Month: January 2017

How to get through a bad session – a guide to the big fail

I hate the word fail – but sometimes that’s exactly what happens. Today’s session did not go to plan at all. My squats were feeling off, the bar was sitting weird and I would go down, but wouldn’t get back up – the ultimate fail. A weight that would normally move very easy, was suddenly a huge grind and I was NOT happy. And do you know what was going through my head? “FAIL FAIL FAIL”

The failed squat

If you’re anything like me, a bad session can turn even worse very quickly. A few swear words, a few dirty glances in the mirror, talking and thinking yourself down until you grab your things and head for the door. Working through a fail session can sometimes feel harder than the session itself.

So how do you get through it?

First of all, take a deep breath. So much of a fail session is mental, so try not to be too down on yourself. Have a think about what’s going on – outside stresses? Have you eaten properly today? Drunk enough water? So many factors can affect what goes on in the gym, so try and clear your head. Don’t over analyse the fail.

DON’T leave the gym – you’ll let the fail win. You’re there and that’s awesome, so don’t leave on a bad note. If you’re not feeling it, move onto something else. Take the weight down, get your accessory work done, or go for a walk on the treadmill but whatever you do, don’t leave!

A little bit of self belief can go a long way

Ask for a spot. If it’s a confidence thing, sometimes having someone there to catch you/the weight can make all the difference. Most people are pretty keen to help out, so ask someone working out close by, or ask one of the gym staff.

Remember the big picture. Remember what bought you here in the first place. That dress you want to fit into? That holiday that’s coming up? Whatever the reason, get it back in your head and focus on it. For me – it’s my comp in 6 weeks, no bad session is going to stop me pushing towards that goal!

Let it go when you leave the gym. Don’t hold onto it and turn the next session into a bad one as well. Congratulate yourself on what you got through and have a laugh about the bad stuff. Next time you will nail it!

What are your tips for getting through a fail session?

The Girl Who Lifts
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Setting the routine to get you going

So you’ve decided to start. You’ve decided to add some exercise into your daily life, and become the healthiest you. What now? Let’s find that routine!

CONGRATS! You’ve made the best decision. It doesn’t matter if it’s a gym, or you’re wanting to get active in your neighbourhood – whatever it is, you’ve done it.

My Motto

At the end of last year, hubby and I packed up our lives and moved back to my hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand.  The move was a big step towards our goals and was absolutely so exciting to get back with my family and friends. We quit our jobs (and I said goodbye to my 5 hour commute) sold/gave away and dumped about 85% of our things, said some very tearful goodbyes and started a brand new life in New Zealand.

Routine was something I relied on very much back in Aussie. I would be on the train at 5am to go to work, get home from work at 7.30, and go straight to the gym, and then home for dinner and bed. Monday – Friday this was my routine. It wasn’t the best way to live, but it was what was needed to get to NZ, and get to our goals.

I think for any gym/life/body goals to be met, routine needs to be in place. Routines give a purpose, keep your driven and help YOU know when and how these goals will be met.

So what happens when you need to start a routine – what do you do? How do you put one in place that you know you will stick to?

Since moving to NZ my routine has been very, ummm, relaxed (to say the least). My husband and I are very much enjoying the unemployed life, and having been taking each day as it comes (to be honest I wasn’t actually sure what day it even was this morning).

But, this can’t last for ever and very soon we will both be back in the working life, and a routine will need to be set. I’ve got some pretty big goals I wanna hit this year with my lifting (helllooooooo World Championships) so I need to be hitting my training.

These are my main suggestions for starting a routine that you CAN and WILL stick too.

