Let's be honest; exercising isn't always fun. It's no secret that everyone doesn't enjoy going to the gym. Squats and lunges make you sore. Cardio is as uncomfortable as waiting those 5 seconds to skip ads on YouTube. And let's not forget the people. You know, those the machine-hogging gym rats who only “do it for the gram” or those groaning and grunting body-building wannabes who lift weights like they're suffering from constipation. Search #gymlife on Instagam, and prepare yourself for a plethora of narcissistic gym selfies, thirst traps, and memes that validate every point I've made so far.

But you, you can do better. I’m talking Kanye’s second version of Pablo better. Want to know how? Read on for 5 life hacks for improving your experience at the gym.

  1. Go in With a Plan. Dislike your muffin top? Want to make your arms leaner? Google exercise routines for abs and arms, print out the routine, and stick to it. But beware, the Internet can be your best friend or worst foe. Make sure you use credible sources like Bodybuilding.com and Fitness Magazine or follow routines created by certified fitness professionals.

  2. Be Mindful of Time. Start by going to the gym at varying times of the day. Try going in the morning on one day, and afternoon on another day. Take note of how busy/ empty the space is, and commit to a time that works best for you and fits your people preferences. Pro Tip: Scoring and elliptical at 6PM on a Wednesday is tough.

  3. Take a Class. If lifting weights over and over again, and running like you're on a hamster wheel just isn't your thing, take a class! Classes are a great way to make friends who are just as committed to getting git as you are. They're also a great way to learn new techniques and moves that you can perform outside of the gym. Boutique fitness classes like Trap Aerobics and Light Saber workouts are increasing in popularity.

  4. Get in Your Zone. The hardest thing about exercising is being consistent by not giving up when the lifting gets rough. Create playlists that motivate you to keep moving. If the routine is your bible, your playlists are your hymns.

  5. Clap for yourself. Remember that it requires consistency, will power, and time to see dramatic results. Regardless of who and what you see at the gym, your fitness journey can't be compared to anyone else's. And honestly, it shouldn't be. Celebrate small wins like holding planks a bit longer and completing an extra push up, and keep going. Just clap for yourself and keep going.