Towards the middle of January, that's when my next semester started. And the best thing about starting a new semester is that I could go to the gym on a daily - well not really on a daily more like when my schedule had a nice time frame to squeeze a gym session in.

In the beginning half of January - as you can see from my previous post: First Half of January Workout Routine (Home Based) - I generally stayed at home doing home based workouts. Now that I finally had a gym nearby, I was excited to waltz my way through machines and finally! a track! my legs have missed the track so much. But, I also made sure to remind myself that since I haven't been to the gym for a few weeks, I shouldn't just toss myself on a machine like I never left because chances are my body isn't ready for a machine.

Think of it this way: My body was happy chilling with home based workouts for two weeks and then suddenly that whole routine gets turned on its head and replaced with machines and treadmills. Chances are I would have encountered some sort of injury.

So, for this Mid-January Gym routine I was more or less preparing my body for the change in workout. Essentially a warm up for what's to come in February (aka hi this month).

How many times did I go to the gym in a week?
I went to the gym two times a week - Tuesday for an hour and then on Thursday I went to the gym for a couple hours.

Also, as temperatures warmed a little - and by warm I mean 20°F. - I was also able to run outside!

What was my Gym routine on Tuesday?

Free Weights

1. Lunges
Weight in each hand: 2.5lb

Now, there was no possible way I was going to grab a 20 pounder and start lifting like the Hulk. All athletes start small and then move up. For all exercises I did 3 sets of 15 reps. HOLD ON I PROMISE THIS IS NOT AS BAD AS IT SOUNDS. The first rep was done with 2.5lb in each hand only, while in the second and third I squeezed in a 5lb rep in each hand to get my body used to lifting a bit more.

My lunges consisted of this format:

3 set of 15 reps

1 set of 15 reps using 2.5lb in each hand

1 set of 10 reps using 2.5lb in each hand 
1 set of 5 reps using 5lb in each hand

1 set of 5 reps using 2.5lb in each hand 
1 set of 5 reps using 5lb each hand 
1 set of 5 reps using 2.5lb in each hand 

As I felt myself becoming to comfortable with 2.5lb, I began doing the same format above but with 5lb and 7.5lb.

2. Alternating Arm Extension
(a.k.a the eagle)

This exercise is probably the hardest for me to do when I keep increasing the amount of weight I can lift. In the beginning, 2.5lb seemed to be the only one that I felt I could lift with correct form while 5lb was more of a I LIFTED IT NOW I CAN PUT IT DOWN-type-of-form.

When I felt myself slacking with my form that's when I went back to the 2.5lb because I'd much rather be lifting a lower weight with correct form than a heavier weight with incorrect form. Do I need an injury? NO. NO I DO NOT.

TIP: If you feel that your form is slacking because of your increased weight, PLEASE go back to what you were lifting previously OR lift in small increments. I used the above format for all of my weight lifting, however when it became too hard to do 15 in a set, I shortened it to only 10 because that's the amount I felt I could keep a correct form.

Never sacrifice form for repetitions.

3. Lateral Arm Pull
(a.k.a. reverse boxer)

For this exercise, you have your arms straight out in front of you and then you pull one arm to you while keeping the other straight. It sounds easy in theory, but as the amount I lifted went up this exercise got a bit harder. My arms weren't loving this exercise in January and currently in February my arms still don't like this exercise. Towards the end of January, I ended up sticking to only using the 5lb and 7.5lb occasionally for this.


2. Machines

1. Total Body Crossramp
This machine I genuinely go on every single time I go to the gym.  It's great for warming up my legs and I really feel my form when running has improved since using this machine. Occasionally, I felt my strides were a bit short or I wasn't moving my body the way it was supposed to be moved when running.

For this machine, I increased the resistance by 5 for every .10 of a mile.

5 resistance
10 resistance
15 resistance
10 resistance
5 resistance
10 resistance
15 resistance 
10 resistance
5 resistance
10 resistance 

TOTAL: 1 Mile

2. Rear Dec and Fly


For my Thursday Workout, I do everything above and add everything below:

3. Hip Abduction
This machine confused me a lot when I first saw it. This was partly because I've never ventured to this section of the gym before. So this meant the first time, I was reading through the little bubble of information next to it to see how it worked. I definitely felt this in my inner thighs and think this helped my legs become stronger.

4. Vertical Chest


For all of these, I followed my Lunge routine above format in terms of how I increased the amount  I lifted in each set.


3. Running

Since I didn't feel comfortable enough to toss myself on a treadmill, I decided to stick to the track to find my pacing as well as opting to run outside during the weekend.

I stuck to running 1 mile for a bit before increasing to 2 miles.

 I've re-introduced Speed Running into my workout with the help of the Nike+ Run Club app. I usually just use this app to track my pacing, but noticed that they had a category called 'Guided Runs' and thought to test it out. It was the best thing I've ever tested out. The coach guiding me through the runs knew exactly what to say while I was resting and while I was running to keep me running at the fastest pace I could run.

If you haven't done a Speed Workout ever or you wanted to re-introduce it back into your workout routine, I'd definitely recommend trying the First Speed Run Guided Run - you won't regret it!


