4 Ways to Stay Motivated at the Gym!
It’s fast becoming an age-old scenario…
An individual (let’s call him Mr. Smith)has been recommended by his doctor to lose some weight for health reasons. With quiet resignation, Mr. Smith adopts a sensible diet plan in conjunction with a smart exercise regime. A trip to the local gym is made and a membership is purchased (or perhaps a piece of exercise equipment is bought to facilitate the ease of working out at home).
At first, everything goes swimmingly. Workouts are invigorating and fun, the diet isn’t “all that bad”, and Mr. Smith feels better than he has in years. Yet slowly, inevitably, something happens. Mr. Smith loses steam. His motivation falters. His workouts are… well, most of the time he doesn’t bother. He “sort of” sticks to his diet, but without the exercise to accompany it, any gains he makes are insignificant. Accordingly, he becomes even more discouraged and eventually quits altogether. It’s a vicious circle that’s becoming all-too-common.
Let’s address this scenario.
How can you, Mr.Smith, or anyone else for that matter, avoid failure, remain motivated and reach their fitness goals?
Obviously, you need to be on the right diet. But that’s a discussion that could fill volumes, and frankly, it’s been done to death already. So let’s focus on the exercise program. How can you keep exercising week after week — how can you make it part of everyday lifestyle?
That’s a good question. In my opinion, there are 4 key elements to maintaining your exercise program…
1. Always workout at the gym.
How many pieces of home gym equipment spend their lives functioning as a clothes hanger? You see, although most of us mean well when we plan to work out at home, few of us can avoid the constant stream of distractions that are common to any busy domicile. If you’re getting off the stair climber to switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer, answer the phone, take something out of the oven, or to break up the fight between Johnny and Susie… you’re wasting your time.
Get to the gym. It’s a pain, but once you’re there, you can focus on the task at hand. Not only can you focus, but others will motivate you and spur you on. Most of the time, your ego will drive you forward — who wants to be a “quitter” in a room full of “go-getters?”
2. As much as possible, work out with a partner.
Find someone who shares similar goals, and commit yourselves to helping one another.
Pledge to motivate your partner when his or her motivation fails, and extract the same pledge from your partner to you. In other words, be each other’s drill sergeants. A good training partner can squeeze more from you, motivate you, inspire you, and turn common drudgery into fun.
A little good natured competitiveness never hurt anybody either! Again, your ego can help you here — are you really going to be the one to finish last? To use a lower weight? To do one fewer reps? No way!
3. Track everything.
How do you know if you’re accomplishing anything if you don’t track everything? You need to document all your time spent at the gym, the time spent doing cardio and the intensity, as well as the reps, sets, and weights of any resistance training you are doing. If don’t do so, you won’t be able to track your progress — and progress itself is very inspiring.
Out of the gym, you should regularly track your weight, your body fat percentages, your skin fold measurements and your waist measurement.
4. Find someone to whom you can be accountable!
In many cases, this may involve hiring a personal trainer who will craft a personal program for you, provide motivational counseling, and set goals for you to achieve. While this doesn’t work for everyone, having to answer to another individual on a regular basis on the status of your workout program cam be very motivating.
Why do you “hop to it” when your boss hands you a new project — while your own projects lie stagnating for months? It’s because you become accountable for your actions to another person! if you can transpose this into this entire “exercise scenario” great gains can be made indeed.
And of course, it’s also an “ego thing.” Do you really want to admit failure to another person? Most of us do not.
So there you have it — 4 simple, yet incredibly effective ways to keep your exercise program on track. Implement them… and enjoy your success. It’s a only a short journey away!