My Teaching Journey

Category: Learning Project

My Journey Learning to Strength Train Online

purple dumbbells in hands of positive sportswoman
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Overview of My Journey:

Week One: Operation Strength Training

  • My inspiration for this project mainly stemmed from the fact that I was on fitness TikTok and because you know “new year, new me” and I wanted to do better at being consistently active.
  • So, I set myself a 5 step plan that seemed easy enough.
  • I also started looking into various YouTube accounts and apps that could help me throughout my process
  • Thankfully, I got a bunch of lovely suggestions from my peers on a whole bunch of different online resources to try
pizza run

Week Two: First Day (Workout) Jitters

Online Sources Used:  Strength Training For Beginners: The 5 Best Exercises (, TikTok (to make my video)

  • This week I used a website to learn some basic information about strength training (reps, sets, rest) and also 5 basic strength training movements
  • Then, I followed a workout using those basic strength training exercises
feel the burn

Week Three: Perks of Virtual Workouts

Online Sources Used: Zoom, Local Barre Digital Subscription, an #edtc300 friend, Fitbit App, and  Wheelhouse Live

  • This week was very exciting because I did an online workout over zoom with Caelyn Hembroff! I had never done barre and although it isn’t strength training specific I did notice some overlap in moves, especially the squats!
  • Then, I tried an upper-body workout from the Fitbit app. It was a good workout, however, I didn’t enjoy having to follow it off of my tiny phone screen. I like the bigger screen of my laptop
  • Lastly, I did a Wheelhouse “Off the bike” workout video. I liked this video because it was fairly beginner and incorporated all 5 of the exercises I learned in week 2, PLUS some new ones, and of course also some cardio.
Workin It

Week Four: Operation Strength Training: Podcast Edition

Online Source Used: Anchor

  • This was the week I made it to step two because I went to my apartment gym! I didn’t use any online workout source this week, I just sort did the workout from week two and then played around with some of the machines to try and figure them out!
gym time

Week Five: Classmate Recommendations For The Win

Online Sources Used:  MadFit YouTube channel,  Nike Training Club App, and InShot (to make my video)

  • I really enjoyed the MadFit Youtube channel! I did a quick upper body workout and a dance workout which was super fun. It was interesting having strength training moves like squats thrown in with dance moves but oddly enough it worked!
  • With the Nike Training Club, I did three different workouts and I really liked all of them! The app was really easy to set up and use. I just did basic strength training moves again – it sounds boring but repetition is sort of a key aspect in strength training! However, once again I just didn’t like using a small screen to follow the workout.
  • I used a new video-making app for this week which I actually really enjoyed using! I found it easier and more user-friendly than iMovie (not that iMovie is overly difficult to use). The only downside is that you can only make one video without a watermark and then all the rest have watermarks.
leg day

Week Six: A Little #edtc400 Guidance and a Dash of Lockdown One Nostalgia

Online Sources Used: YouTube channel HASfit,  Chloe Ting YouTube channel, Animoto (to make my video)

  • The Hasfit YouTube channel is a strength training-specific channel which I really liked! It was also a bonus that the video had two people: one doing the normal exercise and the other doing a modified version! Since my arms are much weaker than the rest of my body I found myself doing modified moves for arm workouts but I could keep up well it the other aspects!
  • The Cloe Ting workout was short and sweet but also extremely difficult because I hadn’t done any ab specific workout yet in this journey since most strength training workouts already work the abs.
  • I also tried Animoto for the time to make my videos for the week and it was very fun and easy to use!
balancing a barbell on finger

Week Seven: Classmate Recommendations For The Win [Part 2]

Online Sources Used: Sydney Cummings YouTube channel, URFIT On Demand, Animoto (to make my video), and InShot (to make my video).

  • Sydney Cummings has a strength training-specific series on her channel and I picked a video right in the middle of the series for some reason (you know why would I start at the begging like a normal person). This was the longest video I did but it went very well and I really liked it! Sydney definitely gives personal trainer vibes which is great for motivation.
  • The workout I did from the URFIT channel was a recorded video of a live workout class which was strangely enjoyable! It almost felt like I was also there because the instructor has reference to correct form or adjust time since there were actual people there when it was being filmed.
Bitmoji Image

Week Eight: Stumbled My Way Back on Fitness TikTok

Online Sources Used: Caroline Girvan YouTube Channel and InShot (to make my video).

