Author Archives: Lifting With Lita

How to Create a Routine and Maintain it

A key barrier to achieving your fitness goals is getting started. For whatever reason it may be, you didn’t make it to the gym, go on your morning jog, or attend your pilates class. It’s okay, it happens. But now what are you gonna do about it? Here’s my guide on how to create a routine and maintain it.

Figuring Out What Works for You

The past four months required me to change up my whole routine for the first time in a long time, and I didn’t like the new routine. I’m a morning gym rat, and it helps me get my day started. My work schedule required me to stop going to the gym in the mornings, and instead of not going at all, I started going later at night. I hated going so late because it was busy, crowded, and it felt like I was constantly changing my workout routine because of unavailable equipment. However, I made it work. I prioritized going to the gym 5-6 days a week, and I didn’t scold myself if I only went 3-4 days for one week. Now that my schedule has changed, my morning routines are up and running again, just how I like it.

Your schedule won’t be the same as everyone else’s. I didn’t go at 5am just to make it to work on time, I got my well needed rest, went to work, and prioritized the gym afterwards. This might be different for you, you might want to go before work at 5 or 6am just so you have the evening available once you’re off work or school. On the other hand, you might want to go in the middle of the day if that’s what works for you. As long as you make it a priority to go, it doesn’t matter what time it really is. You just need to figure out what works for you.

What Motivates You to Go

Creating a gym routine also requires motivation. For some that’s coffee or pre workout, for others it’s a good night’s sleep along with some fun music to get you going. For myself, I splash my face with cold water, pour myself some pre workout, and get going. If you’re an evening goer, ask yourself what gets you to the gym even if you feel a bit tired after a long day. This post talks a lot about feeling motivated for the gym, which is ultimately all about the mindset. Make it a part of your routine, and stick to it.

Deciding How Often to Go

If you’re not a hardcore gym rat who goes 6 days a week, don’t feel left out, because everyone’s different. If your work or school schedule prevents you from going that often, don’t force it. If 4-5 days works best for you, plan your week so that the gym fits in your schedule for those 4-5 days. Sometimes 3-4 is all you can do, and that’s still more than enough. Maybe on the days you don’t go, schedule a walk or some form of exercise to keep the body moving without overexerting. Regardless, after figuring out how often you can go, ensure it’s marked on your schedule so you don’t miss it.

Implementing your Routine

It’s easy to say you’ll go to the gym first thing in the morning and then it doesn’t happen. Most people don’t suddenly start going at 6am immediately, but some do, which is great. A good way to start if you’re trying to maintain a morning routine is to start slow and work your way up. Go at 10 or 11am, and try going earlier over the next couple weeks to see how your body feels and reacts. Set that alarm, lay out your clothes, and be ready to go when it’s time. If you’re hitting the gym after work at 6 or 7pm, try bringing your gym bag with you to work, or having it ready for when you get home. Have your snack or meal prepared before you go to the gym. Get it done.

Everyone is different, and what one person does might not work for another person. The important factors to creating a routine and maintaining it are figuring out the best time for you to go, how to feel motivated enough to go to the gym, determining your weekly schedule, and implementing the routine.

Contact me to discuss more!

The post How to Create a Routine and Maintain it first appeared on Lifting With Lita.

Peer Review #1

If you’re interested in improving your skincare routine, Skincare with M offers a variety of tips and tricks for her readers.

Marilyn is developing her professional self through a skincare blog. The overall design and theme is simplistic and appealing. Her menu consists of a ‘home’ page, ‘About me’, ‘Skincare routine’, ‘Product favs’, ‘Self care’, and ‘Body care’. Her homepage contains a search bar option at the top of the page for easy access. She links her social media accounts at the bottom of her page, and includes a footer with her menu items again. To invite users to visit her social media pages, I would consider moving these icons to the top of the page, so it is one of the first things they look at.

Her homepage is aesthetically pleasing and aligns with her brand, such as the image of the girl applying a product in the mirror, or the image showing various skincare products. She is showing her audience what kind of website it is, so it will encourage the reader to look further. One note is to change the links of the images, as when you click on them, it takes you to a 404 error page. Linking it to the pages on the website will keep the reader engaged.

