The New Year hits and everyone has the best of intentions with their workouts. We vow to hit the gym more, workout more days during the week, try that class at the gym we keep talking about, or run more. For January, our best intentions come through. We meet our goals, and we feel amazing like we are unstoppable.
Then life starts creeping in. The kids’ activities start picking up, work starts piling on the responsibilities, and suddenly we feel like we are being pulled in a thousand different directions with a To-Do List that keeps growing regardless of all the things we check off. Before we know it, our workouts start sliding lower and lower on our priority list. By the time mid-February hits, we are back to where we started before the New Year with no idea on how to improve anything.
As a trainer, I know that when someone gets to this point, they often feel hopeless. That guilt of continually not showing up turns into some negative self-talk, that leads to feeling like there is no way to change anything. Change can seem daunting and overwhelming, but sometimes a simpler approach can be the easiest way to jump back into your workouts.
1. Grab a friend.
One of the easiest ways to stay accountable to working out is by working out with someone. If you know your friend is going to be there, you know you are not going to want to let them down, then those excuses that can so easily fall into place end up falling by the wayside. Make sure your training partner is someone who is going to encourage and support you, so working out with them does not feel like a chore or an inconvenience.
a. Is going to the gym not feasible right now? Jump on FaceTime or a Zoom call and do the workout virtually! Or find an accommodating outside space for your workout!
b. Need a workout? Grab the one below!
- 10 Rounds
- Odd Minutes: Burpees
- Even Minutes: Squats
2. Have fun!
That seems like a contradiction in terms when someone is talking about working out, but working out is not supposed to be that deep. It is supposed to challenge you, you are supposed to sweat and experience moments of being uncomfortable, but ultimately it has to feel fun in some way to you.
a. Trainer Tip: I encourage clients who are newer to fitness to start with physical activities they enjoy. On a subconscious level, knowing that the physical activity is something you like will intrinsically motivate you to show up more. When you are more excited to show up, you will show up more consistently, creating a healthy habit (and staying interested in it) much faster.
3. Be realistic with your time.
There is a preconceived notion that for a workout to be worthwhile, it has to be at least an hour or longer. While that sounds great in theory, and if that is realistic for you, then that is a fantastic goal. But dedicating that much time to a workout can be cumbersome especially with the other demands on our time, so leveraging our time to get effective workouts becomes that much more important.
Save the longer workouts for the days you know you will have the time to give and not be stressed about it. Maybe this means your hour-long workouts are on the weekends, and shorter 20-30 minute workouts are on the weekdays. Both are completely acceptable because the focus is not the length of the workout but the effort within the workout as well as creating a consistent habit of working out.
For instance: if you told me you could do an hour once a week consistently, but you could do 20-minute workouts 4-5 times a week consistently, I will push you to the shorter workouts. You will see results faster because you are showing up regularly, multiple times a week.
a. What is an efficient and effective workout for a short period of time? High Intensity Interval Training is my fall back for days when I do not have a lot of time to workout. The workouts are designed to be short as a means of increasing the Excess Post-Oxygen Consumption or EPOC. This means your body will continue to calories post workout due to an increased metabolism.
Grab this workout!
- 10 Minutes
- 4 Man Makers
If you are getting 30 seconds of rest on the round, add 1 man maker each round until you reach 30 seconds of rest. Then remain at that rep scheme until the 10 minutes are up!