Do you ever notice how quickly you get back into the school year routine?
Or how you just seem to jump right back into work after a vacation?
So why is it that jumping back into a workout routine RARELY comes that quickly?
You pass on the workouts during vacation or for the summer, and when you come back it’s “one more day.”
But before you know it, one more day is another week passed, then a month, then three months, and for many, a year or more.
There are so many coaches who say, “Just get started!”
In fact, even I say that, but more and more I realized that one of two things happened:
- You attempt to start exactly where you left off the last time you worked out.
- You have no idea where TO start.
Both put you at a pretty significant risk for injury, and from my experience as a coach, more often than not lead to frustration and eventually a break up with fitness.
What if I told you there was a way to skip over that? A way that kept you mentally and physically strong and confident? A way that got you back into the gym on your own terms?
What if I told you I had a 7 Step Process that could get you to 3 workouts lasting 45 to 60 minutes per week in 7 weeks?
Take out the uncertainty and pain and start from exactly where you’re at RIGHT NOW.
Are you in?
Let’s check it out!
STEP 1: Identify Your Ideal Number of Gym Days
How many days at the gym would you be satisfied with?
Think about it – If you were locked in to your perfect workout routine, how many days in the gym would that include?
Be realistic with yourself.
Take into consideration your family and work life and pin down a number of days.
My professional recommendation would be 4 workouts per week with the additional 3 days being active rest days.
Many people believe they need to hit up the gym 7 days a week for two reasons:
- It’s an attempt to outrun a poor diet.
- You’re not following an efficiently planned program.
Really put some thought into the ideal number of gym days. Once you’ve chosen a number, write it down, and put it away somewhere safe.
STEP 2: Start With One Day
I meant it when I said put that ideal number away because if you think you’re going from zero to four days, you’ll quickly grow to regret it.
It’s best to start with ONE day, especially if it has been a while since you’ve followed a consistent program.
In order to pick which day to start, open up your calendar for the week, and look for the first available 45 minutes.
Make an event in your phone calendar with 4 reminders:
- Pack your clothes the night before.
- 15 minutes prior to needing to leave.
- Time to leave
- Time to start your workout
Through my experience, I have seen a few things when it comes to picking your gym time.
Once of the biggest reasons you bail on your workouts is a dissatisfaction with the time you have available to workout.
Here’s the reality, there will NEVER be a PERFECT time to workout.
Trust me, I get having a preferred workout time but if THAT is what’s stopping you from getting into a workout routine, then I’d recommend you do one of the following:
- Ask yourself if that time won’t work because you’re choosing not to make it work or because it genuinely will not work.
- Have a friend or spouse take an objective look at your schedule to see how it could be arranged to fit your preferred time.
- Try a different time (for more than one day) because something is better than nothing and you will never know until you try.
- Do a priority assessment to see if what is during your preferred time really needs to be there.
All you need to pick is to pick ONE hour on ONE day.
Mark it on your calendar, set reminders, and lastly commit to it like you would a business meeting or kid’s activity.
STEP 3: Pack Your Clothes the Night Before
Remember when you set the calendar reminder to pack your gym clothes? Do NOT dismiss that reminder until you’ve done it.
Pack a pair of workout clothes or really anything that’s comfortable enough to move your body. Don’t forget to take undergarments into consideration.
Pack up those clothes in a bag or backpack.
And before you turn off that reminder, go put that bag next to the work items you’ll grab on your way out OR better yet, pack them in the car.
STEP 4: Put On Your Gym Clothes
The reminders have started!
As soon as that 15 minute reminder pops up on your phone, I recommend you get up from your spot, grab your workout clothes, and head on over to the restroom.
Take your time changing into your workout clothes so you don’t feel hurried or stressed.
Once you’ve changed, head back to your spot, grab your belongings and it should be time to head out the door.
If you prefer to change at the gym, no problem; however, I do find that more people who start the commute in their work clothes are more likely to bail on their workout time.
Put the clothes on, so you’re able to start getting yourself into the right mindset.
STEP 5: Go to the Gym for 5 Minutes
You’re already in your workout clothes.
You’ve arrived at the gym.
Now it’s time for the toughest part – getting started.
Find an open treadmill, bike, or elliptical.
Head on over and get on that piece of equipment.
Then, keep it simple, and use one little phrase.
“Siri, set my timer for 5 minutes?”
Or just set it yourself.
And for 5 minutes, just walk on the treadmill, pedal the bike, or move on the elliptical.
When that timer goes off, you decide whether or not you want to stay or go.
It’s incredible what 5 minutes can do.
I hear so many people tell me how quickly those 5 minutes flew by.
Then, it’s “Well, I’m already dressed, so I might as well keep going here.”
The point is to get started and to do SOMETHING. It doesn’t even need to be your ideal style of workout, but something is better than nothing and now you’ve taken care of the hardest part – starting.
STEP 6: Do It Again Next Week
Whether you exercised for 5 or 30 minutes, I want that to be your only workout for the week.
Yes, I don’t want you to go back that week.
It is not a sprint to 3 workouts per week.
I want this to be a part of your routine. Something that becomes an automatic for you regardless your busy life schedules. Something you can confidently jump back into after time away.
You will definitely feel accomplished and motivated after your first workout.
That is exactly what I want! But I want it to last long-term, so trust me on this one.
Right after you finish your workout, I want you to look at next week’s schedule. Again, find the first available time and book it WITH reminders.
Then, I want you to repeat the same process for it – pack your clothes, change into your clothes, commit to 5 minutes, and stay for as long as you want.
There are a few reasons to start with one workout per week:
- Allow for recovery because believe it or not, even a 10-minute walk on the treadmill after some time away requires recovery.
- To establish this as a routine – the hardest part is jumping back in after time away or making workouts fit into your schedule; therefore, this helps teach you to schedule and commit to your gym time.
- To reduce the tendency to get into the “All or Nothing” mentality and truly establish this as a lifestyle.
STEP 7: Repeat for Workouts 2 and 3
After two or three weeks of one workout per week, it should feel routine and manageable for your schedule.
If you feel you’re ready after week two, then after you select the first available time in week three, look for the second available time and book it following all the same steps.
Commit to two workouts for two weeks, and then add a third following all the same steps.
Once you’ve added in the third workout, see if there is a pattern to your workouts. Are there days that work better than others? Days where you have more time consistently available?
If so, utilize the last two weeks to establish those as your workout days.
What you will begin to notice is that the people around you – family, friends, and coworkers, will begin to recognize your days and times at the gym. You’ll find it easier to keep times set in your calendar for workouts, and these three workouts per week truly become a part of your daily and weekly routine.
Do I believe many of you could easily jump right into three workouts per week?
But if you really want to make fitness and health a consistent part of your routine and as easy to get back into as the back-to-school or work routine, then start with this 7 Step Process.
It teaches you the importance of scheduling your time and blocking time off for workouts.
It carries you through the fear of starting over and getting back into the routine.
It makes fitness a part of your lifestyle by establishing habits and creating routine.
Start with Step 1, and it might be the last time you ever have to start there.