Coming from a sports background, I find a way to make everything a competition. When I first started working out this was a big problem. I was always comparing myself to everyone in the gym and was not a fan of where I ranked. It made me feel like the gym was the last place I want to be because there was no way I was going to be as strong as the guys who have been working out their whole lives. One day, I asked myself why I was comparing myself to everyone and I didn’t have an answer, it was very unfair of me to do that. I came to the realization that the only person I should be comparing myself to is the old me. We all hope that changes are going to happen overnight but that is just unrealistic. The way you see results is doing something to improve yourself everyday. If you are a competitive person like myself, I challenge you to compete against the you from yesterday. Here are the ways I do this.
1. KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU’RE LIFTING- It is very important to keep track of the weight that you are doing in particular lifts. I usually keep track of these weights just using the notes on my phone. I enjoy doing this because not only is it easy remember the weight you usually do, it lets you recognize the progress you are making. It is important to recognize and appreciate each increase in weight. It reflects your effort in the gym and is reassuring to you when you’re hoping to reach your goals.
2. PROGRESS PICS- It is also important to keep track of how you’re looking. More often than not, the reason we want to start a healthier lifestyle is because we want to look better. Progress pics allow you to recognize areas that you are putting on muscle and areas that may be lacking. Just like the increases in your weightlifting, it is important to take pride in the improvements that you notice. When you start seeing results, you’ll look forward to working out and taking steps closer to your goals.
3. WHY DO YOU WANT THIS?- It’s inevitable, there are going to be days where the last thing you want to do is go to the gym. These are the most important days to go because if you skip, you will always skip the days you want to go. Habits are very powerful things, which is why it is important to set good habits of fighting through a workout even when you don’t want to. The easiest way I can find motivation for the gym is by thinking about my goals. Why did you start this fitness journey? What do you want from it? Envision your goals and think about how you are taking a step toward those goals.
4. GET TO THE POINT- You’re there to workout, workout! I have a hard time believing it when someone says, “I don’t have time to workout”. Believe it or not, you can get a good workout in and be at the gym for 30 mins. The key is to give yourself little rest between sets. It drives me crazy when someone is on the same machine for 20+ mins spending 10 mins between sets scrolling through their phone. If you are on a time crunch it is that much more important to make the most of your time, and the best way to do that is limit the rest between sets and going to the gym with a plan.
5. GOOD PLAYLISTS- This is an important one for me. I NEED music when I am getting any kind of workout in. I actually have 3 different workout playlists that I play depending on my mood. Obviously this depends on the person, but music can influence my move pretty heavily and nothing is better than finding those few songs that can power you through a workout.
6. REWARD YOURSELF- Give yourself a little something when you get back from a workout. Whether this be a candy bar, new gym equipment, clothes or anything really, it is important to reward yourself with the things that you enjoy. Don’t let your fitness journey control your life, small steps toward your goal are the most realistic and the easiest to maintain. Enjoy the little things.