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Tips For Staying Motivated With Training

Do you start a new training programme or exercise regime with bounds of energy and excitement, ready to hit the gym or pavement everyday, but then you soon find you’ve missed a session. And then another session. And before you know it your motivation has tanked and you’re struggling to get yourself off the sofa and back into movement. Well you’re not alone, and this tail off in motivation can be common when we attempt to take on a new regime which is a drastic change from our normal reality.

If you’re struggling to stay motivated despite your best efforts, here are some of my top tips to help keep you on track:

Start small and build up.

If currently you aren’t exercising, or are doing very little, then it’s unlikely you’ll suddenly be able to maintain 5 gym workouts a week for the rest of your life. Start with a small goal, like 2 exercise sessions per week for 3-4weeks.

Once that become a part of your routine, choose a new thing to add in on top, such as hitting your daily step count for the next 4 weeks. You can continue in this way, gradually adapting your lifestyle to incorporate new habits. This will make them much easier to stick to in the long term.

Drop the all or nothing mentality.

This is a sure fire way to fail. With an all or nothing mentality, as soon as you miss a session you think ‘f*** it I’ve failed, why bother with the rest’. Remember that SOMETHING is always better than nothing.

So if you miss a session, don’t stress, let it go, and continue with your training plan the next day. Point number 3 may help you with achieving this.

Set some minimum targets for the week, and make the rest a bonus.

Let’s say you plan 4 session per week - 2 strength sessions and 2 runs. However it’s a stretch to always fit all 4 sessions in and sometimes you miss one.

Instead let’s set a new minimum target of two sessions per week (1 strength, 1 run), because you know you can definitely get these in on your days off work. The other two sessions are still part of your target, but they are now your bonus sessions.

This means anything over 2 sessions is a win and you can finish each week feeling on a high at hitting your targets! This can reduce stress and demoralisation when you miss a workout, which can lead to that desire to throw in the towel and give up. As a result it should help you to stay on track.

Opt for shorter workouts.

It might seem a little counter intuitive to reduce your workout duration if you’re trying to exercise more. But shorter workouts can fit more easily into your routine which makes them easier to stick to.

Shorter workouts can feel less daunting – for example if you’re feeling tired after work then an hour in the gym can feel unachievable, but half of that is much more manageable. This can often lead you to fit MORE total volume across the week by minimising missed sessions.

For example, instead of 3 x 1hr workouts per week, where you always miss one or two, instead you aim for 5 x 30 min sessions per week that you can fit into your morning routine or lunch break. This way you’ll consistently get in 2.5hrs of training, versus 1-2hrs as a result of a missed session or two. Choose a workout length that you know you can stick to consistently.

Find something you really enjoy.

The biggest predictor for whether you will stick at an exercise regime long term is how much you enjoy it. So if you are consistently dreading your next workout then it may be time to re-evaluate your training programme.

Why not try a new class, or get a friend to exercise with you, or even better hire a personal trainer who can mix things up for you while making sure you’re working towards your goals effectively.

Set yourself a performance goal.

A great way to motivate your self is to focus on unlocking a new skill or goal that is all about what your body can do. For example, maybe you really want to get your first push up or pull up. Or let' say you’d like to get out on your bike more, so you might aim to cycle a certain number of kilometers in a month. It can then help to break that big goal into smaller goals to keep you on track.

For example if you decide you want to cycle 120km across the next month, you might set yourself a weekly goal of 3 cycles of 10km. It’s important to make sure your goals are challenging but achievable. If this is something you struggle with then a personal trainer can guide you along in this process to make sure you hit your goal.

If you usually train at the gym, have a back up home workout.

Some days travelling to the gym and back can feel like a slog, and eat up precious time that you don’t have. When these days occur, have a ‘go to’ back up home workout you can turn to which works with the home equipment you have, or even just bodyweight. By not having to think about what to do you’ll remove the barrier of decision making (i.e. faffing around trying to decide what exercises to do) and are far more likely to be able to just crack on and get it done.

Need some help implementing these tips?

Many of these actions sound easy, but when it comes down to it they can be tricky to action. It often helps to have an outsider perspective - Someone who can take an objective look at your schedule, lifestyle and your goals, and help you put some structure in place to make long term changes towards achieving your goals.

Looking for a Personal Trainer in East London to help with this? Or perhaps you prefer to work with a personal trainer online? I offer both in person and remote app based coaching services where I do just that – check them out here, or drop me a message if you have any questions or would like to find out more.


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