A Better You: HOW -> Fitness & HIIT Cardio

One of the most important values to me is to always practice what you preach, or walk your talk, which is the reason why you guys had to wait so long for this post. For the past weeks I haven’t been able to get into my fitness routine due to travels, both of my parents visiting and desperately trying to balance all the fun with work, leaving no room/time for workouts. Now that the house is empty again, we can finally get back into our work routine, clean eating and working out. And now that I’ve started my routine again, and I am back into the right mindset, I can share with you how to get there. It would be a little hypocritical if I would write a blog about fitness and a healthy lifestyle while enjoying ice cream, cakes and cookies every day (haha), which all actually resulted in gaining quite some weight I’m not proud of. But since this Saturday I officially started my workout schedule and in addition to my previous blog posts about the State of Mind to get fit, and Food & Nutrition (part 1 & part 2), there is the other essential part that I promised you guys, which is…yup, you guessed it: Exercise.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, you need al 3 components to get that perfect body you’ve always wanted. The mind is very important, because it’s a complete mental process; if your mind tells you that you can’t, then you won’t. So you have to make sure to get into the right mindset, where you know that all limits are self-imposed and you can achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. Read here for more.
Second, you have to control what’s on your plate 24/7, make sure you eat 6 times per day, get in the right nutrients in small portions and the right proportions and drink loads of water. For detailed instructions and a food diary, read here.
Third, you need to work that body!! Those calories aren’t going to burn themselves, well the first 2000-3000 will, but YOU are in charge of killing the rest of them.
I could write you a million motivational quotes, show you thousands of before & afters and I could cook you hundreds of healthy meals, but truth is, you need to get off your ass and work for that body. It’s YOU VS YOU. Nobody is going to do it for you and the moment you give up, you give up on yourself. On the other hand, when you succeed, and I know you will, you will realize that it’s you who is in control of everything, not only will you have a banging body, you will have a strong mind and you will have victory over that little voice that said that it was too heavy, and that you couldn’t stay away from the chocolate and that it hurts so much so you have to stop. You will have killed that voice, and the real you, the strong version of you took over and made it happen. It’s the best feeling ever and it tastes way better than any food!

But HOW?

Well basically, any physical activity that gets your heart pumping and your lungs grasping for oxygen is good. And what’s most important is that you find a type of exercise that you enjoy, otherwise you will not be able to make it part of your lifestyle.
The reason why I am writing this blog is because so many people have been asking me how I got into shape. So that is what I will be telling you. It doesn’t mean that this is the only way to get into shape, but it is what has worked for me (and I am very sure will work for you too, if you can learn to love it and stick with it).

Before August 12 2013, I was keeping ‘’in shape’’ with workout dvd’s, like Kim Kardashian’s Fit into your jeans by Friday, and a few workouts by Beach Body: Insanity by Shaun T, P90X by Tony Horton, Brazil Butt Lift, Turbo Fire by Chalene Johnson, RevAbs by Brett Hoebel and I loved Jillian Michaels dvds, especially the Body Revolution. Another great trainer that still kills me today is Bob Harper.
I had nice results, and it was a great foundation to start with, plus it was nice to be able to work out from home.

The thing with these dvd’s was that it was good, but not great if I reflect on it based on the results I got. When I decided I really needed to change my strategy regarding losing weight, I completely surrendered myself to my partner who wanted to introduce me to fitness in the gym. I was so skeptical because I thought it was boring, but the way he started training me was so intense, I didn’t even have time to grasp my breath, let alone be bored.

HIIT Cardio


Chalene Johnson actually introduced me to this kind of cardio and I stuck with it when I started understanding the difference between regular cardio and HIIT cardio. The truth is…regular cardio, is out of date, and it is a waste of your time (literally). Why would you run on that treadmill, cross trainer or bike for an hour, when you can burn even more calories in 20 minutes?
HIIT Cardio stands for High Intensity Interval Training and it is an enhanced form of interval training, consisting of short periods of intense exercising that makes your heart rate go really fast, alternating with periods of less intense recovery periods. These short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism, and improved fat burning. When your heart rate goes up, you instantly start burning calories and as soon as you surpass the amount of calories you’ve recently consumed, you will start burning the fat your body stored.

