I was recently thinking about how I stay consistent in my fitness journey. When it comes to motivation and perseverance, some of it is intrinsic, yes. Some are born with the fire in their ass to get up and go. However, If we lack that internal motivation, or when it starts to waver (and it will), what can we do to get it (back)?
Here are my….
10 Keys to Fitness Consistency
Discover your reason to train.
Why are you here? PT score improvement? Weight loss? Strength gain? Whatever your reasons for training are you MUST identify them in order to adhere to a program. If you don’t have a "WHY" you are doing it, then you will always fall back on why you are not.
Find a workout buddy.
Having a friend who is committed to a program makes you 33% more likely to stick to a workout program. Bring a friend!
Realize your competitive drive.
Pick someone out in your fitness class/gym/internet you think you can out-perform and get after it! You don’t even have to let this person know you are silently in competition with them. =D
Grasp the concept of training hard.
The first part of “working out” is WORK. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it is not pleasant. Neither is diabetes or obesity. Do you want to be uncomfortable now or REALLY uncomfortable later? You choose.
Learn a new move.
Learning is FUN-damental and key to your workout consistency. I have to keep my Boot Camps and Tactical Athletes Course fun and new or else troops would fall asleep in the middle of the workout or "fall off the wagon". Adding a new movement/exercise keep the routine fresh and interesting. New movements also impact the same muscles in a new and unique way, possibly influencing new growth!
Absorb another’s energy.
Ever hear the phrase “Fake it ‘till you make it”? Well in most cases being “fake” is NO GOOD! However, in a setting like Boot Camp or any other group based fitness class enthusiasm is contagious. Use other people’s energy around you to fire up your own workout and positivity.
Engage with others.
I try to incorporate partner based exercises in my group classes for many reasons. One reason is because when we engage with others in a workout, we can feed off the others energy, offer encouragement, assistance, or simply make a new friend. All of these positive effects of engaging with others in class give us a better chance of consistent attendance and consistent gains!
Comprehend the exercises and/or movements.
Comprehension is: the act or action of grasping with intellect. It is a proactive approach to learning. Getting out there and FEELING a movement influences solid comprehension. So it’s important to understand that a squat, for example, activates the calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, and hips. You also have to stabilize the core during this movement. WOW! You use so many muscles! This is why we do it. The squat is one of the most beneficial movements we can do for overall muscle development and functional movement proficiency.
Follow so that you may lead.
The military is full of leaders in leadership positions and the people that follow their lead. There is a hierarchy and structure that must be followed so that there is order and effective progression. Soon, even if you are a SrA, you too will lead. When the same concept is applied to fitness, it has been proven that following a format or a plan is integral to your success. Therefore, for now, concentrate on following instruction and the to the best of your ability so that at some point you can take all that you learned and apply it to a program of your own.
Appreciate the small victories.
1 pound loss. One additional push-up. Holding a plank longer. A ¼ of an inch loss off of your wrist! It may be a small change to you, but it means PROGRESS to me! Boy oh boy do I love progress. This is what the KAIZEN PHILOSOPHY is all about. I’ve been training for 15 years now and I still get excited when I can do 1 more pull-up or see a vein or ripple I couldn’t see before (weird I know). There is progress in the small victories. Many small victories lead to large results. Appreciate the small victories.
What are your keys to staying consistent and motivated in your fitness routine? Leave your comments below or on facebook.
- Tee Major