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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bentley chapter.

Make a new workout playlist that will get you hype

Listening to certain songs always helps me narrow down my focus depending on the task at hand. Going to the gym with a “study for jazz” playlist will not do the trick. Although there are certain settings in which this is necessary, figuring out your go-to workout songs will get you in the right headspace. Personally, to stay present during my routine, listening to EDM, Pop or Soundcloud remixes do the trick for me. Instead of concentrating on others at the gym, it is important to stay centered within our personal world while working out. A proper playlist allows you to gain momentum and a little bit of girl boss energy to hit those PR’s!

Find your pre-workout routine

Setting a plan before you go to the gym is essential to attaining those physical goals you want to accomplish in the long run. However, a pre-workout routine doesn’t just start thirty minutes before hitting the gym. Getting the proper essential nutrients and developing a healthy sleep pattern will allow you to see those results in the future. All too often, we are overly concerned with how much weight we are pushing and pulling. Yet, the majority of our physical changes come from outside the gym. Fueling your body properly and efficiently will allow you to seek those goals in a shorter time frame. Leave enough time for at least one rest day per week. If you do not block in some time off, jumping into a full weeks worth of workouts will only leave your body drained. Allow yourself ample time to get to know what works best for your body and mind. Everyone is different, and for this reason, you have to find out what works best for your body to fuel and recover in order to work at your prime. Finding these key factors that drive you to be at top notch shape every time you step in the gym, will lead you towards success.

Ease back into the swing of things

Even though you might be eager to go straight for those PR’s you were hitting in the gym once before, it is important not to cut corners. As I mentioned before, going into the gym with a set plan and tone will dictate the entire workout. Starting off with a proper warm-up will allow your body to carry out the most efficient movements throughout your workout. This is especially true for injury prevention, and to avoid extensive fatigue later on. Getting back into something you haven’t done in a long time can be exciting, but make sure to recognize how your body is feeling in the present moment. Taking note of this allows you to take a step back and recognize what you need to implement, and what may not currently be working for you. Starting off with some modified movements will work to your benefit if your body is not at the level of flexibility that it had once been at before. Give yourself credit for stepping back into the gym in the first place. You are the only one who can make the change, so make the magic happen.

Implement HIIT workouts into your routine

High Intensity Interval Training has proven to be one of the most efficient types of exercises. HIIT workouts are made for situations like these, in which it may be hard to stay at the gym for a long period of time when you start getting back into the swing of things. These workouts are designed to hit all body parts with short, intense bursts of any aerobic exercise. Whether you have 5 minutes or 1 hour, there is a HIIT workout designed for you! Coupled with a high protein diet, research from McMaster University showed that people on a HIIT weight-training regimen “were able to gain muscle and ditch fat.” Being a college athlete with a busy schedule, I have found it to be the most intense, yet rewarding method of getting in a quick workout. Implementing a HIIT workout into my routine has allowed me to improve my endurance capacity along with my speed in the pool. Along with other weight training routines, you are easily capable of fitting in a quick HIIT workout somewhere along your day.

Keep yourself accountable

In all aspects of life it is important to take credit for your accomplishments and any setbacks you encounter along the way. Starting off with small documents of your highlights and lowlights will serve as a track record for you to look back on. Start off with a small journal that you can write in every day: 3 things you are grateful for, 3 things you can improve on, and 1 way you could have made today better. This format (sample from The Five-Minute Journal) has allowed me to take into account at least one thing that made my day a little better. Yet, also taking accountability for any challenges I encountered throughout the day that I can improve on in the future. If you are working towards a step by step gym plan, there are plenty of workout planners designed specifically for health and nutrition that will help you log in your hard days at the gym along with keeping track of your progress. Either way, you will know that starting at square one may have been challenging, but yet you made it to a point where all the hard work is paying off. Seeing those physical and mental changes along the way, will drive you to set further goals you would not have imagined if you didn’t take those initial steps to get your body back into the grind.

Hi my name is Dariana! I am a Senior at Bentley this year with a major in Economics-Finance and a minor in IDCC. I am a member of the swim team here at Bentley, and a member of SAAC on campus. This year I am interested in building on my experience with writing and building a close circle of girls that share the same belief in empowering women! I love to write about anything under the sun that pertains to life advice. In my free time I love to travel, and since I am a BIG foodie, I love trying new foods anywhere I visit.