Five Ways You Sabotage Yourself at the Gym

Three things characterize campus after Spring Break: cherry blossoms in bloom, a bright 60 degree sun warming our faces, and a line of treadmills filled with those of us preparing for summer fun.

Whether you’re just getting to the gym now after indulging in the winter months, or you’ve been dedicated to HellWell since last August, I’m going to share with you a few ways you might just be sabotaging yourself in reaching your goals.


#1 You don’t have a goal

We’ve all been there. Going to the gym to hop on the elliptical for an hour while scrolling through our insta feed (follow us @hercampusatgwu :))  Maybe we move to the stairmaster because we hear it gives us #BootyGains but we leave feeling maybe a little empty, not really sure of the effects of what we just did. Ladies (and guys, or anyone in between) whether you write “Leg Day tonight” in your Google Calendar, or organize your workouts based on your favorite fitness influencer, you need to PLAN or else you’ll risk quitting before you get started.


#2 You don’t lift weights

I’m going to let you in on a secret: lifting weights is not only for #bros. It will not make you “too buff” overnight if you pick up 10 lbs (and being buff is not a bad thing.) Lifting is my favorite! It can allow you to own the shape of your body and feel strong. I love the feeling of executing a heavy deadlift right next to all the guys in the weight room, and hopefully you will too - but not before you read tip #3.

#3 You don’t execute your lifts properly

Now that we have moved into the glorious world of girls lifting, we’ve gotta get down to the nitty gritty. So many girls I see lift their weights with hunched shoulders and a rounded back (rather than practicing the “hip hinge”) which is just absolutely the most dangerous thing you could do. You’ll undoubtedly hurt yourself and have to stay out of the gym for longer than you’d like. Check out, or your favorite influencer (@whitneysimmons is mine) to see detailed videos on how to execute all these super fun exercises without hurting yourself, so we can maintain all the girl power we need.    


#4 You don’t eat enough

Here’s one way you sabotage yourself outside of the gym. Suddenly it’s 5pm and you forgot that all you’ve had to eat today is a muffin from Gelbucks, so you head to Sweetgreen for a nice plant-based boost…

Girl, it’s leg day! You can’t sustain yourself on 600 calories no matter how much you snack - the math just doesn’t add up. Not only will you be losing all the muscles you work so hard for, but you won’t have enough energy to work hard the next day back at it. You might be more likely to quit, and we don’t want that for you! Get your protein and get that bread.


#5 You aren’t there for yourself

Listen, you might go to the gym to show off your Gymshark or to look good when you break out the bikini. But if you aren’t putting in the work because YOU want to feel beautiful, strong, destressed, then you just might be feeding your insecurities instead of your growth. Habits are super important to have in college and the gym is a great way to stay grounded amid the stress of everything - but not if you only want someone else to notice the work you’re putting in.


Whether you choose to lift weights, sprint your heart out, or smash all your stressors in your kickboxing LSPA, choose it for you. Don’t worry about what you look like. Just stick some headphones in and you do you :)