  1. Decide the best time each day to work out. You don’t HAVE to be up at 6am on a Monday morning to workout, if you know that doesn’t work for you. Maybe you finish work at 3pm on a Tuesday and don’t have to pick the kids up until 5.30. Maybe you meet your friend across the road from a park for brunch every Saturday and you’re always meaning to go for a walk before brunch each week. Find your spaces each day and write in your workout dates – and don’t think it needs to be a 7 day thing – work in your rest days as well, if Wednesday is your busiest day, don’t force in a pump class at 4am if that’s not your thing.
  2. Unfortunately, this is the hard one. DO IT. It will be hard, and some days you will feel like you’re forcing yourself to do it, but think about that end goal and get out there!
  3. Don’t beat yourself up! Life is busy sometimes – family stuff, work, friends, parties – it will all get in the way, the most important this is to not let one missed workout ruin the routine.
  4. The first few weeks are the hardest – find your support crew, find the people who are going to keep you accountable – and let them help.
  5. Enjoy it. This is such an exciting time, and keep some variety in your life! Try out that spin class, try run for a few moments during your walk, or increase your weights. Just make sure you are enjoying it!
Just. Do. It.

Pretty soon, it will all be as normal as your morning coffee!

What is your best way to keep your routine going?

The Girl Who Lifts
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Joining the Gym – a guide for beginners!

Ahhhhh January, the time for New Years resolutions, revised life outlooks and promises for the best year ever! If joining the gym was one of your New Year resolutions, but you are yet to put it into motion –  this will help you find a gym you will LOVE to go!

Personally, I love the gym. I love the atmosphere, and I love (most) of the people. But there was a time when I was petrified of the gym. I felt intimidated and was never sure of what to do, or what the equipment was – I would end up just walking on a treadmill in the corner for 30mins, and would then leave. Sound familiar?

The very first gym I ever joined was here in Christchurch, and I remember walking round like a lost puppy for a good 2 weeks, with absolutely NO idea what I was doing. Lucky for me, an old friend was primary school was one of the trainers there so I started up with here twice a week, and gained so much confidence. Back then my training goals were very different to what they are now, but the basics will never go away.

Trial
I always suggest trialling a gym first. Most gyms will offer a free trial period – so make sure you take advantage of that! Go in, have a chat to the staff and have a walk around with them – let them show you where the equipment is and see if they offer a free PT session if you join! Make sure you feel comfortable, you’re going to be spending a lot of time there!

If you can, during your trial days, make sure you go when you will be going once you’ve joined. If you know you work from 9 – 5 and you’ll probably go in the evening – don’t do your trial at 6am each morning, as you won’t get a proper representation of what the gym will be like. For me, I’m all about the atmosphere, I need a fun place to train. I like being able to chat to people, and have people chat to me. Maybe you like to put your headphones on and be in a world of your own – make sure you think about these things when you’re there.

Have in your head what YOU want from the gym. Good cardio? Step machine? Good tunes? Bit relaxed on shoe wearing? (another big one for me), good classes that match your timetable? Have a list and tick the things off.

PT or orientation
Once you’ve decided on a gym, make sure you use any free PT sessions, or orientations they are offering, but have a clear idea of what you want help with! Most will be able to set you up with a program and show you how to do each exercise. Maybe you want to include some weights! Ask!

A good squat rack is very important!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Seriously! I get VERY excited when someone asks me for help with technique, or show them what I’m doing. Or, if you don’t want to interrupt someone’s session, ask the staff at the gym – that’s what they’re there for. Don’t shy away and get back into the habit of treadmilling in the back corner.

 

 

 


Just do it!
Like most things, sometimes you just have to get in there and do it. Get some new gym gear, have a big smile and hold your head up high!

My current gym <3

Find a buddy!
Remember that there will be other people who have just joined as well, and are probably just as freaked out as you! So smile! Say hi to people! A few of my bestest friends I met at the gym (mostly through Instagram stalking) and meeting them was one of the highlights of my time in Aussie. We only became friends because we plucked up the courage to talk to eachother. There can be a lot of misconception about regular gym goers!

Gym buddies are the best – maybe you have a friend who goes to the gym regularly, let them know about your goals and set some gym dates with them! You don’t need to be doing the exact same workout, but having a friendly face in a sometimes terrifying place, will definitely help with making you feel at home!

And most of all – have fun!

The Girl Who Lifts
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