8 Tips to Get Back on the Workout (Band) Wagon
It starts with one missed session because you’re tired from work, then it becomes a second for another lazy excuse, before you know it you’ve missed 2 weeks at the gym, been eating cereal breakfast, lunch and dinner and drinking too much whiskey! (Or maybe it’s just me..)
I don’t realise how much I’ve fallen off the bandwagon with exercise and healthy eating until I start to feel exhausted and run down from doing LESS, I get snappy, agitate and struggle with my mental health. It’s at this point I fall out with myself (cue the mental health).I get mad at myself for not exercising, I feel like I’m not achieving enough, or being productive. In my head I know I’ll feel better for working out but it’s the biggest struggle to get back into it!
So, if you’re like me and you’ve taken a break over the past couple of weeks, months or even years (no judgement!).
Here are my top 8 Things to focus on to get you back on the bandwagon!
1. Don’t over-do it right away
Stubborn is a word used frequently to describe me. I want to hit the same weights, same reps, same intensity back in the gym first session. But I’ve found doing too much, too soon is overwhelming and can leave you feeling defeated. So, take your time, pick a lighter weight, lower intensity, slower pace or less reps – do it in order to feel a sense of achievement and then ride that boost of encouragement into your second session, third, fourth, fifth and before you know it you’ll have progressed to or even exceeded your previous fitness levels.
2. Take it one step at a time
Did you use to train 4 times a week? Start with one, mark it in your calendar and stick to it! “You can’t get to 3 or 4 days a week without mastering one.” The jump from 1 session to 2 to 3 to 4 is a lot easier than the jump from not working out to 1 session, so just take the first leap! Your body will respond better to consistency over time and therefore your results and progress will be better if you can keep a regular pattern and frequency.
3. Don’t forget about Rest days!
On your “off” days, your body is still working hard repairing and replenishing itself in order to adapt to the changes in your activity levels and the tasks you’re asking it to perform. Rest days are a critical part in your recovery process and will help you create good lifestyle habits rather than just a short-term sprint.
4. Make time for Warm-ups & Cool-Downs
I’m sure we’ve all experienced the dreaded “DOMS” (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) at some stage of our fitness journey. That aching, tight pain of muscles after exercising for the first time in a while, increasing the intensity or performing a new activity. A proper warm up of dynamic stretching which preps your body to move and a proper cool-down of static stretching which allows your heart rate to return to normal can help reduce some of this muscle soreness so make sure you make time for it! (See my previous posts for some dynamic warm up ideas).
5. Get some Z’s
Working out uses more energy than just sitting on the couch so you might feel a little more fatigued than normal. Sleep is a crucial component of getting you efficiently to your health and fitness goals so don’t skimp on it or your results might stall!
6. Find a workout Buddy or invest in a Personal Trainer
Find someone who is going to motivate you and hold you accountable. I find it’s a lot easier to get to the gym if you know someone is relying on you to be there and help them and if you cancel you’re letting not just yourself down but them as well! I’ve recently invested in my own Personal Trainer and it’s helped me get back on track and start enjoying the gym again.
7. Set yourself some SMART goals
Take some time to really define what it is you want to achieve. Set a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Having a clear direction will help you stay on track and make it easier to build back into good habits.
8. Finally, and maybe most importantly, have a plan!
These nothing worse than dragging yourself to the gym only to not know what you want to do when you get there and half-assing a workout. Now that you’ve decided on your specific goals, take the guess work out of each session by pre-planning a good workout program. It will be easier to stay committed to the gym and help you reach your goals faster if you know exactly what you need to do when you get in. Or alternatively if you’re not sure the best way to do that, invest in someone with the knowledge and experience to help you, saving you time and stress.
So, remember, celebrate each small achievement, even if it’s making one session a week, or completing 1 more rep than last time, break big goals into smaller ones and don’t get discouraged! You’ve got this!
If you would like help, guidance or accountability get in contact today and we’ll work together to reach your goals!