  • This YouTube channel was recommended on TikTok so I had to try it out! This channel also had a strength training-specific program which was nice. The video I did I found to be very fast-paced, especially when I was trying to figure out new exercises and have the correct form. By the time I would have the exercise figured out it would be switching to a new one.
drinking water

Week Nine: Back To Basics, Should Be Easy Right?

Online Sources Used: Shelley Darlington “How to start weight training for women,”  Jetfit, Windows video editor (to make my video).

  • By this point, I had been exposed to many different exercises and combinations of exercises
  • So, this week I had focused on learning how to actually structure a workout, for the week and long term. I learned this from Shelley’s video but after watching it I was still slightly confused
  • Luckily, I had the Jetfit app suggested to me! This app was my saving grace because of how easily it lets you structure your workouts and then when you are actually doing the workout it gives you audio cues to keep you on track
  • I did have some technical difficulties this week which led me to use my laptop webcam and the windows video editor in order to make my video. But hey it worked just fine!
do you even lift

Where I Started vs Where I Am Now:

At the beginning of my journey I wasn’t working out regularly and when I did workout, I only did cardio. I was very nervous to start weight training because I honestly had no idea what I was doing or what I was getting myself into. To be honest, I didn’t even really know what strength training was, I just kept hearing about it on TikTok and wanted to try it out.

Now, I have a pretty good grasp of beginner strength training exercises and the correct form. I learned this through research and the various follow-along type videos I tried throughout the semester. I also have a pretty good idea of how to properly structure strength training workouts to be the most effective. I didn’t achieve all of the goals I set out for at the beginning of this journey but I am still proud of how far I’ve come and everything I’ve learned so far. I am now well set up for achieving those missed steps in the future.

Top Recommendations:

YouTube Channels:

  1.  HASfit
  2. MadFit 


  1. Nike Training Club App
  2. Jetfit

Online Subscriptions:

  1. Local Barre Digital Subscription
  2. Wheelhouse Live

Video Making:

  1. Animoto
  2. InShot


  1. Anchor

Final Thoughts…

Being able to do a learning project like this in a university class was an AMAZING experience. I am glad I picked a project that allowed me to stay active because throughout online learning staying active has been a challenge – I just sit at my desk for 8-10 hours a day. I was also surprised how easy it was to learn strength training online, I think part of the convivence has to do with the pandemic which forced some fitness companies to move virtual. Another major contributor to my success in this learning project was my #edtc300 peers and my #edtc400 mentors for their recommendations of online sources! Special shout out to:

Also, a big thank you to everyone for following along with my strength training journey! Everyone’s words of support or encouragement were VERY much appreciated and helped to keep me motivated over the semester!

Once more I just want to give a big thank you to all of #edtc300 students as well as Katia and Amanda for the wonderful semester!!

Many thanks

Back To Basics, Should Be Easy Right?

neon signage
Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on

Shockingly enough, I honestly think my first couple of weeks were probably the most beneficial so far because I was actually learning how to do a workout on my own. However, then I sort of shifted directions and started to try out a bunch of different online workouts that didn’t require a lot of thinking and you can just sort of mindlessly follow along. I do think the online workout videos did serve a purpose because they sort of eased be into the idea of strength training and I was also exposed to a lot of different exercises from these videos.

As this project is coming to an end in the next couple of weeks here I am going to shift back towards what I was doing in the very beginning by structuring my own workout (sort of). However, I still don’t really know how to actually structure a workout so I decided to hit YouTube to see if some of my questions could be answered.

I'm lost

At first I was kind of thinking that I would be able to find a quick and easy explanation and I would just be set and ready to start creating my own workout. I think that was a little naive of me to think. But after a while I found this video by Shelley Darlington that answered a lot of questions I had and even some that I didn’t know I needed answered.

Workout Split:

One of the first things discussed was how to split your workout (which I now realize I probably should have been doing this whole time). Shelley suggested that beginners do a Lower/Upper body split 3-4 times a week. She also gave some advice when creating a workout plan:

  • Consistency + skill + structure = results
  • Keep it simple

Different Workouts:

The next thing discussed was different workouts you could do for the different days in the split.

