Practical Tips On How To Stay Motivated In The Gym17/04/2015
How do you force yourself to go to the gym after the initial buzz has died down? Here are some tips on staying on course:
Oh Netflix and pizza, you’ve done it yet again…
In a world fuelled with insurmountable distractions and a brain filled with recurring excuses on the hunt for an easy way out, we’ll inevitably reach a stage where we’ll begin to plateau at the gym. As a result, our workouts will begin to suffer, or at the very least, become ineffective. With the health benefits largely known from frequent exercise, how exactly do you find the desire to regularly get your butt to the gym? Here are some suggestions.
Find a workout partner or personal trainer who will hold you accountable for not showing up. Ideally, pair up with someone who has the same level of fitness or has the same goals in mind. This will help keep you focused, competitive and driven to attain your health and fitness desires. Behavioural studies have shown that an individual’s work rate will more than double in the company of a training partner as it creates a sense of “in it together”.
Keep it simple, stupid. Over-complicating your workout will no doubt lead to a dysfunctional training programme. By all means alter your workout for optimal growth and hypertrophy, but do not get caught in the trap that certain exercises are more superior than others. Stick to what works best for you and work around exercises that bore or do not interest you. If you love cardio but hate running, go for a swim instead.
Use the power of your imagination to see a stronger, leaner and slimmer you – and don’t lose sight of it. Your brain is a very intelligent mechanism and can only hold one thought at a time. Therefore, if you hold an image of a healthier or muscular you, refusing to see the current you as the “be all end all” your sub-concious mind will begin to kick in and you’ll begin to find new and unique ways to realise your ideal state or appearance. This may include, for example, learning new nutritional recipes or taking up a new sport or activity.
This works extremely well with the previous point. By setting goals, in particular SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound) goals, you’ll be able to see and feel the progress you are making day-in, day-out which will make you feel more positive, happy and wanting to achieve more. In turn this will give you a “gym high” which is a rush of dopamine (a hormone released by the brain following neurotransmitter synthesis) begging for more challenges as you begin to knock your goals out of the park.
Load up your iPod or other device with your favourite, upbeat and motivational music. Whether you’re into hip-hop or classical, music can play a pivotal role in giving you that extra surge of energy to see you through your workout and feel like a complete beast in the process.
Change Your Perspective
Rather than seeing exercise as a necessary evil, needlessly putting your body through excruciating pain which would be better suited sitting on the sofa all day watching the complete box set of Gossip Girl, realise your most valuable possession is your health. You only get one body, so it would be a lot wiser to use it in a way it was designed to be used. Besides, your older self will thank you later.
Once you slowly get into the routine of constantly keeping active, reward yourself with new trainers or clothes that will show off your new physique. Being narcissistic is not what we are saying, rather, buying clothes that fit your new appearance will make you feel good about yourself and your appearance which will give you the encouragement to keep up the hard work. We do not recommend, however, rewarding yourself with overly indulgent meals as this could reverse your progress.
Look to be a part of a gym or health club that is within a fair distance from your house. This will make it much easier to develop a routine and cut back on the hassle involved in either commuting, or finding the right time to get a workout in. It can be difficult to walk through those gym doors, but with a proximity of 15 minutes it becomes a lot easier.
Finally, a bonus tip…
If you’re like most people and prefer to exercise in the mornings but struggle to find the desire to go to the gym, try sleeping in your gym clothes with your shoes located at the end of your bed. This will, first of all, give yourself a visual reminder that you were committed to working out the night before, and secondly, hold yourself accountable for your own health. Will you be able to look at yourself in the mirror knowing you are all dressed to go to the gym but didn’t follow through?
So there you have it, some practical tips on how to stay motivated in the gym. Now go out and realise a healthier and fitter you, because quite frankly, you don’t have an excuse.