We’ve all had those days where we’ve used any excuse in the book to skip out on the gym. If it could possibly count as an excuse, I’ve considered it. I am personally guilty of everything from, “It’s raining and I don’t want to get my Nikes wet” to “If I sweat, I’ll have to wash my hair.”. Especially when seasons start to turn from long sunny days to sweater weather, getting to the gym seems to get ten times harder.
What’s worse, once you fall into the pattern of replacing your work out with an afternoon nap, the harder it gets to break the cycle.
Often times, the hardest part of any workout is just finding the motivation to get out the door. Here are four tips to keep your gym motivation high even when the temperatures start to drop.
Find a Workout Buddy
Mutual accountability can be everything when it comes to doing things you do not want to do. Studies show that roughly half of gym members prefer to work out with other people instead of alone.
Partnering up for a work out can completely change your perception of going to the gym that day: “I have to go to the gym” can easily be substituted to “I get to see my friend.” Often times, neither of you will want to be the one who actually breaks the plans.
When personal willpower isn’t enough, support and encouragement from a friend can make all the difference. I have personally found that when pep talks from my friends don’t do the trick, I can be incredibly motivated by guilt, spite, or “friendly” competition. Regardless of what tactic your workout buddy uses to get you out the door, your chances of sticking with your fitness goals are much higher in numbers.
Try New Classes
Just like with anything, falling into a routine can get stale and boring.
Many gym-goers can lose motivation because their workouts lack variety or become repetitive. Forming habits at the gym is not necessarily bad: everyone has their preferred types of workouts as well as exercises they may try to avoid for various reasons.
However, becoming too comfortable with your workouts IS a big problem in terms of keeping you mentally and physically engaged. If workout routines lack diversity, our muscles adapt to the stimulus and do not work as hard, which of course will stymy your progress. On the same wavelength, our interest in working out depends on feeling challenged, seeing results, and endorphin highs.
Classes force us to try new exercises we would probably otherwise shy away from or maybe have never even heard of before. Great instructors or high energy atmospheres can also be that extra push you need finish a difficult set that you probably would have given up on during your own workout.
I have always loved exploring new classes and then implementing the moves I learned from them into my own workouts later, but with my creative authority to mix up the weights, sets, or reps. I have also met most of my gym workout buddies (see above tip) by exploring new classes.
Try a New Gym
If trying new classes at your gym didn’t shake things up for you, maybe consider that your gym isn’t cutting it any more. Especially in the last couple years, fitness clubs have grown dramatically in numbers as well as in specialties, price ranges, and styles.
Everything from boutique fitness clubs to budget 24 hour access gyms will provide a different user experience that speaks to your wants and preferences.
As fitness technology is constantly advancing, gyms are responsible for keeping up in order to deliver the best experience possible for their clients. Whether it’s providing the latest equipment, renovated facilities, or club management software to make your visits as easy and smooth as possible, fitness have evolved to prioritize pleasing the client above all else.
If you find yourself unhappy or unmotivated at your gym, it’s probably time to move on to somewhere that will take care of you.
Join a Fitness Challenge
Fitness challenges are a great way to keep you committed, focused, and motivated towards a particular goal. They can also be great for helping you refocus on a goal that you have gotten distracted from as well as give you an opportunity to track your progress.
Challenges can come in all shapes and sizes: they can often be sponsored by your gym, from online communities, or social media channels.
The sense of community fitness challenges innately instill will allow you to meet like-minded participants for any type of fitness goal, whether it is to lose weight, consistently check into the gym, or track completed miles run.
Fitness Coaching Applications
In addition to any popular fitness application you may already use, like Fitbit or MyFitnessPal, new applications that focus on personal motivation and coaching have made waves in the fitness market.
Rather than simply logging or tracking your stats, mobile applications like FitWell and Lark, provide 24 hour support and encouragement while keeping you track of your fitness objectives.
These apps even go as far as creating customized meal plans based off your food preferences logged in addition to creating you individualized work out plans. This extra and always accessible motivation can be instrumental in getting you to the gym the days to keep you on pace with your routine and schedule.
As fall and winter creep up on us, don’t let your summer body slip away! Think about these five tips to keep your motivation, work ethic, and gym attendance high.