Lower body: squats, lunges (static lunge), deadlift (stiff leg deadlift), Leg press, Bulgarian split squat, hip thrust, seated hamstring curl

Upper body: Lat pull down, seated low row, chin ups (assisted), dumbbell row, dumbbell shoulder press, dumbbell side raise, pushups, bench dips, hammer/bicep curls, tricep rope pull down,

Core: (not necessary) but you can do a three exercise circuit on your arm days (2 days a week) if you really want. 3 rounds of 15 reps

Workout structure:

Next, the video went over how to structure the workout it’s self. Shelly suggested:

  • 4 or 5 exercises
  • 3-4 sets per exercise
  • 10-15 reps
  • rest 60-90 seconds between sets
  • Total workout should be 45 min to an hour with warmup/cooldown

Overall structure:

Next the video went over the overall structure of your workout, which is honestly something I haven’t thought about before. But I learned you should be doing 4-6 weeks blocks of doing the same workouts. This means that once you have your weekly plan, you have to do it for a minimum of 4 weeks in order to see results.

A final word of wisdom from Shelly’s video was “learn to love the mastery of lifting weights”

This is going to be harder than I thought…

Bitmoji Image

There is way more things to consider than I originally thought there would be. So, I decided to try another resource that my #edtc400 mentor, Caleb Lueck, recommended to see if it would clear things up.

Trying out Jetfit

After Caleb recommended Jetfit I googled to to see what it was all about. Apparently it is the #1 popular workout tracking platform, so I was very excited to try it out!

When you first download the app you have to make an account and then it asks you some questions about yourself so it can recommend premade workout plans to you (but of course that is not why I got the app, I got it to make my own workout plan)

Once you get through all that beginning stuff then you can start to make your workout plan. I used the information from Shelley Darlington‘s YouTube video to guide the days, sets, rests, and the exercises that I picked.

Overall, the Jetfit app made the whole process seem a lot more organized and it is laid it is a visually appealing and easy to use way. I also like that there is videos and descriptions that go along with each exercise so that I can make sure I can get the form correct.

Also, just a funny story about trying to record this week’s workout. First I forgot to press start when I got my old phone set up to record (because I needed my phone to see the app). Then, after the first 2 and a half exercises my phone decided to run out of space. So, I had to start recording on my laptop webcam of all things. Since, some of the footage was on my laptop and some on my phone I wasn’t sure how on earth I was going to put a video together, especially since the files are both large. I ended up having to edit the videos on my phone first in order to get them into a smaller file and then emailing it to me so I could use the windows video editor. I had never used the video editor before but it was surprisingly easy to use! Here is little peak of what the video editor looks like.

Stumbled My Way Back on Fitness TikTok

person holding black android smartphone
Photo by cottonbro on

As you have most likely gathered from the title of this week’s blog post, I managed to end up fitness TikTok this week. Like seriosuly every single video was ethier about working out or eating healthy and boy did that take the joy out of scrolling through my fyp. However, there is an upside because it gave me all sorts of virtual workout ideas to potentially try!

I ended up deciding to check out the suggestion from the second TikTok that is linked above for Caroline Girvan YouTube Channel.

Except I somehow accidentally ended up doing the beginner one which apparently does not include weights (even though the whole reason I picked this channel is because the TikTok said it was a dumbbell workout and I still picked the wrong one somehow). Throughout the whole first half of the workout I was just waiting for her to say “grab your weights” but it never happened and I didn’t realize my mistake until after the fact.

Okay I had to talk very fast in this video so here is a list of the exercises (45 seconds on and 15 seconds off):

  1. Wall sit
  2. Squat walk
  3. Static lunge
  4. Close squat
  5. Lateral squat walk
  6. Curtsey lunge
  7. Squat with pulse
  8. Sumo squats
  9. Lunge hold
  10. Bulgarian lunge
  11. Single leg chair squat
  12. Single leg chair bridge
  13. X-over
  14. Donkey kick
  15. Single leg raise
  16. Hamstring dead stop
  17. Hamstring march
  18. Kneel to squat
  19. Alternating rear lunge
  20. Sumo pulses

Unfortunately this was the only workout I did this week. The end of the semester grind is in FULL swing and I had trouble finding time to get a workout in because I’ve been spending every second doing class, readings, videos, term papers, and projects. I was hoping this week I would be able to start researching how to structure my own workout and then try and do the workout with a friend over zoom or something to sort of teach them what I’ve been learning but I just didn’t have the time. So, it looks like that is what I will be doing for next weeks part of the project! If you have any tips or websites you recommend for learning how to structure/split workouts I will graciously take them because I don’t really know where to begin!

