Back in the gym (again, again, again- okay for REAL)

Hey hey, look who finally went back to the gym yesterday!! I did.

Typing this title made me cringe, because I know for a fact that I’ve written multiple “yay, look at me, I’m getting back to consistent gym exercise!!” posts over the past couple of years. And if I’ve written the same thing repeatedly, that means I have NOT consistently stuck with it…. or there would be no need for the frequent restarts.

Just for fun, I looked:

What can I say. When you have a blog you write on almost daily, and you let people “peek inside” your real daily life, there’s no good way to hide the reality that sometimes, your life feels a little dysfunctional. Hahaha.

BUT I did go back to the gym yesterday, and yes, it was yet another reset. I think this is better than never doing a reset though, right? At least I keep on resetting. 🙂

With the kids back in school, this feels like a good time to resume the gym. Home workouts are fabulously convenient, yes, but I can’t shake the feeling that gym workouts are just more effective for me. And I really do love it when I’m going to the gym consistently. I think I have identified a window of time most days that I can consistently make this happen, too.

So, I decided to pay for a monthly membership from EmPowered Fitness. I had shared about Emma Montgomery and her online fitness business earlier this spring but hadn’t taken the plunge to personally buy any workouts. (Technically, I have notebooks full of plans from my old trainer, so I really don’t need new monthly workouts- I could cycle back through my old ones…).

But there is something to be said for paying for something, and I think I will feel more inclined to “follow the plan” in real time, knowing that a new plan will be coming up in October.

For $20/month, I get 5 strength workouts per week. It even comes with an app now, so I can track my reps and sets on my phone, and she has video tutorials included for every single exercise. (Also, alternative home options for each exercise, for if someone doesn’t have access to a gym.)

I did Workout #1, Legs and Abs last night.

I took it super light and easy, because I haven’t done gym weight training in a while. I always get sore for the first day or two when I start back up, but I know from experience that this will go away quickly.

I really like that I can “schedule” the workouts in the app for the days I want to do them, and then on each day, I get an email that says, “You have a scheduled workout today!” Just an extra layer of accountability. Just like I wouldn’t skip a dentist appointment on the calendar, I’m hoping I will view it similarly and not skip an appointment with myself for a different type of health maintenance. 🙂

chest/shoulders/triceps on the schedule for today

For cardio she recommends optional 20 minute sessions (of whatever you want- run, elliptical, stairs, etc.) at the end of Chest/Shoulders day and again after the Full Body session. Then she includes a 6th day of exercise which is just 20 minutes of “optional cardio”. 7th day is a rest day. (I might try to do some of the Beachbody stretching/mobility workouts on those days- I enjoy them.)

For this week I just scheduled myself Sunday-Friday. We’ll see. Maybe I won’t be able to do all 5 every week, but I’ll just play it by ear.

The good thing is that the leg workout yesterday only took me about 45 minutes. This is perfect and my ideal gym session length. Also, I scrolled through all of the workouts, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the look of the exercises! They look very similar in style to my previous workouts. I do not like “power lifting” style strength training (think jerky clean and presses, or super heavy weight/ low reps, etc.). I am personally training mostly for, um, aesthetics, and to just be generally fit and stronger and “toned”.

All in all, feeling really excited to have a new plan to follow!! This looks like a great fit for me so far.

I shared about EmPowered Fitness before…by chance did anyone reading this ever try her workouts?? If so, let me know- I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for the DAY OFF today! Thank you Labor Day. This is one of my favorite “work” holidays of the year. Unlike most other holidays, we usually have zero plans, zero expectations, no family traditions, etc on Labor Day…. literally just a day off to do whatever. Love it.

15 thoughts on “Back in the gym (again, again, again- okay for REAL)”

  1. Love this! If I wasn’t in a major running mood (like … I want to do marathons again and have a whole master plan) I would totally try this. Maybe after I get this marathon itch out of my system. In 2024. Hahahah.


    1. I’ll keep you posted on what I think of it! You should definitely keep going on the marathon track while you have the desire!! For me, my running life seemed a bit short lived- just a couple years maybe, when the boys were little. Then it faded and the fire never really got re-lit for me! Lol. I will live vicariously instead through you and Coco. Hahaha!


  2. For what it’s worth – I think this is both very normal AND not at all dysfunctional! It’s also reassuring to a reader following along in real-time. Life is so much about starting over and over again on our preferred habits. I think it’s healthy to do this, too. It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing. Priorities and timing changes, and it’s great that you’re continue to tweak routines to find things that fit best for you.
    Looking forward to updates as you continue to follow along with this plan. It does sound like such a great fit for you!
    (And you know how I feel about September being a clean slate to start things, so what great timing to implement something new!)


