My 6-Week Slim-Down goal: Working up the motivation to go for a workout is never a problem. But building up the enthusiasm to properly strength train is sometimes a challenge. I love my cardio, but I tend to short-change my time with the weights. I know to get the most of my time at the gym I need to do both – after all, the muscle I build with the weights boosts my metabolism and helps me burn more calories even when I’m not working out. Photography: George Stepanek Challenges: 1. Time. I can only spend so much of it at the gym before I need to get home to tend to the evening’s chores. If a cardio machine is free, my instinct is to grab it. Often I end up rushing the weight-training half of the equation, either short-changing myself on the amount of time I spend doing it or just doing the same old exercises. 2. Mental fatigue. At the end of a busy workday, sometimes I just want to do some mindless cardio, not focus on proper technique with a set of dumbbells. 3. Insecurity. There’s something both intimidating and comical about working out amid a group of guys who lift more weight with one hand than I could possible pick up with two. Successes: 1. Stepping up what I already know. A couple of years ago I worked with a personal trainer to get stronger. (I’m proof that lifting weights will not make you bulky – less pipsqueak-y, yes; bulky, no.) I’ve taken the lessons I learned and kicked them up a notch. For example, instead of doing bicep curls on the floor, now I stand on a BOSU ball when doing them and challenge my core as well. 2. Taking two fitness classes a month. Being a glutton for punishment, boot camp is usually my class of choice. I get my cardio kick, but I get the strength training and toning activities, too – and the instructor corrects any bad form. Plus, I learn new ways of working my muscle groups for when I work out on my own. 3. Checking out online videos. The first place I clicked? The Canadian Living Health and Fitness Video Collection. 4. Collecting printouts of exercises I want to try. I need variety to challenge my muscles and avoid plateauing, so I collect new ways to work my triceps, shoulders, quads, etc. I can work through the motion of a new exercise in the privacy of my home before using the weights at the gym. 5. Dedicating two workout sessions a week to only strength training. I’m playing ball hockey – lots of running! – two nights a week, so on gym days, after a few minutes on a cardio machine to get my heart rate up, it’s time to pump iron. What’s your biggest fitness challenge? You might also like:7 reasons to skip the gym Celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson's top 5 fitn... 5 fun and healthy ways to spend March Break Are you eating too much sugar? Can exercise help prevent cancer?