Let’s be real.
No one likes the gym. No one. If you say you do, you’re lying.
Working out for a chick can be intimidating. Sometimes you’ve got sweaty, grunting dudes right next to you. Equipment can look a little intimidating. Plus there’s a creeper from time to time checking you out.
First off, props to you for getting your butt through the door. That’s awesome. You’re making a great decision for your health and mental well being.
That said, make the workout count. Don’t screw it up and slow down your progress by making one of these mistakes.
1. Too Much Cardio
Don’t get me wrong. A good, hard sweat session is great for you. But it’s all about quality, not quantity. If it’s too easy you’re doing yourself a disservice. For example, spending 45 minutes on the elliptical isn’t going to burn too many calories. Now, spend 20 minutes rowing with a good resistance, or blaze through 75 floors on the stair machine and you’ll really be blasting calories. If you’re a beginner, try walking briskly on an incline to get your heart rate jumpin’. If you’re more advanced, try HIIT (high intensity interval training. Here are some good ideas on Pinterest.) It’s quick, and it works. Remember to really push yourself. Don’t settle for watching reality TV while you half-ass your cardio.
2. Not Lifting Weights
You could spend all the time in the world working out, but if you’re not lifting weights you’re never going to see results. Lifting tones, tightens, and lengthens your bod. If you’re worried about “bulking up” you’ve been given bad information. Unless you’re pounding creatine and living off steak and supplements, you’re not going to bulk up (unless you’re tailoring your workout to bulk up.) Remember this: strength is beauty. Getting stronger will help your posture, your mind, and your day-to-day activities. In addition, look around the gym. A majority of the aesthetically in shape peeps are lifting weights, not doing hours of cardio. All of this leads to my next point…
3. Not Lifting Heavy Enough
Doing 12-15 reps on any exercise sounds great in theory, but you really should be at a much heavier weight. Like, your muscles are burning and you want to DIE by rep 7. (Unless of course, you’re working with a trainer on something specific.) You will see changes in your body sooner. Trust me. Go big or go home.
4. Taking Too Many Classes
First off, I love classes. I do stellar when someone is yelling at me what to do. BUT, classes should be supplemental to your workout, not your only workout. Think about it. Hot yoga four times a week gets you long and lean, but may not challenge your strength enough if you’re not switching it up. Same for Pilates, kickboxing, barre, etc. Always change your workouts or your body will get used to what you’re doing and you’ll plateau.
5. Not Getting Uncomfortable
Workouts are not supposed to be a walk in the park. Push yourself to the brink. Get uncomfortable, and then fight through it. You’ll feel amazing after. The harder you work now, the easier life will be later.
If we get honest with ourselves, half the battle with exercise really is with fear. Fear of failing. Fear of Judgement. Fear of injury. And perhaps fear of change.
But really what we should be fearing is a life of mediocrity. Of stagnation. Of living inside a box instead of busting out of it. Life is too short. So take that hot bod of yours to a new level. Everything else in life will follow.
Clearly I’m not an expert or gym rat, but I’ve found this is what works for me.
Any good workout ideas? Post ‘em here!