Experience of Blogging

This was my first experience of ever having a blog. I enjoyed it for the most part. Finding a topic that my readers would thoroughly enjoy was difficult at times. The most effective tools throughout blogging was knowing HTML. I did not use it often, but there was a blog I created which needed a table, and there was no table option under the visual tab on wordpress. Knowing how to code in a table was extremely helpful! In my opinion, the least effective tool/module that was covered this semester was covering photo editing skills. With the prevalence of social media today, most people already have a general concept of how to edit a photo. However, I did enjoy being introduced to a new photo editing tool. I have never used pixlr before working with the online module.

If I choose to continue this blog, I would like to have blog topics of interest to my readers. It would also be nice to improve the amount of followers/readers that I have on my blog. The experience of having a blog on wordpress could absolutely benefit me in the future. My major is Public Relations, and WordPress is used for more than just a blogging tool. Websites can also be created on wordpress, which could benefit me with future clients in the field of Public Relations.


My most popular week on my blog was October 19th – October 25. There were 54 readers that visited my site that week, all located within the United States. I had no idea there were that many people who were viewing my blogs. My most popular post of the year was, “Great Gym Options in the San Marcos Area.” This blog post received 45 views, and I have no idea why this post was the most popular. It would be neat if wordpress had statistics which showed the city of the viewer. I promoted on twitter with the TXST hash tag. Since my post was about San Marcos, it could be the reason my blog had so many views. In all of the site stats data, I was overall surprised to see how many viewers I had. All together, I had 79 views. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s a lot more than I had anticipated. When viewing my twitter analytics, I discovered the tweet that had the most views was my post on back workouts.

You can view and interact with all that I have tweeted to promote my blog this semester by clicking here!

How Not to be a Gym DoucheBag


Photocred: google images

The past couple days I have been pondering on what to write about in this gym blog. During my gym session yesterday I was working my Back and Bis, and something happened that really aggravated me. I then had a sudden Ah-ha! moment. I found a subject for my next blog. “How NOT to be a Gym Douche-bag.”
I was doing preacher curls, when a man approached me and asked if I would mind alternating between sets. Of course, I do not mind sharing equipment when the gym is busy. Everyone is there for the same reasons, and needs to get their workout in, so I agreed. When I began my next set, he moved and walked in front of me, grabbed my arm, and began to spot me without asking permission.  Just because I allow you to share equipment with me, does not suddenly make us best-friends and give you permission to touch me. I disregarded the man,  and moved to a different equipment machine to work a different muscle group with hopes that he wouldn’t follow me.

Douche-bag rule #1: Do not run up to spot strangers in the gym. If they are uncertain about the weight they’re lifting and need a spot, they will ask.

I began doing bent over rows on the smith machine when mid-set, I glanced over and saw him standing there. Suddenly, he too felt the need to begin working out his back. He avoided making eye contact with me, and only looked my way when I was not looking in his direction. Newsflash: The walls of most gyms are covered with mirrors. It is easy to spot when you are staring at me even if I am not physically looking in your direction.

Douche-bag rule #2: Do not stalk the opposite sex. We are not prey. We are in the gym to work-out just as you are.

Once again, I disregarded the man and continued with my workout. If I ignore him, he’ll go away. (So I thought.) I began my next set, when I felt a hand on my lower back! Now, not only is he looking at me, he is trying to give me guidance on how to perform the exercise without straining my back. Although, I always appreciate constructive criticism, I knew I was doing the workout correctly and he had other intentions.

Douche-bag rule #3: Do not approach women in the gym and offer guidance. If they are confused on how to properly execute a workout, they will ask someone.

At this point I politely asked him to leave me alone, so I could continue with my workout. alone. Note taken.. Ladies! Do not be afraid to speak up and tell a man to leave you alone if he is stalking you in the gym.

Other douche-bag rules that can be easily avoided:

Douche-bag rule #4: Do not lift your shirt to take flex photos while working out.

Douche-bag rule #5: Do not practice your stage poses while other people are trying to lift. This can be done at home in front of a mirror. There is no need to go to the gym, to get in someone’s way if you aren’t lifting.

Douche-bag rule #6: Do not yell as loud as possible when lifting heavy weights. Breathe. 

Douche-bag rule #7: Chalk helps lift, but don’t get it all over the place. I once left a gym completely covered in chalk without using chalk my entire workout. Douche-bag.

Douche-bag rule #8:  Rack Your Weights! I’m not sure why I didn’t think to put this one higher, because of it’s importance.

