It’s February and D.C. just dodged a major bullet with the blizzard that paralyzed New England over the weekend. If you’re like many of my clients, the colder it gets, the harder it gets to stay motivated to brave the tundra and make your way to the gym.
But, as you are cuddled up next to the fireplace eating your Valentine’s candies and drinking hot chocolate with Baileys, remember one thing: Sweater season will be over soon. That’s right, you have a small window left before you will be forced to peel away those layers and have to show all of your hard work — or lack thereof — from the winter. Don’t panic just yet, as I have some tips to keep you motivated and on track through the spring.
• Rework that workout. We are about seven weeks out since you have been attacking your New Year’s resolutions, but by now you are probably becoming quite bored of the same routine. A few easy ways to breathe new life to your workout can be to simply change the order, increase the weight or challenge yourself to complete it in a certain time. If that doesn’t do the trick, then I suggest using some different tools in the gym. If you haven’t yet, try using a TRX band, BOSU ball, kettle bell, medicine ball, Swiss ball or battle ropes within your workout. YouTube is a great place to learn some new moves with new tools. Remember the more variety you have the better results you will see.
• Find a buddy. When you are hitting an unmotivated period, it’s quite easy to convince yourself that a night of Mexican food, margaritas and “Modern Family” is always a better idea than stopping by to pump some iron, but that’s harder to do in a pair. Grabbing a workout partner who is of your level or a little higher can be a great motivator for both of you. Usually when you don’t want to go, they do and vice versa. Also there’s a certain responsibility you feel for the other person to not let them down.
• New Pics, New Goal. Who doesn’t love a great shirtless photo? I use photos to help with motivation because pictures don’t lie, people and long islands do. Taking a new photo of yourself every six weeks and putting it somewhere visible can be a good way to make you see if you are moving in the right direction. With each picture you should change your short-term goals and focus. These two tactics together can be a great way to show you tangible progress.
• Poke a Personal Trainer. Some of the best motivation for sticking to your fitness plan is paying someone. If you are finding it hard to get yourself up to the task, the thought of knowing your trainer will be paid whether you come or not is a good incentive to stick to the game plan. Besides making you sweat out the red wine from last night, your personal trainer should also keep it fun and interesting. The key to reaching that plateau is pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and consistency, two things a good personal trainer should always provide. Also it doesn’t hurt if your personal trainer is attractive too, every motivation counts. So stay motivated and stay fit.
Gerard Burley is a D.C.-based personal trainer. Reach him via @CoachGFit or firstname.lastname@example.org.