Will Graydon, The Drop’s Fitness Specialist, takes a look at how we can motivate ourselves in the gym after our post-Christmas fitness slump.
For many of us, at some point in our lives, we have had a goal that we have failed to reach, and from sharing experiences with friends, the area that people find the hardest to motivate themselves in is the gym.
Whether it’s for personal reasons or for sporting participation, many are put off even before they start as they feel the finish line is too far out of reach.
The purpose of this article is to give you some tips on how to motivate yourself, whether it’s just to get started or if you've hit a low point and need to dig deep.
Why, then, is motivation important? You need a target. If you step foot in a gym without knowing where you want to end up then you are going to just be wasting your time.
How many times have you stood there, pondering what machine to use next, and then gone and chatted with your equally clueless mate?
In doing so, you aren’t going to push yourself, you will just be satisfied with the knowledge you have been to the gym.
If you walk into that fitness area knowing what you want to take away from the session, you will push yourself in the correct manner and soon be seeing results.
It is impossible not to have a motivation. If you’re just going to the gym because you want to feel healthier, then why not challenge yourself to go for longer on the treadmill?
Set a target time for your mile run and then smash it! Soon you will realise that you are within touching distance of a level of fitness you never expected. This level, now within your reach, allows you to set yourself goals you never could have dreamed of.
The best way to find motivation is to think: "why am I here?". If your aim is to put on muscle then ask yourself: “why do I want to put on muscle?”
Once you have your answer, focus on it, so that when you're having an off day, which we all have, you can picture yourself in that higher team and imagine the feeling of accomplishment, using it to push yourself further, putting yourself back on track.
Choose a role model, whether it's someone you know or a celebrity, someone who has reached your goal, and use them as a reminder that you can do it! (they had to start somewhere too after all!).
If they are friends then go to them for advice, when times are hard or you aren’t seeing the results you thought, they may well have some secret tips to share!
If they are a celebrity then search the Internet, look up interviews they have given, as they always seem to give away a secret or two.
My next piece of advice is to surround yourself with reminders of what you want to achieve.
For example, make your role model your background on your computer. Write little post-it notes with inspirational messages on and stick them around the house – even hide one in your gym shorts which you can call upon at crucial times.
Another great way to surround yourself is to inform your friends of your goals. People are nosy and will want to know how it’s going, which is great motivation to hit your targets because no one wants to hear: “Oh, I guess you gave up on the fitness regime then?”
Finally: make notes and keep a diary so you can make comparisons and monitor progress.
Even if you have increased a weight by the smallest amount that’s still an improvement you wouldn’t have seen without effort!
As Al Pacino said in Any Given Sunday: “Cause we know when we add up all those inches that’s going to make the difference between winning and losing, between living and dying!”
If you visualise the inches on the football field as kilograms on your dumbbell, you can understand the point Pacino is trying to make: when you look back, all the tiny changes you thought weren’t much at the time, add up to one HUGE improvement.
It’s also important to remember to take pride in the fact you made it to the gym.
YOU are one of the few wanting to make a difference to yourself whilst the others are putting it off and making excuses.
YOU are putting in the hard work and reaping the rewards, so from us at unifitness give yourself a pat on the back.
By Will Graydon
Want to find out more? Visit unifitness.co.uk to see how you can improve your lifestyle.