How To Not Hate The Gym

As summer kicks into full gear, bikini season rears its ugly head once again. The days of eating whatever I want without consequence have disappeared and as I struggle to find the balance between work and life, I’m also struggling to fit into the pants I wore a few years ago. With the rise of group fitness due to Gen Y, the gym seems like the most reasonable place for someone my age to visit when I started to harvest love handles.

I tried Just Dance 2 and failed so miserably at it that I couldn’t possibly use video games to lose the weight, I needed the gym. However, I hate the gym. I don’t want to stay there for more than 30 minutes at a time, and dread traveling there. I feel amazing when I leave, but finding the motivation is difficult when you barely have motivation to become an adult!

Here are some tips I’ve learned on how to not hate the gym:

Plan ahead

It’s easy to make excuses not to go. Between work, school, dating, and any form of social life you have, being a Millennial is hard work. So make it as easy as possible to visit the gym, and plan ahead. Always a keep a gym bag and snacks with you so you can easily go before or after work without the excuse of “I don’t have my clothes,” or “I’m starving, I can’t go to the gym now.”

Buy adorable workout clothes

When I feel good about myself, I have more pride in everything that I do – including spending a few extra minutes looking good on the Stairmaster. By buying a wardrobe that’s fun and that makes you feel and look great, you’re going to be more inspired to slip it on and show off a little at the gym. Skip the Walmart cheap drab workout attire, and splurge on something from lululemon athletica – trust me, it’s worth it.

Find the hotties

I will shamelessly admit I pass most of my time people-watching at the gym. I’ve actually changed my workout schedule in order to go to the gym when the hottest guys show up (I’ve found it was 6-8 p.m., which may vary depending on your particular gym). If I spend the time imagining what the hot dude next to me on the treadmill does for a living, or starring at the endless full-sleeve tattoos, it takes my mind off of actually exerting effort. Just don’t stare too long! Creep alert.

Make it a game

I started using apps on my iPhone to track progress at my gym, and to encourage myself to attend. I desperately wanted the Gym Rat badge from foursquare, so I committed myself to attending for a certain amount of dates. I track my exercise in the Lose It! application on my phone. Having to physically type in all of the exercises I’ve done and all the “healthy” food I’ve eaten during the day is motivation enough to get to the gym and to put away that bag of cookies!

Attend a class

I’ve written about yoga (watch out for the farts), and my fellow TNGG’ers have written about the new fun fitness classes offered at local gyms or fitness facilities. There’s nothing like trying something new in order to excite your brain and work out new muscles. Mix up your instructors as well!

Make an amazing playlist

The times I forget my iPod at the gym are my worst workout sessions. If you ever doubt me, take out your earbuds for five minutes and listen to the terrible gym mix playing, and the grunts coming from the free-weights – it’s so distracting! Make a special playlist just for the gym, so the music stays fresh and exciting and reserved just for these special trips. Here are some ideas of what’s playing on my Summer ’11 gym playlist. No judging allowed – just sweating.

  • This Addiction – Alkaline Trio
  • Already Gone – Bayside
  • Benson Hedges – Fun
  • I Don’t Wanna Dance – Hey Monday
  • Big Casino – Jimmy Eat World
  • Blow – Ke$ha
  • Firework – Katy Perry
  • Judas – Lady Gaga
  • Animal – Neon Trees
  • For You and Your Denial – Yellowcard
  • My First Kiss – 3OH!3

Any other gym rats have ideas for how to not get sick of fitness? Share them in the comments!

Erica Dermer I'm a qualitative market research nerd from Arizona, formerly a boutique agency planner, working with numerous different industries. I'm constantly looking for LOLZ through qualitative research, advertising, insights, and blogging. I'm addicted to social networking. Let's be friends.

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10 Responses to “How To Not Hate The Gym”

  1. Marla

    Plan out your treadmill/elliptical for your favorite show. That way you will watch the entire hour while youre working out and not want to leave your machine.

    So you think you can dance 8:00 time slot is perfect for the gym. just make sure the gym has tv’s on the machines.

    Reply
    • Erica

      Marla – great idea! I tend to go during random times, but I always end up catching MSNBC’s Lockup marathons…not exactly motivating television, but could be worse!

      Reply
    • Angela Stefano

      I used to watch Law and Order or One Tree Hill on the bike when I was at my old gym (that had personal TVs on each piece of equipment!).

      Classes are definitely the way to go, I think. Having someone else pushing you makes it a lot easier.

      Reply
  2. Todd

    You could also take a pre-workout supplement which gives you too much energy to do anything else (the nice folks at GNC would be happy to help you). Once you take it, you know that 45 minutes later you have to be in the gym, or you’ll be tearing your couch cushions in half (and no I’m not talking about pcp hahaha). Not the most normal strategy, but it works

    Reply
  3. Alex Pearlman

    This advice could not come at a better time. Just when I decided it was time to join a gym. You have pushed me over the edge. Planet Fitness, here I come! :-)

    Reply
  4. [dave]

    Good advice. What works for me is going during my lunch break at work. I used to never want to go after work, because Couch > Gym, but Gym > Work so lunchtime totally works.

    Things you need to get over depending on your personal dislikes are the whole changing/showering in the middle of the day thing, returning to work a bit sweaty and/or flushed, and learning how to say NO to lunch dates when you’ve planned on gym time.

    But I find it works great and is way easier to create a routine than the after-work workout.

    Reply
  5. Michael

    I use Netflix on my iPhone to watch episodes of LOST or Veronica Mars while on the elliptical or treadmill. I only allow myself to watch Episodes while at the gym. I’ve been to the gym 26 out of the past 30 days as a result!

    Reply
  6. Bobee

    Netflix on your iPhone or iPad is petty awesome and for sports nuts I found watching a game while on a treadmill can be great way to keep your mind off your regularly poor stamina. It’s easy to imagine yourself running along with Steve Nash. Not sure if this holds true for baseball as I can’t see watching guys standing around would be to motivating ;)

    Reply
  7. Erica

    That’s so nice of you to point that out! Hey, whatever gets people out and running, right?

    “Here are some ideas of what’s playing on my Summer ’11 gym playlist. No judging allowed – just sweating.”

    Reply

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