The Gym Life

img_5043Generally speaking, petite frames tend to be rather slim. I am lucky enough to have been blessed with a fast metabolism, meaning I can pretty much eat whatever I want without having to worry about putting on weight. However, I choose to respect my body and try and live a healthy lifestyle. I actually prefer eating good clean food and working out regularly because of the sense of achievement that comes with it, and of course, looking and feeling good.

As I grew into my late teens, my figure developed from little-girly-skinny-minnie to lean more towards an hourglass shape. But even though I am body confident anyway, I still strive to tone muscle, exercise my body and keep fit throughout my life. Exercise is something I believe should be enjoyed! One of the best feelings after a great workout is the buzz you get from knowing you gave it your all, and it really sets you right for the day. You will naturally find yourself opting for cleaner food out of respect and duty towards your wellbeing. And whilst I enjoy my weights routine at the gym, it is great to mix it up and practice yoga and try out group classes such as zumba, HIIT, spin, aerobics, african dance, or whatever sounds like fun!

What I wear to work out in gives me the motivation I need to get up and go sweat. As with all fashion, I believe you should mix and match big brands and designer with cheap and cheerful bargains. I own Lululemon sportwear that I use just as much as my Primark and Tkmaxx attire.

First thing’s first, you need a decent pair of trainers. I joined the Nike hype and honestly, I’ve never regretted it. I opted for these blue ones from the kids’ range to save on cash, but I wear them for pretty much all things gym related and they have lasted me ages! I’d love to get some in other colours just for fun but for now, these babies are doing me proud.

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Shop in store or at http://www.nike.com/gb/en_gb/

I have this weird guilty pleasure for collecting sports bras. I just love them! Not even just for the gym – I wear them around the house, to drama school classes and even under fashion tops to give out a sporty vibe. I find them really comfortable and it stops me from worrying about people seeing through my top, because they’re the kind of thing that are sort of designed to be noticed.

All but the last one in the first picture are from…wait for it…PRIMARK! Yes, they finally stepped up their game with gym wear this year and I am loving it! They cost me about a fiver each, maybe even less, and I get so much use out of all of them. I paticuarly love the criss-cross back to the tie dye one, as shown above. The other one is my Lululemon, which I have had for years and years now. It is more ‘bra-like’ than the others, with a bikini top look about it. I find it so useful to layer under a plain black tank so that it looks like part of the top – this is my trusty attire for movement classes. Maybe if my boobs were bigger I would need to splash out on an extra supportive kind, but for me, these all do the job fabulously!

As for tops, my range is as follows: the pink is from a Lululemon online sale, the black is a plain black vest from Primark (cheap as chips) and the grey one is an A&F eBay find. The Lululemon has a bra built in but I have to wear one under the other two.

And here are my gym pants! The pink ans yellow stripes are from the Tkmaxx kids’ range (lol), the plain black are Forever 21 and literally are the best plain black leggings I’ve ever owned, the blue spotty and Lululemon, GymShark and another grey and black striped Tkmaxx carpi pant. My favourites are the Forever 21 and Lululemons just because they are black full length which I prefer and they have pockets – which come in so handy! GymShark is a brand both me and my boyfriend are obsessed with,and my leggings are lovely – although I had to ask for a replacement pair because my first pair got damaged in the wash..so be wary, folks. The pink ones are very wacky, and I like wearing them to a wild yoga or zumba class.

**FUNNY TRUE STORY: Last summer I went to the Wilderness festival and my friend and I signed up for a UV black and light yoga rave. It was fucking insane. But awesome! We were guided through a series of yoga poses and chanted as a group and then out of nowhere the DJ started dropping the beat and everyone started dancing and we got our faces painted. No kidding.

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I will happily admit I am a yoga addict. It chills me out, works my core and keeps me nice and flexible. I love these Zenzarion yoga gloves my boyfriend found for me in Tkmaxx which help me to grip the floor better, meaning I can practise even without a mat!

My mat is also from Tkmaxx, and has been with me so long now I feel that we have bonded.

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Another essential is my black fleece from Primark, which just slips over my kit to keep me warm on my runs or as I walk to the gym. It’s plain and cosy and only cost me £7. I love this Lulelemon bag which comes free when you order stuff online – I use mine as a little gym bag, as it easily fits a bottle of water and change of clothes in.

 

Because I am active, I have recently started drinking Protein shakes to keep my strength up and give me the boost my vegetarian diet needs. I use the PhD Woman Support and Recovery shake powder (the strawberry flavour is nicest!). I also use this lovely fruit infuser water bottle everyday so I can enjoy sipping on lemon and lime flavoured water – I got this from Tesco for a fiver.

Sooooo if anyone is interested, I’m gonna talk about my gym routine!

I am aiming to tone up and build lean muscle in my body, so I go the gym 3-4 times per week, and with the help of my boyfriend, I follow this program: (apologies if I use the incorrect name for each exercise)

Day 1: 

Lat pull down machine, T-bar, assisted pull ups, low row machine, close grip bench press, tricep rope pull down machine

Day 2:

Bicep bar curl, squats, dumbell hammer curl, dumbell curl on incline bench, leg press, leg curl.

Day 3: 

Bar Shoulder press, dumbell side raises, rear delts, barbell shrugs, arnold twists, calf raises on the smith bar, calf raises on the leg press machine.

Day 4:

Stiff leg deadlift, chest press, ab HIIT workout combination followed by plank, treadmill interval training.

Along with this I practice yoga regularly, go to aerobics/zumba classes and get my cardio fix from my movement classes at drama school.

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I think the key is to add some variation in there. Alongside my weight training I change up my cardio sessions and always look for new things to shock my body and plunge into something new. It is hard sometimes to make time for the gym with such a busy lifestyle, but it is so important to prioritize it. My advice to anyone looking for gym motivation is to find a training buddy, organize an upbeat playlist that gets your body pumping and get yourself kitted in some gym wear you love! Bright colours or sleek and black, whatever floats your boat.

JUST DO IT

All the best! Jessica. X

 

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