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Molly Struve (she/her)
Molly Struve (she/her)

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Secrets From Fellow Techies on How to Start A Workout Routine

Disclaimer: This is not a technical post! However, the advice and suggestions given are from lots of technical people that I think many of us can relate to which is why I thought it would be worth it to share

Everyone wants to live a healthy lifestyle and feel good about themselves and their body. But figuring out how to achieve that is hard. Recently, Saron Yitbarek asked her Twitter family for advice on how she could help get herself into a workout routine despite hating working out.

The response was overwhelming and it caught my attention. There were many fantastic ideas thrown out so I took the time to compile a summary list of the top responses. Here they are!

Eliminate any decision making

Consider super short workouts

Start SLOW!!!!

Mix it up

“I hated feeling out of shape more than I hate running”

Listen to audiobooks

Workout early in the morning

Or, use it as a hard stop for your workday

Get a trainer

Orange Theory got a few 👍

Reward yourself after a workout

Use social media to hold yourself accountable

Anything is better than nothing

Try an out of the box workout

Understand the biology of working out

Track your progress

Find something you don't dread

Have a friend or workout buddy hold you accountable

Make it part of your identity

One tweet also had a list of book recommendations that might be worth reading if you are interested in learning more about what it takes to form a habit like working out.

In the end, you have to do what works for you. And what works for you might be completely different from everyone else and that is OK! Hopefully, if you are looking to start your own workout routine, these tweets gave you some ideas to help get you started. Now get out there and start crushing it!

You got this gif with Amy Pohler

Top comments (9)

derek profile image
derek • Edited

Treat it like TDD.

Because uncle Petey always said...

uncle bo pete

// health_test.go
package health

import (

func TestStregth(t *testing.T) {
    var previous = 10
    t.Run("it should lift more weight than 'previous'", func(t *testing.T) {
        weight := previous + 20

        ok, err := liftKG(weight)
        if err != nil {
            log.Printf("couldn't lift %d KG", weight)

        if ok {
            log.Printf("lifted %d KG", weight)

func TestSpeed(t *testing.T) {
    var previous = 6
    t.Run("it should run faster than 'previous'", func(t *testing.T) {
        speed := previous + 2

        ok, err := runKPH(speed)
        if err != nil {
            log.Printf("couldn't run %d KPH", speed)

        if ok {
            log.Printf("ran %d KPH", speed)
darksmile92 profile image
Robin Kretzschmar

Hey Molly,

thanks for taking the time to read and filter those comments!

After living in a different city during the week for work reasons, I started training 2 times a week in the morning.
I had gained a little weight and went to the gym in the morning because I was uncomfortable training with "so many others" in the evening. I was afraid of being judged.

After about two weeks it was no problem for me to get up at 4 o'clock and be in the studio at 5 o'clock.

I packed my training bag the night before, set the clothes I wanted to wear for work (right after the gym) and prepared my breakfast (for at work after training).

After a while my training stagnated and I sought help from a personal trainer. In the beginning we met in the studio at the same time as before and trained together. That gave me a huge motivation boost.
What was positive for me about this was that I had fixed appointments with the trainer twice a week in the morning and so had less excuses and an "inner obligation" in front of me, because it is more unpleasant to cancel someone else 10 minutes before the agreed meeting point than to cancel yourself!

After he had set up his own gym, I continued training with him there in the morning, instead of the gym.

After 2 years the business trips increased and finding appointments with the trainer became more difficult. I moved back to my hometown full time and started training in the fitness studio again there by myself.

This time with a good friend and in the evening after work.
That was also a good experience, but I often felt exhausted in the evening after work and sometimes had the feeling the training would give me the rest.

I came to the conclusion, that training in the evening is not for me.

Like many answers on Twitter, I have a demand for variety in training.

Meanwhile I train 2-3 times a week in the morning again, because afterwards I feel fit for the day, am more balanced and automatically force myself to go to bed on time the night before.

