My Girlfriend Renee


How To Set Up a Home Gym

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I didn’t really start working out until after I had my son. Pregnancy was great but hot damn I was not happy with my body afterwards. This was around the time that P90X came out, everyone was doing it and getting great results so I decided to jump on the band wagon. I hated it! It took me a couple of months to find a workout routine that I enjoyed. I found weight lifting and I was hooked, it was something I can do at home and still get results. I bought a couple dumbbells and was as happy as can be! That is where my at home workout journey began!

6 years later I still love working out at home, it is convenient and I have it set up exactly the way I like it. Over the years I have added bigger equipment but starting out you really only need a couple of things! I will give you the break down of what items are my favorite for a home gym set up!

  1. Dumbbells, my advice is to start with 2 different weights. One heavier weight for bigger muscle groups like biceps, back and legs. A lighter weight for shoulder and tricep work, it is great to have the lighter and heavier options so you can work different muscle groups. If you want you can add in a kettle bell! You can perform so many different exercises with a kettlebell!

  2. Set of resistance bands, or as I like to call them, booty bands! They are a game changer when it comes to leg day. A big fear for me working out alone at home is that I don’t want to hurt myself with bigger weight, a band helps turn up the resistance and opens up your workout library a ton! They come in 2 sizes, medium and heavy. Medium is great for bigger movements like squats, lunges and deadlifts. The heavy is great for isolated movements like glute bridges, abductors, donkey kicks and side steps.

  3. A bench is also a great piece of equipment to have, it doesn’t need to be fancy, my tip is to pay attention to the height and if it is adjustable, the first one I purchased wasn’t adjustable and it limited my workouts. I would get one that you can move up and down so you can perform more exercises.

  4. A mirror is great, I love having it to watch my form, you would be surprised how much of a difference it makes when you can see the muscle working. You can also see if you are using momentum or other body parts during the exercise and correct it immediately.

Optional items include, a barbell for more exercises, plates to add on the barbell, a dry erase board if you are like me and have to write down your workout, a yoga mat for comfort and of course a wireless speaker for the jams. Once you get in a groove you will see what you need and what you don’t! Don’t over think it, grab a couple things to start and grow from there. You don’t need to have it all on day 1!

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Working with an Online Fitness Coach!

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Have you ever thought to yourself, how do online fitness coaches work with people they have never met? I always wondered how the heck they do it without ever meeting the person in real life. How can they see what to help with, how do they know where to start?


I met a fitness coach through instagram, which I know is very weird to say, although I knew she was a coach I created a friendship first. I got to know her over time, had conversations not just about fitness and nutrition, but life and everything in between, we always clicked. I think that is huge when it comes to working with someone online. Your personalities have to click way before you trust them with your fitness and nutrition. I would see her posts about food, macros and mindset on living a healthy lifestyle and it was very similar to mine. Which is another way to see if someone is right for you, if you don’t agree with the content or vibe they are putting out but have a nice body, probably isn’t going to be a good fit. After all, living a healthy lifestyle goes way beyond having a six pack.

I reached out to her because I was struggling with staying on track. I have a great accountability group on facebook that has the best group of women in it! But I am real, and sometimes life just gets busy and I could feel myself slacking more and more. I figured if I was working one on one with someone and had some skin in the game it would push me to work harder. I started working with her that week and let me tell you the questionnaire she sent over was very detailed. I now know how online fitness coaches can work with someone they have never met.

She first figures out the foods you like to eat whether they are more fat or carb foods, what type of food logging you will be comfortable using, weight, height and measurements, and she has you send over pictures. All of those tasks are all included in the very fist questionnaire. She goes into extreme detail to get the best idea of who she is working with. Every week she sends over an email with a new checklist that has your daily macros, foods you ate, weight, measurements and a feelings section where you can let her know how you are mentally and physically feeling every week.

I personally think this is an awesome piece of her service because it creates an open relationship between us where I feel comfortable telling her what i’m going through. There was one week in particular where I was just struggling, had zero appetite, was highly stressed and felt like I was failing. Not only did she call me immediately, but she talked me through the fact that some weeks aren’t going to be perfect and that she goes through them too, having that personal connection with her made me feel 1000 times better, like she is in with me versus me just being a client. I have been working with her for a month now and I highly recommend working with someone you trust and genuinely click with online, I have complete trust in her to help me with my nutrition and fitness goals and would recommend her to all of you! Her name is Sarah and you can find her info and website HERE! even if you aren’t ready to commit to working with someone she provides great content on Instagram and always helps everyone in my Facebook group, I am lucky to have found her!

I am curious to know if any of you have worked with a coach or if you are curious to how it all works, leave a comment with your thoughts!

