Back to the Grind: How to get yourself back to the gym
If you're still on your health kick of 2019, good for you! I mean that wholeheartedly, because this month has been so insane for myself. With recruitment finally coming to an end, I was able to actually throw myself back into my beloved gym this week. And man, did it SUCK.
For those of you who don't know, I wasn't much of an athlete in school. I played a few sports here and there, but I was definitely the most out of shape person in my friend group. If my high school had a superlative for that, I would've been named least athletic instead of most likely to be famous.
When I started dating Matt, who is a gym rat, I tried to push myself into utilizing the free membership I have at WVU's gym. But it wasn't until we started going together that I actually had fun going, and had fun working out.
Matt put me on his routine (even though he goes for bulk, and I said I didn't want to gain a ton of muscles!). I quickly found out that although I was getting stronger, this wasn't the workout for me. My biceps doubled in size!
For the past few months, I've been doing my own thing at the gym, and avoiding Matt at all costs (sorry!). I've been diligently running and completing HIIT workouts (high intensity interval training) on the daily, and lifting NOT NEARLY AS MUCH as Matt had me lifting, but still a decent amount for myself. Now I'm finally in a groove that I enjoy, but still challenges me and leaves me sweating.
I wanted to share some of my favorite workouts with you, my fellow gym-goers!
First thing's first: If you're new to the gym, you'll notice that doing the same thing over and over again will get very boring, very fast. To the point where you dread going to the gym. The number one tip I recommend is switching things up!
Most people will work with different muscle groups on different days of the week, but even then, doing the same leg workout on Tuesdays and Thursdays makes you start to dread leg day. Even after you get through that initial hurdle, you'll probably notice that your progress is hindering, because you're not alternating through different workouts! If you've been squatting for the past three weeks, try weighted lunges this week! Explore! You won't regret it.
I also recommend checking to see if your gym offers any workout classes, and if they don't, if there are any in your area! WVU's rec center has tons of classes to try out, like spin classes and yoga and everything in between! I've talked about going to PiYo (pilates/yoga) before, but I'm going to say it again! It works on your balance, calisthenics (using your own body weight to workout, which also helps to improve flexibility!), and overall toning for your body! And, fun fact: This workout burns well over 400 calories per hour!
You might've heard of this one before: Bodypump. Over the past few years, this workout has gained quite a bit of traction, and is more popular than ever before. The bodypump class at WVU is an hour full of fast-paced workouts with calisthenics and weights, with little to no rests in between each set. It really gets your heart beating and is a great overall workout!
Because these classes target a few different muscle groups per hour, my current workout schedule is as follows:
Monday: A quick mile, followed by PiYo.
Tuesday: Leg day! This means squatted lunges, deadlifting, and a few of the leg machines.
Wednesday: An hour worth of a Zumba class, followed by upper body workouts, such as working with the chest, triceps, and abs.
Thursday: BODYPUMP! After class, I usually like to jog a mile.
Friday: Back and biceps, baby! Back day is my FAVORITE day! After, I'll normally do a few HIIT workouts, like box jumps (which also works your legs), jumping rope, and running on the track.
On Saturday and Sunday, I rest!
Towards the end of 2018, I was involved in a pretty rigorous schedule that had me going to the gym four days a week, and alternating between muscle groups each day so that I worked with each one twice a week. And while this was the best for me at the time, I am really confident in this change and how it will benefit me!
I'm sure you've heard of this phrase before, and you're going to hate me for saying it again: Abs are made in the kitchen. It's SO important to prep your body for a workout with the right food! There are so many different articles and studies out there that pick a side between the food before or after a workout debate, but honestly, I believe it's more of a personal choice. When I eat before a workout, I personally feel terrible afterwards. So, I like to settle it with a small snack before the gym, like a granola bar or fruit, water during my workout (at least one bottle!), and an actual meal after.
I LOVE chicken, and the benefits of chicken are astounding, so clearly we all know what my favorite post-gym-meal is. With a handful of brown rice or pasta and a nice serving of veggies, I'm all set (be on the lookout for a blog post coming next month about my favorite healthy meals!).
I hope yinz enjoyed a quick little look into my current workout schedule! In the future, I'd love to write about it a little more in depth, but I figured this post was a good start!
Since it's finally the beginning of February, we all know what's coming: themadisongreer's February Lookbook! Be on the lookout for that before Valentine's Day, as it will have some date night inspiration!
Thank you so much for reading as always!