Wasting workout time

Hi friends! Happy humpday! This morning’s subject for The Skimm was “Whooaaaa, we’re halfway there” and now Bon Jovi will be stuck in my head all day. Here’s what’s been happening around here and then I have some tips to help you stop wasting time at the gym!

Today’s Happenings

What are you up to today?? We are packing up and getting on the road to Tucson! I CAN’T WAIT to see the fam, swim in Mexican food, and visit some Tucson faves. It’s going to be a great weekend. <3

Palm trees

A commenter mentioned the other day that Caro has been missing face time on the blog, so here’s a little update on this lovely lady.Caro on a walk


She is doing really well, and I still feel like we’re always learning different quirks and facets of her personality. I wasn’t sure when I’d see the day that she actually enjoyed walks (remember when she used to ride in the wagon with Livi? haha), and those days have definitely arrived. When I take out the leashes, Caro starts shaking with excitement while Bella runs around in circles like a maniac. Caro spends about 90% of her life sleeping (our dog groomer/sitter told me it’s a Cavalier thing), but will wake up to hang out if:

we’re cooking some type of meat (Bella taught her how to stand in the kitchen and look pathetic), 

we’re heading out for a walk or the dog park,

she’s eating or running around outside,

or if there are fireworks going off. She HATES them.

Post-workout snack love:

post-workout yogurt snack

Oats on the bottom with almond milk to soften

Goat’s milk Greek yogurt <— they have it at Whole Foods by the goat and sheep yogurt. It’s deeeelicious and has 12g of protein


and a blob of almond butter

Gym Time Wasters

Last week, I was reading an older article about the time that’s wasted at the gym. I think the numbers in the article would be even higher today with the increase in social media platforms. It made me laugh because that totally used to be me. It’s not that I was there with the intention of wasting time, but I spent a lot more time getting “set up,” adjusting my clothes/headphones/equipment, or even just wandering around because I didn’t have a set plan in place. For a while, I also had to stop working out with my phone because I found myself browsing Facebook or Instagram in between sets and knew that I could do that later.

After we had Liv and gym time was much more limited, I streamlined the process and get in and out of there! Now I’m kind of at an in-between phase while we wait for baby #2’s arrival, because I’m still trying to get in a workout 5 or so times a week, but don’t push myself the same way. I’m definitely reading on the cardio equipment a lot more these days. 😉

Gina august2 10

(Photo: Danny Chan)

How to Stop Wasting Time at the Gym

-Have your plan and playlist ready to go! Don’t spend your time messing around with music or wandering around trying to decide which muscle group to work

-Perform similar types of exercises together. For example: do all of your dumbbell sets, then move onto stability ball work, and then over to the plyo boxes or kettlebells. This way you don’t feel like you’re constantly moving back and forth between equipment. 

-Use your phone for music only while you’re there. Otherwise, it’s easy to get sucked into checking emails and social media in between sets. (Also, browsing social media while trying to do cardio can be a safety hazard. Focus on what your feet, breath, and alignment are doing instead, and if anything, you can always watch TV on the screen or read.)

-Keep your headphones in your ears. This way you can still smile and wave to friends you may see, or even pop out one earbud for a quick chat, but still look like you’re in “workout mode.”

Make the most of your gym time with these tips on how to stop wasting time at the gym. Maximize your efforts and get more from your workout! fitnessista.com  | #workouttips

What do you think is the biggest time suck in your gym time? Anything you like to do to move through your workouts more efficiently?

Hope you have a great morning!



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  1. Aleah @ Their Fit Life on August 5, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Great post! The article was interesting. One thing that always helps me is taking classes- having an instructor there to motivate me definitely adds a level of intensity. There’s no way to check your phone either 😉

    • April on August 6, 2015 at 7:34 am

      Agree with this, when taking classes I don’t waste any time! Also, i’m with ya Gina, post baby i def don’t have as much time so am in/out as fast as i can:)

  2. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on August 5, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I was just thinking about this this morning as someone was sitting on a Bosu reading email forever instead of using it to workout. I really needed it. It was annoying!

  3. Katie on August 5, 2015 at 10:11 am

    The biggest suck time for me would be getting there and getting home. I like to workout from about 5-6am and still have time to drink coffee and relax before getting ready for work. Going to the gym that early and still having some me-time just wasn’t cutting it, so I bought a spin bike and have been doing my workouts at home. I still get in awesome workouts (spin, HIIT, and strength) and have plenty of time to relax afterwards. I do sometimes miss the fitness class setting, but figure I can go every so often and just get a single pass. 😉

  4. Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me on August 5, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Have a safe trip on your way to Tucson and have so MUCH fun withy our family. I look forward to reading your recap and seeing all of the Mexican food (my favorite).

  5. Britt@MyOwnBalance on August 5, 2015 at 10:22 am

    I love that photo of you on the ball! You look great! I definitely think the number one tip is have a child. You will have absolutely no time to waste ever and you will jump at the chance to be somewhere ALONE! 🙂

  6. Niki on August 5, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Loved the Caro update, she’s so sweet! When we adopted our Cavapoo Annie she hated cuddles to begin with, then slowly she’d let us cuddle her while she braced her legs against us and had and a worried look on her face! And now she’s the cuddliest dog ever! It’s funny thinking back and makes you appreciate how much they’ve settled into your home since they first arrived.