I like the font as it is simple, but I would recommend increasing the font size so it’s easy to read. Additionally, the handwritten font is a little difficult to read, so it may be worth changing that to another font style. She has added an accessibility bar to her home page to allow users to change font size, contrast, light background, and more. That will appeal to users who look for accessibility options on websites. I think this is a great option for users with accessibility issues. This is something I have yet to implement to my website, but this has given me inspiration for how I can go about putting this on my website whether its a small icon like Marilyn did, or its own menu bar somewhere on the page.

In the browser tab, I can see her M logo for her website. According to McLaughlin, a brand is essentially the equivalent of a trademark. This M should be the trademark for her website so that when people see it, they can identify her brand. Another option would be to incorporate the whole title ‘Skincare with M’ as a logo to place at the very top of her website. Quartz Obsession talks about brands like Burberry and Saint Laurent Paris have created new logos to look minimalistic, but end up looking boring or unappealing to the viewers. Making the logo the centre of the website will engage and draw viewers in. It will improve the brand recall and invite more website traffic.

I see two potential mission statements on her home page, one below her title/name and one in the middle of the page. Her tagline says ‘The ultimate guide to feeling confident in your own skin’, and the statement in the middle of the page says ‘Inspiring others to level up their skincare regimes through providing tips and tricks on skincare routines and products based on my own personal knowledge and experiences’. The first one sounds more like a brief tagline to draw readers in, but the second one clearly states her intentions for this website. If we look at Young’s ‘Mission, Vision, Values, Mandate: an “Aha!” Moment’, I think Marilyn incorporates these aspects into her mission statement. As a mission or mandate, she is clear about her outcome, which is to inspire others to level up their skincare regimes, as a result of reading her tips and tricks. This also ties into her vision of a new skincare regime for everyone. She implements her values well, focusing on her personal experiences and knowledge.

Something to note here in terms of developing a professional self is to be wary of using personal experiences to provide tips about skincare, as not everyone’s skin reacts the same way to certain products and whatnot. I would recommend putting a disclaimer in blog posts that it may not work for everyone, or warning them about the ingredients in the product. I also think providing links to research from dermatologists regarding skincare routines would increase the authenticity and credibility of her brand. As a reader, I would want to know what professionals think about the products used or the routine in question.

In terms of content, I think it’s unique and creative, while also staying true to her brand. Posts like ‘My step-by-step natural everyday makeup routine‘ or 3 reasons you need to start shaving your face offer different kinds of content according to her audience. Showing her makeup routine may inspire others to use similar products or follow the same style, while a post about facial shaving offers something different and provides perspective, especially to those who are skeptical or unsure about applying new methods to their skincare routine. I like that she mixes her content with advice and her own preferences for a more versatile and authentic brand. As I said before, I would incorporate research into the product posts to build trust with her audience.

Overall, I really like Marilyn’s skincare website, and I think she is doing a good job of developing her professional self. I think her design and content are consistent, and her mission statement is clear and intentional. As someone who is trying to work on skincare in 2023, I would absolutely look at Marilyn’s website for tips and inspiration!

Check out her website here:

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Confidence: A Key Factor In Reaching Your Goals

Jumping straight into weightlifting without any experience or idea of where to start is easier said than done, and it starts with confidence.

Some of my followers mention not feeling confident enough to work out in public, and often express hesitation and nervousness about going to a public gym. It also stems from not having a plan in place, which is normal if you haven’t lifted weights before, and you haven’t figured out your goals. Speaking from personal experience, it takes time, effort, and courage to break out of your shell and feel confident enough to not worry about the people around you, whether you think you’re doing something wrong, or people looking.

Confidence is a key factor in reaching your fitness goals because if you don’t believe you can achieve your goals, you don’t have the mindset or motivation to do so. It’s normal to feel unsure of yourself when you’re learning something new. I go into detail about overcoming shyness in the gym in this blog post, but there’s more to it than buying the right clothes or listening to the right kind of music. Developing the right mindset will make all the difference in your fitness journey.

It’s helpful to break it down into a few steps, and ask yourself these questions:

Why do you want to start working out?

