This is not a tutorial for bicep curls. Many people make it a resolution in the New Year to become healthier. In an attempt to fulfill that resolution, goals are set, usually including an increase in physical activity. People will often choose to join a gym, as a great way to achieve this. The commitment to this decision however, is often short lived, resulting in little gain.
Fortunately, there are a few key ways to make going to the gym a part of your routine and lifestyle. Follow these tips, and you will be sure to go from a resolutioner to a committed lifter.
Make the time
You might be thinking “it sounds great and all, but where do I find the time to go to the gym?” Well, you don’t find the time… you make the time! Going to the gym will increase your quality of life and is therefore not just something to squeeze into your schedule. Instead, put your workout time into your schedule as an appointment, and don’t let anyone or anything take that time from you. If you do this for long enough it will become a habit. Going to the gym will become essential to your routine, and will not be missed. Just make the time!
Make a plan
Once you’ve made time for yourself, it is time to make a plan. This part can be just as exciting as doing the work out itself. It is important that you know what you are doing at the gym every single time you go. If you don’t have a plan to stick to you can very easily become distracted and bored. If you aren’t very good at goal setting, seek advice from a fitness professional to help. When making a plan you want to have a very clear goal. Having a goal is the first step to creating a fitness program. Consider getting a fitness assessment at the gym you just signed up at to get advice on whatever your clinical, strengthening and conditioning needs might be. Now that you have your plan, it is time to get in there and crush every single work out.
Execution and commitment
So you’ve signed up and made a plan, now it is time to actually show up for your work out. It is go time, and nothing can hold you back at this point but yourself! You might not see noticeable changes in your body for up to 4 weeks, so don’t let this discourage you. Your hard work will pay off in the end. It can be easy to dismiss going to the gym as useless if you don’t at first give it a chance. Finish your fitness program before deciding the gym isn’t for you.
Training options and usual outcomes:
Training option # 1. Do it yourself.
Training option # 2. Get a work out buddy.
Training option # 3. Work with a fitness specialist.
I’ve put these in a specific order. They range from least successful to most successful. I’m not saying you won’t get good results doing it yourself, but it takes a self-driven individual to succeed on their own. However, by working alongside a fitness professional, your results could be a lot better. A good personal trainer has taken the time to understand the physiology of a human, and uses proven workout techniques to help you to become the fittest you could possibly be. The fitness industry is still loosely regulated so beware, not all personal trainers possess these skills.
With the 3 training options listed above, there are some usual outcomes to be aware of that might influence your decision on what route you will take.
Option # 1. You get yourself psyched up. You’ve done a “gut check”, and through this assessment have gained a solid sense of your fitness abilities. You have just printed off the freshest plan from your favorite workout / bodybuilding website. You go to the gym but you’re not too strict with yourself. Workouts are starting to be missed. Goals don’t seem so important anymore, and you are about to fall off the wagon. There are two options to keep you going at this point because the intrinsic motivation is just not there.
Option # 2. Your choice in a workout buddy will affect your success in the gym. Let’s say that you have talked a friend into going through this with you. You both are set to go in and get down to business. In order for buddy workouts to be successful, you and your work out buddy need to be just as committed to the gym as one another. Don’t get caught up spending more time chatting at the weight rack rather than picking up the weights. If your work out buddy isn’t more motivated or just as motivated as you, there is a big chance they will try and re book, or worse, stand you up frequently. If you do find a quality work out buddy this could be a great thing for both of you. The two of you can motivate each other when it seems hard to motivate yourself. They can check your form to the extent of their knowledge, and let you know if you’re doing the exercises correctly. They can be hard on you, and keep you committed when you don’t want to be hard on yourself. Lastly but probably most importantly, a work out buddy can let you know when the cute person across the gym is looking so you can put it into over drive and show em’ what your made of.
Now that we know what could happen with a workout buddy, let’s talk about the ideal work out buddy. This person only exists in a Lifters wildest dreams. The ideal workout buddy loves training legs just as much as you want to train biceps Every. Single. Day. They are always positive and ready to help. Some background knowledge in working out is always a bonus. This person will meet you at the gym anytime of the day and you have no idea how they do it. And the most important thing, is that they always want to get some food after!
Option # 3. Signing up for the membership was step one, but after that first step all you saw was a blank void. This is because you have no idea what to do. Fitness lingo is confusing to you- who even cares about the difference between a bar bell and a kettle bell?! I just want to go to the bar and eat kettle corn. Regardless, with your membership you got a free fitness assessment, so you made the most out of it and gave it a shot. You and the fitness pro have decided that it is best that you work with a personal trainer. Do yourself a favor, and do research to find yourself a trainer that best suits your fitness needs and personality. A lot of time will be spent with this person, and everything will go a lot smoother if you enjoy being around them. The trainer will take care of all the hard thinking, all you need to do is show up and give it 100% every time!
Look at how far you have come….
Now it is time for some reflection on your fitness journey. You made it all the way through your first fitness program! If you followed your program closely, you should have shattered your goals (if not at least came close). There is now nothing that can hold you back! You have left your old unfit self in 2016, and 2017 has become your year for fitness. Don’t stop now, because this is just the beginning, and there is so much more to be achieved! Keep on going!!!