Do you ever wonder how people stay motivated and consistent with their workouts to achieve the goals and bodies they want? What’s the secret on “how to motivate yourself to work out”?
You’d be surprised that it’s not about motivation at all that drives these people to exercise. Instead, being consistent with your workouts depends on these 3 strategies: planning in advance, setting up your environment, and tracking your workouts. I’ll cover each one in more detail below, but first…
Why Motivation Doesn’t Work
Getting results and progressing in fitness isn’t doing as many “7-Min Abs” workout videos as you can. At first, these videos might motivate you to get off the couch and slam those crunches, but motivation is a limited and undependable resource. It’s like your mood; it can be unpredictable.
Instead, getting results is about consistency and frequency. It’s the long-term consistency over time that gets results – but that’s a lot harder to sell.
To get consistent with your workouts and form a workout habit, you need a dependable predictable strategy built around habit-forming science. So, stop waiting for “motivation” and keep on reading!
How to Consistently Work Out
Plan Your Workouts in Advance
Planning your workouts in advance is a great way to know what you need to do, when you need to do it, and where it’s going to happen. This takes the guesswork out of exercising and working out, so you’re not that person at the gym debating if it’s time to do some curls or squats – wasting time and mental energy.
Advanced planning can be done in two ways: following a program or making a workout schedule for yourself at the beginning of the week.
Following a program has the advantage of being convenient and easy. The workouts and schedule is laid out for you to easily follow along. A good example of this is the Strength Foundations Program in Man Flow Yoga. It’s consistent and built for everyone.
However, building your own program and workout schedule has the potential to be more personalized for your training goals and limitations. Note the word “potential” – it does take a fair amount of knowledge to address your weaknesses and train in the right amount of intensity and frequency to get optimal results.
Either way, planning your workouts in advance removes some elements of motivation and sets up a designated schedule for your workouts. You won’t get as distracted, and you’ll manage your time better.
Set Up Your Environment
To make it easier to be consistent with your workouts, setting up your workout space in advance makes it easier to just hop in and get started. This saves you time, mental energy, and lets you focus on the workout at hand.
For home gyms, this means setting up your yoga mat, blocks, straps, and even your water bottle. It’s a visual cue that reminds you to workout, further limiting the need for motivation.
This can still pertain to you if you’re leaving to go to a gym. You should have your bag set up with your water bottle and gear which might include a weight belt, gloves, and braces. It’s like a grab-and-go bag.
Planning your outfit also helps – who doesn’t want to look awesome when they’re working out!
Track Your Workouts
Tracking your workouts is one of the best ways to stay consistent with your workouts, and should be utilized to its fullest.
Keeping a workout log or journal achieves two things: lets you connect working out with dopamine (the happiness hormone) and lets you learn more about your fitness.
Writing down your workout and how you felt through particular exercises gives us a small hit of dopamine. It’s like crossing something off your to-do list. It signals we’ve been productive and you can see the tangible results of your workout on paper or on your smart device.
As you keep doing this, you’ll start to develop a connection in your brain between working out and the dopamine hit at the end of the workout from writing it down.
Not only that, workout logs allow you to learn more about your fitness and movement patterns. If you record and note which exercises felt good or bad, you’ll learn which parts of your body you need to focus on. For example, you felt weak in your shoulders during downdog, so you’ll modify your next workouts to have a little more shoulder focus.
Workout logs are also like trophies – they’re physical representations of all the hard work you’ve put into your fitness and health. Who doesn’t want more trophies?
Let’s Wrap It Up – How to Motivate Yourself to Work Out
Hopefully, by now you understand it’s not simply motivation that builds consistency. Sure, it might be great to have from time to time, but these 3 simple strategies will help you in the long run.
They’re also WAY more effective and predictable than solely depending on motivation.
About the author, Dean Pohlman, Founder & CEO of Man Flow Yoga, Author of Yoga Fitness for Men, Expert on Yoga Fitness for Men.
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