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Taking Progress Pictures

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Anyone else cringe when you hear those words? I know I do! The awkwardness of just standing there like a weirdo in all your glory is by far the hardest thing ever. I personally always do it in the morning with zero makeup on and hair is a hot mess, so it makes it extra ugly. Plus it is way better to wear as little clothing as possible so you can get a better gauge on progress. Have I painted a pretty enough picture for you…..ha ha.

With that being said, I know how awkward it can be, but from experience they are the best thing you can do to stay on track. We all know when we are in a “ dieting” period it is easy to get discouraged when you don’t see instant progress. Weighing yourself on the scale is never a good gauge of progress because one day you are down and the next you are up. That is why taking pictures are so beneficial, even though the scale isn’t showing much movement the pictures will show a different side of progress. Your waist could be smaller, back bigger, legs have more muscle or definition, the list goes on. That little change you see in one picture could be the one thing that pushes you to keep going.

I would recommend taking pictures once a week in the same exact clothing in each picture. Stand in the same position in the same place you take every picture. By doing this you see way more changes then if you were to be in different lighting, clothes, or position. Also take them at the same time each day, for me that is first thing in the morning before I have anything to eat or drink.

Remember they will pay off in the future. If anything it pushes you to be more accountable because you want to see changes, you got this sister! If you need help I wrote a couple Blog posts regarding these topics, accountability or tips for working out.

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4 Tips to Add in Workouts to Your Busy Schedule

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I don’t have time is probably the most popular excuse in the book. I am guilty of using that excuse more than once. I get it, you have 1 million things to do so devoting uninterrupted time to a workout is hard. That is why I thought I would share these tips for adding exercises to the things you are already doing.

  1. School pick up, how many of you get to the school early to avoid being all the way in the back of the pick up line? I am doing a challenge where I have to get in a 45 minute workout outdoors, with a 5 year old some days that is near impossible. So I got smart, I make it a point to get to the school 45 minutes early and walk around until it’s time for him to get out. That is time I would’ve spent sitting in my car on social media. Another way you can do this is to walk to school, if you have multiple kids chances are you have a stroller or even a double stroller aka the heaviest thing on the damn planet, use it to your advantage! That is a free workout in itself, by walking to school or walking some where pushing that you are getting in a pretty intense workout!

  2. Using a booty band while doing housework, trust me I thought it was bat shit crazy to walk around my house with a booty band on. Until one day I had 15 minutes left of my workout and had so much to do. I put on my medium sized booty band and walked around the house cleaning, up and down the stairs with a laundry basket and did abductors while doing the dishes. I know it sounds like it wouldn’t do much but man I was hurting! I wrote a blog post with a bunch of exercise ideas to do around the house Here!

  3. Going to the park with your hyper ass kids! We all do it! the kids are on a good one so we take them to the park to run out some of their energy. But what do we do when we get to the park? sit there on our phones or relax and enjoy the peace and quiet for once hah! Now, I walk laps at the park, I don’t go far that way I have eyes on my kid at all times, I walk the corners of the playground back and forth until It’s time to leave, not only does my kid get to burn out some energy but I do as well.

  4. Taking the stairs and parking far from your office building. This sounds almost like a no brainer but you’d be surprised how many times we don’t do it just because we are in a rush. I notice sometimes I will park in the first spot I can find just to get in. But taking the time to park far away forces you to take the extra steps in your day. Taking the stairs is also a more time consuming thing but it is so easy to start incorporating and literally costs you nothing.

    Now that you have these 4 ideas to start adding into your normal day, you will see yourself finding more ways you can add in more activities. It was weird at first but once you notice how much more productive you feel afterward it becomes addicting! If you have any tips that you currently do, share them in the comments so we can all benefit from them!

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*This post contains affiliate links, which means that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you follow the link and make a purchase. All statements and opinions are 100% my own.

At Home Workout Using Booty Bands!

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Working out at home is practically the only place I do get a workout in. I have gone to gyms but it is just not convenient for me right now. So what do you do when you can’t go to a gym? You get creative. The best investment I made was getting my home gym set up. It has the cables, attachments and a bench and a couple different sized dumbbells which is a complete life saver. The newest addition to my home gym are workout bands. It took me a while a to get on board with those because I didn’t think they were that important.

Yea, I was wrong. So, so, wrong. Those 2 bands have increased my exercise library by tons! I am able to turn up the resistance on my leg days while eliminating the fear of hurting myself. Mostly all of my leg days are now done with just booty bands. I like that you can use them in impractical ways like cleaning the house, going up and down the stairs, and take normal body weight exercises and add resistance to them. Below are some ideas for at home workouts with just using resistance bands.


