The One Where I Swap My Fitness Routine With a Stranger


Let me introduce you to Natalie Leung, the blogger behind Lucy and the Runaways. We’ve never met before, but in a scenario that’s like Wife Swap for workouts, Fitness First challenged me to take on her exercise routine for one week!


My Typical Workout Plan

On a good week I’m happy if I can get in four sessions:

  • 1 x 8km run at a pace of 5-6 mins per km depending on whether I’m pushing the pram or not!
  • 1 x hour group Cross Training session
  • 1 x 30 minute personal training session – weights
  • 1 x 30 minutes personal training session – high intensity cardio and resistance


Natalie’s Typical Workout Plan

This is what a typical week of fitness looks like for Natalie:


Monday: Biceps and Chest 

  • 3×15 reps Bench Chest Press with dumbells
  • 3×15 reps Seated Press Chest (machine)
  • 3×15 reps Fly Chest Press
  • 3×15 reps Bicep Curls with bar/dumbell
  • The ’21’ workout – 1×7 reps half bicep curl; 1×7 reps bicep curl from elbow; 1×7 bicep curl full extension with bar


Tuesday: Triceps and Back (Level 7)

  •  3×15 reps Tricep kickbacks with dumbell
  • 3×15 reps Tricep dips on bench
  • 3×15 reps Triceps pull down with cable and rope
  •  3×15 reps Back dead lifts with bar
  • 3×15 reps Bent-over two-Dumbell Row
  • 3×15 reps Lat pulldown on Machine
  • 3×15 reps Low Row on Machine


Wednesday: Cardio and abs (Level 8)

  •  30mins Cross Trainer (Reverse Workout)
  • 20mins cycling
  • 10mins Treadmill with Level 12+ Incline fast walk
  • 3×15 reps stomach crunches
  • 3×15 reps V-ups
  • 3×15 reps seated bicycle sit ups
  • 3×15 reps mason twists with ball
  • 3×1 minute prone planks


Thursday: Legs 

  •  3×15 reps seated leg presses on machine
  • 3×15 reps legs curls on machine
  • 3×15 reps leg extensions on machine
  • 3×15 reps calve raises with dumbells
  • 3×15 reps squats with bar
  • 3×15 reps inner thigh squats with bar
  • 3×15 reps deadman dead lifts with bar
  • 3×15 reps (for each side) lunges with dumbells
  • 3×15 explosive lunges no dumbells


Friday: Shoulders and Abs/Core 

  • 3×15 reps Shoulder Press with dumbells
  • 3×15 reps lateral raises with dumbells
  • 3×15 reps upright rows
  • 2×10 reps Pushups
  • 3×15 stomach crunches on inclined bench
  • 3×1 minute prone planks
  • 3×30 second side planks
  • 3×15 mason twists with ball
  • 3×15 reps side crunches with kettle bell


Around this, Natalie also likes to fit in Pilates, Yoga and skateboarding.


Natalie’s Favourite Healthy Recipe: Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats

To really see what it’s like to walk in Natalie’s shoes runners, she also gave me a glimpse into how she eats by sharing her yummy recipe for Overnight Oats.


What You Need:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup milk or coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • Honey
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Choice of fruits: banana, mango, peaches, blueberries, strawberries


What You Do:

  • Prepare your breakfast the night before by placing rolled oats, milk and chia seeds in a bowl. Mix together and place in fridge to leave overnight.
  • The next day the milk will have been soaked up by the chia seeds and rolled oats. You can add more milk if it’s too dry and top with your choice of fruit.


What’s It Like Being Natalie?

Taking on Natalie’s workout was intense! She’s an absolute dynamo and I admire that she can cram this much exercise into her week.

The biggest challenge I faced was creating enough time to do it all. Natalie and I are at very different points in our lives. She’s 25 years old and I’m more than 25-years-old and a mother of two with her own business. Simply fitting in all the exercise that Natalie does was tough – but at the same time, it was really good making my health and fitness a big focus that I didn’t allow to get bumped down my list of priorities.


Four Things I Learnt

  • Full Body Workout vs Isolation: The main difference between how Natalie and I train is that my sessions tend to be a full body workouts whereas she has a split routine that targets just one or two muscle groups a day. After doing our workout swap, it’s made me realise that by combining both approaches (say four weeks of total-body training and then four weeks of muscle-group training) I can force my muscles to adapt to new training stimuli that will keep me progressing towards my 2014 fitness goal.


  • A Change is as Good as a Holiday: It’s easy getting stuck in an exercise rut and doing the same thing week in and week out. Taking on Natalie’s workout gave me a healthy dose of variety. I tried exercises I don’t normally do and used equipment I usually avoid – like the cross trainer and bike. It’s inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and change things up every month or so to keep my body guessing.


  • I Love Natalie’s Overnight Oats Recipe! And I’m not the only one. Everyone in my house has been gobbling them up! I’ve also been adding a bit of cinnamon and some chopped almonds to the top. Yum!  This breakfast will definitely be staying on high rotation at our place.


  • It Doesn’t Have to Be All Or Nothing: For years I’ve been into Pilates and didn’t step foot in the gym. At the beginning of this year year though, I sacked Pilates and became best buddies with my gym. But after seeing how Natalie combines the two I realise that this is the missing piece of my fitness puzzle. My body has missed the stretching and lengthening that comes with Yoga or Pilates. So rather than than picking just one, I’m going to have a bit of both.


This is a Sponsored Post for Fitness First // You can check out Natalie’s blog here or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram 

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