So if anyone is like me they started off as a skinny girl with absolutely no muscles in sight and terrified to be anywhere by herself. Sound familiar? It’s perfectly normal to feel like you have no idea what you are doing when it comes to the gym. Nobody does when they first start out. Don’t worry though, it get’s better.
My first taste of “Gym Life” was the old Planet Fitness. This is definitely a beginners gym. If all you want to do is cardio then you don’t really need to try anything else but I highly recommend that you do. Cardio is fine for burning calories but after awhile you won’t be doing anything for your body. You have to keep your body and muscles growing. Trust me, as a skinny white girl, I know what you’re thinking, “Ew muscles“. Everyone wants that perfect beach bod, the celebrity skinny bod, the perfect ass and abs bod. You can not get that with out muscles.
After ditching Planet Fitness I started going to a boxing gym with a friend. Boxing was insane! I loved it but yet again it was an hour of cardio. No weight lifting. Just moving your body and learning a little bit of boxing technique here and there. Like I mentioned before this was great for burning calories but that’s really it. Every girl wants to be skinny, but being fit and in shape looks even better. Plus, you don’t get a big booty being skinny and big booties are in!
About a year later my boxing partner moved away and I was stuck going alone. One thing about working out; you either enjoy going alone or you don’t. Some people feel relaxed, almost therapeutic, going to the gym by alone. That was not me. Still isn’t. At this time I was still like a deer in the headlights when it came to the gym. I did not enjoy working out alone. So my boyfriend suggested that I start going to his gym with him. I have to admit, I never thought I would still be working out with my boyfriend at HIS gym almost two years later. I figured I would go a few times, it would be a cute bonding experience, and I would back out and say “ok you go do your thing I’ll go do mine“. But that didn’t happen.
When you first walk into a gym like 24 Hour Fitness or any hardy type gym it is extremely intimidating. I was terrified. It feels like everyone in the gym is just staring at you and everyone else. There are mirrors on almost every wall, there are people who are absolutely RIPPED, and you are just there… in your little work out outfit….feeling like you need to run away. But I didn’t. I stayed. I worked out with him. It was hard. It was embarrassing. But it felt great. My muscles were so sore the next day, it was amazing!
I remember telling my boyfriend exactly how I felt when we walked into his gym that first day. “Why is everyone just staring at everyone?”. “You get used to it”, he said. He was right. Here we are two years later and I walk into our gym like anyone else. We’re regulars now. You realize that everyone stares at you and each other because really, where else are they going to look? You try your best not to make eye contact but it happens. I changed a lot during these two years. I researched things on diet and muscles and working out and what’s best. It took some time but I finally have my gym routine and diet down.
When you are just “skinny” you aren’t doing anything for your body. You are out of shape. That’s exactly what I was two years ago. At the time I could pretty much eat what I wanted but I was completely uneducated. When your body builds muscle, it burns fat. When your body has toned definition, it’s constantly burning fat. When you lift weights, your body burns fat up to two hours after you leave the gym. It’s better than cardio AND you HAVE to eat to keep your muscles. I can eat so much more now than I ever could have then and I still look and feel great. Weight lifting is the best work out you can do if you love food.
Keep in mind, you still have to eat healthy but you do get to eat more carbs and more food. I started looking more into diet after I had been weight lifting for awhile and felt like my muscles had stopped growing. I was trying to not eat anything after working out. I was under the mindset that if I ate after working out all my hard work would be useless and I would just gain fat. That was all wrong. When you are weight lifting you are basically doing cardio and building muscle all at once. And like I said, your body burns calories even after you leave the gym for up to two hours. So what this means is, you HAVE to eat after the gym. If you don’t, your muscles won’t grow. They have nothing to take in. So I started eating light and low carb on my non work out days, light and low carb before my work outs, and the bulk of my food and carbs I actually eat AFTER I work out. It has really worked well for me.
So now that I had the work out and diet down I still wanted to look better. I wanted to get abs. I wanted the perfect beach bod and the six pack. Six packs are a lot of work AND they are not made in the gym. Yes, they are not made in the gym. Six packs are all what you eat. If your diet doesn’t match the work out then you won’t ever see those washboard abs. You have to eat right and then you will see results. You also have to give your body time to rest. If you don’t rest then your body can’t build muscle (aka those abs). For me, I had and still have some unwanted belly fat that I feel is hiding away my perfectly toned stomach. I’ve recently added in some extra cardio and it has already started to show.
Many times in this post I have said “for me”. That’s because you really do have to listen to your own body and feel things out for yourself. Use this as an outline but do your own research and find out what really works for you. Try new things if you get bored with your gym routine. Go to a gym class, try yoga, try kick boxing, try swimming. Learn. It will take time and effort but the results are worth it. There were times in these past two years that I didn’t go to the gym consistently and it showed. Now, I have been going to the gym consistently and that shows. Work on yourself and it will show. Give everything time. Don’t eat healthy and work out for one week and expect results. I have been working out for two years and really only working on my diet for a couple months and I’m still going. My body is still changing. Work on yourself consistently and you will see results, guaranteed.
Also if you are wondering my gym schedule is:
Monday: Chest day (plus I have recently added stairs at the end of this day)
Tuesday: Rest day plus some lite cardio
Wednesday: Back and Bi day
Thursday: Rest day plus some lite cardio
Friday: Leg day
Saturday-Sunday: Rest days