Using a Heavy resistance band sit on the stairs and open your legs trying to expand the band as far as possible, close and repeat.


Wall sit paired with a Heavy Resistance band. Optional add an abductor or alternating leg lifts.


Using the Medium Band step up like normal, you can choose as many steps to skip as you like.Alternate legs with each step.


Using a Medium Band side step all the way up the stairs, you can just side step on one or in place on a level surface as well, just switch to a heavy band for added resistance. Alternate sides.


Using a Heavy band, stand and raise your leg, squeezing your glutes to lift your leg. Alternate legs.


Using a Medium band you can do a stationary squat or you can squat up the stairs.

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*This post contains affiliate links, which means that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you follow the link and make a purchase. All statements and opinions are 100% my own.

What to Expect at a Cycle Bar Class

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Have you ever wanted to take a spin class but were embarrassed or unsure about doing it? Same here sister. Because I know how insecure someone can feel when joining a new class, I wanted to break that fear and encourage you to take that step and show up. Do it for you, for your future self,.What if this is that outlet, environment, that tribe you need to take yourself to the next level?

To say I was scared of taking a spin class is an understatement! I remember watching Instagram stories showing what the inside of the class looked like, I would see bikes lined up, and all I can think of is “ Who would want to sit up front where everyone can stare at you?” I mean sign me up for the way way back just in case I die, ya feel me? Then there are movies that make a spin class look so intense and everyone is super fit, no wonder I was scared. I may look like I am somewhat fit but girlfriend, I do not run or do any type of cardio. I like to think of myself as a cheetah, good for like 8 seconds top speed then I need a nap.

I showed up to my class and by far the customer service at Cycle Bar Temecula is the best. They pay so much attention to detail and make you feel right at home. I went to the storage boxes where my shoes were waiting for me, signed in and headed to the back where they had a locker with my name on it that said “Welcome Renee, get ready to rock your ride” Ok, how freaking cute are they? All the fear and insecurity was long gone, and replaced with a feeling of comfort and excitement. I hopped on my bike and an assistant came over to walk me through the entire set up. It was dark so I wasn’t as nervous. They keep the room almost like a club, it’s dark with just a red glow and some candle light. The music is amazing and the energy is unreal. You instantly get into work mode once you clip in, look at me sounding all cool, yea when you clip in it’s time to ride.

Then the magic happens, these ladies are performers. It’s almost sexy but bad ass at the same time. They speak in this sensual but intense voice that is mesmerizing. It was an absolute blast, it is much more than a workout, it is an experience. It is the best workout with great people, in an even better environment. I wanted to interview one of the instructors from that day who I am happy to now call my friend. Get ready because after this interview you are going to fall in love just like I did.

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What are the Benefits of Logging your Food

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When you are first starting to get into a new lifestyle it is really hard to know where to start when it comes to nutrition. Don’t eat this, eat that, do not touch this, this will make you lose it faster, and so on! It is overwhelming to say the least. What I have found to be the best place to start is to figure out what you are currently eating.

Pick a day and start writing down everything you are eating. All of it, the good, bad, and ugly. If you lie or skip on writing certain things like cookies, you are only hurting yourself. Writing things down will let you visually see exactly where you end up at the end of each day. You will be surprised at what you are eating just out of habit or because it is in front of your face. I would do this for a couple of days.

Once you have a couple days logged, you will either be over eating, under eating , or perfect. 90 % of the time it isn’t perfect, and that is ok. That is why you are logging your food, so you can make changes. From there you can see what you need to take away or add. For most people, they are low on protein and high on carbohydrates and saturated fats. By logging your food you can go back into each day and either add in protein to the meals that are missing it or take away foods that you are eating way to much of.

Here are some examples-

  • Breakfast- Oatmeal, You can easily add in some sort of protein like eggs or a protein shake.

  • Lunch- Caesar salad, You can add in some grilled chicken

  • Dinner- Pork chops, mashed potatoes, garlic toast and green beans. You can choose one of the carbohydrate sources and remove one.

    Snacks- Apples or fruit. You can add in some cheese, Greek yogurt or a protein shake.

The trick is to work with what you are already doing. When you change everything all at once you are just going to overwhelm yourself and give up. Making one simple change every day will lead to bigger changes over time, as much as I hate to say it, it really is a marathon not a sprint. Play the long game and stay consistent, you will win every time!

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Leg Workout for Home or Gym

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Whether you are working out at home, or in a gym, You can turn these moves into the type of workout you enjoy!

Don’t let these bad ass pictures fool you, I workout at home 100% of the time, it is the most convenient for me since I am a stay at home mom. But for dramatic effect I chose to shoot at a bad ass gym!

