Making it to the gym is one thing. Making it when you plan to, workout what you want to, and leave there having exhausted the muscle groups you wanted to is a different story. Get every bit out of it.
Finding a routine that works for you is a challenge, but once you make it, it becomes part of your lifestyle and your body is able to drain, recover, and build, on a more consistent basis. Below are a few of my tricks that have helped me develop my regiment:
- Put your plan in your calendar with alerts
It’s one thing to plan events in your calendar, but how often do you actually check it? I’ll admit I’ve been late for meetings because I got distracted at work without remembering I had somewhere to be in half an hour. Setting up simple alerts for 30 to 60 minutes before you want to work out is a great reminder, and commitment, to making sure you go.
- Turn your phone on airplane mode
Nothing is worse than finally getting to the gym and not getting everything out of it while you’re there. You’ve taken time out of your day to make an effort to better yourself, but I see many people lose their focus while they spend their time there. I’ve started turning my phone to airplane mode while I workout. I can still listen to music, but it gives me the opportunity to cut out the noise and focus at the task at hand. You’re there to workout, so do that – trust me, the texts can wait 45 minutes.
- Say no to your friends
This was the hardest one to learn by myself. Sure, your friends mean well, but they don’t have your goals in mind twenty-four-seven. If you’re going to make it a priority to go workout, you have to make it a priority to be able to decline potential time with friends. After the first few times, they’ll begin to understand and respect you more for it.
- Give yourself time to digest
Due to my schedule, I primarily workout in the evenings. This makes it more challenging to ensure I am setting up my food intake at the right time. Just as you don’t want to be working out on an empty stomach, working out while you’re still digesting your last meal is going to leave you sluggish and feeling sick after or even during your workout. I opt to eating my last meal about 2.5 – 3 hours before working out to give myself the right amount of digestion time.
- Pack the night before
If you’re a busy person, every few minutes count. Spending the time to pack your gym bag the night before makes sure you don’t forget to pack it in the morning and you don’t need to take an extra trip home. Making sure your gear is with you throughout the day also mentally commits yourself to making sure you make it to the gym.
- Set a realistic goal. Commit yourself. Then improve on it.
Who’s ready for the January 2nd – 14th flood of motivated gym goer’s? Individuals who have worked up the motivation to get themselves back into shape, or take it to the next level – and that’s impressive. The will to want to be there is an incredibly important factor. However, many set unrealistic expectations for themselves and then become discouraged when they lose the motivation from simply burning out. Start where you know you’re comfortable, give yourself credit for what you’ve done, and begin to build in additional time slots once that practice becomes routine. Don’t be a hero – rest days are just as important as training days.