Ah gyms, it has been a while. We’ve missed you. Exercising has so many mental and physical health benefits, but for those who don’t have access to equipment or space, it’s been difficult to keep up with some kind of routine. After so long away, whether you’re into weightlifting, cardio, classes, or are just getting started, you might be wondering how to get motivated for the gym again.
Yes, it’s been a long time since we all felt the endorphin rush of a job well done in the gym. The commute from your kitchen table desk set-up to the living room floor to begin an abs burner isn’t long, so if even journeying to the gym is causing you stress, you need this gym motivation.
Why we’ve missed the gyms
Cross trainers, dumbbells, and free weights are all extremely popular facets of the gym that you may not have been able to take advantage of when working out at home due to space, neighbours, or cost. Not only the equipment will have been missed, however, because part of the gym motivation in a group class like a spin or circuits training class is being encouraged by a trainer and surrounded by others.
The gym is a great place to blow off steam after a long day at work. It builds community and comradery in popular classes, where you sweat with and say hello to the same familiar faces. The atmosphere, the music, the personal trainers on hand to help you with your form or answer questions – there’s just no beating it. Despite this, if you’re struggling to find enthusiasm for the gym after a lengthy lay off, follow these tips.
Plan it into your week
Plan your gym session into your day and prepare for it. When you’re planning your meals in your head or when to go for a walk, also factor in when you’re going to go to the gym. It’s really important that you stick to this and don’t allow yourself to keep putting it off.
If you keep a physical diary or plan things into your phone’s calendar, drop a designated event for ‘the gym’ so you know not to accept other plans or let yourself off the hook.
Don’t break the chain
This is a method used by popular comedian Jerry Seinfeld, and it’s as simple as it is genius. Every day he would put a big red X over a day he wrote a joke on and tasked himself at one joke a day. After a few days, or a week, you’ve got a chain, and you’re positively reinforced to keep it up lest you break the chain. This was used for comedy sketch writing, but there’s no doubt it would also work well when stirring up motivation to go to the gym.
We’re not recommending going to the gym every day, as you might tire yourself out too quickly, but every other day mark on your calendar a big circle for the gym. When you go, you can put a big ‘X’ in the middle of it and enjoy the pattern you make.
Read more on the psychology of changing your relationship to exercise.
Start small, don’t over-exert yourself
Nothing scuppers your gym-going routine like pulling a muscle, sustaining an injury, or going too hard too early after some time out. You might be looking for how to get motivated for the gym, but you also need to consider how to stay motivated for the gym.
Being motivated for one session or class, pushing yourself too hard, and then feeling demotivated for the next is a vicious cycle! Start small and slow – de-load your weights, or soften your expectations for calories or distance covered – and use this as an opportunity to motivate yourself to getting back to your green zone.
Revamp your gym playlist
Everyone has a killer gym playlist, in their opinion. A sure-fire way to find motivation to go to the gym is to listen to your gym songs, whether that’s new music you’ve discovered over the last few months or the old favourites that never fail. Play this music before you go, whilst you’re walking/driving there, and during your workout.
There’s a reason that gyms and gym classes always have repetitive dance beats on, and it’s because that syncing the tempo of the music to your output or heart rate can improve stamina, speed, and performance. You’re more likely to follow the tempo of a song and rhythmically pump your arms or perfect your jump-squats, because the brain follows that pattern.
Furthermore, the connotations of the music you listen to influence your emotions. Research found that music can regulate your mood, filter out distractions, and even boost your confidence depending on the song. If you’re listening to a song you love and find empowering, then this sends a positive message to the brain and fuels your workout and provides gym motivation.
Get an accountability buddy
Being accountable for your workouts is a sure-fire way to give you motivation to go to the gym. Start going with a friend, so you know you can’t cancel those plans and let them down.
Even if you don’t go with them, but both of you promise to workout twice that week, you’ll have the positive reinforcement of needing to keep in pace with your accountability buddy.
Group exercise classes are great for this, and over 6.1 million people participated in them in 2019 no doubt and in part because of the community and accountability they instil.
Gym motivation through visualisation
Visualising the outcomes you want – whether it’s reaching a new personal best, losing weight, or feeling more confident in the gym – can increase your likelihood of achieving it. Don’t view your targets or your end result as at the end of a long road, or as something unattainable.
Motivation to go to the gym starts with positivity and visualising yourself there, doing well, burning calories, and building muscle. This goes for people returning to the gym, and for those who want to start going for the first time.
Tell yourself you can and you will, and you’re already half way there.
How to stay motivated for the gym
Maintaining the motivation to go to the gym can be just as hard as the initial push and the first step. So, you’ve started. Now let’s keep it up.
Genuinely love what you’re doing
If you want to lose lockdown weight, don’t berate yourself for it and spend uninspiring hours on the treadmill feeling guilty. Find something that’s fun and engaging. Try new things, whether that’s a weights class, spin class, or trying out different equipment. You’re at your most motivated for the gym when you enjoy being there and are mentally stimulated.
If you’re new to the gym, see if you can book an induction and be shown how to use the various equipment and machinery. This way, you can feel confident in working out and finding something that’s both challenging and engaging.
If you’re someone who was an avid gym-goer before lockdown, make sure you’re going back with a positive mental attitude and realistic expectations. Don’t push yourself beyond repair on your first session back.
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Allow yourself recovery time
An important part of maintaining your gym motivation is to allow yourself a rest day or recovery time. This means stretching, warming up, and cooling down properly, and giving yourself a day or whatever feels right between each session.
Looking after your body is vital when you’re looking for how to get motivated for the gym again. As well as stretching, consider your diet, your water intake, your sleep schedule, and any supplements. The Turmeric Co. shots are the perfect partner to your recovery and overall wellbeing, and you can shop the full range online.
You’ve got everything you need to answer: “how do I get motivated for the gym again?”, and if you’re a new starter and considering your first membership then chances are you’ve already found your motivation.
Stay positive, use your goals to fuel you and not to punish you, and look after your body to make sure you not only get motivated, but also stay motivated for the gym. For recovery, energy, and lifestyle supplemental support, try our turmeric shots today.