What you’re experiencing is pretty common, and something many of us go through when it comes to exercise. Even me, and I’ve spent more than eight years as a personal trainer!
Before my clients start any program, I take ‘before’ photos, all their measurements, their body fat percentage and their body weight. More importantly, I also find out about their ‘why’. For example, a mum might come to me saying she wants to be fitter. When we dig into the ‘why’ behind that goal, we might uncover that she wants to be able to keep up with her kids as they grow up. Suddenly her reason for exercising becomes stronger because she can link her number one value to her training. She’s able to understand the importance of her program and will have a better chance of maintaining the routine. Establishing your ‘why’ can be a powerful motivator, especially if you start feeling dissatisfied with your progress. It’s your reason to keep going.
It’s easy to focus on results, but what is your tool of measurement? Are you taking weekly progress photos? Do you test your fitness by recording the times of your workouts? Do you test your strength with 1RM testing to record your performance in the gym? I’ve witnessed many people fail to set themselves up with a plan to track their progress. So to make sure your program is working for you, record all the data along the way. If you stay consistent with your nutrition and 100 per cent on-program, you’ll either achieve positive results or you’ll know what amendments to make when there are no results. Tracking everything will be the key to your success.
More often than not, the hardest part of a workout is just getting your sneakers on and travelling to the gym. Once you’re in there and you start getting warm and moving your body, you won’t want to back out. So being disciplined enough to head out the door is the biggest battle.
Another great tip for staying motivated with exercise is to not do it alone. If you train with a friend or a coach regularly, there’s another person relying on you and holding you accountable, so you’re less likely to stay home and skip a workout.
I’ve been doing this a long time and have gone through so many ups and downs. I’ve experienced times when I’m motivated and when I’m not. I am someone who gets bored of programs quite easily so I need to ensure my training is stimulating and fun. My mind likes to chop and change things and I find it difficult to sit still for long. What works for me is incorporating CrossFit-style workouts, where I play with different schemes and exercises every session. This works for me because I love variety. It’s the spice of life! I apply the same protocol when I write programs for my clients. I change things up often to make their training interesting and exciting.
You need to enjoy training and make it challenging and fun or else it may not work in the long run. With our busy lives, the last thing we want to do is more work – so treat training as if it’s your play and down-time. Your exercise regime is the start of a healthier lifestyle for you, so create the discipline and then make training become a normal routine that’s a part of your life, rather than just a few weeks of working out.
— Kristal Stirling, Senior Level 3 Personal Trainer, Fitness First, Toowong, Queensland