How to stay motivated in the gym

Posted by Anthea England on | Tags: Fitness

If you find yourself hitting snooze for your morning workouts or “working late” through a post-work gym session – there could be a simple fix. We asked PT and chef Scott Gooding for his tips. Turns out, just three small changes can help maintain your motivation and help boost your results.

Scott gooding workoutFocus on quality, not quantity

Smashing out a huge gym session every day is a recipe for burnout. To stay motivated in the long term, don’t overtrain. Your focus should be on quality, not quantity in the gym. “Always flogging yourself will over time expose you to injuries, illness or a compromised nervous system,” says PT, chef and THR1VE ambassador Scott Gooding. “It’s much better to train smarter, rather than focusing on volume. Ensure you are giving your nervous system and muscles time to repair and recover from your previous session.”

Top tip: “Try to slow things down and include a stretching session, a yoga session, a walk or some meditation,” says Gooding. “On that note – if you’re new to meditation it can be a short session (1-2 min) which builds in duration over time – like learning and mastering a new craft or skill. Start with 1-2 minutes and incorporate this into your daily regime – there are plenty of guided meditation apps.”

Use your social network

A recent study from Case Western Reserve University found that even new gym goers who got paid to go to the gym were still unlikely to stay committed long term. So, what’s the secret to motivation? It could be your best mate. A study from the University of Aberdeen found that having an exercise companion increased the amount of exercise people did. This was boosted further if their gym buddy was emotionally supportive. So find a friend – or make one on the gym floor – and commit to a few sessions a week together.

Top tip: block your sessions out in your diary at the start of the week – just like any other appointment.

Mix up your training

“It’s crucial to have consistency with your training but that doesn’t mean doing the same things week after week,” says Gooding. For example, if you’re a fan of HIIT, you could do sprints on the beach one day, sprints in the pool the next, then intervals on a bike for the following session. “When it comes to strength training, research alternative movements that elicit a similar or better response,” says Gooding. “Our bodies are incredibly good at adapting – it’s one of the reasons for our evolutionary success. Therefore, it’s necessary to stress our body in different ways. Depending what your goals are and training modality is, it could be beneficial to include a complementary or accessory session, too.”

Top tip: Gooding says to consider incorporating a de-load week or a week off. “It may sound horrifying to many fitness devotees but it will actually help you over the long term. You’ll come back reinvigorated and ready to take your training to the next level.
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