Getting to the gym is always a challenge, and even if you can get there you are presented with challenges. I have had to go through the process of getting back into the gym to start training many times. Although training is a little more challenging than going to stay fit, they share the same problems.
If you lack motivation I suggest going early in the morning whenever you wake up. Right away. Don’t make going to the gym an option, make it a necessity. If you go in the morning, you have less time to think about it. This is crucial because if you think about it you probably will not end up going. Also you can make time in the morning, sometimes later in the day other things come up and you may not get to it. Going to workout in the morning is also how I became a morning person… Wild concept, I know!
Make sure you have a healthy snack before going to the gym!!! If you workout on an empty stomach you will not be getting the complete results you want! To build muscle, burn fat, and build up your stamina you need to eat before working out. I do not mean a gatorade (never gatorade). I stash granola bars in my car so I am always ready whenever I have the time.
Another way to boost motivation is to find a workout buddy! This should not be someone you are self conscious around, but your best pal will work. They should not be afraid to push you or tell you to get lower with your pushups. If you don’t have a buddy to go with, then make a fire playlist that makes you want to move! There is a playlist on spotify called gameday – it is fire. Stick those headphones in and get movin!
*Workout clothes, shoes, and gear that you love will also make it easier to get to the gym! You will want to get dressed and it will make it effortless to get dressed when you are half asleep!*
Now that you are at the gym, STRETCH! DO NOT skip this. EVER. Stretching everyday will help your body move and be less tense. You should stretch after too. Make it a part of your warmup and cool down. Warmups should be no longer than 15 min of light cardio, stretching to get your body moving. Cool down should be a little longer and also include some lighter activities and stretching to get your heart rate back down and to loosen up your muscles and joints so they don’t tense up later.
If you are just getting back into the gym, take it easy. This doesn’t mean to not push yourself, it means don’t go crazy from the start. Pushing yourself should be adding minutes to your cardio, or adding reps to your sets. If you push yourself too hard with too much weight or too fast a run, you will probably hurt yourself or feel the pain later (not a good pain).
My trick to getting back into the gym (every time I do it) is to set reachable goals and keep track of what you do. Your goals can include (but not limited to):
- Times at the gym per week
- How long you are at the gym (>50 min)
- How long/far you run, bike, climb, etc.
- How many reps and sets of your circuits
- How much water you drink during the day (crucial)
Reachable goals and keeping track of these things, make it easier to increase your work every week and maintain consistency. If you run one mile one day, then the next day you run try adding half a mile (or start slow with a quarter). If you start with 3 sets of 10 reps maybe bump it up to 3 sets of 12 or 15 reps. High reps with lower weights will help you get started and get your body back into shape to be able to train again.
I usually add cardio every day I am in the gym, even if it is just for a warmup. I either bike or run. Keeping track of time and distance will help you mark your progress which can be extremely satisfying. I also work on my core everyday, and add either arms or legs. I am going to give you a general list of things I do when getting back into the gym. Alter as you wish, but it is definitely a good baseline.
- 0.75 mile warmup (run) or 3.0 mile warmup (bike)
- Abs/core: (2-3 reps, second rep you can decrease by 10 on the crunches if needed *if you dont want abs* 😉 )
- 30 crunches each side and middle
- 30 bicycle crunches
- 45 russian twists (later add med ball when feeling this is too easy) make sure opposite arm touches the ground
- 25 toes touch up
- 30 seconds of flutter kicks
- 30 seconds of 6 inches (hold feet 6 inches off ground)
- 45-60 second plank
- 30 butt raises
- 30 leg lifts on each side
- 30 side leg lifts on each side
- 100 calf raises
- 15 squats
- 10-30 pushups (day 1 start at 10, add 5 every day, keep adding)
- Legs and booty: (2-3 reps)
- 20 squats
- 20 lunges (on each side) – 15 second rep
- 50 calf raises
- 50-60 second wall sit
- 100 jumping jacks (50 second rep)
- 50 second wall sit
- 20 sumo squats
- 30 calf raises (with weight)
- 20 squats
- Every day: add 5 every other day
- Arms – to be honest I do a lot of variations with arms so I don’t have a set circuit I do yet. I do like to try to add some pull ups when I can (this is extremely difficult to start doing especially as a female, but it can be done)
This all may seem like a lot, but I promise you, it will get you going and get you back in there to beat your personal goals! *thank me later* And remember, all you can do is your best!