We know how hard it can be to drag yourself to the gym – you can have all the right intentions, but when it gets to the time you pencilled in, you just cannot push yourself to go. So, we have caught up with Jack Shaylor, trainer and co-owner of F45 Henley-On-Thames (www.f45training.co.uk/henley-on-thames) and F45 Reading (www.f45training.co.uk/reading), who shares his expert tips on how you can convince yourself to work out when you really don’t want to.
1. It takes around 21 days to turn something into a habit, so set yourself a goal to work out every two days for three weeks, and you will quickly find it difficult to miss a workout as it will become a part of your routine. If you are an early riser: no snooze button, lights on, drink a pint of water, wash face, brush teeth, workout gear on, GO! If you train at the end of the day: Drink plenty of water throughout the day and plan your meals to ensure you have enough energy. Log off, get changed before leaving the office, headphones on, GO!
2. Use the 10-minute rule. If you have a workout planned and you really do not have the self-motivation to do it, start with the first 10-minutes. Once you reach the 10-minute mark, ask yourself, ‘can I continue?’ The chances are you can! The hardest part about working out is starting, so once you overcome that hurdle and internal resistance, you will feel all the better for it.
3. Prepare your workout gear the night before, especially if you are into morning exercise – pack your gym bag, lay out your trainers, load your Yoga YouTube video, get your bike out of the shed, whatever it may be. This removes several barriers and eliminates the number of decisions you need to make. If you have your gym kit at work or in the car you will be more likely to commit to your workout.
4. Save your morning cup of coffee until after you have worked out. Use it as your motivation to get your workout done so you then reward yourself with something you enjoy.
5. If you normally get your fix outside but the dark mornings or evenings prevent you from safely doing so, try swapping to a winter-friendly indoor workout, such as at an F45 Training (www.f45training.co.uk) studio where you can try a variety of HIIT cardio and resistance classes. The environment provides a community of likeminded individuals to keep you accountable and on track. If you have to book onto the class, even better! You are more likely to stay committed to show up if you have to pre–book.
6. Mix it up with some outside lunchtime training. This can be an awesome way to get some natural light and the all-important Vitamin D when the weather starts to drop. Whether it’s a brisk walk around the block, a long run by the river or simply dragging your exercise mat outside to do a quick HIIT workout, your body will appreciate the fresh air and you will feel more energised in the afternoon. Do not let weather be an excuse, if it’s raining then invest in a good waterproof jacket. It can feel very liberating working out in the rain!
7. Above all else the key to training during the colder months is discipline. Motivation comes and goes so you must have a back-up plan for when you are just not feeling it! Plan your workouts for the week, write them down and schedule them in your diary, this will hold you accountable to yourself. Even better, get a workout buddy and agree the plan together.
8. Keep trying something new – if your routine has become mundane, you will feel less inclined to do your workout. Try running a different route or signing up to a studio like F45 Training (www.f45training.co.uk) where no workout is ever the same. Whenever you are feeling like your self-motivation is lacking, mixing things up is always a good idea.