Are you looking to start working out in the gym? Are you nervous about looking silly and not fitting in? Are you confused as hell about how to put together a routine? Scroll down to find out the strategies I used to gain confidence in the gym and how I manage to feel like a BADD ASS after every workout.
PCOS and the gym
So, as I was in the gym this morning I was listening to an audiobook and the author said something really funny. I can’t remember what the author said, but I do remember that I bursted out in a LOUD ass laugh and half of the gym looked at me. This made me think about how much confidence I have in the gym now compared to when I first started. Before, if I would have laughed I’m SURE I would be thinking, ” OMG, everyone thinks I am an idiot.” now, I’m 99% sure that everyone that heard my hilarious outburst was probably thinking, “Deng, she is enjoying her workout“. The difference is that now I’m comfortable, confident, and on a mission. No monkey can stop my show. I am losing weight, confident, and getting my PCOS in check.
You don’t HAVE to workout in the gym if you are looking to lose weight and get in shape with PCOS but it definitely helps to have all of the cool gym equipment at your disposal without having to have random treadmills, weights, and yoga balls in your living room. I love working out outdoors however, I live in Miami and by 11am it can reach 96 degrees. I like being able to take advantage of air conditioning and water fountains every now and again. Having a gym membership is also a nice way to experiment with strength training without buying a lot of equipment. These days you can get a good membership for $10-$20 a month with no contract.
If you are new to the gym or old to the gym but still uncomfortable then school down and check out these 6 strategies I used to become a confident Gym Babe.
1. Crank up the Volume
I’m going to start this post with letting you on a little secret. The entire nature of working out is to make yourself feel uncomfortable. To make your muscles break and grow stronger, to make your fat cry and melt away, to train your lungs to continue to work even if your heart is beating out of your chest–to push yourself to the next level. It will hurt, you will get tired, and you will feel like giving up.
You aren’t going to the gym to lolly gag around and check out everyone’s outfits. You are going to be a beast! To make a change and go to war! It’s you against the weight, the flab, the inches, the lack of muscle– you have to put your game face on and get into the groove.
Before I go into the gym I usually sit in the car for at least one song and amp myself up. I turn the volume wayyyyy up and have a jam session. This helps me, it gets me in the right mind frame and helps me remember how badd ass I am. This way, I walk into the gym feeling like a confident Gym Babe.
Tip: Keep extra headphones in your car. You will be super upset if you get all the way to the gym and you realize you don’t have headphones.
Before my workout, I also make sure I have an upbeat playlist ready on Spotify or a good book ready on audible. When I choose a playlist, I make sure there are more than an hours worth of music that I actually like (I bump Drake, Rihanna, and Fergie on a regular basis). I just got into listening to audiobooks while working out and I must say that it makes me feel super adult like. Right now I am listening to “The Year of Yes” By Shonda Rhimes. You can try out Audible FREE by CLICKING HERE and you will get 2 free audiobooks with your free trial.
2. Make a plan
Don’t go to the gym without a plan. It will never, ever, ever work out for you. You will fumble, walk in circles, and leave without really working out. I always double check my gym plans prior to getting to the gym. Sometimes I even Youtube certain exercises to make sure I understand how to do them properly.
Tip: Write down your planned routine in your notes app on your phone or on an index card. That way you can mark off each exercise and feel accomplished.
I split my week workouts in to complimenting muscle groups. For example, on Mondays I work on chest and triceps, Wednesdays are legs and shoulders, Fridays are back and biceps, and on Tuesdays/Thursdays I concentrate on cardio and core. Saturdays are usually rest days and Sundays I try to do some kind of fun full body activity outside with my family. Here is what I include in every workout:
- 10 minutes of cardio warm up
- Quick dynamic stretching
- 3-4 exercises per muscle group, with 12-15 reps per exercise, repeated 3-4 times each.
- 20-25 minute HIIT cardio
- Quick after stretch
There are phone apps like “Fitness Buddy” that will show you which exercises target certain muscle groups. If you are interest in a fully developed 21 day workout plan that is sure to help you shed some pounds check out the Hello PCOS 101 Program.
3. Ask for help
If you don’t understand the machine, ask for help.
If you don’t feel comfortable asking the muscle head beside you then ask someone at the front desk. Most gyms also offer a free consultation to show you around the gym and show you how to use the equipment. Knowledge is power and is the foundation of confidence.
Tip: Don’t forget to look at the pictures on the machines for hints and proper form tips. Almost all of them have info on how to maximize your results.
4. Smile at the people
For some reason when people get in the gym they tend to forget that WE ARE ALL PEOPLE. Everyone in the gym shares one common goal, we all want to be better than we are now. Everyone has challenges and struggles and everyone is trying to figure it out. Don’t feel like you are below anyone else or that you don’t deserve to be there. Don’t look down or avoid eye contact— smile at the people!
A couple months ago, I was in the gym and I was unloading the leg press machine. I smiled at a group of women next to me and they immediately came over to help me unload the machine. We had a little laugh and now every time we see each other we wave hello. It’s a good feeling when you see someone familiar in the gym and this can help you associate positive thoughts and feelings with working out.
Tip: Don’t leave a million weights on the machines or leave your dumbbells in weird corners. If you don’t put things back where they belong you will make gym enemies.
5. Take A Photo
In 2016, if you didn’t catch it on camera it didn’t happen. Lol, you don’t have to Snapchat or go live on Facebook every time you work out but it is nice to have progress pictures for yourself. It’s an amazing feeling when you are able to put your “before” and “afters” side by side and be proud of your success. I tend to take pictures of myself on the treadmill and record random videos of my kettle bell routines so that I can go back and see how much better I am at executing the exercises as well. It helps my confidence and keeps me motivated for more success.
Tip: Most gym locker rooms have full length mirrors– pick an outfit and take a photo in the mirror wearing the same outfit once a week or once a month. This way, even if you don’t lose pounds you can pay attention to how your clothes start to fit differently.
6. Mix It Up
The gym can be boring and get repetitive if you won’t mix up your routine and or/weights. Your muscles can also get bored and exercises will start to be less effective. Try taking a Hip Hop dance class instead of using the treadmill or using kettle bells instead of the machines. Sometimes, I even take a run around the gym building for my warm up just to spice things up a little.
Make sure you continue to challenge yourself and switch up your routine.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to use the free weights, muscle burns more calories at rest than fat at rest and strength training can help you lose the weight faster.
So what do you think?
Are these strategies that you can use to become a badd ass gym babe? Do you have other strategies that you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!
Don’t forget to check out the Hello PCOS 101 Program for a full 21 day workout program complete with videos, body weight exercises, and more gym tips.
Thanks for reading!