Okay, so today I’m talking about the points to take about organizing your training process this way so it will not steal away from your daily energy, won’t frustrate you, won’t depress you etc. Developing “no negative emotions” mindset towards exercising. Regardless of how busy you are. B-)
1. Prepare for bumps on the road. Do not plan for failure though! Plain and simple, success of any manager is being determined not just of how successfully he/she manages/organizes any business, but of how he/she is dealing with something gone wrong. As one of my former bosses said “I don’t care how good you are, but I definitely want to see how you are dealing with the situation when something is screwed up”. Very true with working out as well. Be mentally prepare that not everything will go smooth according to the plan. In the past 9 years of training that I keep training log, there wasn’t a single training cycle when everything went smooth. At least once you will have to tweak things. So be prepared for it, don’t let it stop you from training altogether.
2. Be proactive. When it comes to nutrition – set the time and date and make all the grocery. Then set the time and a date to make all or most of cooking. If it’s more than once a week – set all these times and dates. There is no shortcuts to it. If you feel like it’s too hard – again, look for options, buy healthier pre-cooked meals. If budget is not an issue – there are many catering services in any city, hire a chef to cook meals and get them delivered to you.
When it comes to training:
a) put your gym bag in the place when you can’t miss it or forget about it. Put all the gear in it beforehand.
b) write down a plan beforehand. Don’t think about training plan for any specific workout, but plan months, if not years ahead. Then stick to it. Big planning will determine what you should do during every single workout. It’s not a simple topic, so I will expand about it in future.
c) if you don’t know what to do in the gym or don’t know how to organize a plan – hire a trainer. I mean, how many people learnt how to play Rachmaninoff symphonies by themselves, without a teacher? How many people learnt how to drive a car without the instructor? What gives you confidence that designing comprehensive training plan for your body is any easier? Of course, not all the trainers are the same, but that is different topic. For now, remember this – if you decide to hire a trainer, you immediately remove frustrations, associated with scheduling/showing up/deciding what to do in the gym. And you will also keep your motivation at high level.
3. Have a plan B. It is closely related to the first one above. How you can tweak things to make training work?
– if somebody took or occupied your piece of equipment in the gym, have a substitute exercise in mind, so you’re not wasting your time.
– if you can’t make your schedule work on certain days, put another day in your daily planner, and put priority of that time high, so it cannot be changed or moved by, lets say, a meeting with an old friend, or movie night.
4. Make keeping yourself accountable easier. Make a deal with your training
partner, if you have one, to carpool. That keeps you much more accountable, but takes away the frustration in case if you have a lower energy day. It needs to be done. The person is waiting. Done.Also, surround yourself with like-minded people. Charles Poliquin said that you are representation of 5 closest people in your life. Make sure these 5 people are someone you want to be like.
5. Do the most important thing first in the workout. This way even if emergency hits and you have to leave early, or you are just super-tired, you can still count this one. The most important part of training routine is strength or resistance training. Everything else follows – mobility drills, stretching, cardiovascular conditioning, sport-specific training, whatever. Dan John has a wonderful test for figuring out what’s important “If you only have 45 minutes a week to train, what would you do?” Figure it out and do it first. If you don’t like strength training and rather do cardio – again, do you strength training first, get it done and then go do your favourite treadmill “alpine walk”, or elliptical “fat burning”.
6. Start small. This one is huge. John Berardi, the founder of Precision Nutrition totally blew my mind when he showed statistical data of this approach compared to classic approach. Start changing ONE habit at a time. Don’t attack the exercising mountain with no tools. First get the tools.
– start doing something rather than nothing. BUT!!!! Be honest with yourself that this is the very first step. The baby is learning to walk. If the thought of gym makes you shiver from disguise – join Frisbee league on the weekend. If you don’t like lifting weights – learn how to do bodyweight exercises and progress them. Trust me, there are no unfit people who can do 5 chin-ups and 5 single-leg squats. But then again, PROGRESS from there! Next point:7. Avoid boredom and routine. As Dan John, my mentor, said “Everything works. But nothing works forever”. Brilliant. Very often frustration and negative emotion come from inability to make exercising fun. Turn working out into adult playground, and you’ll be looking forward to next workout. Again, if you don’t know how – don’t reinvent the wheel and ask for help.
So here you have them, few tips. This topic is much broader than I covered, but at least you get the point – with a right approach you can control your attitude towards working out, you can build that routine into your lifestyle, regardless, how busy you are, and what’s more – you can even make training enjoyable. Or at least don’t have hate onset or panic attack every time you step your foot in the gym. Body is here doing stuff, but mind is busy doing something else…. like tooth brushing. B-)