You tell yourself you are going to wake up early, go to the gym so that you have time to make it back and get ready for work. Typical scenario, most of us work long hours and need to squeeze in that early morning training session.
Okay… you wake up and show up. Now what? If you are new to the game, your first thought is probably “I should warm up”. So what do most of us tend to do?
Start on the treadmill.
At this point you are probably thinking of what you should do today. Maybe you want to work on upper body, some legs and extra cardio on the elliptical, for example.
You can see the pattern here. Where does most of our time tend to go?
THINKING ABOUT WHAT WE WANT TO DO!
You are wasting valuable time trying to figure out what you want to do, because you don’t have a plan set in place. You are not being accountable and responsible in preplanning and documenting your workout for the day. This leads to inconsistency making it difficult to adhere to an exercise regimen.
A simple strategy is to have a notebook or use your notes on your phone. We always have our phone on us. Plan out your workouts the night before so that way when you wake up and head to the gym, you know exactly what you are going to execute and no time is wasted so that you can get in and get out.
Something as simple as writing your exercises down and keeping track of them not only keeps you organized, but will help build the momentum for the week. You’ll learn to be more consistent with your training by having a plan of action.
How do you know where you’re going, when you don’t know where you’ve been?
I constantly use this phrase with my clients.
A lot of times we get started in our fitness journey and we feel lost. Maybe you don’t have a set program you’re following.
You are going off what you know and what you feel like training that day. You will see change and reap the benefits of adapting an exercise regimen at first, but at some point you may come to a plateau or become stagnate.
You may be wondering why you’re not getting stronger, why you are not losing weight, why you can’t hit that mile time, why you might be getting slower in your bench mark workout, etc.
Whatever the case may be, you need to look back at what you’ve done or been doing [where you started] to interpret your performance and progress yourself appropriately [where you’re going].
A perfect example of this was a conversation that I had today with a client. Her strength was a 4-rep max for today. The last time we hit the same movement it was a 5-rep max. I asked her how she felt about that first time in comparison to now.
She explained that it seemed IMPOSSIBLE and felt very difficult!
“You’re adding more weight?”, my client asked.
After getting through the 4-rep max for today I asked her how it felt compared to the last time. She confidently told me it felt easier and she felt stronger. Her form improved and she jumped 15 pounds and she could have gone for more weight. Also, she used a weightlifting belt the first time and no belt this time around.
If my client had gone off of how she felt and not actual documented lifts, weights/percentages, she would have more than likely ended adding weight sooner and lift less than what she is actually capable of lifting. Going off how you feel versus calculated percentages you are capable of lifting will limit your progression. If you are not overloading your muscles, you're just maintaining and not getting stronger, better, and or faster. Just to make clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with maintaining. This is more for progressional purposes. If you are not paying attention to how much you're lifting or running or eating, you will find yourself at a stand-still with no answers as to why you are stuck.
3.) STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
Learning to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Work on putting your weaknesses on display so that you can turn them into strengths.
Naturally, we want to stick with what we are great at–your strengths. We tend to avoid the things we are not good at, your weaknesses.
Tracking your fitness journey and learning what your training is lacking is important in order to get better. You can identify areas that need more work and are better able to close that gap.
It becomes very difficult to put into perspective how much you actually focus on a particular area of training if you are not writing it down to go back and reference and adjust your programming accordingly.
Whether you are documenting workout logs, measurements, before and after photos, etc. Use your progress as your motivation. Results can fuel you to keep you going and be hungry for more.
Make use of your past self to push you. Reflecting back on where you once were to now motivates you to become a better version of your passed self.
Recording your journey is like a personal diary for you that can be used as an intrinsic motivation. Seeing progress and recording results leads to self determination and satisfaction. This intrinsic motivation leads to a positive behavior change encouraging continued training and goal setting.
Appreciate how far you have come.
There is a lot of people that wish they were where you are right now.
It is easy to beat up on yourself and become frustrated when you haven’t reached a goal. Don’t forget how far you have come and the right things you are doing now. You may not realize that you are someone else’s motivation just by being you right now.
We are in constant pursuit in becoming the best version of ourselves. We always want more and want to reach higher goals.
There is nothing wrong with wanting more,
Appreciate where you stand and focus on now.
Reflect back on your fitness journey. Look at old videos where you were crazy excited to execute one push up when you never could before. Now you can do them effortlessly.
Look back at your small gains in your main lifts and compare them to your personal best now.
Be grateful with where you are and how hard it was for you to get here.