While some people love going to the gym and never miss a session, many others struggle with motivation. Whether it’s getting bored with your training, not having measurable goals, or having no one to hold you accountable, there are plenty of reasons why people can fall out of love with the gym. Luckily, there are a few simple solutions to remedy this. This article explores the secrets to maintaining your motivation at the gym.
Working out at the gym is excellent for the body, not to mention the mind. There are fitness benefits, a reduced risk of disease, and better cardiovascular health. Of course, there also are the positive changes it will make to your appearance, from reduced fat to improved muscle tone. The downside though, is that you won’t get results without putting in the required effort day in, day out. Sometimes it can be hard to maintain motivation and stay dedicated to your training, but this is something that’s easily preventable. Here are a few ways to stay motivated at the gym and ensure that you keep on track with your workout routine.
Switch Things Up
If you go to the gym, run on the treadmill for half an hour and then do three sets of the same few exercises every time, then it can be hard to prevent yourself getting bored and losing motivation. While some people might be OK sticking to this kind of regimen, it’s understandable that many others will struggle. Mixing things up keeps your workouts fresh and exciting. If you always do a flat barbell bench, why not try an incline or use dumbbells, for a change? If you always use the exercise bike, maybe spend some time on the elliptical or rowing machine. Of course, there’s also the probability that you’ll get stuck in a rut with your training and reach a plateau. To make gains, you need to consider the principle of progressive overload. That refers to challenging your body and taking your training to the next level in some way, whether it’s different exercises, more reps, less rest, heavier weight, or various others. If you’ve stopped seeing results, you’ll be less inclined to keep training. So, it’s essential that you adapt your gym workouts with this in mind.
Set Yourself (Achievable) Goals
One of the main barriers to gym motivation is training with no real purpose. If you just turn up and do a few different exercises without knowing what you’re trying to achieve, then you’ll probably not see many changes, which can be disheartening. That’s why it’s important to set yourself goals, so you have something to work toward. Maybe you want to increase your bench press, squat, and deadlift total by 50 pounds. Perhaps you’re trying to lose a certain amount of weight for the summer, or for a special occasion. If you have an end goal in your mind that you can measure, it’s far more likely you’ll work for it. If you’re just working out for aesthetics, it’s often hard to measure this progress, so consider measuring parts of your body you’re looking to improve—whether that’s reducing your waist size by 2 inches or increasing your chest size by 4 inches. Be careful to keep things realistic; building muscle takes time, so unless you’re using some potent “supplements,” you won’t be looking like a fitness model in a couple of weeks.
Train with Someone
Training on your own is fine for a lot of people, and some of the time you’ll have to do so, but many other people respond well to having some company (or competition!) during their workout sessions at the gym. Skipping a gym session on your own can be easy. But, when you’ve confirmed with a friend or family member, it’s much harder to cancel plans. Whether it’s a lifting buddy pushing you to crush those PRs or someone to chat to during some cardio, you’ll feel a lot more motivated when you train with another person who is going through the same struggle.
Make it Second Nature (Have a Regular Routine)
While, as mentioned earlier, it’s best not to keep your actual workouts the same, sticking to a specific schedule can be beneficial and help you form habits. If you consciously make an effort to train—whether it’s in the morning, after work, or whenever—it’ll almost become like second nature and missing a training session at the gym will just feel wrong. That might be tough in the early stages, but if you push through it and stick to your schedule, you’ll see the benefits, in the form of increased motivation down the line.
Try These Out for Yourself
Now that you know a few of the ways to maintain gym motivation, why not give them a go? Getting the body of your dreams is never going to be easy, but you can allow yourself the best chance of success by sticking to your schedule, mixing up your workouts, training with others, and setting realistic, measurable goals. They won’t all necessarily work for you, but it’s important to give new things a try to see which are the most beneficial.