A Week in the Life at the Gym

What works for me? This is something I have been thinking a lot about throughout my learning project. I have tried exercises at the gym that I really liked and workouts that just did not work for me. For example, I have come to realize that I am not a huge fan of machines. There are certain machines that I now use on a weekly basis, but I never spend an entire session at the gym using only machines. In general, I find that machines do not maximize my workouts and my goal every time I go to the gym is to use the time I spend there both effectively and efficiently.

So, what works for me? A question I have been trying to answer through learning how I can use the gym. Here is a 4 Week Full Body Workout for Beginners that I am interested in trying in the future. I am always skeptical of the workouts I find online, but this project has taught me to view online sources with a critical lens. Both Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness have become great online resources for me throughout this project. Of course, even with these two sites, I am critical of what I use. Given the time frame of this project and everything I have learned, I decided to focus this week on a total body workout that I created using the exercises I have learned thus far. One of my goals for this project was to be able to learn the foundations of a variety of exercises that targeted different muscle groups.  I had weeks where I focused on particular muscle groups such as the upper body and lower body. I also had weeks where I looked at particular types of exercises such as cardio and circuit training. I am not claiming, by any means, that I am some fitness trainer. Instead, the week at the gym that I created below is what I found worked for my lifestyle and me.

Take a look at what my week looked like.


  • 30 minute Cardio (Treadmill)


  • Upper Body Dumbbell Workout

  • Core Circuit


  • Circuit Training (lower body, upper body, high intensity intervals)


  • Rest Day


  • 30 Minute Cardio (Spin)


  • Rest Day


  • Circuit Training (lower body, upper body, high intensity intervals)

You might have noticed that I am partial to circuit training. The reasons I like circuit training are because I can focus on more than one target area, I can continually change up the exercises I am doing, and it keeps me moving. I dislike going to the gym and feeling like I walked around for the majority of the time. I would rather go for thirty minutes to an hour and work hard  as opposed to spending over an hour feeling like I  wasted time walking around. I have learned that I like going to the gym with a plan. I rely on Men’s Fitness and YouTube videos to decide what exercises to include in my circuits for the day. This way I can decide what area I want to focus on, but still have direction and instructions for the particular exercises.

Tip of the Week: You do not have to be an expert to be your own coach! Use technology and other resources for direction, but make your own plan. It keeps you motivated and on task!


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