Back in gym (again)

I finally went back to the gym! (I feel like I’ve had a few of these “I’m back!” posts….hopefully you won’t see one again. ๐Ÿ˜†)

Back around my birthday in October, I had kind of claimed this next year as the “year I return to the gym”, after falling out of it bigtime during the pandemic. I’ve had a few re-starts now, but haven’t gotten solidly back into the habit like before.

(I went regularly to strength train- as in 4+ times per week- for years up until the covid shutdowns.)

I had some weeks of regular attendance in January/February, but then fell off again leading up to our big trip in March. After our trip though, I made the conscious choice to just “hold” a little on going back again while I got myself re-organized with life and new work responsibilities, etc.

Workouts have been happening, but they’ve “just” been short Beachbody workouts- 20-30 minutes max. I go around in my head about them- on the one hand, they are short and easy to fit in. They are fun and enjoyable. On the other hand, while they do give some results, I know deep down that that style of training (flitting from one workout to the next/ SO much variety, not able to focus on true progressive overload from week to week, etc.) is not the most effective.

For example- if I go to the gym and do focused upper body strength workouts, with HEAVY weights, I will have muscle definition literally within about a week or so. (*while eating right/ consuming enough protein). I know this for a fact, because I’ve done this many times before. I’ve been doing Beachbody for a whole month+ (since all my time off since our trip, I mean), and while there’s a little muscle definition, you have to squint to see it. The weights I do at home are just not heavy enough/ not progressive enough.

And, I honestly love heavier strength training. I forget how much I miss it until I go back and get a RUSH of excitement. It feels so good to feel strong. (Minus the temporary inevitable soreness…which I’m feeling right now….but this will be short lived, I also know from experience.)

We got home a whole month ago now, so I decided on Monday morning it was time to GO BACK TO THE GYM.

Getting ready to do some Romanian deadlifts. Case in point from above- the bar is 45# + I started with 15# plates on each side, so total of 75#. I definitely do not have barbells like this at home, or any weights equally 75#! And this is kind of a light weight even for deadlifts, so I’ll likely increase this over the next few weeks. Trying to ease back in.

I’m feeling motivated with summer coming up to tighten up/ tone up just a tad. I’m not overweight, but my weight actually is up a few pounds from my norm. (Despite having lost some weight on vacation with the thousands of steps I walked everyday- seems like it jumped right back on these past 4 weeks?)

I also definitely do not have the same muscle tone and definition as I normally do when I’m regularly strength training (and importantly- following an actual plan/ progressing week to week). Also, some of my clothes are just not fitting right. Especially pants. Seems as I’m getting older, any extra fat definitely goes to my butt/ thighs. I do not store weight in my abdomen. I can never decide which is a better place. How about no place??

I dug out some old workout plans I got from my online trainer years back. First up was Leg Day #1. The big/main gym can be busy over the lunch hour, so I decided to use our gym’s smaller “24 hour” location, also nearby, and it was gloriously empty!!

My ideal gym is an empty gym. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Today I’m going back for shoulders/triceps. I will need to be extra careful with planning my days, because while my gym workouts never exceed about 45-50 minutes or so max (often shorter), it does add a little time to get ready, get over there, get situated, etc.

I had some thoughts on nutrition and macro counting I want to share, based on some old emails I ran across from my old trainer (while looking for my training plans). But I’ll save that for tomorrow!

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful that my gym is super close to my house.

19 thoughts on “Back in gym (again)”

  1. I am not a gym goer. I find the whole process of commuting to and from the gym to be absolutely annoying and I would be less likely to work out when I had a gym membership. Now I just put things on my calendar and all I have to do is go downstairs in my own house to work out and it seems easier. That being said, I also do not have access to such heavy weights in my home setup and I have basically plateaued in what I can do at home, so I absolutely understand why you’re so eager to get back to it!


    1. I hear this! I would also definitely feel this way, if my gym were not literally like a block from my house. I really don’t have an excuse, because it’s SO CLOSE! But home workouts are awesome for that convenience factor- it’s pretty hard to claim you can’t fit in ANY exercise when so much can be done from home, be it yoga, weights, treadmill or just walking. ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. I haven’t had a gym membership in a very long time. Like probably over 10 years ago! I had a membership to a yoga studio when I lived downtown before moving in with Phil as I loved their Yoga Sculpt classes and then appreciated the deep stretching I’d get from the traditional yoga classes. Combining that with running was great combo for me. Like NGS, it’s the hassle factor that keeps me from going to the gym. But I’m in a stage of life where I don’t have much time to workout, so fast and accessible is key for me. I have access to a gym at work now but I can only go once a week since it requires me to leave a little early. If only I could work out in the middle of the day like Phil can but getting ready all over again would take up way too much time!

    I have loved the beach body workouts, though. 25-35 is perfect for me in this stage of life. I definitely will not get the muscle definition you will have, but that’s ok for this stage of life. And I definitely tend to gain weight in my abdomen! Always have. Even at my lowest weight, my stomach area was never ideal!


