This week marks one entire year of gym membership for your girl.
And it’s funny because I’ve never seen myself as a gym-going kinda person and I’m certainly not the archetypal gym-goer by any means. If there’s anything the past 12 months have taught me, it’s ‘never say never’, that’s for sure. I’ve had SO many questions on the blog, Twitter and Instagram asking me about getting into fitness, so in homage to this game-changing year of consistent workouts, I wanted to share a post all about my fitness journey and also to share my current workout split.
The First 3 Months
Although I joined the gym in October 2017, I’d fallen in love with working out by way of my weekly Barre classes. I wax lyrical about these but it’s completely down to these classes (a mix of Pilates, ballet positions, HIIT, weight work and yoga) that I even got to the gym.
So, Harvey and I decided to join the gym! We signed up for a couples’ membership at our local David Lloyd club, which was instrumental to my ongoing gym ‘success’. At David Lloyd, you’re entitled to three introductory training sessions where a PT works with you to establish your goals, measures your body type and statistics (weight, fat, muscle composition, etc.) and build a personalised workout routine for you, depending on what you’d like to achieve.
I worked out in this way for 3 months, shredding fat, building muscle and learning how my body worked. I absolutely loved visiting the gym and went 5 days a week, working out in the gym doing cardio and weights 4 times, and then adding an intense Spin class in the mix.
Finding My Groove
Eventually I moved gyms in March for a more affordable option. I found David Lloyd a really valuable choice in that their PTs were incredibly knowledgeable, friendly and not intimidating at all. But I knew that it’d be equally as rewarding to workout elsewhere for a third of the price. So I timed my gym move so that I wouldn’t miss any workouts. My last day at David Lloyd was on a Friday and by the Sunday, I was in at my new gym on an induction so that I could use the machines.
In January, I had signed up for a 5k Race for Life in July, which was fast approaching. This gave me the motivation I needed to persevere with running and cardio in general. I hate cardio. I also went down to about 4 workouts a week: 3 weight-training sessions, and my Barre class. Around May time, I was definitely in my prime and loved compiling my own workouts to do at the gym.
Then, I went on holiday every weekend throughout July and August and spectacularly fell off the bandwagon.
My Current Routine
From September, I’ve had a more relaxed approach to workouts. This is how my week looks:
Monday: Pilates class
Tuesday: Cardio and lower body weight-training
Wednesday: Cardio and upper body weight-training
Thursday: Barre class
Friday: Cardio and lower body weight-training
Saturday and Sunday: Rest!
However, I don’t beat myself up if I skip a session or two. Sometimes I only manage to get to my classes (these help to hold me accountable), and other times I can get all 5 workouts in. Five workouts is where I’ll feel at my best, because it gets me out of the house and forces me to adhere to a schedule instead of working aimlessly from home all day.
I like to do about 20-30 minutes of cardio at the moment (as I’m no longer training for any races!) to get my heart rate up and really warm up my muscles, before going in heavy on the weights. My main goals at the moment are to constantly move up in weights and get physically stronger, to lose an inch or two around my tummy, and to successfully do a pull-up. It’s useful to have goals that aren’t just aesthetic to work towards. One of mine back in January was to leg press 60kg and last month I hit 100kg!
Where I’m At Now
Twelve months on and I genuinely can’t even remember life before being a gym-goer.
While once I was deathly scared of the weights area and couldn’t work a treadmill, I now confidently build my own weight-training routines and workouts. I’ve toned up noticeably in some areas, but the biggest difference is my mood and outlook.
Spending an hour at the gym gets me out of my own head, and indeed house, allowing me to focus on myself for once. For some people, a relaxing bath is key to self-care but for me, it’s absolutely the gym. I pop a podcast on, run for 20-30 minutes, and move on to weights. It’s relaxing for me, even as I sweat it out, and I LOVE making time to go.
What I’ve found has been key to sticking at it is a few things:
- Consistency is the key to progress. My first ever PT told me in our first session that I couldn’t expect to see results in just a few sessions, and that was the main thing that led others to cancel their memberships. Instead, he taught me that a balanced diet coupled with enough training sessions to build on what you already do, would show results. For example, if you practice yoga twice a week, continue that and add on one cardio session and one weight-lifting session.
- Plan ahead. I plot my workouts in my diary, so they’re blocked out when it comes to scheduling client bookings and meetings. It might feel selfish at first, but you’re far more likely to go if you’ve already got it in the diary and had it there a few weeks.
- Find what you love. Like I said, I quickly learned that I LOVED Barre class and weight-training. I persevered with Spin because I felt like it was the done thing, and hated it. I also persevered with yoga because it was so trendy, and hated it. I realised I hated bikes in general. So, these were all quickly vetoed in favour of weight sessions and weight-based classes if I felt like I needed a push.
My Gym Essentials