I've had an on and off relationship with the gym since I was 16. Sometimes I'd be really "on" and other times I would disappear from there for months. I'd still workout, just in other ways. For example, the past two summers I stopped going to the gym because I did workouts at home. Major cardio and very little strength training. Cardio was my favorite. There was (and still is) nothing better than going out for an early morning bike ride or run in the summertime. My absolute favorite! All good things come to an end though and so did my daily biking and running adventures when the leaves started to fall and the snow started to fly. That's why I turned back to the gym once more.
Last November I walked into the gym to rejoin for the winter. I was bored with Youtube HIIT workouts and knew that I wouldn't stick with running (and definitely biking!!) out in the frigid winter temperatures. Lifting would have to suffice.
I browsed the internet for a lifting plan which isn't something I've done before. A few years back I had an awesome group of gym buddies who would basically guide me along through a workout each night we lifted together. It was so much fun! I learned a lot back then and I'm so grateful for that! The old crew isn't able to all get together anymore like we used to though and I was basically on my own. I came across a 4 week lifting plan and decided to go for it. I knew what all of the workouts were and knew that it was a reasonable starting point for me.
I showed up to the gym everyday for the next 4 weeks at 6 a.m. and completed my workouts. I was super proud of myself for getting up and showing up each morning. I didn't really notice much of a difference in my strength or body but I enjoyed the workouts so I was motivated to keep going. Once that plan was over I found another one and decided to give it a try. You can find it here. It's a 12 week program that switches things up every couple of weeks. In the beginning I wasn't really feeling many benefits from it but once I made it past the first few initial weeks then things really started to get better! I am currently on week 8 and I have gained so much strength. I feel stronger and people are telling me that I look stronger as well. Yay!
The workouts are so much fun and I really enjoy doing them to the point that I now go to the gym at 5 instead of 6! I also go to bed earlier than I ever have in my life to make that happen without being exhausted. It's all worth it though! Plus it's so dark all evening in the winter and there's nothing else going on so early bedtimes are easy. But anyways, the workouts are about 90 minutes at this point in the plan but those 90 minutes fly by like nothing. I'm challenged in my workouts but also not overwhelmed. I feel like the way that the guide is set up gives you the tools you need to build yourself up little by little throughout the process.
As I find myself learning more in the gym and becoming stronger I love it so much more. I have gained the confidence that I needed to workout in the lifting part of the gym which seemed so intimidating before. But it's really not! I know that a lot of people are intimidated by others in the gym and you need to know that no one cares or pays attention! Do your thing and do it with confidence. You got this.
Along with that I have also found mental and physical strength. Mental strength because waking up at 4:30 a.m. in the middle of winter on a Monday morning is not ideal. It's tough and honestly it's awful most of the time. But once I leave the gym I am feeling great and loving that I got up and showed up for myself. And the physical strength, well that's pretty obvious where that came from ;)
I will be finishing this plan in the middle of February and plan on doing another update then with an overall review of the plan I'm following as well as what I'll be up to next. I haven't really shared my workouts on this site for years but I want to get back into doing so because I love it so much and it's such a big part of my life, so here we are! Stay tuned for more and share with me the lifting workouts that you're into!