Health and Fitness,  Lifestyle

A Beginner’s Guide to Being a Gym Junkie

Going to the gym was always an impossible task for me. Now, I can’t get enough of it. Find out how I fell in love with the gym!

I used to hate working out. I remember how I used to create all types of excuses to avoid PE class. When I was diagnosed with scoliosis and needed surgery, all that came to mind was “Jackpot! No more PE for the rest of my life!” Thinking back to the good

Thinking back to the good ol’ school days, if I had just redirected the effort I used to avoid PE classes towards the actual PE class, I would probably excel in it. It’s rather funny to think that how I’ve gone from a girl who hates sweating to a someone who thrives from lifting. Last Christmas season, the gym I went to was closed for a period of time due to the holidays. I went insane and jittery because of it. Yes, it’s almost an addiction.

So how did I transform from someone who despised the gym to someone who posts workout videos on Instagram? I’m not going to mention things like “set a realistic goal” because these are all common sense and you can probably find these “wise tips” on every fitness magazine. What I want to show you is the real tips from my experience that got me started. If you want to be a gym junkie, read on!

Join a gym

This is rather self-explanatory. You can’t really be a gym junkie without the gym, otherwise, you would just be a “junkie”. Joining the gym is a crucial first step to a healthier lifestyle. The glory and motivation you get from it will be enough for you take on the next step.

Watch loads of YouTube videos

I’m not talking about watching beauty tutorials or funny cat videos. I’m talking about workout videos. It doesn’t necessarily have to be tutorials, but watching professionals talk about their routine can be really motivating.

Here are some YouTube channels I watch for motivation:

  • Barbell Brigade – a gym channel featuring various professional lifters discuss their routines and stories. This was the first YouTube channel I started watching before my journey into the gym, mostly because I’m a loyal fan of JK Films (Hello Bart and Geo!)
  • Omarlsuf – His channel provides advice for lifters to have the right form and also a guide to achieving their goals
  • Alan Thrall – I watch his videos for tutorials as he produces clear explanation and his beard makes me laugh. 
  • Jazmine Garcia – Her channel includes lifestyle and gym related videos. I am more interested in her gym videos, especially the ones she posted of her working out with the Revenge Body Trainer. It gave me loads of ideas for what I want from the gym.

Watching videos on YouTube not only gave me motivation, but it also gave me tips and educated me on how everything works. Before I would never know anything such as “plateaus” or “rep max”. I also learned how to increase my rep max gradually and safely. Without educating myself through YouTube, I would never have made any progress as I would have gone with the common misconceptions of dieting, lifting heavy weights, and relying heavily on cardio in hopes of looking better. 

Have an experienced gym buddy

I know that when you first enter the gym, everything looks intimidating. I used to just be on the treadmill because it’s the only machine that I actually knew how to use. But of course, just doing cardio will not help me lose any weight. Again, it’s a common misconception that being on a treadmill or doing spin class would be sufficient. Did you know that after 1 hour of cardio, all the calories you burnt can be easily replaced with one Kit Kat bar? Yes, go for a jog for an hour and you will probably burn an approximate of 450 calories, but that chocolate bar you reward yourself after? That’s 518 calories. Relying on cardio wasn’t enough for me, that’s why I picked up lifting.

When I decided to be serious about the gym, I had Clark guide me through everything. He is my go-to guy if I have any questions about form. Since day one, he has been making sure I’m safe in the gym because of my spinal surgery at 13 years old. He showed me how to use gym equipment so I do not look stupid in the gym, and just made everything seem less intimidating. 

I know not everyone is blessed enough to be surrounded by healthy, gym-obsessed friends. Before I met Clark, I didn’t even know where or how to start. My advice for you is to watch YouTube tutorials until you are comfortable and have a good understanding of the machine. Better yet, invest in a personal trainer for a short period of time. It is definitely better to have someone experienced to guide you initially. After all, safety is more important than anything else.

If hiring a personal trainer is out of your budget,  join a gym with a tight community. Personally, I do not have any experience in doing that as I’ve been going to commercial gyms. Clark, on the other hand, joined a gym called Gym Brigade in Singapore. It has a tight community so he was advised and guided by other gym members who have more experience than he does. Because of this, I am so excited to join Gym Brigade when I move back to Singapore. Being surrounded by people who have the same goal as you do is more rewarding than being alone. 

Have a role model

When I first started, I was inspired by Geovanna Antoinette. She is the co-founder of Barbell Brigade and a member of JK Films. Because I’ve been so involved (and obsessed) in both of these YouTube channels, I can’t help but look up to Geo. Also, if you haven’t seen her Instagram, she is #bodygoals. I started being serious about the gym when she started her post-pregnancy workout. Because I started at ground zero, it was nice to have someone I look up to start with me. I started developing a parasocial gym buddy relationship with Geo (I’m not creepy… I swear). 

