It’s a very common problem. We all get the urge to lose a bit of weight so join a gym. Whether it’s to get a bigger bum or stronger arms, we usually join the gym with a long-term goal.
However, that’s not how it always pans out. With the stresses and strains of full time work or other occurrences, people often don’t last too long. Research by the Fitness Industry Association found of the people who join in January, 22% will have quit within 24 weeks and a further 20% would have quit by December, leaving just over half still with a gym membership.
Many more will decide not to cancel and leave their memberships to run. It’s a question of motivation, so how can we keep motivated to go to the gym?
- Set realistic goals
This is one of the key problems. People get excited when they first enter the gym and think they can go from Shrek to the Incredible Hulk in hours. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. You need to be more realistic. To knock a few seconds off a 5k run in a certain time period is realistic. Make sure your goals are SMART.
Specific- know what you want to do.
Measureable- Can you measure it? There’s no point setting a goal if you don’t know if you’ve completed it or not.
Achievable- Make sure it’s not too easy, you could go much further if you set goals too easy. Realistic- As mentioned, don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Time bound- Set a time scale for your targets, take it month by month and you’ll be motivated for more than just four or five months.
- Find a partner
Try and find someone to go with. Training alone can be tough and lonely. Alongside another person your rest periods go much quicker with a quick chat. You can push each other, bounce ideas for new exercises off each other and achieve much more if there is someone else to help you and that shares similar goals.
- Make time for the gym
People nowadays are busy. Missing one gym session can easily become three or four and before you know it you’ve not been for a week. Your progress will regress quickly, especially when you first start going. Plan your sessions and when you’re going to go. If you have to miss one, try and make up for it later in the week or stay longer the next time you go.
- Find the right gym
There are numerous gyms out there so ensure you find the right one for you. Gyms have different atmospheres, equipment, sizes and people. Some are made for weight loss, some for muscle growth. Find a gym that suits your needs, goals and where you feel comfortable and you will thrive. You certainly won’t be put off.
- Give yourself rewards
Make sure your life doesn’t get consumed by the gym. Eat right, exercise often, embrace the lifestyle. But you certainly don’t need to become a protein and carb-consuming machine. Set a ‘treat’ night or cheat day that suits you and your goals. For some it may be once a week, some once a month. A small treat will do, such as a burger or a chocolate bar. Exercise with this day in mind; work it around your goals. If you achieve a goal, have a small treat before you start your next one, use it as motivation to keep working hard and achieving those goals and you will soon become lean and happy with your gym routine.