra carbs in.
I try to get a meal in about an hour before I workout. If not, I’ll grab a protein shake and some fruit. Afterward, I eat a meal with extra carbs. It's not a crazy strict diet, but I make sure I am giving myself fuel for each session.
This is how I manage to balance a life of work and fitness. Let me know how you balance yours in the comments below!
You can follow me on Instagram (@sarah_lacey_harrison) to keep up with my adventures in life and fitness.