At home I am limited on equipment, especially for leg exercises, so I have to get creative and find products to work each muscle while saving space and budget. I was skeptical about the exercise bands at first, but holy cow do not underestimate was these babies can do. They are my favorite way to really activate and burn out that muscle, for at home workouts they are ideal for getting the job done.

Although I prefer them, a band is not necessary for this, you can use any type of equipment you want like barbells and dumbbells. My preferred type of workout is an EMOM. Or you can adjust it to your preferred style.


12 Banded Squats

12 Hip thrusters

12 Banded kickbacks

12 Deadlifts

12 Leg extensions/ you can sub lunges

12 Banded side steps

X4 24 minutes

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How to start working out

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If you follow me on Instagram, You might have seen my white board with the workout of the day on it. Writing out my workout helps me stay on track and have a plan in place. Depending on your goal’s, chances are you will be working out at minimum of 3 times a week or at most 7 days a week.

You are going to need a plan to follow so you aren’t wandering the gym drawing a blank, or if you’re like me and workout at home start getting side tracked and end up cleaning or folding laundry.

So how do you plan?

1. Figure out how many days you are going to work out that week. If it’s 3 days, you will want to get the most out of those 3 days. I would focus on a full body workout. Think about all muscle groups and choose 1 or 2 exercises that works them. If you are going to do 4 or more days, I would recommend working body parts that get worked at the same time. Example being back and biceps, they are considered pull movements that work together simultaneously.

2. How much time do you have to devote to your workout? Now this one is easy for me because I like to get in, get it done type of workouts. I’m guessing you are with me on this. That’s where an EMOM type workout comes in, its quick and efficient. You can customize it to however long you need. Don’t know what an EMOM is? This blog post explains it in detail Here!


3. If you have zero clue what exercises work what muscle do not worry, now a days there are so many apps that will give you great workouts. You can also youtube and google any type of workout and it will give you full videos and demonstrations. An app I like is FitBod and another one that people like is called Street Parking.

4. Purchase equipment to get the job done or find a gym that is convenient in distance and price. I would grab 2 different size dumbbells for options, one lighter and one heavier. Those will take care of most upper body exercises. A good quality cloth booty band, the elastic ones scare the shit out of me (insert YouTube video of getting slapped in the face) a cloth one stays put and offers a more intense resistance. A yoga mat, from experience its great to have for comfort as well as a place to lay when you are sweaty (Moveo Fit Co mats are machine washable and very sturdy) I wrote a blog post with examples of workouts you can do at home Here!

5.To make it easier, I created a hashtag on Instagram that has all my workout videos saved for reference, feel free to use it to share your home workouts! #heresmyhomegym . I also added a highlight full of workout of the day ideas.

Most of all you just have to start moving! If you are just starting out it’s important to start slow. If you go hard everyday you will be so sore and not able to train for a couple days. Start by going on walks with the family, slow jog if you feel up to it. Working your way up to a schedule is not only smart, it will save you a lot of pain in the future. Don’t over think this, it’s not meant to be hard. You just have to stay consistent, I’m right there with you cheering you on!

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*This post contains affiliate links, which means that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you follow the link and make a purchase. All statements and opinions are 100% my own.

What the heck is an EMOM?

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Emom? I don’t get it. You’re a mom, so does it mean everyday mom? Exercising mom? Every bodies mom? Please explain!


Trust me these are the questions I asked when I first saw it. But I like to define it as “freaking lifesaver” myself. The real definition of EMOM (which stands for every minute on the minute) is a type of interval workout where you perform a specific task at the start of every minute for a set amount of time.

Example being:

Minute 0-1 bicep curls. I start at 0 and however long it takes me to complete the 12 reps is how much I’m working, then I rest the remainder of time. It normally is about 30 seconds of work then the remainder 30 seconds I’m resting.

Min 1-2 triceps extensions. I start at minute 1 and perform 12 reps, once I’m done, I use the remainder of the time to rest.

And so on for however long your ideal workout time is.

This type of workout is great for busy mom’s or anyone really, its efficient and high paced which makes the time fly. Plus, you feel more like an asshole skipping because it is only 24 minutes. Like really you don’t have 24 minutes? Come on stop lying and get to work!

You can do this type of workout at home or in a gym. All you need is a couple dumbbells and a booty band if you like. If you ever need help finding workouts you can sign up for the free Transphormation Challenge by 1st Phorm, it supplies you with a workout every day, you can take the workouts they provide and turn them into an EMOM style.

You can check out all of my workouts in my highlights on Instagram or search #heresmyhomegym for videos.

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