The first “smartphone” was developed by IBM in 1992. It was limited to calls, calendar, and the rest of the basics but nevertheless revolutionized the industry. Nokia evolved it in 1996 but the industry really took off in the early 2000′s with all kinds of styles and capabilities. Flip phone, touch screen, etc. Smartphones are now a staple in almost everyone’s lives. I will confess, I can’t live without mine. The fitness industry is in the same place smartphones were in back in 2005; we are booming with different concepts, styles, facilities, etc. It is a free for all! The irony of all this innovation is that it is a catch 22. Sure, I can get my mail instantly, I can talk to anyone at any time (thanks Verizon), and I can look up anything I want within seconds but that doesn’t mean I’m smarter, or more capable. The same goes for your fitness. Believe it or not almost everyone I talk to has either a gym membership (sometimes 2!) or a home gym, Insanity, or P90x but those same people haven’t come close to meeting their goals. Why? Because all these available gym options, and the latest program that you are doing doesn’t mean you are getting better. This article is going to outline 3 ways to stay on track with your goals.
1. Continuity.The biggest thing to be consistent with isn’t your exercises; It is your schedule! You can’t get stagnant if you aren’t in the gym 3-4 times per week. I know what you are thinking: “I go consistently,” or “that’s easy.” Please trust me when I say: IT ISN’T. Life used to be different before TV and social media. You worked, you went home or maybe a party but with TV, social media, and more efficient vehicles we are spread thin! Kids have soccer, wait! new post on Facebook, gotta watch the soap operas… the list goes on! In this day and age, an unstructured life is a circus and you are likely to waist precious hours and thus, you perceive that you have no time! Plan your 3-4 hours for the gym and stick to it! If you write it down or put it in your phone, it becomes that accountability you need. If you just keep it in your head it is easy to forget or overlook.
2. Spread the word! Telling everyone about what you are doing and what you hope to accomplish is one of the best things you can do. If you workout with friends and you skip a day of training, who do you think is going to call you the minute they get done with the workout? They won’t let you be inconsistent and vice versa. A support network is crucial. I see it all the time. The people who train with friends haven’t missed a session and the people who don’t know anyone do. You can also spread the word on the home front. Practice the things that give you trouble at home. I don’t mean overtrain. Don’t go doing hurricanes after dinner but some pushups would be a great thing to practice at home. You can go outside and do sprinting drills. Get your kids involved, it doesn’t have to be a structured session with them. You can make it a game. Freeze tag and when you are tagged you have to do 5 push-ups and 5 squats or 50 high knees in place. Spreading the word is tied to a thing called: lifestyle change. If you are going to see long term results then a lifestyle change is necessary. Going to the gym can’t be a chore; it has to be fun.
3. Measure. A great lesson I learned from Training For Warriors is you can’t manage what you don’t measure. If you are one of those people that go to the gym and decide what you are going to do while you warm-up up on the treadmill then you probably aren’t measuring anything. In order to make continual progress forever you have to have goals and then measure how you are doing. It is easy to plateau if you never give a thought to how you are progressing. My suggestion is to get a notebook and start writing things down. Start with your weight and track that every month. Periodically track how many push-ups you can do in 2 minutes, how heavy is your deadlift? Once you have a few base measurements you can then go ahead and write out a month of training. That way you have a plan that is geared towards your goals that you took measurements on and guess what? Having a month of training already planned out is another way to hold yourself accountable. It gives you something to look forward to instead of dreading the unknown.
Don’t get caught up in the circus. Everyone is busy but there is no excuse if you plan, tell everyone you know, and stick to the basics.