I’ve been working out quite a lot at public gyms recently and I’ve noticed a few things that are bugging me to the point of – I need to blog my feelings before I burst with frustration! The main biggie is the lack of ‘leg day’ incorporated into people’s routines. So I put fingers to keyboard and began venting about that. But then other peeves sprung to mind and so I simply let loose (tactfully, of course)…
- If you’re scared of ‘leg day’, schedule it at the start of the week so you can get it over and done with. But, you should count this as the golden rule of your work-out regime. Nobody likes a ‘Parcel Pete’ (see below). Yes, that is what you look like when you refuse to incorporate a sufficient (or any) amount of leg exercises into your workout routine. Do you think Parcel Pete looks good? Neither do we! So, we’re agreed? Leg day is your platinum workout partner on your road to looking great. So please…Get it done!
- When in doubt, go 50-50 or 3in1! This one will need some explaining… I know that some of you gym-guys were only given an upper body workout program when you started on the road to ‘getting big!’. (I’m just kidding. I don’t know this for sure. I’m simply basing this on the visual experience of most gyms I have been to recently.) But, here’s the thing: your body has a lower half too!!! So, once again, I’m going to preach this message until it hits home – leg day is a must! I’m not advising that you go too crazy in this area. Let’s compromise. Go 50-50 for an upper body + lower body hit; or 3in1 for a cardio + upper body + lower body hit. It’s a win-win!
- Don’t forget the core! It is what is says on the tin – the core part of your workout. You can’t claim to have a hot bod without the solid middle! A girl loves a guy with a stacked six-pack (abs; not the beer cans!). And ladies, working our core gives us a toned mid-riff, so we can wear crop tops in’t summer with confidence. So, you will be sure to impress on the beach/streets if you hit a quick (5-15mins), but hard abs-blast circuit after each workout. Make it part of your daily routine. It takes such a short amount of time, yet can have the biggest impact!
- Go hard or go home! We’ve all heard this, but I’m simply reiterating its importance. If you make the effort to actually go to the gym, make it worthwhile. Get to the gym, and do a proper session. I see so many people dilly-dallying or posing on machines (that I want to use). Stop being selfish, and let me on it, if you’re not going to use it properly (pleasseee). I also want to point out that gym-goers would rather you use each piece of equipment purely for its proper and intended function at all times – i.e. Do not bench in a squat rack! Please and thank you.
- Proper preparation prevents p— poor performance. As with everything in life, you should use your time wisely – it is one of your most precious commodities. It’s quite clear when somebody comes into a gym with no clear plan in mind. I’m not saying create a regimented schedule of each activity you’re intending to do to the minute. But just scribble down, or take a mental note of what you’re going to do. And you’ll be in and out in no time!
- Equipment – put it away! Simple.
- Join a class! Classes are useful because (1) you may be introduced to a new activity that helps you lose weight, tone up, relax and have fun; (2) you can have an enjoyable time with a friend, or make new friends during the class – yes…exercise is healthy and social (who doesn’t love a 2-for-1 offer?!), and (3) you have a guided, structured workout program free of charge! (Everybody loves a freebie!). Finally (4) you aren’t alone! The principle: “two shorten the road” has never been more apt. A partner can be a positive distraction if they’re working towards the same goals, motivating you to the finish line. You receive this same benefit in a class because you are whisked (or dragged unwillingly) along by the energy of the group. And if that doesn’t work, whether you’re feeling the energy or not, the embarrassment of potentially falling behind will encourage you to keep going until the end (this is generally my motivator)! And the funny thing is, everybody is thinking the same thing – “I’ve gotta keep up!”, everybody is feeling the same workout burn, and everybody feels the same rush upon completion – satisfaction that they’re one step closer to their dream bod. So, what ya waiting for? #Getinvolved
- Set a goal! Again, one we all know about. But, your goal must be specific and time-defined. ‘I want to lose 3kg. I want to weight 58kg by Dec 15th.’ I often hear people complain about how they really want to lose weight, or tone up. When I ask them about whether they have a gym membership they reply, ‘yes, of course!’ Continuing our discussion, I then discover they attend the gym maybe once or twice a month, or not at all, “But when I started I went about three or four times a week!” First of all that’s a waste of money, and secondly, that flippancy slightly annoys me. I understand that life can get in the way a lot of the time. But when things get busy, or you don’t feel like working out today, reflect back on your fitness goal. How far away from it are you? How much did you achieve? Do you have a spare half an hour, hour or two to do a gym session now? When the going gets tough, your goals keep you going. If you have a goal, when you’re having an off-day, you can find a way to get back on track. This should be another golden rule, but because lack of leg day is my number one irk, I will have to downgrade this to the ‘silver rule’. Goals are integral to every area of your life, health and fitness included. So note what you want to achieve, get your gym kit on, and make it happen! NOW! 🙂
 Unless you’re a canoeist or something, and then your upper body is your priority, of course!
 It is free if you are already a member of the gym, although sometimes gyms charge a small fee for certain special classes. If you are not a member of the gym, try a pay-as-you-go class which is often quite cheap, e.g. £3 per class, and worthwhile – even if you go only once or twice a week, that equates to less than lunch in the City.