When you first start going to the gym, it can be tough to know how to go about your workouts, and unfortunately a lack of direction can often be the difference between success and failure in achieving your goals.
Something I see so regularly in the typical gym goer is a huge spike in motivation when beginning their fitness goals, but after a month or two, that motivation diminishes. Usually from boredom, a lack of knowledge on how to use the gym, or what to do once they are there. The most effective way I have seen to sustain motivation for extended periods of time is two-pronged!
Follow an exercise program
Firstly, following an exercise program has many benefits. It gives your daily workout a purpose, and walking into the gym with a plan will help you make the most of each visit. No more wandering around using whatever machine is available doing a few reps here and there.
The correct exercise program will also help you achieve your goals much faster by using your gym time much more efficiently. Because let’s be honest, most of us only have a window of about an hour a day before we have to race to work, drop the kids off at school or squeezing it in after work on the way home before dinner. Using a workout program is the smartest way to utilise this time.
A program will also help you to be more consistent. Sit down and examine your schedule and lock in set times in the week you can definitely keep every week. If this happens to be 3 times a week, this is okay, but make sure you keep those 3 times every single week. Book it in like an appointment, write in in your weekly planner, then tick each one off as you go so you can visually see your consistency.
Work out with a group
The second, and I believe the most powerful way of sustaining motivation, is to work out with a group of people. Typically, within a group setting, you will always see a trainer giving instruction, helping with technique and pushing you, even on your worst day. Trainers will also help to keep you accountable, check up to see where you’ve been if you’ve missed a few sessions and help keep you on track.
The most powerful part of working out within a group is the people that you are working out with. These other group members are going through the same workout, the same pain and the same struggles, usually with very similar goals. This 'shared pain' creates a bond and builds friendships within the group, making coming into the gym for your daily workout a lot of fun. When your workout is fun, that’s when you will learn to love it. It will become the highlight of your day making it a non-negotiable in your daily life. Your friends will help keep you on track and make the gym environment much more comfortable.
Most facilities offer this kind of service, combining a great program for overall health and fitness normally geared towards weight loss while performing it in a group setting. Do your research, as most facilities will offer a trial. Go in and do a few sessions, get to know the trainer and some of the other members and make sure it’s an environment you feel comfortable and welcome. You want this to be somewhere you want to be daily so you’re excited to get in and do your daily workout.
Don’t forget at the end of the day this should be fun! So get out there - jump in a class, meet some new people and get fit doing it.