Gym Time!

It is time to hit the gym – How will you survive?

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6 Tips to Make Your Gym Time FUN

Get a gym buddy

  • A friend will motivate you to go to the gym and break a sweat, and he/she may teach you a few new exercises to add to your routine.

Free Weights Vs. Machines

  • Free Weights:  Pros – Target a specific muscle or muscle group; Challenges core stabilization system; Improves dynamic joint stabilization and proprioception; Provides ability to move in multiple planes of motion. Cons – A spotter may be required; Requires multiple dumbbells or barbells to change load; Exercises are potentially more dangerous and can be intimidating to some individuals.
  • Machines:  Pros – Can be less intimidating to some individuals; Target a specific muscle groups for rehabilitation or bodybuilding; A wide range of loads  are provided in one stack; A spotter is not required; Provides additional support for individuals with special needs; Provides a fixed (one) plane of motion, which limits excessive range of motion.  Cons  – May not provide total-body exercises; Provides one plane of motion; Minimal challenge to core stabilization system; Do not fit all body types (eg. short, tall, obese); Expensive.

Read All Signs

  • Whether it is a sign at the locker room entrance, signs about gym amenities and class schedules, or an instruction sign on the side of a machine, pay close attention to all signs.
  • Tip for a gym newbie:  Pretend to take a long sip of water as you read and learn how to use a specific machine.

Join A Gym You Love

  • You may want to try the free trial at a few local gyms to find your favorite facility:  comfortable, welcoming environment; friendly, inspiring members, trainers, and class instructors; clean, functioning equipment and machines; and cost-effective.

Try A New Exercise Every Two (2) Weeks

  • It is easy to become comfortable in an exercise routine and not want to change, but it is necessary to mix up your routine and cross-train to avoid a plateau in your fitness level.  You do not need to try every new machine at the gym the same day.  Simply, step out of your comfort zone and try one or two new exercises each week.  Consider, performing your 10 to 20 minutes of cardio activity on the elliptical or stair-climber instead of the treadmill; or, you may choose to change the plane of motion (ie. sagittal, frontal, and transverse) or modality (eg. dumbbell vs. resistance band) of specific exercises, such as a bicep curl, shoulder press, and squat.

Create An Uplifting, Motivating Music Playlist

  • Need help creating a new playlist?
  • Are you in search of a few new beats to add to your existing playlist?
  • Here is a playlist I posted just last week, 02/14/2014:
  • “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk
  • “Your Love is My Drug” by Ke$ha
  • “Love Shack” by The B-52s
  • “Countdown” by Beyonce
  • “You’ve Got the Love” by Florence + The Machine
  • “Cosmic Girl” by Jamiroquai
  • “OMG” by Usher
  • “Sweet Nothing” by Calvin Harris + Florence Welch
  • “Can’t Remember to Forget You” by Shakira + Rihanna
  • “O Valencia!” by The Decemberists
  • “Accidentally in Love” by Counting Crows
  • “Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt Before” by Orion + Hedvig
  • “Let It Be Me” by Ray LaMontagne


Morris, M.K. (2014). “Chubby Girl’s Survival Guide to the Gym.”  Posted February 18, 2014. doi: Accessed on February 18, 2014.

Clark, M. A., Lucett, S.C., & Sutton, B.G. (2012).  NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training4 ed.  Baltimore, MD:  Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Anytime Fitness. (2014).  “Valentine’s Day Love Workout.” Posted February 13, 2014. doi: Accessed February 13, 2014.

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