It’s that time of year where our 2022 resolutions are starting to waver – especially that one you made about going to the gym five days a week. So how can you keep finding motivation for working out, especially when you really don’t want to?
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Believe it or not, everyone understands the difficulty – even the people who seem to love living at the gym! To prove it, we spoke to four personal trainers (PTs) at Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV). They told us their stories of getting and staying motivated, and shared 10 top tips to help you follow suit.
Alex Bailey, PT
“In all honesty, I’m not always motivated and often go through periods of not wanting to exercise. When I get these phases, I reduce what I am asking of myself. When I’m loving it, I can be in 5x/week. But when motivation for working out is at rock bottom, rather than stopping entirely, I just ask less of myself – 2-3x/week, shorter sessions, more compound movements, more variety and things I enjoy doing.
“Treat your fitness and nutrition plan like a dimmer switch and not an “on/off” switch. You’re neither on the plan when life is good and off the plan when life gets busy. You more so turn up the dial when life is good or turn down the dial when life is hectic.
“This may look like; training less times a day, shorter workouts (30mins is better than 0mins), doing more of the things you enjoy doing or signing up to coaching. I know I find myself more accountable to training when I’m (a) paying for it and (b) accountable to someone who’s not myself.”
Deanna Lankford, PT
“Any movement is better than no movement. Find something active you enjoy doing (in or out of the gym) and you will be more likely to stick to it!
“When I feel unmotivated, I scale back my session a bit and only do part of it to begin with. I commit to 10-15 minutes of movement to start with and if that is all I do that is great, but many times I begin to feel the motivation and will continue to finish the session. Just one step at a time.
“My kids tend to distract me, either with lack of sleep or them physically in my space while I try to exercise (at home.) I try to involve them if they seem interested in what I am doing, some days it works better than others though!”
John Owens, PT
“I definitely go through phases where I enjoy working out (no structure) and other phases where I enjoy training (structured plan). Currently I am in a training phase, so I am far more accountable and productive when in the gym.
“I would say that I am far more habitual than I am motivated. Motivation serves great when you initially establish a goal, but progress takes time and time tends to dwindle down the motivation. Scheduling in times for my training and fitness helps me establish the habits necessary to get set up for success.
“I also track my workouts; each session gets recorded through an app and I can then see how I performed previously. Looking back on the progress that has been made is a good spark of motivation when you feel you aren’t heading anywhere.”
Lisa Vass, PT/Health & Fitness Team Manager at ASV
“I fell in love with training after having my own personal trainer. He made me want to be able to do things like deadlift twice my bodyweight, jump 30inches, complete double unders in skipping. I loved the challenges having a fitness routine gave me.
“It’s definitely not always easy. Holidays are a big struggle and always disrupt my routine, but I know it’s only for a short time and take it as recovery time to rest.
“I’m lucky that I use workouts as ‘me time’ and time to de-stress so I always manage to fit it in. On holidays I keep reminding myself that it’s time to give your body a rest and recover. If ever I feel I need to workout on holiday, I remind myself I don’t need a gym, or heavy weights, or a bike. Bodyweight exercises are just as effective. 10 rounds of 20 squats, lunges, press ups, sit ups – you don’t always need a gym environment to keep fit.”
10 ways to keep your motivation for working out going all year round
- Pack your bag the night before and take it to work with you, to workout straight after.
- Look out everything you need for the gym and work the night before if you’re training early in the morning.
- Out of sight, out of mind. Put foods you want to eat less of behind cupboard doors that you don’t open often and the food you want to eat more of (fruit, etc) in plain sight.
- Commit to a minimum number of sessions a week as opposed to a maximum.
- Be accountable to someone else. A gym partner, an exercise class or a Personal Trainer.
- Plan ahead! Set up times in your diary that you are going to get your fitness in.
- If you track it, you will change it. Apply this to your fitness, nutrition, sleep or any other habit to gain accountability on the road to achievement.
- You do you: everyone is built differently, and everyone will have different strengths in many areas of the gym. The only competition you have is with yourself.
- Find something fun, it doesn’t need to be in the gym; cycle outside, go up Munros, go roller blading, just find a fun way to stay active.
- Celebrate every achievement you make, whether it’s running a minute longer, cycling a little faster, lifting a little heavier or being able to finally touch your toes!
Get 12 month’s membership to ASV for the price of 10
Aberdeen Sports Village boasts a state-of-the-art gym, more than 100 group exercise classes each week, an eight-lane 400m track, a six-lane indoor running straight, squash courts and sports studios. The world class Aquatics Centre also has an Olympic standard 50m pool, 25m pool and full diving facilities, including springboards and platforms up to 10m.
The ASV Lifestyle Membership costs £39.50 per month and offers full access to all facilities, no joining fee and a range of benefits (including a free 30-minute personal trainer session to help kickstart your fitness journey).
And now there’s the perfect offer that’ll give you motivation for working out all year round!
For a limited time, you can get a year’s ASV Lifestyle Membership for just £350 – that’s 12 months’ membership for the price of 10.
Find out more about creating a consistent workout schedule with an Aberdeen Sports Village membership or pop in for a tour round the facilities.