Going to the gym: expectations vs reality

November 18, 2016
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Going to the gym can either be refreshing and satisfying or the most excruciatingly boring task you will ever have to force yourself to do.

Movies are misleading – they show an already fit person jogging, hair still perfectly intact and sparkling with sweat. I mean, if this actually sounds like you at the gym, then I salute you! You don’t have to read this article. But for the heavy breathing, sweat dripping, can’t-jog-for-more-than-five-minutes-on-the-treadmill gym-goers like myself, these are the expectations that don’t always happen.

Waking up at the crack of dawn

Expectation: Your alarm wakes you up at 5am to hit the gym before work. You wake up refreshed and ready, have a healthy breakfast and are excited to start your day. The birds are tweeting outside, the early sun is beaming through your window. It’s going to be a good day!

Reality: Your shrill alarm jolts you awake. Bleary eyed, you wipe the drool from your chin. You look outside and see it’s still dark outside. If the sun isn’t up yet, you shouldn’t be. *Hits snooze*

How you think you look

Expectation: You are looking awesome in your Lorna Jane crop top and yoga pants. Your hair is brushed, your skin is glowing and you feel ready and determined.

Reality: You’ve just woken up so you fish an old pair of shorts out of the dirty laundry basket. You brush your hair with your fingers. No one is going to know if you wear your pyjama top, right?  You trudge through the gym in a daze and people wince at the sight of you. You realise you forgot to brush your teeth. Oh well, at least you’re trying!

Working out

Expectation: You hit the gym at a time when the machines are all empty and you’ve got the whole gym to yourself. You have a go on every machine and get a full work out. Before you know it, an hour has gone past. Why not stay another hour? You’re killing it.

Reality: You arrive at the gym when every single person in the world has decided to go as well. Nearly all the machines are taken so you stick with what you know; the treadmill. You jog (*cough* walk) for what seems like hours but it’s only been five minutes. You’re breathing heavily, beads of sweat start rolling down your back and you begin to question your decision of wearing a grey shirt. It’s probs time to call it a day.

Zumba your way to fitness

Expectation: You take some extra Zumba and Pilate classes to build up those core muscles. Damn son, you’re looking good and everyone knows it. The instructor loves you, everyone wants your energy. Why haven’t you done this sooner? WOO! FEEL THE BURN.

Reality: You pull a muscle on the first day, and take a month off to recover.


Expectation: After a couple of workouts you expect washboard abs and a perfect bubble butt. You expect you will need to take in all of your jeans, surely they’ll be way too big for you now!

Reality: Your thighs are burning and squatting to sit on the toilet is agonising. You’ll keep looking down to your stomach every five minutes during a workout thinking, “is it working yet? Maybe I shouldn’t have had that bagel for breakfast...”

Leaving the gym

Expectation: You’ve had a productive start to the day, now you’ll have a light salad for lunch and feel good for the rest of your day.

Reality: *cancels gym membership*

Sophie Nicolas

Sophie is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts and is an aspiring writer, dog enthusiast and thrift shop fashion icon.

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