How to fall (back) in love with the gym

How to fall in love with the gym

I’ve been a freestyle dancer for the majority of my life. I have no issues throwing my legs up in the air, back-catching and doing a fame jump into box splits. BUT, put me on a cross trainer or the step machine at the gym and I’d rather stab pins in my eyes.

I “retired” from dancing when I was 18 and, obviously, started going out boozing with my mates so the weight slowly crept on. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never had a problem with my weight to the point I was fat because my battle with coeliac disease kept that in check.

I took out a gym membership when I moved to Ireland – partly because there’s fuck-all to do there but mainly because I was planning to go to Australia and needed the perfect Bondi body. I spent an hour on the rowing machine, half hour on the bike and did very little weight lifting. Needless to say I wasn’t seeing the results I’d pictured in my head or had seen on Instagram.

Anyway, fast forward to now and the love-hate relationship I had with the gym has turned into a full blown love affair. I tend to go 5-6 times a week but, depending on my schedule, I may go once/twice. I’m not strict on my routine because I have a diet based on fruit and vegetables!

With that being said, I know there can be periods where the last thing you want to do is go to the gym, so I’ve put together a list of tips on how to claw back the motivation you need to drag your sorry backside to your nearest fitness centre.

1. Sweat in style

Nothing gets me out of bed quicker on a Sunday morning than a brand new kit sprawled out on the sofa. Feeling good before you go is half the battle. Put on your leggings, pop some catchy music on and tell me you don’t want to go to the gym now! Gym kit doesn’t need to be expensive either – I get my leggings from Nike because they’re the only ones that don’t show my underwear through the material but my tops come from, H&M, Miss Guided, JD Sports etc.

2. Consistency

The more you go to the gym, the more it becomes a routine and, before you know it, you’ll just get up and go without thinking about it. But don’t go in all guns blazing! You need to start slowly. Try going twice a week for a month and then increase it the more you crave it.

3. Variety

It took me a while to find what style of workout suits me. I like running but I suffer with hypermobility (I can thank years of freestyle dancing for that) so I usually end up with extreme pain in my left hip for around two weeks if I go in too hard on the treadmill. I like weight training but I get bored if I do too many sets of the same exercise.

Therefore, my trainer and I have FINALLY discovered I actually enjoy interval training. I do one session a week with him where we’ll do abs, TRX work, rope work, deadlifts, squats, slam balls and boxing, I do spin on a Monday, dance on a Tuesday, rest on a Wednesday, any exercises I want on a Thursday and cardio on a Saturday.  These are obviously subject to change but I make sure I get a mixture of different things in during my week so it doesn’t become mundane.

4. Eat well

Half the battle with lack of motivation is feeling lethargic. If you pump your body with yummy, healthy, foods, your energy levels will increase and you’ll have more steam to let off. Not only that, you won’t feel heavy and sluggish and will be willing to spend 45-60 minutes at the gym. Mixing a healthy diet with a good level of exercise will allow you to see results faster and once you see results, you’ll be more determined to keep going to the gym!

5. Workout at home

I appreciate that not everyone feels comfortable going to the gym when there’s loads of meatheads squatting 200kg in front of the mirror. One way you can get around that is by starting off with at-home workouts. Youtube is fantastic for exercise videos and it’s free!

  • Remember: Working out shouldn’t be about looking good, it should be about living a healthy lifestyle. Keep it up and your results will come!

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