HIIT Cardio really improves your condition, which you will notice when you do regular cardio or exercises and you suddenly realize it takes a lot more intensity or durability before you actually get tired or start to sweat. But what I love most about the HIIT cardio is the after burn. When you do regular cardio, you burn calories when you start walking/running/biking/jumping and stop burning calories as soon as you stop doing that activity. With HIIT cardio, scientists have proven that you have what they call the after burn, that is, that you keep on burning more calories than normal long after you’ve stopped doing the activity, meaning even when you rest, you burn more calories than normal, due to the HIIT you did. How great is that? It increases your metabolism as well, you will notice that you will get hungry faster, which is good, because you are supposed to eat a little bit every 2 hours anyway.

HIIT cardio usually varies between 5-30 minutes max, so you never have to work out any longer than that!

How I do it: I love running and one of the benefits of running I noticed is that it really slims my thighs, which is why I choose to run, but you can also do the same while biking or on the cross trainer. Choose what you love to do most and you will most likely stick with.

I warm up for 2 minutes, but for beginners I recommend warming up for 5 minutes. My warming up consists of walking on the treadmill at 3 km/h; after one minute, I increase it up to a steady pace of 6 km/h. After the 2 minutes (in your case 5), you go to an intermediate speed for one minute, for me that’s 9 km/h. and after that you start running/sprinting as fast as you can. In the beginning sprinting for me was 12 km/h, but after almost a year, my sprinting is now at 14,5-15 km/h, which is the max I can sprint in 60 seconds without almost dying.

You can start by holding the sprint for 30 seconds and then switch back to your steady pace walking at 6 km/h for one minute, then after that minute, you go for the sprint again. As you get better at this you increase your 30 sec sprint interval to a 45 sec sprint interval and eventually up to 60 sec of sprinting. You keep your rest interval at 60 seconds.
If you have passed this point you can choose to make your rest intervals shorter (45 seconds), however I don’t recommend doing so, because the important thing about HIIT is your heart rate. You have to make sure it slows down, before you go back into your sprint interval and usually, this doesn’t happen within 30 seconds.
The concept of HIIT is to increase your heart rate and then let it decrease back to a normal rate again, which will result in the increased calorie burning even after you’ve stopped with the activity.

I suggest you start with 4 intervals in 18 minutes, so you take 5 minutes to warm up, 10 minutes for the 4 intervals (low and high) and 3 minutes to cool down. For the cool down your treadmill will decrease the speed from 6-3 km/h, which is perfect; or you can do it manually.

My HIIT Cardio schedule on the treadmill for 13 minutes (10 min + 3 min cooldown) is as follows:

Warm up: 2 min; 1 min 3 km/h; 30 sec 6 km/h; 30 sec 9 km/h.
2:00 – 3:00 High at 13,5 km/h
3:00 – 4:00 Low at 6 km/h
4:00 – 5:00 High at 13,8 km/h
5:00- 6:00 Low at 6 km/h
6:00-7:00 High at 14 km/h
7:00- 9:00 Low at 3 km/h 60 sec; 30 sec 6 km/h; 30 sec 9 km/h
9:00-10:00 High at 14,5 km/h
10:00-13:00 Cool down at 5 km/h (60 sec), 4 km/h (60 sec), 3 km/h (60 sec)

Depending on how much time I have, I do this for 15 minutes or 20 minutes (excluding cooldown time of 3 min). So I do the same, only I do more intervals when I increase the cardio time (4 intervals 10 minutes, 6 intervals 15 min, 8 intervals 20 min). My maximum is 20 minutes, but if you get the hang of it you can do 30 minutes, but never do longer than 30 minutes. I will explain later why.

