Transitioning to the Gym


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)
HERE IS A VIDEO SHOWING YOU HOW TO DO THIS

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.

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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.

Format:
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


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THIS IS WHERE I'D END MY TUESDAY WORKOUT

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

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

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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!

AND GUESS WHAT MY MIN PER MILE WAS FOR ONE OF THE INTERVALS?
5:45

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.

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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!







12 comments:

  1. I run too and I love the Nike app. I've tried a few and I always seem to come back to that one. I tend to run and do home workouts so I'm always really interested to see what people do at the gym x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. I've also tried a few running apps, one being RunKeeper app, before settling on the Nike App - I really love the additions of Guided Runs and it's really easy to maneuver through the app and use. I used to use home workouts from the Nike+ Training app, I should probably get back into that!

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  2. I really need to get myself back into the gym but I just can’t find the motivation. I think I might start with running and some home work outs! Thanks for sharing your routine!

    Jessica & James | www.foodandbaker.co.uk / www.foodandbakertravels.co.uk

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    1. Yes! Start small and then head to the gym if/when you're ready to! It's sometimes hard to find the motivation to workout/exercise but something that always helps me is how great I'll feel after doing the workout and how much I'll progress towards my goal. For home workouts I'd definitely recommend Lucy Wyndham-Read workouts & for running definitely the Nike+ Run Club app to track your pacing.

      Thank you so much for reading!

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  3. I really enjoyed reading about what you do in the gym! It’s always best to start where you’re comfortable when you’re first starting at the gym. Form is so important! I’m a massive gym lover so I go 4/5 times a week depending on how busy I am at work. I love lifting heavy and I’m trying to aim for a PB or 100kg with my deadlift!
    Love, Cally x
    www.lovecally.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! And yes, it's best to start where you're comfortable and not go lifting an extreme amount because you feel you should. Form is the most important thing - I always remind myself that if I feel like my form is slacking then to rest a bit before continuing with my reps. That's amazing that you go 4/5 times per week; motivation to go to the gym can yo-yo from time to time - with getting the gym bag set from the night before with gym clothes- so that's amazing that you go to the gym every week! I definitely believe you can get to 100kg with your deadlift, you got this - Good luck!

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  4. I go to the gym a few times a week and really enjoy it. I also like mixing it up with swimming and badminton too. This is such a great post, so helpful! Thank you for sharing 😘 xx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

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    Replies
    1. Yes so happy to hear you're a regular at the gym! To keep things interesting, it's always good to mix things up. I have a swimming pool at my gym, have yet to hop in - but hopefully soon! Badminton is so much to play, I haven't played in a while though. So happy to hear that my post was helpful!

      Thank you so much for reading!

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  5. Oh reading this is prompting to me to return to the gym, a silly virus has meant that i have not been for a while, hey ho. I like the hip abduction machines cos buy do I feel it the next day.

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    1. I hope you feel better soon! You should always be at your 100% at the gym, and as much as working out would be fun, definitely take the time you need to feel better. The Hip abduction is actually one of the newer machines I've been using and I definitely agree with you - the next day is when the soreness kicks in!

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  6. Reading your post has made me want to go to the gym again, but I really don't have the time :( maybe during the summer holidays :) x

    Perrine

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    Replies
    1. Yes! The gym just makes me feel so much better throughout the day if I go in the morning or if I go in the evening, I'm always looking forward to it! I'd definitely recommend looking for home workouts - as there are so many on youtube- that are short high intensity workouts (some are 4 minutes!) that make you feel great! I personally use Lucy Wyndham-Read's workouts at home :)

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