Winter is the perfect time to hit the gym – it’s the safest way to get in a good workout whenever you want, no matter the weather! I was never much of a gym person – I used to struggle sticking to a programme, found it hard to get the motivation to go, and don’t even get me started about nutrition!
I’ve been working on changing my mindset lately and focusing on the benefits that come from going to the gym. For me, it’s an awesome stress release to throw on some music and get a workout done, and of course I’m getting stronger and fitter along the way! It’s also a great way to prove people wrong; people say I’m not strong enough, fit enough, good looking, or I’ll never catch up to them (that was my boyfriend…) – so Challenge Accepted!
I’ve teamed up with Jetts NZ getting back into the gym, and I’ve been working with an awesome Personal Trainer (Daron) based in Newtown, Wellington. The best thing I found with Jetts, is I can go to the gym wherever I am on my flexi-membership! I’m now back in my home town of Whakatane and I don’t have to worry about finding the confidence to sign up to the gym again – that’s all done and it’s a case of going! I’m going to share what my main focuses are at the gym, and how I’m getting there – I hope this inspires you for your own fitness goals, and maybe gives you the confidence to get into the gym!
I had a couple of goals heading into the gym that I want to hit by Summer at least (you know, summer body goals and all that). Mostly, what I want to achieve are:
- More Strength – in both my Mind and Body
We all know going to the gym can be great for physical strength, but also for mental strength. When we work out – our bodies tire out before we reach our full capacity of our strength, and the rest is all in our minds. With this strength goal, I have a goal to push my mind further as well, to really reach my full capacity and build strength quicker – and this will of course translate to other work outside of the gym
- Toning my body so it looks how I want it to
Everyone is going to have their own opinions about how you should look and how your body should be – none of that matters. What matters the most is how YOUR body looks to YOU and no one else. Being confident in yourself is super important for mental health, and is a goal I believe everyone should hold close to their hearts. My personal goal for my body is to reduce the extra body fat I have sitting around and turn it into muscle – and this should help tone my body to look how I like.
- Learn new workouts to suit my body best and build my own workout plan
While having a PT is absolutely amazing right now, this is something I hope to not have to depend on for my whole fitness journey. My current PT has basically put together a simple plan to teach my body how to use specific muscle groups to build strength – and I hope to use this as a foundation for my own plans and goals to really keep myself inspired. For new people heading to the gym for the first time I highly recommend finding a PT that works for you and your goals to get started!
How does my Workout Plan look?
I have a very simple workout plan at the moment – focusing on training my body in using the different muscle groups to really push myself harder. I’m using a plan from my PT (Daron) in Wellington, my own Cardio/outdoor fitness and some workout guides from Shannon LLoyd. Here’s how these look:
PT Fitness Plan with Daron
When I walked into the gym a couple of months ago – I honestly had no idea where to get started and what was going to work for me – so getting in touch with Daron was one of the first things I did. The main point of the plan is working on higher weights with lower reps to push the strength in my body – and hopefully start building muscle and moving up in weights. After a few assessments, we’ve got a pretty basic plan to get started:
– Lower workouts, Upper workouts, Pull workouts, and Push workouts
– These have all been designed to target the specific muscle groups that I need to get stronger across my body
My Own Cardio Fitness
I’ve always had a thing for getting outside and going for walks around the area – it’s an awesome way to get some fresh air and get my blood pumping! I’ve set myself a personal goal to get out on the tracks at least 2 times a week, of course with the weather permitting, and moving that up to 3-4 times a week when we get closer to summer and longer days. My favourite track to get on is Lathams track – with it being a straight uphill walk for a good 2km and a fun run back down – perfect for a quick 30-45 minute venture (depending on if I walk or run).
Shannon Lloyd Shred It Guides
If you’re wanting something a bit more flexible – but will help you get the results you want – look no further than Shannon’s Shred It guides! If you’re not a member at the gym, that’s no problem – there’s a guide for at home as well! All you need are some Booty bands (which you can get from her website) and a space to workout! I love fitting in her workouts into my fitness plan – especially to focus on my booty and core (which really help with toning and getting my body where I want it to be). If you’re based in the Tauranga/Bay of Plenty area – you can also book a training session with her and really get you on the right path towards your own goals!
She’s got her next Shred It 2.0 Challenge coming up which I highly recommend giving a go! It’s 10 weeks long and you are bound to see some amazing results with her support!
