Have you ever wondered how people stay motivated and consistent with their workouts to achieve the goals and bodies they want? What's the secret to "how to get motivated to train"?
You'd be surprised if it's not motivational at all that drives these people to exercise. Instead, being consistent with your workouts depends on these 3 strategies: planning ahead, setting up your environment, and tracking your workouts. I'll cover each of them in more detail below, but first ...
Why motivation doesn't work
Getting results and progressing in fitness doesn't make as many “7-Min Abs” workout videos as possible. At first, these videos may motivate you to get up off the couch and snap those crunches, but motivation is a limited and unreliable resource. It's like your mood; it can be unpredictable.
Instead, getting results is all about consistency and frequency. It's long term consistency over time that works - but it's a lot harder to sell.
To be consistent with your workouts and get in the habit of working out, you need a reliable, predictable strategy built around the science that creates habits. So, stop waiting for “motivation” and read on!
How to train regularly
Plan your workouts in advance
Planning your workouts in advance is a great way to know what you need to do, when you need to do it, and where it's going to be. It takes the guesswork out of exercising and training so you're not that person at the gym wondering if it's time for curls or squats - a waste of time and energy. mental.
Advanced planning can be done in two ways: by following a program or by establishing a workout schedule for yourself at the start of the week.
Following a program has the advantage of being convenient and easy. The workouts and the schedule are set so that you can follow them easily. Man Flow Yoga's Strength Foundations program is a good example. It's cohesive and designed for everyone.
However, creating your own training plan and schedule has the potential to be more personalized to your training goals and limits. Notice the word “potential” - it takes a fair amount of knowledge to address your weaknesses and train at the right amount of intensity and frequency for optimal results.
Either way, planning your workouts in advance removes some motivation and sets up a designated schedule for your workouts. You won't be so distracted and you will manage your time better.
Configure your environment
To help you be more consistent with your workouts, setting up your training space in advance makes it easier to start and get started. It saves you time, saves you mental energy, and lets you focus on the training in progress.
For home gyms, that means setting up your yoga mat, blocks, straps, and even your water bottle. It's a visual cue that reminds you to exercise, further limiting the need for motivation.
This may still concern you if you are heading to a gym. You should have your bag installed along with your water bottle and gear which may include a weight belt, gloves and suspenders. It's like a take-out bag.
Planning your outfit also helps - who doesn't want to be awesome when they work out!
Track your workouts
Tracking your workouts is one of the best ways to stay consistent with your workouts and should be used to the fullest.
Keeping a workout journal or journal works two things: connects you with dopamine (the hormone of happiness) and lets you learn more about your fitness.
Writing down your workout and how you felt through particular exercises gives us a small dose of dopamine. It's like crossing something off your to-do list. This indicates that we have been productive and you can see the tangible results of your training on paper or on your smart device.
As you continue to do this, you will start to develop a connection in your brain between training and dopamine hit at the end of training by writing it down.
Not only that, workout logs let you know more about your fitness and movements. If you record and write down which exercises seemed good or bad to you, you will learn which parts of your body you need to focus on. For example, you felt weak in your shoulders during the downdog, so you will modify your next workouts to have a little more focus on the shoulders.
Workout logs are also like trophies - they are physical representations of all the hard work you put into your fitness and health. Who doesn't want trophies anymore?
Let's Recap - How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise
Hope you now understand that it's not just motivation that builds consistency. Sure, it could be great to have every now and then, but these 3 simple strategies will help you in the long run.
They are also MUCH more effective and predictable than relying on motivation alone.
About the Author, Dean Pohlman, Founder and CEO of Man Flow Yoga, Author of Yoga Fitness for Men, Expert in Yoga Fitness for Men.
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Everyone seems to be a yogi these days, from your BFF to your co-worker to your aunt—heck, even dogs and goats are getting their zen on. But if you have yet to attempt Warrior II or Mountain Pose, taking your first yoga class can be a little intimidating. What if your hands sweat and you fall off the mat ? What if you hate it ? What if you can’t do a solo. damn. pose ?
Okay, rewind a second—there’s a reason so many people have hopped on a mat over the past few years. ' Yoga is a non-judgmental practice, ' says Claire Ewing, certified yoga instructor and studio marketing directeur for CorePower Yoga. It’s is a totally accessible way to unwind and break a sweat, so there’s nothing to worry about before checking out a chic.
But to help you feel a little more comfortable before you say your first ' om ' or ' namaste, ' Ewing has some yoga tips to answer all those questions floating around your head.
When in doubt, Ewing says opt for a vinyasa flow class, ' where you have the opportunity to explore the postures and fundamental principles of yoga. ' These are the genres of classes most of your friends probably do, and it’s a great form of yoga for beginners. But oui, it never hurts to check out a couple different genres of classes to see what feels best to you.
' Definitely go for something breathable and easy to move in, ' says Ewing. ' You will work up a sweat, so consider wearing something with moisture-wicking abilities. ' Oh and FYI : Yoga is a no-shoes kind of workout, so don’t worry about sporting your best sneakers to class.
Like with any workout, it’s totally a personal preference how much you fioul pre-yoga. But Ewing points out that yoga is a pretty intense workout, and fueling your body properly will help you get the most out of your practice. Keep it light, though, ' I usually start with a protein shake or bar knowing that the classes can physically take you in dynamic directions, ' says Ewing. ( A. k. a. don’t down that massive avo toast right before chic. ) If you’re just having a small pre-workout snack, you can probably do that about 30 minutes beforehand; but wait a full one to two hours before working out after a meal.
She adds that hydrating beforehand is also key, especially if you ever do attempt a heated flow. ' Drink a full glass of water about two hours before class—that way you have something to sweat out and you will feel better during chic. '
' Absolutely ! ' says Ewing. ' A regular yoga practice increases flexibility and strength in your groupes musculaires. It has you work your full range of motion in every joint of your body and build strong and long zones musculaires. ' ( In fact, vinyasa yoga even made this list of the top calorie-burning workouts. )
This depends on the type of yoga chic you take—for example, a slow flow or hatha chic may require you to hold a pose for an extended period of time. But in vinyasa, ' it comes down to the intention of how the forme was designed, ' says Ewing. ' For example, balancing poses are held longer to benefit concentration and focus, while transition postures build strength while teaching fluidity in movement. '
For the most part, though, poses are held for three to five breaths during the first round to help them sink into your memory. Then they’re held for a single breath when you repeat the pose, to help amp up the cardio component of yoga.
Don’t stress ! No one expects you to master every pose your first go-round ( or really, ever—it’s a constant learning process ). Your yoga instructor should offer possibilités for pose modifications, especially for the more challenging ones. ' Your breath is key in yoga, if you are losing sight of this, you may want to consider modifying or completely backing off, ' says Ewing. And don’t be afraid to ask your instructor for aide.
Also, try to avoid comparing yourself to the other yogis in the room—all bodies are unique, and have varied strengths and challenges. Plus, every time you step on the mat, it’s going to feel a little different, ' for both your body and your mind, ' says Ewing. ' If there is one thing you can take away from the classroom, it is learning how to modify and create a practice that is fit for you. '