You can also do a HIIT circuit, where you create a circuit of cardiovascular exercises, such as burpees, squat jumps, jumping rope etc. and build in rest activities in between. Keep your timer on though!

You can do cardio separate from your Fitness workout or you can combine it. Sometimes I do 23 minutes of HIIT cardio on an ‘’empty’’ stomach, first thing in the morning with only a glass of whey protein shake and cup of coffee, to burn of stored fat. Later that day/night I do my fitness routine. Other times, I do 13 -18 minutes HIIT Cardio before or after my fitness routine, but with no pause in between the Cardio and Fitness. It all depends on the time you have.

P.S. If I still haven’t convinced you to do HIIT Cardio, please don’t do regular cardio longer than 40 minutes.

Boxing/Kick Boxing

One of the best workouts you can do apart from fitness is boxing or kickboxing. I think it has a few elements of HIIT cardio as well, and it just burns so much fat! You literally work your entire body, and get rid of frustrations and bad energy, which is a great plus if you have lots of stress. Oh and did you know a lot of super models swear by boxing? If you always wanted to have a body like Adriana Lima, you should definitely consider taking a few classes a week.
My partner teaches a boxing class, so I used to take his class once a week, have to pick it up again, but I love the results.


Next to the HIIT Cardio I have a separate fitness schedule, because I found that building muscle mass through lifting weights, increases my overall fat burn and enhances the HIIT Cardio training. What you do by combining both is making your body a fat burning machine to the max.
As I’ve explained in my previous blog, you need to build and maintain your muscle mass, because muscles burn fat, so the more muscle you build, the more fat you will burn while performing an activity or even in rest. Most women think that they will become ‘’big, manly and muscular’’ when doing so, but they couldn’t be more wrong. The women you see that look very manly and are extremely muscular all use certain hormones. Women cannot make and maintain so much muscle mass by themselves, you need the male hormone testosterone for that, and these women take in extra doses of these hormones in order to look that way. So basically, if you’re not taking in any extra hormones, you will never ever become so bulky and muscular, because your body is simply not capable of doing so naturally. In addition, the female hormone estrogen actually breaks off muscle mass, which is why women that lift have to work extra hard to build mass compared to men who of course have much less estrogen and much more testosterone.
I also thought in the beginning that I would become bulky, but I slimmed down and got really tiny, with a little bit of beautiful definition in my arms, back and legs. So let that myth stay a myth and trust me on this!!


There are a lot of theories on which muscle groups are best combined during training, and I am no expert at this, but what I found to work best for my body after a lot of experimenting is the schedule below. I know a lot of ladies and gents who go to the gym and train literally every muscle group they have on one day, and then the next day they go at it again. Please make sure you do NOT become one of these people. Your muscles need rest, because by lifting heavy weights you will break them and they need time to repair, heal and grow, while burning your excess fat. Make sure that you break down your body into muscle groups and divide it over the days of the week. It doesn’t matter which day you do what, but try to make sure you think in cycles and make sure there are 2-3 days in between before you train the same muscle group again.

My cycle looks as follows:
Sunday: Legday (4-6 leg exercises)
Monday: Back (3 different back exercises) + Biceps (3 different leg exercises) + HIIT Cardio
Tuesday: Triceps (3 different tricep exercises, combined with some chest exercises (supersets) + Core (3 core exercises) + HIIT Cardio
Wednesday: Restday
Thursday: Legday (4-6 leg exercises, with emphasis on the booty)
Friday: HIIT Cardio + 3 Core/Full Body exercises + 2 shoulder exercises (supersets)
Saturday: Restday
And then the cycle starts again on Sunday. So out of 7 days a week, I train 5 days.


If you don’t know the exercises, I suggest you google the names, you will instantly find pictures or even videos on youtube.