    1. Thanks. 🙂 I know I suppose it’s “normal” to wax and wane, but it bugs me, because I went years without having this happen- and when the boys were younger AND I was working in the hospital! Theoretically, it should all be EASIER now…. Kids are older, job is more flexible…. So I sometimes feel like I’ve just gotten lax or lazy or something as I’ve gotten older. Ha. And I completely agree that September is all about fresh starts!!


  3. Totally normal to keep resetting… hahha…. exercise is meant to add joy to you, not stress. nobody should judge you for not doing it for somedays especially when you had many trips in the last couple of months. They are fun but could be disruptive to an routine.
    Also, paying for something tricks your mind into doing it as it involved cost and you’d feel bad wasting money. hahahah… it totally works.
    and most important of all, consistently feeling good about going to the gym reinforce the urge to want to go back.


  4. I think that resetting is ALWAYS better than not doing! Life happens and you’ve had quite a summer. Hopefully this season changes will bring a little consistency, but even if doesn’t, something is better than nothing, right?! (Please say something is better than nothing…)


  5. I think for nearly everyone, resetting is very normal/typical. We all go through stages of life or travel for an extended period of time, etc and need to reset our routines. I’m in need of a reset now, too. I was in a good rhythm when WFH full time, and then it got hard/complicated when I returned to the office in March. Then I slipped down to 2 days/ week, but the company has told us starting this week we have to be in at least 3 days/week. I kept up with running since returning to the office but haven’t done much strength training since I finished MM.

    Like you, I have a binder full of workouts from previous programs I bought pre-kids. But I agree that it’s nice to have someone telling you what to do and it’s more motivating. I can use that binder of workouts but then I cherry pick what looks good to me!

    For now, I am going to try a trial to Peloton as I haven’t found a program on beach body that I’m drawn to… But ideally, I’d like to get back to running 3 days/week and strength training 2 days/week until winter when I will barely run and will mostly do strength training/non-running cardio.


    1. Sorry you have to go back 3 days!! Ugh, that’s a bummer. I know you will figure out how to balance it though, with time. I guess look on the bright side that you at least get the 2 days at home now? pre-pandemic, you were 5 days in office, right??


      1. Yes, much better than 5! I’ll figure out a balance… I am going to try doing workouts at 7:30 after Paul has gone to bed 1-2 nights/week. That feels more appealing than getting up at 5am, but we’ll see how that goes. Feels like a bit of a game of tetris! Or I just need to accept that 3-4 days/week is just fine for now.


  6. I started doing Emma’s workouts in May based on your suggestion. I switched from BeachBody cardio to lifting and it has been very helpful to have less to think about and helped me get into it. I have been doing 3x/week and just today did a workout in my new office’s gym for the first time so hoping to get that into the rotation a bit more. I am enjoying lifting to see a bit more tone and feeling stronger.


    1. Thanks for the reply! I am really enjoying it so far, too. Not overly complicated but still effective exercises. I am going to aim for all 5!! I think if I keep my close tabs on my schedule, currently it can fit in. We’ll see though- I’ll prioritize at least getting one leg, plus the upper body days in, and then treat the full body and extra leg day as almost bonus workouts. Actually, I’ll probably prioritize all 5 strength days, and treat the cardio as bonus. I am not a major fan of cardio, but I know it is good to do a few sessions a week for heart health.


  7. Woohoo! I am excited for you… and there’s no shame in admitting that you fell off the bandwagon (repeatedly – don’t we all?), the most important thing is that you reset and start again. I am glad you identified a time window where you can schedule the workouts (hardest parts!) and having the extra accountability through the paid classes is bonus. It always works best for me if I set a schedule and treat it as just another thing on my calendar. Habit makes things so much easier!!


    1. Yes! Our new manager has started requiring us to be “on camera” for many more meetings than we used to be. Meaning, my previous lunch break workouts aren’t the best option, because then I’m obviously not showered and dressed in work clothes before that point. So if I have a morning meeting, I’m not “camera ready”. Therefore, I’ve decided to aim for working out first thing after dropping the boys at the bus (they also start earlier this year, so this works out very well!). I can drop them and then be to the gym across the street two minutes later, workout, get home and shower and be to my desk by 9. Many days I jump on for a bit real early, before the kids are up, so I don’t feel bad about not working from 8-9. My job has a flexible schedule, anyway, and now with the boys having activities keeping them tied up right after school many days, I can often work a bit later in the afternoon too.


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