Check her out here: https://www.shannonlloydhealthforallwomen.com/
What I’m Doing Outside of the Gym
It’s not just about what we do when we’re at the gym that counts – it’s also what we do outside of the gym. The most important thing about working out is to look after our bodies before and after a session. This is everything from nutrition and hydration through to rest and recovery. I try to have a good pre-workout routine, post workout routine, and a general good lifestyle to really support my fitness goals. Here’s some of my top tips:
1. Making sure your body is well fuelled and hydrated. I’ve been trying out a few supplements to aid in my fitness journey, as I’m working out a lot more regularly than I used to (and I want to really work hard for my goals). I’ve recently started using the Modern BCAA+ in Watermelon by USP Labs – as it has a high amount of Aminos to help with hydration and recovery, and the Hydrate Electrolytes by Raiseys. My body definitely feels like it can keep up with what I want it to do with these products being included in my fitness plan.
Before a workout, I’ll make sure to fuel up with a quick snack around 30-45 minutes before; usually a banana and a protein shake or a protein bar. My favourites lately have been the Aussie Bodies Collagen Protein bars before a workout – they taste really good and keep me fuelled for a long workout! These will be coming with me on longer activities – like hikes or longer outdoor runs
2. I make sure to have a quick stretch and warmup before a workout – as we should always do! (I’ve been terrible for this throughout my life when playing sports, and have only just started appreciating what it does for my body). Every workout I’ll do some quick static and dynamic stretches and a quick 5 minute warmup run before getting into any weights or proper running training
3. I always make sure to have a banging playlist ready to go on Spotify! I find music really helps me to get in the zone and focus on pushing my body harder – so I’ll find a playlist that supports the kind of workout I’m doing. When I’m out for a run I’ll find a playlist tailored to the rhythm I run at, which helps to keep me at a steady pace and be able to run for longer; or if it’s weight training I play something a bit more fun that inspires me to push myself harder
1. Again – refuelling and hydrating is super important post-workout. I’ll take a quick protein shake (if I didn’t pre-workout) and a quick snack where I need it. Prioritising your proteins here is really great for building muscle – so protein shakes are great to take just after a workout, and keep you fuelled until your next meal!
2. Stretching and cool down: this is important so that your muscles don’t cramp up or take longer to recover. I’ll try to do a quick walk/jog to cool down and a few more stretches to stop my muscles from cramping up and inspire a quicker recovery
3. Where possible I always jump in the shower as soon as I can (mostly because I hate being sweaty and gross – that’s so bad for your pores!). A cool shower is definitely recommended, which is hard to do in Winter, but if you can that’s awesome! I honestly tend to have a slightly warmer shower (but not too hot) to start with and then have a minute of hot water to finish off before I get out. If you’ve been for an intense workout (such as sports tournaments, long races, or heavy lifting – a good idea is doing hot and colds to stimulate your muscles for recovery. (Eg. Jump in an ice bucket for a minute then a warm shower, and alternate a few times before finishing in the shower, alternatively just use a cold shower for a minute, warm for a minute etc).
1. I do what I can to keep a healthy diet – drinking at least 2L of water a day, and sticking to a healthier food diet with less refined sugar and caffeine. I try not to restrict myself too much at the moment with my diet (if I want cake or coffee I’ll have it) but I do keep an eye on what I am eating and keeping it as balanced as possible. I’ve lowered how much alcohol I drink as well to really push for my own goals – which makes it a lot cheaper when I do decide to have a drink!
2. I try to enjoy my rest days when I have them, and give my body the proper chance to recover. I’ll do some light exercise – like playing around with Jake and taking him for a nice easy walk – and I don’t really push my body too hard. Sometimes I even treat myself to a Spa evening at the Awakeri Hot Springs to have a nice hot soak and give my body the loving it deserves (this even works for date night)
3. I try to keep well on top of my skincare routine and keeping my body well looked after on the outside as well as inside. You might ask what this has to do with fitness? Well, it doesn’t, but it does help in my own body confidence and keeping me pushing towards my goals – plus when you look and feel good you perform much better, don’t you? (I’ll have a post soon about my current skincare and beauty loves that inspire confidence in myself)
I’m really enjoying making my fitness goals a priority in my lifestyle, and really striving for a healthier and happier me for my future! I’ll post more tips and updates on here as I gain more confidence and experience, but follow me on Instagram to keep up with my daily and weekly achievements, and what workout’s I’m doing at the gym! Be sure to tag me in your own fitness posts too – I’d love to see where you’re at and how you’re working to achieve your goals!
See you in the next post!