Gear up for the Shape Up!

Morning, and happy Sunday! 

Since today is a plan and prep day, and Summer Shape Up starts in just one week, I thought it would a great time to introduce Summer Shape Up and talk about strategies to set yourself up for success. 

Get ready

If you’re new to Summer Shape Up, you’re in for a treat! I’ve been running this challenge on my blog since the very beginning, and every year it evolves into something different and better than the year before. This is 100% in thanks to all of you: your support and shared motivation with one another, check-ins and awesome comments keep this thing going. You help each other along the ways to your goals, and as your cheerleader from the sidelines, it’s heartwarming and inspiring to see.

So what is Summer Shape Up?

4 weeks of fitness plans, meal ideas and motivation to shake up your routine and get killer results from your efforts. It’s 100% FREE and always will be. Many similar programs are available for a subscription fee or one-time payment on other sites. Not here. Shape Ups are complimentary, and you get the advice and structure from a certified personal trainer, weight loss specialist and Registered Dietitian all in one spot.

For my last Winter Shape Up, I brought my friend Anne (a Registered Dietitian and good friend of mine) on board to hook you up with meal ideas. She’s back to join in the fun (thank you, Anne!) and we have swag from our awesome sponsors for giveaways throughout the 4-week challenge.

What to expect:

A complete fitness plan + meal ideas for 4 weeks. If you are subscribed to my newsletter, you will get the workouts early (Friday morning) and they will also be posted early Monday am on the blog so you can plan.


Monday will be an off day, but you can shuffle the schedule around as you like.


Shape Up Facebook group

and check-ins on both of our sites. You’ll check in on my blog with your daily workout and on Anne’s for your clean eats. You can also tweet and instagram your check-ins. Each check-in = one giveaway entry. (We’ll explain the giveaways more thoroughly as they occur, so stay tuned!)

How to set yourself up for success:

Gather your supplies. You’ll need the following tools for a successful Shape Up: 

1) A notebook or tracking tool (app) on your phone. I like to kick it old school and write down my daily eats, workout, and life in a notebook. Find what works best for you, and practice this week writing down your meals, workouts, water intake and how you feel each day.

Erin condren  1 of 1

2) Dumbbells. The workouts are going to be dumbbells and body weight ONLY, meaning you can do them anywhere at any time. For beginners, I suggest 3-5 lb weights to start, intermediates 8-12 lbs and advanced 12 lbs +. Find a challenging weight for you, and consider investing in a light and heavy set. You’ll use your light set for your smaller muscle groups (like triceps) and heavy for the larger muscle groups (ex: back and legs).

3) A big ol’ water bottle. This will be your prop for the next 5 weeks. Find one you like and get ready to carry it around with you everywhere!

Work snacks  1 of 1 4

4) Good sneakers. If your shoes are on their (literal) last leg, it’s time for a new pair. Make sure you have comfortable, functional sneakers that fit you well. 

One cushion  1 of 1

5) A workout buddy. Send this post to a friend -it’s a lot of fun to do the workouts in a group!- and if you’re working out solo, make sure to join our Facebook group so we can all cheer each other on.

Yoga w anne  1 of 1

(bonus: post-workout kombucha date)

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!

Are you going to be joining in the Shape Up this year? What’s something that you want to accomplish during the challenge??

Writing this post made me even more excited! Thank you for letting me train you from afar 🙂



Post Navigation:


  1. Kaitlyn @ Keeping up with Kaitlyn on June 8, 2014 at 7:35 am

    I have seen you have these shape up programs from some time,but have never joined in. I’m a new nursing student, so at home workouts are a perfect option for me. I’m not the most self motivated person when it comes to exercise, but doing a program will help, I believe! I also just started taking pure barre and will try to do that 3 times a week, so this program would be great for my off days! Excited for this! Now that’s hope I stick to it!

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      you will! so glad you’re joining in 🙂
      (also, i’ll be including a barre workout as one of the weekly workout options!)

  2. Brynn on June 8, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Yay, I cannot wait! Have you ever thought about creating a program for pregnancy? I’d love that!

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      i have, but the risks are worrisome for me. i think i’d rather write a book about it after becoming certified as a specialist

      • Brynn on June 8, 2014 at 2:59 pm

        That would be awesome!

  3. Colby on June 8, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Do you have good recommendation for journal to write in for workouts and meals?

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      i use an erin condren one that i love, but they take a while to arrive. target has a lot of cute notebooks and so does anthro!

  4. Shaya on June 8, 2014 at 8:19 am

    I’m excited to see myself getting stronger each week and to have my jeans fit a bit more loosely 😉

  5. beth h on June 8, 2014 at 8:41 am

    I will be joining you! This will the first of your Shape Ups that I have done. Looking forward to it.

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      whoo hoo!

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2014 at 3:11 pm

      so glad you’re joining in!

