workout routine

Mind Tricks to Get You to the Gym

As I was walking out of work yesterday in my gym clothes I received a ton of praise in the elevator -- "oh good for you!" Then came the slew of excuses why everyone else -- headed straight home -- doesn't workout. "I wish I could but I never have time," and one lady even admitted, "I just never want to go workout!" Although she said, "I'm always glad I did when I do!" Seemingly puzzled at that phenomena of not wanting to but then being glad she did, I shared some of the mind tricks I play on myself to get to the gym. When we parted ways I realized that lately I've done a decent job going -- even when I didn't want to! Here's how:

I live by this one rule -- When in doubt, go workout.

That's my motto people, plain and simple! I usually start out the day with the best intentions, packing a gym bag and planning to go after work, but you know the drill... work is tiring and long and there's so much to do at home (clean and cook dinner). As the day goes on my will to get to the gym gets weaker and weaker and I start coming up with all sorts of excuses why I shouldn't go. That's when I tell myself: When in doubt, go workout.

It might sound silly but it works! I even have a tank top with the phrase that I wear when I'm feeling especially resistant to working out!

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Immediately following rule number one, I change into my gym clothes before I leave the office.

If I get in my car at the end of the day and I'm not dressed for the gym, it gives me that much more time to back out and book it straight home. But, I'm much less likely to do that if I'm already changed. In fact, my favorite time of day is when work is done and I change for the gym! I instantly feel more comfortable in my workout clothes and energized at the thought of going to workout. It really works - try it!

Some other good tricks: 

I get someone to meet me there or commit to someone I'll be there.

I hate letting people down or bailing at the last minute so it's likely that if I've committed to someone, such as meeting a friend at the gym, I'll make good on that promise! I try to coordinate with Aaron and going with him helps a ton, too.

If your spouse doesn't workout ask your fellow gym goers when they'll be around and verbally commit to be there the same day. Ask, "Will you be here tomorrow?" If they will, commit, "Me too! Hold me to it!" You never know, that small conversation might turn into a great support system!

I watch CrossFit videos on IG or YouTube.

Monkey-see, monkey-want-to-do! Seeing hard-working, strong, awesome athletes motivates me to want to get MY workout on! You could always ask yourself this one, too:

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Finally, I remind myself...

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Seriously guys, I don't work out to be fit or lose weight -- I work out for my mental health! I get such a boost from even just an hour at the gym and there's nothing quite like it! I can tell myself going home, cleaning, and getting things done will feel wonderful, but I know better; I'll get MORE done after a workout (I'll be energized) and I'll feel a lot better about myself too -- accomplished and refreshed!

What mind tricks do you play to get yourself to the gym? 

Do you have a hard time getting motivated to get there?

How to Make Working Out Part of Your Routine

"To workout or not to workout. That is a dumb question!"

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If you know me, you know I workout fairly regularly. I've gotten into the habit of going to gym at least 3-4 times a week and I'm proud of that - especially not having any sort of fitness background, and being a generally lazy person (just being honest here - I love the vegging out on the couch as much as the next girl!).

Of course, going to the gym isn't always easy, and in fact, often times I don't feel like going. But, it always holds true that when I do go, I'm always so glad that I did.

I put together a small list of ideas to help those of you trying to get (back) into a routine. These things have helped me TREMENDOUSLY and I know they'll help you.

1. Get a buddy.

Funny story - when I first started getting into the gym, I got on Craigslist (yes - Craigslist - it's actually kind of creepy) to find a workout buddy, and guess what? I did! My first workout partner was a girl named Claire and let me tell ya, we were dedicated! Sometimes we met TWICE a day at the gym (morning and after work). Claire got me running - for the first time ever, and let me work out with her and her trainer. Claire and I eventually parted ways (weddings, jobs, babies, you know how it goes) but it wasn't long after that I started working out with coworkers. I started off going running with one guy, and then, two girls joined the same gym and three of us eventually all chipped in to get a personal trainer!

2. Get a Personal Trainer.

That same personal trainer was the one who got me in tip-top shape for my wedding day! (Personal trainers are a great resource if you DON'T have a gym buddy.) Below is a picture of the personal trainer I have at my work gym. His name is Larry but we call him Scary Larry because of his crazy workouts!

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I think the convenience of a work gym makes a huge difference, but to be honest, I wouldn't go as often as I do if it wasn't for this girl, Karlye! She keeps me dedicated! We try to go at least twice a week to workout with Scary Larry.

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There's also my hubby who keeps me going to crossfit. There are so many nights after work, when I just want to go home, but I know he's pumped and ready for Crossfit, so I go! (Again, it's the buddy system. Refer to #1)

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I swear gym buddies make the biggest difference!

3. Do workouts that make you happy!

I've gotten to a point where I don't particularily enjoy traditional weight lifting or using weight machines in the gym. I've never really enjoyed weight lifting (until I started CrossFit and began doing Olympic lifts), so if I'm going to the gym after work, it's more than likely going to be to go to a class, do some running, or come up with a routine using my workout sticks. I'm not going to force myself to do something I don't enjoy. If I did force myself, chances are I'd half-ass it or quit really early on. Hate running? (Or, like most people, cardio in general?) Then try weight lifting at the gym - everyone's different. I really like this beginner's guide for weight lifting.

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4. Change at work for an after-work sweat fest, or sleep in your clothes to workout first thing.

It sounds silly but it's so true! Once you're dressed, you're practically out the door. Of course this isn't a sure thing (what is?), but you're one step closer. This has really worked for me lately. I used to workout at lunch and going after work has been HARD. Around 4 or 4:30, I'm thinking of ways to bail out. But then, I get dressed and voila, suddenly, I feel like going. Suddenly, I AM GOING.

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5. Challenge yourself.

I love a good challenge, especially one that helps me get into a habit bootcamp style. If you're trying to get into the habit of getting to the gym, challenge yourself to go 4 days a week next week. But like REALLY challenge yourself, don't just say it and then not do it. Declare it and then actually follow through.

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This is me challenging myself to do a pull-up. Even with a band they're hard!

6. Track your progress.

I love Streaks for tracking my progress sticking to an everyday goal. I've been using it to hold myself accoubtable for practicing handstands and eating paleo. If you've set a challenge to go to the gym 3 times a week throughout January (read above), find someway to track your progress. I'm a huge fan of visual motivators - try making a calendar out of sticky notes like I did, or any of these tactics to stay inspired.

What tactics do you use to get to the gym?

Is going to the gym part of your routine?