This question helps you get to the root of why you’re at the gym, and using that as your motivation to keep working. 

What are you hoping to get out of this experience?

Determine your goals and expectations, and remember you won’t get results overnight. If you start to doubt yourself, focus on your end goal, and how you want to get there. Sometimes you have to take a step back to move a few steps forward.

How will you reach your goals?

Knowing how you intend to reach your fitness goals will allow you to feel more confident and organized in your plan, rather than showing up and winging it. If that works for you, that’s okay too. I like to have a workout plan each day and adjust it depending on my mood, energy, and what’s available. Check out my recent post about choosing the right workout split, which is a good place to start.

What motivates you? 

When you go to the gym, think about what motivates you to finish your workout. Is it music, pre-workout or the voice in your head telling you to keep going? It can be anything, as long as it helps you meet those goals.

These questions will help you figure out what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what will you make you keep going. They all work towards your mindset, which helps build confidence and assurance. There are other simpler ways to feel confident, similar to feeling less shy, like wearing appealing workout clothes or following a workout video on TikTok or YouTube. I wanted to approach this key factor from a personal standpoint that doesn’t require using external sources, but rather trying to work with yourself.

Contact me to learn or discuss more!

How to Pick The Right Workout Split

Are you wondering how to plan your workouts every week to get the best results? Let’s talk about different workout splits, and how they can help you reach your fitness goals!

Things to Consider

When picking your workout split, here are a few things to consider, according to this article:

  • Time
  •  Goals
  •  Experience
  •  Rest & Recovery
  •  Age

You want to hit every muscle group in a workout split, but how to do so will depend on these factors, namely your fitness goals, availability to commit to a workout split, and how much recovery your body will need. Your workout split may not be the same as others, and that’s okay.

Here are three common workout splits to use or incorporate into your workout routine:

Upper/Lower Workout Split

The Upper/Lower Body workout split is suitable for beginner lifters, or people on a time crunch in the mornings. The important thing is to target each muscle group, and do a little bit of everything. Your upper body days should include the chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, and forearms. Your leg days may target the glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves. Ultimately, you can do whatever is comfortable. Your upper/lower split may look something like this:

  • Monday: Upper Body
  •  Tuesday: Lower Body
  •  Wednesday: Rest or Cardio
  •  Thursday: Upper Body
  •  Friday: Lower Body
  •  Saturday: Full Body
  •  Sunday: Rest Day

Or something like this:

  • Monday: Upper Body
  •  Tuesday: Lower Body
  •  Wednesday: Rest
  •  Thursday: Upper Body
  •  Friday: Lower Body
  •  Saturday Rest
  •  Sunday: Rest/Cardio

The first example is similar to what I did when I started lifting, and eventually, once I became more comfortable and made goals for myself, I adjusted accordingly. I incorporated a day of cardio or the option of a recovery day and included a full-body workout. This may work for people who need to take that day off in the middle of the week, or need time to get used to lifting. The other example may work better for people who are getting used to the gym and need more recovery. Over time, you may decide you don’t like chest exercises, and that’s okay! You’ll figure out what you like, and what goals you want to achieve.

Push/Pull/Legs Workout Split

This was my go-to workout split for a year, and it works for a lot of people. It consists of a push day, a pull day, and a leg day. Push day involves exercises that require you to push the weight away from you such as chest, shoulders and triceps, whereas pull days include exercises that you pull towards you, like back and biceps.

Here are a couple examples:

  • Monday: Push
  •  Tuesday: Pull
  •  Wednesday: Legs
  •  Thursday: Push
  •  Friday: Pull
  •  Saturday: Legs
  •  Sunday: Rest

Another example:

  • Monday: Push
  •  Tuesday: Glute and Hamstrings
  •  Wednesday: Pull
  •  Thursday: Quads and Calves
  •  Friday: Total Upper Body
  •  Saturday: Legs
  •  Sunday: Rest

The first example is the most common and popular option, however, I included the second example for people who get bored with their workout splits easily and need more variation. I still incorporated the push-pull-legs split however I adjusted it to target specific muscle groups like glutes and quads and have a day dedicated to the full upper body. The only downside to this split is that I feel like the push day is a volume-heavy day, by trying to hit the chest and shoulders on the same day. Nonetheless, it is a good split if you are ready to challenge yourself and reach your goals.