IMG_3542Douche-bag rule #9:  Wipe down your equipment after you use it. I hate to break it to you, but no one wants to lay in your sweat.

Douche-bag rule #10: Do not bring a duffel bag full of your supplements to lay them out on the bench during your workout. There is no need for having entire buckets. Two words: Ziploc baggies!

One of my favorite videos at the moment is on what it’s like to be a woman at the gym. I thought of this video yesterday when this had happened to me and I’d love to share it with you all. Check it out!

Please comment below if you have any other “Douche-bag rules”. I’m interested to hear more!



Chest day


Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press


In performing this exercise, you want to focus on pushing the bar using your chest muscles. Ideally, lowering the weight towards your chest should take twice as long as it should to raise it back to the starting position. If you are new at this exercise, it is advised that you use a spotter. If no spotter is available, then be conservative with the amount of weight used. Also, beware of letting the bar drift too far forward. You want the bar to touch your middle chest and nowhere else. Don’t bounce the weight off your chest. You should be in full control of the barbell at all times.

  1. Lie back on a flat bench. Using a medium width grip (a grip that creates a 90-degree angle in the middle of the movement between the forearms and the upper arms), lift the bar from the rack and hold it straight over you with your arms locked. This will be your starting position.
  2. From the starting position, breathe in and begin coming down slowly until the bar touches your middle chest.
  3. After a brief pause, push the bar back to the starting position as you breathe out.
  4. Lock your arms and squeeze your chest in the contracted position at the top of the motion, hold for a second and then start coming down slowly again.
  5. Repeat

Standing Cable Crossover


The main muscle being worked by this exercise is your chest. Keep in mind that throughout the movement, the arms and torso should remain stationary; the movement should only occur at the shoulder joint. Keep focused on your form, and concentrate on using your chest muscles when pulling the cables to the front.

  1. Place the pulleys on a high position (above your head), select the resistance to be used and hold the pulleys in each hand
  2. Step forward in front of an imaginary straight line between both pulleys while pulling your arms together in front of you. Your torso should have a small forward bend from the waist (This will be your starting position)
  3. With a slight bend on your elbows in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon, extend your arms to the side (straight out at both sides) in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest
  4. Return your arms back to the starting position as you breathe out. Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower the weights.
  5. Hold for a second at the starting position and repeat the movement

Dumbbell Chest Flys


Once again, the main muscle targeted during this exercise is your chest. Keep focused on your form, and concentrate on using your chest muscles when pulling the dumbbells back to the starting position. Keep in mind that the movement will only happen at the shoulder joint and at the wrist. There is no motion that happens at the elbow joint.

  1. Hold a dumbbell on each hand and lie on an incline bench that is set to an incline angle of no more than 30 degrees.
  2. Extend your arms above you with a slight bend at the elbows.
  3. Now rotate the wrists so that the palms of your hands are facing you. (Tip: The pinky fingers should be next to each other). This will be your starting position.
  4. As you breathe in, start to slowly lower the arms to the side while keeping the arms extended and while rotating the wrists until the palms of the hand are facing each other.
  5. As you exhale start to bring the dumbbells back up to the starting position by reversing the motion and rotating the hands so that the pinky fingers are next to each other again.
  6. Repeat

Other great Chest workouts can be found at BodyBuilding.com

My daily gym routine

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Thought it would be fun to give you a little view of what my daily gym routine is. I always begins with a little pre-workout to give myself energy. After a long day of work and classes, I can always use a little extra energy to help me get through my workout. After getting to the gym, I always enjoy beginning with a little cardio to help get my heart rate up. After 5-10 minutes of running on the treadmill, its time to lift. It is important to keep your heart rate up in between reps of exercises. (30 sec of jumping jacks, jogging in place, mountain climbers, burpees.. etx). Your body uses body fat and glucose (sugars) as fuel during workouts. After a long hard workout, you should reward your body. Blueberries and other fruits contain a lot of natural sugars, that are good to consume after a workout.


Time to hit those Biceps! Here are three of my favorite bicep workouts.

