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Morning Gym Experiment

by Meghann on March 5, 2010

This morning was my first experiment with utilizing the gym before work.

The last time I had a regular gym membership was in college. Back then I would just go to one of the fitness classes or do the elliptical for 30 minutes and head straight home. I can’t say I have have ever had to pack an actual gym bag before or had to use the gym shower and all its amenities. This morning was a first for me on all fronts.

I prepared myself by packing my gym bag last night and setting my alarm 15 minutes earlier. This morning it took no time at all to get out the door and be on my way. I think I woke up at 5:15 and was at my gym’s entrance by 5:45.

I did an easy 4 mile run on the treadmill switching between 6.5 and 7.5. This was my first run since Gasparilla and my legs felt great. In fact I felt like I had just begun to warm up by the time I hit 4 miles and wish I had time to run more.

Having access to a wide variety of weights is one of my main incentives for joining a gym. Unfortunately I am clueless when it comes to any strength training. I tried to do some arm work after my run, but I had no idea what I was doing and gave up after 10 minutes. I need to invest in a temporary personal trainer just to show me the ropes.  I can read about different strength moves, look at pictures, and watch videos all day, but unless there is a person there showing me what to do and correcting my form, it will never sink in.

As I was getting ready for work in the locker room I discovered two downsides to getting ready in the gym.

  1. I HATE getting dressed right after I get out of the shower. Usually when I’m at home I throw a robe on and lounge around for a bit. I like to be completely dry before I pull real clothes on. 🙁
  2. If you accidentally grab the wrong of pair of jean – like I did this morning – you’re screwed. I’m now stuck wearing jeans that are two sizes too big for me. Oh well.

Overall hitting the gym before work was not bad at all. I even overestimated my time and got to work a full 20 minutes early! I think I can handle this.

Last night while I was packing my gym bag I also prepped my breakfast.


Which I immediately dove into as soon as I got to my desk.



I started with a breakfast cookie that I made with 1/2 cup oats, almond butter, flax, chia seeds, cocoa nibs, and apple sauce.


Then topped with Strawberry Oikos



And 1/2 an apple that was very difficult to cut with a plastic knife. 😉



My belly is now very happy. 🙂

I’m so happy its Friday!! I have a fun weekend coming up complete with a blogger meet up, frozen yogurt, shopping, and volunteering!

1 Pamela March 5, 2010 at 9:54 am

yeah that’s the problem with getting ready at the gym. Let me tell you — putting on tights when not completely dry will make you SWEAT

2 Annie March 5, 2010 at 9:57 am

When you make breakfast cookies, what kind/brand of oats do you use? I tried it once and it was a major fail. 🙁

3 britchickruns March 5, 2010 at 9:58 am

Yay for your first gym experience! I’m the same with weights – I have NO CLUE! Plus all the weights machines look so scary and they’re always being used by grunty men…it puts me off!
Have a great day 🙂

4 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) March 5, 2010 at 10:03 am

There’s nothing I hate more than having to get off the treadmill when you feel like you’re just starting to get in the groove. Grrr.

Get those pants outta the house girl!!!

5 Kelly March 5, 2010 at 10:14 am

I hate getting dressed and showered at the gym. Your hair is still wet and dripping everywhere, the towels are barely big enough to cover your entire torso. It’s ridiculous. And then there are the women that stand there chatting with their boobs hanging out. So weird.

6 Katie @ Health for the Whole Self March 5, 2010 at 10:17 am

Glad your gym experience was (mostly) good! It’s all about planning!

7 Sophie March 5, 2010 at 10:19 am

I tried going to the gym before work as well, and it didn’t work for me, mainly because of the shower! I hate putting on clothes when you are still damp, plus I didn’t feel as clean wearing flip flops…it was like being back at college! Now I go right after work and then go home. I hope you find a schedule that works for you!

8 Tiffany March 5, 2010 at 10:21 am

I am the same way with showering, I throw on a robe afterwards and lounge for awhile (sometimes an hour–eek!). I cannot stand putting on clothes when I am still wet and the same thing with putting on lotion then clothes, it just skeeves me out.

9 Emily March 5, 2010 at 10:21 am

I think a few sessions with a trainer would be great. Does the gym have any weights classes? I find now that I’m doing Body Pump I have a better idea what to do if I’m ever stuck lifting on my own.

