Today at the gym, my instructor assigned us partners. Now, we NEVER do anything partner related, so this threw us all for a loop. No BSing your way through a partner workout that’s for dang sure-accountability, folks. However, my middle school PE class self was not that worried because at least the partners were assigned as opposed to having to worry about who was going to choose you. I digress. The girl next to me and I exchanged worried glances. I apologized for my granny panties (lace underwear and nearly transparent under armor material are not allies apparently), she apologized that her legs were shaking. Anxiety and nerves filled us even though we made the choice to continue on. Could’ve said, ummm sorry NOT happening. But we persevered. My partner was a super sweet girl who I’ve actually admired in classes before. She is amazing at Zumba and I told her that during our shared session. She said, “yeah, but I can’t really do anything else…” in between sit-ups (and I thought she was doing a great job, so I was confused). She asked me, “I see you come in here all the time. How do you know what you’re doing? You just come in here and work out on your own? It seems like you have such strength that helps you in the classes. I don’t know how I could do that.” wooooooooooah. that took me by surprise. Me? You’re talking to the girl who quit Planet Fitness because I was gymtimidated. I gave her a brief rundown of how I figured it all out (or why it appears I have it figured out because I most definitely don’t.) But I spit it out so fast, that I don’t think it stuck. So, I wanted to share with you guys some tips on how to not be so intimidated, or at least how to start a routine.
The traditional way that I learned to find a routine at the gym is to work on a different body area each time you go. So Monday: shoulders, Tuesday: legs, etc. etc. This does not work for me, and also my gym doesn’t have that many weight machines. It’s hard to get into the whole body area routine when there aren’t machines that specifically target certain areas in isolation. We have bosus, TRX cables (I guess that’s the word for it), a few actual cable machines, kettle bells, booty bands, and equipment that you could theoretically do everything at home with. At first, I thought that would be a nuisance and an extra challenge, and quite frankly, who needs MORE challenge when you are already trying to put in the work to create a lifestyle? The flip side here is actually a benefit, because when you’re not solely using weight machines, you end up inadvertently involving other body parts in your workouts in tandem. Nonetheless, it’s still difficult to establish a routine when you don’t know how to use any of the aforementioned equipment. So, I did start with a personal trainer, BUT I was super curious once I started to fall in love with fitness, and started doing some more exploring. That’s when I found BBG.
I think that BBG (Bikini Body Guides) is an amazing place to start!!! Kayla Itsines is the creator, and she is a 25 year old personal trainer from Australia. If you want to learn more about her and BBG in depth click here. Kayla has guides that can be purchased OR you can download her Sweat with Kayla app which is absolutely awesome. There’s recipes, work outs for 76 weeks, challenges each week, and more. The idea is that you complete 3 resistance sessions a week (arms, legs, abs) that are 28 minutes long: 2 circuits composed of about 3-5 different exercises that can be done completely at home or at the gym. Minimal equipment. 3 cardio sessions comprised of 2 LISS sessions and 1 HIIT session a week. The resistance sessions do work all areas of the body even though you are honing in on either abs/legs/arms for each session. One catch is that the App costs $20 a month. For a while, I stopped the app as I didn’t want to pay for that. BUT it’s super helpful for me, and it’s my fallback routine, so I am back to paying for that! If you don’t want to pay for a gym membership, $20 is not so bad! Cut out like 1 meal out, and you’re good to go.
BBG can be done at home completely. If you go to you can check out Tiffanie being a total boss BABE for proof of this. She literally does jump squats using her dining room chairs instead of benches. Not advocating for ruining your dining room table, but you get my point! And there’s plenty more where that came from in terms of modification with at home items. It’s so fun to add the dynamic of getting creative with what you can use at home to modify the workouts. I think it would probably be wise to invest in some equipment, just so that you’re time is more invested in the workouts rather than finding ways to be creative ALL of the time. A few different sized dumbbells would be ideal. And if you don’t know what that looks like-3 and 5 lbs would be the best if you’re a complete beginner. I would go up from there. Speaking of beginner, the Sweat with Kayla app has about 8 weeks (I believe!!), where you are pre-training to become conditioned enough to start at Week 1. So don’t be alarmed if you think you are completely incapable. Don’t get me wrong, her workouts are INSANE. Usually, I think to myself, how can I get through an hour of bootcamp at the gym, but 28 minutes of this is torture. I think there’s a few different reasons for this…which I will maybe explore in a future post. All of those have to do with why I am TEAM AT HOME WORKOUT! You have nobody to be accountable to but yourself. You are your own motivation, your own cheerleader. Sometimes this is hard, because you don’t have the support of others. But you also don’t have to worry about thinking that someone is wondering what the heck you are doing at the gym!
When I stopped doing Sweat with Kayla, for a few weeks I was using the Nike Training Club app. Which is completely free, and molds everything to your own personal preferences. You put in how active you are, how much you like to work out, etc. However, most of these work outs need to be done in a gym. The equipment needed is just too much. The workouts are varying in intensity, which I appreciated. And varying in amounts of time, so if you need to get in a quick HIIT session, the option is there.
I also know that Beach Body has an ON Demand program, that has access to work outs that can be done at home or at the gym 24/7. I personally do not use it, but I have heard about people loving it, and having so much success with it! I’m not talking about Beach Body as a whole, just the On Demand programs.
The last work out program I will talk about is Tone it Up! This is my new, all time favorite. Started by beauty queens, Karena and Katrina. The biggest issue, though, is the price. You are not able to access their full programs unless you pay $150.00. I still have not done this. I am highly considering it, based upon how obsessed I am with the access you get to their free programs. These ladies are super motivational, inspiring, and I feel like they “get it.” Sometimes you want to work your butt off, sometimes you want some yoga zen, and sometimes you want to do #WineNotWednesday. They do tons and tons of work out videos, and every new season has a different “program.” For instance, the bikini series is coming up soon. I LOVE working out with videos, and the exercises are challenging but doable, so you don’t feel mentally defeated.
Perks of both BBG and TIU are online and in person communities primarily on Instagram, but on Facebook, too. I have connected with both New Jersey groups, which plan meet ups regularly. I know that BBG has meet ups internationally, and TIU does meet ups around the country. So, you can find fitness friends for sure.
This is not foolproof, but I think that I gave you some great resources to start. I would love to know what kind of assistance you need in starting a fitness routine, or what works for YOU. Are you #teamhomeworkout or do you NEED to go to the gym?
Live out your rainbow! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!