If you’re new years resolution has been to get your butt down to the gym more, but, like me, you’re struggling to find the time. It could be that you’re not being as productive with your time in the gym as you could be.

Flash back to when I first started this blog four years ago and you would have found me down at the gym most mornings smashing out a leisurely workout; having a catch up with friends, hitting some of my weaknesses after my workout, and still finding time for brunch with my gym buddies. Not any more. 

These days I’m lucky if I can spare a few evenings a week to head down to the gym, but that doesn’t have to be a negative. As long as you’re getting then most out of your time at the gym, you could smash an awesome workout out in as little as 45minutes.

So what are my tips for a successful workout?

Have a plan

When I head to the gym without a plan in place I know my workout is going to suffer. I pontificate over what I want to do, end up googling ‘fun’ exercises and workouts on the gym floor, and generally wasting time. 

Instead, if I spend some time prior to my workout to write down a structured plan I know exactly what I’m going to do when I set foot in the gym. From my goals for that session, exercises, reps, sets, and even rest periods. So set aside some time at the beginning of the week to plan for the week ahead, or before you leave for the gym, and I assure you your workout will be efficient.

Have a B plan

‘The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.’

The gym can get extremely busy, especially at this time of year, so it’s no use going in with a single plan – we all know a free squat rack is as rare as hens teeth! Waiting on machines can cause your heart rate to fall and your motivation to drop, so always have a few alternative exercises written down that you know you can sub in if needed.

Make it social 

Heading to the gym with a friend might not necessarily make your workout quicker (hello catch up) but if you’re as competitive as I am, it can encourage you to push that little bit harder.

Plus, if you take it in turns to plan alternate sessions it could help to relieve some of the pressure. So if one of you has some killer cardio moves and the other is a monster in the weights department  – make sure you play to those strengths.

Wear comfortable clothes

As a blogger I’m lucky enough to, sometimes, receive some fabulous workout gear in the post. However, there have been occasions when, not to sound ungrateful, I’ve been sent some not so great pieces to trial. From putting these items through their paces I’ve come to learn that wearing the wrong clothes in the gym can cause your workouts to suffer.

Too see through and you’ll be self conscious, too low and you’ll spend precious time mid workout pulling at your cleavage; too high and you’ll spend even more time tugging at your waistline.

So treat yourself to some good quality activewear – and it doesn’t have to be expensive, even Primark and H&M have some great pieces which won’t break the bank.  

Focus on you 

Hands up who’s guilty of spending far too much time in the gym looking at what everyone else is going rather than focusing on themselves? I know I am. 

I’ve spent way too much time in the gym looking around at what everyone else is doing or to check if anyone else is looking. Firstly, it’s a sure fire way to get injured (especially when you’re distracted by the cute shirtless guy in the corner). Secondly, the grunter doing curls is spending far too much time looking at himself (or even herself) in the mirror to be watching what you’re doing. And, most importantly, it can stop you from becoming the best athlete you can be. 

So stick your earphones in, set your weights up and focus on your reps, your breathing, and your body!

Finish her off

You don’t have to spend hours on the rower to get some good cardio in at the end of your workout. 

If you enjoy steady state cardio (aka LISS), or it’s a part of your goals – then go for it. But if you’re after an efficient, hardworking finish to your workout I’d recommend a 10-15 minute circuit mixing bodyweight and weighted exercises. So why not put together a circuit of kettle-bell swings, sandbag cleans, shoulder presses and prowler pushes – I guarantee you’ll sweat more, push harder, and have way more fun.

How do you get the most out of your workout?

 
A couple of months ago I went to support my friend Greg in his first full Ironman competition and I was completely blown away. The sheer guts and dedication it takes to endure such a challenge is outstanding. Watching him was so inspirational and I was instantly motivated – which was great timing as my own fitness journey had been somewhat stagnant lately.
 
I instantly wanted to interview Greg to find out more about his journey & training and was pleasantly surprised to find out he had even completed this challenge whilst reducing his meat intake – a big thumbs up from me!!
 
So make yourself a cup of tea, get comfy and discover what goes in to becoming an Ironman below…

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For the past few years Crossfit has been a big part of my life and I’ve loved (nearly) every second of it. I loved pushing my body out of it’s comfort zone; making some great friends, challenging myself at competition level and building some much deserved muscle.

When I started Crossfit I was already in love with fitness but craved something more exciting than squats, deadlifts and bench. I was ready to push my body to the extremes and learn some badass new skills like the amazing Crossfit women I’d been obsessing over in recent months. I was also in a different space to where I am now: I lived in the city centre, had less responsibility at work (and home) and was simply of a younger, dare I say it more selfish, mind-frame.

Lately I’ve been questioning whether Crossfit is for me anymore. Do I love it as much as I used to and will I miss it if I turn my back on the community?

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Sunrise

T-shirt by Runa X LDN

If you’re anything like me then getting out of bed in the morning is a workout in itself. 

First there’s the mental battle – ‘I’m tired’, ‘just 5 more mins’ ‘I’ll just go to the gym after work instead’. Then comes the physical battle when you’re body feels weak, heavy and uncooperative.

More often than not you’ll end up sleeping in, telling yourself you will go to the gym after work, only to find that by the end of the day you’ve talked yourself out of the hard-core evening workout you were adamant you’d commit to this morning. 

So how do you motivate yourself to get out of bed? Read on to find out.

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walking for health

I’m not ashamed to admit it – I love walking. Now it might not be the coolest thing in the world but bear with me a minute.

Up until a few years ago walking was one of two things for me. A necessity or a bore. The thought of going for a long walk around the countryside was not at the top of my to do list and I would much rather be beasting it out at the gym, or having an afternoon drinking session with my friends. Fast forward three years though and what’s changed?

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