There’s nothing people love to dabble in more than a gym membership. It’s easy to go to the gym for the first month or so, until the initial motivation is replaced by the realization that the gym involves work—and sometimes a lot of it. Since the majority of people fail their fitness plans (the unfortunate truth), the big question remains: how do you prevent self-sabotage from slowing, or destroying, your fitness goals?
One thing to avoid is routine. Patterning oneself to the same workouts, every day, in the same order quickly creates repetition and boredom. Instead, make Mondays for swimming, Tuesdays for chest exercises and Wednesdays for cardio. This keeps the gym more interesting, and it also helps you target specific muscle groups, something that greatly helps muscle growth.
Work to Muscle Failure versus Numbers
Many fitness experts, including trainers like Bill Phillips, stress the importance of reaching peak performance. One trick to maintain a solid exercise without becoming as bored is to try taking the mathematics out of it and focus on achieving your own peak performance levels. How many reps can you do before you cannot physically push yourself to another one? Base your sets on this goal, versus sticking to some linear number—because counting gets boring.
Practice Boxing, Kickboxing
Beating up on a punching bag is a great way to release stress and also get a great cardio workout. Try taking a local boxing class, or see if your gym offers one. This makes a great fitness alternative to the usual routine of exercises.
Work with a Partner
As a personal anecdote, one thing that got me to the gym much more is when my Marine Corp room-mate started pushing me to my max. He’d hit the gym every-day, and when he became my partner, I felt the competitive edge to keep up with him. As a fitness expert himself, he also protection plan that I was staying true to my goals and exercising properly. By finding a partner, you gain a new level of motivation that will keep you coming back to the gym time and time again.
One final way to keep motivation is up is to have a yearlong contract. When $24.99 is subtracted from your bank every month, this can be a huge motivator to get to the gym in order to get value out of the financial setback. Although gym fees can suck—in this case it may be your best asset to getting in shape. The same goes with paying personal trainers, or paying for a class.