You’ve been there.
You get the motivation to…[insert routine here…running, biking, classes at the Y, etc]
You are going strong for… [insert time less than 3 months here]
Then next thing you know…
…it’s been a week since I’ve worked out. Then that week turns into a month, and that month turns into a year, and you’ve got to get the motivation to start it up again. And starting over SUCKS.
In order to get results in any fitness program – one has to be consistent. Consistency beats intensity any day of the week.
“Just show up”
That is the biggest piece of advice I give to new members.
Here are a 6 things you can do to establish consistency into your fitness routine:
1. Set a schedule
When I started Get ‘Em Boot Camp in 2011 (which eventually became CrossFit Mendota and CF Boot Camp) – we only had….
6 classes a week!
Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6 AM and 6 PM. We only had a 3 day a week membership – but if you didn’t make it in – you missed out on your session and your money went down the toilet.
This tight, unforgiving schedule gave people no option but to make sure they could show up at those times. Those early members showed up, got into a routine, and saw amazing results.
Even as our schedule grew to close to 40 hours a week these past 5 years – a lot of these same members were chugging along…
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 am or 6 pm, week after week – nothing was going to distract them from their routine.
Put some blinders on your calendar and make up set days and times that you HAVE to work out.
2. Change your schedule
Maybe you had a set schedule and now a change in schedule is necessary.
- Try working out in the morning. There are typically no interruptions before works starts, you start your day on a positive note, and you don’t have “that workout later” hanging over your head.
- Switch things to later at night – you’ve already had dinner with family, your spouse or significant other can watch the kids, or maybe you absolutely need to decompress after work but before hitting the gym.
- Try heading to the gym before you go home. For some people, getting home and hitting the couch after a long day at work can be the biggest killer of your consistency and momentum.
3. Find a supportive community, enroll others, or BOTH.
Having the accountability of a group of friends, co-worker, or family member is HUGE. A reliable fitness friend is going to give you a bit of hard time when you miss a session, push you a bit harder when you need it, and be supportive when you’re having an off day.
The sense of community at CrossFit Mendota is unique. A CrossFit community is full of like minded individuals who are okay with giving 100% and training hard.
Just like in the show “Cheers” – everyone knows your name at CFM. Fellow CrossFitters are always helping with technique, comparing WOD results, or talking about the next competition. At other gyms, this doesn’t happen except for the occasional “are you using this?”
Research has shown that working out in a group can even change us physiologically. An Oxford University study found that working out in a group resulted in a greater release of endorphins than when working out alone, even when the same amount of work was done. The release of endorphins is what causes that “high” you feel when you finish a workout, sometimes called “runner’s high”.
4. Sign up for something
There’s nothing more motivating – and scary – than that 5k race looming on your calendar. It keeps you honest and on the straight and arrow when it comes to staying consistent.
Register early and make the commitment to be in great shape on race day.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical challenge either. It could be that you want to look good in a bikini by June – whatever is, write it down on the calendar and stick to it.
CF Boot Campers work hard for 6 weeks to crush their baseline workout at Graduation.
At CrossFit Mendota – we reschedule your “Baseline” workout (done during your intro workout or beginner course) every 3 months. We’ll also set up a phone call to review your goals every 3 months – we know how important they are to your consistency and success!
5. Change your perspective
Starting viewing yourself as an athlete. Athletes have goals they are training for – they aren’t just “getting a workout in”.
When you think of an athlete – you think of someone healthy, fit, and in great shape. They’re excited about what they’re bodies are capable of – and that confidence spills over EVERYWHERE.
When you begin shifting your focus toward improving your performance – whether that means shaving 30 seconds off your mile time, doing 1 more push-up, or lifting 5 more pounds that last time…
I guarantee you’ll look better, feel better, and be in much better health.
6. Mix it up
Boredom is often the cause of death to so many fitness routines and good intentions. Humans need novelty to be attracted and intrigued by something. A workout is no different.
A good workout program will be based on constant variance – routine should be the enemy.
From Greg Glassman’s “World Class Fitness in 100 Words”:
“Five or six days per week mix [different] elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.”
Our bodies are amazing at creating homeostasis – a steady environment and system. If all you do is run 20 minutes on the treadmill a few days a week – your body quickly becomes very efficient at running 20 minutes on the treadmill a few days a week. You hit a plateau and no more change occurs.
Fortunately at CrossFit and CF Boot Camp – our workouts change daily. Our programming has an overall plan and direction – but we make sure vary our workouts to keep things fun, interesting, and to keep your body guessing.