Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I have a gym membership. Now what?

You just joined a gym or you've decided to start working out. Awesome, it all starts with that decision! You walk in to an unfamiliar room filled with cardio machines, weight machines, some stuff looks like it rolled straight out 50 Shades of Grey, and you have no clue where to start. It's an intimidating situation. There will be people getting their sweat on from all ranges of the physical fitness spectrum, and you probably feel like they all know more about what they're doing than you.

Be cool, be cool, be cool, don't make yourself look stupid, stress, stress- unnecessary stress!

Newsflash! No one cares what you do at the gym. No one is paying attention to you. They're all wrapped
up in their own body staring back at them in the mirror. Unless you're swinging from the pull up bar scratching your under arms and hooting like a baboon or grunting like a pig giving birth, no one is paying attention to you. Do yourself a huge favor and leave those insecurities at the door!

Go to the gym with a plan. Don't walk in and think, ohh diddle doodle doo what should I do?! If your gym offers group classes, I highly encourage you to get involved! Make some chitter chatter and get to know people, before or after class only (people will notice if you talk all through class- that shiz is seriously annoying), group exercise classes have been a priceless wealth of knowledge for me.

No class? No problem. Develop a plan before you get the the gym. I put together my work outs based on what muscle groups I've worked the day before. The class I take on Mondays is a total body work out. Realistically, I can work total body each day as I'm not lifting a heavy amount of weight. However, I try to do leg work on short run days, and arm work on long run days. Friday mornings, I do a total body work out.

Define your objectives. Is your goal to lose weight and tone? Shed lots large amounts fat? Tone? Get stronger? All of the above?

My goals have always been a combination of the above. Presently, I want to burn fat, tone, and get stronger. I always complete at least 30 minutes of endurance cardio. This is either in the form of a run or the elliptical or stair master on a cross training day. Sometimes I'll split up my cardio ie 45 minutes on the elliptical, 15 minutes of arms, 20 minutes of stair master, finishing with butt and core work. Keep in mind that 45 plus minutes of cardio and you are burning straight fat. Burning fat = weight loss.

Pinterest is your very best gym friend. Pull pins you want try, print them out, and bring them with you to the gym! If you don't know what a move is, Google dat!! Just make a plan. Below are a few links to my most recent detailed work outs posted to the blog.

Cross Training & Pinterest Challenge

Circuit Training

Booty Work

Cross Training/ Total Body

Speed Training & Arms/ Core

Tuesday Evening Run & Strength Training-

30 Minute Run- 3 Miles outdoors

Legs/Booty Work
3 Sets of 12 Squats with 30lb weighted bar
Two sets of 20 per side upside down bosu ball squat with single shoulder press
2 Sets of 20 per leg 8lb weight Glute Lift with 20 upper pulse
2 Sets of 12 with 12 Pulse leg Extensions on ball

Pull Up Goal Work
3 Sets of 8 90lb Lateral Pull Downs
2 Sets of 12 45lb Rows
2 Sets of 12 45lb deadlifts

Core Work
20 Upside down Bosu Ball Ball Roll Ups
10 Upside down Oblique Bosu Ball Roll Ups
20 Set Ups with 10lb weight
20 Crunches 10lb Weight
60 Russian Twists (10lb weight)
20 Plank Pulse High
20 Plank Pulse Low
1 Minute High Plank
20 Rolling Planks
20 Ball Pulse with 8lb Weight
20 Oblique Crunches on Ball per side 8lb weight
30 Second Side Plank (Each Side)
1 Minute Low Plank

Never be afraid to try something new at the gym, and always remember the person judging you most harshly is you. Don't stress, just do your best!Over time you will develop confidence in your surroundings and putting together your work outs. Like anything else in life, the more you practice, the better you'll get!

I swear I'm not always a hot sweaty mess... here's proof!

Find me on FacebookBeachbodyPinterest, Instagram @ellenoelfitnessKeek, and My Fitness Pal!

Daily Motivator


  1. My first thoughts, RED ROOM OF PAIN lol...great post girl! Wish I could've read this my first day in the gym. Very motivating:)

  2. You are a BADASS! I need to be more like you! :)

  3. Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks! I've been itching for a new core section and I think I've just found it!

  4. You are amazing and I love your point of view! Unfortunately I'm still too afraid to set foot in gym, I'm working on it though! I still just hide in my basement to do my workouts lol. I need to be more like you soon, you're a BEAST! LOVE your hair btw FAB!

  5. whooohooo great informative post! I wish I could have read this years ago! I was always so intimidated to go to the gym for the longest time! You are lookin' pretty buff, long, and lean on that ball, Misss Thang! Happy Wednesday gorgeous! XOXO

  6. I totallyyyy Agree with this post! couldn't have said it better!

  7. Great list! I agree that group classes are a wealth of knowledge. Plus it forces you to workout for the entire duration of the class! Since I really don't enjoy the gym (I would much rather be doin my thang outside), a lot of times I walk in dreading it, and can't get my workout mojo going, and end up only doing 20 min on the ellipical and then leave. But not if I'm in a class! I plant myself in the middle so I can't just walk out if I'm not feelin it! Plus the energy of other around me can usually get me going. Ya know, I think I'm going to do a class tomorrow!

    Also, great point about having a plan. That will help soooo much in feeling confident!

    And if your gym is full of college-age guys lifting those heavy weights - well go ahead and distract yourself by feasting your eyes on that man meat! Yeah I said it :)

  8. You need to just quit your job and become a trainer. YOU ARE AWESOME. I am so impressed with this. Thanks for the tips, missy. You always have the best ideas!

  9. I could not love your blog more. For serial, girl. Thanks for this post! I'm printing off some of these routines and keeping them next to our dumbbell rack!

  10. I definitely have those insecurities surrounding the gym!


  11. Thanks for the post, I will be coming back here for ideas after my couch to 5k is over :)

  12. Looking great Gisele both in the gym and out. Great tips for gyms! I can't wait to get a membership in May and tone, tone, tone! Just in time for ORB

  13. I also like getting my workout ideas from It may seem intimidating at first because isn't that site for body builders?! Really though, they have great workout routines, to include some for beginners! While I don't want to be a body builder per se, I'm a newb at weight lifting for strength training and has videos on how to do each exercise! Video is way better for me than just pictures. I guess as a kid, I was that one who needed pop-up pictures instead of just pictures! ;) Weight lift on!

  14. Love this girl. For any newbies out there!

  15. Do you think that a gym is the way to go or that you can go lose weight without a gym?

  16. Thanks so much for always posting a little breakdown of what you do! I need to get my behind moving more at home and I think I'm going to steal some of your Tuesday and modify it for me.

  17. Wow keep up the great work and keep doing what you are doing. I know that keeping healthy is very important and going to the gym can be a really great way to to do that. There is this gym I know of that is really good and their site is called and all you need to do is check them out and see what they can do for you.