5 things you need to do
How can you possibly know if you’re on the right path if you don’t know where you’re headed. Weight loss, strength, endurance… whatever your goal may be, setting specific targets will help you stay focused. One of the main reasons people lose focus is because the goals feel too big, too far away, if it’s an 80kg bench press, marathon run or getting into a size 10. Hitting that first clean rep, first mile or losing that first inch is as important an achievement. Stepping stone goals will allow you to celebrate your successes and adapt your programme to ensure you get the most out of your training routine.
Phone a friend
A ‘gym buddy’ can be a great asset but they can also be the reason you fail, so choose wisely. After a long day at work and a 45 minute commute, I’ve been known to talk myself out of training by the time I walk through the front door. I’ll have a list of reasons not to go and I’ll have justified each one with scientific reasoning. Then I see PT. On a good day it’s just the thought of him going without me, not sure if it’s inspiration or competition but it’ll be enough to get my trainers on. On a bad day I’ll need a more creative pep talk reminding me of my goals and PRs, equally he’ll be the one to tell me when to take a break and have a rest day. A few of my friends also weight train and you can guaranteed if I get a snapchat or whatsapp saying it’s leg day then I’ll be at the bar before closing (I think that’s my first bar joke).
Boring. Boring. Boring. The gym can be so boring. I know so many people who get a programme written for them and then follow it for the next 12 months and wonder why they lose interest. Consistency is vital to success in the gym but there are ways to add variety and stay consistent. I have a three day training split; push, pull, legs, I also try to add in low intensity steady state cardio and plyometric circuits every week. Apart from keeping things interesting this form of training allows me to target specific muscle groups and allows time for recovery.
So as you’ll have guessed from the very presence of this blog, I like to write things down. Tracking your progress in the gym is a great way to check and balance your success, so grab yourself a pretty notebook and start scribbling things down. You’ll be able to look back at where you started and analyse the changes. Be. Honest. You don’t have to share the information with the world, but you’ll gain nothing by deceiving yourself. If you’re recording weekly weigh ins, don’t skip the weeks you didn’t like the number; if you’re timing your runs, don’t ‘forget’ to record the day your pace dropped. Reflect on the bad days, interrogate what didn’t go so well and learn from it.
Look good. Feel good. Do good.
Go and buy some super cool gym clothes. We’ve all heard of ‘power dressing’, well it’s the same principle; a great outfit can boost your confidence and help your performance. The high-street is a wonderful place for active wear right now, Primark, H&M and Top Shop offer great designs at reasonable prices. There are also some great social media grown brands such as GymShark and MyProtein and of course the fitness mainstream like Nike, Adidas and Under Armour. Functional, fashionable fitness has never been easier.
This isn’t a ‘How to’ guide for results but these are 5 things that help me maintain focus and get my butt in the gym, then it’s down to hard work and heavy lifts!