Hello, Wild Pretty Things!
If starting to eat healthier wasn’t your new years resolution (If it was check out my post HERE) then it was probably to start working out regularly. Physical activity is one of the most rewarding things you can do for your body – Looking good, feeling good, and becoming more positive are all benefits. Now we all know this, I know you know this, but how do you start and maintain a workout regimen??
I have talked about growing up as a chubby kid a few times in previous posts (Check my intro post HERE). It was always hard on me and I wanted to make a change, but I just didn’t know how. Even with all the knowledge the internet provides it is so easy to get caught up in whats true or false. When I first started my fitness journey started, I was completely uneducated on how to start a work out routine. Over the last 6+ years I have found, through trial & error, some of the best tips for starting & maintaining a work out routine.
Just like starting a clean diet, starting a work our routine should be taken on a month-to month basis. Focusing on a smaller goal will allow you to stay positive about the outcome and stick to your goal. Also, once you accomplish the smaller goal it will fuel you to set your next goal & crush it. Focus on 30 days to start, once you complete 30 days your mind will start to develop habits & it will get easier to continue. One of the most exiting feelings in my fitness journey were the times when I gt home from work, got ready for the gym, and just strutted in like it was nothing – No crying, no complaining.
Working out is as much mental as it is physical. If you want to be successful in your endeavor the the very first step is to get your head in the right place. Physical activity should never be looked at as a punishment. Working out is a reward for your body. You are making yourself leaner, stronger, and happier – There is nothing negative about all that! If you head to the gym thinking about how awful its going to be then, guess what? It is probably going to be awful. A positive attitude is the best gym accessory you need.
Want to stay motivated? Then dress the part. Buying a really cute gym look can be just the thing you need to get into that positive head space. Just like a killer outfit can make a girl feel like she is giving off contagious rays of confidence, a gym look can do the same. To stay motivated, reward yourself for accomplishing your goals – Large & small. Rewards can be another cute outfit, new running shoes, a new gym accessory, or anything else that will keep you motivated. ** Don’t use food as a motivator – You want to think of food as an energy source and not a reward.
Work Out Tips:
- ALWAYS stretch – There is no getting around this. You need to wake up your body and get it warmed up before any physical activity. If you don’t you will hurt yourself. Maybe not the first time, but I guarantee you will get injured if you make it a habit to not stretch.
- Working out is a mental game as much as a physical game – Get in the right mind set & never make working out a negative thing in your mind. Working out is a reward for your body.
- Form is EVERYTHING – If you are trying a new move and not quite sure how the form should be you can always ask a personal trainer at your gym. They can quickly watch you do a few and correct any errors in form. ** PT at the gyms I go to have always been super helpful with questions like this. However, don’t ask them to go over your whole routine.
- Don’t have a gym membership? YouTube is a great resource to see the correct form for any move.
- When possible, do work outs next to a mirror so you can monitor your form. As you get more tired your form will start to slip.
- Cycle: This is a good starting point if you are new to cardio. The bike is nice because you can sit in a comfortable position (most bikes at least. Some will give you the craziest wedgies- Not fun!), you can read or people watch, and time just seems to fly by.
- Elliptical: Great option if you plan on a long cardio sesh. This is going to much easier on your knees, if you have any issues with your knees or joints you are going to want to use this.
- Treadmill: The treadmill is great for shorter runs or sprints HIIT. Treadmills are tougher on your knees, so if you have knee issues you want to stretch and possible wear a brace.
- Stair Master: AKA The Devils Machine. This is going to be where you get the highest calorie blast per minute. If you only have a half hour and want to do some cardio then you are going to want to get on the stairs. Take this machine slow – It tires you out faster then you would think it would.
- Outdoor Running: Yes, this is different then a treadmill. Because the treadmill is always moving, it does some of the work fr your legs and propels you forward. Because you are being pushed by the machine, there are muscles in the legs that don’t get worked out properly. Running outside it great to get a well rounded workout for your legs.
- Make sure to change up your cardio – Don’t just stick to the stair master because it burns the most calories. If you do the same exercise for too long your body gets used to it and you will not see the same results.
- Mix it up! Try new classes and different teachers to find out what you really like. Once you find a way to workout that makes you happy it gets so much easier.
- Toning: Start with a light weight and do as many reps as you can until you feel like you can’t lift it any longer. (** If you want to pus yourself, then do 2-3 more when you get to that point)
- Gaining Muscle: Here you want to do the opposite, grab the heaviest weight you can handle & try to do 8 reps as the least. If you cannot do 12 reps then you should move down a weight.
- You want to mix free weights & weights machines. The weight machines will assist your muscles to a certain degree. Also, there are certain muscles that are harder to reach well on a machine. Free weights will work out those muscle groups better and is fully reliant on your body.
- When doing weights you will want to have some spot you in case you get too tired to finish with the weight.
- When lifting weights, Your goal should be to reach 12 reps & 3-4 sets comfortably before moving to the next weight size.
- HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training – This is where you combine 4 different calisthenics moves into a set. You do two sets back to back with 1-minute breaks in between. These are great because it gets your heart rate up high and burns TONS of calories.
- You will mess up & you will get lazy and want to skip the gym – Talk yourself out of it! One hours workout is less then 9% of you day & has so many benefits.
My Work Out Plan:
Below is a typical HIIT work out I would do on any given week. I didn’t include it, but on my cardio days I would go to the gym and do weights afterwards as well. What I have below would be great starting HIIT workout for anyone. Remember to take 1 minute breaks in between circuits & to repeat each circuit twice.
No Gym Needed:
Having a gym membership is the most affordable way to have access t a wide variety of equipment, classes, and guidance. But, gyms can be very expensive & even intimidating for someone who is just starting out. There is no cause to fear as there are plenty of gym free options. One example is a workout program or DVD set. These are great because they take the guess work out of working out – You literally just do what they say, on the day they say to do it. This is also great because you can do the workouts anywhere and most of them require no to little equipment. I have listed a few of my favorite workout tapes below- You can click the images to be take to their website for more details
Another thing you could do is download a fitness app. These apps have a wide variety of workout routines & moves that you can do. They typically will have videos so you can see how to do each move. These apps come in all different styles – Some are most specialized, Like a yoga app, while others will have a variety of different workouts. You can also head over to Pinterest to check out my ‘No Gym Needed‘ board for more at home workout ideas. Make sure to follow all of my boards as I will updating them with more info regularly!
What Are Your Favorite Ways To Work Out?
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