Arnold Split

This workout split belongs to none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the biggest bodybuilders known to many. This is my current workout split, and it’s been working for me for nearly a year. It consists of 4 arm days and 2 leg days for optimal results. It may not work for everyone, but I feel this has helped me improve my strength by changing up my arms days. Keep in mind, Arnold used performance-enhancing substances to aid his gains, so don’t be fooled.

It looks something like this:

  • Monday: Chest & Back
  •  Tuesday: Shoulders & Arms
  •  Wednesday: Legs (Glute focus)
  •  Thursday: Chest & Back
  •  Friday: Shoulders & Arms
  •  Saturday: Legs (Quad focus)
  •  Sunday: Rest

This example is almost identical to what the Arnold split actually is, however, I altered it according to my own preferences, as can you! He exercised his abs every day, and while I probably should do that too, I engage my core in all of my lifts anyway. I added a glute-focused leg day and a quad-focused leg day so I can focus on different exercises for each leg day.


The takeaway from all of this is that these workout splits alone won’t get you the results you need, but they’re a great start to achieving your goals. Using PEDS won’t get you those results, but rather following a routine, applying progressive overload, and consuming enough protein.

The important thing is to do what works for you! Each workout split is a little bit different from the other, and it takes time to figure out what works best for your body and goals.

Stay tuned for more and contact me if you want to chat about fitness!

How to Start Your 2023 Fitness Journey Today

If you didn’t make it to the gym on January 1st, that’s okay, you’re not alone. I’m here to tell you my motto of today: It’s Not Too Late To Start Today.

Two years ago, I started going to the gym, and it wasn’t on January 1st like most people. I didn’t have a plan and had no idea what I was doing. I was going twice a week, doing cardio for half of it, at an all-girls gym. Once I tried weight lifting for the whole workout, I loved it, and wanted to keep going. Suddenly I was creating my own workout split and going 4-5 times a week.

If you don’t know where to start, take it slow! You want to hit every muscle group but it’s okay to group them together. I started with one arm day and one leg day, and I tried a little bit of everything from shoulder presses and bicep curls to lunges and squats. Once you get more comfortable, you can start going 3 days a week, and perhaps add in a full-body day. Over time, you may want to go 4-6 days a week, and separating the muscle groups for better growth and recovery for your body. A popular workout split for most beginners is the push-pull legs split, or some variation. A push workout consists of chest, shoulders and triceps, and a pull workout consists of back and biceps. This is a simple and standard way to break up your muscle groups into different days, but you can do whatever you want! Additionally, if you enjoy cardio, you can incorporate that into its own day, such as cardio and core. Here’s a post about what I do at the gym, though check in for an updated workout split soon!

Sometimes you have to take the leap to figure out what you like. If weightlifting isn’t for you, that’s okay too! Hot yoga, pilates, running and walking are all activities I once enjoyed, some of which I still do. Another important thing is take your time to comfortable and gain confidence and motivation. Check out my post here where I talk about dealing with shyness at the gym.

Just because you didn’t start on January 1st, doesn’t mean you can’t start now. Start that free trial at your local gym, and start working on yourself in 2023!

Stay tuned for workout videos on my YouTube channel and Instagram and contact me to learn more!

How to Overcome Setbacks in the Gym

TW: Body image, weight, calories

I’m going through multiple setbacks at the gym right now. It’s frustrating, but that’s all they are, setbacks. I’m going to share what I do to overcome a setback in the gym.

Firstly, I remind myself that I love myself no matter what’s happening in my life or to my body. Just because I want to change it, doesn’t mean I don’t love myself. See the quote above for inspiration.
With that being said, I love myself enough to do something good for myself, which also means developing healthy habits. I’ve mentioned a few in my previous blog post about balance, but I will reiterate a few anyway. I’m not particularly happy with my body right now, so I’m actively making efforts to do something about it. For instance, drinking more water is beneficial and I always feel better when I am not drinking something sugary, and instead, I am hydrating myself. Additionally, I’m eating more fruits and vegetables, and I try to cook at home more often. I feel like I have more control over what I eat when I’m making it myself, and I’m saving money by not eating out as often.

