Welcome to Blogmas Day 5!
I know I won’t be alone in saying that finding the motivation to leave the house when it’s freezing cold, potentially pouring down with rain outside, to do anything other than shop, go for food, or partake in festive fun can be very difficult so I’ve put together my tips on how I’ve been staying on track at the gym so far this Autumn/Winter!
<3 PLAN, PLAN, PLAN
This is a biggie for me, I find that on days that I go to the gym with no clear plan of what I’m going to do I tend to find myself slacking and hopping on one machine and straight back off. To avoid this, I like to write down in my notes what I’m going to do that session, for example, today at the gym I wrote in my notes exactly what cardio I was going to do, for how long, and what machines I was going to be using, how many reps, and what weight. It sounds a bit obsessive but for me it’s the best way to encourage me while I’m there and it’s much easier having a clear plan set out in front of me.
<3 Keep track of what you do when you’re there
As well as planning what I’ll be doing at the gym, I like to keep track of what I’ve done each day too. I write exactly how long I stayed on each machine when doing cardio, and for weights I write what machines I went on, how many reps I did, and what weight. This is a great way of pushing yourself each time you go to the gym, I look at my list and try to push myself further than last time, whether it’s just an extra minute on the treadmill or an extra set of reps, it all adds up!
<3 Use a Fitbit/other calorie tracking device
Tracking my workouts using my Fitbit is another good way to stay motivated, I can look back at workouts from this time last year and see exactly how I’ve progressed. It’s also always motivating being able to see how many calories you’ve burnt too! Knowing you’ve only got another 25 calories til you’ve burnt 350 can be a big push to stay that extra five minutes!
<3 Train because you enjoy it (and if you don’t enjoy it, change your routine!)
For me, when I first began going to the gym, I was training to be skinny. I was in love with the idea of being stick thin and I would spend my whole hour at the gym doing cardio (and despising every second of it) because I thought that weight training would make me bulky and manly. Then, about 8 months ago I began seeing a personal trainer and he completely changed my outlook on training, we focus a lot on training my abs/legs/glutes and a very small amount of time is spent focusing on cardio unless it’s HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Since having a PT and learning that going to the gym isn’t just about getting ‘skinny’, my views of my body have completely changed, training is about feeling yourself getting fitter and stronger and enjoying watching yourself progress, it’s about accepting your body and going to the gym to make you healthier and not to punish yourself because you don’t think you look good enough. My desire to have stick thin thighs are long gone and training my legs has became one of my favourite things to do at the gym, I find myself getting so excited every time I can pop the pin in a higher weight despite the fact my legs are certainly not getting any smaller! It’s all about perception and the way you view yourself and it’s something I’m learning every single day!
Now, this is a tricky one, Instagram is one of those places that can make you feel great about yourself but at the same time, if you click on the wrong thing, or happen to find yourself scrolling the dreaded explore page, it can make you feel completely inferior due to endless images of the unrealistic, warped, edited lives of the many ‘Instagram models’. I try to stay away from the explore page, especially on a day that I may be struggling with my body image, and instead I follow people who I find inspiring. Someone I enjoy following on Instagram and have followed for a while now is BusyBee Fitness, if you don’t follow her you totally should, she regularly posts ‘Instagram Vs Reality’ photos’s, and she talks a lot about accepting your own body, and promoting body confidence, something I find very inspiring on days that I really can’t be bothered to get myself to the gym. (I’ve also been carrying out her Ultimate Body Guide Fitness Plan which I’ll be be talking about on here very soon!).
<3 Progress Pics
I find progress photo’s soooooooo super motivating, especially as I tend to stay away from the scales (muscle ways more than fat yadda yadda yadda) so being able to look at how far you’ve came since starting, whether it be some weight loss, or more muscle definition, I find photo’s are a much better way of visualising your progress as opposed to trusting the scales, or ‘sad step’ as Joe Wicks very rightly calls them.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, you can follow me on Instagram if you want to see more photo’s from my little fitness journey!
Thanks for reading,