5 Tricks to Help you Start Working Out
5 Tricks to Help you Start Working Out …. And Actually, Sticking To It!
By: Andrew Grayson
- Pick Workouts That You’re Good At
Just because all your friends love spinning or CrossFit doesn’t mean you do, too. Finding a workout, you genuinely like will make you that much more likely to stick with it over time. When I take a hiatus from the gym and haven’t gone in 2,3,4 weeks or longer, I always start my first day back with shoulders. It is my favorite muscle group to workout and it makes the workout more enjoyable if you already like during a particular muscle group. Consider your personality, too, suggests Dr. Dieffenbach. Do you like competition? Then working out with a friend who challenges you or taking a group fitness class may be helpful. Do you like immediately seeing the results of your efforts? Then workouts associated with an app that tracks your progress may be the way to go.
We know from motivation research that humans have a desire to be ‘good’ at something. So I’d encourage new gym peeps to not only seek out things they find pleasurable and enjoyable, but also things that they’re confident doing or would like to become more proficient in. Like I mentioned above, I workout shoulders way too much and have a confidence when I work them out, this creates the “good” desire that I want in the gym. On the reverse side, if you look at my chest or legs you’d think I’ve never worked them out in my life, therefore creating the low confidence desire.
- 2. Put It on Your Calendar as You Would Any Other Appointment
Once you have a workout (or even a few) that you want to try, give yourself a slow and steady break-in period. Don’t start off by trying to make radical changes because you won’t. Schedule a few days a week and put it on your calendar like any other important appointment.
Giving yourself a workout range for the week can also be helpful. If you set a goal of working out five days and only go four times, that’s often perceived as a failure. Instead, give yourself a more realistic range, like three to five days a week.
- 3. Work Out in the Morning and Get It Out of the Way
Some people find it easier to stick to their workout plans if they do it in the morning, getting it out of the way before an excuse comes up to skip it. By the end of the day, you’re often really tired, random bullshit has come up, and there’s always something else to do instead of exercise.
More benefits of a.m. exercise: Morning workouts have been shown to lower blood pressure among older adults and people with overweight or obesity.
Plus, people often feel more energized throughout the day after exercising. And that means an early-in-the-day workout could help you tackle your responsibilities (like work or chores) with greater ease, he adds.
Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to exercise. So if morning workouts feel like torture, try a few different times of day and see what works best for your body.
- 4. Keep a set of workout clothes in your car at all times
Even the smallest obstacles, like having to go home after work to change into workout clothes before heading to the gym, can mean the difference between working out and skipping it. The simple but incredibly helpful solution: Bring your workout clothes to work for evening workouts (or work from your home office in workout gear), suggests Harris. If you work out in the morning, consider sleeping in your workout clothes… yes it can change your thinking!
- 5. SET MINI GOALS
Most people set huge outcome-oriented goals, such as losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks, getting six-pack abs after 3 days in the gym or building endurance to run a marathon in one week. Let me be the first one to tell you if this is your attitude then don’t even show up. The people who accomplish those goals work their ass off in order to be in that position and great things take time. If you want something you’ve never had you have to do things you’ve never done. My biggest pet peeve is people who try a new skill and then quit 2 weeks later because of (insert their bullshit excuse here).
You. Have. To. Set. Mini. Goals.
To stay motivated, ensure you don’t get bored, and keep progressing at a steady rate, set smaller “process goals” to help keep the fire under your ass motivated.
If an outcome goal is the top step of a staircase, process goals are like the individual steps you’d take to get there.
For example, my personal goal on May 1st was that this summer I wanted to get back to sub 10% body fat. A goal that was not going to be completed in 4 weeks, 6 weeks, or longer. For those that know me, I eat as much as 3 males should eat on a daily basis. I love food way too much but by setting mini goals I held myself accountable to lose 1% body fat a week which creates more motivation for me each week to strive to get to that next number.
The feeling that you’ve accomplished something each week (in addition to over a longer period of time) can help motivate you more than you think in order to make each and every workout along the way count.
Thanks for coming to my TedTalk!