Lately, I’ve also felt insecure about my progress in the gym, and to deal with that, I decided to start eating more protein. I found a new favourite protein bar with great macronutrients, and I even made my own protein Rice Krispy squares. I have a newfound obsession with salmon, and I even joined in on the Emily Mariko salmon rice bowl trend on TikTok. Eating more protein makes me feel like I’m working on my health outside of the gym, which is where the progress happens most for muscle growth. It’s a slow process, but this is how I’m overcoming the setback of feeling like I haven’t gained much muscle at the gym.

Another setback I’ve been facing is feeling like I haven’t improved in terms of strength. I’ve hit plateaus in various muscle groups, and it’s a hard pill to swallow. Instead of giving up on my squats and bench press, I simply decided to keep working at it, even if it means working with a lighter weight. I altered my program for my squat and bench press; I am going heavy once a week, but lighter weight and higher reps once a week as well.

I haven’t been feeling confident in my gym wear lately, so I decided to treat myself and buy Alphalete leggings and shorts. Let’s just say it worked, and I feel more confident than ever. If you are willing to splurge, do it for the Alphalete Amplify collection.

Lastly, I weighed myself for the first time in a while, and I wasn’t happy with the number on the scale. It feels like my biggest setback at the moment, but I have to remind myself that it is a setback that I can overcome. My gym partner encouraged me to start using the Stairmaster again, and now I love it. I do cardio 3 times a week now, and sometimes I’m at the gym twice a day. I give myself more rest days because of the extra sessions, but I’m having so much fun. I’m also being more intuitive about what I’m eating through a small calorie deficit, but it doesn’t stop me from treating myself to whatever I want, in moderation of course. At the end of the day, I’m not here to promote unhealthy behaviours. I’m simply sharing what I’m doing for myself and how it’s making me feel. I feel better than I did a couple of weeks ago, because of the new habits I’m making for myself.

Overcoming setbacks when it comes to fitness and health is not easy. But with patience and the right mindset, it is attainable.

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How to Feel Motivated for the Gym

My dad always tells me that getting to the gym means you already have 70% of the work done. But how do you reach that 70%? I will share my ways of getting motivated for the gym.

Firstly, I try to get 7-8 hours of sleep every day. Do I actually do this? No…..but I should, and you should too. The times I do get enough sleep, I wake up feeling ready to take on the world, and hit the gym. This tip is more applicable to people who enjoy morning workouts. Nonetheless, getting enough sleep is important for your gym progress, and may help you wake up feeling more motivated.

Next, I pick out a cute gym outfit. You can check out one of my previous posts where I review workout brands, so you can find the perfect gym outfit for yourself. As I’ve said before, if I look good, I feel good. Another tip is to pick your outfit the night before so you don’t have to figure it out in the morning. I also think picking out a good outfit also helps with comfort. For instance, I wear shorts on leg day and leggings on arm day. I find it to be more comfortable and suitable for the muscle groups I’m hitting. Others may have different preferences, which is why it is beneficial to find out what works for you.

Then, I take some pre-workout. I’ll preface this by saying it is not necessary to take to reach your goals, and that you should always proceed with caution. It’s energy and endurance, and that’s why I take it. With that being said, I don’t “dry scoop” or take more than the suggested amount. I also take caffeine cleanses every 2-3 months to lower my tolerance. But if you’re looking for that extra boost, try some pre-workout. I can make a post reviewing energy drinks and pre-workout in the upcoming weeks.

When I get to the gym, my motivation can change depending on the available equipment and how I feel when I get there. Sometimes, I’ll ditch my routine completely and do several random exercises, or find a TikTok or Instagram workout to follow instead. It’s okay to ditch your original plan and try something new. Or, if all else fails, do cardio. Lately, I have been going on the Stairmaster after my workouts, and it makes me feel more accomplished by the end of it.

