My number one hate for all these fitness blogs or social media pages: their fake, unrealistic tips. I kind of really hate inspirational stuff. When a fitness blog tells me to “write down how you feel after you workout” as a real tip, I’m done. I’m out. Forget it. I am not writing how I feel, I am headed straight to the kitchen to eat how I feel. This may work for some people, just not for me. So, here are my real tips for getting myself into the gym (and if it isn’t the gym for you – maybe it’s walking, running, going to a class, etc. – apply this for you!) and having a great workout.
Brief back story:
I use to date a personal trainer, and this was what really made me comfortable in the gym. I just did workouts with him. These workouts were at least two hours and the next 1-4 days after were absolute brutal soreness. This is how I thought every workout had to be. When I moved away to Texas, I still thought I had to be in the gym for at least two hours or it was no good. So, I stopped going. I couldn’t keep that up. I just figured it wasn’t worth it. I would go periodically, but I had nothing consistent. Finally, years after that, I have figured out what works for me. I don’t always love going to the gym, but I have found it much more enjoyable lately. So, here are my tips that got me from couch slob to a workout warrior.
- Invest in good headphones and good music. I splurged on some good bluetooth headphones (powerbeats) and pay for Apple music so I can download whatever I want. I have my workout playlist, and I get to work. It has made the world of a difference, as I use to try to workout to no music and that was tragic.
- Cute workout clothes or whatever makes you feel good. When you feel good, you perform good (or something like that?). If you want to wear makeup to the gym – DO IT! If you have a certain hairstyle that makes you feel sexy? Rock it, sister. I personally love my sassy high ponytail and leggings with a tied shirt or crop top. If you think investing in some good workout clothes will help you do your exercising – I say do it!
- Have a workout buddy. Misery loves company. My first misery partner on the quest to find out what works for me? My sister. But man, we had fun! Every workout we laughed enough to always get an ab workout in too. We would create our own moves or tabata (more on this in a moment) workout and just want to keel over. But it was great wanting to die together! Now, I’ve been working out with my boyfriend cause we got those volleyball goals, and we really push each other. However, I still do go alone – but it helps to workout with someone once or twice a week.
- Find a workout online or ask a friend for one. It helps SO much to go in with a plan. I use to not show up with any plan, and I would end up wandering around like an antelope in the desert. Or I would do one thing, and by the time I thought of my next thing – I was cold and unmotivated. So, look up a quick workout online or make up your own and write it down. Then get your booty to work and get it done! And if you don’t have a plan – just keep moving! Do anything. Even if it’s arm day and you have to lunge around till you think of what’s next – just. keep. moving.
- PREWORKOUT. Yes, I like to be healthy. Yes, I understand preworkout isn’t probably the best thing for me. However, if it’s the difference between me going to the gym or not? I think it’s worth taking. If it’s the difference between me having a terrible workout or a great workout? I am taking it. I don’t take it every time, because I like to remind myself I don’t have to have it (lol), but I can feel the difference when I take it – and I love it! The only one I have really taken consistently is C4 which gives me the tingles. I have come to like those because I feel like I HAVE to get them out of my system, and it makes me work harder. If you are having bad workouts or need an extra push, I really recommend trying preworkout.
- Have fun! This seems simple, but I don’t think many people understand it. The gym becomes a chore or a job, when it shouldn’t be. Get in there and get it done is a fine mentality, but you can go get it done and still have fun. I love dancing along with my lifting, and I have fun creating a workout that is going to challenge me and get a good sweat going. And for this, Tabata workouts are my favorite! Tabata simply means you do work for (20, 30, 40, whatever seconds you want) and then you take a short break (10, 20 seconds) before moving onto the next exercise.
Type in tabata to your app store on your phone, and you should see the above icon pop up. This tabata timer is my favorite. There are already some pre-made workouts on there, but I choose to make my own. You can enter in everything, set up the different times you want, and get to work. Here’s one of my favorites:
20 seconds: Block Jumps
10 seconds: off
20 seconds: Med ball slams
10 seconds: off
20 seconds: Ab circles (basically, do a plank with your elbows on a stability ball and make small circles going each direction)
10 seconds: off
20 seconds: Overhead tricep extensions
30 seconds: Rest
*Repeat 3-4 times!
Another favorite workout I made Andrew and I do this week, and we had sweat flying off of us, is this:
In fifteen minutes, get in as many sets as possible:
10 burpees, 15 jump squats or just air squats, 15 good mornings with a band or weight, 15 kettlebell swings. Whatever you do – don’t stop moving! You can go slow, but just push through the fifteen minutes, and you’ll be glad you did.
I am by no means a personal trainer, and nor will I ever try to sell you on the fact that I am, but these little things are just what worked for me. I do not love going to the gym every day, but I am always glad and in a much better mood once I get it done. And honestly, there really are days I love going! You’ll get there too, just try out some of the above tips and see what happens.
Anyone else have some good tips? Or what works for you? Let me know! I’d love to try them out too.