 

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I am so proud of our newest Lux line. Not only is this the very first round of cut and sew (meaning all original garments designed by us and only us all the way from A through Z) but it’s exclusive for today’s woman. My women, my sistas ✊🏼 I’m so proud of you and admire and respect all of you, and because of how much I admire and respect you I have to be honest. I initially didn’t want to be a part of this photo shoot. I didn’t think I was deserving enough to be amongst such athletic and fit women. As most of you know I gave birth to my beautiful son back in September and since then fitness was no longer my priority. I was so focused on being a supportive wife, an excellent mother, and a progressive business woman. I haven’t fully shed the baby weight I gained and I haven’t been able to hit anything close the the numbers I was once lifting as an active Powerlifter. I was really down on myself. Then one day I asked myself “why?”, why was I expecting myself to be perfect at being a wife, mommy, entrepreneur, and athlete? So I took a little over a month off of focusing on being an athlete. Then when the day came that I needed to put on our Lux collection I doubted myself and my womanhood because I didn’t think I looked good enough. Then like a ton of bricks it hit me and I said to myself “FUCK THAT I AM A WOMAN AND I NEED TO BE IN THIS CAMPAIGN!” I need to be in this because I lm fortunate enough to have this platform and following to be able to connect with my fellow sisters and new mommies. I need to show them that we all have our ups and downs but no matter what we gotta keep moving forward and motivating and supporting one another. I’m not at my fittest, thinnest or my strongest in the photo but i am the realist and most confident I have ever been because I am a strong bad ass woman! Let’s get it sistas I love y’all! @barbellbrigade Lux Collection available 3.28.18

A post shared by Geo Antoinette Kwan (@geo_antoinette) on

Having a role model does help. I do not look up to Geo because I want to have a physique like hers. I look up to her because she has the determination and dedication I need. This has been far more important to me than having a supermodel to shape my body after. Let’s not forget, all of our bodies are different. 

Weigh yourself

I’m not talking about just going on a weighing scale to find the mass of your body. If you’re lifting, it’s just counterproductive because muscles weigh more than fat. I’m talking about fat percentage, BMI, muscle mass and all that fun stuff. Before your first week, weigh yourself. At the end of your first week, weigh yourself again. The progress you make within a week should be motivation enough for you to keep going. 

Of course, a healthy goal is important. Instead of setting a quantitative goal, focus on your goal to be healthier and stronger. Being healthy keeps you alive longer than being sexy. 

Mindset is everything

I’m not a professional powerlifter. I’ve only been going to the gym for about a year. But just saying things such as “I need to train later” to friends sure helped me a lot. Of course, it boosts my confidence and makes me think I’m “hardcore”. But just little things like that made me feel more dedicated and determined. We’ve all heard the saying “Fake it till you make it”. Well, that’s what I’m doing here. I understand that just simply by being in the gym doesn’t automatically make you a professional or a hardcore, but it is mostly a personal mindset that helped me keep up a consistent habit. 

Having the right attitude is key to the ultimate motivation. Sometimes it is good to create a personal lie if that’s what keeps you focused. My lie is that I’m a powerlifter. What’s yours?

Reward yourself with accessories

Look at my weird elbow and the gloves Clark got me as a reward for starting my gym journey.

No, do not reward yourself with a chocolate bar. Okay, maybe once every now and again. I’m talking about rewarding yourself with gym accessories. I started buying myself gloves, wrist straps, etc. Nothing made me happier when they arrive in the mail. I get so excited to try them out and see how they help me improve my form. It doesn’t have to be often, but when you start needing these accessories to make room for improvement and progress, it can be so exhilarating. 

Video your workout and show it off

I started taking videos of my workout and posting it on social media. Why? It’s something I’m proud of. I’m making progress and why shouldn’t I tell the world about it? More importantly, when I share my workout videos, I’m telling the world that I’m working towards a healthier lifestyle. I then would have an obligation and motivation to keep them updated on my progress. 

There it is! These are what that’s been helping me become the “gym junkie” I am today. Try it out and let me know what has helped you and what hasn’t? Just remember that it is never too late to start. 

6 Comments

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  • Elaine

    This post is so helpful! I know I need to get back to the gym for my own health, but I have no idea where to start. I’m going to use your post as a guide so I can hopefully become gym obsessed too.

  • Kirstie

    I loved this post! I always struggle with getting to the gym, but have at least tried to stay active when I don’t go. The gym is so relaxing to me, but unfortunately there never seems to be enough hours in the day! Maybe some of your tricks will work for me!

    • faith58_88

      That’s a great question! It could be written entirely as a new blog post. But first, I would say let your husband read this post. Second, if he is still reluctant, try going to small community gyms. Like I said, my partner started joining a powerlifting gym that has a tight commmunity. He made loads of friends over there who helped him and motivated him. Personally, I find it a lot more helpful than joining big commercial gyms as you will be quite alone sometimes. However,if you are quite limited with options, you should try joining those gym classes. I know it might sound tacky but that’s where most of my friends got to know each other.

      Another method is through Facebook Groups. These days, you can find groups for anything on Facebook. You may find someone with a mutual goal and end up making a new friend.

      Either way, whether you try these methods or not, let me know what works. I would love to hear back from you.

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