Plain and simple, working out is about overcoming laziness and developing a sense of discipline. You have to push yourself to do the things you don’t want to do. Starting a new workout routine and getting yourself to the gym is 100% mental. The physical part kicks in once you’re there. The phrase, “mind over matter” is a little cliché, but maybe so for a reason. The ability to go from overweight and unhealthy to lean, fit, and healthy is almost always determined by the small area of space between your ears. Take a look at the 10 tips below that most websites won’t show you. They have only become apparent to me after years of exercise and working with my clients.
1. Pick up a sport. Any sport; it really doesn’t matter. Strive to be the best you can be. Your competitive juices will be flowing the second you step out on the field. When you train in the gym, focus on playing the sport, and workout that much harder so you can improve your performance. It will no doubt help you overcome not wanting to hit the gym.
2. Forget bodybuilding. The majority of fitness and especially weightlifting advice on the internet has come from the bodybuilders perspective. This information largely does not apply to you; forget about it. Bodybuilding isn’t designed to build a strong, healthy body. It is designed to build a muscular physique that looks good in front of the judges. It just isn’t practical.
3. Workout many times a week. As long as you aren’t doing super heavy bodybuilding lifts, you should be exercising in some fashion 5-6 days a week. There are a variety of things you can do to keep the exercises fresh, i.e. weight lifting, swimming, sprints, plyometrics, etc. The list could go on forever. By setting the bar high, even if you miss a couple of days during the week, you’ve still worked out 4 times.
4. Use proper form. Using proper form when you workout is more important than you have probably even realized. It doesn’t take a person using bad form very long to create serious muscle imbalances in their body. In addition, you are doing your joints no good when you use poor form. A large benefit of proper weightlifting is strengthening your joints. Forget the machine exercises, they aren’t going to do the job. Stick to the free weights and use proper form. Your joints will be strengthened and serve you well for many years to come.
5. Lift weights for strength. This one is probably more suited towards the guys. Lifting weights for strength, rather than size is key. Bodybuilding is all about cosmetics. By lifting for size alone, you will be setting yourself up for failure down the road; virtually no one can continue a powerlifting bodybuilding routine indefinitely. In addition, your joints will begin to break down by continually being faced with such heavy weights. Work on getting stronger and the size gains will appear. Keep your focus on creating a healthy, lean body and not on a muscle bulging, veiny, bodybuilder’s appearance.
6. Stop the excuses. There will ALWAYS be a million reasons not to do something. This is just a simple fact of life. Either you want to get healthy or you don’t. It’s that simple. There’s really no point in half-assing it either. Get yourself to the gym and put in quality time or stay home and do nothing. It’s your life, do what you think is best for your body and health.
7. Gimmicks. Do. Not. Work. Gimmicks. Do. Not. Work. Repeat this to yourself again. They don’t work. They never have, they never will. You cannot spot tone a specific area. Using an ab machine won’t burn the stomach fat you have covering your ab muscles. The shake weight looks like it belongs more on a porn set than a gym floor. The Hawaii Chair is one of the most ridiculous pieces of “exercise” equipment you will ever see. The bodybuilder’s you see on the TV using the bowflex don’t look the way they do because they actually use a bowflex in real life. There is no magic pill in a bottle that’s going to transform your life. Getting healthy is going to take hard work. Accept that now and the rest will come easier to you.
8. Eating healthy is important. Very…VERY important. Perhaps even more important than what you do in the gym. Even the most disciplined workout routine will be rendered useless by the person with a horrible diet. You work hard in the gym, don’t negate all the benefits by eating unhealthy. Maybe seeing a dietitian is what you need to set you on the right track. Maybe having someone plan your meals is what you need. Whatever you have to do to adopt and stick to a healthy eating lifestyle is what you’ve got to do. Not only will you start looking better, you’ll start feeling better as well.
9. Ride the mental benefits. Exercise and weightlifting cause an increase of confidence and promote a general sense of well-being. This is scientifically proven. Dopamine and serotonin are released more readily in a person who engages in a consistent exercise routine. Use this to your benefit. Hit the gym when you are on one of your natural highs. Workout hard. You are not always going to be in such an elevated mood. Take advantage of the times when you are. It’s much harder to quit or skip the gym when you are feeling confident and happy.
10. Stop the excuses. Seriously…just stop them already. I realize I am saying this twice, but it needs to be said. The excuses have to stop. You don’t have time to workout? Don’t have time to eat healthy? Okay. You should really start thinking about how you will be making time for sickness and poor health, because they are inevitable. Exercise and healthy eating = a longer, happier, more productive life. This is a fact. Believe it, or don’t believe it. Get up off your butt and do something to positively affect your life. Stop the excuses today.