Leg exercises:
– Squats with the Smith-machine or loose squat rack; build up with barbells from 10 kg to at least your own body weight; this takes time, so don’t worry, my max was 60 kg, my weight at that time was 50 kg.
– Lunges (Walking, Forward, Backward, Side); make sure you try to build in all of the various kinds of lunges in your routine, because they train booty and legs and shape them beautifully. Always try to add some weight by holding kettle bells, dumbbells or a barbell with weight.
– Squat jumps & Split Lunges (anaerobic, nice to do in between sessions)
– Plie squat (with weight; for more difficulty try to it while standing on a boozu ball)
– Legpress (As heavy as you can!!!)
– Lying leg Kickbacks
– Hip Thrusts (with weight!)
– Leg extension
– Leg curl (lying/seated)
– Cable kickbacks

Back exercises:
– Lat pull down
– Reverse grip bent over rowing
– Seated cable rows
– Dumbbell rows
– Superman with dumbbells
– Deadlift

Bicep exercises: As heavy as your little biceps can handle!
– Dumbbell bicep curl
– Cable bicep curl
– Barbell Curl
– Hammer curl
– Concentration curl

Triceps exercises: As heavy as you can!
– Push-ups (also train chest and core at the same time)
– Triceps bench dips
– Dip machine (also trains chest)
– Dumbbell one-arm triceps extension
– Barbell skull crusher

I used to train chest separately, because my partner would do so, but depending on your goal, as a woman it’s not always necessary; so now I do triceps exercises that include your chest muscles to get them working a little bit, while not fully concentrating on it.

Core exercises
– Planks (including side planks)
– Abb Roller
– Scissor kicks
– Bent knee Hip raise
– Jackknife sit ups
– Leg pull ups

Honestly, I don’t do much separate core exercises, besides the planks and leg pull ups. I usually train my core during the full body exercises, which works way better than wasting time on sit ups. Believe me, you will not get a six pack by doing hundreds of sit ups. These exercises only strengthen the abdominals, but they don’t burn the fat. You get a six pack by doing exercises like squats, deadlifts, planks and lots of HIIT Cardio.

Full Body exercises
– Squats
– Deadlift to Overheadpress
– Lunges
– Planks
– Pullups
– Pushups
– Burpees

Before you start working out, you always do 2 minutes of stretching, never forget! Of the first exercise you always do one warming up set. So of the first exercise, let it be a lat pull down for your back, you do a total of 5 sets, with the first being light weight, because it is to warm up. You don’t necessarily have to do a warming up set for all the other exercises, because even if you hit a slightly different angle, your back is already warmed up. If you go and continue on that same day with bicep exercises, you don’t have to do a warming up, because you use your biceps while doing back exercises, meaning you have already warmed them up. It’s all thought out and works really well for my body, also because my muscles get the rest they need in this order, so I would really suggest to stick to the schedule of combining the muscle groups.

Of each exercise you do 4 sets (max 6 if you’re feeling extra energized) and usually you build up the weight. You start with a light weight, and increase the weight with every set. The trick is to train until failure. Usually every set you do should consist of 12 repetitions. However, if you can easily do 12 reps, it’s not going to do much for your body apart from burning a few calories. You need to have to give your all and put in the sweat, make it burn so bad you want to cry and then, only then, you are really burning fat off your body. So, if you can easily do 12 reps, you increase the weight, until the point that you start feeling that it’s really burning from the 6th rep. The last set you should have a weight that will allow you to do 10 reps maximum, so it is SO heavy that you can’t make it to 12.
This is really the key behind succeeding in fitness. Not the 4 sets of 12 reps that you do with an easy weight and then you are done. No, you have one set to ‘’chill’’, and the other 3 you work, you sweat, you cry to make the 12 reps round. No time for joking around or talking about your day. You will need your complete focus and concentration. If you don’t do it this way, it will not work for you. You and only you know if you’ve really given your all, and if you secretly know you didn’t you have cheated yourself and wasted your own time you could have rather spent on the couch watching tv. You give all or nothing.
Rule: 30 seconds, max 60 seconds rest between the 4 sets; 2-3 minutes rest between 2 different exercises. There is not supposed to be rest between repetition, you do 12 repetitions (or less) in one set without rest, then take 30 sec rest and start with set number 2, and so on until you have completed the 4 sets of the exercise, after which you take 2-3 minutes rest, drink some water and start with the next exercise.