Standing Barbell Biceps Curl

When performing this exercise, it is important to only move your forearms to get the most out of your curl. Make sure to keep your elbows pinned toward the front of your body, and don’t let them move! Your hips, wrists, back and neck should remain neutral. You can also perform this movement using a straight bar attachment hooked to a low pulley. This variation seems to really provide a good contraction at the top of the movement.

standingcurlone standingcurltwo


  1. Stand up with your torso upright while holding a barbell at a shoulder-width grip. The palm of your hands should be facing forward and the elbows should be close to the torso. This will be your starting position.
  2. While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out.
  3. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level.
  4. Hold the contracted position for a second and squeeze the biceps hard.
  5. Slowly begin to bring the bar back to starting position as your breathe in.
  6. Repeat

Hammer Curls

This exercise targets your biceps. It is important to keep good form when performing this exercise to achieve maximum results. Just as described on the last exercise (standing barbell biceps curl) it is important to keep your elbows stationary, and to only move your forearm. There are many possible variations for this movement. For instance, you can perform the exercise sitting down on a bench with or without back support and you can also perform it by alternating arms; first lift the right arm for one repetition, then the left, then the right, etc.



  1. Stand up with your torso upright and a dumbbell on each hand being held at arms length. The elbows should be close to the torso. The palms of the hands should be facing your torso. This will be your starting position.
  2. Now, while holding your upper arm stationary, exhale and curl the weight forward while contracting the biceps.
  3. Continue to raise the weight until the biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbell is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a brief moment as you squeeze the biceps.
  4. Repeat

Standing Biceps Cable Curl

The main muscle worked in this exercise are the Biceps. There are different variations to this exercise as well. You can also perform this movement using an E-Z barbell attachment or single handles.

cablecurlone cablecurltwo


  1. Stand up with your torso upright while holding a cable curl bar that is attached to a low pulley.
  2. Grab the cable bar at shoulder width and keep the elbows close to the torso. The palm of your hands should be facing up (supinated grip). This will be your starting position.
  3. While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Only the forearms should move
  4. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level and hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the muscle.
  5. Slowly begin to bring the curl bar back to starting position as your breathe in
  6. Repeat

Try some other great bicep workouts from BodyBuilding.com


Once, you’ve found a gym that you enjoy it’s time to get your workout on! It is important to focus on different muscle groups each day you work out. This will prevent you from overexerting or straining your muscles. I will be posting different workouts per muscle group, along with photos of what the exercise should look like. I will provide 3 exercises per muscle group. You don’t have to perform the exercises in any particular order. Today I want to focus on the back muscle.

Wide-Grip Lat Pull-Down.

The main muscles this exercise focuses on are the lats. In doing this exercise try to concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once reaching the full contracted position. There are different variations to lat-pull downs. Medium and Close-grip pull downs are used with the same movements, however the grip on the bar is different for each. For Medium-grip, the shoulders need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width, and for close grip your shoulders should be at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.

pulldowntwo pulldownone


  1. Sit down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Make sure that you adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.
  2. Grab the bar with the palms facing forward, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than your shoulder width.
  3. As you have both arms extended in front of you, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.
  4. As you breathe out, bring the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back.
  5. After a second in the contracted position, while squeezing your shoulder blades together, slowly raise the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched. (Inhale during this portion of the movement)
  6. Repeat

Wide-Grip Rear Pull-Up

This is an expert level exercise and can be difficult for beginners. If you are new to this exercise and do not have the strength to perform it, an assist machine may be used to help push your body weight. If there is not an assistance machine present, a spotter can help by holding your legs and assist in lifting your body weight. In performing this exercise it is important to concentrate on squeezing your back muscles once reaching the full contracted position.



  1. Grab the pull-up bar with the palms facing forward using a wide grip.
  2. As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar, bring your torso forward and head so that there is an imaginary line from the pull-up bar to the back of your neck. This is your starting position.
  3. Pull your torso up until the bar is near the back of your neck. (To do this, draw the shoulders and upper arms down and back while slightly leaning your head forward)
  4. After a second on the contracted position, start to inhale and slowly lower your torso back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched.
  5. Repeat


This is an intermediate level exercise which works the middle back. In performing this exercise it is important to concentrate on squeezing your back muscles once reaching the full contracted position. Also, be certain to ensure perfect form and never slouch the back forward as this can cause back injury. If you have back problems, I would not recommend performing this exercise. A low pulley row is a better option for those with back issues.