    1. Excellent points! I hope this post didn’t come across as diminishing the benefits of BB workouts, because they really are so convenient, and overall I think they are very very good! They 100% are better than no exercise, too. And I think the variety of the programs means there is something for everyone, and boredom shouldn’t be an issue. I have been generally really happy with BB, which was new to me during the pandemic. No matter what, even if I get back in my old gym routine, I think I want to keep my BB membership, because it’s just awesome to have an easy way to fit in a workout on days I can’t get to the gym. (Those days still happen…like say a day with a swim meet all day, I might not be able to get to gym, but I can fit in 20 minutes of BB early in the morning, for example.)

      Especially for someone like you, with little ones, BB is such a great option! I love that it encourages “non-gym” goers to work on strength training in some capacity, too.

      I, however, am “past” the stage of life where I need to super minimize my workout time….I mean, I am still really busy, but in reality, I work from home/ have schedule flexibility and my kids are older. So I do feel like I should prioritize getting back in the gym- most especially because I really enjoy it. And, I do think it’s very effective.


      1. It definitely didn’t come across as diminishing BB workouts! So no worries there! I think it’s great that you can go to a gym and do a workout on your own and know how to combine different moves to build muscle. I think because I was not involved in athletics outside of junior high, I just didn’t learn much about how to lift weights! I did work with a personal trainer in the months leading up to our wedding and that involved a lot of weight training but I would need some guidance to figure out what to do/how to build a workout. So it’s good that there are programs like beach body for novices like me!! And like you said, we are in such different stages of life so maybe I will feel differently when our kids are older. I think your gym is pretty close – maybe walking distance? And that is not the case for me so that’s another reason I haven’t been drawn to go to the gym. It would need to be super convenient and not require me to get in the car!!!


  3. I really would love to go to a gym again. It has been over a decade. I am so unmotivated to do any strength training/class online. I did it for a few years after having kids, but it’s something I just don’t enjoy and it makes me miserable.
    So…I walk and run…but there is something wonderful about the gym. And I agree with you 100%. My idea of a perfect gym is an EMPTY gym. And your gym looks bright and clean. I’m so happy for you. Keep up the good work ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Can you get to a gym, if that’s something you’re interested in?? Or do you just not have a conveniently located one? I mean your walking and running is so great! But it would be awesome to be able to get to the gym, too, if you do enjoy it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Not even from a physique standpoint, but some resistance training is really great for your bones!


    1. Feel free to reach out if you ever want some tips!! I feel sad that so many people feel so uncomfortable in the weight room. I understand it, though- I have felt that way too. But strength training is really really good for women!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. love this post! I love gym talk nowadays.. hehe… I finally got over post-workouts soreness so let me know if you want an accountability buddy.

    I know it’s harder to get back to consistency after taking a break, no matter the discipline, so big congrats to making the start.

    as we age we need more muscle, not just to look good, but to prevent fall/fracture, and better metabolism. actually I like feeling strong but not necessarily too pronouned muscle tones. you look great though, so whatever you put on cannot tell.

    finally, what we eat determines the ultimate outcome more than exercise, but exercising does make us eat healthier as we are on the track of taking care of ourselves. can’t wait to hear your thoughts on macro/food.


  5. I would love to have time to go to a gym (and even work with a trainer 1-2 days/week) – maybe that can be a future goal ๐Ÿ™‚ I do have weights that go up to 25 lb x 2 and COULD probably invest in some more home equipment (bar, plates, bench, etc) but then my zen space would start to look cluttered, lol.

    I can see how heavier weights would be even more effective but BB (or Youtube/Peloton equipvalent) a happy medium for me currently!


    1. 100% the online workouts are an awesome happy medium!! I think I’d have a really hard time fitting the gym in currently, if I didn’t work from home and save the getting ready/commute time. Maybe when your kids are older and you can leave them home alone more easily, you could do the gym at least on the weekends or something (if you wanted to). I feel like based on what you’ve shared, I could totally see you loving more structured strength training/ gym based stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. You’re braver than me. I quit my gym membership during the pandemic and got a Peloton and while I miss access to a treadmill and heavier weights, I do not miss the early morning wake-up call and commute. I loved going to the gym though and I might go back to one eventually. For now, I keep working out from home and running outside.

    Good for you though for finally getting back to a routine. It’s so important to find something that works for you (whatever it is!) because that’s the only way you’ll stick with it.


  7. I am so glad you are back where you are comfortable and where you feel like you see results! I am not a person who lifts heavy weights – although I do need to work on building strength. Sigh. I’d much rather cardio all day, thanks. (I am the opposite of you, clearly!)

    I was a total gym devotee before. I had an Anytime Fitness membership for… close to a decade? They are ALL over the small towns of the Midwest, and I knew that wherever I was, I could find one. And, they were in my parents’ town, out East, too. But the pandemic – like it did for San – made me realize how much I hated driving there (particularly in January). And, the last straw was the maskless moron, who came during the mask mandate without a mask, sweated all over the equipment and never cleaned it, and played his music so loud in his headphones that the rest of us were treated to his full playlist. I was done. Canceled my membership over a year ago and I’m so happy I did…


    1. It is always so interesting to me how different people prefer the different types of exercise! I guess I don’t really love the “I’m all out of breath” feeling that comes with cardio. You get SOME of that with weight training, but it’s not the same. I can see how cardio is attractive, though- there is something fun about feeling all sweaty and breathless at the end! Definitely makes you feel alive. Or dead, depending on how hard you worked! HA!!!


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