As a personal trainer, you might think that I have tons of motivation to exercise and work up a sweat in the gym. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. There are days when I just don’t feel like it, when the energy is just not there, and when I don’t want to sweat on my freshly-washed hair. Because I know that the aftermath of skipping exercise will make me feel bad, and because I like to practice what I preach, I try to find ways to motivate myself to go. Here are some of the methods that I’ve used in the past. They might come in handy when you’re dreading that sweat session in the gym.
Whether it’s your significant other, a friend or a personal trainer, exercising with a buddy can pull you through that seemingly never-ending workout. Having someone to talk to while you’re huffing and puffing and working up a sweat can make time go faster and turn your workout into a social engagement. Who knows? You might even start looking forward to going to the gym. Another benefit of incorporating a workout buddy into your routine is that the other person can hold you accountable. If you don’t show up, you’ll have to deal with a disappointed workout partner.
I find that going to the gym without complaining is easier if you have something to look forward to. Rewards can be as small as a non-fat latte treat, getting a manicure at the end of the week or buying yourself a juicy gossip magazine. If you decide to go to the gym three times a week, reward yourself once you fulfill this goal. If you for some reason don’t achieve your goal, don’t beat yourself up about it, just vow to meet it next time.
Add Some Tunes
The music that plays in the gym is meant to motivate you to get a good workout. Trust me, unless you’re taking a yoga class, you won’t hear relaxing slow jams or classical music in the gym. If you’re like me and workout at the same gym each time, the club’s music tends to become monotonous. It’s constantly the same and eventually you get sick of it. The solution, bring your own music. A sturdy headset and MP3 player can do the trick. If the gym has Wi-Fi you can easily access music on your phone. A good beat tends to put a smile on my face and make me feel like I’m getting a better workout than I would have had without music. For an added bonus, listening to music and wearing a headset can keep the socializing crowd that talks more than exercises from approaching you and keeping you from your workout.
Spice Up Your Routine
I remember when I just started exercising, and had no clue what I was doing and would just do the same things over and over again. This quickly made my workout very boring and I stopped seeing results. I lost my motivation and started going to the gym less. I always did the same cardio and used the same weights. Now that I’m much more knowledgeable about exercise, I switch up my routine periodically. One day I might use a treadmill, and another day I might use an elliptical or take a class. I switch up the weightlifting machines, and I also don’t shy away from the free weights either. I enjoy cardio the most and some days I’ll even cycle from one machine to the next for short periods of time, just to keep things fun and interesting, and to stay motivated.
Prioritize the Gym
With life’s many obligations, I found that I had to schedule my workouts around my daily activities. Some days this would mean getting up a little earlier and hitting the gym, while other days, I’d be in the gym early in the evening. Knowing ahead of time when you’re going to the gym makes it less of a pain to go, because it’s part of your schedule. Eventually, it becomes a hard-to-break healthy habit that you get used to.