22 Gym Hacks That Will Make Working Out Work For You
Handy hacks to become a fitness kweeeeeen in no time. Maybe.
When we imagine ourselves working out, we like to think we look like this:
When in reality, we probably actually look more like a sweaty, hot mess crying in the corner of the gym.
Sort of like this:
In reality, we don't all have 7 hours a day to work out and we'e not confident that we'll achieve anything that vaguely resembles a VS model-worthy figure by the time the bikinis start coming out. But if only there was a way to make getting fit easier without really having to put in SO MUCH effort.
Have no fear, because here are some handy hacks to become a fitness kweeeeeen* in no time.
Work out while watching TV or chatting on the phone
'Excuse me? Watching TV is SUPPOSED to be relaxing!' we hear you cry. Well you can still be lazy, but during the adverts get up and do mini 3-4 minute workouts like lunges, star jumps and even tricep dips on the sofa. Or if your friend calls you, aim to do squats the whole time you’re on the phone.
Create your own drinking game… with exercise
Stick on your favourite programme and everytime 'A' is mentioned in Pretty Little Liars or every time Nate Archibald or Chuck Bass simply look sexy AF in Gossip Girl (which is quite alot BTW), get up and do 20 lunges. Oh, and remember to swap the vodka for water. Wild Friday night SORTED.
Pick a mate and make them your GB4L (Gym Buddy 4 Lyf)
Realistically, it’ll make you more likely to stick to your fitness plan as you'll motivate each other and you're more likely to even turn up in the first place because you wouldn’t want to leave your mate hanging. Anyway, sitting on the bikes gossiping counts as a good session in the gym, right..?
Use your commute to your advantage
Take a train, tube or bus to work or school everyday? Get up 20 minutes earlier and walk, jog or cycle there instead. If it’s way too far then get off a stop early and add 10 minutes onto your walk.
Work it around your life so it doesn't become your worst enemy
If you know you're always knackered at the end of the working day, go to the gym before work or school or on your lunch break. But if you’re not a morning person, going to the gym early just isn’t going to happen in a hurry.
And if you do fancy that early morning gym sesh, here's an ultimate lazy girl hack: sleep in your workout clothes so you don't have to put them on when you wake up. But then also don't, because that would be ridiculous.
Always keep a spare gym kit with you
What’s the toughest part about going to the gym? Actually getting there, right? So, why would you give yourself any chance to get distracted or talk yourself out of it by going home. Keep a gym kit in your car, at work or in your locker at school so there will never be an excuse. Save space in your bag by rolling your top, socks, and leggings together instead of folding them.
Home workouts = no excuses
If the gym is too much of a trek or you simply can't afford those pricey memberships, there are plenty of YouTube videos to follow in the comfort of your own living room/garden and you don’t really need any equipment for the majority of them.
Track down a fit AF personal trainer
God those abs don’t even look real... Ok, so it wasn't meant to sound quite so creepy but someone who has a great bod will likely motivate you (whilst you try to look as cool as possible in front of them).
In all seriousness, a trainer can set you goals and introduce you to new moves and teach you all the right techniques to take away with you. If you can’t afford a session, you may get a free induction at your gym where you can ask lots of questions.
get down with the tech
The Nike Fuelband and the FitBit may seem pricey, but they can be well worth the investment. Each day, you’ll want to challenge yourself to reach your set goal and the FitBit even monitors things like you sleep patterns too.
You might also want to invest in some noise-cancelling headphones to block out all the the posers in the gym who play their music out loud. Also the grunters whose vaguely inhuman sounds you do NOT want to hear when you're just getting in the zone.
pretend you’re in a music video
Why not channel Ariana Grande in the Side To Side video on your exercise bike or have a sneaky moment in the locker room, pretending you're Teyana Taylor from Kanye's Fade vid? That is until that woman with the 8-pack walks in and glares at you for writhing about on the floor.
Still, make the sassiest playlist you could ever imagine and you'll begin to love working out because it's just so damn fun. Just be careful you don't take your gym crushes eye out when you're prancing around from station to station.
Join the caffeine hype
Sipping on green tea or coffee during the day will give you more energy and will decrease the likelihood that you’ll crash once the workday is over. So there'll be no excuse that you're 'too tired' to exercise, OKAY?
