Gym Motivation: How to get into the habit of working out
Starting a new exercise routine can feel relatively easy, but as days or weeks go by, we can often experience our motivation dip, which is why habits are so important in establishing a regular workout routine, seeing progress and achieving your fitness goals. We recently wrote a post about how to build healthy habits, which includes useful and practical tips to help you build good habits.
Here we’ll get into more specific tips to help you get into the habit of exercising consistently, and achieving long-term results that will make you feel fitter and healthier for life.
We asked regular gym goer and PureGym member Jasmin, what helps her keep her motivated to workout.
It’s about breaking down a collective goal into smaller more manageable goals to provide yourself with a realistic and visual representation of the steps you need to take to get where you want to be.Jasmin @thelillifter , PureGym member at Burgess Hill
Set some goals
Whatever your goal is, whether it's to get stronger, improve your general fitness, or lose weight, having a clear purpose of why you're working out can help to guide your focus in the gym. Set some goals that will leave you feeling proud with the help of our How to set up fitness goals guide.
Have a workout playlist
Research shows that training to music can help give your workout a boost.
Before you go to the gym, you can set up a workout playlist with your favourite tunes that will get you raring to go or get some inspiration from places such as Spotify, where we have compiled the most popular home workout songs here!
Jasmin finds that "a good workout playlist keeps me in the zone and focused on my workout".,
Preparing ahead of your workouts, such as packing your gym back the night before, can help to make it easier to make it to the gym. Make a list of things you would typically make excuses for to help you identify what steps you can take to reduce challenges or things that might prevent you from going to the gym. For example if you sometimes find you don't have clean gym clothes to train in, making sure you check to do your laundry the day before. so you have fresh clothes to workout in can be the difference to either getting or not getting your workout in, which over time, can impact the results you see.
Also, having a workout plan so you know what you're working out on what day of the week can help give you structure to your week and workout habits.
If you have a diary or calendar, planning and adding your workouts ahead of time can help you schedule workouts around your day to fit your needs, rather than just relying on motivation.
Jasmin finds that having a weekly workout plan split by which muscle group she is going to train helps her allow to fit in her workouts for the time she has whilst including enough time to recover from her workouts.
A typical week for her looks like:
- Monday - legs (squats)
- Tuesday - upper body (chest and triceps)
- Wednesday legs (deadlifts)
- Thursday - rest day
- Friday - upper body (back and biceps)
- Saturday - legs (squats)
- Sunday - rest
By allocating set days of when you're going to train can also help with time-management and making sure you're able to balance scheduling workout time and time to do other things. If you want to put a workout plan together to help you get stronger, check out our guide on How to Plan a Weight Training Program.
You can always take it one step further, by setting up a plan of what you're going to be doing for each workout.
Jasmin like to have a clear plan of what exercises, sets, reps, and weight she's going to be doing in her workout, so that she can track her workouts and progress over time - you'll find out why this can help in maintaining motivation and sticking to exercise habits further down in this article.
Include what you enjoy
Exercising can be enjoyable - it doesn't have to always be intense, challenging or boring! By including things you enjoy doing, it's going to be much easier to stick to. For example if you enjoy a cycle class and doing deadlifts, why not go to a cycle class once or a couple times a week and add deadlifting into one of your weight sessions every week?
Jasmin enjoys training back and biceps and we can see that in her weekly routine, she has included this on Friday, which gives her a training session to really look forward to in her week.
Set some boundaries
It can often be easy to get sidetracked, especially with our mobile phones. Setting some rules to yourself, such as putting your phone on Do Not Disturb mode during your sessions, can help you stick to your rest times, and avoid making your workouts unnecessarily longer than they need to be,
Jasmin says: "I will not reply to messages or check social media when I'm training as it ruins my focus and so I don't take a longer rest time than is necessary, which helps me get most out of my training."
Track your progress
If you're going to the gym and repeatedly doing the same things over and over, it's likely that at some point you're going to start feeling demotivated. That's when noticing and seeing progress can really help with sustaining your workout habits. When you know your efforts in the gym are making a positive impact, whether it's on your strength, energy levels, mood, fitness etc, then it's a lot easier to see why you would want to continue putting in the effort.
Jasmin like to track progress by logging in her workouts, recording the reps and weights she's lifting. Writing this down helps her have a clear idea of the progress she is making, and any changes she might wish to help her in achieving her goals.
Starting something new, like going to the gym, can feel a little bit daunting but don't worry - we have plenty of tips for first time gym goers here in our Starting Out in the Gym guide. Our staff and the personal trainers at our gym would be happy to help you out so if you're not sure what to do and could do with help, don't be afraid to ask them in the gym.