I’ve never been a “fitness” gal. Yes, I exercised on occasion throughout high school and college, but most days I considered a long venture through a shopping mall to be a sufficient workout. It wasn’t until 3 years ago that I turned to yoga for mental healing… and after several months of continuous practice, I was hooked. I loved the way I felt after a yoga session, not just for the emotional benefits but also the physical. I was always naturally thin but was never very strong or even remotely flexible. Yoga started to change all of that.
Aside from yoga practice I don’t do much else. I’ll run at least once a week with my boyfriend, Bay, mostly because it’s his preferred workout and also because my brother talked me into running the Army 10 Miler in D.C. this fall (ah!). I definitely don’t do any weight lifting and will only go to a spin class once in a blue moon… but like I said, yoga is primarily what I do. So when Propel asked me to participate in not one, but two intense workouts with some of the top fitness trainers in NYC last week, I was very nervous. I had never had a one-on-one session with a personal trainer so I really had no clue what to expect.
I arrived at Chelsea Arts Tower early Thursday morning and after a quick photoshoot went right into an intense workout sesh with celebrity trainer, Lacey Stone. Luckily she was extremely personable and in her words “is like a spoon full of sugar that helps the medicine go down.” She had me lifting weights, using resistance bands, trying a little bit of plyo and a few headstands (since it’s only fitting that I do some kind of yoga pose).
Even though my muscles were shaky and I was sweating like crazy, I’m so happy I had the opportunity to try something new. I was given a 4 hour break before coming back for the Propel Co:Labs mash up workout party with Kira Stokes and Nicole Winhoffer later that evening, where I was joined by other bloggers, a few celebs (shoutout to Hannah Bronfman and Whitney Port) and lots of editors.
This is where things got tough. Like, super tough. During Kira’s circuit workout I realized how fatigued my muscles were. After the first set I could barely do a push-up and there were a few times when my legs just wouldn’t do what I was desperately willing them to do. Then when Nicole took the stage and led us through a booty-shakin’ dance sesh, I couldn’t handle it. I was so tired and wanted to go stand off to the side and just watch… but I realized that I COULD power through it if I just found the right motivation.
These 5 tips helped me get through what seemed liked the toughest day of working out in my life and I’m hoping they can help you too!
It’s amazing how much your thoughts can impact your workout, ESPECIALLY when the thoughts are negative! It’s so easy to be hard on yourself or think that you can’t do something, but that’s when you need to step up and push those feelings aside. If you find it difficult to think of something positive when your muscles are screaming at you, try to focus on one simple mantra or saying that is easy to mentally repeat. Remember – you can do anything you put your mind to!
Take it one step at a time
Instead of focusing on the length of the workout (which I know we all do), it’s important to stay present. Focus on the immediate exercise and then when you’re done tackle the next. Don’t do a mental countdown or think of how much longer you have to go… just breathe, focus and crush each section of your workout.
Know your limits – but don’t quit
If you’re extremely fatigued or trying something that is out of your wheelhouse, DON’T overdo it. It’s so easy to start comparing yourself to others when you’re in a room full of fitness junkies but in order to get through a workout it’s important to move at your own pace. The girl next to you may be doing 10 pushups while you’re only doing 5 but that’s completely, 100% okay! You do YOU.
This seems like an obvious tip of course, but you’d be amazed at how many times people (myself included) forget to properly hydrate while exercising! The average adult human body is made up of 55-65% water and when you’re sweating it out and using all your strength for an hour that water begins to deplete. You can get a headache, start to experience muscle cramps, throw up or even pass out if you’re not careful. Hydrating prior to your workout is key, however keeping a bottle of water or sports drink on hand to drink throughout your sweat sesh is equally crucial.
Think of a reward
If you’re anything like me you do better when you have some motivation. Not just the positive mantra kind that I spoke of earlier, but an actual way to reward yourself when it’s all over. For me, my reward was going to be a refreshing cocktail and lots of delicious hors d’oeuvres, along with a live performance from Tori Kelly at the end of the workout! Now I know that’s not usually the case – but it’s important to find something fun and exciting to treat yourself. Book a massage or a trip to the spa! Plan a shopping trip! Just do something that will make you happy and will act as the light at the end of the tunnel.
I hope you all find these tips to be helpful as you try out new, challenging fitness adventures! If you have any additional fit tips I’d love to hear them! Send me a message or comment below. You know I love hearing from you!
Wishing you all an amazing week ahead.
*Note: This post was sponsored by Propel. All thoughts and opinions are completely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible! ~ Mel