Put the Blankety, Blank, Blank Weights Away!

Don’t you just hate going to the gym and running into bad gym etiquette?   It is rampant in every gym I have ever been in.  Everyone knows the rules, but for some reason, so many people think they don’t apply to them.    Below are my top 10 pet peeves (in no particular order)- please make sure they don’t apply to you!

  1.  Don’t hoard the machines or equipment. etiq1
    If you are done, move on.  If you are super-setting, don’t chat between sets and tie up two machines. Stay close the equipment that you are using.  Don’t take 5 sets of dumbbells – you can’t use them all at once.  Bottom line : Be considerate and realize that others are waiting to use the machines and equipment.

2. Put equipment away when you are done with it.   etiq4Nothing is more irritating than having to unrack the weights or go in search of a dumbbell because people don’t think the rules apply to them.

3. Control your electronics.   etiq6Put your cellphone down – you can live for one hour without chatting or texting.  If you have enough breath to chat on the treadmill, you aren’t working hard enough.   Turn your headphones down – not everyone is interested in hearing your music or hear you singing along. And enough with the selfies!   Save that for home.

4.  Wipe down the equipment when you are done.  etiq5Laying in other people’s sweat is just gross.  Not to mention unhealthy – think bacteria.   Nuf said.


5. Don’t give advice to strangers unless asked.   etiq7Even if you see someone with terrible form, it is not necessary to be a know-it-all and offer advice (unless you are a personal trainer).



6. No grunting and dropping  (slamming) weights. etiq8  Sometimes during a maximum workout, this is unavoidable.  But when done constantly, it seems like a plea for attention- “look at me!”   If you are only using 10 lb. dumbbells, there is no need to sound like an animal.  And dropping barbells or dumbbells on the floor is not good for the weights, or the floors.


7. Wear proper attire, and don’t gawk.etiq10
We all go to the gym to work out.   We like to be noticed.  But some people dress for show.  When I go to the gym, I am there to sweat.  No makeup, no fancy hair, no booty shorts.  It is not a fashion show.  Same for the guys – tank tops are great but don’t go shirtless, please. If you dress for looks, then don’t complain when people stare.  One of the biggest reasons people (mostly women) are intimidated in the gym is because others stare at them and make them feel uncomfortable.  So dress appropriately, prepare to sweat, and please don’t stare at others.  Remember that all obese people have to start their journey somewhere, and won’t return if others are laughing at them or worse yet, taking photos to share.  

8. Locker room etiquette – use a towel, pleaseetiqq11   

Not everyone is comfortable watching you parade around naked in the locker room.  Please be considerate of others and wrap a towel around yourself.  We don’t all need to see you ripped you are.  And use the hair dryer for your hair, not to dry your armpits or other unmentionable places.


9.  Use deodorant and wash your clothes between workouts.etiq12

Sweating at the gym is good for you, and shows you are working hard.  But putting deodorant on before hand is good for those around you. It is also a good idea to have several sets of gym clothes. Nothing is worse than being chased off of a machine because the person next to you smells so bad. It would also be very embarrassing to have a staff member ask you to shower. Let’s have good hygiene, please!

10.   Don’t interrupt someone’s workout to chat – if the headphones are in, leave them alone. etiq13

Many people are very serious about their workouts.  The gym is not their social hour.  If you see someone working hard, with or without headphones, do not interrupt them to chat.   Saying hi is fine, but if they keep looking at the weight bench, it’s because they want to get back to work.



Hope you have a great workout!

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Power of Suggestion: Keeping a Positive Mindset

Try this simple experiment.   Have a friend stand in front of you.  Extend your arms straight out to the side armsand have them push down by placing their first two fingers on each wrist. Try to resist them.   This is your base strength.

Now relax, close your eyes, and say out loud four or five times:  “I am strong”   Now do the exercise again with your friend.   Do you notice that they cannot push your arms down as far as they could before?   Try the reverse – repeat “I am weak and unworthy” at least 4-5 times.  They will easily be able to push your arms down.

