Time to Shape Up

Hi friends! Thank you so much for celebrating my blogiversary with me this week, and thank you so much to those of you (many of you!!) who have taken the time to complete the blogiversary survey. I truly appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback and ideas. Stay tuned for another awesome giveaway this afternoon. (Hint: it’s has to do with wine but preggies can participate haha.) 

In the meantime, let’s get ready for another party we have ahead of us: Summer Shape Up! The fun begins Monday, June 15 and includes 4 weeks of FREE workout plans, meal ideas, giveaways and support along the way. On other sites, you will see programs like this for a monthly membership fee or at a cost; this is free for readers and always will be. I’ve been doing the Shape Ups since the very beginning, and have been so fortunate to watch it evolve and grow over the past handful of years. 

If you’d like to join in, here are some of the things you can do now to set yourself up for success:

Gina britt 17

(Photo: Danny Chan. For the exercises, Brittany is doing the high-impact versions of the moves and I’m doing the low-impact and pregnancy-friendly modifications.)

1) If you’re a planner, sign up for my emails. You’ll receive the plan for each week on Friday before the week begins. Monday will always be an off day, but if you know you’d like to plan ahead or shuffle things around, this way you can be sure to have everything you need in advance.


2) Gather your gear. Almost all of the workouts can be completed at home with a pair of dumbbells. I suggest having two sets available: one light set for smaller muscle groups (shoulders, triceps, biceps), and a heavy set for larger muscle groups (legs, back, chest). For beginners, I suggest 3-5 lb weights to start, intermediates 8-12 lbs and advanced 12 lbs +. You will also need a pair of comfortable sneakers, a supportive sports bra (necessary) and athletic clothes that allow you to move, or ventilate well if you’ll be outside. Brainstorm what you’d like to do for cardio. You can run or walk outside, use gym cardio machines, jump rope, bike, row, Stairclimb, anything you’d like. 

Treadmill walk

Two other tools I highly recommend: a water bottle (make this your new BFF and carry with you everywhere!) and a notebook for tracking (we’ll get more into this later) or an app on your phone. I have my big Erin Condren notebook here at home, and in my purse, a tiny composition notebook where I can track workouts, thoughts and to-dos that come up while we’re out and about. 

3) Take some “before” photos. I think that these are better indicators of progress instead of weight, as your body fat percentage can decrease and you could lose weight or even gain weight. Muscle is more dense than fat, so you could essentially take up less space and weigh more. (This is one of the many reasons why I don’t own a scale!) Instead, snap some “before” photos facing forward, profile and facing backwards. Bonus points for bad lighting and a grumpy look on your face haha. Something to keep in mind: this isn’t a weight loss plan. This is a plan to revamp or add some pizazz to your fitness routine, experiment with new healthy meals, increase energy, fitness performance, and have fun. If you’re looking to build muscle or lose fat, this plan will support those goals, as it’s a balanced mix of cardio, strength, flexibility and rest.

4) Round up your workout buddies! Find a partner or friend to join in the challenge with you or join our super fun and interactive Facebook group. This is an effective way to stay accountable during the challenge, and it can be a lot of fun to have physical or virtual workout buddies along the way. Some of my favorite check-ins have been from lunchtime workouts will colleagues sweating through the Shape Up together. Our Summer Shape Up Facebook group is up and running so you can check in online, ask questions, and support each other. Anne and I implemented this last year, and it’s become one of the coolest parts about the Shape Up series. Join in the Facebook group here!


(Thank you to Beth for designing the logo this year!!)

5) Start to get your motivation mojo going. Create an inspiration board (you can check out mine on Pinterest here! Or you can also make a tangible board with paper, magazine clippings and a glue stick) to set your intentions for this Shape Up. Why do you want to change your routine? What do you want to accomplish? How do you want to feel when it’s all over?? Start to pump yourself up for success!

I think that’s it! Email subscribers will receive the first week of workouts and meal ideas this Friday, and everything will be live here on the blog Monday, June 15. 

So excited to watch you achieve your fitness goals, and cheer for you along the way!

 Are you joining in? What’s something that you’d like to accomplish during the challenge?



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  1. RachelG says:

    I’m so glad you explicitly said that you’ll be doing preggo friendly moves! 🙂 I really want to participate in the SSU again this year, especially since supposedly when I enter the 2nd trimester in a couple weeks I’ll start to feel more motivated to workout/less inclined to fall asleep before it’s dark out. 😉

    • Catherine Cormier says:

      Same here – excited that we can follow along with Gina to get the lower impact, preggo friendly moves 🙂 Looking forward to it!!

  2. This is great – so glad you are running this challenge again! I would like to try to workout more in the morning – so my goal is habit based.

  3. I would like to be able to do more than 7 push-ups and not the modified way, the real way. I’d also like to plank 2-3 minutes. I have a ton of goals but these are probably most realistic. 😉

  4. What a great challenge. I’ve never joined before before but I really want to look into it this month!

  5. Is it hard hosting a challenege when you can’t participate it yourself with baby?

  6. Melissa S. says:

    I’m in! I will try to keep up though am right in the middle of a 21-day power yoga challenge 🙂 I am hoping to feel good and be healthy! Thanks, Gina 🙂

  7. Christine Ortiz says:

    I would like to become more well rounded in terms of fitness. I tend to do the same things until I get bored. I’m looking forward to stepping out of by box a little bit. Ths k you for the motivation to be a little better each day!