If you’re a sucker for getting bored easily, mix it up
It's always good to switch up your workouts now and again. If the actual gym is your worst nightmare, try something else - swimming, cycling, dancing, hula-hooping, Zumba, boxing, or kettlebell classes - the gym is your oyster! Find a piece of equipment that looks totally alien to you and ask a gym instructor to explain to you how it works - then give it a go.
Never force yourself to do something you hate because it'll just make you want to walk out and become a Netflix and pizza slob for the rest of your days.
keep your workouts short
The quality of your workout doesn’t depend on how long it is. Who the hell has time to go to the gym for an hour and a half everyday? Errr, not us.
Enter HIIT. It consists of short bursts of intense exercise and only has to take up 15/20 mins a day for a lean machine of a bod. Check out The Body Coach, who has loads of online 15 minute HIIT workouts for you to try. You. Are. Welcome.
Buy some fancy gym gear
Opt for gear that's super practical but also makes you feel like Khloe Kardashian. Did you really need those ankle weights? Perhaps. That 8th pair of trainers? Possibly. Those boxing gloves? You probably won’t even try boxing. But the point is that you’ll be prepared. At the very least, a sassy gym get-up will disguise the thing we all call ’tomato face’. Yeah, you know exactly what we mean.
Make your water bottle Insta—worthy
The more water you drink, the healthier and more energised you’ll feel like when you fancy a workout. Plus, more water helps your body burn more fat. If you’re feeling super fancy, put fruit in your water - not only does it make your gym trip totally instagrammable but there’s a whole load of benefits. A handful of frozen berries in your bottle will keep your water refreshingly cool as well as adding some flavour and a healthy sugar boost. Ps. Haribos and Skittles don’t class as fruit, soz.
Do it like the celebs
Here’s a fun game: find out how your fave celebs like to work out and give them a go. Gigi Hadid does boxing to get her VS model-worthy bod, Harry Styles prefers a spot of Pilates and Calvin Harris is the king of spin.
reward yourself with something you really want
Tell yourself that you can only listen to a certain album or the next chapter of your audiobook / podcast you love when you exercise. Basically, you’ll want to be in the gym all day just to know what happens next. You could even try putting some money in a jar everytime you work out – within a few months you’ll have hopefully earned enough to buy yourself a new fitness outfit or gadget.
join a gym that matches your lifestyle
If you get bored easily, opt for a gym with more facilities like a swimming pool / sauna or those really cool classes you've always wanted to try (we'd like to attend Ariana Grande's spin class please). Or if you think you'll be working out at strange times, join a 24 hour gym. Location is also a huge factor as it'll be more handy if it's close to either your home or your school/work as you'll probably never feel like going too far out of your way.
Check out the apps
There are a ridiculous amount of health apps which can help with almost anything, from workouts to playlists to tracking what you eat. Jog.fm will play music from your library to match your pace and MyFitnessPal lets you track your food calories alongside your workouts. The LDNM app has a HIIT timer, nutrition section, gives you workout examples and you can even take progress photos and track exercise progress.
Put your phone on airplane mode or do not disturb
If you’d spend less time snapchatting your cute gym outfit and more time, you know, actually working out, it'd probably help. It might actually be comforting to shut yourself off from the rest of the world for a little while and not get stressed out by all those emails in your inbox.
Actually make a schedule and record your progress
No structure = no motivaton. Write down your goals, create a program and take this with you when you workout. You’ll feel a great satisfaction ticking off each set as you go and seeing the progress you make each time.
Be realistic and set small achievable goals at first - you’re not going to make it the gym every single day for the rest of your life. Some days you just won’t feel like it, and that’s okay. (You do have to go sometimes though for it to work).
Lunge between stations
Instead of dragging your feet (crawling) over to the next workout station, try lunging across the gym. It will keep your heart rate up without wearing you out and keep your muscles warm. Make the most of every single gym session and you will see the difference.
Like this? Well then pop on over and download MTV's Snapchat, you little minx.
And how about watching a video of guys and girls trying to guess what weird sex toys are for? Ok then...