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How to Stick to a Fitness Programme

Gym trainers and dumbbells

With the reopening of gyms in the UK, many people are loving their fitness routines and wasting no time getting back into the swing of things. But for others, returning to their programme hasn’t been as easy. Whether you’re not sure about your fitness goals because you’ve been away so long or you’re just not used to having a routine anymore, these tips will help you stick to your programme. 

Before we get into the nitty gritty, it’s worth remembering that It’s completely normal to:

  • Have bad days 
  • Rest your body when needed
  • Feel like giving up
  • Reconsider whether your current programme is right for you 

If your initial wave of motivation has plateaued, keep reading. 

1. Set goals

When you go to the gym or complete your workouts, why are you doing them? What’s the end goal for you and what (if anything) makes it enjoyable? 

Are you training to compete as an athlete, trying to lose weight or just exercising because you feel like you have to? It’s important to pinpoint what your purpose is so you know whether you’re on the right programme to begin with.

If you don’t have a goal, think about what your ideal healthy body looks and feels like and what kind of training you enjoy. This will make it easier to create the habit of going to the gym so it won’t feel like a chore anymore. We have a guide on how to set goals, so take a look if you need more support with this.

2. Create a reward system

With fitness and nutrition, motivation only goes so far. Let’s be realistic – you’re not going to wake up everyday and feel buzzing about working out. We’re only human and we all have off days. Relying on motivation alone won’t help you through the days when your excuses are taking over and you just want to watch Netflix with a takeaway. 

Put a reward system in place to help you be consistent with your goals. Here are some examples of rewards for complying with your programme:

  • If I complete all my workouts this week, I’ll enjoy a beer at the weekend
  • If follow my nutrition programme everyday for the next 2 weeks, I’ll treat myself to a nice meal at a restaurant 
  • If I stick to my programme all month, I’ll buy myself those new gym trainers

We have another blog on creating an effective reward system, so check that out too. 

3. Schedule your workouts

Put your workouts in your calendar as you would with a work meeting or an appointment. That way, you know you’ve got that time slot booked out, making it harder to come up with excuses not to workout. 

When your fitness programme is built into your routine, it becomes habit. Treat it like an important appointment that you can’t miss and prepare for it. Have your gym kit prepped beforehand and keep some pre-workout snacks in your bag. No excuses!

4. Be accountable to someone

Accountability works wonders when it comes to fitness. If you’re finding it hard to be compliant to your programme, you can either find a gym buddy to keep each other accountable or work with a coach. Being accountable to someone else gives you that much-needed support and kick up the arse to stay on track. 

5. Track your progress 

Sometimes when we’re in a funk and our progress has plateaued, we can lose track of why we’re doing a programme in the first place. Keeping track of your progress and celebrating every milestone, however small, refocuses your mind and helps you motivate yourself to keep going.

Taking progress pictures throughout your programme, weighing yourself weekly and taking full body measurements every month are some ways you can see how far you’ve come. As you go through your programme, you’ll notice that you’re lifting heavier weights, doing more reps and feeling fitter and stronger in general. That makes all the struggle worth it, right? 

For more tips on motivation, check out our post on how to motivate yourself when you can’t be bothered.

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