5 Gym Hacks (for when you don’t know what the f* you’re doing)

Ok lets be real here, gyms can be overwhelming. Especially if you’ve just joined a new one and are unfamiliar with the equipment / layout / gauging the best time to go when it’s not jam packed / etc. I worked at a gym for around 5 years and got comfortable with everything about it. I knew when to go to avoid the rush, where all my favorite machines were and who to bug when I wanted help with form or exercises. At the time, this was an amazing resource to have.

Fast forward another few years (post employment) to when my beloved gym gave its customers a week notice that they were shutting down. This created a situation where I had to venture out of my comfort zone and familiarize myself once again with a new gym. Now, I know this isn’t how it goes for everyone joining a new gym or even just trying new workouts at their gym / home, but I think the feeling is the same. The discomfort / nervousness / awkward feeling … it sucks! So how do we tackle this monster and maximize the first trip (and every trip) to the gym?!


  1. “Just do it”. The hardest part is getting past all the excuses / worries you tell yourself to avoid the gym. GO. Start by showing up and take it from there. So you’re just there for 10 minutes walking on the treadmill? Great. You’re one step closer to creating a comfort with this place.
  2. Scope it out. This is my go to move. I hate aimlessly wandering around a gym trying to find the machines I want to use or deciding the rotation I want to do, without knowing the gym’s layout. I usually warm up on the treadmill or stair stepper and scope out the place. This allows me to gather my thoughts and pump up my motivation as well.
  3. Bring a friend. Everything is better with a friend by your side!
  4. Social Media. This is an excellent resource for finding a vast variety of workouts quickly. You can search Pinterest by body part / equipment / goal and find something that fits your needs. Then pop over to Instagram and use hashtags to find videos of people doing these workouts to see form and variations. This sh*t is all free, why not use it??! (Links below to some of my favorite accounts / hashtags)
  5. RepeatKeep it up! Comfort and confidence in the gym will come naturally over time.

Useful Links:

Instagram ( Literally so many out there, but these ladies are a few of my favorites)

Hashtag Examples (Adding “workout” to a hashtag search will more likely lead you to videos vs motivational images of people)


Pinterest: (The search options are endless, but these are a good start)


Sweet Potato Fajita Mix

Summer is the time for TEX-MEX and there are many clean food options such as this sweet potato fajita mix. Simply add to tacos, burritos, rice, quinoa, or salad for a full meal!!

fajita bowls


SWEET POTATO FAJITA MIX

Serves 8
Ingredients
2 sweet potatoes, sliced
1-1/2 bell peppers (I used 1/2 of red, orange, and yellow)

1/2 red onion
1 jalapeno
garlic, diced
cilantro, chopped
1 can black beans
1 cup red cabbage
olive oil
salt
pepper
chili powder

Add Later–
Fresh Salsa

Instructions 

  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet.
  2. Sauté the onions, jalapeno, garlic, and cilantro.
  3. Stir in the sweet potato,  and bell peppers. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add in black beans and red cabbage, turn down heat and cover.
  5. Cook for 20 minutes, check frequently.
  6. Add mix to a tortilla, on a salad, or with quinoa.
  7. Top with salsa of choice. I used both a roasted corn & black bean salsa and fresh salsa.

fajita burrito