Thursday, October 30, 2008

Staying Motivated in the Gym....Part 1

Anyone can diet for 3 weeks, hit the gym real hard when the weather starts warming up. But it takes waaaay more than getting ready for the beach party to keep you in the gym, year round, get the long term results you want, and still have a life. I get asked all the time on tips for staying in shape bc I tend to be very consistent....and over the last year really went into overdrive (profile pic is 2 yrs old). The two building blocks are DISCIPLINE and COMMITMENT. Without those two, consider your gym membership a charitable donation. Wrote a post about it a few months ago....like to hear it, here it go.


DISCLAIMER!!! I am not a certified personal trainer. These are tips that I have gathered through trial and error (prolly the best teacher), much professional consultation and research.


You replied April 21, 2008 at 3:19pm


A lot of ppl online love posting pics from 2-3-4 years ago when they were at their pique but shy away from taking current pics. The first step for me that has been the most successful is start with the camera. That's a HUGE one. A lot of ppl hate taking pictures bc they are ashamed of what they're going to see.


CONFRONT IT!!! If you keep running from your problem areas you'll never do anything about it and they get worse. Embrace your (insert body part your not happy with) and acknowledge that you need to do fix it and that will motivate you to do something about it.

My strategies;
1: get a clear mental image of what you want your body to look like....LITERALLY! I bookmark pages in mens health and watched "300" 4 times a week to get me started. You may laugh but when you feel like skipping out on the gym, that mental image will motivate you not to.
2: Set realistic goals. If you're skinny as hell, you're not going to have beyonce hips (someone actually told me that as her goal). You wont lose 30 pounds in a month unless your rich, unemployed and or have some terminal illness. BABY STEPS! On an extreme diet and work out plan, you can expect to lose or gain 1-3 lbs a week, and let me re-iterate EXTREME. Meaning you monitor everything you eat, and excercise 3-5 times a week.
3: Set a goal to underachieve. No matter what goals you have, most ppl wont stick to a plan unless its accessible and convenient. Personally I started out with 30 mins in the gym, 3x a week. Then as you develop the habit, push yourself harder. When picking a gym, doesn't matter if it has all the bells and whistles, if it's not on your way to and from work or 10 minutes from your home, the average person is not going to go. I should add that. Don't be average!
4: THROW OUT THE SCALE! Get some measuring tape. Scales are deceitful bc muscle weighs more than fat. A woman who weighs 160 with muscle tone will look a lot slimmer than a woman at 160 with higher fat %. Thats why ppl work out for weeks, see no difference in the scale, get discouraged and quit. Instead, measure your waist, legs and arms and keep a log of your growth or loss.
5: Take pictures. Since you see yourself all day everyday, you wont notice the result. I never notice any difference but when I see friends after 1,2,3 months ppl tell me I got bigger. Then i go back to photos from 3,2, 1 month ago and i can see the difference. Seeing results builds motivations, motivation makes you work harder, which causes more results. WARNING!! Do not take any photos that may come back to haunt you.
6:the biggest results happen in the kitchen, not the gym. Diets are the devil, you need to rethink and transform you eating and lifestyle habits. Consult a nutritionist, or even better, invest in a personal trainer. If not for the training at least on the nutrition. Once you learn that you can eat right and still enjoy all your favorite foods, your body will transform.
7: most important, ONLY TAKE ADVICE ONLY FROM PPL WHO ARE QUALIFIED AND COMPETENT TO GIVE IT!!! Diets are the devil and i see entirely too many ppl passing on bad advice and bad diet tips to other ppl. No two ppl are made the same and just bc you ate nothing but celery, tree bark, vinegar and lemon for 4 weeks, doesn't mean it will work for everyone else.

Finding what works for you is probably the best advice by far. Not everyone is gym pounder. I find the ppl with the best physiques are dancers and athletes. They tend to have firm cores with 6-8 packsand they don't do a single crunch. Its all about the activity. I'd recommend running, dance classes, swimming and cycling for ppl who don't necessarily like hard weights. But then again, wouldn't this be a wonderful utopic world if results and everything in the universe we wanted catered to what we liked and didn't like?


Side note: It's actually way more effective to spend 10-20 minutes doing light free weight training than it is to spend hours on cardio machines (elyptical machine is the devil). I don't like weights, i just like the results they give me.


I really didn't intend to make this that long but hopefully someone who's really serious about making some changes will find some value in it. I'm no expert, I just consult with quite a few. For the last 6 months I've maintained less than 10% body fat and in the last 3 months added 90lbs to my bench and 80 to my squats. I did nothing special, just consistency, never missed a week and kept my mind on the image of how i want myself to look and feel.


To be continued.... Stay tuned for.................Staying Motivated in the Gym.......Part 2

1 comment:

Alain said...

Yea, I'm back to working out now and definitely need to develop this discipline again. We truly are creatures of habit because breaking with my habit has killed my motivation. Slowly I'm getting back into it and this piece should help.