Most people (myself included) start exercising mainly for aesthetic reasons. We all want to look a little bit leaner, slimmer, toned or muscly. The process to achieve these goals is very simple but I would be the first to admit it is very hard to execute and prioritise. We do not need to come up with a complicated scientific equation for weight loss and getting fit. Everyone who is looking to lose weight probably knows they should exercise more regularly and eat and drink less – simple. But where people fail and where it becomes tough is being able to be consistent with prioritising when you go to the gym.
In this post I will go through 5 tips to help you prioritise going to the gym. This will help you stick to your exercise and training plan.
1. Plan ahead
To help prioritise going to the gym, you need to plan ahead. As with other commitments in life, if you do not plan ahead and leave it last minute, you will get overwhelmed and struggle to execute the task.
- Book out regular slots in your calendar/diary where you are able to go the gym most weeks. Set slots on repeat for every week going forward.
- Then on a Sunday evening you can adjust the gym slots to work into your week. Therefore if something comes up where you need to work late or you have a long weekend away, you can change the times in advance. This means you will not leave it till the day before or on the day of to make your mind up whether you can go to the gym.
- If you want to go to the gym 3 times a week, block out 4 slots in the week. If you want to workout 4 times a week block 5 slots in advance. When something important comes up last minute and you can’t make the gym for 1 session, you will still be able to make it up later in the week and not miss out on a workout.
2. Find a training partner
Find a friend or colleague to train with. Having a training partner will help you stay motivated to train because:
- You have someone to be accountable to. If you do not show up to train and drop out last minute you will be letting your friend or colleague down.
- Having a social element to your training will make it a lot more enjoyable especially if it is with a good friend.
- It also makes the session more competitive. You always train harder with someone else and you are more likely to push each other when it gets tough.
3. Use your age as a motivator
What goes up but can’t come down? Your age. Let’s be honest none of us are getting any younger. I am not saying the older you get the less you should train; you can train till you are 100 if able. But the older you get the harder it is to take up something new and longer it takes to get results. Stop putting off when you will start going to the gym. You will never be more ready than the present moment. Unless you’ve just had a serious injury or operation, like a 1 month post-op hip replacement, then listen to your Doctor and Physio.
4. Take up an activity you enjoy
Do something you enjoy and you’ll find it a lot easier to stay motivated. If you enjoy using kettle bells then plan your workout around kettle bells, if you prefer machine weights use machine weights, if you enjoy classes then do classes. You see where I’m going with this.
Same goes for types of exercises you do not enjoy doing. Just because a fitness magazine or guru tells you ‘HIIT’ is best form of exercise for weight loss, does not mean you have to do it. Especially if you do not enjoy it and its causes you pain or discomfort. Try another type of exercise you may enjoy. However, this does not mean that if the exercise is hard you should try and find something else. There will always be times when you will find it hard work in the gym. You may need to regress the exercise or keep at it and persevere. But never give up.
5. Hire a professional
This is not a shameless plug for my services, or is it. On a serious note if you invest time and money by hiring a coach or trainer then you are already 1 step closer to prioritising the gym and your health.
I have my own online coach (John Clarke at The Bending Barbell) for my powerlifting training and competitions. By investing money in John to be my coach I have someone to be accountable to. If I do not do my programs and the workouts I will be wasting John’s time and letting him down. No coach enjoys having a client who is not succeeding regardless of how much you are paying him or her. It is also a £100 a month down the drain if I do not do the training.
By having a coach who is an expert in a certain field means you can rely on them to give you the best advice possible. Without having to worry about doing it by yourself. My goal is to get strong so I’ve hired a strongman to be my coach. If your goal is to lose weight then find someone who specialises in weight loss, and the same for whatever your fitness goal is.
Online training has meant hiring a coach or trainer is a lot more affordable than it used to be. This does mean that there are a lot of cowboy online trainers out there. The best way to find out if some is a good choice is mainly down to word of mouth and of course by having an awesome looking Instagram page! If you cannot afford Personal Training on a regular basis then book in 1 session a month with a trainer. The trainer should be able to write you up a programme for the month and give you any advice and expertise you need to stay motivated.
In summary to help you prioritise going to the gym:
- Plan ahead
- Find a training partner
- Use your age as a motivator
- Take up an activity you enjoy
- And hire a coach or trainer.
Prioritising going to the gym takes a lot of effort and time but the process is simple. So do not give up when it gets tough, stick at it and you will be successful.