When it hits summertime, whether we’re soaking up the sun, working our butts off to get ahead at our internship, or trying to get our foot in the door with our unyielding job search,motivation can sometimes be in short supply!  So readers, remember Michele Gordon, AKA Miss Motivational? Well she’s been pretty busy since we last checked in with her, and by pretty busy I mean she hasn’t stopped. Now there’s a girl with motivation, and who better to take advice from in our times of need than Miss Motivational herself?

A contestant on Fit or Flop, America’s Search for the Next Fitness Star, an instructor and personal trainer, a motivational speaker, blogger, and author of her new book detailing the fit life through college, Miss Motivational certainly knows a thing or two about time management, making things happenand maintaining a healthy lifestyle! Her signature Dorm Room Workout and othercollege-inspired exercise routines are proof that she knows the deal when it comes to being fit in college!

ShapeU has once again teamed up with MM for a double-dose of fitness tips and an awesome workout for CC readers! Here’s her best advice on fitnessmotivation, and leading a healthy, happy life in college!

Q: How can we motivate ourselves – and I mean really motivate ourselves to hit the gym or workout on our own?

MM: You have to want it REALLY BAD. There’s a common phrase that if you don’t want something bad enough, it’ll never happen. Set yourself up for workout successeat the right types of foods and wear outfits that make you feel good. Next, find workouts that you enjoy. Findsomeone you can workout with that inspires and pushes you whether it’s a friend, trainer, or instructor – it will help you to stay accountable for your actions.  But the key to truly motivate yourself to workout is to REALLY want it.  Write your goalsenvision them, believe in them, and KEEP ‘EM REAL!  As I say when I’m teaching the mountain climber exercise, “What’s at the top of your mountain? Let’s get there!”

Q: Whats the best way to burn quick calories between classes or workout sessions?

MM: Lift things! Resistance training increases our metabolism and enables our bodies to burn more calories all day long!  Short on time? Do a circuit of body weight exercises (lunges, squats, push-ups) that target your largest muscle groups for maximal calorie burn.  Then speed walk to class to get your heart rate up and still get your “cardio” in for the day!  It’s that simple!

QWhat are some easy/simple moves that give serious results/should be in all our workouts!

MMHere are my go-to simple moves that workout multiple muscles at once! All of them can be varied so you can incorporate them into your weekly workout routine: plank, squat, push-up!

QHow can we fuel our workouts with a busy schedule?

MMBe prepared! Just like we plan what classes we’re going to take and where we’re going to meet our friends for dinner, we have to plan when and how we’ll snack for energy. Here are some things you should carry on you to help you rev up before and after a workout: 1) raw nutsraw trail mix variety, or packs of raw nut butter to provide us with a healthy, rich source of energy. Combine them with some fruit and you’re good to go! 2) Whole fruit like bananas and apples. They’re tasty, satisfying, and don’t need refrigeration, so they’re easy for travel. Before a workout, I love to take a serving of raw nut butter and spread it on a banana for what I think is THE BEST workout energy! It’s so good too! 3) Packs or containers of protein powder – always good to have on-the-go!

QWhat should we know about dieting and working out? 

MM: The way I see it, your diet (what you eat daily) and your workout (what you physically do daily), are ways that you achieve your goals every single day. During the week, my schedule is really booked up with events, classes, clients, writing, and everything else in between, so making sure I eat right is very important! It’s ok to splurge, but be wise about when you do so. And don’t go for yo-yo diets or extreme restrictions, you need food to fuel everything you do! For example, I eat food that not only tastes delicious, but it also fuels me for what’s ahead. Eat food that will help you look good and feel good, and you’ll develop a healthy habit for life!

QHow can we maintain our routine through stress and busy schedules?

MMA lot of us fitness pros say that exercise should be something you do daily just like brushing your teeth – which is totally right! You want exercise to become a part of what you do. View it as a way to help you achieve your goals, a way to relieve stress, and a way to get through a busy schedule. BUT, it is important to remain flexible. When it’s finals week or you simply have a lot going on, try doing High Intensity Interval Training workouts where you work very hard for a short period of time. This way, you get the sweat you need to succeed, but you have more time get things done! Also include bodyweight workouts like push-ups, planks, and squats at home and squeeze in more time speed-walking in between classes, work, meetings, etc. The goal is to be active every day, so if you can’t make it to the gym for an hour, do what you can to feel great!

QWhat are some cool and affordable choices for workout equipment we can use that will fit in our room or apartment?

MMA JUMP ROPE! There are all different kinds of jump ropes, but I definitely recommend getting a lightweight speedrope. You can use it in your room or carry it in your bag when you travel. It’s anamazing cardio workout that engages your entire body. I also suggest getting a resistance band that is also affordable, functional, transportable, and lightweight. SPRI makes great mini and exertube resistance bands that you can use for your legs, glutes, core, arm, and back.

QWhat is your number one tip for designing a personal workout plan or creating a fitness goal we can work towards?

MMSet a REAL goal. Saying “I want to tone up” isn’t always enough. Think about the reason why you want this. You need to remember the “WHY” so on the days you want to give up, you don’t. And make it a measurable goal like running a 5k in under 35 minutes, doing 30 push-ups, having more energy, achieving a healthy bodyfat percentage for your height, or wearing your bathing suit with confidence! Once you set a real goal, be real with your workout plan. Make it something that you can stick to, even when it’s busy season. Make sure you incorporatemoves that will target every major muscles in your body and that you improve on all 5 components of fitness: muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular health, body composition, and flexibility!

And there you have it, some awesome advice for building a fitness plan we can stick to and use to achieve our goals! Check back here next Tuesday for an awesome, collegiate-inspired workout from Miss Motivational herself, and don’t forget to check out her Fit or Flop profile and give her a vote!

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