Remember the excitement and elation you felt when you started working out? You were buzzing with pride (and endorphins, obvs) and couldn’t wait to go back. This was it, the beginning of your fitness journey!
But now? It’s been a few weeks, and the gym is starting to lose its shine. You’re wondering if it’s really worth it. What happened? Here’s the thing about gym training. You need to stick to it to reap all the benefits for your mind and body. We’re not saying you need to go beast mode, smashing it 6 times a week for the rest of your days. But you do need to be consistent.
Consistency is key to any fitness journey. Whether you can train twice a week or twice a day (we wouldn’t recommend that, btw!) you just need to keep going.
If you’re finding it hard to stay motivated, take our advice. Here are 7 fun and simple ways to make working out a habit!
7 ways to stay motivated to work out
From mindset hacks to organisational tips. Pick one to try and you’ll see the motivation come flooding back.
Set goals that work for you
Want to know the number one way to fall out of love with the gym? Setting goals that are way too big, too boring, or simply not you. The thing about training goals is that they have to be meaningful and realistic. There’s no point piggy-backing off your mate’s goal, or trying to copy someone off the ‘gram.
Set a goal that really means something to you. Make sure it’s realistic (there’s nothing more demoralising than being unable to stick to a goal you imposed on yourself!) Start small and build up so you get the motivation of ticking your goals off along the way. And remember to keep workouts short so you don’t burn out. Then be your own biggest hype man as you achieve each step along the way!
Plan ahead for the gym
What is it they say, failing to prepare means preparing to fail? Something like that – we’re not that into neggy memes. We prefer to frame it in a positive light by saying that if you plan ahead for every gym trip, you’re more likely to get the most out of the session. And that’s massively motivating in itself!
If you need to book ahead for classes, do that with plenty of time. Be sure to put your gym sessions, PT, or class times in your diary so you don’t get double booked. What exercises do you want to do in the gym? If you’re not sure, stick with what you know for now until you build your motivation muscle. Remember there are loads of great training guides online. Perfect programmes to do at the gym!
Then set out your gym kit the night before so there are no hold ups on the day. Shoes, towel, change of clothes, water bottle, headphones… whatever you need, get it organised.
Get in the zone
Excitement for the gym starts in your mind! Start visualising the atmosphere, music, and how you’ll feel during your workout. Revisit your most recent training session – how did it make you feel afterwards?
How about putting together a banging playlist of favourite workout tunes to get the endorphins pumping on your way to the gym? Pair it with a pre-workout or a cheeky espresso and your brain and body will be ready to go.
If you’ve got some budget for your fitness journey, invest in some training shoes or a new outfit that will not only make you feel great but help you have a comfortable workout too. Or tap into your most athletic self by listening to an inspiring podcast of audiobooks featuring your favourite athlete or fitness personality. Go on – tell us you’re not feeling motivated now!
By getting in the zone before you’ve even set off for the gym, you’ll set off a cascade of brain processes that will have you anticipating every workout with positive excitement.
Switch things up
Even the most hardcore gym athletes can lose motivation for their beloved workouts if they let themselves get bored. The secret to maintaining motivation for the gym is keeping things fresh (and we don’t just mean your socks…) If your original workout routine is no longer doing it for you, try something else.
Here are 10 ideas off the top of our heads:
- try a new group exercise class once a month
- join an online workout challenge to do at the gym
- train with a friend once a week
- check out different gyms switch up the time of day you train
- use a piece of cardio equipment you’ve never tried
- challenge yourself to work out in a different part of the gym
- book a session with a Personal Trainer
- invest in an 8 or 12-week training plan that will keep your workouts varied!
Get an accountability buddy
Training with someone else is one of the best ways to get into the habit of working out. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t leave someone waiting for you at the gym whilst you lay on the sofa scrolling your phone… would you? (Please tell us you wouldn’t!) Pairing up with a friend or fitness buddy is a great way to get more from your training sessions.
If you don’t want to train with someone, use the power of accountability to keep you motivated for the gym. Pick someone in your life who is always full of enthusiastic energy, and ask them to be your accountability partner. All they have to do is check that you’ve been to the gym, and hype you up when you’ve worked out. Your job is to stay accountable to them until the training habit is ingrained.
Make it social
Gyms are great places to make new friends or hang out with old ones whilst getting fit and healthy. If you can feel the spark of motivation losing its glow, fire things back up by turning your gym visits into mini meet ups. Who do you know who wants to get fit or shape up? Get a group of you together and hit the gym. You don’t even need to do the same workout at the same time to keep each other motivated.
Classes like spin and HIIT workouts are tailor made for groups of friends. Why not make Tuesday evening or Saturday morning classes your weekly dose of fit-friend hang out time?
Track your progress
Want to know what’s really motivating? You are! One of the best ways to get motivated and stay motivated for regular workouts is tracking your own progress. That’s motivation right there, in your gym log book or on your training app.
Look back at the changes you have made since the start of your fitness journey – pretty amazing, isn’t it! Look at how many training sessions you’ve done, progress in terms of strength and endurance, weights lifted or minutes on the cardio machines. Make a note of other forms of progress, too: how has your mood, energy, sleep and self-confidence improved since you started the fitness lifestyle?
Looking back at how far you’ve come is massively motivating and will get you fired up to put in the work to make even more progress.