By Matt Boyles
- You don’t have a plan
Not having a plan is the number one cause of getting to the gym, faffing about a bit, getting on a treadmill and going home after 20 minutes. It doesn’t need to be complicated, it doesn’t need to be ground-breaking, it just needs to be something you can follow and stick to.
- You have a plan, but you’re not sticking to it
“To know and not do, is not to know” – Possibly Buddha, possibly Confucious, possibly Michelle Obama, I don’t know. What I do know is that action beats inaction.
- You have a plan, but you’re not tracking what you’re doing
Ok, you’ve got a plan and you’re getting your workouts done but things don’t seem to be happening… Are you keeping track of what you’re doing? When we work out, extra blood and oxygen floods our muscles, leaving other organs like the brain depleted. If you’ve ever felt a bit slow or forgetful during a workout, that’s GymBrain©. And with the best will in the world, you’re not going to be able to remember every rep, weight, exercise you did, so scribble it down or save it in your phone. That way you’ll be able to start increasing what you do each week, and the desired progress will start to happen.
- You have a plan, but it’s not right for you
Ok you’ve got a plan and you’re keeping track of your numbers but… Hold on, what is 70% of my 1RM and what the hell is a an offset RDL?! Stick to the classic moves, especially if you’re starting out, and you’ll find the plan easier to stick to and you’ll develop size and strength. They’re also reassuring as you will have seen/done them before so will know what to do, which equals one less thing to worry about.
- You have the right plan, but you’re not going for it enough
So you’ve ticked the above, and are keeping track of an appropriate plan, but still it seems like things aren’t happening like they should. You might not be going for it enough, and this is where a PT or a gym buddy comes in handy. By ourselves we don’t have a sounding board to sense-check what we’re doing, and another person working out alongside can help to push you (safely), more than you might be able to yourself.
- You have the right plan, you’re going for it when you’re working out, but you have no accountability
This comes down to carrot vs. stick. Yes, you have the carrot of building a stronger body and mind, but if no one else cares, or has sight of what you’re doing, there’s no stick to be pushing you forward. Accountability means you have to explain why you didn’t turn up for your 7am gym session with your friend. Accountability is why PT’s programmes work so well.
- Also… You don’t have a goal or ‘know your why’
A good PT will help you find these, even if you don’t know them yourself at first. This isn’t the most crucial of the reasons, but if you’re in a funk or stagnating, taking a step back and looking at what why you’re exercising in the first place – ie. do you want to be able to play with your nieces and nephews without getting out of breath – can really help you to focus.
- The gym is too busy to do what you want to do so you end up on the treadmill for 20 minutes
I hear you on this, and it can occasionally feel like you can’t do anything you want to do there. There are various solutions: Google your specific gym and it will tell you when the quietest times to go are; Try working out at home, as there’s no one else there to hog the dumbbells; change your gym – they’re everywhere now so you may well be able to find one that is quieter when you’d like to go.