Firstly, before I get into it, I want you to consider the following simple fact:
IF YOU DON’T ENJOY YOUR WORKOUT, YOU AREN’T AS LIKELY TO…
a) Do it
b) Stick to it
No one, including me, kicks the sheets off in the morning to the sound of their alarm, with excitement to do something that they dread. It seems simple to say it, but you don’t have to drag yourself to do something that you love. SO DO THINGS THAT YOU LOVE.
Personally speaking, all the tea in China couldn’t get me out of bed for a cross fit session, or a long run in the bitter cold, so I don’t do them - simples.
Albert Einstein once quipped “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”
The good news is you don’t have to completely ditch your favourite exercises, just mix it up a little and I guarantee you will reap the benefits. If you think your routine has become a bit stale and no longer challenges your body, and aren’t sure how to get out of an exercise rut, here’s some simple tips that work for me and my clients;
1) Mix it up
You know who you are! Those of you who do the same form of exercise every time you hit the gym. Commonly referred to as cardio junkies, you pick a piece of CV equipment, set a familiar incline, run at a familiar speed and for an all too familiar period of time and you do this EVERY DAY. Low and behold you don’t see any results.
Why not try some resistance exercise. Start with some machine weights, and work your way to free-weights. There are endless variables to your training, try making use of as many as possible to keep your body guessing and illicit some change. Vary your time, intensity, type of exercise and resistance.
2) If you’re in the gym, be in the gym
Effort is key – put effort into all that you do in the gym. You’re not there to take selfies or play candy crush, you’re here to get results (I assume), so do the time, and then get outta there.
3) Try adding some intervals
Alternate bursts of intense exercise combined with bouts of less intense or rest has been proven to yield a greater fat burning response and even help you to continue burning calories long after your exercise has finished. For example instead of your traditional 30mins on the treadmill, try 10 mins on the cross trainer with a format of 1 minute sprint followed by 1 minute slow and repeat this 5 times. When you’ve finished this, try 20 minutes of resistance work and get an overall more balanced routine.
4) Exercise in groups
As someone who instructs Kickstart Bootcamp sessions on a regular basis, I can tell you first hand that the motivation gained from exercising in a group of like minded people can prove invaluable. But don’t take my word for it - here’s some kind words from some of my Bootcamp Superstars.
5) In order to truly dislike something, YOU HAVE TO TRY IT!
Once upon a time I would have laughed at the idea of going to a yoga class, but with the encouragement of others I gave it a try and it is now an integral part of both my mental and physical well being. So don’t discount anything (I have convinced male clients in the past to try Zumba, and low and behold eh they absolutely hated it but you get my point.)
A new routine?
Steven Seagal once told me that it takes four weeks of trying something new before it becomes a routine (he didn’t really, but as I write this I’m watching the UFC from the weekend and I’ve just laughed out loud at him sitting in the crowd)
Anyway now that you’ve recognised that you’re in a rut and are looking to embrace a new routine, here’s how that new routine could look.
1) Have an outline of your week and associate each day with a particular type of exercise, so for example; Monday = Weights session; Tuesday = PT session (with me of course!); Wednesday = Rest; Thursday = Zumba (try it); Friday = Weights session; Saturday = Rest; Sunday = Yoga
2) Be open to change and try new things, ask fitness minded friends with similar personalities what they enjoy and maybe try it with them.
3) Set a healthy rule for yourself – like “I shall not go any more that 2 days without some kind of exercise” is a common rule I use with most of my clients.
4) Create some funny playlists, my personal favourites while exercising are Ramstein, Metallica, and eh, Prefab Sprout. So you may want to avoid all of those. Music has the wonderful ability to evoke all sort of emotions and motivate us, so why not use this to power your workouts.
5) Embrace your new routine, embrace 2015, love your fitness routine, love your food (more on that next week) and love yourself!
(and if you’re still struggling with it, just get in touch and I can help)