All Articles Tagged "working out"

14 Things That Occur When You Start Back Working Out

December 2nd, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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For anyone who used to work out consistently, but then took a long hiatus, getting back into the swing of things can be a little… interesting.  Some things are harder than you anticipated, and you realize that your mind has to catch up with your current body (not the one you used to have or, the one you’re delusional to think that you still have.  No shade, I have to remind myself I’m not as small as I used to be every time I go jean shopping, but that’s a different post).

Here are 14 things that tend to occur when you get back to your gym rat ways.  Let me know if you can relate, or what you noticed when you start back working out.

Working It Out: That Time I Was Told Go To The Back Of A Zumba Class

October 22nd, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Working It Out is a new health/fitness column chronicling MadameNoire Deputy Editor Brande Victorian’s journey to drop the pounds and get healthy.

Working It Out: I Was Told Go To The Back Of Workout Class

Source: Shutterstock

When you begin a new workout regimen to lose weight — or even think about beginning one — there are lots of things you can become anxious about. Can I really do this? Do I have time to do this? Do I have the money for this? Are there going to be creepy men at the gym staring at me? Are the skinny chicks who do this on a regular going to judge me? The latter actually wasn’t even a concern of mine when I got back into a Zumba routine several months ago at a studio not far from my office. I live for Zumba because the moves are ones I can actually do for a whole hour, I love Latin music, and I work up a crazy sweat. Plus the classes tend to be full of women — 90% of which are rhythmically challenged yet still doing their thing and having fun — so it’s always felt like a no judgement zone. Until the one day I met #ThisBish.

I always like to get to classes early so I can save up my energy for the actual workout, rather than running to grab a spot before the instructor begins, and because I’m one of those people who likes to workout toward the middle, if not the back, of the class. At this point in my journey, I’m just not interested in seeing belly fat flap all around in those gigantic jazzercise mirrors. The particular day I met #ThisBish though, I’d been running late and once I got to the class there were only a couple of spots left — one of which was second row left, right in front of those dag on mirrors. Though not my preferred spot, I wasn’t going to not workout because of that so I popped a squat for two minutes and began stretching when a voice not far from me said “This is kinda hard. You might wanna go to the back of the class.”

In my naivety,  which I still can’t account for because once I come into contact with people on the streets of New York City I tend to be overcome with the worst of attitudes, I simply smiled and replied “Oh, I’m okay here,” low-key thinking the woman was being sympathetic to the packed class struggle and trying to point out free space. When she returned my comment with an annoyed expression on her face I was confused, and almost as soon as the instructor turned on “Suavemente,” the light bulb went off in my head and I realized she was suggesting I go to the back of the class because there’s no way I’d be able to keep up or keep from embarrassing myself in the front of the class. “This Bish!”

When I tell you I have never pushed myself in a class so hard before I am not lying. For one thing, I’ve taken a Zumba class at least 75-plus times in my life. This wasn’t my first Latin rodeo so I wasn’t worried about keeping up. But just to prove little Halle the Hater wrong over there, I made sure I went from zero to a hundred real quick (in my Drake voice) and cut my eyes at her every time there was a break in the song to make sure she knew I caught on to her hateration. I also decided when the class was over, and my heart rate returned to a normal level, I was going to give her a piece of my mind for trying to play me. But low and behold, little miss I-do-this left the class early and I never got a chance to redeem myself.

As someone who writes about other people’s business all the time, I can’t exactly say with a straight face: why are people so concerned with what other people do? But, being overweight is always one of those conditions that, for some reason, always tends to lend itself to public scrutiny and suggestiveness as the expense of said plus-size person’s mental state. If my weight is that much of a personal affront to you, why not encourage me to push harder from wherever I am (like my Crunch instructor last week who ironically asked me why I keep going to the back of the class) or congratulate me for trying to get my life together (OK maybe not because that would be awkward to me).

Anyway, I know when some folks see me all they see is a walking burden on the health care system, but until I show up at your door with a doctor’s bill and a laundry list of comorbidities — or unless I stand right in front of you in a kickboxing class and block your view from the mirror, please let me live! I have enough stuff going on on my journey to Snatchedville. Trust me, I’m working it out. Has this ever happened to you?

Abolish The Idea Of Perfection While Pursuing Progress

May 2nd, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Have you ever had a moment where you felt like you needed to wait until things in your life were “perfect” before pursuing something you really wanted?

If you’re part of the IG Fitness Fam then you’ve undoubtedly came across the meme:  “Progress, not Perfection.”  I’m personally enthralled whenever I see the message, because there have been opportunities and times in the past that I passed something up that I really wanted because I thought that things in my life were too out of order to pursue.

Now, I’m not necessarily talking about those vain desires that we might want.  There are some things that we do have to wait on to be completed before we pursue another action, like learning how to swim before participating in a triathlon.  Or confessing your undying love to your crush and s/he doesn’t even know that you exist, you have to at least introduce yourself first.

I’m talking about things that don’t necessarily coincide with one another, but we create a correlation between them.  Things like:  “I can’t apply for this job unless I lose some weight,” or “I can’t go to my high school reunion until I get into a relationship,” or “I can’t participate in this open mic night until I get some comfortable shoes (because performing doesn’t just come from the soul, it comes from the soles.)”

Every now and then my mind wonders why there is a need for such memes.  Why do we need to be reminded to appreciate the small steps on our way to our larger goals?  Why do we have to talk ourselves out of talking ourselves out of dreams/desires/aspirations?

I don’t know if this is true for all, but I could imagine that for some, living in this current world of airbrushed and photoshopped reality can be intimidating.  You wake up in the morning, feel good about yourself, and then log in on any one of your social media accounts and see the glamorized life that others are living, and then suddenly your day is enveloped in a cloud of doubt, self-belittling, and questions.  You begin to try to figure out why some people are reaching milestones that you haven’t;  so you look for the differences between you and then begin to internalize it, thinking that going after things you want would only happen if you had certain factors in your life.