  6. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on June 8, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I’ve never followed the shape up, but I certainly could use a boost of inspiration, so I’m looking forward to checking out the posts 🙂

  7. Katie on June 8, 2014 at 9:25 am

    I’m so excited!! This will be my first time following the shape up and I can’t wait. 🙂

  8. Cindy on June 8, 2014 at 9:35 am

    I cannot wait!!!! I did the Winter Shape Up for two and a half months, and although I saw muscle changes, I didn’t lose much weight. This time I plan on utilizing Anne’s meal plans and hoping for even better results! Thanks to both you and Anne for putting this together – for free!! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2014 at 3:05 pm


  9. Ashley J on June 8, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Eeeeeeeeek!!! I am Beyond excited for this Shape Up!! I’ve been struggling to loose an excess amount of baby weight (I had twins and I gained a ton!!!) and to motivate myself and get my rear in gear I signed up for a half marathon in October. My training plan starts in August and I have been telling myself I MUST loose weight before then so I don’t kill my knees from all the extra pounds I’m carrying. The timing of this Shape Up could not be better and I’m thrilled its been growing. I love the Facebook group for support and the dieticians input on meal plans and when you think it can’t get any better it does…because its FREE!! So, so excited and thankful to you for putting this together!! Woooo!!! Can’t wait till next week!!!

  10. Kara on June 8, 2014 at 9:54 am

    I’m a teacher and am just finishing up school this week, so I can’t wait to start off my summer with a solid workout plan! CAN NOT WAIT!

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2014 at 3:11 pm


  11. Katie O on June 8, 2014 at 9:56 am

    this totally corresponds with me hitting 5 weeks post partum! going to take it easy, but try and hero up! perfect way to motivate back into working out! so excited!

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2014 at 3:11 pm

      smart girl! honor your body. excited you’re joining in!

  12. Stephanie on June 8, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Hi Gina,

    I am curious if you follow a certain set of macros for your diet? Or do you aim for a certain target or percentage of protein, fat and carbs? I realize everyones numbers would be different but just curious how you plan out your meals daily. Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2014 at 3:11 pm

      i track a little differently, but it is macro based. my book goes into all of the details + an easy way to track without turning everything into a math project 🙂

      • Stephanie on June 8, 2014 at 5:21 pm


  13. Faith on June 8, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Where did you get your notebook/planner in the pic above? Thanks for the info!

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      it’s from erin condren. i LOVE it!

  14. Rebecca on June 8, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Yay! Can’t wait for this. I’ve always followed along in the past, but this time I plan to be more actively involved. Thank you for putting this together! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      so glad you’re joining in!

  15. Livi on June 8, 2014 at 10:40 am

    It sounds like a fun challenge! I’d definitely in!

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      yeahh! 🙂

  16. Tera on June 8, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I’m excited too, I’ve been looking for a kickstart!!
    Also to second Faith’s request …. Can you remind us where you order your planner from? (I think you’ve shared before but I can’t find it!!)

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      i ordered it from erin condren. they take a while to arrive but worth the wait!

  17. Cara on June 8, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I cannot wait!! Looking forward to kicking my arse into a new gear!

  18. Emily on June 8, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I’m in! Pregnant with baby #2, I fell off the fitness wagon during the super morning sickness and fatigue of the first trimester. Now that I’m finally getting my energy back and keeping meals down, I needs kick in the pants to get motivated to hit the gym again. My goal is to make exercise a daily priority again before baby arrives and everything changes again!

  19. Shannon on June 8, 2014 at 11:58 am

    So excited! I didn’t complete last year’s, so my goal this year is just to get through it to the end! I love that it’s all dumb bells and body weight, I find it much easier to work out at home and don’t have a lot of equipment. This is perfect!

  20. Katie Hood on June 8, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    SUMMER SHAPE UP!!! I’m so excited! Totally all in. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      YESSSSS. cue the awesome post-workout pics and bangs envy 🙂 xo

  21. april on June 8, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    yay for summer shape up! i’m really looking forward to seeing what you have in store this summer 🙂

    thank you again for putting together such an amazing series for your blog readers! <3

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      so excited! happy to do it 🙂 xo

  22. Sam on June 8, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I’ve been reading for years and I think I will participate this year… looking forward to it!

  23. Kelly on June 8, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Excited for this challenge! I had a baby 2 months ago and I am ready to get back on track.

  24. Tracy on June 8, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Super excited for the SSU to start!! Can’t wait to shake up my normal routine 🙂

  25. Jay on June 8, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    YAY! Perfect timing. Last year’s shape up is what started me on my better-health journey. I’m so grateful for your advice, dedication, and enthusiasm. I tell everyone you’re my personal trainer! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2014 at 3:07 pm


  26. Bridget on June 8, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    I’m looking forward to using this to commit to clean eats and good workouts!!

  27. Melodie on June 8, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    I’m in. I’m actually starting a 4 week boot camp that begins tomorrow and it is 3 days a week. So I’ll probably have to adjust my schedule and some workouts. But I’m really looking forward to this! Thanks for all your hard work.