The brain is a powerful tool.   It is all in your mindset.   30 seconds of positive or negative suggestions can influence your workout and affect your performance.  It is important to always approach a workout with a “can-do” attitude.   If you go into a workout with a negative mindset, saying to yourself that you are tired, or that you can’t lift that much weight, or thinking “I really suck at this”, you will defeat yourself before you start.

There have been many studies done with athletes who are given placebos, but told that they are receiving an energy booster, or a performance enhancer.   In every case, the athletes perform better, even though they received nothing more than a placebo.  It is purely the power of suggestion that affects their performance.   The mind will easily do this.

So spend 5 minutes, perhaps while you are stretching or doing a warm up, repeating positive affirmations to yourself, and see how your performance improves.  You will be surprised at the difference it can make!

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Hiking is Good for the Soul (and the Body)

Yesterday I went for a hike.  I haven’t hiked since my kids were in Boy Scouts many moons ago.   I went with a Senior Citizen’s group (55+). Given the age group,  I thought it would be easy, so even though I haven’t hiked in many years, I wasn’t too worried.  Boy was I wrong!

We arrived at the site and were told that the climb was very tough, 3 miles uphill all the way, and then 3 miles back down. Given that it P1180677has been raining non-stop for the entire month of May, the trails were muddy and slippery.  The trail was also full of rocks and roots.  Not an easy trip at all.

However, the scenery and being outdoors made it worth it.  It was breath taking and it reminded me that we don’t have to do all of our training in the gym.  Besides being refreshing for the soul, my entire body got an excellent work out.  My calves, gluts, and core were engaged all day.   My arms got a workout from swinging my walking stick as well as using them to climb over tricky spots (we had to climb over several rocks).  P1180738

I highly recommend, now that the weather has turned nice, that you get outside and get some exercise.  Whether it’s running, walking, biking, hiking, it does a body good!  P1180762




The Saga of Someone who Hates Strength Training!

hate strengthI am a cardio fanatic.  I can run or bike for miles, swim for an hour, and I have a blast doing it!  I keep my bike on a trainer or do cycle classes so I can ride all winter long.   I swim all year r0und.  I am just as happy to run on a treadmill when it’s cold outside.   I am exhilarated after a good cardio workout  and I look forward to exercising each day.  To me it is not work, it is fun.

But I am also getting old (the big 6-0 is nearly upon me).  So my doctor tells me that although my heart and lungs are in great shape, I need to start helping my bones by doing strength training.   But I hate it!    Let me repeat that: I. HATE. IT!


So my saga begins.  I only want to do cardio.  I know that strength training will help me in my swimming and running.  I know that leg training will make me bike better. It’s not a lack of knowledge and understanding.  I have been training for 40 years, but nothing, absolutely nothing motivates me to keep doing strength training.  Believe me, I tried it all.  I’ve done classes, worked with a personal trainer, worked out with friends, but i still hate it and absolutely cannot motivate myself to do it.  (As I write this, I am suffering pain across my body from doing a strength training class yesterday – I know no pain, no gain, but yuck!)

Something like Crossfit makes me want to puke.  And every time I enter the weight room to do a few exercises, I wander around aimlessly, bored and un-motivated. My husband is an avid weight lifter, and he doesn’t understand my aversion to weights. He is all about getting bigger and stronger.  Not me – I just want to make myself healthy and keep my doctor at bay.  She doesn’t like me to be breakable.


I So I need help and I am asking you – how do you do it?   How do you make yourself like strength training?   What motivates you?   What keeps you from whining?  Any ideas are welcome and appreciated.   Thanks in advance 🙂good for you

Hitting a Brick Wall

We all have days when we wake up and do not want to work out.  We are totally unmotivated and make excuses why we can’t exercise.  We’ve hit a brick wall in our workouts.grumpy-cat-motivation Believe me, I used to be the queen of excuses. The list included:

  • I’m too tired
  • I’m too sore
  • It’s too hard
  • It’s too late
  • I’ve got too much to do
  • I’ll do it later
  • I’m not seeing results
  • I need to spend more time with my family
  • Bla bla bla…….