  1. Stand erect while holding a barbell with a pronated grip (palms facing out).
  2. Bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward, by bending at the waist, while keeping the back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor.(Make sure that you keep the head up. The barbell should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso) This is your starting position.
  3. While keeping the torso stationary, lift the barbell as you breathe out, keeping the elbows close to the body and not doing any force with the forearm other than holding the weights
  4. Slowly lower the weight again to the starting position as you inhale.
  5. Repeat

Other great back exercises can be found at BodyBuilding.com

Eating Clean

Seeing results from all your hard work spent in the gym have a lot to do with healthy eating habits. Changing your diet is difficult at first, but there are healthy alternatives to eating your favorite meals. I highly recommend checking out Kevin Curry’s blog, at fitmencook.com.

photo credit: fitmencook.com

photo credit: fitmencook.com

Kevin has a transformation story of his own and is great in the kitchen. Kevin began an Instagram account posting healthy recipes which reached over a million followers! He now has his own site built, fitmencook.com and a recipe book as well titled, “No Cheats Needed”. Kevin is also the go-to-guy for eating healthy on BodyBuilding.com.

There are hundreds of healthy recipes that can be found online that are often boring, and flavorless. However, Kevin Curry’s fitmencook recipes are unique in comparison to others. He believes that, “Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring”. There is always a new recipe that will scroll across my screen that grabs my attention and gets me excited about trying. Another Unique thing about his website, is that he provides macros for every single recipe. This is great when you are keeping count, and makes eating healthy a lot easier. Following fitmencook on all social media basis’ have helped inspire me to continue eating healthy, as I’m certain it will for you as well.

IMG_3512I just went grocery shopping, and bought a lot of vegetables, fruits, and foods which are high in protein to continue my healthy diet! I recommend you view Kevin’s site if you haven’t already, to become excited about healthy eating! The fitmencook blog/website has not only encouraged me to eat healthy, but has also encouraged me to change my lifestyle. Remember, muscles are made in the kitchen, and sculpted in the gym! You can view Kevin’s social media by clicking on any of the following links below! Let’s get fit!

Blog/Website     Twitter     Instagram     YouTube     Facebook

Other great gym options in San Marcos Texas!



(Photo credit: Metroflex)

Location: 413 Riverside Dr. San Marcos, TX.

If you are looking to train to compete, this is the gym for you. Metroflex is a gym that is serious about training and caters to body building competitors. This is where you come to push your body to it’s limits and overcome them. If you enjoy doing a lot of cardio, this probably isn’t your kind of gym. There are a couple of treadmills that are offered, but once again, this gym is catered to those who come to lift. Alternatively, this gym does offer equipment welcoming calisthenics, plyometrics and a multitude of other forms of training. These are a great substitute to running on the treadmill that actually engages all core muscles.

There is a sparring cage along with other boxing equipment (heavy bags and speed bags). If you plan to sweat (a lot) and get a good workout in, this is the place to do it. There is no AC, however there are garage doors that open up to provide a cool breeze from time to time. Unlike many gyms, this gym offers a daycare for those who have children and are eager to train. There are also competition prep coaches that are ready to assist with all aspects of contest prep; including diet and posing routines. To sum it all up, this is a gym to T R A I N.

Membership costs are $30+tax monthly or day passes are available.

If you are interested in this gym, or would like to read testimonials to learn more you can check out their website here.



Location: 2626 Hunter Rd Suite San Marcos, TX.

Str8 Training is a 24 hour gym, whose mission is to offer clientele a diverse, productive, and affordable means of exercise that is supervised by a fitness professional. If you are completely new to fitness training and lifting, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get a personal trainer. The trainers at Str8 training base their workouts based on the clients fitness goals. The facility was created to hit all facets of a complete workout: cardio, circuit, body weight and weight training). This gym also offers a daycare for children.

Memberships come with classes or an accountability session with a trainer and begin as low as $79 a month. To learn more about Str8 Training, their website is viewable here.

Choosing the right gym

Choosing the gym for you can be a difficult process, but I’m here to help out with that. In San Marcos alone, there are a variety of options. For this blog, I will share with you a couple different gyms in the San Marcos area and provide you with membership prices along with a link to their site so you can learn more about it. Don’t worry, I’ll post more options for gyms in the next couple of days if you aren’t a fan of these!

