The Gym

Hello there! Happy Spring indeed!

Wherever you may be, I hope that there are wonderful signs of spring everywhere. We LOVE this season.

As we transition out of winter, some of us have either decided to give up that New Year's Resolution goal and some of us have maybe made great bounds and leaps with it. I am still working but I cannot say that I'm where I'd like to be. Nevertheless, I still hit the gym rather often, run when it's nice out, or workout at home at dawn. Because I've been getting asked more and more, I am going to share some of my workout tips.

First Things First: CARDIO 

I LIVE by this rule. When I hit the gym, I stretch and hydrate and then hit the machines. For me, warming up is what really gets me in the workout mood. Good music and a 20-25 minute stint moving my whole body gets my blood flowing for the rest of my gym time and gets me pumped up. Sometimes, I'll go about 30-40 minutes if I'm really into it. Everyone is different, though, and if you're just getting started, maybe you only need about 10-15 minutes to warm up. 


That little thing about women not being able to lift weights, BOGUS. Women can benefit from a good weight-session just like any guy can. If you're worried about getting too bulky, this can be controlled. Find a weight that challenges you and works you, but doesn't make you wanna work up to lifting your own body weight. At the weight station, I vary from 12.5-20lbs based on what I'm doing. You also need to think about how many reps you can handle. For example, if you perform bicep curls with 15lbs weights and can do 15 reps in a set--great! It's when you progressively increase your weights and increase your reps in a set that gets you bulky, especially if you have a high protein intake included in your diet. 

Bicep Curls
 These are pretty self-explanatory. Select a weight you can handle, make sure you back is straight, and rest the sides of the weights to the sides of your thighs (palms should be facing up). Carefully curl it up, keeping your elbows close to your body

Bended Flies 
 Bend at the knees and hold the weights in front of the as shown below. Then, like you're trying to pry something open, pull them apart and away from your chest. Make sure as you "fly" you crunch the muscles in your upper back, pinching it together as you spread your arms out. (My posture is a little off here due to trying to shoot, but you can find the proper posture online.)

Bow & Arrow

There are many many more ways to work them arms that I couldn't quite get a good shot of, but, here are some Youtube videos I use that show them perfectly! It's how I learned what to add to my time at the gym. Check out these great vids from Tone it Up Fitness, Popsugar Fitness, and CosmoBody! Cool thing is, each of them have multiple videos and include ab work!

Pound Its 

 I am not sure what these are really called, but this is what I call 'em. Take your weights and press the sides against one another. Make sure your elbows are touching your sides lightly and loosely--don't tense up! Swing your arms outward, exposing your torso--thing of an open and shut type of motion. Lightly "pound" your weights back together and repeat. 

Bench Presses and Dips
One bench has so many options! For these, grip the edge of the bench and perform push ups like you would on the floor (the elevation adds challenge and makes you work). Then, turn around and do the reverse, dipping your bottom low to the ground to work your shoulder, back, triceps, and biceps!
Elevated Pushups
These. Are. Not. Easy. But so worth it! They work your upper back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps. EVERYTHING! Weight sizes don't matter here, you won't lifting them. Just grip them tight in your traditional push-up position and go for it.

Final Focus: Abs

I usually end with abs during my routines. Depending on how I feel, I'll add some ab work in between my arm work or do a move that works both. There are several machines at the gym, mats, bars, kettle bells, and free weights you can use to work your abs. Adding a weight to a traditional ab move can really take it to the next level and get you increased results More on this later. 

Finally, I am no pro--but I've come a long way in my own fitness and weight goals and friends or family ask me all the time for how-to's. I will add more soon about other gym time tactics and other ways  I keep fit.