If you want to get into shape, what you need in your life is Gym-spiration. It’s that feeling where not only do you look forward to going to the gym, when you get there you work out hard – and you leave with a big beaming smile on your face because you’ve done the best you can. I know this because I wrote a book about getting mine back.
It started last June. My exercise mojo had upped and left the building some months earlier and as a result my gym sessions had pretty much turned into a routine of turn up, adopt a sulky look on your face and then half heartedly cross train/run or row for an hour. Most days I was lucky if I even bothered to break a sweat – and not surprisingly my fitness and waistline weren’t altering. So, I decided to commit to 30 days of daily exercise for at least 30 minutes and document it on my blog – healthehelen.wordpress.com.
I soon realised that half an hour of sulk-ercise was not going to make good reading, so I started trying as many new things as I could – if a new bit of training research came out I tried the routine; if I saw a new gadget or gizmo I gave that a go, or if I interviewed a celebrity trainer for something, I used their workout for day or two – and I rapidly learned something. Two minutes planning your workout before you get into the building makes you work harder than you do by just turning up– and, having a goal or a mission for that day makes it seriously fun.
The blog posts soon turned into an e-book – and I turned back into someone who this week alone has gone to a Fitness Rave, run a 5k Park Run, and a 5k Colour Run and done my 12km training run for the half marathon I’m running in June!
So, could Gym-spiration help you get back your love of fitness? Try these five routines below (including a Healthista exclusive).
1. Take Five: Each time you hit the gym in a week, you cover 5km (3.1 miles) in some way. That might mean a 30-minute run, a one-hour walk, a 10-minute cycle, a 30minute row or 100 laps of a 50m pool. This is actually an adaptation of a UK fitness campaign called 5×50 which saw people running or cycling 5km every day for 50 days but it works just as well as a one-week plan.
2. Gym Stalk: Before you go into the gym, decide on a common physical feature that a few of your fellow exercisers might possess –ie people with blonde hair, anyone wearing leggings rather than shorts, those wearing blue. When you get there, pick one person with that characteristic and for five to 10 minutes – or three sets on the weights machine – do whatever they are doing – obviously adapting the intensity or weight to your own personal fitness or strength. When the time is up, pick another person with the same characteristic and join them on their machine. Of course only try this if you know how all the machines work. If you don’t, ask a trainer how to use them for next time.
3. Chase your goal: This is a good plan on days when you don’t really want to workout (but know you should). There’s a reason you workout out right? Whether it’s to lose weight, get more toned, potentially live longer, fight off disease or a combination of all four. Remind yourself of that goal before you start.
Do a five-minute warm-up and as you do conjure up an image in your head that represents your goal – it might be you in a bikini, you aged 90 or the figure on the scales you want to hit. Whatever, get it in your head. Then for the next 60 seconds, chase it. That’s right; physically run, walk, cycle, front crawl or whatever you’re doing to move toward it as fast as you can. Recover for three minutes at a slower pace – then chase it again. Repeat four or five times and then cool down.
4. Dry Tri : This sees you creating your own triathlon in the gym. Simply do the following –
Row for 1.5km (0.9 miles)
Bike for 6km (3.63 miles)
Run/walk for 3km (1.82 miles)
Aim for the best result you can. Note how long it takes and beat it next time.
5. Healthista Exclusive: Faster, Faster, Faster
Warm up for five minutes, then get on your gym machine of choice
Row, cycle or run at a steady pace for 90 seconds – note how far you’ve gone
Now, crank things up a bit. Aim to reach the same distance in 80 or 85 seconds
Recover by moving steadily but slowly for 60 seconds – you need to be fully recovered
Repeat, but this time aim to beat your original distance in 75 or 80 seconds
Recover for 60 seconds.
Repeat five more times knocking 5 to 10 seconds off each time, then cool down for five minutes
There’s over 40 more workouts in the e- book Gym-spiration: 52 Ways To Wake Up Your Workout by Helen Foster. www.amazon.co.uk for kindle; ibooks and other formats at healthehelen.wordpress.com – £1.99. Check out my blog healthehelen.wordpress.com
Follow me on twitter @healthehelen
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