Sometimes we get a little off track from our training. Whether it’s injury, illness or life getting in the way, time off from training happens and it can sometimes be a bit of a fight to get back.
You know you should train, you know you could train, but you just, don’t.
Maybe it’s the dismay of going back to a regressed training level, (it’s never as bad as you think, and you’re back to old levels fairly quickly). Or the fear of the post-training ache after not challenging your muscles for weeks, (don’t worry, this only lasts a week or so if you’re smart about volume). Or maybe the creep of bad habits holding you back, (these can be broken and replaced with better ones!)
Either way, it’s time to get your ass back in the gym and start moving with purpose once again.
Here are 5 tips to get you back on track.
Make a plan
It’s a well established fact that no-one in the history of ever “found” the time to get into the gym. You have to make time. There needs to be a plan for how many sessions you can realistically do each week (even if that starts with 1 and builds) and plan them into your diary.
You wouldn’t miss a scheduled meeting or appointment with other people, start giving yourself the same respect.
Scheduled = done.
Get some accountability
Accountability is a wonderful thing. It helps keep you on track even when you might not want to. The key is to either:
- make it very public, so lots of people are on hand to kick you in the ass when you feel like slacking, or,
- to make it somebody that you would hate to let down. (Also, see point 5).
Make sure you use a forum or individual who will hold you to your promise!
Have a training plan to follow
Nothing knocks your confidence like not having a plan. It’s uninspiring. There’s not much more boring than wandering around a gym with no clear idea of what you’re supposed to be doing, and ending up just doing a bit of whatever is free. It hardly sets you up for getting back in for the next session, does it?
There are a million free and paid for plans out there. At this point, just about any one of them will do assuming it matches your goal and ability level. Pick one that appeals, and then follow it. Don’t half-ass, kinda, sorta do it. Follow the whole thing from start to finish. Do it with some reasonable intensity and you’ll see progress.
Just do 10 minutes
If you are still uninspired, promise yourself that you’ll just do 10 minutes. Then go and get your warm-up done. Once that is done, see how you feel. A little motivated? Good, do the first exercise on your plan, then the next, and the next and before you know it, an hour has passed and a full training session has put some bounce back in your step.
A series of small wins has an amazing ability to build a little momentum, and motivation always follows momentum.
Get a training buddy
Having a training partner that you regularly train with can be a great motivator. You don’t want to let them down, you’ll push each other to work that little bit harder during sessions and you’ll have a lot more fun while you’re at the gym.
They are also great for accountability, helping you to get in and do the work you said you were going to do. Get a friend with similar goals and ability, or find someone at the gym who is also looking for a training buddy and set your schedules and training plan, then get to work motivating and helping each other to achieve your goals.