In June last year I was becoming a bit deflated with my gym routine. I felt like I needed a new structure and approach to my workouts and my results had stagnated in recent months. I spent the next few days reaching out across Twitter, trying to get advice and recommendations on personal trainers/workout plans to start incorporating into my weekly routine. One of the most interesting and constructive responses came from a man called Chris (@LiftingToLive) on Twitter, who asked me a great deal of questions about what I was doing, what I really wanted out of this and what my diet looked like on a weekly basis.
He asked me to be as honest as I could be, both with myself and with him, as the only way for him to get an idea of where I was struggling was to talk about what I was having issues with and where I felt I was lacking. Within a week, he had delivered a full workout plan, alongside a basic diet spec and some key elements to focus on. He even came down to London for a workout session to give me some tips on technique and advice on what I should be focusing on with each workout. However, the main thing he told me to do was to start getting my mind in the right place for this new structure and it’s only now that I look back, I can see what he was talking about. Today, I wanted to share with you my tips on what I did to adjust to my new lifestyle and how I changed my mindset to more positively focus on my fitness goals.
Making An Honest Decision
It can be seen as a cliché to say “I want to get into shape” as so many people try, struggle and give up because the decision is taken too lightly or that person hasn’t properly take everything into account. It’s important to recognise that you are trying to change the physical structure of your body, you are shocking it into new behaviours that it hasn’t really had to go through on a regular basis previously. You are pushing yourself to the edge of what your body can tolerate in order to train your muscles to respond accordingly. At the most basic level, you are almost breaking your body and rebuilding it over and over again (on a microscopic level).
So, rather than make an empty promise to yourself, give it a moment and think about what you’re actually doing. Ask yourself if you genuinely think you can give up 3-4 hours a week in the gym? Will you still go on the days when you’re feeling stressed or just not in the mood? Are you prepared to push through the frustrations, the pain and the effort? If not, then don’t commit to it yet as you will only end up feeling worse about yourself on the other side. Give it a little bit of time and then come back to the decision, there is no shame in allowing yourself to be ready to do this rather than jumping into it and feeling like you’ve failed if you can’t commit. Don’t forget though, there are plenty of people out there who have faith in you to succeed and who will support you, so don’t doubt yourself, just be honest and prepared.
Approach Your Goals With A Positive Mentality
My big mistake the last few times I’ve tried to change my workout routine is that my decision has been rooted in the idea that I’m unhappy with the way I look or I’m somehow punishing myself. To be clear, negative attitudes create negative thoughts, which will only hinder your efforts. This time, I decided to make focus my goals around achievements and came up with a list below:
- Get my body fat % below 9%
- Put on muscle mass in a sustainable manner (around 1-2kg every 2 months)
- Find a post-workout supplement that I enjoyed and consume 1-2 times per day (depending on my workouts that day)
I also made a point of focusing on how I felt after a workout, being mindful of the endorphin hit and how confident I felt leaving the gym as that could be a regular, short term goal I could focus on when I started my workout.
Regardless of your aims, make sure to approach them from a positive perspective. Instead of saying you want to lose weight, set yourself a goal and see it as something to achieve, give yourself something to look forward to after every workout and focus on getting through the first 10 minutes of each workout. Once you settle into the workout, the adrenaline will kick in and you’ll find you’ll have plenty of energy to get you through.
Thanks for checking out the post and make sure to let me know if you have any questions or feedback. You can also leave your own stories of how you changed your fitness objectives, what you are aiming for or what helped you achieve your goals. I’ll be following this post up with a breakdown of what I did with my diet, my workout routines and the changes I have seen so far so stay tuned!