spoonful of a guest post! taking the leap to a specialized gym

hey friends!

i can’t tell you how happy i am to introduce you to a blog friend! she is the reason i did jamie eason’s live fit trainer as well as looked into crossfit! kinda cool how the blog world can connect us with so many great people huh?! she also one of my favorite blogs to keep up with and a utah native! woot!!! so without further adue…meet janetha!


Hey there! My name is Janetha and I blog over and meals & moves. I am honored that Jessie has asked me to post here today.

Months ago, Jessie asked me to write up a post about my transition from a “regular” gym (I used to go to Gold’s Gym) to a “specialty” gym (I now go to a gym called GPP Fit.) And, yes, I said months ago. Punctuality is not my strong suit. To be honest, one of the reasons my gym transition has been so beneficial is because of the TIME I save. Clearly I do not have a lot of free time, or I would have delivered this post back in August when Jessie initially asked me!

So, let me tell you a little bit about my gym history.  I had been working out at Gold’s Gym since 2008. I am a workout program junkie, I love to follow plans! I started out with Body for Life where I learned to lift weights and developed a love for strength training. Since then, I have done other plans including Insanity and Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer. What can I say? I am a big fan of someone telling me what to do!

When I wasn’t following a specific plan, I would make up workouts on my own. I never was big into group classes at Gold’s because I felt that I didn’t get the most bang for my buck—meaning the most benefit for the time spent in the gym.  Instead, I did my own thing at Gold’s. On cardio days, I would do some form of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) because I absolutely despise steady-state cardio. I get bored easily! On strength training days, I would focus on only one or two muscles. I would often split my lifting days into chest & triceps, back & biceps, shoulders, and lower body.  I would focus on those muscles for the entire workout which typically lasted one hour! Looking back, I am kind of floored at how much time I spent in the gym!

Last April, I hosted a challenge on my blog called Adventurous April. I challenged myself and my readers to step outside of our comfort zones and do things we’d never do. The challenge fell right in line with one of my favorite quotes:

Ah, isn’t that so true?! I say that to myself all the time!

Anyway, as a part of Adventurous April, I challenged myself to go to a different gym that is in my area—GPP Fit. I had been meaning to try GPP for over a year, but I never had the guts to do so. I always thought of all GPP-ers as “superfits” and I was so intimidated by the facility! Then, thanks to my challenge, I finally bit the bullet and tried GPP on for size.

Wouldn’t you know it, it was not bad at all! I don’t know what I was so afraid of. Everyone at GPP was welcoming and encouraging. The workout was short and fast, but I know it was effective thanks to the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) I had in my body the very next day!

I slowly transitioned from Gold’s Gym to GPP Fit. I would do a few workouts each week at the two gyms. Before I knew it, I was working out at GPP exclusively. In July, my Gold’s Gym membership expired. I didn’t even notice, because I had been going to GPP every day instead!

While I was a little nervous about some workouts at first, I slowly came around to being able to commit to ANY workout of the day, no matter what moves it included. Before July of this year, I had never done a handstand. I was terrified of them! Then, on July 11th, the GPP workout had handstand pushups on the agenda. I freaked out! I almost bailed! I even wrote a big long post about it! I was scared, it was hard, but I did it. And guess what? Now I do handstands all the time.

Another cool thing—I saw BIG changes in my body in just the first few months at my new gym. I couldn’t believe that I was working out significantly less but seeing such drastic changes so quickly. Thanks to my years at Gold’s, I did have a great muscular base. But it wasn’t until I really challenged my body with new, efficient workouts at GPP every day that I started to see crazy changes. I had always despised my undefined arms and back. I had actually pretty much accepted the fact that defined arms were not in my gene pool.

I was wrong. I just hadn’t been doing the right kinds of workouts! I had been doing arm workouts week in and week out, but they were never as effective as the workouts at GPP. When I look at photos of my arms NOW, I am proud of them and happy with my hard work. It has paid off.

I know that sounds a tad vain, but you have to admit that we all have a little vanity in us. Yes, we work out to feel good and be healthy, but there also is a part in all of us that wants to look good, too.  When we are happy with our body, we are happier overall.

However, my transition from my old gym to my new gym has many more benefits than what meets the eye. The health benefits I have experienced are INCREDIBLE.  At GPP, I run less distance, I lift for less time, and I devote significantly less of my day to working out… but somehow, I have improved. I can run farther… faster. I can lift heavier. I can feel the improvements and gains in my cardiovascular system and my muscle capabilities. My more efficient and effective workouts in the gym are allowing me more time, energy, and strength to get out and ENJOY life.  That’s why we exercise anyway, right? We want to be healthy and strong enough to love our lives. I now am able to do active activities better—such as wakeboarding, rock climbing, and running.

I was also able to complete Tough Mudder in October (I know Jessie did this, too!) with, dare I say it, ease. Aside from getting electrocuted between the eyes, that is… but no workout could prep me for that!

In fact, I completed the race, which was by far the hardest physical challenge of my life, without ANY training aside from my daily 20-30 minute workouts. IT’S FLIPPING CRAZY, guys. I don’t get it. I don’t know the method behind the madness, I just know it works.

As you know, Jessie has recently transitioned to a Crossfit gym. My gym, GPP Fit, is not Crossfit and the programming is very different, but it does have a few similarities:

  • There is a planned daily workout ready for you to follow when you arrive.
  • Workouts take an average of 30 minutes, usually less!
  • There is a strong community of like-minded individuals.
  • One-on-one training and encouragement is included with each workout.
  • You are constantly challenged—mentally AND physically—to do things you typically would not try.
  • Workouts differ each and every day which makes it hard for your body to even think about a plateau.

As you can see, there are many pros to going to a small specialty gym. I love that I just have to show up to the gym and do whatever is on the board for the day! What I love even more is all the friendships I have made and the support I receive from my newfound fit friends!

If you have any doubts about trying a smaller specialty gym in your area, I urge you to throw them out the window and give it a shot. You never know, it may change your life. I know it changed mine!

Thanks again to Jessie for having me and thanks to all of you for reading. Have a great day!

Xo. Janetha G


  • Pavement Runner
    December 7, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Funny how one change can totally help with making you fit in different ways. Always nice to mix things up and challenge your body in a new way.

  • […] guest posts,tips hey! i wrote a guest post for jessie. check it out. it’s about switching from gold’s gym to […]

  • Julie
    December 7, 2012 at 3:10 am

    Great guest post. I love the quote and have been inspired to do quick but effective workouts like those.

  • Calee
    December 7, 2012 at 4:54 am

    I love this post. I’m planning to start a membership to Surefire Fitness in Ames (Jeff from Surefire and Neil from GPP should become friends!). I’ve dabbled in going, but never became a full-on junkie because I was always doing my own thing. I never really gave them a good chance. After seeing Janetha’s results from GPP I’m dying to go back to Surefire, but I’m waiting for my yoga membership to run out ($100 a month … not good for 2 places … esp. if I hardly ever go to the one).

  • Corrie Anne
    December 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I love to be on a plan too. I waste a looot of time if I get to the gym without one. I’ve looked into some other gyms in my area, but haven’t found the right fit yet. I do love my small biz gym that I go to, but it doesn’t have the classes or anything. 🙂

  • Purely Michelle
    December 7, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    great tips! still have yet to try workouts like this, for now I love my home workouts 🙂


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