To make fitness a permanent part of our lifestyles, we need to enjoy it. It’s pretty difficult to make time for something in our busy schedules if we dread every minute of doing it.
On the whole, going to the gym is a really positive experience for many. But some encounter problems around getting to and being at the gym. If this is the case, we’re less likely to associate it with positive thoughts and feelings to spur us on. When life gets busy, it’ll be the first thing we sacrifice. Then we resent that we didn’t make time for it. A negative cycle ensues.
What can help is identifying the pain points that we have with the gym, or the gym experience. What is it that makes us not want to go? Or not enjoy it when we’re there? Let’s pinpoint the common problems, and offer up some solutions. By removing the barriers to working out, w can Make Life Work Out.
Problem: Can’t get motivated to go
The number one grumble that stunts progress before you even get into the gym. Not being motivated enough to go is an issue everyone has struggled with at least once. It helps just a little bit to know that you’re not alone in this. There are a few tips to help motivation levels surrounding exercise.
The first, is to find your ideal time of day. Maybe a morning workout is what will energise you for the rest of the day and let you get on with things knowing that your exercise is done and dusted. Maybe you’re not a fan of the 6am alarm and prefer to workout in the evening to help release any stressors from work. Maybe you’re able to go on your lunch break, or have the flexibility to go mid morning . It helps to figure out what suits you and your lifestyle best. And at which part of the day you always have the better workout.
Another helpful hack is remind yourself of the reasons you’re going to the gym. Make it your mantra. It makes you feel good. It relieves stress. It energises you. It takes your mind off work or worries. You know you’ll feel ten times better after doing it. Re-framing your perspective in this way is going to make it a lot easier to put on your gym gear and get going.
It’s also important to make the experience as easy as possible for yourself. Be prepared and ready with your gym clothes. Plan your workout in advance. Decide what you’re going to do afterwards. Little things like this will help you overcome problems with, motivation . Another great tip is to get a good night sleep, drink plenty of water and buy a good mattress. If you are still struggling you might consider purchasing a sleep aid such as cbd
Problem: Don’t know what to do
The feeling of entering the gym floor with no idea of what you’re about to do is not a fun one. Feeling guide-less and goalless is pretty demotivating and when you’re in this state, a sweaty session is probably off the cards.
Make sure you have a good idea of what workout you’re going to do before going to the gym.
This can start with what you’re week overall looks like. Monday legs. Tuesday chest and arms. Wednesday rest. Thursday back and shoulders. Friday HIIT. Saturday rest. Sunday Cardio. Plotting out a workout schedule like this helps you to fit fitness in around your lifestyle and encourages you to go by allotting the time towards it.
From there, you can think a little bit more about what exactly you’re going to do when you get there. Start with a warm up. Choose 5 exercises. Decide the number of reps and sets. Leave time for a stretch. Done. Take the hassle out. There’s a reason some people prefer classes or working with a personal trainer. There’s a routine ready and waiting for them to when they get there.
Another tip is to research and include an exercise you’ve never tried before. It’ll give you something novel to look forward to and increase your motivation to try it out.
Problem: Not enjoying it
It’s an obvious statement, but if you don’t enjoy something then you’re much less likely to do it. The good thing about fitness and the gym is that there’s so many different exercises and activities you can get involved with. Try out new ones. Find your thing.
If weight lifting isn’t for you, try running, swimming, spinning, or rowing. If cardio is a no go, try Pilates, yoga, boxing, or barre. As the fitness industry develops and grows in popularity, there are more and more options on the cards. If you’ve never enjoyed being in the gym, it might be because you haven’t yet found the activity that’s right for you. Search for it.
There’s also power in going with a pal. When you team up and tackle the gym together, you’ll feel more motivated and encouraged to keep going. It’ll see you take on new challenges whilst making a social occasion out of it too. Another idea could be to try and fit in some exercise into your daily routine, for example could you try these exercise tips at your desk .
Problem: Everything hurts
Okay, this is probably a more serious one to think about. But if you’re feeling pain from your gym workouts, there might be something wrong.
DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness is a normal result of working hard at the gym which results in your muscles feeling a bit sore and needing to recover. If this is what you’re experiencing, make sure to focus on your recovery. Take rest days and look after your body. It is a sign you’re making progress, but it’s not a fun feeling when it hurts to get out of bed.
If your pain is occurring when you’re in the gym, it’s likely you’re not doing the exercise correctly, or you are injured. Back pain is a common complaint for exercises like deadlifts and chest presses. It means your form isn’t there. In these situations, go back to basics and reduce the weight, making sure you have the movement and form correct first. Test and increase your mobility by going through the motions. Then, when you’re ready, gradually increase the weight that you’re lifting in a slow and controlled manner to avoid any unwanted pain or injury.
If you’ve got pain in your knees when running, or sharp stabs in certain muscles when lifting, you might already have caused yourself an injury. The best thing you can do in that situation is to rest. If the problem persists, consult your GP.
Problem: Not making any progress
If you’re further into your gym journey and have been working out for a while, it’s likely you’ll hit a bit of a plateau when it comes to progress. What this means is that you’ve built up enough strength, stamina, or aerobic fitness to accomplish your usual routine with ease.
It can be quite demotivating when the effort is still going in but the output isn’t there. What you need to do now is to step something up. Progression comes from increasing your exertion so that your body needs to do something to match the requirements. Like build more muscle. Or increase its lung capacity.
In the gym, there are a few ways to progress. Lift heavier. Increase the time under tension. Increase the number of reps. Decrease your rest times. Do something faster. It just depends what your goal is and what exercise you’re doing.
For example, to progress at running on the treadmill, try doing the same distance in a quicker time. Or the same time, but a longer distance. Or you can add an incline to the machine to make your muscles work harder.
To progress at weight lifting, you need to be gradually increasing the amount of weight you lift per exercise to see muscular strength and muscle mass increase. You can also increase the number of reps your doing, or the amount of time you’re doing them in to help increase your muscular endurance.
The takeaway is, if progression isn’t happening, something needs to be stepped up.
Once pinpointed and removed the source of your gym problem, working out will feel way better. Hussle for the right reasons.