As a personal trainer, this post may come off as a surprise. You would think I would try to convince you to sign up for a training gig, right? Not exactly. You are the person with the most control over your life and if you want something bad enough, you will do whatever it takes to make it happen. I believe everyone can better themselves with a little bit of motivation. Here’s how you get started.
Prioritize your health. Too many people make excuses for why they missed out on a workout. Either they were too sore, they got caught up at work, or there was just too much going on that day. Somehow, those same people find ways to indulge in alcohol, sit on Facebook, and bake cookies throughout the week. If you prioritize your exercise, you will find ways to work it in. My take: exercise in the morning. You may have heard of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I suggest following his Instagram page for motivation. His philosophy on waking up early to exercise is to not let any of the bullshit he experiences throughout the day deter him from his workout. When you commit your mornings to exercise, you let little stand in the way of you and your workout (except maybe the occasional missed alarm or the dreaded snooze button).
Join an exercise class. My grandma is 75 years old and commits to going to her aqua-fitness class two days a week. How come she rarely misses? Because she has built a community there with the other women who attend. Their exercise is their socializing which keeps them coming back. If you have never done an exercise class before, I suggest getting involved and talking to the person next to you. Having someone who attends those classes each week alongside you will force you to hold yourself accountable. Group classes are great for meeting new people, not having the burden of designing your own workout, setting your schedule at the gym, incorporating a wide-variety of exercises, having access to a personal trainer, and much more.
Revisit your goals. Continually revisiting your goals is one of the best ways to keep you on track. Small successes, such as losing one pound each week, keep people motivated by providing feelings of satisfaction. They’re easily attainable with commitment. If your goal is to get stronger, set specific goals in regards to weight, sets, and repetitions when performing exercises. If your goal is weight loss, set goals in relation to the number of calories you consume and the amount of exercise you complete each week. Trainer Tip: Don’t overthink your weight on the scale. Rather, use scale readings as information. I have had plenty of days in the past month where the difference in my weight is five pounds from the morning to the evening. Your body weight fluctuates throughout the day and shouldn’t be something you obsess over. Take a quick glance at where you are and if you find yourself tracking backwards think about what you can do differently the next week to turn things around.
If you still find it hard to stay motivated, then maybe a personal trainer is right for you, but you have to choose a good one. My biggest pet peeve in my profession are personal trainers that do not practice what they preach. I know some trainers out there that are winded after a one-mile jog, know nothing about nutrition, fail to do a single pull-up, or all of the above. In my mind, every trainer should have a standard level of fitness in all areas: strength, power, speed, agility, flexibility, etc. If you aspire to look like your trainer, that’s a good thing. If you don’t, how motivating can they really be? Different trainers are right for different people when you are training individually. Make sure that you consult with a trainer before signing on for a long-term program plan to avoid being stuck with a bad personal trainer.
If you ever do get the opportunity to train with me, I promise I’ll kick your ass. Hell, I’ll kick my own ass and do the entire workout with you if that keeps you going. I want your experience to be worthwhile and fun. Contact me if you ever want to get together for a workout or even use one of my guest passes at work.