Don’t disparage though, I’ve been in that situation before in life as well (it’s one of the reasons why I don’t have a Facebook).  I remember a period of time, after working a job in another state and moving back home and having to admit that I’d put on some weight.  One of my best friends invited me to a gym in my neighborhood, and I remember telling her:  “I can’t go to the gym until I lose some weight.”

There was so much of a need to be seemingly perfect, in an environment created to help you with your flaws, that I felt (at that time) that I could only go until I was flawless.

If you don’t take anything else from this article, take these nuggets:

If you’re putting your dreams off until you’re perfect, then you’re going to be waiting for eternity, because there will never be a time that will be completely perfect.  There will always be a downside, something small that’s going to compel you to stay in your sea of complacency, because even though you might hate being there, it’s familiar.

Also, that sea of complacency that you’re floating in isn’t just familiarity, it’s fear.  It’s fear of wanting to better yourself, exploring outside of your current surroundings into something more vast, complex, and with the possibility of great success.  However, you stay in the condition that you’re in, because if you go out on that ledge, make yourself vulnerable, and then fail, then you feel as though you might have no one to blame but yourself.

Though it hurts, failure is a part of life, and many of the people that you might look up to/idolize have not only failed, but were in your shoes as well.  The only thing that separates them is that they decided to follow their passion, talent, and desires into an avenue that worked well for them.  You have that same ability.

So instead of waiting for things to be perfect, strive for progress.  That way, you’ll never be disappointed when you can’t grasp the intangible.

Now, I’m a realist, and if you are a person like me who felt a little hesitant to go to the gym because you feel as though you’re not thin enough, here’s a great at home workout that’ll help you get more comfortable before going to the gym and gaining your progress.  Learning to stop expecting perfection takes some time, so until you get into the mind-frame of “Progress, not Perfection,” this is my gift to you:

Turn Down For What? 10 Ways To Keep Your Hair In Tact While Working Out

April 9th, 2014 - By LaKrishia Armour
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It’s officially “get that body tight” season. With swimsuits and vacations quickly approaching, hitting the gym is a priority for many women. Straight styles, especially on unrelaxed hair, usually succumb to the power of going hard on the elliptical while rocking out to a workout playlist, and can also have a big impact and big curls. Here are ways to keep your hair as smooth and fabulous as possible while getting your workout on.

Mommy In Chief: Laila Ali’s Fly & Fit Workout Plan

December 13th, 2013 - By jade
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In this episode of Mommy in Chief, Laila Ali demonstrates exercise tips to staying in shape when you’re a busy mom on the go.  Still trying to get rid of that baby bump? Don’t worry because she has something for you too!

Want More Mommy In Chief? Watch these episodes:

Season 4

 Season 3

Season 2

Season 1


9 Bad Habits That Are Holding You Back From Your Fitness Goals

October 28th, 2013 - By Dee Rene
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If you are like most people starting a fitness journey, you are likely experiencing some ups and downs. You may have even hit a plateau and can’t lose those last 10 lbs. Sometimes, your body just hits a wall and you have to take your workouts to a new level, and other times it’s your own hang-ups that are holding you back. There are a few bad habits that may be holding you back from your fitness goals.

How To Not Be That Annoying Couple At The Gym

October 11th, 2013 - By Julia Austin
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How To Not Be That Annoying Couple At The Gym


If you and your partner want to get in shape and have become work out buddies, that’s great; but the rest of us go to the gym to take our minds off of things, including our love lives (or lack thereof). When working out with your partner in public, please refrain from the following — or else you will become that annoying couple.

When Getting It Right Goes Wrong: 9 Misadventures At The Gym

September 17th, 2013 - By Kendra Koger
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9 misadventures at the gym


Going to the gym can be fun, beneficial, and sometimes like a weird social experiment.  You have people who are extremely dedicated on improving themselves, in an enclosed space, with limited mirror room, and testosterone is a-flowing.  Sometimes when you mix sweat and hard work with human error, you will come across certain mishaps that will either have you laughing, feeling embarrassed for the person, or embarrassed for yourself.  Trust me, after being flung off a treadmill myself, I definitely know of the mishaps that can happen at the gym.  Here is a list of 9 more, and share your own weird experiences/memories in the comment section.

Tried And True Workout Tips To Get Summertime Fine

June 3rd, 2013 - By Ashley Page
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Not everyone is an expert when it comes to working out and exercising. However, there are tons of tips, tricks, and secrets that will make working out one of the best things you’ve ever done for yourself. If you are looking to learn more about physical fitness or if you have decided that now is the time to lead a more active lifestyle, here are 15 workout tips that are sure to make your experience worthwhile.



Have realistic goals

Are you looking to lose 50lbs? Do you want to tone up and put on some muscle mass? Once you have a main goal in mind, you’ll want to divide it into more realistic and attainable goals. While you can lose 50lbs eventually, it’s a lot easier and much more self-pleasing to have mini goals, such as losing 5lbs each month. Make sure you have mini goals that lead to your main goal, or else you’ll have a hard time feeling like you’ve accomplished anything.

Deskercise 101: 14 Ways To Exercise At Work

May 27th, 2013 - By Ashley Page
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When it comes to staying active throughout the day and living a healthier life, our jobs tend to be the thorn in our sides. Since many people work sedentary or semi-sedentary jobs, it’s hard to stay active during work hours. But, the human body is designed to be on the move as much as necessary, which means that sitting down for hours at a time each day can be detrimental to your health. Thankfully there are plenty of ways to get your exercise in during work. Here are 14 ways to do just that.