What’s your excuse for blowing off your exercise program today? Too stressed from work? Feeling a little tired and not up to the exertion? Baby just doesn’t feel like facing the world? None of these reasons absolves you from the sin of missing a workout. Getting fit and staying healthy means getting psyched, being consistent, and ditching the excuses for missing your exercise routine. Start following these tips and you’ll maintain the mental edge that will keep you in the gym feeling great and seeing results!
- Make workouts part of your schedule. Build your workout times into your calendar and stick to these just as you would a vital business meeting, a family commitment, or any other serious obligation.
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Many guys start out too aggressively in the gym, going too quickly to a level that’s higher than they’re capable of sustaining without injury or burn-out. Pace yourself with briefer intervals of cardio and weight-training interspersed with rest. Build from there and gradually challenge yourself to go farther and farther.
- Set achievable goals. Sure, you want to lose fat, gain muscle, build stamina, and run a marathon, all in one month. Well, it won’t happen, at least not all at once. If you set your sights too high, you may find yourself discounting the gains you are making. Instead of looking too far into the future, give yourself intermediate weekly and monthly goals such as losing a pound of fat per week or lifting 10 more pounds on your bench press. Chart your progress on your phone or in a notebook as you achieve your goals.
- Mix it up. Doing the same workout over and over again can get boring and your results won’t be as good as if you try a variety of exercises. Instead of doing 40 minutes daily on the treadmill, try every damn aerobic machine in the gym – and go biking, swimming, or hiking whenever you get a chance. Change your weight training routine regularly to keep things interesting.
- Force yourself to hang in there religiously for the first three months. Nothing sustains motivation better than results. Though you’ll see results early on, like increases in strength, it takes time and consistency with your routine before your body really begins to evolve and change. Be patient. Hang in there. It takes time, sacrifice and intensity to create a real work of art. Hire a trainer or recruit a workout buddy if necessary, to keep you focused and committed.
- As soon as you miss a workout, re-motivate yourself. You’ve missed one workout, so what’s the big deal about skipping another – or all of them? Before you know it, your whole program is shot to hell. If you miss a workout, don’t beat yourself up – it’s gone, it’s over. Now it’s time to get back on track. Remember those goals and promises you made to yourself. Remember how great you felt after those first few sessions.
Tom Bonanti is a certified personal trainer and massage therapist (MA#40288) with his own one on one facility Pumpnincgym.com in Ft. Lauderdale. Contact [email protected] with questions or to set up an appointment.