START SMALL AND WORK YOUR WAY UP
“Rome wasn’t built in a day.” As cliché as it sounds, exercising consistently should be as easy as starting with 10 sit ups and 10 push ups every day. When you start off with something new, just doing it everyday can really get you in the right mindset. Learn to start small and work your way up to more exercises. 10 mins on a treadmill, a free-online exercise video or even a trial HITT class at your local gym might help jumpstart the process of exercising regularly. Success will not happen overnight. Keep your spirits high and make things happen. You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.
DO THE WORST FIRST
The hardest part of your week is usually Monday mornings, right? You’ve just come off a weekend full of excitement and now it’s back to your cramped cubicle full of paperwork. No fun. This is a similar feeling to your least favorite exercises. For most men, it’s the dreaded burpees, squats or any variation of leg day. You hate it, but doing these exercises first thing at the start of the week ensures you that things can only get better from here. Also, by accomplishing something that is physically or mentally tiresome in the beginning of your routine, you can effectively focus on doing the exercises you do love, with better form and more repetitions. Nothing can kill an exercise routine like improperly executing an exercise and injuring yourself.
Squats are truly the one of the most beneficial exercises that can affect your entire body. Squats are great for enhancing core muscles. Having a well-balanced core can also improve your posture and help prevent back injuries. You’ll only be cheating your body out of an extremely efficient workout if you skip working out your legs. Every guy can go to the gym and work their upper body, but every great body starts with a solid foundation.
WORK WITH A PARTNER
Sometimes we need more than just our own mental tenacity to stay on track and remain consistent. Finding a friend to join us, whether it’s taking a jog or joining an exercise class, it’s a great way to stick to your exercise routine. Not only do you have someone to chat with, but also you have someone to compete against! As partners, you can both exercise more efficiently through your routines and is especially valuable when you start ramping up your workouts and need a hand. With a little assistance, you’re capable of pushing yourself a little bit farther. If you can’t find someone to work out with, make sure to ask for a spot when lifting heavier than you’re capable of. Keep yourself safe from injury and you might make a new friend in the process. Still not motivated? Try asking for help from your significant other. Start up a convo about how you’re working towards a more constant routine. While they might not be ready to join you, they can keep you on track if you start to stray or skip days. Also, they might be willing to help with your diet or meal plans.
MEASURE YOUR PROGRESS
Measuring the progress you have made is super simple and a highly effective way of remaining consistent with your exercise routine. When you do little things, like measure your weight daily or write down your repetitions, you are mentally telling yourself, “Hey, good job, you did this” or “ I need to change something, I’m not seeing the results I need”. Having a journal is not only a great practice in life, but also a great tool when looking back at your exercising goals that you’ve conquered. You can see when you had a great day and mark when you’ve had a lousy day. Learning from what you’ve been through is crucial for growth.
VISUALIZATION OF YOUR GOALS
Visualization is in fact another great tool to remain consistent with your exercise routines. The best part is that it’s pretty much free! Taping up pictures of a guy with a chiseled six pack, hanging up an old shirt that you once fit in, or simply reflecting back to that one compliment you got while on vacation are all visualizations that are going to help you move forward and become consistent with everything you do. Daily reminders (on your phone or written down on post-it notes) of what your goals are, can prove to be strong reinforcements when you feel like quitting or skipping a workout.
Another great branch of visualization is to start a meditation practice. Meditation can clear your mind of negative thoughts and help reassure you that you’re doing great things. Try Headspace, a service that provides guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training through your digital devices.
There’s not much that can lift you up when you’re tired or in a foul mood. However, sunshine just might be the only exception. Not only is the sun good for you physically, but it’s good for you mentally. Sunlight is known to help with building your immune system and can cure bouts of depression. HERE are some other facts you might not know about sunlight. Being outside has tons of benefits to help your exercise routine. First, you’re able to utilize nature’s elements by doing things like climbing hills, running through different terrains and exposing your body to the elements. Rain or high winds can test a person’s willingness and stamina. As a side note, exercising in extreme heat or cold can be risky and you should always take precaution when trying to push your body. Elite-level athletes, who are capable of pushing their bodies to the limit, frequently train outside in the elements because of these exact reasons. Exercising outside might help you reach your long term goals and reassure you that you’re up to the task for a higher degree of difficulty.
