So January is finally over, the snow is here, and if you’re like the old me, the gym motivation from the start of the year is slowly slipping away. In fact, it wasn’t until March last year when I actually made the decision to join a gym and try and establish some sort of routine.
Initially, I was motivated by Instagram; I started to follow all these amazingly fit and beautiful women and wanted a body like theirs – fast. I began by weight training. I started using the squat rack, the dumbbells, and machines like the lateral pull down. I always felt as though I worked hard. My legs would feel like jelly on the way home and washing my hair would be a struggle after an arm workout.
My body did change a little bit, however, I wasn’t realistic about how long it would take to see results. Whilst I felt healthier, I wanted to get toned quick. I went to the gym about four times a week up until my holiday in the summer and then completely got out of the routine.
I didn’t go back for at least a month. The thought of entering the gym again was daunting and I didn’t feel like I had enough motivation to exercise; I hadn’t seen the quick results I thought I would get and didn’t really know how to switch up my workouts and keep weight training interesting.
It was around September/October time when I attended my first Les Mills GRIT class. I nervously set up my area with a bench and hand weight and was so not prepared for the intensity of the class. It nearly killed me!
I initially felt so sick. But on the car journey home I began to feel great. I had got the blood pumping all over my body and pushed it to a level it had never been before. I felt refreshed, energised and exhilarated. Needless to say, I was hooked.
I tried all three of the GRIT classes: Plyo, strength, and cardio. All of them had the same effect and it was great to push my body past the boundaries I had previously built in cardio training. At the beginning I struggled to do a full press up, now I can do quite a few and it’s the best feeling!
By switching my training to GRIT, I now feel more toned, trim and generally healthier. More importantly, GRIT has made me realise that it’s not all about aesthetics. The classes I go to are amazing for my mental health. They make me feel mentally stronger as well as physically stronger. I really enjoy them and love the refreshed feeling that comes after.
Going to GRIT is now part of my routine and it feels great that I have found a form of exercising that I love and that I feel is, sounds cringe, but truly benefiting my body, mind, and soul.
I may bring back using weights into my work out at some point. But for now, GRIT is just what I need to build fitness, see results and feel really good. I have also recently been incorporating Les Mills Body Combat into my workout week and so far, I’m loving it as well!
I wasn’t going to add an advice section to this post because everyone enjoys different forms of exercise and it’s not for me to say what’s right for you and what’s not. However, there are a few generic things that I’ve learnt that I feel I want to share.
- Experiment to find what you love
If you’re a bit like I was and your workout is getting a bit boring, it might be time to try and incorporate something new into your routine. Maybe try a different class? Or a different form of cardio? This will keep your workouts fresh and help you to maintain motivation.
Also, if you’re feeling a bit defeated by your first class – just keep going. Your body will improve and before you know it you will be shocked at how far you’ve come.
2. Get to know your fellow class-goers
It took me a while to get to know the regulars of the GRIT class, but once I’d introduced myself and started chatting to them, I felt much more comfortable. It might sound silly, but I now feel even more motivated to go because I know the people.
3. Find your gym buddy
A couple of months ago I brought my friend Georgie along to the classes with me. We always used to try and work out together at uni and we have always been motivated by each other. Recently, we’ve been trying to do the combinations in synchronization and this, I find, makes me push myself even further.
4. Make the most of the outdoors
Some of you may already know, but I absolutely LOVE walking. It’s one of my favourite ways to spend my free time. My friend Carrie and I head out with my circular walk book and explore the beautiful countryside we’re so blessed to live in. I feel so refreshed and awake after a walk and I can’t recommend them enough if you’re looking for a different way to get active as the weather starts to improve (hopefully).
Thank you for reading.