Bitmoji Image

Classmate Recommendations For The Win [Part 2]

crop sportswoman unfolding sport mat on wooden floor
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

First Workout Of The Week

feel the burn

For my first workout this week I decided to try Laura Fiddler’s recommendation of Sydney Cummings YouTube channel. When I was looking through the channel there were so many videos that I thought I would like and that would apply to my learning project. I ended up doing the 50 Minute Total Body Strength Workout, which I didn’t realize at the time was part of some program. Thankfully, I don’t really think it mattered too much that I just in at day 19 of the challenge.

I actually really liked this workout! I don’t think I have followed a longer workout video yet in this project, so it was a nice change (I usually do 30 minute videos and this one was 50 minutes). I generally lean towards the shorter videos because I always seem to be in a time crunch but I definitely see myself doing some more longer videos in the future (if I have enough time that is).

Workout #2

For my second workout of the week I decided to finally try out the fitness channel that the university made at the start of winter semester. The channel is called URFIT On Demand and you have to log in with your university sign-in to be able to access the videos.

This is what it should look like once you are logged in and then you can pick from a bunch of different types of workouts such a yoga, boot camps, body sculpts, zumba, and even pound classes (if you haven’t heard of pound classes before you should check them out they are pretty fun)! I previewed a couple different body sculpt and boot camp videos on the channel trying to find one that didn’t look too boring or repetitive and I ended up finding one titled “Build It Up Bootcamp: Feb. 11, 2021” that looked promising!

Workin It

Once again this was a longer video than I had been doing previously. I think this one was just about 50 minutes. However, same thing as the last video I actually quiet enjoyed the longer full body type video rather than a couple videos targeting different areas. I also liked that there was actually real people that were doing this boot camp when the video was being recorded so then it felt more like I was also there. It also allowed for the instructor was able to better explain correct positioning and sometimes to people that were working out asked the instructor questions that I was also wondering which you normally wouldn’t be able to get an answered to if there weren’t people working out when it was happening live. I am curious to see if any other university students have tried out any of the URFIT classes?

What are my next steps…

pizza run

This semester has been FLYING by so fast! I can’t even believe how close we are to the end of the semester. This has me reflecting back to my initial plan about this learning project and how I am nowhere near where I thought I would be in my strength training journey. Technically, I would still be in the first stage of my plan which was starting at-home workouts. But, when I went to my apartment gym to try and follow a video workout I found it a lot harder because a) there wasn’t really a good option to set myself up and be able to see the video on my phone and b) it was more complicated in terms of equipment use (waiting for other people using equipment or you are in someone’s way). So, I figured that it would be best to leave the gym component of my project until I had a better grasp of different strength training workouts and how to properly structure a strength training workout. But then, Regina’s covid cases just been getting worse and worse so I haven’t been overly eager to try and go to an actual gym. So, I have just been continuing with the at-home workouts, which I don’t think is a bad thing. However, I am starting to feel a little stuck where I am in this project now. I have been spending some time thinking about how I can switch things up or take my learning to the next level in this project.

As of right now I am thinking that I am going to continue with the at-home workouts but also spend some time learning how to structure my own workouts. Then, one of my friends was saying how she wanted me to make a workout for her. So, I think that could be a cool direction to go as well (once I learn how to structure a workout) and I could sort of instruct a workout for her over zoom. That is kind of what I am thinking the rest of my learning project will look like but I am open to any interesting suggestions about what you think I could include into the end of this project!

let me know

A Little #edtc400 Guidance and a Dash of Lockdown One Nostalgia

woman doing online yoga class
Photo by Tim Samuel on

Some #edtc400 advice…

For my first workout this week I took some advice from my #edtc400 mentor Caleb Lueck! At the start of the semester he recommended the YouTube channel HASfit. I scrolled through their channel and they have a whole bunch of beginner weight training videos and then also strength training videos for once you move past the beginner stages. After browsing around I decided to do the 15 Min Beginner Weight Training for Beginners Workout: Strength Training Dumbbell Workouts. My favorite part of the video was that they offered modified movements if you found some of the moves too difficult, I didn’t really find that I needed to use the modified movements except for the pushups. I can definitely see myself coming back to this channel. I think next time I would do a longer workout because surprisingly this one seemed too short.

