I've been an avid gym go-er for about 5 years now. Previous to that, I'd never even set foot inside one. Slowly but surely, I became addicted. I've gone through various phases: cardio, working out at home, only wanting to run, just attending classes, and doing a lot of strength training. At the moment, I'm enjoying getting involved in lots of classes.
But how do I stay motivated?
- Feeling Strong: One of the aspects about working out that keeps me extremely motivated is how strong I feel. I'm proud to say that I can now perform between 10 and 20 full pushups in one go. Some days are better than others, but I can assure you that a year ago there was no way I could do that! The more disciplined I became with myself about working out, the stronger I became, the more I wanted to push myself to become stronger.
- It Becomes Fun: I'm one of those annoying people who looks forward to her gym time. I work from home, so there are some days where I don't move from my office or set a foot outside. Knowing that I've got a gym class to go to or that I'm hitting the gym at some point gets me out of the house. And I really do enjoy it! I've made friends, I know all the staff pretty well, and I love the feeling I've got post workout.
- Competition: I've always been competitive. Not necessarily with other people (I can be though!) but mainly with myself. When I began running, the main motivation to keep going and run faster was the Nike Running App that I had. I began to literally race myself, and see how much faster I could go. I still do that with myself, but less with the running. Now it's more about how heavy I can squat!
- MyZone Training Belt: St Michaels Hotel and Spa, the gym that I have been attending for almost two years, kindly gifted me with a MyZone Training Belt. MyZone is a strap that you wear around your waist which reads your heart rate whilst you workout. I was quite skeptical about it at first, because I'd had a bad experience with activity monitors in the past, but let me tell you, this thing is amazing. Syncing up to your phone via Bluetooth, you can use the MyZone belt no matter where you are. In my case, I've worn it to go running, spinning, to my weekly HIIT class, to my PT session, and even to do the cleaning (it was an experiment!). I love that I can see straight to my phone how hard I'm working in real time or whether I'm hitting my heart rate target. You can connect with others who have the belts and see how they're doing. You can even set up mini competitions between each other! I've found myself pushing myself way further than normal, and I can track exactly how many calories I burned. It's comfortable, and it's battery lasts for hours (I've used it 6x a week for a month and the battery is still at 80%!). In my gym specifically, they've even got massive TV screens which display everyone's heart rates. That's great when I've got a PT session and he can keep a close eye on how hard I'm working (or it's horrible because it means I can't get away with anything)! The best part though? You can win prizes! MyZone automatically enter everyone into cash prize competitions for people who earn a certain amount of points per month. So if you're looking for a bit more motivation to work out, maybe winning $10,000 will do it? It does for me!
- Boxing: Wow, I can't rave more about how much I love boxing! I've been boxing pretty regularly for a year or so, and at first I thought it was fun, but the stronger I became and the harder I could hit the pads, the more I love it. This is probably the activity that I'm having the most fun doing at the moment. It's really hard work, your heart rate soars through the roof, you pant and sweat, but the stress relief is immense, and you DEFINITELY feel like a bad ass. Just try not to hit your PT in the face like I did...
- Music: I find it really difficult to listen to music whilst working because I find it quite distracting. I love music, so heading to the gym has become my favourite way to listen to music now. I love to make playlists for myself which I use for months on end full of motivational, and quite up beat songs. I've considered making a Spotify playlist of my favourite workout tunes. Let me know if that might interest some of you!
- Apps: I'm never without my iPhone, so I like to put it to good use. Obviously I use the MyZone app all the time now, and it really is super effective. I recently discovered the Nike Training Club app, and it's awesome! Designed to be like a personal trainer, the app lets you choose a workout you want to do and then times you through it. It comes with images and videos on how to do each move, and let me tell you, these workouts are HARD! I did an abs and butt one a week or so ago, and I felt it the next day. I highly recommend it! Apps really help you to keep track of what you're doing, and motivate you to want to keep pushing yourself.
- Changing things up: One thing that I find really important is to keep changing up my routine. I get bored easily, so if I find something boring, I'm just not going to do it (or at least not with much enthusiasm). A good example for me was Body Pump. Last year, I was attending Body Pump classes between 2-3 times a week and at first, I adored it! However, after a few months, I knew each workout by heart, each song by heart and I was getting really bored. I stopped going, and started going to other classes instead, and the motivation instantly came back. If you're getting bored of your workout, take a break from it. Change it up. Try something new. Don't feel guilty for wanting a change!
I hope that this post has given you a few ideas for getting motivated to hit the gym if you've been struggling lately. Motivation comes and goes for everyone, it's just about finding ways to keep yourself entertained and excited. If you've got any other suggestions, or things that you do to keep yourself motivated, I'd love to hear them!