- I tried Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart’s workout routines for a week each.
- I preferred Stewart’s routine because it was more diverse and included yoga and cardio.
- Ray’s regimen was more focused on cardio and strength training.
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I couldn’t find what kind of yoga she prefers, so I just did a workout from y7, one of my favorite studios.
I chose their 45-minute hip-hop flow and did a variety of poses, such as downward dog, half-pigeon pose, dancer’s pose, and upward-facing dog. The routine was set to hip-hop music, which was the ideal way to begin my Monday.
I read on Martha’s Blog that she favors certain weight machines from her home gym, so I tried to replicate the same moves with the equipment I have.
I did a full-body workout and the upper-body work consisted of bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, and shoulder flies. I did three sets of 12 reps for each exercise. I learned that Stewart loves the leg curl machine to work her quads and while she’s on this machine, she also does ankle-rotation exercises.
It felt weird not doing my typical squats during a full-body workout, but I really wanted to stick to Stewart’s regimen. I added hamstring curls to even out the legs.
Stewart loves starting her day with 20 minutes on the treadmill so I was walking by 7 a.m. Although I was grumpy this morning, it felt really good to move my body this early.
Since I don’t have a treadmill, I did my cardio on the elliptical. I started off with low resistance and incline for five minutes before increasing it every five minutes until I reached 20 minutes.
The time flew by, so I kept at it for another 10 minutes.
Since it was a hot day, I queued up my tunes beforehand and made sure to ride before it got too brutal out.
I don’t incorporate much cardio into my personal routine, but I gave it a shot. After stretching my hamstrings and glutes, I did a 3.5-mile (6km) bike ride at a reasonably fast pace.
According to the YMCA, horseback riding works your abs, back, pelvis, and thighs. After my bike ride, I did crunches, planks, supermans, and squats to make sure I worked the same muscles Stewart would.
The workout I curated included dumbbell presses to work the chest, dumbbell rows to work the back, seated shoulder press to work the rotator cuff, and tricep dips to work my upper body. I used my 15-pound (7kg) dumbbells to get through three sets of 12 reps.
The poses were much more difficult because of how sore my upper body was.
I tried my best to breathe through the pain as I stretched my sore muscles. According to Martha Blog, Stewart loves hanging on an inversion board — so after the yoga workout, I adjusted my board to my height and strapped my ankles in.
I don’t use the board as often as I should, despite its many health benefits.
According to Healthline, this can help with reducing nerve pressure, realigning the spine, improving joint health, and increasing flexibility. I moved the board to be in a 45-degree angle rather than completely upside down, which seemed to be the angle Stewart puts herself in.
Although I only stayed on the board for under 10 minutes, I felt a big difference in how much my back loosened up.
I hopped onto the elliptical in lieu of the treadmill and kept at a fast pace for 30 minutes. I normally don’t like cardio workouts, but I actually enjoyed sweating and elevating my heart rate.
In the same interview, Ray said she prefers to start her early gym session with 3.5-mile (6km) runs on the treadmill or on the elliptical. I wanted to start this week strong, so I hit the pavement running.
I aimed to finish Ray’s run, but I’m not a runner and only ran 2 miles (3km) before calling it a day.
I worked my biceps and triceps on the machines and aimed for three sets of 12 reps. For my biceps, I did exercises such as curls and rope pulldowns for my triceps.
I often use dumbbells to exercise my arms and I forgot how different exercise machines feel. After two sets, my arms were exhausted and I had to stretch them out.
The workout was cardio-focused which was a good way to help my muscles recover from yesterday.
The routine was 30-minutes long and was a tough one. Afterward, I grabbed my resistance band and did a circuit of squats, hip thrusts, crab walks, and glute kickbacks.
By the third set, my lower body was on fire. I made sure to set aside time to cool down and stretch after this sweaty workout.
I did three rounds of 60-seconds each before moving on to regular crunches. I laid on my mat and did three rounds of 45-second crunches with my legs in a 90-degree position. From there, I sat on an upright bench and grabbed straps to pull down and crunch to work my upper abs.
At this point, my abs hurt only 20 minutes into my workout — but these exercises were pretty hardcore. I finished this core routine strong with a 60-second elbow plank before collapsing on my mat.
I set out to run 3.5 miles (6km) and was even predetermined because I couldn’t hit this distance last time.
I set out to do 3.5-miles (6km), and since I didn’t accomplish this during my run the other day, I was determined to do it this morning.
I cranked up my workout playlist and felt the burn as I moved my arms and legs for a good 20 minutes. Afterward, I felt tired but accomplished.
The session hit every muscle group — from my arms to my back to my hamstrings. I used a resistance band for some of the lower body stretches, which was definitely a struggle.
After 30 minutes, I did 10 minutes of ab exercises that left my core burning. This low-key workout was exactly what I needed.
It consisted of bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, and I added in shoulder presses, chest presses, squats, and lunges to make it a full-body workout.
I surprised myself by picking up heavier dumbbells. As I moved through each exercise, I felt stronger and my muscles didn’t fatigue as quickly. I started feeling tired working my lower body, but I took a deep breath and pushed myself to finish strong.
Though I had to get creative with Stewart’s, I enjoyed that each workout kept my muscles active and prevented me from getting bored. I was impressed by how hard Stewart works in the gym and I appreciated her outdoor activities, such as horseback riding.
Ray’s routine, which consisted of cardio and weight machines, was standard. Even though I enjoy a good bicep curl, I felt unmotivated and a bit antsy for her part to be over. Overall, both weeks were tough and I was sore from both.