Next, a little first lockdown throwback…

Since it has almost been a year since we went into our first lock down I figured I would do a little throwback workout. During the first lockdown the Chloe Ting workout channel was extremely popular, especially on TikTok. During first quarantine I did the 2 Weeks Shred Challenge with my mom and I think it was the first workout plan I’ve ever fully completed.


I find this funny if u don’t get it u will soon enough #greenscreen #everydayscience #hoopsathome #foryou #fyp #petvlog

♬ Chloe Tingggg – Savannah

So, for my second workout I decided to do Cloe Ting’s Get Abs in 2 WEEKS video. I chose this one because I haven’t really done any ab specific workout yet during this learning project. I also really like this video because it is short but it will have your abs burning the whole time.

Trying something new…

I probably had a little too much fun making this weeks learning project videos on Animoto! The app was very easy to use and I was surprised how well it worked for documenting workouts. I didn’t think I would like having text instead of doing a voiceover but I was pleasantly surprised. However, I would like to hear some feedback from you guys! If you have viewed some of my other blog posts what do you like better? The voice over or the text? Or if you have a different type of video suggestion let me know in the comments!

Classmate Recommendations For The Win

crop woman with laptop and dumbbell on sports mat
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

I was very busy this past week with papers and midterms, so the at-home type workout videos really came in handy because they are so quick and convenient. Thankfully, I didn’t even have to research for some good at-home videos because my classmates gave me so many good recommendations at the start of the semester!

First up…

For my first workout of the week I checked out the MadFit YouTube channel which Sydney Kawa recommended to me! I started off with the 10 MIN FULL UPPER BODY Workout and then decided that I would end with the 15 MIN TIKTOK DANCE PARTY WORKOUT (which I kind of ended up doing twice as you will see in my video). I actually really enjoyed both of these workouts! The only thing that I wasn’t a fan of was that during the dance workout there were ALOT of ads. But they did give me time to catch my breath so maybe they were strategically placed throughout the video – IDK. However, the ads weren’t a deal breaker or anything and I can definitely see myself going back to this channel for workouts!

Up next…

For my second video of the week I decided that I would try out the Nike Training Club App that Trista Kennett recommended! It was very easy to set up the app, you just had to make an account and then it asked you about your current physical activity.

I initially tried to set up an actual workout plan and I decided to do “Gym Strong” because it seemed the most fitting for strength and it incorporated gym equipment.

But after I looked at the workouts in each plan I realized that each piece of gym equipment that was required (pull up bar, rowing machine, medicine ball) my apartment gym did not have. And I also realized that the “Gym Strong” plan was the hardest of all the plans, so I decided that I would start out by just doing a couple of the video workouts on the app.

The yoga video was a last minute addition because the Bi’s and Tri’s video didn’t have a great cool down and I remembered that last week Alexandra Crammond recommended yoga as something that could help recovery from strength training!

Operation Strength Training: Podcast Edition

  • concept of sports training

If you haven’t already, you can go check out my blog post that documents my experience using Anchor to create my podcast for this week!

I’ve always thought my friends and I should start a podcast because, you know, we are so funny. Now here I am learning the ropes of podcasts to share this weeks strength training update with you and learning how podcasts can be used as an educational tool!

As you heard in my podcast, I actually dragged my butt to my apartment gym! It felt strange to not include any visual aspects so enjoy this short video of me taking my temperature so that I could actually go into the gym and then the one morning the gym was empty when I got there so I took a gym tour video!

I was actually excited that the gym was empty when I got there because I thought I would be able to video some of my workout to include but at the end of the video someone walked in (you can see me look over at them right at the end of the video bahaha) so then it would have just been too awkward to video myself.

Perks of Virtual Workouts

wake up and workout title on light box surface surrounded by colorful sport equipment
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Previously on Strength Training with Kassia…..

I figured that I would start this blog off with a little recap/reflection from last week. First off, the workout I did last week didn’t seem terribly hard while I was doing the workout and I had actually questioned if I under estimated myself and maybe took it too easy but oh boy was I wrong. The day after my workout my muscles got progressively more stiff as the day went on and the second day after my workout my muscles were very stiff in the morning and then progressively got better throughout the day. I guess the website wasn’t lying when they said 48 hours recovery after each workout.

