8 Proven Techniques To Actually Enjoy The Gym
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8 Proven Techniques To Actually Enjoy The Gym

If you’re struggling to get off the couch, let alone enjoy the gym, these 8 tips might be exactly what you need.

Firstly, it’s not uncommon to struggle with motivation. Perhaps the thought of sweating it out in the gym makes your stomach churn, or you just don’t know how to squeeze it into your already packed day. But this doesn’t mean you should give up on exercise. With the right approach, anyone can improve their fitness, mood and energy levels.

Here are 8 proven techniques to help you get motivated and actually enjoy the gym.

1. Start with what you’re good at

If you’re doing something completely out of your comfort zone, it’s easy to feel uncomfortable. This can lead to negative self-talk, and more excuses as to why you can’t possibly do it again. If there are certain exercises you prefer with, start with them. From there, you can start to introduce more complex movements as you build your confidence.

As tempting as it may be, you shouldn’t only work on your strengths as it could create imbalances and impede your progress. Consider why you don’t like certain exercises. If it’s because you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, it’s important that you work to rehabilitate it to improve your overall movement. If you simply don’t like the exercise, complement it with something that you do enjoy or consider doing a different movement which works similar muscles.

2. Track your progress

Nothing is more motivating than progress. In fact, one of the most common reasons people quit the gym is because they’re not seeing results.[1] Seeing the benefits and results of your training is incredibly rewarding and will help you enjoy your gym sessions more.

It’s important to also measure your long-term progress – not just week to week. It’s normal to have “off” days, but you should try and stay focused on the long-term and not getting hung up on minor setbacks. However, if you find your progress is stalling for a few weeks, it can be helpful to discuss it with a personal trainer. It may be time to tweak your program or nutrition.

3. Set realistic goals

Even if you are absolutely kicking goals in the gym, you could still leave feeling deflated if you’re chasing unattainable goals. How much progress you can realistically aim for will depend on factors such as your current fitness levels, any pre-existing injuries, nutrition, work and family commitments and how much time you actually want to spend in the gym.

When you’re setting goals, it can also be helpful to take into account what you’ve tried in the past. Analyse what you have tried, where you may have gone wrong and set a plan for how you will do things differently this time.

4. Remember why you want to exercise

If you’re forcing yourself to go to the gym and wipe yourself out just because you think it’s what you should be doing, chances are you’ll be back on that couch in no time. Try to dig a little deeper – do you want to work on your health, so you have more energy in your work or home life? Or perhaps you want to improve your strength so that gardening or general housework doesn’t feel like a struggle. Reminding yourself of the big picture and why you want to exercise and improve your overall health.

Framing why you go to the gym as a positive will go a long way in how you feel about it. If you’re going to the gym to improve your movement and quality of life, it’s much easier to enjoy it. This will also help you be consistent, which is much more important than completely exerting yourself every time.

5. Start small

When you are starting any new habit, the easier you make it, the more likely you are to stick with it. It’s the small, seemingly “easy” changes to your lifestyle which will compound over time into remarkable results.[2] For example, if you’re getting back into exercise, we’d recommending starting with some small walks, then incorporating a couple of strength training sessions each week.

This philosophy applies to your goal setting, too. When you set goals, break them up into a series of smaller, easier blocks and then track your progress. This will help you keep on track, even when your motivation levels are low.

6. Don’t do the same thing over and over

Doing the same thing week after week is not only boring, but ineffective. Over time, your body will adapt, your progress will slow and eventually stall. Furthermore, you could be putting yourself at risk of injury.[3]

In order to improve your strength and fitness, you need to challenge your body by progressively overloading it. This is when you gradually increase the weight, frequency, or number of repetitions that you complete. Seeing yourself slowly getting stronger will go a long way in helping you enjoy your gym sessions.

7. Make it enjoyable

Working out in a space you feel comfortable in, listening to tunes you enjoy and with people you click with will make your sessions more fun. Many of our clients chose a private studio because they didn’t feel comfortable in a commercial gym or they felt overwhelmed. In a private studio, you can complete your workout in an uncluttered, clean environment and you won’t have to fight for equipment. And, if you ask nicely, the trainers may even let you choose the music.

8. Find a Personal Trainer you resonate with

A Personal Trainer isn’t just there to motivate you, but also to help you enjoy your sessions. They will create a tailored program, help you set goals, track your progress, celebrate your success and be there for a chat in between sets. Unlike a gym buddy who might bail on you, a Personal Trainer will show up, week after week. This will make your sessions in the gym more rewarding and satisfying. For tips on finding the right Personal Trainer for you, read How To Choose The Best Personal Trainer.

Following these techniques will help you enjoy your gym sessions more, putting you on the path to a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. Remember, you may not enjoy every single workout, but that’s okay. As long as you are able to be consistent and see progress, your sessions will become more enjoyable over time.