Let it be clear: It is okay to do only 8 repetitions in one set, but only if it is so heavy that you really cannot do any more than 8. The goal is to do 12, for warming up you can do a set of 15 with light weight.

If you don’t have much time you can do supersets, which are combined exercises with similar motions to maximize the amount of work of an individual group of muscles. So for instance, you do a back exercise and as soon as you are done, you switch to a bicep exercise, and then you switch back to another set of the same back exercise you were doing. You alternate 2 different exercises, but don’t mix triceps with back, make sure you stick with the same muscle groups that are scheduled on that day. To be clear: A superset is NOT alternating 2 back exercises, but alternating one back exercise with one bicep exercise.

With supersets, not only are you done faster, but you also burn more calories, because you don’t have much rest time in between en your heart rate is constantly up (= burning fat).
What’s important is that you change your exercises every 2 weeks, so you can do the same routine of exercises for 2 weeks and then switch. If you don’t (and even if you do), at some point your body may hit a plateau, which is the point where you train as hard as always, but you don’t see results anymore. This means your body is used to the exercises or intensity and you need to start training differently. In that case, you either start doing different, more complex exercises, and/or make it more intense by adding heavier weights.


Control is key. If you do a bicep curl, for instance, you pull it up fast, but you go down slow, while keeping a constant control over your muscles during the entire exercise, don’t drop it fast. This goes for every exercise you do. Muscle control is extremely important and even if you grab a light weight, you can focus on your muscle control by focusing on the grasp and what you feel during every part of the movement/exercise, doing it very slow. If you have an injury this is a good alternate way to still train.

Breathing the right way, will make all the difference in durability, but also the intensity of the workout. The rule is to inhale when you do the less intense part of the exercise and exhale as soon as you have to give power to push or pull or whatever it is. For instance, with squats: when you go down, you inhale, as soon as you push up, you exhale. Try to exhale forcefully through your mouth, (inhale through the nose), because the harder you exhale the more your belly contracts, which gives you an extra core workout, while doing another workout. It’s not easy, you have to practice it a lot, but it’s vital to get everything out of your workout. So exhale forcefully every time!
When you do HIIT Cardio, make sure you breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. During the rest intervals try to catch a few long, deep breaths (inhale through nose, exhale through mouth) to get in the most oxygen and restore your heart rate faster.

IMPORTANT: Limit your time at the gym to MAX one hour and 15 minutes. Seriously, that is the max, not a minute longer. First, because it is not necessary. If you use your time efficiently, you will not need any longer. You can easily do a full fitness routine of 6 Exercises within one hour. You can do supersets of 6 exercises in 30-45 minutes. You can do a very high calorie burning HIIT cardio workout in 13 minutes. You do the math, but I am in the gym for max one hour per day.

I happen to know a lot of people who spent almost 2 hours in the gym and don’t see half the results I have been seeing. So trust me on this, if you keep your focus and do your exercises according to the schedule and rules above, you don’t need to spend longer than one hour in the gym for optimal results. I read some articles that explain that at a certain point, there is a degrading effect of exercise on the body, so I think if you train longer than 75-80 minutes, the exercises won’t have any significant effect, you’re only wearing out your muscles/body which is unnecessary.

