Going to the gym f*cking blows. Half the time I don’t know what I’m doing, so I just resort to hopping on the elliptical for 30 minutes before calling it a day. Not to mention, it’s sweaty, painful, annoying, and honestly, I’d rather be on my couch watching SVU reruns. That’s why nine times out of ten, I’ll fork over the $40+ and just sign up for a bougie workout class where I can have an instructor tell me what to do, use the studio’s freebie dry shampoo and face wash, post proof I was there on my Insta story, and continue avoiding an actual gym like the plague. And that’s coming from me, a Pilates instructor, who yes, can also hate working out just as much as you do. If you’re like me and want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth of your fancy workout class, don’t make these exercise mistakes after you sign up, because you’re going to end up sabotaging yourself.
1. You’re Not Properly Fueling Before Class
Never go to class on an empty stomach. You’ll be groggy, irritated, and maybe even a little hangry. You can’t expect your body to push through your workout and give it your all if you’re operating on zero fuel. Grab a banana and some peanut butter—any food that will give you quick carbs for a boost of energy—and eat 30 minutes to an hour before your class to give your body what it needs.
2. You Won’t Get Off Your Phone
Yes, Twitter is funny as sh*t, but pull yourself away from your tech for the entire duration of a class. If you need to take a quick selfie or snap a pic for some ~content~ that’s fine, but do it before class or as soon as it’s over. It’s super rude to your instructor and other class attendees, and if you can’t pull yourself away from your iPhone for an hour you won’t be able to focus on your workout and will miss out on reps. And I promise you that your ex does not give a sh*t you made it to your fourth Barry’s class in the past week… if he’s still watching your story.
3. You’re Wearing The Wrong Clothes
You don’t need to show up wearing a sports bra, but wear clothes you feel confident in and that are at least semi-fitted. If your clothes are too baggy, your instructor won’t be able to check your form, you’ll lose out on maximizing your reps, and it can even lead to injuries. Avoid your college sorority T-shirts and think of it as an excuse to hit up Lululemon for some quality workout gear.
4. You Don’t Tell Your Instructor You’re Injured
First of all, kudos to you for even getting to class in the first place. But don’t be so badass that you avoid telling your instructor you have something going on. Even if you don’t think it’s anything, letting your instructor know something doesn’t feel right—or if you have a legit injury that’s been checked by your doctor—is always the move. Your instructor should be able to modify any exercises for you, and can even give you a few pointers on how to rehab your injuries.
5. You Won’t STFU
If you’re hitting up a class with a friend, great. But stop talking sh*t/gossiping/stalking your Ship matches together as soon as class starts. If you really need to catch up, grab green juice after class and chat there. Or if you know that you won’t be able to shut up when you’re together, take the class on your own and make plans with them later.
6. You Arrive Late Or Leave Early
Yes, the MTA is a bitch and a half and will probably make you late at one time or another, but don’t let make you late to your workout class. Not only could you lose your class credit or be charged by the studio (ugh, annoying), but it can also jeopardize your safety. 99 percent of classes start and end with a warm up and cool down and yeah, you should absolutely do them. They are crucial to helping your body prepare for exercises later in class, and they’ll help relieve any soreness or tightness after your workout. IMO, not stretching after a spin class should be a felony.
7. You’re Not Eating After Class
After you’re done hitting a high-impact class, the first thing you should do is eat a good meal with protein. Avoid a sugary smoothie (yes, even it’s made with mostly fruit) and try a good salad topped with tofu, beans, or another lean protein, or a sandwich you can take on the go. Yes, working out can help you lose weight, but only proper nutrition can make you fit and help you reach your goals. Don’t let the past 45 minutes you spent sweating out last night’s vodka sodas be in vain!
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Whether you just got home from work or you’re too hungover to open the door for your Seamless guy, making it to the gym isn’t always priority number one. In fact, most of the time, it’s pretty much last on the list, if it’s even making the list. There’s no better feeling than getting a sick workout, but getting there is obv the hardest part. It’s like how you know having friends would enrich your life, but following through on plans is almost impossible in all circumstances. Here are some ways to get off your ass and get to the gym when you’re just not feeling it:
1. Put On Workout Clothes
As soon as you wake up, put on your sports bra and your favorite Lulu leggings. By starting off the day in your workout clothes, you’re more likely to go than if you were to put on jeans and make yourself change later on. Betches tend to wear workout clothes everywhere we go anyway, so it shouldn’t be that hard. I mean, there’s always a chance we’ll make it to the gym anyway, so might as well wear our SoulCycle tanks to brunch and a movie just in case.
2. Book a Class
Classes are expensive AF and they usually don’t let you cancel, unless you literally put on an Oscar-winning performance over the phone while trying to explain the deathly illness you woke up with. Booking a class makes you accountable for actually going to work out, so pay for the credit and book front row. You might start regretting it on Sunday morning when you can’t even see straight and have a spin class in half hour, but you’ll be happy about it in the end. Probably.
3. Make Plans With a Friend
This is another trick to keep you accountable, but make sure you’re making plans with a friend who will actually encourage you to go to the gym- not the friend that will FaceTime you in bed with a bag of pretzels to say she’s bailing too. Find a friend that’s slightly psycho about the gym, and make concrete plans to work out together. Not only will the workout suck less, but you’ll also feel bad about being too lazy to show up because someone’s waiting for you.
4. Make a Playlist
There’s nothing worse than showing up to the gym just to start scrambling through random Spotify playlists and ending up in some Taylor Swift HIIT Pop category because you weren’t prepared. Make yourself a sick playlist beforehand that you’ll actually be excited to listen to. Plus, it might make you stick around the gym a few minutes longer if you have good songs to listen to. Just make sure you remember your headphones. I mean, no one should have to listen to heavy breathing and awkward panting while working out.
5. Bribe Yourself
There’s nothing like a good bribe to get yourself to the gym in the morning. Whether you’re punishing yourself with the whole “no social media until after the gym” rule or you’re just planning a bomb post-workout meal, bribing yourself to work out really works. Like, it’s a bribe. If it worked in high school when our parents got us a car for doing well on our SAT’s, it can work now too.
6. Have a Plan
Showing up to the gym without a plan is a mistake for so many reasons, but having a plan will also just motivate you to go. If you know exactly what you’re going to do once you get there, you’ll be more likely to get your shit together and make it to the gym so you can get through the workout you planned for yourself. Think about it. If you show up without a plan, you’ll just end up wondering aimlessly from machine to machine, counting down until it’s been an acceptable amount of time before you leave. Show up with a legit plan, whether you write it in your phone or just have it in your head.
7. Tell Everyone
Everyone pretends they don’t pay attention to social media, but then again, we all took a work-from-home day to follow the Rob and Chyna fiasco, so people are obv paying attention. Posting about your plans to work out might be the key to actually working out. I mean, no one hates that annoying gym selfie girl more than us, but sometimes, you gotta take your shit to social media if it means going through with it. Like, if 105 people already viewed your Snapchat story, you’re in too deep to bail now.
READ: The Hangover-Proof Full Body Workout