Success in the gym doesn’t happen overnight. Training to reach your health and fitness goals can be difficult. For many of us, we create goals for our training and feel highly motivated to achieve them in the beginning. But here’s the problem. We too often let factors or ‘excuses’ derail us from following through and experiencing the success we deserve. Poor food choices, low accountability, and blame can result in us taking the easiest option, which is to quit.
The good news is that you can flip your mindset and implement specific strategies to improve your success in the gym.
Before the training begins, you have to give yourself a serving of tough love. This is your serious reality check, which paints a clear picture of exactly where you are at physically. This is an honest self-assessment of your starting point. Maybe you have 10 extra kilograms you’ve been carrying around for months. Or your fitness levels are so poor that you can’t even manage a flight of stairs, without excessive breathing. With your reality check completed, it’s now time to reach out to someone you trust, to act as your accountability partner. Successful people are not afraid to lean on others they trust for support. This is your person to turn to when you’re feeling low and need an encouraging boost.
Be sure to carefully assess your gym environment and take note of the motivating forces. Is it certain trainers, group fitness classes or people in general? A positive and encouraging environment can help to reduce any mental blockers you might have, which would normally hold you back from being consistent. You should also take note of negative energy in your workout environment. Avoid anything or anyone which leaves you feeling low and doubtful. If you’re training around certain people, who trigger feelings of comparison and envy in you, then stay clear. You need people or situations which elevate your training, and don’t negatively impact your goals.
No one is a fan of the scale or the dreaded ‘before’ gym shots, but these are necessary for success. By taking pictures or videos of your body before you start training, you will be able to clearly see the progress made. You don’t need to obsess over the number on the scale, but doing monthly weight ins and body measurements becomes your tangible evidence. You need this to reinforce that what you are doing in the gym is actually working and not a waste of time. Time is valuable, so hours spent in the gym must be purposeful and result in improvements. If you don’t see positive change in your measurements, then this is a sign that something isn’t working and you need to reassess.
Time restrictive goals
Short term and long term SMART goals are key for success in any area of life. To improve your training at the gym, you must enforce time-restrictive goals. These are goals where there is no option to change the date or time frame, as it is predetermined. If you were training for 2 months before your wedding with the goal to tone muscle and lose 5 kilograms, this would be a time-restrictive goal. Improvements are made when there is no room to change the time frame, as it forces you to take action. This makes your training goals more motivating and increases accountability, as you will either succeed or fail.
Revisiting your WHY
This may be the most important factor for improving your success in the gym. A person’s internal motivation is the strongest tool for achieving their goals when it comes to fitness. No one can do it for you but you. This means that your core values must be established before you start and remain at the forefront of your mind every time you train. You may be on your fitness journey to feel stronger physically and mentally. Zoning in on your why; the reasons you are doing the work to begin with, will help push you through the tough days. It will keep you going and serve to remind you that what you seek to gain is possible and in your control.
The take home
No one said training was easy and the truth is, it can be challenging to improve your success in the gym. There are many factors that can hold you back from making progress. The reality is that it takes work, discipline, honesty and accountability to be the best you can be and improve every day. Give these strategies a go and see how your motivation and success improves. They will help in supporting you to establish long-term training success in the gym.