I honestly could not believe it when I saw those numbers. I used to run a 5:45 per mile easily in high school so to see those numbers again felt amazing:

TO CLARIFY: That 10:04 was me just walking casually to warm up.

It reaffirmed the saying if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.


And that's what my Mid-January gym routine looked like! Do you go to the gym? What's your routine? I'd love to know!

The month of January tossed my workout routine in a lot of different directions. For the first half of the month - due to being on Winter Break for University - I didn't have the luxury of the University gym being a quick walk from me everyday. For the second half of January  - when the next semester started - I noticed two days in my schedule where I could squeeze a session at the gym in and have been since waltzing my way through the weight section, machines and indoor track (I should probably utilize the treadmills too BUT GUESS THAT'S WHAT FEBRUARY IS FOR).

What was my workout routine for the first half of January?

Well, due to the weather chilling in the negatives and me not wanting to test the limits of my immune system - that and my mom was not about to let me go running in -5°F - I had to stick to indoor workouts that didn't involve a lot of jumping. This meant hello youtube please bless me with workouts to do.


Videos I've used & What I Liked and/or Disliked of Each


I have been doing Lucy's workouts since last year, and one thing I love is that I actually feel it working. You know when you're doing a stretch and are actually feeling the stretch - yep that's the feeling!

What I Liked: 
It was easy to toss in anywhere in my schedule since it was 5 Minutes long, she directs you on how do to each exercise, and Lucy does each exercise in real time with you. (i.e. 30 seconds to do XYZ exercise, she's right there doing it with you or 30 reps of XYZ exercise, she's right there doing it with you.)



This was an article I ended up stumbling upon that listed floor workouts to do.  The focus of these workouts was strengthening your core muscles.

What I Liked:
There were gifs included within in the article to demonstrate how the exercise was done.

What I Disliked:
I had to set my own timer for the recommended time (exiting out of the article to set it) and then repeatedly get out of my ~workout zone~ to reset the time to different times depending on the exercise.



Now, it was only a matter of time, well a matter of scrolling through YouTube suggestions, before I came across POPSUGAR Fitness.

What I Liked: 
The person had a voice recording over the workout where she walked the person through how to do the exercise and explained the benefits of a strong core.

What I Disliked: 
The pacing of the workout was not really beginner/intermediate friendly - it seemed like I had to have a background of doing these workouts previously to properly do it for the amount of time that the person was doing it in real time. For example: When the woman was doing the Russian Twist, I honestly haven't mastered this exercise - no matter how many videos I watch, I can never master the balance that it requires. I think in some cases it would have been better if they included a side by side of what exercise to do if you're a beginner/intermediate athlete and a version of the exercise for an advanced athlete.
 This is how Lucy does her workouts - side by side option-  which I love because if you're not able to do one exercise, you can just do the other one she provides right next to it.


As I'm sure you realized a theme with the workout videos I chose, due to me not being able to run outside, I wanted to ensure that I was getting the proper workout that would assist me in terms of strength when I began running again.

What I Liked:
The person did each workout in real time & gave a few benefits of core workouts. If you're wondering about the benefits of core workouts: It helps prevent injuries and ensures you have good form from the start to end of your run. Also, in the beginning half, she details how exactly you do each exercise and gives an easy & hard version of the exercise.

Also, I realized I was doing Mountain Climbers wrong so! If you're also perhaps not sure if you're doing Mountain Climbers correctly, at minute 1:56-2:07 is where she does it!

One thing I found interesting to do alongside her was the reps of a set for each exercise. (i.e. 1 set of 12 reps for the V-UP exercise and then the next set would be 1 set of 10 reps  (each set went down by 2).)
If you're a bit confused at what I mean when I say 'rep in a set' you can check my July Gym Routine + Tips post where I break it down!


What I Liked:
In the videos, the trainer was recording an athlete doing each exercise and explained each exercise done.

What I Disliked:
The exercises were not done in real time and as a result did not allow me to follow along. At the end, the trainer specified how long you should do an exercise but by not having an athlete do it in real time it made it hard to remember how the athlete did the exercise* and then rewind the video while also setting the timer for the amount of time specified by the trainer. 
Bad form leads to injuries. Obviously professional athletes know how to do exercises with perfect form, but for athletes such as myself, getting the correct form can be a bit tricky. 


What I liked: 
Lucy did each exercise in real time and gave great tips on how to do an exercise with the correct form. 


What I Liked:
As I've mentioned above for Lucy's workouts - one thing I genuinely love about her workouts is that it's in real time. Also, I love that during this workout, she explained what area of your body each exercise was toning.

After having three bad videos that were not done in real time or were not at all realistic for my fitness level, I ended up sticking to Lucy's workouts which are designed for any type of athlete: beginner - advanced.

Since this post actually became longer than I thought it would be, my Mid-January Gym Routine will be up in a separate post next week!

I'm going to leave you all with this Tip: 

When doing an exercise, although it would be great to get XYZ reps in as specified by whatever video you may be watching, the most important thing is form. Maintaining proper form for 10reps of an exercise is a lot better than having faulty form for 15 reps. Something that I do if I feel that I'm slacking with my form is take a rest in between and then continue.