  7. kristin | W [H] A T C H on August 5, 2015 at 10:36 am

    have so much fun in tucson!

  8. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on August 5, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Caroline is the cutest!! Glad to hear she’s doing well!

  9. Rebecca A Meier on August 5, 2015 at 11:19 am

    LOL, I basically do all of these things already b/c I’m a get-in-get-out of the gym type of person. Never been one to waste a bunch of time at the gym…and I hate being bothered by anyone when I’m there (I know, I probably sound so rude), but I keep my ear buds in my ears.

    But I make sure to already have my workout plan ready in my head of what I plan to do at the gym. I have a playlist called “workout” – just hit ‘shuffle’ on it and BOOM, I’m ready to rock. And I try to do similar exercises together….like all of my free weight stuff then moving on to machines, etc. It’s just what works for me. Making the most of my gym time is crucial when I work FT, have a husband, a toddler, and between cooking and chores. 🙂

    And Caroline is such a little cutie patootie. So glad you rescued her (I remember reading on your blog about when you got her), I’m sure she’s got a great life with you guys and Bella.

    • Fitnessista on August 5, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      thank you so much <3
      and totally agree about getting in and getting out, especially with such a full plate like you have!
      hope you have a wonderful rest of the week <3

  10. Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food on August 5, 2015 at 11:36 am

    I’m the worst with getting my phone ready with music, running apps, adjusting my buds, etc! Sometimes, I just ditch the phone because it can be such a distraction!

    • Fitnessista on August 5, 2015 at 12:20 pm

      totally can be! it feels nice to be without it for a while too

  11. Amanda on August 5, 2015 at 11:37 am

    I have done exactly what you described so many times! A few days ago, Justin and I went to the gym in the morning, and in the evening, I told him I needed to work out. He was so confused… like, “We just went to the gym this morning?” YES I went to the gym… but I didn’t DO anything! Great tips here on getting to the gym, getting it done, and getting home!

    • Fitnessista on August 5, 2015 at 12:20 pm


  12. Renda on August 5, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Thanks for the post-workout snack suggestion! Just made the same thing and I LOVED it! I’m always looking for new ideas . Btw, 26 weeks pregnant here, right behind ya…you’re my virtual pregger friend…thanks for sharing your journey!

    • Fitnessista on August 5, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      aww preggie buddies! i love it 🙂 happy you enjoyed the snack, too!

  13. Kara on August 5, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Caro’s such a sweet girl:) May I ask why you prefer goat/sheep yogurt, almond milk, etc. as opposed to regular or organic cow dairy? Is it better for you??

  14. RachelG on August 5, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    For me the biggest time suck is not having a workout plan. Without one I used to just meander around the equipment and do a few bicep curls here and there. That is also definitely connected with gym intimidation…I felt like if it looked like I didn’t know what I was doing, mostly in the weights area near the dude-bro-men, I’d feel embarassed and just peace out.

  15. Jessie R on August 5, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    When I go without a plan, it’s such a fail! If I forget to plan, I’ll try to hop on the treadmill for a warm-up, then I figure out a plan on my phone, or pick out a good one from one of my fav bloggers (You, Julie, Ashley) and go for it!

  16. Cat @ Breakfast to Bed on August 5, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Ok, but I listen to audiobooks at the gym. Because, like a 70 year old woman, I need my “stories.”

    • Fitnessista on August 5, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      right there with you. i love audiobooks!

  17. Kacie on August 5, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    What drives me nuts is when I go with a plan, and then all of the things I want to use (usually just a squat rack or some open floor space) are occupied! My son only stays happy in the gym childcare for about 45 minutes max, so I don’t have time to wait around. I end up changing my workout on the fly which is fine, but annoying!

  18. Carrie on August 5, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    I was browsing my Instagram today and came across a friend’s workout-related photos for the day, and I’ve definitely wondered about how much time she spends taking gym selfies and how many photos she takes for said selfies. Not that they’re not earned, but still…

    Have fun in Tucson! Eat ALL the Mexican food.

  19. Samantha @ThePlantedVegan on August 5, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Awesome tips! Thanks for sharing!

  20. mary on August 5, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    It’s funny, I was just at the gym and while using the rower which faces the weight floor, I was thinking about all the wandering around and ‘resting between sets’ (for 80% of their workout) people do. I wish they’d get it on and get out of there because the area’s not huge.

    I probably move too quickly between sets. I use a bluetooth earbud set so my phone is usually over in a cubbie in my purse, not even with me.

  21. Cassie on August 5, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    I like to take things a little easier anyway, so I don’t worry too much about getting the most bang for my buck. I go at a level that I enjoy so that I will keep coming back and not fall off the wagon.

  22. leeann on August 5, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    When I had B, I gave up my gym membership. Mostly due to schedules and partly due to the fact that I took up more competitive cycling, so I spend much more time on a bike than with weights. Going into the fall, there is a lot more cross training and I get my time in….in the basement during nap time! Because I know my time is limited, I tend to go for it! I find that if blast the Pitch Perfect Pandora station, I am either lifting, squatting…or dancing! All of which I consider part of a good “gym” workout 😀 I also make it a “No phone zone”!

  23. Reenie on August 6, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Glad that Caroline is doing better. She’s so cute.

  24. Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie on August 8, 2015 at 9:10 am

    I’m so bad about wasting time at the gym – I definitely don’t take my phone anymore just for that reason!

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