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Posted on Mar 7, 2012 in Working Out | 30 comments

Workout Motivation

Yesterday marked my last of three personal training sessions that I purchased when I joined a gym as part of my Lenten resolution. I have actually really enjoyed strength training with my trainer, Jordan, and am a little bit worried about putting in the same effort on my own. There’s no internal argument when I have someone there telling me what to do — I just, I dunno, do it. Ideally, I think I would honestly prefer to work out with a trainer on a permanent, regular basis, but monetarily that’s not very practical for me at this time.

I do know that I want to keep going with weight training, however, because I am actually enjoying it more than I expected. I wouldn’t say I like it, but I decidedly don’t hate it (yet), which is a big step for me! Alas, it will be up to me to (try to) remember all the exercises that Jordan has taught me, and to devise a few workout sets of my own to keep going. I suppose I’ll also be joining the ranks of people who scour the internet for workout plans and inspiration, too. And whaddya know, I’ve already found a few that I am more than happy to get on board with!

katniss and peeta

Theodora‘s company recently sent me a workout plan that was developed by Lisa Wheeler, the Fitness Program Director of DailyBurn. This workout is specifically inspired by The Hunger Games. I know how cheesy it sounds, but honestly the simple act of combining something that I don’t like (exercise) with something that I love (Hunger Games, durr) makes the whole idea of actually, y’know, doing it more exciting. Honestly, I should probably capitalize on this excitement most by taking a full-on archery class (resistance training, whoop whoop!) but we’ll go with what we got for now, haha. And what we got is a free workout that you don’t even need a gym to be able to do!

hunger games banner

Exercise: Single Arm Row with Rotation
Equipment: Resistance Band
Description: A single arm row simulates the upper body action in archery by drawing one elbow back (engaging the deep muscles of the back) and slightly rotating the torso. Hook tubing around a stable pole or door jam and place both handles in your right hand. Step back until the tubing has some tension. Pick up your right foot and balance on your left and then begin to pull the tubing back, right hand moving towards right hip. Add a slight rotation to the right, opening up the shoulder.

Exercise: Bear Squat
Equipment: none, just your body weight
Description: The bear squat combines a full plank, which is fantastic for the core, and an explosive leg press. Begin in plank then bend your knees and send your hips back over your heels keeping the knees off the floor (spine is flexed and arms are extended). With a powerful push from your legs, extend back out to plank and hold.

Exercise: Curtsy Squat Side Lunge
Equipment: Dumbbells
Description: To truly develop strong legs that are functional for running, jumping, leaping and carrying heavy loads, you must train them in all directions. Holding heavy dumbbells in each hand begin with feet together. Step out to the side with your right leg, keeping your left leg straight. Hinge forward slightly but keep chest lifted with the dumbbells on either side of your right leg. Push off your right foot and immediately step back and cross behind the left leg, bending both knees into a curtsy squat.

Exercise: Quick Feet Drill
Equipment: none, just your body weight
Description: To be quick on your feet and have the agility to change direction quickly, you must train the muscles to fire rapidly and with power. This drill is about quickness and endurance and really elevates your heart rate. Begin in the athletic ready stance (feet a little wider than shoulder width with knees slightly bent and a slight hinge forward from the hips) with arms out the side, palms forward. Start moving your feet as fast as you can as if running keeping the feet close to the ground. Keeping your shoulders and torso stable, randomly twist your hips (knees and feet as well!) to the right and quickly back to the center. Repeat to the left continuing to keep your feet moving as quickly as possible.


As you can see, these aren’t exactly as simple or easy as your basic bicep curl. They are much more complex exercise moves that most definitely fall under the category of a “full body workout”. Each move seems to challenge your stability and balance along with the body part they are targeting – more bang for your workout buck! I’m happy because at least for OMGRIGHTNOW, I have some new moves to test out as I figure out how I work solo in the weight room. My legs are crazy sore (again, sigh) from my training session yesterday, but you can bet I’ll be attempting the faux-archery Arm Row exercise tonight!

How do you do your gym workouts? Do you need a gym buddy? Personal trainer? A workout ripped from the pages of a magazine or printed off of a website?


  1. I absolutely, positively love my gym and everyone there. It is a boxing oriented gym, but they offer so many different kinds of classes. I usually do the ones that are similar to Crossfit and I cant get enough. On days when I do not have a class, I strength train and cycle/hit the elliptical/run on the treadmill. The best part is there is always someone you know encouraging you as you go or passing along helpful hints to make your lifting session better. Club One rocks!!

  2. If you’re just starting out with weightlifting, I would highly recommend the New Rules of Lifting series. I think the New Rules of Lifting for Women is a great starter program, it’s how I got into weightlifting. It may also keep you motivated better than just finding free workouts off websites. It is well planned and has a clear progression in mind. The Abs book is also good, and shorter so could be a good program to start on too. Also, there is an online community called Fitocracy. Have you heard of it? You log your workouts and get points. It’s really supportive and fun!

