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Why I Fell In Love With Working Out 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I know you see the girls all over GymTok lifting heavy weights, telling you to do the 12-3-30 incline walking, or suggesting that the StairMaster is going to get you the body of your dreams. I was never one of those girls who were interested in working out, even with cardio. The thought of having to work out in front of other people at my college absolutely terrified me, on top of the fact that I had no idea what I was doing at the gym. Lucky for me, my boyfriend happens to know quite a bit about the gym, which helped jump-start my weightlifting journey. 

THe start of my weightlifting journey!

For starters, I have always been on the skinny side and hoped to gain weight someday, but I had little knowledge on how to actually do so. I also realized that going to the gym actually feels good, and can relieve a lot of stress. It was around November of 2021 that I decided to get serious about going to the gym. I started going three days a week, mainly focusing on my legs and glutes. When I first started, I could barely squat the bar for my three sets, but I persisted instead of giving up. It can be really easy to give up in the beginning, since you see so many others already at the point you’re dreaming of. I promise you, the one thing that will turn working out into a habit instead of a chore is consistency. The second that I put my mind to working out four days a week—no excuses—it started getting fun. I looked forward to the gym because it relieved my stress and made me feel strong. I never thought I would be the person who purposefully woke up early to get a great workout in, but somehow, here we are. 

I think a lot of loving the gym comes with time. As I mentioned earlier, consistency makes the process of going to the gym a lot easier. Figuring out the time working out is the best for you takes a lot of the planning piece out. For me, the less I had to think about the process of getting to the gym, the easier it was for me to stay motivated. The gym should be a FUN and RELAXING place. While it may seem daunting at first, it only gets easier as the weeks, months, and years go on! 

Now that I have been lifting for quite a few months, the second reason I fell in love with the gym is seeing results. Never in my life have I’ve never felt quite as confident as I do now that I work out. Part of this is seeing my muscles grow and realizing that it is possible to gain weight! While the physical results are amazing, the even better part is the mental gains. I feel so good while lifting, that I often forget about my stresses while I am working out. Also, being able to lift more weight every few weeks makes me feel strong, and like I can do anything I put my mind to. 

I hope that my experience proves that you don’t have to know it all to be successful in the gym. In fact, sometimes learning about what works for you can be the most exciting part of working out! Creating a strong plan that makes you hyped to get moving is something that will make your gym time all the more effective. 

my weekly split! 

Mondays – Back and Biceps:

  • Lateral pulldowns: 12 reps/3 sets 
  • Cable seated rows: 12 reps/3 sets 
  • Single arm cable rows: 12 reps/4 sets 
  • Cable bicep curls: 12 reps/4 sets 
  • Hammer dumbbell curls: 12 reps/4 sets 

Tuesdays & Thursdays – Quads & Glutes:

  • Squats on squat rack: 12 reps/3-4 sets 
  • Bulgarian split squats: 10 reps/3-4 sets 
  • Hip abductor: 12 reps/4 sets 
  • Leg curl machine (laying down):  12 reps/4 sets 
  • Glute focused cable pullbacks: 12 reps/3 sets 

Wednesday – Back and Shoulders:

  • Lateral pulldowns: 12 reps/3 sets 
  • Cable seated rows: 12 reps/3 sets 
  • Single arm cable rows: 12 reps/4 sets 
  • Seated shoulder press: 12 reps/4 sets 
  • Lateral raises: 8-10 sets/ 4 reps (these are KILLER!)
  • Shrugs: 12 reps/4 sets 

Remember that this is just the set of workouts that are working for me at the moment, but hopefully, it can give you some ideas to start or add to your workout, too! I often stick with the same workouts for a while, but change them up when the routine gets “boring.” I also increase the amount of weight I lift per exercise when it starts to feel too easy. 

Maybe going to the gym scares you (it definitely scared me) but it doesn’t have to! You deserve to love your body, and relax your mind, and if that means challenging your anxieties about hitting the gym, then I hope you challenge them. I promise, there is no better time to start than now!

Happy lifting! <3

Emma Julian

Illinois State '25

Hi! My name is Emma and I am a freshman at Illinois State! I am majoring in Marketing, but have a huge love for writing and sharing experiences with others. I enjoy writing about mental health, fashion, lifestyle, and wellness. I love writing for Her Campus since, to me, life is all about learning and sharing. Feel free to follow my Instagram: emmarosee13 :)
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