One more thing I promised to explain was why not to do HIIT cardio for longer than 30 minutes or regular cardio for longer than 40 minutes. It’s great if you’re training for a marathon, or the tour de france, but if you have the same goal that I have, you will only make it harder on yourself to lose weight by doing an hour of cardio.
Here is why: If you do cardio for longer than 40 minutes, researchers have proven that you break off your muscle mass. If you do so on a regular basis, you will contradict any effort you make to build muscle mass in the gym. You have to make sure your cardio enhances your weight training for an optimal fat burning result and not have it kill your muscles. You can get really slim by the long cardio trainings, like most marathon runners, but if you haven’t build up any muscle mass you will gain weight exponentially the moment you stop working out and eating unhealthy. On the contrary, if you’ve build up muscle, you have more muscle to burn fat, so you can occasionally enjoy the unhealthy, but oh so yummy foods, without immediately gaining weight.

By building muscle they way I have for 4 months straight, I got to eat whatever I wanted for the 6 months after, with some occasional (2 days a week) training, until I have finally gained a little bit of weight by now. How great is that? Most of you work so hard to lose weight, and then you go on vacation for 3 weeks and you’ve gained it all back again. It’s called to yoyo affect and the only way to avoid it is to build muscle mass!! No other way! Make it your lifestyle and you will never have to buy a bigger pair of jeans again.


When you have reached your goal, you can keep in shape by working out 3 days a week (legday, back+biceps, triceps+core, the last 2 you combine with HIIT Cardio). Keep eating healthy and you will not gain any weight.

Just as important as the training, make sure to get 2 days of rest and always 2 days of rest per muscle group before you train it again. Good sleep is vital for your muscle repair, next to nutrition of course, try to get at least 7- 8 hours every night.

The best motivation comes from within, that voice that says I will go for one more round of interval or I will lift a heavier weight. But we can all use some inspiration once in a while. Below are my sources of motivation.

Workout buddy/Spotter
One of the best ways to stay motivated is to have a workout buddy or buddies. However, you have to make sure that you are all/both on the same level with your focus. I absolutely hate those people who come to the gym together and end up constantly talking about movies, music or a date they had while I am trying to focus and lift. And you don’t want to be one of those annoying people right? Btw, it will only make you stay in the gym longer, which will be a waste of your precious time plus you are cheating yourself because you are not giving the energy you are supposed to give. I’m not saying you can’t talk or joke around sometimes, but keep your focus. The moment you enter the gym, your head should be focused on your routine, exercises and yourself.
I train with my partner, in bodybuilding we call it spotting, when the person is with you and can help you lift in case you need some help, but also you motivate each other, when you have to push so hard to do that last repetition, it helps when someone tells you, ‘’come on, you got this, one more’’. You usually have the same workout schedule, so you will less likely be missing a training.

The right music can give you wings. Seriously, especially with cardio, I feel like I am dying if I don’t have my music. Set up your workout playlist with music that gives you energy. It can be based on the genre of music or sometimes words/motivational lyrics can do a lot for you.

Fitness pages/Social Media
I follow a lot of fitness pages on Instagram and Facebook. On facebook you have a lot of nice pages like the Daily HIIT blog, the Women’s health that have interesting articles about nutrition & exercises. On Instagram I follow a lot of fitness athletes/babes such as Lisa Morales, Michelle Lewin, Lais deleon, Claudia Sampedro who inspire me with their selfies of their gorgeous bodies (when I see them I feel so guilty, that I instantly want to run to the gym), but also some of them post workout videos and pictures of their meals, that are very handy and inspiring. One of the pages I love on instagram is Fitdutchies, also check out their website: www.fitdutchies.com. They have a lot of inspiring quotes, inspiring meals and funny jokes regarding fitness. One of the dutch fitness athletes I love is Anne Haakmeester. She inspires me a lot, check out her blog: www.fannetiek.nl
A lot of fitness pages on FB and Instagram post motivating quotes that can get you into the right mindset and make you really want to work out. You can get information on exercises on google, but also search for them on youtube, where you can really see the right posture you need for the exercise. For more inspiration on exercises check out www.bodybuilding.com and www.dailyhiitblog.com. On youtube, try out channels: Fitness Blender, Womensworkoutchannel & Brettcap.

