You’ve purchased the gym contract, gone a few times, spoken to friends about signing up for an upcoming race, made little white lies about how often you train, and everything’s petered out a little. That belly you wanted to lose for summer is still there, but you’ve accepted that your beach holiday may be clouded a little by self-consciousness because you just can’t get your training to stick.
A recent study by the National Center for Health Statistics found that only 19 percent of the population regularly engages in high levels of physical activity. Another 63 percent believe that exercising would make them healthier, leaner, and less stressed, but they don't do it.
This is a common problem throughout the world. We all want to be fitter and healthier, but it’s just so difficult to get in the zone and actually go for it. Well, we want to help you and have come up with a few fun tips that’ll get you in the gym more often than ever before.
Make Incremental Changes
This is a marathon, not a sprint. Results aren’t going to come immediately like magic, but this isn’t what you’re training towards, isn’t it? When starting out, you should only make small changes – to diet, and training.
Once you have small changes in place, it’ll be easier to identify the goals that you want to achieve and master a few main training approaches slowly, but surely. You’ll find that by making smaller changes, you will progress through stages until you eventually settle into a routine that you have planned for yourself.
Find a method that motivates you
It’s no good forcing yourself to do things you don't want to do. We’re not talking about refusing to do squats or avoiding cardio like the plague, but if you try something and can’t motivate yourself to do it then you won’t look forward to training.
Sure, pushing your boundaries and trying new things comes with every aspect of training, but if you can’t stand the sight of the swimming pool, or outdoor running makes you feel sick, then when you’re starting out there’s no point in doing what you aren’t going to enjoy. Find what you love, and let it consume you.
Set small goals so that you achieve something
We’re all in this for the big pay-off at the end, the perfect body and bigger muscles that you thought you would never have. But because it’s all about progression, don't only set yourself targets you’ll only see results for in a few months.
By setting small goals like losing a set amount of centimeters off your waistline, squatting more than your bodyweight, or being able to row 2 kilometers in under 9 minutes you’ll stay motivated because you’ll be achieving all of these quicker. You’ll actually see early results and progress and won’t get dissuaded because you can see things happening.
Focus on simplicity before you get it right
Whether you’re training in the gym, or outdoors, it’s all about getting the basics in place so that you can use them as a launchpad when you want to progress further. Your focus, then, should be on simplicity of exercises, getting everything down before changing it up.
This means doing basic squats; not even with weights, running until you find your central pace, and not overexerting yourself as a few days off because of poor recovery will make it hard to get back in the groove. You’ll also find that the simpler the exercise is, the more you’ll be willing to do it.
Get a training partner
Many people train alone, nothing wrong with that, but having a training partner when you’re looking for a way to stay motivated is a great way to be forced to train. And they can assist you when the going gets tough.
This works in the gym when you’re lifting weights where you need a spot or some assistance, and it’s a bonus if your partner already knows a thing or two. Not only will you be learning new techniques, but you’ll be guilted into joining them every day because they’ll know that “no” is you being lazy.
Join a support network
With the internet, there are also other networks of support that extend further than just your average training partner. There are people all over the globe willing to help and provide guidance when you most need it.
Joining this, and perhaps posting progress photos, will go a long way in helping you remain relevant and motivated to impress this online community. You’re all at varying levels of expertise, but you’ve also all gone through the same feelings and emotions so they’re equipped to help when you need it most.
Keep it logged/progress journal
Keeping a journal is a way to take down what you’ve done every day, and what you’re going to do. You can also track what you’re doing differently so that you can find workouts that you love and hate.
When reading the journal, it also gives you a sense of belonging as you track progress and see it written down from where you started to where you are right now. Fitness Trackers have also burst on the scene to keep track of everything so now your progress is digital. Challenge yourself every day and see those small changes take shape.