Lastly, listen to a good workout playlist. You can find my gym playlist on my home page, or go on Spotify and find one that motivates you. I have specific songs I use for when I hit PRs, so find one for yourself!
Hopefully, you can take a tip or two from this post, and I hope this encourages you to hit the gym!

Finding a Balance

Throughout my fitness journey, I have always had challenges with finding a balance between health and fun. Whether that is junk food, eating out, or drinking, it would be extremely difficult to give it all up for fitness. It would feel restrictive and unfulfilling to give all these things up. Since turning 19, these clashing forces become more difficult to manage. With that being said, there is no need to give all of these things up. Finding a balance and still consuming everything in moderation will prevent overly restrictive behaviours and allow you to have fun on your night outs. As a disclaimer, everyone’s bodies are different, and I am not in a position to tell people what to eat when I am not qualified to do so. In this post, I will share how I create a balance, and how I could improve.

Firstly, I try to cook my meals as much as possible, but I do not stray from eating out. If I intend on eating out sometime in the day, I will be mindful of the meals I eat before eating out at a restaurant or fast-food franchise. I will cook a protein-filled breakfast, and avoid snacking as often throughout the day. When I am at a restaurant, I eat what I want. I order my own main and often share an appetizer with a friend. If I am not incredibly hungry, I will order multiple appetizers to share with friends or family. It is important to make these decisions based on how you are feeling, without feeling guilty about it.

If I am not drinking alcohol, I will drink lots of water or opt for sparkling water for flavour. When I do drink alcohol, it is often once a week max. I avoid excessive drinking for my health and sugary drinks. In addition, I try to drink a lot of water every day and avoid drinking pop. Instead of Coca-Cola, I enjoy drinking La Croix, which I highly recommend. My favourite flavours are cran-raspberry, mango, passion fruit, and peach-pear. However, if I want to drink pop, I will drink a pop. Understanding that I get cravings allows me to not feel guilty about drinking pop or alcohol. With that being said, it is not a habit I would like to fall into regularly, which is why I prioritize daily water consumption over any other drink.

When discussing improvements for myself, I have a few things to consider. I would like to consume more protein, which could be more attainable if I track my protein intake, and eat at home more often. I eat a lot of eggs, to begin with, but I could be consuming more protein by eating protein bars for snacks, and some form of meat or fish for both lunch and dinner. I would like to try to meal prep during the weekdays, because I am often busy with school and will make something that requires little effort, such as spicy Buldak noodles, which are so unhealthy, yet so addictive. Instead, I would much rather cook salmon or chicken with rice and stir-fried veggies. Sometimes, if I have leftover ingredients in the fridge, I like to make my fried rice with all the vegetables I have in my fridge with eggs and tofu. I also have low-sodium soy sauce, which I feel tastes better than regular soy sauce. If I have a craving for chips, I will make air-fried fries or popcorn using a recipe from my uncle. My popcorn contains organic kernels cooked in avocado oil, nutritional yeast, truffle-infused olive oil, cracked black pepper, pink salt, and crushed toasted sesame seeds. While it is not the healthiest, it is one of my favourite snacks, and I like knowing all the ingredients that go into it. Often, I like to make my salad dressing with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. I may choose to buy coconut amino acids for more flavour in my salad, and avoid the olive oil instead. In terms of alcohol, I could seek an alternative option such as a low-calorie or low sugar alcoholic drink. However, due to my minimal consumption, to begin with, I would not need to make major adjustments since I do not drink frequently. I think I could cut out pop altogether because I rarely get the craving for pop anymore. I enjoy sparkling water and will opt for that instead.

All in all, I do not eat excessively unhealthy in general. I could make minor improvements that would not overly restrict my food intake such as drinking more water, meal prepping, eating more protein, and eating at home more often. I will continue to eat more fruits and vegetables in all of my meals, but I will not restrict my carb intakes such as bread and pasta. The key takeaway is to eat in moderation, but still, eat what you want. An important thing to note is that everyone’s preferences and cravings are different, and it might be easier for some people to give up certain foods for their health. I still find it difficult to find a balance between prioritizing my health and focusing on my wants, but I like setting goals for myself to find and maintain this balance. To reiterate what I said before, I won’t tell you to want to eat. However, I will encourage you to find alternatives that work for your health, if it suits you and if it is what you want.