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      perfect! if you need help shuffling, let me know!

  28. Mya on June 8, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Yay! I am so excited for this!!

  29. Nicole on June 8, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Excited but nervous! I’ve recently had a diet overhaul thanks to some unpleasant medical conditions. I am currently dairy free. Will it be easy to continue that on your summer shape up plan?

  30. Pua on June 8, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    I ALWAYS look forward to summer shape up! I am so glad that you keep it free for your readers. I’ve done a few plans that I’ve paid for and, believe it or not, this workout plan has always been the best one. Thank you so much!!

  31. Polly @ Tasty Food Project on June 8, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Thank you for offering this service for free! I’m looking forward to this! I’ve been working very hard trying to keep myself active and I’m sure I would benefit from the Summer Shape Up workouts!

  32. Maryz on June 8, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    So excited for the Summer Shape Up! Love the variety of workouts and meal ideas! Can’t wait!

  33. Emma S. on June 8, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Very excited for the Summer Shape Up! Managed to fracture a rib a while back (may have had a slight bike collision/fight with a tree…) so this is perfectly timed with the a-ok from the doctor to start again!

  34. shannon rose bell on June 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    super excited! 3 months post partum and needing some inspiration and help with getting back into gear. thanks for being so positive and for offering your expertise for free!!

  35. Jackie on June 8, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    I’m so so excited! I’m currently training for my first 5K in August and I can’t wait to add Summer Shape Up to my workout schedule! I’d love to tone up a bit more and feel very strong for the 5K!

    P.S. Which Kombucha are you drinking in that picture? Does it happen to be Revive Kombucha?

  36. Alicia on June 8, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Perfectly timed! I’m looking forward to free weights and body weight only, I don’t have much room to work out in my small 1 br apt.

  37. Ashley on June 8, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    I want to shed some pounds this Shape up!

  38. Kara H. on June 8, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    I’ll be joining again this year! I can’t wait. Ready to lose those last 5 lbs but most importantly stay healthy and get stronger. I’m going to up my weight to 8-10lbs this time around.

  39. Erin on June 8, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    I have read your blog for years but I have never done a shape up….This time I’m in! My fitness routine could definately use some variety & the timing is perfect. I’m excited!

  40. Michelle on June 8, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    So excited for this to start! This winters shape up was my first and I did two rounds and have used the workouts periodically since along with other things. I will be able to do the first two weeks and then we are going on vaca and will try to keep on the schedule but I might have to do the final two weeks when we get back.

  41. Amy on June 8, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Looking forward to this! I also work as a personal trainer and am looking forward to new workout ideas and motivation, for me and my clients! Share selflessly and steal shamelessly, right?? Thanks for putting this together!

  42. Alycia on June 8, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    I am in! I have had something (injuries, sickness) come up the last two times I tried to join. This time its on like Donkey Kong!

  43. Ingrid on June 8, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Fantastic! Love your shape ups!

  44. Jennifer on June 8, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Yaayyyyy! Loved Winter Shape Up, I continue to use some of Anne’s recipes and your workouts! So excited! Thank you!

  45. Julie on June 9, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Super excited for all these workouts!

  46. Lisa O on June 9, 2014 at 3:35 am

    Amazing! I will try and participate as much as possible while my stomach looks like a beach ball. Very excited to do your winter shape up (during our summer!) when baby is here. Thank you for providing such a fabulous service xx

  47. Caitlin on June 9, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Yay! Can’t wait. I’ve been using your Winter Shape Up videos since January and they are ah-mazing. So excited to have some new ones to work into the rotation! Thanks so much for taking the time to put all of this together.

  48. Stephanie on June 9, 2014 at 9:47 am

    I’ve read your blog for a long time but I’ve never done one of these shape-ups before. I decided to join to help me make health and fitness a priority again. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been and I’m nervous about committing to check-ins and journaling, I never seem to last long with those things. But I’m determine to be a good example for my baby girl and feel good about myself again. I’m hoping these next four weeks will turn things around for me. Thanks for putting this together, I’m excited (and nervous) to give it a try!

  49. Alison Corigliano on June 9, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I’m SO in! I just quit smoking and I can already feel myself getting fluffy from everything I’m eating! I’ve been following you for a long time and have never participated, but I’m doing it this time! I have a broken toe, so I’m probably going to have to modify here and there though!

    Can’t wait and thank you for keeping this free! You rock!

    • Fitnessista on June 9, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      (i just wanted to send you a virtual high five and hug for the amazing job quitting smoking. sending love to you!!!)

  50. Kathy on June 9, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Thank you..Thank you…Thank you!! Im so needing this!! I fell into a bit of a rut trying to hit my first education goal (that goal will be complete in 2 weeks…woot woot!!) I gained a few pounds juggling class, home, kids, etc.. Need to shed it off asap! Cant wait to start the shape up! Love this blog 🙂

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.