ask stylebook: at the gym?

Jessie: I love to go the gym with my friends. I find the motivation and accountability from their company. What do you recommend we do when we are there? We have about 1 hour.

Adrien, Fitness on the Run: First, we really recommend that you make sure you are physically fit and mobile enough to complete a full range of exercises. You can visit with a local chiropractor, like Dr. Marty Skopp with Skopp Chiropractic, to get a full evaluation. After you have been cleared, plan your time at the gym and be very specific about how much time you will spend on each portion. Just like a meeting, each training session should be broken down into segments. Last, HAVE FUN. Here’s an hour-long breakdown of how to use the gym to your advantage and where to spend your time.


1) Start with 5-8 minutes of fun ballistic or plyometric movements, like a jump squat or jump rope. Couple them with a lateral movement like lateral ball tosses between you and your friends.

2) Incorporate strength training in the middle. Spend 15-20 minutes on it. This is a very important part of your training. This will make the difference between building muscle or not. Choose a movement like the squat and perform 5-8 repetitions. Couple this with a row (bands, pulleys at the big gyms, or our favorite at FOR the TRX).

3) Because we all like to feel our “core”, and you can never go wrong with the plank, we recommend any variety of the plank. Watch for our “Move of the Week” post on Friday about Handstands. Incorporate Handstands into your workout. Spend 5-8 minutes.

4) Last the FUN part, the conditioning! Spend 10 minutes. (In popular vernacular conditioning is the athlete’s “cardio”.) Choose any cardiovascular exercise. Pair it with another and time yourself on each for 30 seconds then give yourself a 15 second break then start right up again. Repeat for 10 minutes. Trust me: you will be worked!


Give yourselves a good cool down and stretch after your heart rate has lowered.

  • The latest from Adrien
Adrien founded Fitness on the Run in 2004 out of her home after a successful career in policy and public affairs communications. After spending 15 years developing her own personal definition of wellness and watching thousands struggle with theirs, in January 2019 Adrien founded Alexandria Wellness, the home for the Concierge Wellness Program and Corporate Wellness with Adrien Cotton. Over the course of 15 years, “FOR” was home to more than 2,000 clients, 30 instructors, and hundreds of inspirational success stories. Adrien is now, more-than-ever, passionate about helping women view their fitness as a journey, not a quick fix. Adrien’s recipe for success herself has evolved from a rigid training plan of sweaty and heart pumping workouts to some days getting in her 10,000 steps, consciously breathing, her 7.5 hours of sleep, and her beloved 5-Minute Flow. Adrien believes the most important ingredient is making small changes for big results, even if it’s one new habit formed each month. Still passionate about fitness, Adrien’s clients appreciate her ability to make sessions seriously challenging without a “beat down,” a healthy mix of strength and metabolic (cardio) work and ultimately helping her clients gain real strength in mind and body. She believes we all benefit from being curious about our bodies and that change, or improvement, is within reach despite what your “inner voice” or others may tell you. Adrien is bubbling with excitement to help women learn the importance of a comprehensive approach to wellness, weight loss, and contentedness with yourself, and that every person has the right to feel good about themselves. Most days, you can find her helping clients with their wellness, listening to success stories, and bragging about her twin 13-year-old children and “fittest man in Alexandria” Bill Cotton. Adrien prides herself on her practice of mindfulness, meditation, and putting it all into perspective.

Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.

Schedule your free 30 minute consult here!

Alexandria Wellness
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314



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