The Rec


Location: 601 University Dr, San Marcos, TX 78666

The Rec is an on-campus gym for Texas State students. Great thing about being a student at Texas State, is your tuition pays for it. It stands 3 stories high, and offers a variety of activities for student. On the first floor, the rec has a full sized weight room consisting of free weights and machines along with an elevated floor surrounding the perimeter with cardio machines (treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, stair-climbers, row machines etc.) On the same floor there is a rock-wall that scales the entire 3 stories of the building. Nothing’s better than a full body workout, while enjoying a little rock-climbing.. For those who don’t enjoy lifting as much, the Rec offers a full lap pool, along with volleyball, basketball, and racket-ball courts.  The Second floor of the Rec offers an indoor track that looks down to the volleyball and basketball courts. There are also workout classes (zumba, yoga, etc.) that are offered at various times throughout the night and can be found in classrooms on this floor as well. Not many people know about the third floor, because there’s rarely anyone up there. However, the third floor has punching bags, and other boxing equipment available. The only downfall to the Rec is that it’s often pretty crowded. But, overall the it is a great gym, and offers a great variety of activities.

Here, you can find all of the fitness classes that the Texas State Rec has to offer, along with the times that the gym is open.

San Marcos Activity Center (SMAC)smac

(Photo Credit: SMAC)

Location: 126 S L B J Dr, San Marcos, TX 78666

The San Marcos Activity Center (SMAC) can be found in the heart of beautiful downtown San Marcos. This gym has been around since 1976, and is prideful of the many individuals who have trained here and have placed in nationally ranked body-building competitions. Photos of these competitors hang on the wall as daily motivation for those who aspire to be in as good of shape as them. This gym is a little cramped and a little rustier than others, but does the trick to getting in shape. There are a few treadmills and a couple ellipticals offered for cardio, but this gym is set-up for heavy lifting. The membership fee is very reasonable, and actually cheaper for women! What you would normally spend on a membership monthly at any other gym is what the cost of a full year membership is at SMAC. This gym doesn’t get as crowded as others in the San Marcos area, which is what I love most about it. If you are interested in SMAC, you can learn more by visiting their website here.

Membership Rates:

Men                                               Women                                        Day Pass

1 month – $27.00                          1 month – $17.00                         $2.00

2 months – $47.00                        2 months – $31.00

3 months – $69.00                        3 months – $44.00

6 months – $130.00                      6 months – $80.00

1 year – $185.00                            1 year – $135.00

What goes in this gym bag I just bought?

  • So you just purchased your very first gym bag.. Congrats! Now, what the heck goes inside it?! Believe it or not, it took me months of going to the gym to realize what exactly goes into a gym bag.. I always saw people walking around with gym bags, but never really understood why. (I honestly carried one around practically empty, so I’d fit in). I’ll save you the trouble now by letting you know what to pack for your gym bag! gymbag
  • A pair of lifting gloves!

First off, You probably should invest in a pair of lifting gloves if you haven’t already. You can purchase them at any sports store; Academy, Dick’s, Sport’s Authority.. Walmart even carries them! Purchasing them before your work-out will save you from a world of pain. I didn’t know about lifting gloves, and my hands got extremely rough and callused. Ladies, let’s keep our hands soft as they should be.. Men, chances are you’re lifting heavier weights so gloves wouldn’t be a bad idea for you either!

  • Headphones!

Secondly, you want to be sure and pack a pair of headphones. This one’s probably self-explanatory… Music keeps you motivated. Also, who want’s to work out to the sound of men huffing-and-puffing around you while they’re getting their work-out on..

  • Hand-towel

You should also pack a towel. Not a beach towel. A hand towel. Work-outs can get pretty intense, and it’s inevitable that you’ll sweat. A towel won’t hurt to wipe the sweat out of your face from time to time. If you plan on showering and cleaning up in the locker room after your workout, a bath towel would be important to add also.

  • Water

Be sure to pack yourself a water bottle. If you bring a shaker cup, it may be a little easier to re-fill throughout your workout. They’re available at any nutrition store (NutriShop, Complete Nutrition, GNC). It’s extremely important to stay hydrated while you workout, and throughout the remainder of the day! You should be drinking about a gallon of water a day. This is why you often see a lot of people carrying around gallon water jugs. Sounds like a lot of water, but I’ll provide you with a neat little tip that i picked up. click here

  • 2-in-1 soap, change of clothes, and shower shoes!

Soap is not a bad thing to pack in your bag, especially if you plan on going to class or work directly after going to the gym! Almost every gym has a locker room with showers to rinse of in after your workout. Also, don’t forget your shower shoes! You don’t know who showered before you, and shower floors are notorious for repositories of Fungi. Last thing you want is Athletes Foot or any other fungal disease.

  • Deodorant

Probably one of the most important items. Another self explanatory one, but most people actually forget to pack it! Deodorant is a must have when going to the gym.