10 courtlove111 March 5, 2010 at 10:30 am

As a personal trainer I highly recommend getting a few sessions…you can take what you learn and apply it on your own. Also, see if you gym offers a free orientation or something like that. Often times you can get lots of good info by having a gym employee guide you through what is available and they might even be able to give you a basic program!
Glad to hear you are taking up strength training…it is the love of my life! :>

adventures in tri-ing

11 theprocessofhealing March 5, 2010 at 10:35 am

Your weekend sounds like fun! And your breakfast -awesome! I still have not tried a breakfast cookie…

Glad you liked the gym! I’m also totally clueless when it comes to strength training. Please share anything you learn if you do try out a personal trainer 🙂

12 brandi March 5, 2010 at 10:48 am

I feel the same way about putting clothes on right out of the shower! I’m in my robe for a while, too.

I hope your mom’s surgery goes well this morning!

13 runningwithsass March 5, 2010 at 10:50 am

I like to be completly dry after I shower too, I feel your pain. I am not a huge fan of showering at the gym!

14 Lauren @ Eater not a runner March 5, 2010 at 10:53 am

I hate getting ready at the gym too! That’s why I don’t like to go on my lunch break, I hate getting back into my work clothes just out of the shower. And my face always looks like a tomato!

15 Leah March 5, 2010 at 10:55 am

I recommend investing in New Rules of Lifting For Women if you really want to have a plan for strength training when you go to the gym. It is an awesome program. You can find the book cheap used on Amazon Marketplacce or something. I was totally addicted. But it you aren’t looking for a hardcore weight program, it might be good to get 1 or 2 personal training sessions, though you should have gotten one for free for joining the gym. They usually do that. ASK! 😀

16 meyergirl March 5, 2010 at 11:11 am

Most gyms provide a few personal training sessions for free. Check it out!

17 Neely March 5, 2010 at 11:12 am

Doing a class or 30 minute elliptical is what I do now… awwww.

18 Molly March 5, 2010 at 11:13 am

one reason I love the gym (besides the obvious, that I really have no choice in MN winters) but that my competitive side comes out. I am far less likely to quit early, or start walking during a run when there are other people around me.
I am also inclined to try new things, and add variety to my work out. which I love. If I dont wanna tredmill one day I jump on the stairmaster instead.

but not gonna lie, I CANT WAIT to run outside!


19 Rachel March 5, 2010 at 11:18 am

I am a total gym rat, but the time I go changes with my schedule. Tweek your workout time to find what fits best for you, ’cause you will stop using the membership if you try to force it. Is there a way you could go to the gym and then back home before work? That might feel better. Or try going after work. I also think some personal training sessions would be a great idea! They will help you feel more confident and help you enjoy your time at the gym more.

20 Heather (Heather's Dish) March 5, 2010 at 11:19 am

i totally feel you on the shower thing…it’s so awkward! you should either buy a cheap robe specifically for the gym while you get ready…then maybe you could do your hair & make-up (or whatever) before getting dressed 🙂

21 Beth @ DiningAndDishing March 5, 2010 at 11:34 am

So jealous of your amazing gym! I live in downtown DC so the best I can afford is really basic. I love the classes but would dieee for a nice big pool (well any pool!) and built in TVs :).

22 Travel Eat Love March 5, 2010 at 11:37 am

I love the gym in the morning when I can make myself go, but the locker room has been CRAZY after a special promotion my gym is doing. I have had to leave with wet hair which in Boston in winter means frozen hair a few minutes later! 🙁

23 skinnyrunner March 5, 2010 at 11:40 am

your breakfast/lunch bag is cute! and frozen yogurt? yes please!

24 Amy @ Second City Randomness March 5, 2010 at 11:44 am

I’m the same. Robe or undies until about 15 minutes before I leave the house. Yep… scandelous! :p

I’m not so great with the free weights either (unless I’m being instructed by Jillian via The Shred). At the gym I usually stick to the weight machines…

25 genesis March 5, 2010 at 11:51 am

i dislike getting dressed all wet too. which gym are you signing up with? the reason I ask is because you should really watch out for their membership policies. if they get you to do a two year agreement and you just one day decide to cancel, they wont let you unless you are dead or paralyzed. honest to god thats what my contract said. I use anytime fitness and ive read too that major gym chains have the same kind of membership policies.

26 Meghann March 5, 2010 at 12:15 pm

I’m signing up with a local gym. Its a month to month contract with no cencellation fees. I took a copy of the contract home with me after my tour so I could review all the fine print.

