So, you got a gym membership. Now what? Statistically speaking – and unsurprisingly so – the new year brings on a whole slew of new memberships at any given gym.
Better yet, many people sign up under a contract, inherently dedicating themselves to 6 or 12 months of actually showing up. For many people, this turns out to be little more than money wasted and a guilt complex.
Hey, we’re not judging you here. We simply want to see you see through what you set out to do.
What makes the difference between success and forgetting about your gym membership entirely? Well, beyond showing up, we have a few strategies to implement.
Most of it comes down to mind over matter, and it really does start to show on the outside. Let’s get into how YOU can crush your goals for the new year (and far beyond that).
1. Go in with confidence
You’ve probably heard that confidence is the best look, and it’s true. In fact, it’s true no matter where you show up – in the kitchen, on a date, to the gym. Confidence is a look that never goes out of style, and it’s actually rather useful when it comes to what’s going on internally.
The gym can be super intimidating, especially during peak hours at the beginning of a new year.
You know who you came there for? YOU! Go in knowing that you’re going to have a good workout, and forget about whatever is driving your insecurities.
It’s an easy place for them to boil up, and you can’t always avoid them, but you can stay confident. It’s your best workout buddy. Speaking of…
2. Employ the buddy system
Having a fitness-focused friend has many benefits to it. First, it offers you up some accountability, as long as you can give it back! Find a regular scheduled hour or two when both of you are likely to have time and not back out of going.
If someone else is holding you to it, you’re far less likely to succumb to lack of motivation that day. Walking into the gym with a pal can also ease gym anxiety and boost your confidence, making it easier to seize the moment.
Finally, your friend can help teach you new things, encourage you to try a variety of workouts or offer you friendly competition to keep you on top of your game – even on your ‘off-days.’
3. Don’t be afraid of the weights
It’s easy to set limits for ourselves when we walk into the gym, even if we don’t mean to. While the gym may be fully-equipped with a little something for everyone, it’s simpler to stick ourselves in one corner and keep coming back to that corner every time we hit the gym.
There’s nothing particularly wrong with this, but if you want to branch out, don’t let the fear hold you back!
Women, in particular, have a hard time hitting the weights without feeling a bit self-conscious. It’s a largely male-dominated section of the gym, but remember: it is open to everyone!
Learn some basic form and lifts on YouTube before you head out for a sweat sesh and go for it. Better yet, find someone you trust to teach you the tops. The key? Mustering up that confidence, of course!
4. Get to know the equipment
There’s a ton of equipment in some gyms. Whether or not you hit the big box place or your local rec center, there’s plenty to take advantage of.
Take notice of all the equipment you don’t know how to use, and learn how! You can ask someone at the gym who would be happy to help you or just look it up on your phone if you are feeling shy.
While the machines are valuable to some, you might prefer to work the same muscles using free weights. Perhaps, you need help understanding which muscle groups should be worked together, and what tools can help you work ’em.
No matter where you are in your fitness journey, there’s probably something at the gym you haven’t tried (that you might end up really liking).
5. Step outside of your comfort zone
You know… because that’s where the magic happens. Many of these tips can help you really make moves and push yourself in more than one way.
If you spend enough time at the gym chipping away at your dreams and seeing progress, you will come to recognize the mental energy it takes to stay disciplined, work hard and push yourself when you just know you could be doing it harder, faster or stronger.
We’re not saying that everyday at the gym needs to be 110% or something new, but we are stressing the importance of trying your best on any given day and implementing some variety into your routine.
After all, that will be what gets you to keep going back, and that’s half the struggle anyways.
6. Take your rest days seriously
You know what’s going to make you not want to go to the gym? Feeling like you have to go, going when you’re tired and sore or getting burnt out to the point of total defeat or energy.
Recovery is where muscles both grow and recover, so you want to schedule days off the way you would your workouts themselves; with dedication and enthusiasm alike!
Overworking your body can lead to both physical and emotional stress. In fact, it’s one of the leading factors to developing adrenal fatigue.
If you’re feeling too sore to move, chances are you should listen to your body. Even if you feel like you can keep going, you should take 2-3 days off per week depending on your routine.
You can go for less or more active days depending on your workload and how you’re feeling. Rest days can also be active, so try swimming, yoga or walking when you aren’t in the gym. Oh, and it’s okay to take a week off here and there.
You might actually get back into the groove with a renewed spirit, and be ready to hit some personal records!
7. Sign up for classes
There’s no better way to commit to a solid workout then to work it into someone else’s schedule. If you don’t have a gym buddy, the class accountability system can be incredibly powerful.
It gives you a time and a place to be plus structure and motivation from your class leader. You don’t even have to put in the brain work – just the leg work.
Yoga, spinning class, water aerobics, Crossfit – whatever it is you dig, the community aspect of it and the set time will help keep you wanting to come back for more.
Motivation doesn’t last, but discipline does. Let someone do some of the hard work for you!
Share your gym secrets with us. What makes YOU confident? Tag and share this with your workout buddy or fitness friends if you like these ideas to keep the momentum going this year.
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