I would not describe myself as a super fit person. I actually didn't even go to a "real" gym — you know, with treadmills and weight machines — until after high school (I was a gymnast, we had our own set of equipment). And when I finally did, I didn't know what to do with myself. So, you can see why everyone I know thought it was hilarious when I found myself working at a fitness magazine right out of college.
Since then, I've tried some crazy workouts, including pole dancing, aerial yoga, and a kama sutra-inspired core-conditioning class. I still wouldn't call myself super fit — I like beer and snacks way too much — but I do love working out. And I have picked up a few tips from the pros I've been lucky enough to talk to and work out with over the years, who are ridiculously fit. So, here's what I've learned:
It's about perspective
You're not dieting, you're refueling; you're not exercising, you're training. Flip the script!
Gym fashion is important
Besides the fact that some gear is scientifically proven to make you sweat better, it's fun. There is no such thing as too much neon.
No one looks like this while working out
Sweat: 1, Your Blowout: 0
No headphones, no workout
If you can't lose yourself to the music, you might as well go home.
Image: Sergey Peterman/Fotolia
It's called working out because you need to work
If you're not uncomfortable, you're not doing it right. Harder! Faster! Stronger!
There will always be someone who makes it look easy
And, naturally, they will always sit right next to you.
Switching things up is the key to a better body
Try pole dancing (or any workout that's different from your normal routine)! It will work muscles you didn't even know you had.
You have a gym face
Like a game face. Because these reps are serious business.
January is the worst month for working out
Leave the resolutions to everyone else and invest in streaming workouts for the month.
Workout buddies are everything
Friends who sweat together, stay together. Or something. Either way, any exercise feels easier with someone to make pained eyes at.
How to work out solo
You don't need an instructor or personal trainer because you're so hardcore, you can put together a totally legit workout on your own.
Image: diego cervo/Fotolia
Outside workouts > Indoor workouts
Sweating your ass off just feels better with a view.
Girls can be way more hardcore than dudes
You take "You ____ like a girl" as a compliment.
A $10 juice does not equal an hour at the gym
I don't care how many super foods are in it. Sorry!
Image: Dmitrijs Dmitrijevs/Fotolia
Grunting and heaving does not mean you're killing it
Think you sound legit? You don't. No one wants to hear your sex groans at the gym.
Image: George Dolgikh/Fotolia
You will feel better afterward
OK, I don't smile like that mid-run. But I do get that workout high. Blame it on the endorphins — even when you don't want to work out, they make you feel better.
It's OK to ask for help
Don't be this guy.
Stretching is super important
You don't have time, you say? You'll wish you made time when you're limping around the next day.
No selfies at the gym
Oh, you need a better angle? GET OUT OF MY WAY.
Choose your workout underwear wisely
There's nothing worse than a wedgie in the middle of CrossFit.
Do not hit on someone in the middle of their workout
You're so into me, you think I look good sweaty? Great. Wait until after my workout to drop your best pick-up line.
If it looks hard, all the more reason to try it
You don't get any stronger without challenging yourself. Also, doesn't that look like fun?!
Anything you can do, I can do better
Competition: the fuel behind every great workout. Besides water. And protein.
Burpees are a special kind of torture
You want me to do how many?!
If you can get yourself to the gym, the rest is cake
The hardest workout move is still easier than mustering the willpower to go to the gym at 6 a.m., right after work, or when you're in the middle of a TV binge.
Not all fitness takes place in a gym
If you're ridiculously fit, you're always active. (And that doesn't have to mean you're summiting mountains — it could just mean parking in the furthest spot so you get a longer walk!)
Image: Dudarev Mikhail/Fotolia
Everyone looks silly in Zumba
Just go with it.
Got 10 minutes? There's a workout for that
No time is no excuse. You can fit in a workout anywhere, because you know multitasking moves (like the plank) that tone in no time.
Image: Syda Productions/Fotolia
Goals can be big or small
Holding crow pose for 10 more seconds? Just as empowering as crossing a marathon finish line.
Image: Petro Feketa/Fotolia
You're stronger than you think
If you just try, you'd be surprised by what you can achieve — whether that's running an extra mile, lifting those extra weights, or any other challenge. To quote Nike, Just do it!
Exercise is the cheapest form of therapy out there
Leave it aaaall on the mat.
This is how you feel after a great workout
Anywhere works, really.
Being healthy does not equal being skinny
It means being strong!
Main Image: Samo Trebizan/Fotolia