Also, as I mentioned in last weeks blog, this week I decided I would focus on trying out various work out videos. I was very excited to get going with this week because I got so many good suggestions for classmates to try out! However, there was too many to fit all in one week, I might have to extend this theme to next week or maybe I will just incorporate them in each week along with with my original plan.

Best Idea Ever!

After my first learning project post, I received a reply on my twitter post from a fellow classmate, Caelyn Hembroff, suggesting we do a virtual workout together sometime. So, we got in contact and I asked her what she had in mind as she suggested we do an online barre class together. Since this week my focus was on following video workout I figured it was the perfect fit to do this week!

I had looked into barre classes before because I have heard that they are really good workouts but I have always been too chicken to actually sign up for a class and try it out. So, trying it out for the first time online seemed perfect because it is WAY less intimidating.

When it came down to picking a time and an actual class to do for our virtual workout it was actually fairly simple! We figured out when we were both free (and thankfully we have free time at the same time so it could work) and then Caelyn sent me a couple options that she figured would be good for someone just starting out and then I picked one. It was nice that we needed for the workout was hand held weights! I actually really enjoyed the class and the occasional thumbs up for support during the workout from Caelyn. The workout moves themselves were fairly simple but let me tell you that does not mean the were easy! When I tell you my legs were already SHAKING after the warm up, I am not even joking.

Up next…

For my next workout of the week I chose to do a workout through the Fitbit app. The workout was a 25 minute beginner upper body workout.

I think I would have enjoyed this workout more if I would have been able to follow along with the video on my laptop rather than on my phone because your phone screen is just too small. I also ran into the problem of not having the right sized weights to do this workout. I only have 2 pound weights and 10 pound weights which seemed to be too light or too heavy but that being said, even with the 2 pound weights, it was still a fairly good workout.

Last but not least…

I decided to finish this week off with an “off the bike” workout from Wheelhouse Live. I picked a video called “We all start somewhere” because throughout the video there was modifications for the exercises if you needed it. I really liked this workout because it incorporated all 5 of the beginner strength training exercises that I learned about last week!

Now that I have tried a video from some of the places I was originally thinking about, next week I hope to start trying some of the resources suggested to me because there are so many cool ones!

Am I stuck in my comfort zone? Or was it just really cold outside?

So, far I have actually enjoyed just doing the workouts from the comfort of my own room. I am not sure if this is because it is far less nerve racking than going to a gym or if I just really didn’t want to have to go outside because it was almost 50 below. Either way, this is strange for me because normally I am such a go out and do things type of person (if that makes any sort of sense). This is why I struggle with online learning because there is no going to class, studying at the library, or studying at coffee shops with friends – but this is besides the point. Just working out in my room is a good start but part of my goal for this project is to get comfortable and motivated in an actual gym setting. So, I am saying it right now that I WILL go to my apartments little gym next week.

Question Time

My question for everyone is what do you listen to while you workout? Does anyone listen to podcasts while working out? I also posted this on twitter because I normally listen to music. I have been wanting to start listening to podcasts because I love the idea of them but I just can’t seem to get myself into them. I am not sure if I am just not listening to good ones or if maybe they just aren’t my cup of tea. Does anyone else feel like this or is it just me?

First Day (Workout) Jitters

After last weeks post I was feeling very confident in my plan and I was ready to roll. However, after trying to do some more research for what exactly I should be doing these first couple weeks, with just handled weights and body weight, I quickly became bogged down with information. Not only did I have to look up half the terms some sites were using but every website seems to suggests similar but slightly different things and some just straight up contradict each other. I am also not really sure which sources will be giving me the most accurate information.

Like I mentioned last week, I managed to find my way onto fitness tik tok and this really did NOT help me try to figure out what is right and what is wrong. Also, normally I use tik tok for brain breaks but now every time I go on I just have to listen to contradicting information from people who probably aren’t even certified to be giving fitness advice (I think I need to find my way onto a different side of tik tok again).

So, long story short, I kind of gave up on trying to sort through website after website to find the best possible information and just realized I needed to simply pick one so that I can actually get started.

So, where did I end up finding my information you may ask…

I pretty much started my search over and just googled “Strength Training for Beginners” and went with the first website (that wasn’t an ad) – Strength Training For Beginners: The 5 Best Exercises (

I really liked how this website broke down strength training into 5 different maneuvers:

  • Hip-dominant (deadlifts, hinges, and swings)
  • Knee-dominant (squats and lunges)
  • Pushing movements (pushups, dips, and presses)
  • Pulling movements (rows and pull-ups)
  • Gait patterns, such as walking and running

Then, this was further broken down into simpler exercises for beginners to try which I liked.