10 Ways to Deal with Shyness at the Gym

If you’re nervous to lift weights in a public gym, don’t fret, you’re not alone. As someone who was initially too nervous to wear a sports bra at the gym hesitated at using the squat rack and was scared to be around so many people during my workout, I have first-hand experience of shyness at the gym. I’m here to provide some tips for becoming more comfortable at a public gym.

  1. Workout with a friend.

I never would have taken the initiative to go to the gym if I did not have a workout partner for moral support. It may not be possible for everyone, but if you can encourage a friend to go with you to the gym, it may ease your discomfort. My friend and I go to the bench press every Monday morning together and spot each other for PRs. Additionally, we hold each other accountable every morning to go the gym, and even during our workouts. We do not allow one another to slack during an exercise, and we push each other mentally and physically to achieve our goals. Having a friend to workout with is beneficial because it is another reminder that you’re not learning alone.

2. Hire a personal trainer.

If the first option is unattainable at the moment, I would suggest hiring a personal trainer if possible. Personal trainers are certified trainers, who are there to teach you the basics of weight lifting and encourage you to improve after each session. Having a professional teach you and guide you along your journey at the gym may help you feel more comfortable at the gym, to the point when you may not need a personal trainer.

3. Watch videos online.

If you do not know where to start, looking up YouTube videos or TikTok clips may help you get started on your weight lifting journey. I started by watching individuals such as fitbyash on TikTok and Whitney Simmons on Instagram. There are more fitness influencers out there with workout videos to mimic, and it may inspire you when creating your own routine. I also find it is easier to follow a workout when you can watch the movements and achieve the correct form.

4. When in doubt, do cardio.

When I first started going to the gym, I always did 15 minutes of cardio on the treadmill, elliptical, or the stairmaster. This allowed me to get warmed up before doing my workouts, however, after some time I started doing my cardio after my lift to have maximum energy for my lifts. As a beginner, cardio is an easy solution to calm the nerves, at least until you’re comfortable enough to start using weights. And if you’re not, that’s ok too. You can do whatever you want at the gym (within the rules of course), getting to the gym already means 70% of the work is done, which is a huge step in the right direction.

5. Buy cute workout clothes.

Often individuals struggle with feeling confident at a public gym, so I have an easy solution for you. Buying new workout clothes will make you feel good and look good during your workout. Having this extra boost of confidence will motivate you to work out. I am guilty of buying too many workout clothes now though…..

6. Use dumbbells or machines.

If you are not ready to do compound movements such as squats or bench press, it is best to start small and use dumbbells to get started. Machines are also a good method of exercise because there are visual instructions on the side of the machine, and you can adjust the weight accordingly. It is a simple way of working out because the machine is built for a specific type of exercise, and you likely won’t be confused.

7. Listen to music.

Having a good workout playlist makes the difference in how your workout will go. Add some rap music, or Olivia Rodrigo, or Taylor Swift (two of my personal favourites). The music also allows you to focus on your workout instead of worrying about those around you.

8. Use low weights.

I know people will be eager to increase the weight right away to impress others, but it is best to take your time as a beginner, and slowly increase the weight. It is more beneficial to have correct form at a low weight rather than poor form at a higher weight.

9. Stay in one spot during your workout.

If you do not know your way around the gym, the easiest thing to do is to find a spatial area in the gym with few people to do your entire workout in. This could be at the cables or near the dumbbells, on a yoga mat, or in a different room altogether. Staying in one area during your workout will allow you to get your work done without having to move around to different areas a lot.

And lastly,


9. Make conversation with people at the gym.

Say hi to people, compliment their outfit, or their form. Don’t interrupt them mid-set, but if the timing is right, try to make small-talk with people at the gym, especially if you see them often. It may be helpful knowing a familiar face and you may wound up making a friend at the gym. In my experience, my friend and I became friends with these two girls at the gym, seeing each other a few times a week and making inside jokes with each other. We also discovered we had mutual acquaintances, which was a pleasant surprise. You never know who you might meet, so it doesn’t hurt to take the leap and “talk to a stranger”.