I change my exercises regularly, also the principle in every training.
I change between the following principles:

  • Standard 3x10, moderate weight
  • 3x10 with lighter weight and concentrated, slow repetitions
  • Opposite row (write down the numbers 1-10, under it backwards 10-1. Results in super sets in the sense of 1x exercise A, 10x exercise B. 2x exercise A, 9x exercise B, etc.)
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
10| 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

A | A | A | A | A | A | A | A | A | A
B | B | B | B | B | B | B | B | B | B

1st set: 1xA, 10xB
2nd set: 2xA, 9xB
3rd set: 3xA, 8xB
  • 5x8 with lighter weight
  • 3x4 with very heavy weight
molly profile image
Molly Struve (she/her)

WOW! Thanks for sharing your story and your strategies!!!

mattdark profile image
Mario García • Edited

Hi Molly

Thanks for sharing. I never talk about this except with family and a few friends but this is my own experience.

When I was in high school I used to play soccer ocasionally but didn't follow a healthy diet, so I gained weight really fast. I'm 165 cm tall and by the end of high school I weighed 84 kilos.

There's a history of diabetes in my family so I'm more susceptible to it. That's why I started working out on a regular basis when started the university. During the first semester of university I went to the nutritionist who recommended me a healthy diet, used to practiced taekwondo and went to the gym three times a week. In six months I got to my ideal weight, lost 24 kilos, and continue working out on a regular basis and eating healthy during the rest of the university.

During the following years I left working out and forgot about eating healthy and as a consequence I gained 10 kilos. So I realized that I needed to be serious about my health again.

Two years I ago I started eating healthy again, I left drinking coffee, soda and any kind of canned / bottled drinks. I drink water most of the time and also fruit juices or any drink (prepared with fruit) without sugar. I started working out a few minutes per day, three times a week.

This year I started working out on a daily basis, at home, 30 minutes during the first months and an hour daily since the last month. I don't have a specific time for it, sometimes in the morning or before sleeping.

I have a pair of dumbbells (6 kilos each), a barbell (22 kilos, sometimes I train with 10, 16 or 22 kilos). I combine it with squats, abs and other basic exercises, and some yoga. Planning to buy a boxing bag and starting to go for a run on weekends.

I avoid using public transportation whenever is possible and prefer to walk when I have to go anywhere in the city. On the busiest days I walk 8 to 10 kilometers.

Something that I agree with is getting a reward after working out. Once a week or once a month I go to a coffee shop and buy a frappe and a cheesecake. I eat pizza, tacos or any other similar food occasionally, specially when traveling, and I like to try different kinds of typical food.

It hasn't been easy but now it's part of my routine and I always have in mind that no one would take care of my health than me. These days I weigh 57 kilos. I have more energy during the day and I'm in good health (according to my last medical exam).

molly profile image
Molly Struve (she/her)

Thank you for sharing your journey, Mario! Sounds like it has not been easy but I am glad you are in a good place now 😊

peter profile image
Peter Kim Frank

This is an awesome round-up, thanks for writing this up and sharing!

The only times in my life I had a consistent (and enjoyable) routine was when I did it first thing in the morning. Typically avoids scheduling conflicts and provides a nice boost to start the day.

derickhess profile image
Derick Hess

I have a big spreadsheet I create for 8 weeks at a time.

It has each exercise I do on a given day and the number of reps/sets/weight/time to do each exercise. This weeks after week 1 are all calculated on what I should be doing on a set progression to get better. I fill out what I actually did in the spreadsheet next to what I was prescribed to do.

Then I can generate all kinds of charts, and graphs, analyze the data etc. I have a python script i wrote that gets this data as well as data from my wifi enabled scale and fitbit so I can play around with the data.

Analyzing the data motivates me to workout more and be more effecient

carlillo profile image
Carlos Caballero

Thanks Molly!

Good post!