I wouldn’t be where I am today, if I wouldn’t mention this one, but nice fitness clothing is everything! The reason behind the Wulterkens Fitness line is that when I started to work out so much, I realized I didn’t have any fashionable fitness outfits. With all due respect to the well known brands, in my opinion I thought there was need for something a little more funky and motivating, while still fashionable. So we brought to life the Hardcore Ladies and Iron Gents line.
We have several tops with motivating quotes that can remind you of why you are there when you look in the mirror in the gym. Plus you feel so much more confident when you have nice workout clothes. When you start seeing the results you want, even more, because then you have the body to show it off. So funky and hip workout clothing is a big motivator and a must! You can take a look at our awesome collection here: www.wulterkensclothing.com

Seeing results is the best motivator, seriously! In the beginning it’s hard, but somehow as soon as you start seeing the progress your body is making, it becomes a little bit easier, because you know the hard work is paying off. On the contrary, when you clearly see you’ve gained weight, it is also a motivator to get off your ass and start working for it again.

You will eventually become addicted to your workouts. After every (intense!!!) workout your body releases endorphins, which reduce/relieve of stress and pain. They give you that happy, satisfied feeling, that will keep you coming back for more.

As you can see, what it really comes down to is giving your all. It is giving every bit of energy, focus and power to perform the exercises and burn calories to the max. With HIIT cardio, it’s the same, your intensity interval should be at such a speed that you really can’t hold it after 45 seconds. It should hurt. If it doesn’t hurt you, it will not change your body. Keep that in mind. If your workout was too easy and you’re not tired and sweaty, then you have to make it more intense, because you are only cheating yourself and you will not get the results you want. Remember, if I can do it, so can you.

Always listen to your body, if your body is so sore and you have a lot of muscle pain, give it an extra day of rest and make sure you replenish it with the right nutrition (Proteins and BCAA). Never take a break longer than 3 days, it really gets you out of your rhythm. If you feel something is too heavy, take a lighter weight, because you shouldn’t get yourself injured, so push it to the max, but listen to your body!

This post has become way longer than I expected, but these are the things you have to know. Of course there is so much more on the topic and there are many variations, so if you are interested, do  your own research and find out what works best for you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below, so my other readers can read it as well. If you would like more information on something or a more in dept follow up, let me know!

I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, but I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.

Now go and work it!!



Picture taken at the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, June 201

  • Tamara Chloé
    Posted at 00:15h, 30 July Reply

    Geweldige post schat en wat een prachtige foto’s!

    Liefs en tot vrijdag xxx Tamara Chloé


    • Nadira
      Posted at 18:36h, 24 March Reply

      Dankjewel lieverd! Gauw even bellen? Xxx

  • Maggie van Dijk
    Posted at 09:38h, 18 February Reply

    Dear Nadira,

    First of all compliments are your blog. I like to read it.
    I have a few questions..
    1st: Do you still train 5 days a week now? It is been half a year since you wrote this post. I was wondering how much progress you made? I’ve not seen a before and after picture and was wondering if you got into full shape, 6-pack and all, following this routine?
    2nd: How do you balance this lifestyle? Do you not have dinners with friends and family? If you are training for a competition, I understand. Nevertheless I have trouble with this. I train for 3 months strict and after I realize that all the sacrifice is not worth not enjoying life to its fullest potential, including going out for dinner, travelling and doing fun stuff. I simply find it difficult to be so shallow that my looks would be worth not enjoying life. After all I might die tomorrow with a 6-pack but wit regret that I did not enjoy every minute. I don’t believe I can have it all. How do you deal with this?
    3rd: As I mentioned in my first question; do you also train 5 days a week in the winter or do you do that only when summer is approaching? Do you bulk or do you want to be lean all the time?

    I hope you have time for answering my questions.
    Thanks in advance!

