So you skipped a few workouts, and now anything, even shoe shopping with your girlfriend and her mom, sounds more appealing than getting back to the gym. And with the highest-stakes (shirtless-ly speaking) season having just come to a close, what’s the big deal with putting on a little extra pudge, right?
Come on. Snap out of it and get your lazy ass back on track. The longer you avoid the gym the harder it’ll be to get back into your workout routine, says Mike Gray, General Manager of UFC Gym. And truthfully, sometimes all you need to overcome the workout blues is a little switch-up in your routine. Luckily, Gray helped us put together a list of the best ways to help you start fresh. Read this, and you’ll be back at the gym in no time.
1. Keep your playlist fresh.
It’s really that simple. A recent study by the University of Wisconsin La Crosse Exercise and Health Program reported that listening to upbeat music while working out can reduce the perception of effort and increase endurance by 15 percent. You won’t feel like you’re working as much, meaning you’ll go longer and harder. So, whether you like listening to hip-hop, rap, techno, or pop, keeping your playlists updated is one of the major keys to steady workout motivation.
2. Try a boot camp workout.
First off, any new workout is going to reboot your motivation, period. But recent research from the American Council on Exercise found boot camp workouts in particular to be the most effective fitness style. Why? Since they’re team-oriented, boot campers feel united by having to survive the workouts together it pushes participants to exercise even harder.
3. Get a workout partner.
Whether it’s a lifelong friend or an office buddy, gym partners give you a real boost. “Partners not only help with the motivational aspect, but they can help in getting you better results, too,” says Gray. “They push you a little harder than you’d normally push yourself and make sure you actually go to the gym even when you feel like going home.” And to make sure you both keep each other motivated, make a game out of it: First guy to flake on the gym buys the other a beer (a light one, of course) at happy hour. Make sure to hold each other to it!
4. Set realistic goals.
In order to stay inspired, you want to feel like you’re getting results, so keep your objectives practical. “Setting goals is extremely important, but setting realistic goals is even more important,” says Gray. So, as much as you may aspire to get Mark Wahlberg’s pecs, just keep in mind that those puppies didn’t grow overnight. “Celebs are great eye candy, but they have loads of time and money to put into working out,” says Gray. “Look at their lifestyles before looking to them for motivation.” How can you stay inspired? Set small, attainable, performance-oriented goals specific to your abilities. Each week, tell yourself you’ll add more
5. Talk up your workouts to friends.
Once you have the reputation of being a badass gym go-er, you can’t flake out because you’re lazy. “Allow your family and friends in on your workout journey so they can help you stay motivated,” says Gray. “After all, they’ll notice your results before you do.” Plus, the positive feedback from them will help you stay on track as will the sarcastic quips when they see you enter couch potato mode.