  3. this. is. awesome. I’m totally going to start channeling katniss while out jogging now. thank you!!!:)

    • Maybe I should have added in some sort of tree-climbing exercise! Gotta learn how to scale those trees like Katniss if we’re going to survive! 😉

  4. Oh those look fabulous!! I actually don’t follow any workouts, I kinda just do my own thing. Intervals on the tredmill, bike and elliptical (35 – 40 mins cardio) and then just do 3 sets of 8 reps on most of the weights. But, I’m also no professional so I’m sure a little motivation like those tips above would be super helpful!

  5. I do real simple weight exercises when I’m at a gym but I definitely prefer to work out with other people- I also enjoy classes because I feel like I push myself more when there are other people watching!

  6. I’ve very glad you recommended all free weights or body weight exercises. So many people will want to go straight to a machine for a workout, but you’re robbing yourself of working the stabilizer muscles and could honestly do more bad than good for yourself in the long run with them. Free weights and bodyweight the whole way.
    I think a lot of people miss out on weight lifting as a means of burning more calories in shorter periods. You’re going to exert a great deal more energy by pushing yourself to lift weights regularly and get a more full body workout. Just hard to make yourself go into a weight room full for jocks sometimes 😛 Gretchen, have you ever checked out nerdfitness.com?

  7. I cannot afford a gym membership and/or a trainer. So I workout at home with 5 lb, 8 lb, and 10 lb dumbbells. I really enjoy my DVDs and dare I say VHS tapes. I usually find some good workout videos at Goodwill for $1-$3 or at Wal-mart for under $10. While I prefer group exercises, rolling out of bed and heading to the living room is not that bad! 🙂

    • I’m definitely already making a big financial commitment with this gym membership — which is why I can’t afford any more training sessions on top of it, unfortunately! At least SO FAR, it has helped me knowing I’m paying a lot to be a member of the gym though, so I’d better use it… but who knows how long that will last?

  8. Can you get a friend to work out with you?
    I think it can be just as motivating as working out with a trainer if you and your friend really push each other. Maybe more if you’re a competitive type (like, ahem, me) and want to try to out do each other.

    • The unfortunate thing is that this plan necessitates me having friends who work out, hahahaha.

      • I know what you mean.
        I actually have a friend who does work out, but at a different gym that would cost me more to join :/

        I try to get Matt to come with me from time to time but he usually likes to do his own thing.

  9. I have always wanted to get a personal trainer but have always stuck to getting workouts from the interwebs or books. I am currently doing round 2 of jamie eason’s LiveFit trainer 🙂 we made it though the first 6 weeks before I didn’t have time to do that and train.

    I lift with my hubs, he pushes me.. But I run alone.. sad.

  10. I LOVED when I was able to work with a personal trainer! A gym buddy is the next best thing for me. You know what might help if you like the idea of a trainer? Finding a gym savvy friend that is willing to train you in exchange for something non monetary, like they train you then you cook them dinner, or something like that. Might be worth a shot 🙂 Good job sticking with it, girl! You should be very proud of yourself!

  11. FUN!!! I might just have to give this workout a try tomorrow morning =D I think we need to find an archery range for fun though and go this summer, whaddya say??

    I grabbed a couple of the Women’s Health books at CVS and those are basically all the workouts from all the magazines in one year combined into one book, they’re pretty awesome. Right now I’m gearing up to do the Body-for-Life challenge and they provide all the moves you’re supposed to do on their program.

    • Sounds like a plan to me! That way when the apocalypse happens and we have to hunt for grooslings in the forest in order to eat, we’ll be like, so totes prepared! 😀

      • Heck yes! Now I just need to get over the fear of skinning an animal… I found this place at Bull Run. I hope a mullet isn’t mandatory though, I’m not sure I’d be willing to butcher my hair like that (http://www.thearcheryprogram.net/achome.htm), LOL!

  12. So if I do this workout will I find someone like Peeta to love me unconditionally and always?

    • That’s pretty much my plan. Peeta foreverrrr!

  13. Being a fitness instructor really helps amp up the motivation for me. I get paid to teach several classes a week- and I work out even harder when I teach than I do when I’m on my own. And I also don’t want to be seen a “fat instructor,” ya know?
    I think that whatever motivates you to get to the gym, whether is a friend, a book, music, whatever is good- as long as it gets you there! Being accountable to someone else (a trainer especially) is also great and makes me want to work even harder.
    Pretty soon you will be LOVING exercise, Gretchen! I can feel it!

    • HA! Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But hope does spring eternal…! 🙂

  14. I don’t like working out with other people. All of them seem to want to call it day earlier than I would like to. I do enjoy working out with my boyfriend but it’s after my own workouts and I do it along with him to keep him company 🙂

    I’ve been doing P90X and outdoor activities for my exercise. I also clean the house… A LOT for exercise 🙂

  15. Maryland needs to accept me so that I can come and kick your butt to make you work out. Also, I’m totally going to be a nerd and follow this workout. Heeheeheeheheeeee..

  16. I think best for me is someone who goes to the gym with me so I don’t skip workouts, but leaves me alone while I am at it. I am not very chatty during workouts and I can get really annoyed if people try to communicate too much.


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