What I Do At The Gym

When I first started going to the gym, I was uneducated and lost on what exercises to do. At the time, we were only permitted one hour at the gym, which limited what I could do, especially if it was busy. I realized an hour is all you need for a good lift, though having the extra time is convenient and beneficial for warming up and stretching. Likewise many others, I scrolled through TikTok and Instagram, looking for a workout split, and here’s what I came up with:

  • Monday: Chest-focused Push Day (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps)
  • Tuesday: Glutes and Hamstrings
  • Wednesday: Pull Day (Back and Biceps)
  • Thursday: Quads and Calves
  • Friday: Shoulder-focused Push Day or Total Upper Body
  • Saturday: Leg Day
  • Sunday: Rest Day

This is inspired by many fitness influencers and the traditional push/pull/legs workout routine. I will link an article that shows variations of this routine and why it is beneficial for weight lifters. I prefer to work out different leg muscle groups on separate days, but I would still consider my split to be a variation of the push/pull/legs split that is trending online. I lift weights 5-6 days a week with 1-2 rest days. If my body is telling me I need to rest, I’ll take a day off.

I didn’t come up with my workout routine on my own. I was inspired by online workouts from influencers and personal trainers. Based on my research, compound exercises need to be prioritized over isolation movements. Compound exercises target multiple muscle groups simultaneously, such as the bench press, squats and deadlifts. Isolation exercises only target one muscle group at a time, such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, etc. Both movements should be incorporated into your workout routines, though compound exercises are more effective. I will link another article that supports these statements. I can’t truthfully say that I prioritize cardio and ab workouts after my lifts, because I don’t…..oops. Occasionally after my lifts, I will walk on the treadmill, but it depends on my mood. Ultimately, the best advice I can offer you is to do whatever is best for you. Nonetheless, I will share my workout routine with everyone, and if you take inspiration from it, I’ll be glad.

Push Workout (Chest-focused)

  • Mobility work- 5 mins
  • Bench press- 4 sets, increase weight and lower reps each set (12, 10, 8, 6)
  • Dumbbell chest press- 3-4 sets, 10 reps, increase weight each set
  • Shoulder circuit: front raises, lateral raises, rear delt flies- 3 sets, 10 reps each
  • Tricep single-arm pushdowns- 3 sets, 10 reps each side
  • Tricep pushdowns with rope or v-bar- 4 sets, 10 reps
  • Practice pushups and tricep dips

Glutes and Hamstrings

  • Mobility
  • Back squats- 4 sets, 8 reps
  • Sumo deadlifts- 4 sets, 8-10 reps
  • Leg press- 4 sets, 10 reps
  • Dumbbell RDLs- 4 sets, 10 reps

Pull Workout

  • Barbell bent-over rows- 4 sets, 10 reps
  • Lat pulldowns- 4 sets, 8-10 reps, increase weight each set
  • Single-arm cable rows- 4 sets, 8 reps each side
  • 21s- 3 sets, (7,7,7)
  • Alternating dumbbell bicep curls- 3-4 sets, 10 reps
  • T-bar row, 3×10, last set AMRAP
  • practice pull-ups

Quads and Calves

  • Conventional deadlifts- 4 sets, 8 reps
  • Elevated back squats or front squats- 4 sets, 8 reps
  • Leg press narrow stance- 4 sets, 10 reps
  • Heel elevated goblet squats- 4 sets, 10 reps or leg extensions- AMRAP
  • Calf raises- 4 sets, 10 reps

Shoulder-focused Push Day

  • Bench press- High volume, 4 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Military press- 4 sets, 8-10 reps
  • Shoulder press- 4 sets, 8-10 reps
  • Upright row- 4 sets, 10 reps
  • Single-arm cable pushdowns- 3 sets, 10 reps each side
  • Shoulder circuit- 3 sets, 10 reps each

Leg Day

  • Back squats- 4 sets, 8 reps
  • Hip thrusts- 4 sets, 10 reps
  • Leg press- 4 sets, 10 reps
  • RDLs- 4 sets 10 reps

I also included a TikTok video I made about my fitness favourites, enjoy!


it’s a long list hehe

♬ original sound – 🕺