The world is your oyster, and also your gym. Jordan Gaarenstroom was a champion gymnast for the University of Michigan and now coaches the next generation of Wolverines. Competitions and a serious case of wanderlust have him on the road frequently. Read on to find out how Jordan keeps his fitness consistent when life is anything but.
What is your typical workout routine?
"The typical workout week for me is 7 days a week, roughly 1-2 hour workouts depending on the amount of time I have on any given day. I don't plan days off to allow for impromptu activities with friends, travel, or increase in my workload. By not proactively planning days off, I give myself the flexibility to listen to my body and take a day off when I need it.
My workouts begin with stretching and/or 20 minutes of cardio, usually on a stair stepper machine as it elevates my HR (heart rate) quickly AND builds leg muscle better than other cardio machines. I lift weights for 30-60 minutes and focus on two muscle groups per day."
How do you recognize a workout plateau?
"I measure my plateaus by energy level, not strength levels. If I go more than a day with a low level of energy, I start to analyze WHY. Usually, it has to do with not enough sleep, proper diet, or a caloric deficit mixed with too much cardio. When I recognize a plateau, I intentionally step away from cardio focus on conditioning, both because it’s less hard on my body and because I just enjoy conditioning more than cardio. A plateau can be physical AND mental: be aware of how changing it up can benefit your muscles and brain."
How do you change things up?
"I think the coolest thing about social media is the opportunity to find new ideas from fitness experts around the world whenever wherever. I really like watching other athletes and then exploring new movements and workouts for myself. If I like performing the exercises I try out, I’ll implement one or two into an existing workout I perform regularly. That way I keep things familiar and safe but mix in a little different to keep my mind engaged and challenge my body in new ways."
How do you ask more of your workout?
"I make sure that no matter what I do I ENJOY my workouts and don't feel like I am killing myself to get them done. Finding enjoyment in working out for me is a balance of a structure that enables the results I want (stronger arms, more flexible hamstrings, improved mental health) and the flexibility that keeps my mind engaged.
One tool that offers this flexibility within structure is a workout formula, an easy to remember structure of exercises that can be adjusted for different settings and goals. Here’s a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout formula you can do anywhere:
- 4 exercises
- 12 reps of each exercise
- 60-second rest after the round is complete
- Complete 3 rounds
Then switch the exercises and repeat once more. This will kick your butt!
Enjoying my workouts also includes the activities and products that support the sweat: I am a daily user of Oars + Alps’ Fresh Ocean Splash Body Wash, and I know my girlfriend loves it too! Additionally, I am a big fan of the sun and a constant user of the Oars + Alps SPF 50 Spray and the Go Stick Clear Sunscreen. Both are great because they don't irritate my skin and they WORK. Gotta have all the right tools for a successful workout or impromptu outdoor adventure with friends!"
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