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Claudiu Pop, BA, is a medical writer, an expert in weight management, nutrition, and fitness, and the founder of Unfold Today.
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Whether you are a beginner or a veteran in the world of fitness, you likely find it hard to get back to training after breaking your routine and there’s no surprise given the busy lives we all have in this modern society.
Therefore, I will teach you how you can eliminate the resistance in your mind and how to start training instantly.
What best way to show you how to recover from a training hiatus than sharing one of my recent experiences. Actually, this triggered the idea for this post. Before diving in, you should know that I work out almost daily, be it in the gym or at home.
In spite of the above, last week was a total mess. I had skipped my workouts from Monday to Friday before I was finally able to pick up the habit again. This scenario rarely takes place in my life. Even during holidays, I make room for a short workout.
So, I studied my behavior because I didn’t want to miss so many workouts again and to help everyone struggling to get back on the ‘saddle’. I realized that there are just a few simple things that will kickstart our training routines.
But before finding out how to get back to training, it’s vital to know how to avoid skipping your training sessions. To show you this, I analyzed what made me miss 5 days of training in a row last week.
First of all, it’s very important to schedule your training sessions every week. This way you will not forget about them and you will be more motivated to really complete them. Yes, just because you can tick them off after you finish them. I always do that, day in, day out.
However, there is a trap. Some tasks may take longer than expected and, without a strict schedule, you are prone to jumping over your training sessions. I did that almost every day last week.
For example, Monday I set my workout time at 2 PM, presuming that I would finish my work until then. Yeah, sure… it took me until 4 PM to finish my work and writing for that day.
Takeaway? Schedule your workouts and don’t let other tasks be more important. After all, your health must come first.
Distractions, like a good TV show, checking the social media buzz or watching your favorite Netflix series, are meant to be ways of relaxation. Everybody, those shouldn’t occupy more time than your main activities.
Sometimes, we all let our minds be stolen by these distractions and we need to train our minds to resist.
Last week, once I had to choose between watching “Bad Boys For Life” and doing a 30-minute workout. Come on, you can’t turn down Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
Another day, it came to my mind that I hadn’t been doing my online French lessons for a while. This happened exactly when I had some free time to do a few sets of push-ups. And that’s what it means to let distractions take over.
This is a field I’m very good at. Last week, I came up with the excuse that it’s too late to work out for two or three times. Besides, I certainly postponed one workout because I ate a large dinner. Those are just a couple of the justifications my mind came up with to avoid doing my training sessions.
To avoid this, you need to acknowledge an excuse when your mind comes with one. Then, you will be able to make the right decision and start training, leaving everything else aside.
Staying fit is not easy and, therefore, you won’t always be in the mood of dropping sweat and raising your heart rate. It gets even harder when you interrupt your training as I did.
Moreover, you will even be tempted to quit your training routine, especially if you are at the start of your fitness journey. To help you avoid this, I studied how I had managed to pick up the habit of working out again. As a result, I came up with 3 methods that will surely put you back on the saddle.
Watch a short motivational video, read an impactful story of how somebody defied the odds and became fitter than ever or make a bet with yourself – e.g. do 50 push-ups in a row at the end of this month, lift ‘x’ amount of weight etc. All of these will make you want to train.
For my part, all it took to spark the urge to train was watching a scene from the movie “I Am Legend”. Yeah, it’s that one, the one when Will Smith was doing pull-ups while zombies were lurking outside his house. Name a better motivation, I dare you (laughing).
Although getting external motivation can be very effective, searching for internal stimuli can be far more rewarding. For example, I observed that I was sluggish the entire last week because I didn’t work out.
However, our productivity is super-charged when we make our blood flow through the body by training. Basically, I set a goal: in order to be more productive, I need to train.
Fortunately, working out has many benefits for us. Whether you like your clothes to look good on you, you want to be stronger or you are just searching for the dopamine release throughout your body, having goals will make you start training in no time.
If you are a really stubborn person and none of the above methods worked, then this one will definitely break the ice. I can vow for this method because forcing myself to do 30 push-ups and 30 squats on Friday, one hour before bedtime, put me on the right track after not doing any workouts from Monday to Thursday.
Nevertheless, putting yourself on the floor and starting doing your exercises requires some mental toughness.
In the end, whether you choose to watch a motivational story, visualize the extraordinary benefits of a good workout or just simply try to get past the mind’s barriers and force yourself into a set of push-ups, now you can easily reinstall your training routine into your life.
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