  • Squats
  • Pushups
  • Planks
  • Deadlifts
  • Rows

However, what I didn’t like was that there were no videos or anything showing you how to do the exercises.


I ended up searching and finding another website How to Get Stronger With 7 Simple Exercises | SELF that had the same 5 exercises (plus two extra) as the other website. BUT this one has little GIF’s to go along with each exercise which I really liked! So, I finally decided that this week I will stick to squats, pushups (scared for this one), planks (this one too), deadlifts, and rows. The second website suggests 6-12 reps, 3-5 sets, and 2-5 minutes of rest between each set.

Slight change of plans or should I say scenery…

Right now the little gym in my apartment building can only have a maximum of three people at one time. I must have the worst timing because every time I tries to go down there at the end of last week it was ALWAYS full. This past Friday I had to go back to my hometown to coach learn to skate so while I was there I stopped at my parents house a took some of their hand weights so that if my gym is always full, I can still do these workouts in my bedroom – which is happened for this weeks workout (yes, I only managed to make myself workout once this week, I will do better I swear. I am aiming for 2-3 times a week).

I think for next week I am going to try and find some workout videos to do rather than structuring my own because it was very confusing and I still don’t really know what I am doing. Plus, I feel like following a workout video will also help me figure out how to structure my own workouts later on. I remembered that my new Fitbit came with a free trial of Fitbit premium and there are a bunch of workouts on there I will have to check out for next week.

Operation Strength Training

person holding black barbell
Photo by Victor Freitas on

Since the pandemic started, university has moved online, and sports/intramurals have been cancelled my physical activity levels have seriously dropped. Everyday I just sit at my desk and do zoom classes, pre-recorded lectures, readings, and assignments. I am averaging anywhere between 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day which is far below my 10,000 step goal I used to easily achieve. I honestly never would have thought that I would miss walking to classes, even in forty below weather. To go along with this, my sleep schedule was also way out of wack because I would be up late every night trying to get as much done as possible and then in the mornings I would always sleep in because you know with asynchronous classes I don’t HAVE TO get up early to do them. So, I made my first ever new years resolution to be more active and I figured this class would be perfect to sort of force me to stay on track.

In the past, on the rare occasion I do go to the gym, I go with high expectations to try the machines but there is always other people in there so I chicken out and just end up doing cardio the whole time (which I like to tell myself is better than nothing). Of course, since my Tik Tok algorithm knows me so well I keep seeing videos about other people that have the same kind of gym anxiety.


The gym anxiety is real ✨ @chenoaajohnson #fyp #fitness

♬ Lofi – Domknowz

So, I have created a plan to slowly ease myself into strength training:

  • Step 1: Start simple by learning various exercises with handheld weights in the comfort of the little gym in my apartment complex.
  • Step 2: Learn how to use the couple weight machines in my apartments little gym.
  • Step 3: Start actually using my Planet Fitness gym membership and begin learning the weight machines there.
  • Step 4: Learn how to effectively structure a workout using those machines so I can really look like what I am doing.
  • Step 5: This could quite possibly be the most nerve-racking step because it involves going to the scariest areas in planet fitness which is where the free weights and Smith machines are. However, my ultimate goal of strength training is pretty much learning how to use the Smith machine.

Normally, I would be a lot more comfortable working out with a friend because then you can kind of help guide each other but since we are in a pandemic, you aren’t allowed to buddy workout (or at least that’s what it says at Planet fitness) but I feel so awkward and lost by myself. But I am sure this will go away once I figure out all the machines and actually know what I am doing.

I also honestly like the idea of learning this from online sources because the idea of having like a personal trainer just also sounds scary. Since I seem to have found my way on to fitness Tik Tok lately, I have seen lots of accounts trying to help ease this gym anxiety by showing how to set up and properly use various machines. I even followed an account of a Planet Fitness employee showing their machines so I think that will be helpful. I also have Fitbit premium and they have a bunch of online workouts that I will have to go through and see if they will help at all. Other than that I think my main plan will be a lot of YouTube videos, googling questions and also searching for new apps that may help.

If anyone has any suggestions about good resources or some tips to help get me going, they would be greatly appreciated!

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