27 Beth @ fatbustermack March 5, 2010 at 12:22 pm

I grabbed the wrong pair of jeans this morning too. But in the other direction. Two sizes smaller than I anticipated, but they fit! So I’m delighted 🙂 Sorry you are wearing too big jeans!

28 Catherine March 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I was a self-professed gym hater until I joined Equinox this year. I’ve always had issues with locker rooms being gross, not enough machines when I’ve used all my willpower just to drag myself there before work, etc. Super clean (Kiehls products in the shower!), they provide disposable razors, shaving creme and there are ALWAYS machines open and trainer walking around to help you out with a machine, stretch you, or answer questions. I am in love!

I prefer to just run outside, but winters in NYC don’t always make that the easiest feat. Plus, I’ve come to love having access to all those weights, bikes and the super clean pool!

29 Stacey March 5, 2010 at 12:45 pm

The UP side to getting ready at work…you don’t putz around as much and can get ready in nearly half the time!

30 Stacey March 5, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I mean at the gym, not work.

31 Andrea of Care to Eat March 5, 2010 at 12:47 pm

When I go to the gym in the mornings, I actually bring my pajamas for after the shower. And by pajamas, I just mean a ratty old tshirt and some shorts – that way I’m all cooled off by the time I’m done doing my makeup and hair.
And definitely get a PT. It’s worth the money when you don’t know where to start!

32 Becky @ flybynyght March 5, 2010 at 1:02 pm

I love going to the gym before work – but these days I start at 730, and 5 is a little early for me to be *at* the gym.

Oh, and time to donate those jeans!!!

33 Christie @ Honoring Health March 5, 2010 at 1:03 pm

I hired a personal trainer last year and she was so helpful in getting me comfortable using the machines.

I also hate getting dressed while I am still wet. I always walk around in a towel while I get ready. I also hate being too hot when I get ready in the morning!

34 sunnytropic March 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm

I get ready at the gym pretty much every weekday morning and have my routine down flat to about 25-30 minutes.

I also hate getting dressed when wet. Does your gym have normal sized towels or are they the itsy bitsy ones that barely fit around someone size 0? My old gym had the tiny ones so I brough a normal sized towel with me in my gym bag to use after the shower so I could dry my hair before getting dressed without standing around naked! I am happy to say my new gym has normal sized towels so my gym bag is a little lighter!

Good idea on getting some training sessions to learn the moves – I did that when I started strength training and it helped a lot!

35 rollerkoesterrun March 5, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Love the little Vera BRadley lunch baggie 🙂


36 Matt March 5, 2010 at 2:22 pm

I HATE getting ready at the gym. I’ve had to do it a few times this semester when I wanted to lift weights before class. I hate not having my soap and shampoo!

37 Martha March 5, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Packing the wrong pair of jeans is bad, but just wait until you FORGET an essential piece of clothing…at separate times, I’ve had to go without a bra or pair of panties! One time I even forgot to pack a clean shirt! Luckily, I had a zip-up hoodie that I just zipped all the way up, but I’m sure it looked weird (and it wasn’t very comfortable!).

38 sugarloaf10 March 5, 2010 at 3:30 pm

I used to go to the gym every morning around that time. It was nice to get a workout in before the day even started. However, the downside is that sometimes you just don’t have enough time to do everything you need/want to do.

One thing that would have made getting ready at the gym easier for me was renting a locker. Having all the essentials stashed right there would help on those days when, ekk, you forget shampoo, a protien bar, headphones ect…

39 Roselyn March 5, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Not sure what the atmosphere is like at your gym, but at mine, ladies walk around the locker room in robes/towels while they put their makeup on and do their hair. Dunno if that’s something you’re comfortable doing, but its a thought… 🙂

40 Claire March 5, 2010 at 3:57 pm

At least the jeans were too big and not too small.Been there and it’s a bitch.hehe…cc

41 Jenny March 5, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Whenever I get dressed at the gym, I always take a tshirt and cotton shorts to wear while I get ready. Putting my work clothes on is always the last thing I do.

42 Melissa S. March 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm

dude..your bfast cookie looks awesome. i need to try it w/ applesauce again instead of bananas. so lazy!

43 adriana March 5, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Confession: I still own all my bigger pants and jeans. I lost 65 lbs like a year and a half ago and I am scared I will gain it back and need them. I have been maintaining for close to a year now so I think it’s time to give them away…

44 Emilyeatsclean March 6, 2010 at 2:25 am

Glad to hear/read that your mom is resting up! Love the idea of a breakfast cookie smashed into the bottom of a tupperware container to take on the go!!


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