Revert back to a time where you were held accountable for doing the wrong things. Being punished for not finishing your vegetables means not getting that dessert you wanted. The simple principle of punishing yourself for missing your exercises might be a great tool. Not being able to go out for a drink with friends until you’ve completed (2) 30 min sessions is a really effective way of remaining consistent. While you’re the judge and jury, accountability is another great skill to posses if you want to reach your goals. We try enforcing punishments like doing 10 reps of your least favorite exercise anytime you slip up. You gain the benefits of the exercise and eventually you’ll learn why it’s important to follow the rules you set up.
MAKE A PLAYLIST
Music is a big part of everyone’s lives. Growing up we all associate certain songs with different feelings or time in our lives. Exercise is as much a mental task as it is a physical one. Creating a playlist really can shift something as mundane as exercising at home into a fun and focused workout at home. Research has even shown music during exercise can almost amount to a “legal performance enhancer”, by elevating your mood, increasing endurance and distracting from muscle fatigue. Have fun with creating a playlist for different workouts. Try something inspirational for running, something hard for weight training or even something extremely soothing for yoga. TIP: Ask your friends for a new playlist that they would recommend for your spin class. Chances are you’ll discover a new artist that you never heard of. Sometimes hitting the random button can be a good thing. Try out this mix.
CREATIVITY WITH YOUR WORKOUTS
Consistency with your exercise routine can get stale over time. Once you’ve gotten yourself into a great routine, try switching things up by experimenting with new workouts. Websites such as YouTube are filled with thousands of people who do/try different techniques to get into shape. We recommend people like:
If you’re not completely sure of what’s out there, ask someone at your local gym or a friend who’s always asking you to try something new. There is no limit to what can be considered a great workout. Paddle boarding, rock climbing, swimming, basketball, or even playing beach volleyball is great. All of these could constitute as a workout if you’re working hard enough. Remember, for a vigorously intense workout, for someone who is about 35-years old, this will require that the heart rate remains between 130 and 157 bpm during physical activity.
Been working hard? Haven’t been drinking beer in a few months? Sticking to that meal plan? Awesome! Reward yourself for getting this far, seriously. It takes effort and hard work to get where you are. Treat yourself to a milkshake or a slice of pizza. We’re not saying go out and gorge on a bunch of junk food, but consider treating yourself so the next amount of time you spend exercising, you have something to look forward to. The main reason for rewarding yourself is not to make exercise feel like it’s a never-ending hamster wheel of sweat and soreness. There are plenty of fit and healthy people out there who indulge every once and awhile. If you stick to the routine you’ve laid out, you will undoubtedly see results. If you don’t want go full blown, try this healthy but dessert.
ALWAYS BE PREPARED
Not being ready for the unexpected is something every man has been faced with at one point or another. By having a few basic essentials on hand at work, you can be ready for almost any situation, should one arise. Things like an extra pair of dress socks, a pressed white shirt, a vial of your favorite cologne…these are a few essentials to stock in your closet at work. What about a set of workout clothes? There are going to be days where you forget things at home, it happens. Forgetting your shoes can derail the routine you’ve developed and throw your entire week off. Keeping an extra pair of ankle socks or shorts at the office can make those off mornings where you were unable to get your coffee, a little less awful because you were prepared. If you’re really ambitious, try having a separate gym bag at work that contains things like this:
ASK FOR HELP; HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
So you’re struggling to get on the right path and you’ve failed multiple times. It might be time to ask for professional help. Hiring a trainer is a great investment. Your health is important, so this isn’t something you want to rush into. You’ll be investing your time and money into this person so be sure to do some research. Determine what you think is going to be the most productive and the most motivating for your busy lifestyle. Here’s a links to where you can find the right personal trainer: