If you’ve been working out long enough, you already know that sooner or later you will hit a fitness funk. Sometimes it comes from overtraining, but more often than not, it sneaks up on you, usually when life has gotten crazy.
This happened to me recently. I was pushing along, enjoying my normal gym routine, keeping my eating on track, and feeling pretty good that I was making some progress. Then life started throwing a few things at me. My long time boyfriend’s (really, we’ve been together so long people think we’re married) mother got sick and needed assistance, then work went on high speed and I had more than I could keep up with, and finally, one of my most favorite people in the world, my Aunt Bobby, passed away. By the end of this trilogy, the wind had been knocked out of both me and my fitness routine.
When the dust settled, I realized I had lost my mojo. I was forcing myself to go to the gym, and it felt like a chore. I couldn’t decide what routine I wanted to follow or if I wanted to try something new entirely. I pulled out books I had, “The ME Diet”, “The New Rules of Lifting for Women” and a few others, but this just made it worse because I wanted to do it all! I finally decided to get some advice and had a good talk with a trainer in my gym, who helped me realign my goals and get me on the right path.
It may be easier for me than some others to get back on track, because I have been at this for a long time. If you are finding it hard to get motivated to get to the gym, the following tips may be of some help.
- Find a friend that can push more weight or run faster than you and workout with them. This will push you to keep up with them and a little friendly competition is always fun.
- Sign up for a fun event such as a color run or charity walk/run. If you have a goal with a set date, you will be more likely to keep your gym dates.
- Check out before and after pictures of people just like yourself. A good magazine is “Off the Couch” by Oxygen mag. It contains stories of amazing weight loss transformations and fitness accomplishments.
- Find like-minded people for support. Join a class at the gym, enlist your friends for support and encouragement or find a group on facebook where you can feel safe in asking questions and getting positive feedback on both your accomplishments and your setbacks.
- Hire a personal trainer for accountability. Meet a trainer to discuss your goals and meet with them at least once a week. A personal trainer can design your workout, set check points, AND they will push you harder than you will push yourself.
- Make a workout date with a friend. Meet them at the gym, your house or theirs. But you don’t need a gym to workout. Have them over to train with DVD’s or a workout you find online.
- Take it outside. Go to the park and use it like a boot camp. Start with a jog, do push-ups and tricep dips on benches, perform walking lunges, pull-ups on the kids play equipment, and so on.
- JUST GO! If getting started is the hardest part, just making yourself go to the gym will help you get into a routine. Sometimes we just have to get back into the habit and everything else will fall into place.
Bonus: What not to do.
- Do not compare yourself to others.
- Don’t look at the perfect-looking physiques of competitors or someone that has been training for years. If you are already feeling bad about yourself or your routine, this can make you feel worse.
- Do not compare your routine or weight loss progress to that of your friend. Different body types will react differently even if your routine is the same.