  8. I’m excited to join in! Would you consider C25K a HIIT or steady state for a beginner? It’s obviously intervals, but I’m trying to get more into running and it doesn’t seem like it will ever be easy enough to consider steady state!

    Also, what is the difference between what you put in your EC planner and little notebook? I LOVE paper planners- I was hooked on EC and just switched to Plum Paper Planners on Etsy. Maybe I’m just nosey (yes, I definitely am) but I love to see what other people are using their planners for 🙂

  9. Thanks for another SSU. I plan to join you in this one (I usually don’t, and stick to my boring workout plan that is never enough) and would like to accomplish a steady routine. I have a very busy schedule in the fall semester (still in school and teach), so i need to adapt, but summer is my “free” time.
    For the recipes/meal planning, are there going to be some Asian food options (Japanese and Korean, specifically)? I tend to include a few of these type of meals in my own plans and wonder if you have any recipes?
    Thank you for another great blog event 🙂

  10. Wendy Heath says:

    Awesome!!! I am so excited. Can’t wait to see what’s in store! Thank you for doing this again.

  11. amelia@i_heart_kale says:

    So excited for this, as always. It always gives me fresh and workout ideas. It also coincides perfectly with the 9 week les mills grit that I start Monday. Hoping to mix in your workouts with it. Woop!

  12. Love it! Looking forward to seeing what you’ve got lined up 🙂 My dumbbells are at the ready!

  13. Hi Gina,

    I keep trying to sign up for these shape ups, but every time I enter my email, it says it already exists yet Im not getting any of the emails?


  14. I really love and appreciate that you offer this for free to readers! I can’t wait to join in again this year. I’m mainly focused on being able to last longer doing cardio and toning up/getting more definition.

  15. Psyched to get started next week!!

    I absolutely LOOOOOVE the logo!!

  16. Holly C. says:

    I’m so excited about this round of Summer Shape Up! I’m 13 weeks pregnant and unfortunately have had zero energy & have felt so bleh for about 2 months. Needless to say, I haven’t been working out or even been active. I’m looking forward to committing to this! I so desire a healthy pregnancy and want to do this for me and this sweet baby!

  17. Cassie T says:

    So excited for shape up this year!!!!!

    I am traveling, so hopefully resistance bands can be used in place of dumbbells 🙂

  18. I always look forward to your Shape Ups! Thanks for making them happen 🙂

  19. I’m so excited to join! I think it will be a great opportunity for me to pay more focus to my diet and nutrition. As I find those are often the last piece of the puzzle that has the most impact.

  20. Shannon says:

    My goal is just to stick to the whole SSU until the end. Thanks for putting so much work and time into this for us!

  21. I had a baby 10 months ago and we are about to PCS to Italy in the fall. My goal is to get muscle tone back and increase my cardio endurance before the big move!

    Thanks for the constant inspiration Gina!

  22. Michelle Rae says:

    SO excited that you are pregnant during this SSU so that I can follow along with your pregnancy friendly moderations!

  23. My goal for this shape up is to keep variety in my workouts! I tend to default to strength training in favor of everything else but I want to make sure I’m getting in enough cardio, flexibility, and REST too.

  24. It’s so generous that you do this for free for your readers because I can tell it’s a lot of work to put together these shape-ups, so thank you, Gina!

  25. I’m joining! Love this idea!

  26. Thank you for doing another SSU! Can’t wait to see what’s in store!

  27. Kristen says:

    Staying motivated to keep up with you!
    I love the idea of ditching the scale and doing before/after pics.. I have an unhealthy obsession with the scale.

  28. Catherine says:

    I am joining and think I will have the bonus points nailed for bad lighting and especially for grumpy looks as I am a morning exerciser :)!

  29. I love your shape ups, they just keep getting better and better! I am currently working my way through the New Rules of Lifting for Women program, so I’ll probably bookmark it to do later this summer. But, I’ll definitely use the community motivation, and focus on cleaning up my diet a little bit more along with y’all!.

  30. Molly D says:

    Survey complete! Thanks Gina.

  31. erin m. says:

    I’ll be participating again! I really want to be able to do pullups!

  32. Prego friendly!!

  33. Kristina E says:

    🙂 I think it’s awesome that you’re doing pregnancy modifications. I haven’t done your shape ups since I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I knew I could work out hard, but I was just plain scared. I hope to be more active with baby number 2!

  34. I’m joining for the first time and I’m really excited! My main goal is to get into the habit of working out consistently. Following a plan will definitely be good for me!

    Thanks so much for putting this together for all of us. You rock!

  35. I’ll be joining in. My goal: keep it up and don’t fall off the wagon!

  36. Michelle says:

    I know its not a weight loss plan but I’m hoping that by shaking up my fitness and eats, some of the plateau I’ve been seeing in weight loss budges!

  37. Yay!! I love the shapeups!!

  38. I love the logo! Very cute. I just had my second baby 21 days ago via c-section so my goal is to slowly ease back into working out. The 2014 winter shape up helped me get back in shape with my first so I’m looking forward to starting the summer shape up!

  39. Thank you for doing this. I want to get back on track. I took some time off and now I’m ready to get stronger and healthier.

  40. I’m joining in! I’m down to my goal weight but need to gain lean muscle!!

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