[This is part two in my series on “How To Keep The Weight Off” after achieving some success in losing weight. Part one is here.]
The scale recently said you’re eights pounds lighter.
An excited smile spreads across your face, but a hidden fear lurks beneath it.
The grind of going to those spin or group exercise classes is becoming a bit much, especially at three or four times a week.
On a burst of inspiration, you’ve been going gangbusters the past eight weeks, but now you’re starting to miss a couple classes.
Can you really keep this up for an anothereight weeks?
Here’s some of my best ideas on designing your workout schedule so that your progress doesn’t become the old “glory days” while keeping you sane and happy.
Too often people approach training like diets: all or none.
But the “all” approach leads to burnout.
Whether it’s because you feel compelled to train all the time, or because you feel the workouts must be crazy intense to deliver results, or both.
Here’s the truth:
To be effective, a workout regimen doesn’t need to be punishing. Nor does it require countless hours each week of your time to see great results.
One of the top factors to creating a better body from a training program is that it be DOABLE over many months– doable for your level of fitness, for your schedule, for your personal preferences.
If you can’t imagine committing to a training program for six months because of its intensity or frequency, then it needs to be altered.
My best advice? Start easy.
Here’s a sample template:
Mon & Wed: 20 minutes of strength training
Thurs & Fri: 10 minutes of stretching, mobility, or walking
It truly can be that easy and simple to make a difference in your physique. In fact, the grand total of what I suggested is a mere hour per week of your time.
Now, just because I’ve suggested slashing the time and frequency of your workouts, particularly at the start, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be a top priority.
And this is where you’ll find just a bit of tough coaching love in my approach to workout consistency.
If you asked me the secret to my fitness success, one of the top three answers I’d give you is:
I make workouts an unbreakable appointment in my calendar.
Understand that unbreakable isn’t meant literally.
There are a few exceptions obviously, like emergencies, physical illness, or being seriously overstressed.
Nonetheless, I have a greater than 90% adherence rate to my workout appointments because I have a limited range of reasons that I allow myself to cancel them.
In my mind, a workout is not optional, it’s a must.
Pro Tip: Even if you’re not quite at that level of dedication yet, try this: put your next two week’s worth of workouts in your calendar and tell someone about them. Even that single, small step might make a difference for you.
You just said make workouts unbreakable!
Yes, I know. Here’s why I’m suggesting you allow yourself one or two personal days per month to miss a workout.
Perfection is a myth.
You need a release valve sometimes.
Showing up with 80-90% consistency is plenty good enough to make consistent progress without regularly falling behind.
Embrace the fact that no matter how committed you feel (which, if you’re like me, is SUPER committed after watching a Rockyfilm) there will probably be at least one day in a month where the stress of work, family, etc. will be too much to power through and the best thing you can do for your body during that period is to take a nap or read a book.
Life happens. Allow a little room for it.
Comment below and let me know what’s one step you can take to make your workout consistency a little more doable so that you don’t crash and burn?