Yesterday I sent out an email about going into your workouts with a plan.
When we are prepared and go in with a plan, we are a bazillion times more likely to accomplish our goal.
Think about the times you’ve gone into the gym without knowing what workout you are going to do.
How many times do you slack off because you don’t have a clear direction and feel tired from a long day at work? How often do you half-ass your workout just so you can go home sooner and eat dinner? How often do you string together random things just because that equipment is available even though the exercises really have nothing to do with your goals?
Probably all too often.
Because when you don’t go in with a plan, you aren’t going to be as motivated to push yourselves to work hard toward your goals.
Going into your workout with a clear idea of what you need to do motivates you to push hard even when you are tired. You have something you are SUPPOSED to accomplish. So even if you are tired at the end of the day and you only want to do 3 rounds, you are going to push through and do the 5 you have written down to complete.
When you don’t have something written down, you can easily adjust, but when you have something concrete written, you will push through because, most of us, don’t like knowing there is something that we didn’t do.
Also, when you don’t have a program written down you often just do whatever is easiest with no regard to whether or not those exercises or weights will move you forward toward your goals.
You will sub in other exercises that may not even work the same body parts just because that equipment is available. Or you may even turn to a cardio workout because the weights area is busy.
You tend to go the path of least resistance unless you have a guide….almost all of us do.
Having a pre-written workout is a great way to guide ourselves forward even if it isn’t the easiest or most convenient thing to do.
It keeps us on track and motivated. It guides us and even allows us to track our progress because we can make nots on what we actually did.
If we don’t write things down to begin with, it isn’t likely we are going to go home and record every detail about our workouts right after.
And if you can’t track your progress, how will you know what is working and what isn’t? How will you know what changes need to be made?
Plus if you aren’t going off pre-written workouts, you probably aren’t going to be consistent enough in the first place to truly get results!
So start going in with a plan.
Not sure how to write-up a workout? Then check out my Workout Library with 50 free ones! And if you have questions about them, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Plus I even have some great ones under the workouts tab on this site!)
Contrary to popular belief, there are days when even I don’t feel like working out.
Like since it has started getting darker earlier and a bit chillier in the evening…And all I want to do at 8 p.m. is go home and eat…not workout.
But I’ve gotten myself to stay and workout. Not because I have superhuman self-control. And not because I just love working out more than the average person.
But because I’ve planned out my workouts ahead of time.
Too often people don’t go in with a PLAN. They think, “I’ll just decide what workout to do based on what is sore and what equipment is not in use and how I feel when I get there.”
But not having a plan is the best way to give yourself an excuse to not go to the gym.
When we plan ahead, we provide ourselves with motivation, with expectations. And it is way easier to let yourself off the hook if you don’t have expectations.
It is way easier to go straight home after work and sit on the couch if you don’t have a plan to do a push up, pull up pyramid. Because who would just decide to do a push up, pull up pyramid spur of the moment after a long day at work!?!
And it is way easier to decide that 15 minutes on a treadmill is enough if we don’t plan out a true metabolic session to help us work toward our goals. Because after a stressful day, who wants to force themselves into a workout that may almost feel puke inducing?
Let’s face it…It is way easier to SLACK if we don’t have a plan because there is nothing pushing us, nothing guiding us to work hard.
At the end of a long/stressful/draining/tiring/boring/insert-adjective-here day there may not be much, if any, internal motivation left to push us to workout.
We may need a little bit of external motivation – and that external motivation can come in the form of a pre-written, planned out workout. Because having a workout clearly outlined and written out in your hand is evidence of what you are SUPPOSED TO DO. And if we don’t do, there will be not only the knowledge, but also clear evidence that we didn’t do it.
It is easy to ignore the idea of a workout. It is easy to just go home and forget about it.
But it isn’t as easy to ignore something pre-planned and written out. Something that we will clearly know we didn’t do because it is staring right back at us.
And not only does that planned workout make us go to the gym, but it also generally pushes us to work hard even when our mind would tell us the warm up was enough.
I find that even when I want to quit, knowing that I laid out a certain routine keeps me going.
Even though no one but me will know….I WILL KNOW that there was something written out that I didn’t do.
If I’d made the workout up on the spot, it wouldn’t be as hard to change it because it wouldn’t feel set in stone – it would feel like I was just adjusting because I didn’t “feel” that good during the workout.
But writing it out ahead of time, even just earlier that morning, makes me realize that when I was motivated, I did feel good enough to do the workout and that now I’m just being lazy and making excuses.
That it is all really just in my head.
Like the other night. I’d set out a workout.
About 15 minutes in, I felt pretty toasted. My mind was telling me, “I’m done.”
And I thought to myself, “I sometimes do workouts like this and just push hard for 15 minutes. I can go home now…I worked really hard!”
But then the workout goals were clearly laid out in front of me. And I knew I was just giving up because I wanted to go home and not because I was truly exhausted.
So I pushed on. Having the plan kept me going past what my mind wanted to do that night, to what my body really should have, and could have, done.
And the best part is, getting yourself over that first hurdle of pushing hard even when you didn’t want to seems to really get the momentum rolling and makes it easier to repeat the action.
Pushing yourself to go to the gym one night even when you are super tired because you have a workout planned out, will make it easier to push yourself to do it again.
It’s almost like doing it once proves that it really isn’t that bad and therefore allows you to be able to repeat the action.
You often hear, “The beginning is always the hardest.”
And it is really true. But a plan, a workout written out before your motivation dwindles, can be just the motivation you need to truly get started!
So stop waiting till you get to the gym to decide your workout. Start planning!
P.S. Not only does planning keep you motivated, but it also allows you to reach your goals more quickly. You can plan out workouts focused on your goals and not just how you are feeling. Plus writing down your workouts allows you to truly track your results and progress so you can determine what is and isn’t working.