There is no harm in taking a break.   If you are training for something, rest days are essential.  But when rest days stretch into several days, or the break becomes too long, you are in danger of losing the motivation to start again.

I ran a  few half-marathons one summer, and decided I needed to take a break from running.  The break turned into two years!   I didn’t stop exercising completely, but I did stop running.  Imagine my surprise when I tried running again and could only run a mile.   It seems unfair that it takes so long to build up to something, and we can lose it so quickly (well two years is a really long time, but you know what I mean).  The point is, we work hard to make progress, so don’t give up and lose your motivation!

If you aren’t motivated to do your workout, get dressed in your workout clothes anyway. This is a strong motivator.  Remember why you started exercising in the first place. If you are bored, decide to try something new. Do some cross training, or work out at a different time.   Try a new machine at the gym, or do Monday’s work out on Thursday and vice-versa.  Maybe just go for a walk or do some cardio.  But don’t make excuses and do nothing!

My response to the excuses above:

  • I’m too tired…Exercise give you bundles of energy!
  • I’m too sore….You need to keep working to train your muscles – no pain, no gain!
  • It’s too hard….Back off and do less until you build up to your strength or mileage!
  • It’s too late….Never too late to get something done, 10 minute workouts are great!
  • I’ve got too much to do…a one hour workout is only 4% of your day and worth it!
  • I’ll do it later..Do it now- sometimes later becomes never!
  • I’m not seeing results…Perfection takes time – slow and steady wins the race!
  • I need to spend more time with my family..take a walk with them, play soccer, etc.
  • Bla bla bla…….No More Excuses!

The truth is, I know very few people (well none really) that ever regret a workout.  Once you get out there and get it done, you will be glad you did.  Hang in there!

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What helps you to grow and flourish in your exercise routine?    I know we want immediate results – we want to be bigger and better and stronger, run longer, lift more, etc.   So how do we flourish?

With patience and a plan.   It helps to write everything down, every day.   Keep a journal of your progress, your weight loss, your measurements, etc.  Then when you are feeling down or discouraged, you can look back and see how far you have come.

Remember when you first started training?  You have to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run. When I started running, I was thrilled to finish a 5K.   As I flourished, I progressed to a 10K, and then a 1/2 marathon.Now I have a drawer full of medals, reminding me of my progress. One day, maybe a marathon?  Take it one step at a time.134

Each time we measure our progress, it inspires us to do more.  I went from cycling to running and to swimming.  Next thing I knew, I was signed up to do a triathlon.  It was excruciating training, but I did it!    I flourished!   And I knew I could accomplish my goal!


A plan or journal is an excellent tool to help you flourish, and you will soon reach your goals!  Have patience my friend, and you will get there.


Working the Buddy System

Working out and staying in shape is hard work.  It is very  hard to be disciplined and stick to a routine.   How many new year’s resolutions around diet and exercise are made and broken each year?   I know I am guilty of that!

One of the best ways to stick with an exercise routine is to enlist a buddy.  Someone that will hold you accountable.  When you don’t want to go out for a run, or go to the gym, remembering that you have promised to meet someone there is a surefire way to get there.

I belonged to a gym several years ago, and there was a group of people that would go to this gym every morning before work at the ungodly hour of 5:00 am.   Talk about not being motivated to go!   But we started chatting, and decided to hold each other accountable.  If someone didn’t show up, they received an email later that day, shaming them (in good fun, of course) for not being there. It was a powerful incentive.   Not to mention we had fun working out together, and formed some lasting friendships.

Exercise is so good for you in so many ways.  If you can find a way to stick to it, and enjoy it, you will lead a healthier life for many more years than without it.  Find a buddy and go for it!

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