The biggest challenge between you and fitting into your very skinny jeans is making the decision to hit the gym. Pottruck can be an overwhelming place. Do you dare enter the second floor weight room? Is spin class actually fun? Do you burn any calories at all on the elliptical? With so many machines and classes offered, it can be hard to figure out where to spend your time to get the most out of your workout. Here are some guidelines to keep your fitness routine from becoming a flop.1. Lose weight
Step up your game with a high intensity cardio machine or class. Weight loss is all about increasing your calories burned while monitoring your intake. Machines like the treadmill and the Stairmaster are awesome calorie burners if used correctly. On the treadmill, up the intensity by running at speeds at 6.0 mph or faster. Run in intervals to help the time go by. Begin running for 4 minutes at a slow jog (5.0 – 5.5 mph) followed by 1 minute at a sprint (anywhere from 7.0 – 8.0 mph). This mentally breaks up the workout, and the intervals are great for improving endurance. If you opt to use the Stairmaster, try going at a pace of level 10 or above to elevate your heart rate. Another great option for people trying to lose weight is Spinning. Make sure you breathe hard for at least 80% of the class – if you’re not, turn up the dial and push yourself!2. Tone your body
Hit the mat! Core work and strength training are your new best friends. Mix moves like push-ups, planks, lunges, squats, and abdominal work to target specific muscle groups. Make sure to pair your callisthenic and core training with cardio. One way to achieve this is by spending 15 minutes on the Stairmaster at level 10, and then 15 to 20 minutes on the mat. Use the time on the mat to complete a set plan of exercises and repetitions (see here for ideas). Or, challenge yourself with a tougher workout by mixing free weights and weight machines. For example, pair your normal set of squats or lunges with arm raises using 8 lb. weights. Other ways to get into tip top shape are taking Pilates and Body Pump classes. Classes are a great way to feel the burn while having fun with your friends.
3. Take your workout down a notch
Exercising is a great way to blow off steam after a long day. There are many ways to make your workout a bit more relaxed. Try light jogging or attending your favorite yoga class. Do what’s best for you! It is crucial to make sure your week includes some “me time.” Our current favorite for eliminating stress is swimming laps in the pool. Swimming is a phenomenal full-body workout. The quiet atmosphere is great for losing yourself in the repetition. Use a kickboard for a leg-focused workout. After your swim, hit the sauna to open up your pores, increase metabolism, and sweat out any toxins you may have accumulated from your week. You will leave the gym glowing!
Getting to the gym can be a challenge, so when you make it there, be sure to make the most out of your workout.
Images courtesy of Women’s Health (1,2,3)
This article was so thoughtful and helpful! I never have any clue what to do when I get to the gym… embarrassing! Thanks so much!