    A fellow blogger,


    • Nadira
      Posted at 18:15h, 24 March Reply

      Dear Maggie,

      I was planning on replying to you this weekend, but some other things came up.
      So to finally answer your questions:

      1. I haven’t been training regularly the past 2 months due to being extremely busy with moving, very sick after, and also having an exam for my Masters at the University in Amsterdam. Can’t always have it all right. I have been working out 1-3 times a week at most. Since this monday, I’ve officially started training for this summer, so I will be back to training 5-6 days a week. My progress that I’ve written about is my best shape so far. This is because I lost so much weight at that point, that I didn’t even fit into size 34 anymore and I didn’t like it. I still love to have curves and I lost a bit too much (atleast in my own personal opinion). I never wanted a 6-pack, personally, I don’t like that on a woman. I do however believe that if I continued with the training routine I mentioned in my blog and clean eating, cutting carbs a bit more I would have gotten the 6 pack.

      2. You say it yourself, it’s really about balance. Make sure you eat healthy throughout the week and you are allowed one cheatday, so you can go out for dinner with friends and family guilt free. If you are not training for a competition, and you have build up some good muscle mass, you can allow yourself to enjoy a nice dessert everyday. As long as you keep the rest of your meals healthy, proportionate and you keep on training, at least 3 times a week. If you feel like you’ve cheated a bit too much, you can always do some good HIIT Cardio the next morning. It will burn off most of it and increase your metabolism.
      If you balance it out like this, you can keep eating whatever you want, just in moderation. A cheatmeal is known to increase your metabolism, so it can actually be good for you, even if you are heading to a competition. You don’t get the 6-pack in one day, so one cheatmeal will not undo it. Just balance it out. I love food too, I’m a real sweet tooth, but this is how I balance to keep my shape.

      3. In the winter I try to make sure to keep in shape by training atleast 3 times a week. Doesn’t always work, but it is my mark. I do bulk, I eat more than when training for summer and I allow myself to indulge. I do however keep it healthy. Now I will be back to 5-6 days and will be cutting sugar and carbs.

      I hope that this helps you. If you have any other question, don’t hesitate to ask. I will be doing an updated fitness blog soon, so stay tuned. I hope to be starting with videos on youtube around end of april/beginning of May.

      Good luck and lots of love!

  • Maggie van Dijk
    Posted at 08:43h, 22 April Reply

    Dear Nadira,

    Thanks so much for your lovely reply.
    You really helped me out with this!
    Since March I started training 4 x a week with the work out schedule as proposed by you on this blog. Every weekend I go out for dinner and depending on my schedule sometimes also 1 time during the week. This is working out for me, however I have only lost 1-2 kg so far.
    Is this the same for you?
    How have you been doing since you started working out full time?

    Hope to hear from you.
    Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
    This has been quiet a thing for me and you are really helping out 🙂


    Love your new posts! You are an example for many!

    • Nadira
      Posted at 15:55h, 25 April Reply

      Hey Maggie,

      Thank you for your sweet compliments, it means a lot. I am happy if I can help you. I think that in the beginning you should be patient. It takes time for your body to get used to the exercise and way of eating. It also takes time for your body to build up muscle mass. This is why I recommend in my blog to not count on the scale to measure your progress. The reason why you might have lost only 1-2 kg is because your body has been building up muscle mass and muscles weigh more than fat, which means in the beginning, you are very likely to gain weight. What you should focus on is sticking to your healthy eating and exercise and what you see in the mirror is the only thing that counts. Consistency is key and I’m sure that if you stick with this, you will get results within the next 2 months.

      It took me 4 months to get to my best shape, and within that time, I didn’t eat out and I didn’t cheat. Now I’m less strict, because I don’t feel the need to get back to that shape, as I’ve explained before. It will always take time, so be patient and stick to it.

      Feel free to send me an update next month ok? I will be posting about fitness within the next 2 weeks, so stay tuned!

      Good luck and lots of love to you!

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